Posts in Real Estate Market Reports

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Coronavirus Fears

Coronavirus Is Infecting The Real Estate Market: What You Should Know

Coronavirus, a deadly disease originating in China and spreading worldwide, has taken center stage in recent news. Can a health crisis have an effect on current real estate trends? Experts weigh in on how coronavirus may impact the U.S. housing market.

Putting the Brakes on the Luxury Real Estate Market?

At this point, there have only been 11 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. But according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the luxury real estate market is already taking a hit. Many high-end properties on both coasts are purchased by wealthy Chinese buyers, to the tune of $13.4 billion in NAR’s most recent annual report.

In the short term, this could repress an already sluggish luxury market, which is defined as properties selling for $1 million-plus. Bay Area broker Amy Kong, president-elect of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, reports lower attendance at open houses marketed toward Asian buyers.

Interest Rates on the Decline

China is the world’s second-largest economy, so anything impacting their financial outlook has a ripple effect around the globe. On January 30, rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans dropped nine basis points to 3.51% While lower rates could trigger an uptick in buyers, the benefit could be negated by sellers raising list prices.

What’s Ahead?

Yun makes a comparison between coronavirus and the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the early 2000s. SARS had a negligible effect on U.S. real estate, but Chinese buyers weren’t as active then. Fortunately, the consensus is that once the coronavirus is under control the market will bounce back to business as usual.

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Experts Predict a Strong Job Market and Low Mortgage Rates Will Fuel 2020’s Housing Market

Heading into 2020, a strong job market and low mortgage rates should bode well for the housing market. But thanks to a shortage of inventory and new listings, the positive real estate trends may turn out to be a mixed blessing.

Golden Age of Home Buying?

Unemployment and interest rates are both at their lowest levels in years. While widespread economic uncertainty in 2019 seemed likely to push mortgage rates north of 5 percent, rates actually declined to an average below 4 percent. In contrast, at the turn of the millennium mortgage rates were averaging 8.5 percent.

The National Association of Realtors Makes Their Predictions

According to the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates are expected to remain low during the year. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun says 30-year fixed mortgages will stay below 4 percent and finish the year around 3.8 percent.

Increases in new-home sales are projected to hit a 13-year high of 11 percent, but supply of existing homes will continue to be tight, resulting in a more modest 4 percent increase. Yun calls this a “healthy development for potential home buyers,” as prices will remain relatively affordable.

Despite the optimistic outlook, Yun does offer a word of caution. Increases in economic activity and inflation may trigger a corresponding rise in interest rates.

Real Estate Experts Weigh In

Other experts tend to agree with NAR’s outlook. Realtor.com and Redfin both anticipate tight inventory in the face of strong demand. As a result, the biggest challenge facing buyers will be finding homes, not affordability. In terms of mortgage rates, Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride also sees them holding steady at or slightly below 4 percent.

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Now May be the Best Time to Sell

Pending Recession Makes Selling Real Estate Now Very Attractive

A recession is generally viewed in a negative light in terms of the housing market overall. However, there might be a silver lining when it comes to real estate selling, especially for those who want to sell sooner rather than later. Could a possible recession in 2020 mean that homeowners should be eager to sell this year?

Upcoming Recession?

A recent Zillow report shows that real estate professionals, as well as economists, are expecting a recession to hit the economy at some point this year. While the effects of this recession aren’t predicted to be as dire as the one that hit the housing market in 2008, buyers and sellers should both stay alert.

Effects of Recessions on Sellers and Buyers

A recession that starts happening early in the year could motivate sellers to put their home on the market in the near future instead of waiting. Higher interest rates that could occur with a recession might mean having fewer buyers around at that time. This can make it harder for sellers to sell their home at an ideal price, and it could take longer to find the right buyer. Listing a home now or in the near future might be a better option for those who want or need to sell quickly or those looking to get as much as they can for their home.

Those who are thinking of selling a home this year might want to consider listingearlier rather than later in case interest rates do rise considerably. In the meantime, those who are looking into buying a home should keep a potential recession and increasing interest rates in mind when deciding when to purchase this year.

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Fall 2019 May Be a Better Time for Listings and Sale Than the Projections for 2020

Fall 2019 May Be a Better Time for Listings and Sale Than the Projections for 2020

2019 is not expected to continue the trend of high-flying home prices and rapid sales. Despite this, real estate selling experts indicate that 2019 is the best time to list a home. What gives? The remaining months are predicted to be a better market than 2020-21. For those on the fence weighing the option to sell, it could be unwise to play the waiting game.

Why is 2019 Expected to Be Better for Real Estate Selling?

• New buyers are still venturing into the market.

The affordability factor has weighed down the market. There will be no flood of buyers this year – more like a steady trickle. This will slow home price increases and extend listing times. Although housing inventory remains low, particularly in the starter-home market, high-traffic shopping will continue.

The largest segment of buyers is expected to be Millennials. In a recent Trulia poll, one-fifth of Millennials anticipate purchasing a home in 2019. 

• Interest Rates Remain Low

2019 has not seen the multiple rate hikes anticipated. More recently, lowered interest rates have brought the 30-year fixed rate down to around 3.58%. Even if a raise were to occur, rates will probably remain near their historical lows. With no sudden leaps anticipated, now is a great time for buyers to lock-in low rates.

• Equity Cash-In

For sellers holding a home they purchased during or shortly after the recession, there’s a lot of equity at stake. The more equity in the home, the higher the net from the sale that can be used toward a down payment on another house. The greater the down payment, the lower the interest rate, reducing monthly payments and the need for PMI.

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Expected the Unexpected in 2020

September May be a Difficult Month for Real Estate Sales

For those planning to put a home on the market, sooner is better for the 2019-2020 selling season. Changing real estate trends point to sales slowing down. What has the market putting on the brakes?

Factors Playing into Slowing September Home Sales

– Current Real Estate Trends

Current patterns suggest an upswing in sales or pricing is unlikely in the near future. Though cities differ, prices in metro areas are roughly 45% more than they were pre-bubble in 2006-07.

However, home inventory is creeping up, putting pressure on pricing. This correlates with rent. As rents soften, buyers look to similar discounts when buying a home. This typically trickles-down from the most expensive markets. Those with a large supply of condos will be especially hard hit.

– Economist & Expert Opinion

Economists and real estate experts polled by Zillow in May expect a recession, though they differ on timing. Twenty-four-percent expect one in 2019; nearly half in 2020; with 14% expecting the recession to hold off until 2021.

– Stock Market Fallout

Slowing global growth, trade wars, and their effect on the stock market and bond yield growth are making buyers everywhere more cautious about investing in a home.

– Uncertain Mortgage Rates

Last year, the Fed indicated price hikes on the horizon. However, this year, due to trade tensions and a softening economy, the tables have turned. People already feel the high price of housing, and with an uncertain economy, are pulling back. 

– Tax Reform Consequences

Buyers are taking note of property tax and mortgage interest deductions that have dried up, putting the brakes on new purchases until they see how their 2019 tax returns are affected.

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