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.

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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.”

Lakewood Ranch ready to double residents and businesses!

 

The number of residents and businesses in the master-planned community of Lakewood Ranch are expected to almost double over the next decade.

To that end, the community straddling Sarasota and Manatee counties is moving forward with expansions in both its northern and southern districts — the most ambitious push by Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch Inc. since the market spiraled into recession some six years ago.

Growth already is taking shape north of State Road 70 — where nearly 700 acres of empty cattle pastures could soon give way to several thousand homes, new hotels and a retail hub that would rival anything now offered in the ranch.

If it comes to fruition, the proposed Lakewood Centre also will add elements of new urbanism to the community — with homes conveniently located within walking distance of work and entertainment.

The project dovetails with the new Mall at University Town Center now under construction and housing subdivisions sprouting along the Interstate 75 corridor, developments that have pushed the majority of the region’s new projects to mostly rural areas to the East.

“It’s not all going to come out of the ground tomorrow,” said Todd Pokrywa, SMR’s vice president of planning. “But we envision this as a place where business could be the foundation. I think we’re positioned well.”

The proposed Lakewood Centre will be north of State Road 70 and south of Malachite Drive, between Lakewood Ranch Boulevard and Pope Road.

 

Plans call for 4,683 new residences, more than 3 million square feet of commercial and retail space, and 300 hotel rooms. The project has an estimated completion date of 2026.

Coupled with 4,500 additional residential units also planned as part of a northwest expansion in Lakewood Ranch — and a push by SMR to build near its southern borders in Sarasota County — Lakewood Centre could more than double the community’s population of about 16,000.

Manatee County commissioners approved a change to their master comprehensive plan in 1999 that allows SMR to move forward with the mixed-use development. Company planners have spent the years since scouting other town centers, in areas like Palm Beach and Colorado, for ideas.

Now, they are ready to build.

WORK ALREADY STARTED

The first phase of Lakewood Centre already is underway, with the completion of the Lost Creek Apartments on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. Just north of State Road 70, the 272-unit complex debuted in January 2012 and was fully leased within seven months, according to SMR.

Thanks to that response, the Winter Park developer that built Lost Creek shelled out another $3.2 million in September to buy 17 more acres next door. There, the company plans to build another 256-unit apartment complex, records show.

Creekside Ranch Apartments LLC took out a $24.3 million loan from Synovus Bank to finance that September land deal and the subsequent development of apartments on the site, court records show.

SMR sold 24 acres of land in late November to a multi-family housing developer that plans to build another 280-unit apartment complex there.

DD Sarasota II LLC, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Davis Development, bought the site for $3.8 million. Representatives from SMR confirmed Davis Development intends to build the complex at Pope Road near State Road 70.

Pokrywa said residential development will continue to be the focus of Lakewood Centre throughout 2014; commercial and retail projects will follow later, when enough residential building has taken place and sold to support it.

“The (housing) begins to create the critical mass that allows the office and commercial to follow,” Pokrywa said. “Lakewood Centre will help reduce some of the trip lengths by putting more jobs for households within Lakewood Ranch. That helps the idea of live, work, play.”

PLANNING, AND BEING FLEXIBLE

Because Lakewood Centre could take more than a decade to complete, the flexibility of the current zoning approvals are key, Pokrywa said.

That is because it is hard to foresee if the market will continue humming for that long without another economic hiccup.

But even when Southwest Florida’s housing market came crashing down in 2007, Lakewood Ranch did not feel quite as much pain as other parts of the region did. And now that the market is recovering, Lakewood Ranch appears to be leading the way.

The new urbanism design — and higher density — of Lakewood Centre also is poised to bode well for baby boomers who are expected to migrate to Florida over the next several years. These empty nesters are among the roughly 76 million soon-to-be retirees born between 1946 and 1964 who are leading the state’s robust housing recovery.

For that reason, industry observers are confident demand will support the northern expansion over the long run.

As of Oct. 31, builders had sold 518 new homes in Lakewood Ranch this year, an 8.1 percent increase from the same time in 2012 and a 55.6 percent jump from 2011. At the same time, only about 145 resales are listed on the active market, and 321 homes are under various stages of construction.

 

3 MILLION SQUARE FEET

Like its residential component, the 3 million square feet of commercial space in Lakewood Centre will be rolled out in phases, with commercial nodes in different areas of the community.

Lakewood Ranch planners say it is still too early to gauge the nature of the anticipated retail. Much will depend on need, market conditions and what other projects — including the Mall at University Town Center — are built.

But current trends bode well for future Lakewood Ranch commercial development.

Already, the 2.3 million square feet of total commercial space in Lakewood Ranch has the lowest vacancy rate in the region, at 8.3 percent, according to figures compiled by the two counties’ economic development offices.

That compares with 13.1 percent in downtown Sarasota; 26.1 percent in unincorporated Sarasota County; 22.2 percent in Manatee County; and 29.4 percent in downtown Bradenton, records show.

SMR envisions more ground-floor retail in Lakewood Centre, with small offices and condominiums on upper levels — similar to the design of Lakewood Ranch’s Main Street.

The master plan also calls for trails that will connect the different uses in Lakewood Centre with other villages of Lakewood Ranch to improve walkability.

Article courtesy of: http://www.heraldtribune.com

 

Interested in buying or selling in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota or Bradenton Florida? Call the C & G International Realty Today! 941-556-5030 or 941-266-3872. We would be delighted to help you in your real estate needs!

 

The C & G International Realty Team

Angela Cegnar~ Marty Garcia ~ Nancy Curtis ~ Theresa Shelley – Keller Williams Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota FL 

Selling Your House During the Holidays

Don’t wait until the new year to list your property

It’s the holidays and you have a house to sell. Isn’t it best just to wait until after the new year before putting it on the market?
here is 11 good reasons why you should list your home during the holiday season.
 
  1. People who look at your home over the holidays are serious buyers.
  2. Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from over the holidays as most sellers take their homes off the market. That means less competition for you and more money for you.
  3. Since the supply of homes will drastically increase in January, they’ll be less demand for your particular home. Less demand means less money.
  4. Houses show better when they’re decorated over the holidays.
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the holidays and tend to spend more money on getting your price.
  6. Buyers have more time to look over the holidays and can come during the weekdays.
  7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  8. January is traditionally a month where employers have to move so they can’t wait until springtime. They have to buy now so you’re there to capture that market.
  9. You can still be on the market and you can have the option to delay your close or restrict your showings during those six or seven days if you want to celebrate the holidays.
  10. You can sell now for more money and provide a way for you to delay that closing and extend your occupancy until next year.
  11. By selling now, you have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer for next year when houses are less and you’ll have more opportunities to choose from. 

Article Courtesy of Realtor.com