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  • Americans Think Homeownership is a Sound Investment

    WASHINGTON (October 14, 2015) A vast majority of Americans believe that buying a home is a solid financial decision, and most believe they could sell their home for at least its initial purchase price, according to a new survey from the National Association of Realtors. The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey also found that a preponderance of Americans think that now is a good time to buy a home.

    The survey, which measures consumers' attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation's 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas, found that more than eight in 10 Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, and 68 percent believe that now is a good time to buy a home. Seventy-one percent believe they could sell their house for what they paid for it, a jump of 16 percentage points from 2013.

    When asked for reasons about why homeownership matters to them, respondents answers did not change significantly from past years. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top three reasons to own a home.

    "Homeownership is part of the American Dream, and this survey proves that dream is alive and thriving in our communities," said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark. "Realtors believe that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream in a safe, responsible way, which is why NAR advocates homeownership issues and educating potential buyers about achieving their property investment goals."

    The number of renters who are now thinking about purchasing a home has increased since the last survey in 2013, up from 36 percent to 39 percent. Sixty-one percent of renters stated that owning a home is a priority for their future. According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents believe that pre-purchase counseling programs and classes are very or somewhat important. Forty-five percent of homeowners who said they did not take a counseling program, reported they would have taken part in one had it been easily available to them.

    Attitudes about the housing market have improved in recent years. Forty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they feel activity in the housing market has increased in the past year, compared to 44 percent in 2013 and 12 percent in 2011. Eighty-nine percent expect home sales in their area to either increase or remain the same. Concern about foreclosures has also declined, with only 15 percent of respondents indicating that foreclosure is a major concern.

    In addition to improved attitudes about the housing market, survey participants also showed an improved outlook regarding the economy. Only 36 percent think that job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem, a substantial drop from 45 percent in 2013.

    Perceived obstacles to homeownership have remained mostly unchanged compared to recent years; 78 percent of respondents point to college debt and student loans as the main obstacle to making a home purchase affordable. Seventy-six percent of participants said they have a full-time job but still did not make enough money to purchase a home. Seventy-four percent believe they do not have enough money for a down payment and closing costs.

    As the market has improved, concern about the cost of housing has increased. Two-thirds of survey participants said that home prices are more expensive than they were a year ago. There is additional concern over the lack of available housing; 41 percent said the lack of affordable homes is either a very big or fairly big problem in their area, an increase of 9 percent points from 2013.

    For adult millennials under the age of 35, the burden of student debt is their chief concern, with 86 percent of respondents naming college debt as an obstacle to homeownership. Over half reported that their housing costs are a financial strain on their budget, 65 percent are concerned about high rental prices, and 60 percent are concerned about high home prices. However, millennials tend to have a more upbeat and positive view about the future of the nation than older Americans, with 42 percent of millennials saying that the country is headed in the right direction compared to only 20 percent among those aged 50 and older.

    The 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NARs Housing Opportunity Program. The telephone survey polled 1,000 adults nationwide in the 50 most populous metropolitan statistical areas. An additional 250 interviews were conducted with millennial adults (born after 1981) from the same geography. The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

    The National Association of Realtors, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

    Find your next DREAM home with my home search! Feel free to schedule a showing or to just ask me a question. Start searching For Sale or Rentals:

    Courtesy National Association of Realtors. Click Here for Original Article.

  • More forecasts for housing in 2017 are trickling in, most recently out of CoreLogic, which estimates home prices will increase 4.6 percent by this time next year. Prices this October, according to CoreLogics Home Price Index (HPI), increased 6.7 percent year-over-year, and 1.1 percent month-over-month.

    While national home prices increased 6.7 percent, only nine states had home price growth at the same rate of growth or higher than the national average because the largest states, such as Texas, Florida and California, are experiencing high rates of home price appreciation, says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

    Home prices are continuing to soar across much of the U.S., led by major metro areas such as Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and Denver, says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. Prices are being fueled by a potent cocktail of high demand, low inventories and historically low interest rates. Looking forward to next year, nationwide home prices are expected to climb another 5 percent in many parts of the country to levels approaching the pre-recession peak.

    Home prices, according to one measure, have already recovered from the recessionthe S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices posted a new, post-recession peak in September.

    Turning to 2017, other forecasts predict similar movement in prices. Realtor.coms recently released forecast expects prices nationally to increase 3.9 percent, while appreciation to slow 1 percent.

    Source: CoreLogic

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  • Housing is expected to downshift next year as the post-election economy sets in, driven by a deceleration in home price growth, according to realtor.coms recently released 2017 housing forecast. The forecast projects home prices nationally growing at a rate of 3.9 percent, down from 2016s 4.9 percent estimate, and an appreciation slowdown of 1 percent or more in nearly half of the U.S. top 100 metropolitan areas.

    Multiple factors are coming together, says realtor.com Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. One is a continued trend toward moderationbasically the effect of seeing all of the rebounds coming off of the distress, the foreclosure years finally well behind us, so theres no longer that dead cat bounce that was occurring in some markets. Secondwere now in record price territory in many places in the country, so thats starting to have its own moderating effect. Were seeing that evident in the fact that more markets in our forecast represent a deceleration in price trend as opposed to an acceleration in price trend.

    The Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla. area tops the list of 46 markets projected to experience an appreciation slowdown in 2017, followed by Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. and Jackson, Miss.

    Mortgage rates, which last week treaded above 4 percent for the first time this year, are projected to reach 4.5 percent, according to the forecast. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise the key interest rate in December.

    A new wrinkle is the higher mortgage rates, Smoke says. They have an impact on the potential of the buying pool in high-cost areas in that they really start to challenge qualifications from an affordability perspective, so, as a result, they tend to have a dampening effect. Our forecast would imply that were expecting, in addition the December move, likely two to three more moves next year.

    Higher mortgage rates do, however, have the potential to result in less stringent enforcement action, which, coupled with changes per the Trump Administration, could open up credit opportunities closed off to otherwise qualified homebuyers.

    What Im expecting is that those trends toward more conservatism will likely improve simply because mortgage rates are higher, says Smoke. An even more important factor is the fact that the refi market goes away when mortgage rates are above 4 percent; if [lenders] want to keep their lending operation performing similarly, then they have to turn to the purchase market more. I think the consumers going to win in that perspective.

    Leading positive price movementthough lessened compared to 2016will be the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. area, ranked the No. 1 housing market of 2017 in the forecast. The area is projected to see prices grow 5.94 percent and sales grow 7.24 percent. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, Calif., Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Mass.-N.H., Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, Calif., and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. round out the top five of the forecasts ranking.

    Realtor.coms 2017 Housing Forecast Top 100 Metros

    Twenty-six of the top 100 metropolitan areas, as well, are projected to experience appreciation of 1 percent or more, including the Greensboro-High Point, N.C., Akron, Ohio, and Baltimore-Columbia-Townson, Md. areas.

    The forecast projects the homeownership rate to stabilize at 63.5 percent after hitting a 50-year low point (62.9 percent) in the second quarter of 2016. The homeownership rate rallied to the 63.5 percent-mark in the third quarter.

    Existing- and new-home sales, additionally, are projected to grow 1.9 percent (to 5.46 million) and 10 percent, respectively, while new-home construction starts are projected to grow 3 percent.

    We are forecasting marginally better inventory as a result of new construction continuing to expand, Smoke says. Its not going to materially change the supply dynamic. New construction is ultimately the safety valve for pressure from a supply/demand standpoint, so continued growth there starts to alleviate price pressurethe release has to come from [that] market.

    Demographic activity overall will have a substantial impact on housing in 2017, as well. The forecast projects baby boomers and millennials will power demand over the next decade, with millennials comprising 33 percent of homebuyers and boomers, 30 percent next year. Concentrations of these groups are in many of the top markets ranked in the forecast; millennials, however, are also projected to make waves in Midwestern cities, including Madison, Wis., Columbus, Ohio, and Omaha, Neb., where they currently hold 42 percent marketshare.

    For more information, please visit www.realtor.com.

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  • The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market demand.The National Association of REALTORS (NAR)surveysover 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditionsfor their monthlyREALTORS Confidence Index.

    Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between Seller Traffic (supply) and Buyer Traffic (demand).

    Buyer Demand

    The map below was created after asking the question:How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?

    The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes in that area. Only six states had a weak demand level.

    Seller Supply

    The Index also asked:How would you rate seller traffic in your area?

    As you can see from the map below, the majority of the country has weak Seller Traffic, meaning there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for their dream homes.

    Bottom Line

    Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet the buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

    byonFebruary 1, 2017