Experts Predict 2014 Housing Market

The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on home buyers’ abilities to afford new homes.

Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead:

Predictions - Inventory

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels

The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by realtor.com®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.

2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity

Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to realtor.com®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.

Predictions - Foreclosure

4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow

Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.

5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from rising mortgage rates.

While no one can predict with certainty what the housing market holds in store for 2014, a constant in real estate is always that local markets vary widely in their performance. National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions. Contact a Realtor® in your community for the most up-to-date  information about your market.

Advertisements

Experts Predict 2014 Housing Market

The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on home buyers’ abilities to afford new homes.

Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead:

Predictions - Inventory

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels

The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by realtor.com®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.

2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity

Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to realtor.com®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.

Predictions - Foreclosure

4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow

Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.

5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from rising mortgage rates.

While no one can predict with certainty what the housing market holds in store for 2014, a constant in real estate is always that local markets vary widely in their performance. National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions. Contact a Realtor® in your community for the most up-to-date  information about your market.

Experts Predict 2014 Housing Market

The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on home buyers’ abilities to afford new homes.

Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead:

Predictions - Inventory

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels

The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by realtor.com®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.

2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity

Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to realtor.com®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.

Predictions - Foreclosure

4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow

Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.

5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from rising mortgage rates.

While no one can predict with certainty what the housing market holds in store for 2014, a constant in real estate is always that local markets vary widely in their performance. National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions. Contact a Realtor® in your community for the most up-to-date  information about your market.

Experts Predict 2014 Housing Market

The U.S. real estate market made a robust comeback in 2013, surpassing expectations of many economists, as the combination of low inventories and historically low interest rates caused home prices to rise and even helped fuel bidding wars in some markets, surpassing the expectations of many economists. While positive trends, such as increasing home values, are expected to continue into 2014, mortgage rates are also expected to rise in the coming year and could put a damper on home buyers’ abilities to afford new homes.

Looking back at some 2013 data can give us a hint of the year ahead:

Predictions - Inventory

1. Inventory Should Gradually Stabilize and Return to Traditional Seasonal Levels

The beginning of 2013 could be characterized as the “year of low inventory” as buyer demand ramped up and homeowners waited for further price increases and evidence of a solid economic recovery before putting their homes on the market. The year began with a significant shortage of inventory (reported by realtor.com®), and then as early as February the level of shortages started to decline slowly. As 2013 comes to a close, inventory is approximately the same as a year ago. However, homes are selling faster than in 2012, with the median age of the inventory down by 11 percent.

2. More Homeowners Are Likely to Return to Positive Equity

Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013. However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity. The good news is that prices are expected to continue rising in 2014, which will lift more homeowners into positive territory. According to realtor.com®, median list prices for homes in October rose 7.57 percent above the same month of 2012.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Expected to Rise

Mortgage rates increased approximately 100 basis points in 2013 and are likely to rise in 2014. The new chairman-designate of the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, is expected to continue the policies of Chairman Ben Bernanke, including keeping mortgage rates low by buying blocks of mortgage-backed securities. However, the Fed has considered tapering its bond-buying activity as the economy improves, which could lead to a slight increase in interest rates.

Predictions - Foreclosure

4. Foreclosure Activity Is Expected to Slow

Foreclosure sales are likely to play a minimal role in the housing market in 2014. September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in foreclosure activity. Foreclosure inventory has dropped to multi-year lows, down nearly 33 percent since the end of 2012. Foreclosure starts were down 39 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2006.

5. Further Declines in Home Affordability Are Expected

The National Association of REALTORS®’ Home Affordability Index, which compares home prices with income, dropped to a five-year low in 2013 as price increases outpaced income growth. If the U.S. economy begins to grow at a faster pace and incomes begin to rise, though, the affordability index will slide further from rising mortgage rates.

While no one can predict with certainty what the housing market holds in store for 2014, a constant in real estate is always that local markets vary widely in their performance. National numbers can tell a story about the economy in general, but home prices, inventory and foreclosure activity depend on local market conditions. Contact a Realtor® in your community for the most up-to-date  information about your market.

7 Housing Trends for 2013

 

As 2013 comes to a close and real estate experts predict where the housing market is headed in 2014, a look back reveals several trends.

“In 2012 we saw the housing market recover and, going into 2013, we expected continuing recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®. “Instead, the recovery accelerated a lot faster than we anticipated, which was great for sellers and for the 75 million homeowners who saw their home values appreciate.”

1. Housing Prices Rose Faster Than Expected

The national median listing price was $179,900 in January 2012 and rose to $180,000 by December 2012, according to realtor.com® research. The pace of price appreciation accelerated quickly over the year to reach a median list price of $199,500 by September 2013.

2. Mortgage Rates Rose but Remained Low

“We expected mortgage rates to rise in 2013, and they started to increase in the late spring, but they’re still very affordable when you look at rates on a historical basis,” Yun said. “They just aren’t at the super-low point we saw earlier.” According to Freddie Mac, 30-year fixed-rate loans were as low as 3.45 percent in December 2012 and rose to 4.49 in September 2013. Barry Habib, co-owner and chief market strategist for Residential Finance Corp., said mortgage rates are likely to stay low and perhaps even drop between now and March 2014.

Housing Trends - Mortgage Rates

3. Bidding Wars Returned

The combination of rising prices, low mortgage rates and low inventory led to a sense of urgency among buyers and the return of bidding wars, said Don Frommeyer, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. According to realtor.com® research, inventory in 2012 reached a high of 2,083,710 homes on the market, then steadily declined to a low of 1,583,497 homes in February 2013. At the end of September 2013, 2,210,000 homes were for sale, approximately a five-month supply.

Housing Trends - All Cash Buyers

4. Housing Affordability Remained High

“Housing affordability has come down a little this year because of double-digit home value appreciation and the fact that income isn’t rising in comparable amounts,” Yun said. “Rising mortgage rates, even though they’re still low, also have an impact. While affordability right now is at a five-year low, it’s still the fifth highest for the past 30 years.”

5. All-Cash Buyers Continued to Be a Strong Market Segment

Yun said a continuing surprise is that about one-third of all home purchases were made with cash, a market share that has been consistent for the past three years. While some of these cash buyers are from overseas and some are institutional investors, others are “mom and pop” investors who have had trouble getting financing. “Even some owner-occupant buyers are cash buyers because of the excessively tight underwriting standards for loans,” Yun said. “Some people are getting help from relatives to buy, and then they plan to take out a home equity loan later to repay them.”

6. Mobile Apps Accelerated Connections Between Buyers, Sellers and REALTORS®

Nearly every REALTOR® and brokerage in the country introduced a mobile app this year to make it easier for buyers and sellers to access information from their smartphones and tablets, including realtor.com®. “Everyone realizes that it’s inconvenient to be tied to a desktop when you’re looking for housing-market information and homes,” Yun said. A recent study by Google and the National Association of REALTORS® found that 68 percent of homebuyers used a mobile app during their home search and 89 percent used a mobile search engine at the onset of the home-buying process and throughout their research

7. Rising Rents and Pent-Up Demand Pulled More First-Time Buyers Into the Market

“Right now we’re seeing replenishment of renters who want to buy homes,” Habib said. “At the peak in 2002, nearly 70 percent of people owned homes and 30 percent were renters; now 65 percent of people are homeowners and 35 percent rent. Not only are rents rising faster than home prices in many markets, but there’s pent-up demand from people who don’t want to live at home with their parents and who want to buy a home.”

Southgate Mall renovations begin!

sarasota real estate

Westfield Group’s Southgate Mall has begun renovations that will transform the indoor mall into an outdoor shopping and nightlife destination.

The Australian-based mall developer announced the mall’s plans for redevelopment  in May at the International Council of Shopping Centers Recon Convention in Las Vegas. The mall will add 46,000 square feet of new space to the existing property. Construction was supposed to begin by the end of the year, though plans have been pushed back.

Westfield’s plans for Southgate Mall comes after an announcement by its premiere anchor Saks Fifth Avenue — and possibly others — to leave the Sarasota mall in favor of a new, $315 million enclosed retail hub being developed at Interstate 75 and University Parkway by a joint venture between Taubman Centers Inc. and Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co.

Last year, a New York-based real estate firm O’Connor Capital Partners bought 49.9 percent interest in six of Westfield’s Florida malls in March, a deal that included both Sarasota properties.

The first phase of the multimillion dollar investment at Southgate Mall includes the installation of new travertine tile, upgraded furnishings, fixtures, outdoor landscaping and color scheme, according to a statement by Westfield Group.

This initial phase will also feature refurbished shopper amenities, a new interior trellis system, fountains and new lighting.

“It’s Westfield’s philospohy to continually invest and reinvest in our properties,” said Sam Davidson, district marketing director of Florida for Westfield. “The plan for Westfield Southgate is the perfect model of that commitment. We’re taking a very strong shopping center and adding new elements and energy to enhance its appeal for gulf coast residents, the many domestic and international vistiors as well as for our retail partners that cater to these shoppers.”

The mall’s name will also change, from Southgate Mall to Westfield Siesta Key. Westfield officials claim that “retailer interest in the project remains very high.” The next phases of renovation will include bringing in new chain stores and rebranding the shopping center. Those additions will be announced next year.

Article courtesy of: heraldtribune.com

5 new restaurants planned at new Sarasota mall

 

The developers of the Mall at University Town Center made five new restaurant openings official on Monday for the $315 million project scheduled to open in October 2014.

Though the chain brands had been previously reported on by the Herald-Tribune, Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co. and Taubman Centers Inc. announced the following restaurants for the 880,000-square-foot mall rapidly being built on University Parkway near Interstate 75:

• Brio Tuscan Grille, “northern Italian cuisine made from the finest and freshest ingredients in a Tuscan villa atmosphere.”

• The Capital Grille, “dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, award-winning wine list and personalized, professional service.”

• The Cheesecake Factory, “full-service restaurant known for its extensive menu, generous portions and legendary desserts.”

• Kona Grill, “modern American favorites, award-winning sushi and seasonally inspired menus in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

• Seasons 52, “a fresh grill and wine bar, featuring natural cooking techniques, the freshest ingredients at the peak of ripeness and an award-winning international wine list.”

All five chains are new to Sarasota and Manatee counties. That polished, upscale chains are coming here bodes well for the region, said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic, a food consultant firm in Chicago.

“This year has been harder than most restaurant operators expected so even successful brands are cautious to expand,” Tristano said. “This mix of brands shows that Sarasota is a market that can support it. Restaurants have struggled to find good expansion locations, but they are smarter about where they do open.”

For example, the Cheesecake Factory, known for its expansive menu offerings and decadent cheesecake desserts, typically builds elaborate 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot restaurants. But in recent years, the chain has scaled back its restaurant footprints — to 8,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet — as it entered more suburban markets and connected “dots” geographically between restaurants.

“This grouping of restaurants, with retail and entertainment in the mix, creates a destination which consumers feel is worth driving to,” Tristano said. “The developers that take the ‘create it and they will come’ attitude have been successful in the past, if they find the right mix of retail, restaurants and entertainment to compliment one another.”

High-end stores

According to a recent site plan obtained by the Herald-Tribune, the mall also will play host to a bevy of new high-end stores, including Gucci, Tiffany’s & Co., Armani and several dozen others that have tentatively committed to the property.

Other new stores scheduled to debut at the mall, according to the site plan, include Anthropologie, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Sony and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Those are names that often find homes in high-end centers like the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and International Plaza in Tampa, two other Taubman properties in Florida. All five chains have restaurants at other Taubman Center malls across the country.

H&M — which stands for Hennes & Mauritz — also is slated to open its first store in the Sarasota-Bradenton market at the Mall at University Town Center. The Swedish retailer sells trendy, fashionable apparel and accessories for young men and women.

The mall’s three confirmed anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

When plans to build the mall stalled during the height of the Great Recession, high-end anchors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped from the roster.

But with brands like Tiffany’s and designer fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo, the mall will compare favorably with other luxury properties across the state.

It also will be the only upscale mall between International Plaza in Tampa and Waterside Shops in Naples, and the only enclosed one between Tampa and Miami.

The Mall at University Town Center is only the second new mall in any phase of construction in the U.S. since 2012. The other, City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, opened in March 2012.

EARLIER: The developers of the Mall at University Town Center made five new restaurant openings official on Monday for the $315 million project scheduled to open in October 2014.

Though most of the names already had leaked out, Manatee County’s Benderson Development Co. and Taubman Centers Inc. announced the following restaurants for the 880,000-square-foot mall rapidly being built on University Parkway near Interstate 75:

• Brio Tuscan Grille, “serving authentic, northern Italian cuisine made from the finest and freshest ingredients in a Tuscan villa atmosphere.”

• The Capital Grille, “a fine-dining establishment renowned for its dry-aged steaks, fresh seafood, award-winning wine list and personalized, professional service.”

• The Cheesecake Factory, “a popular full-service restaurant known for its extensive menu, generous portions and legendary desserts.”

• Kona Grill, “offering modern American favorites, award-winning sushi and seasonally inspired menus in a casually elegant atmosphere.”

• Seasons 52, “a fresh grill and wine bar, featuring natural cooking techniques, the freshest ingredients at the peak of ripeness and an award-winning international wine list.”

All five chains are new to Sarasota and Manatee counties.

According to a recent site plan obtained by the Herald-Tribune, the mall also will play host to a bevy of new high-end stores, including Gucci, Tiffany’s & Co., Armani and several dozen others that have tentatively committed to the property.

Other new stores scheduled to debut at the mall, according to the site plan, include Anthropologie, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Sony and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Those are names that often find homes in high-end centers like the Mall at Millenia in Orlando and International Plaza in Tampa, two other Taubman properties in Florida.

H&M — which stands for Hennes & Mauritz — also is slated to open its first store in the Sarasota-Bradenton market at the Mall at University Town Center. The Swedish retailer sells trendy, fashionable apparel and accessories for young men and women.

The mall’s three confirmed anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Dillard’s.

When plans to build the mall stalled during the height of the Great Recession, high-end anchors Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus dropped from the roster.

But with brands like Tiffany’s and designer fashions from Salvatore Ferragamo, the mall will compare favorably with other luxury properties across the state.

It also will be the only upscale mall between International Plaza in Tampa and Waterside Shops in Naples, and the only enclosed one between Tampa and Miami.

The Mall at University Town Center is only the second new mall in any phase of construction in the U.S. since 2012. The other, City Creek Center in Salt Lake City, opened in March 2012.

 

Article Courtesy of: www.heraldtribune.com

 

The C & G International Team is one of the top Real Estate Teams at Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch. Call us now for any of your real estate needs! 941-556-5030 or 941-266-3872.

 

Angela Cegnar ~ Marty Garcia ~ Nancy Curtis ~ Theresa Shelley