National Real Estate Market Primed for Expansion in 2016

January 2016 Housing reportStrengthening Economy 

Despite existing-home sales dropping last November, the National Real Estate Market is primed for expansion in 2016. Here’s why. Better weather in many parts of the country resulted in an increase in single-family and multifamily home construction. Also, the population of millennial homebuyers is expected to grow in 2016. This means increased demand to help the housing market see positive gains. With unemployment steadily decreasing, orders for new durable goods increasing 3 percent, inflation staying level, and income beginning to grow, the Fed decided to raise interest rates. The rate increase signals that our economy is getting stronger. So, don’t let the drop in existing-home sales in November fool you, with a stronger economy home sellers can expect eager home buyers in 2016.

Millennial Home Buyers

The low demand in November meant that first-time home buyers had only a 30 percent share in demand, which is slightly down from 31 percent in October and last year. However, in 2016 home sellers saw an increase of first-time home buyers enter the housing market  because of the growing segment of millennials between 25 and 34 years of age. The Census Bureau projects that the population of millennials aged 25 to 34 will increase by an average of nearly 500,000 per year in the second part of the decade. Also, NAR’s inaugural quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey reported that a large majority of millennials between 25 and 34 years of age who rent want to own a home in the future.

Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interests this month. Freddie Mac reported that the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed rate mortgage stayed below 4 percent, but rose from 3.80 percent to 3.94 percent in November. Mortgage rates are expected to rise to 4.50 percent by the end of 2016, but this rate is still historically low; a full percentage point below the rate during the recession of 2008. The low fixed mortgage rate should help spurn demand and encourage first-time home buyers to enter the market.  But while the rate is at its current level, potential home buyers should keep an eye out for rate increases so that they’re not caught by surprise when the spring buying season comes around. Early 2016 would be a good time for home buyers to start looking to purchase a home.

Mortgage Lenders & Home Buyers

Fannie Mae’s fourth quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™ shows that lenders expect to ease mortgage credit standards for GSE-eligible loans and government loans over the next three months. This should reduce the affordability problem for first-time home buyers. As a result, this will help young adult homeownership. Although home prices will be high, all of this is good news for home sellers because they should expect an increase in demand for their home.

In 2016, the first-time home buyer will have mortgage credit options available that were not available during the housing down-turn. First-time home buyers will have low-and no-down-payment mortgage loans available to them. Some loan options available include FHA loans and the conventional 97 percent program offered by Fannie Mae. Qualifying first-time home buyers need only to put 3 percent down on a home.

Homeowners

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association weekly survey, the Refinance Index increased 11 percent compared to the previous week. So it appears homeowners have anticipated the Federal Reserve’s increase in interest rates. If you’re a homeowner with an adjustable-rate mortgage or a variable home equity line of credit, you should expect your rates to rise in 2016. The first part of 2016 will be a good time to refinance. Home equity lines of credit (HELOC) are both fixed and variable. Variable HELOCs are tied to the Federal Reserve prime rate. Whereas fixed HELOCs are not. By refinancing early in 2016, you’ll afford any major life events that may occur such as daughter’s wedding, high college tuition, or home renovation.

Wrap-up

The National Real Estate Market is on its way to expanding. The Federal Reserve raising interest rates indicates optimism in the housing market and the economy as a whole. The 2016 housing market will remain a sellers market that should see an increase in first-time home buyers entering the market because of the strong desire of homeownership by millennials 25 to 34 years of age, and easing credit standards and increases in wages. Homeowners with variable mortgage rates should expect their rates to rise in 2016, but early 2016 will be a good time to refinance so that you’re that you won’t fill the brunt of further interest rate increases.

While every real estate market is local, national stats often give insight into predicting local trends. If you have any questions about our local market to help you make any real estate-related decisions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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Buying a Home During The Holidays

There are many things that we can agree can be stressful.  For many people, the holidays are a time of year that can be very busy and exciting at the same time. Same is true for buying a home.  Weather it is a first home, move up or investment.  Buying a home is a huge purchase and can be one of the most stressful events in one’s life.  So, what about buying a home during the holidays?  Can it get any more difficult than that?

Christmas treeMoving and house hunting are never easy. However, there are plenty of good reasons for buying a home during the holidays.  For starters, taxes.  Many sellers may need to sell by the end of the year for a tax benefit and same is true for buyers.  If you find that you can benefit with your tax situation by buying before the end of the year, then buying a home during the holidays is just going to be part of your celebration!

Competition is another good reason for buying a home during the holidays.  Or, maybe a lack of competition is a better way to look at it.  We all know that the Spring market is the busiest season for most areas when it comes to real estate.  Demand seems greater, and the number of buyers out there competing for the few listings make it tougher to negotiate  with sellers or even get an accepted offer! So buying a home during the holidays can be far less competitive and possibly a better situation to negotiate with sellers.

Mortgages.  If you are in the market to buy a home, you need to definitely meet with a mortgage advisor and get pre-approved before heading out to look.  But once you do, buying a home during the holidays can likely speed up the approval process in getting your loan done.  With fewer buyers in the market at this time of year, the mortgage process is less bogged down, and your loan can move much faster towards final approval!

Of course, fewer homes typically tend to be on the market during the holiday season. With that in mind, you may not find the perfect home but it shouldn’t stop you from looking if you are in the market.  Unless you must buy before the end of the year then you can just keep looking.  Many sellers understand the advantage of listing their home at this time of year, and so they put their home on the market now, and it may be the right home for you.  Looking for your next home and possibly buying a home during the holiday season may be the best time of year for you.

We all get busy this time of year, and many folks take time off during the holidays.  I am available if you would like to take advantage of the market.  Besides, it’s always fun to see the homes decorated and the faces of my customers when they find the right home to add to their holiday cheer!  Let me know if I can help you this year.

 

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Moving in the Winter? Denver Real Estate Tips

Denver Winter Living

We’ve had our first real snow of the season now this week and while I thought it would warm up today, that hasn’t been the case.  If you are thinking ofHighlands Ranch Redstone Parkputting your home on the market, here are some tips from past posts that will help you sell you Denver real estate and protect your home in the winter months.

Showing Your Home in Bad Weather – Weather you live in Highlands Ranch, Denver, Lone Tree – wherever, this week was the first in the Denver area where you has to make considerations on showing your home in bad weather.

Preparing Your Denver Home For Winter – It isn’t too late for some winter prep for your home and yard

Freezing Pipes Prevention & What to do When it Happens – This is not a fun one. This weeks cold shouldn’t be bad enough to cause this, but you want to read this before it gets any colder.

Denver Relocation Information – Winter Weather – Many of my Denver relocation clients ask me about typical Denver weather in the winter.

What other tips do you have for selling Denver real estate in the winter?

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Home Improvements That Can Quickly Add Value To Your Home

Home ImprovementsThe Denver area real estate market needs more inventory.  That could include your home if you’ve been considering a sale for awhile. Maybe you have been concerned with updating  the home but really don’t want to get involved in a major remodel.  Well, maybe you don’t have to.  Here are some home improvements that can quickly add value to your home!

Paint – This is the quickest and most dramatic way to freshen up the appearance of a home.  Depending on the extent of painting needed, this may or may not be too expensive, but this home improvement will certainly give the home a clean, move in ready feel in most cases add immediate value to your home. If you want to add color, getting a professional color consult can be a very affordable way to complement your home.  Hint: If painting just isn’t your thing, hire a professional.  A sloppy paint job can be pretty obvious and may even detract from the home’s appearance.

Lighting – Still have the original lighting in your home from the 90’s or even later?  It’s time to update, and a quick trip to the local home improvement or lighting store can make a world of difference. Modern lighting can improve the look and quickly add value to your home as well.  It doesn’t have to be too expensive but can be very noticeable and fresh.  Hint: Look through home magazines, online tours or even model homes for the latest look.  Don’t replace what you have with a newer version of the same look.  I’ve seen it done. 

Fixtures – I’m talking about faucets, sinks, toilets and maybe mirrors here.  This can certainly get pricey if you need to change out the entire home.  Maybe focus on the master bath, powder bath and kitchen sink.  You would be surprised how fast you can modernize the look and feel of your home with another trip to the home improvement store and update the fixtures.  Once again, find the latest look and try to go with that.  Many of these can be purchased and installed by yourself.  Hint: If you just aren’t at all handy, hire a pro.  Plumbing can get messy if you don’t do it right!

Carpet – Bad carpet can often make an otherwise great house seem like it needs a lot of work.  Dirty, worn out carpet usually just won’t clean up well enough to cut it.  New carpet can make a huge improvement to your home but can once again be expensive depending on how much you have.  Typically, most buyers really don’t want to deal with a carpet allowance and have to do the work themselves.  They want to be impressed by the home when they walk in and be ready to move right in when they close.  Hint: Shop around.  You probably don’t need to install the highest grade carpet and pad, and you may be able to find wholesalers in your town with far cheaper prices than brand name retailers.

Hopefully, your home won’t need work in all of these areas.  However, it is important to make sure you take care of what needs to get done.  For many, your home has increased quite a bit in value from when you bought it.  If you want to sell for top dollar, most buyers will expect to have many of these home improvements done if they are needed.  As they say, you want to sell the sizzle with the steak!  A fresh, clean home with some updating is a HOT commodity in this market and can sell quick!  If you are considering a sale, please get in touch.  I would love to stop by, discuss the market with you and take a look at your home personally. I can offer some suggestions to work on and a marketing plan to find a buyer for your home.

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Common License of iluvcocacola

 

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Littleton Real Estate Market Report

The Littleton Real Estate Market Report for October shows great signs of continued improvement.  The real estate data for the month is up significantly in the average sold price with just under 15% gain from last year!

Taking a look at the year to date figures, we can see that the homes under contract and sold are both up over 30% while the days on market have slid down just about 30% as well.  Wonderful news for the sellers in the Littleton real estate market.  Buyers will need to compete for the few listings available in today’s market.  Inventory levels are down and active listings in Littleton are down just about 42% from the same time last year.

The good news for buyers is the continued low interest rates.  With mortgage rates this low, it makes it easier to qualify and of course, your money can go a lot further each month with less to pay towards interest.

Overall, Littleton is in a seller’s real estate market.  With low inventory and rising values, I think we have seen the bottom of the market come and go already.  Get ready for a great 2013.

If you would like help selling or purchasing a home or investment in Littleton, please get in touch.  I would love to talk.

Littleton real estate market data

Highlands Ranch Real Estate Market Update October 2012

Denver Real Estate Report &  Trends – Highlands Ranch

Let’s take a look at the Highlands Ranch real estate market update for October.  I live in Highlands Ranch so I’m happy with the trend for the market.  But, I also work a lot here and as you can see with the amount of active inventory from this month last year, way down.  I’ll take it though.  I also think the market activity early next year and into spring may explode here in the ranch.

To begin, active home listings are down an incredible 44.5%.  Almost half.  It’s been this way for awhile now so I think a lot of folks have been sitting tight while the market recovers a bit and that’s not a bad plan.  Let’s shift to the year to date.  You can see the homes under contract and sold are way up.  Big demand, little inventory coupled with historically low mortgage interest rates.  It is a seller’s market.  Days on market are down just over 30% and average values are up almost 4%.  The real estate market has turned around here in Highlands Ranch.  Actually, it has moved this way for awhile now and I expect even more improvement next year.

If you are a seller or buyer in Highlands Ranch, I would like to help.  Just get in touch.  Let’s have a friendly conversation and maybe make a plan moving forward.  The numbers show the bottom of the market has passed and the opportunity is now.

 

Highlands Ranch real estate market data

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