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The Rilliet Report Jan 2015

January 06 2015
January 06 2015

January is a time to look back and look forward. As I reflect on real estate in 2014, I can say that it was a good year. Home prices remained steady with a 2.1% increase nationwide. Demand outpaced supply in most neighborhoods. Still, home sales were down about 3% from the year before.

So let's look forward. Could 2015 be a great year?

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, predicts that 2015 will be positive due to many factors: the economy is growing, interest rates remain low, consumer confidence is improving, gas prices are tumbling, and the stock market is strong.

Still, low inventory will hold down sales. Many homeowners now have low interest rates and are not motivated to sell. New homes are not being built at the rate required to strongly impact inventory. Rents are rising at a seven-year high.

In 2015, watch for higher housing costs. I will be tracking the trends in our area. With no drop in home prices foreseen, now may be the right time to make your move. Let's talk.

 

JUST ASK

I'm often asked whether it's better to rent or to buy. The National Association of Realtors recently forecasted that 2015 will be a "landlord's market". Rent growth continues to run higher than overall inflation. Landlords are raising their rents as the national vacancy rate dips to the lowest level in two decades. Rents are rising at the fastest pace in six years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rental vacancy rates have fallen to 20-year lows.

If you have the down payment for purchasing a home, there is a strong chance that you will be able to make lower monthly mortgage payments than rental payments. Buying for your first home or buying as a potential rental property often makes sense. I can help you work the numbers, or connect you with a trusted mortgage broker. Let's talk soon.

 

MY TOWN

Q: Is it cheaper to buy a house in the winter?

A: Yes. Seasonal shifts are well documented. Costs of homes are higher in the summer, with the exception of very warm climates like Palm Springs and Las Vegas.


*The Atlantic, December 6, 2014

What are the reasons for the differences?

  • Inventory is larger in the spring and summer. People find their "ideal house" quickly and are willing to pay a higher price.
  • Buyers are more plentiful in the warmer months and so the chance of multiple offers increases.
  • Families with school-age children find it more convenient to search in the summer.
  • The weather is more conducive to house-hunting.

I have a number of clients that focus on winter purchasing so they can take advantage of flexible prices and better negotiating opportunities. Then, they are a step ahead of the marketplace. Call or email me if you'd like to explore your winter options.

 

FYI

As we move into 2015, let's talk about projected trends.

  • Americans are returning to urban life.
  • A growing percentage of Americans are moving to the West (23.5%) and the South (37.4%).
  • The Northeast (17.7%) and the Midwest (21.4%) are shrinking.
  • The growth of cities outgrew the growth of suburbs for the last three years.
  • Seven of the 10 large metro areas where job growth was the strongest in 2013 are in the West.
  • Riverside, California is the fastest growing city, followed by San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Orlando, Florida.

The country's population is shifting and the pattern is changing the dynamics of American demographics.


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