Katie McBride | Hopkinton Real Estate, Holliston Real Estate, Ashland Real Estate


20170330-Share-STM The success of the housing market is strongly tied to the consumer’s confidence in the overall economy. For that reason, we believe 2017 will be a great year for real estate. Here is just a touch of the news coverage on the subject.

HousingWire:

“Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae.”

Bloomberg:

“Americans’ confidence continued to mount last week as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate.”

Yahoo Finance:

“Confidence continues to rise among America’s consumers…the latest consumer sentiment numbers from the University of Michigan showed that in March confidence rose again.”

MarketWatch:

“U.S. consumers are the most confident in the U.S. economy in 15 years, buoyed by the strongest job market since before the Great Recession. The survey of consumer confidence rose…according to the Conference Board, the private company that publishes the index. That’s the highest level since July 2001.”

Ivy Zelman, in her recent Z Report, probably best capsulized the reports:

"The results were incredibly strong and…offer one of the most positive consumer takes on housing since the recovery started.”

Living in an area that receives lots of tourist traffic offers rewards and challenges. Depending on your personality and lifestyle, buying or renting a home in a location that attracts thousands of tourists a day might be perfect. These lists of rewards and challenges could save you time, money and frustration. They can also help to prepare you for life in a city that, like a magnet, pulls in scores of people from around the country or world each day.

Rewards

  • Entertainment, arts, cultural and educational events abound in these cities. Many high profile events take place within several blocks, making it easy for you to take part in the events without having to travel far.
  • People from diverse backgrounds visit and live in a major metropolis. It’s a great way to interact with people from all over the world.
  • Food is as rich and diverse as are the people who live in the area. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or meat eater, you’ll find something that pleases your appetite. Highly respected chefs often operate or prepare meals at restaurants in these fast-paced cities. When you dine, you could be feasting on a meal prepared by one of the world’s top chefs.
  • Professional sports teams make their home in the busiest towns. If you live in a city like Boston, New York or Miami, you’ll have a pick of professional sports teams that you can root for.
  • Finding an excellent college or university to attend should be easy. Schools in major cities are among the top in the nation.In addition to attracting talented students from around the country, these postsecondary schools attract some of the sharpest students in the world.
  • Thriving business districts are located in popular cities, giving you more opportunities to land a job that aligns with your passions.

Challenges

  • When you go downtown, you’ll have to move in and out of crowds. Buy or rent a house in a city like Orlando, Honolulu or New York and, during peak tourist seasons, you may find yourself weaving in and out of people just to walk down sidewalks.
  • Parking is not cheap. Expect to spend money each time you drive into town and need to park. That or opt to take public transportation when you visit high traffic spots in the city.
  • You won’t see a lot of trees and grass in the busiest parts of town. If you’re a nature lover, you may prefer buying a house 30 minutes or more away from the heart of the city.
  • Homes in popular cities are pricey. Apartment rents are higher in popular cities too. Work with an area savvy real estate agent to find the best housing options.

Buy or rent a house in a tranquil part of town and you might not feel like you’re living in a town that operates at high octane levels. You might not feel like the streets of the town that you live in are brewing with millions of people, locals and tourists. What you will have is the option to withdrawal from crowds or go into bustling, thriving places like shopping, arts, sports and cultural communities within minutes. That alone is a rare option that smaller, less talked about cities generally cannot offer.


STM-Share17 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) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS 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?” 20170206-Buyer-Traffic-STM-1024x768 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. 20170206-Seller-Traffic-STM-1024x768

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, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in the market n

Want to transform your homeownership dream into a reality? Understanding what it takes to enter the real estate market successfully is paramount for homebuyers. With the necessary preparation, you should have no trouble purchasing your dream residence.

Ultimately, there are several steps that a homebuyer should take before he or she conducts a home search, including:

1. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market fluctuates regularly, and a buyer's market can change into a seller's market quickly. As such, you'll want to conduct sufficient real estate market research before you start your home search so you can streamline the process of finding the perfect house.

Consider where you want to live and whether you'd like to reside close to family members and friends. Also, consider how much space you'll need from a new home, along with whether you'd like to live near schools, playgrounds and other local hot spots.

Don't forget to check out the prices of a wide range of homes, either. By doing so, you may be able to determine the price range for houses that match your needs.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know exactly what you can afford as soon as you're ready to buy a house.

Banks and credit unions frequently offer a vast array of home financing options, making it simple for you to choose a mortgage that fits your budget. Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are among the most popular choices for homebuyers nationwide. Meanwhile, you may be eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as well.

Reach out to multiple banks and credit unions to pursue all of the home financing options at your disposal. This will enable you to find the best mortgage based on your individual needs and enter the housing market with financing in hand to secure your dream home.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market alone. Lucky for you, experienced real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her real estate expertise with you. This professional will educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you know what to look for when you attend an open house.

Also, an experienced real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. From the moment you spot your dream home to the day you finalize a purchase agreement, your real estate agent will offer the support that you need to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will help alleviate your homebuying concerns. And if you ever have homebuying questions, your real estate agent will provide responses at any time.

Don't settle for a subpar home – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to discovering your ideal residence.


STM-Share10 Some industry experts are saying that the housing market may be heading for a slowdown in 2017 based on rising home prices and a jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Here is how NAR defines the index:
“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”
Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify. The higher the index, the easier it is to afford a home.

Why the concern?

The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market. But, wait a minute… Though the index skyrocketed from 2009 through 2013, we must realize during that time the housing crisis left the market with an overabundance of housing inventory with as many as one out of three listings being a distressed property (foreclosure or short sale). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock. The market is recovering, and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall. However, let’s remove the crisis years and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008: 20170119-STM-ENG-1024x576 We can see that, even though prices have increased, mortgage rates are still lower than historical averages and have put the index in a better position than every year for the nineteen years before the crash.

Bottom Line

The Housing Affordability Index is in great shape and should not be seen as a challenge to the real estate market’s continued recovery.



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