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What’s Up With Housing?

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These 16 sky-high urban green spaces and edible gardens will grow on you.
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The short answer: Federal flood insurance is a mess and expensive to fix. Government-subsidized NFIP celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but it hasn’t aged well. It’s deeply in debt and critics say below-market premiums encourage risky construction.
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Borrowers may have a little bit of breathing room if the Federal Reserve delays future interest rate increases that directly impact ARMs and, indirectly, FRMs.
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Gulf Coast commercial real estate markets are poised to continue to generate high growth again in 2019, mirroring — or even eclipsing — the region’s robust stalwart performance of the past year. 
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With more millennials eyeing homeownership, builders are appealing to the city-dweller demographic by designing luxury townhomes.
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Drawing upon the expertise of the industry’s 1 million landscape, lawn care, irrigation and tree care professionals, NALP annually predicts trends that will influence the design and maintenance of backyards across America in the year ahead.
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Falling mortgage rates energized builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes. 
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What’s Up With Housing?

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A hybrid of orange and pink, this sunset-inspired shade is an instant mood booster for both you and your guests.
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Are you a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by investing in a vacation home?
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New modular systems, lower-cost products, and consumer interest in energy efficiency are bringing a 30-year-old German-based construction method into the mainstream.
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For Realtors, any impact from the government shutdown depends largely on their location – rural vs. city – and whether they sell many lower-cost homes.
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Refinance index rises 35% for the week ending Jan. 4th as rates drop across all loan types according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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That’s right, toilets with internet-connected features, voice assistants built in, and more. Oh, and some are even for your dog and cat as well.


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What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2019?

As we begin another year, everyone wants to know: “Where is the housing market headed in 2019?”

It’s not only buyers, sellers, and homeowners who are impacted. The real estate market plays an integral role in the overall U.S. economy.  Fortunately, key indicators point toward a stable housing market in 2019 with signs of modest growth. However, shifting conditions could impact you if you plan to buy, sell, or refinance this year.

 

HOME VALUES WILL INCREASE

The value of real estate will continue to rise. Freddie Mac predicts housing prices will increase by 4.3 percent in 2019.While the rapid price appreciation we witnessed earlier in the decade has slowed, the combination of a strong economy, low unemployment, and a lack of inventory in many market segments continues to push prices higher.

“Ninety percent of markets are experiencing price gains while very few are experiencing consistent price declines,” according to National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.2

Yun predicts that the national median existing-home price will increase to around $266,800 in 2019 and $274,000 in 2020. “Home price appreciation will slow down—the days of easy price gains are coming to an end—but prices will continue to rise.”

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market to buy a home, act fast. Prices will continue to go up, so you’ll pay more the longer you wait. If you’re a current homeowner, real estate has proven once again to be a solid investment over the long term. In fact, the equity level of American homeowners reached an all-time high in 2018, topping $6 trillion.3

 

SALES LEVELS WILL STABILIZE

In 2018, we saw a decline in sales, primarily driven by rising mortgage rates and a lack of affordable inventory. However, Yun isn’t alarmed. “2017 was the best year for home sales in ten years, and 2018 is only down 1.5 percent year to date. Statistically, it is a mild twinge in the data and a very mild adjustment compared to the long-term growth we’ve been experiencing over the past few years.”2

Yun and other economists expect home sales to remain relatively flat over the next couple of years. Freddie Mac forecasts homes sales will increase 1 percent to 6.08 million in 2019 and 2 percent to 6.20 million in 2020.1

“The medium and long-term prospects for housing are good because demographics are going to continue to support demand,” explains Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist for LendingTree. “With a slower price appreciation, incomes have an opportunity to catch up. With slower sales, inventory has an opportunity to normalize. A slowdown in 2019 creates a healthier housing market going forward.”4

What does it mean for you?If you’ve been scared off by reports of a market slowdown, it’s important to keep things in perspective. A cooldown can prevent a hot market from becoming overheated. A gradual and sustainable pace of growth is preferable for long-term economic stability.

 

MORTGAGE RATES WILL RISE

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates three times this year, resulting in a rise in mortgage rates.5While no one can predict future mortgage rates with certainty, Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale estimates that the rate for a 30-year mortgage will reach 5.5 percent by the end of 2019, up from around 4.62 percent at the end of 2018.6

While mortgage rates above 5 percent may seem high to today’s buyers, it’s not out of line with historical standards. According to Hale, “The average mortgage rate in the 1990s was 8.1 percent, and rates didn’t fall below 5 percent until 2009. So for buyers who can make the math work, buying a home is likely still an investment worth making.”7

What does it mean for you?If you’re in the market to buy a house or refinance an existing mortgage, you may want to act quickly before mortgage rates rise. To qualify for the lowest rate available, take steps to improve your credit score, pay down existing debt, and save up for a larger down payment.

 

AFFORDABILITY ISSUES WILL PERSIST

Although the desire to own a home remains strong, the combination of higher home prices and rising mortgage rates will make it increasingly difficult for many first-time buyers to afford one.

“Buyers who are able to stay in the market will find less competition as more buyers are priced out but feel an increased sense of urgency to close before it gets even more expensive,” according to Hale. “Although the number of homes for sale is increasing, which is an improvement for buyers, the majority of new inventory is focused in the mid-to-higher-end price tier, not entry-level.”6

What does it mean for you? Unfortunately, market factors make it difficult for many first-time buyers to afford a home. However, as move-up buyers take advantage of new high-end inventory, we could see an increase in starter homes hitting the market.

  

MILLENNIALS WILL MAKE UP LARGEST SEGMENT OF BUYERS

“The housing market in 2019 will be characterized by continued rising mortgage rates and surging millennial demand,” according to Odeta Kushi, senior economist for First American. “Rising rates, by making housing less affordable, will likely deter certain potential homebuyers from the market. On the other hand, the largest cohort of millennials will be turning 29 next year, entering peak household formation and home-buying age, and contributing to the increase in first-time buyer demand.”4

Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, predicts the trend will continue. “Millennials are also likely to make up the largest share of home buyers for the next decade as their housing needs adjust over time.”6

What does it mean for you? If you’re in the market for a starter home, prepare to compete for the best listings. And if you plan to sell a home in 2019, be sure to work with an agent who knows how to reach millennial buyers by utilizing the latest online marketing techniques.

 

WE’RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook for the year, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the local issues that are likely to drive home values in your particular neighborhood.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2019, contact a real estate professional now to schedule a free consultation. They’ll work with you to develop an action plan to meet your real estate goals this year.

 

START PREPARING TODAY

If you plan to BUY this year:

1.     Get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you plan to finance part of your home purchase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a jump-start on the paperwork and provide an advantage over other buyers in a competitive market. The added bonus: you will find out how much you can afford to borrow and budget accordingly.

2.     Create your wish list. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? How far are you willing to commute to work? What’s most important to you in a home? We can set up a customized search that meets your criteria to help you find the perfect home for you.

3.     Visit a professional. The buying process can be tricky. We’d love to guide you through it. We can help you find a home that fits your needs and budget, all at no cost to you. Give us a call to schedule an appointment today!

 

If you plan to SELL this year:

1.     Call your professional for a FREE Comparative Market Analysis. A CMA not only gives you the current market value of your home, it will also show how your home compares to others in the area. This will help determine which repairs and upgrades may be required to get top dollar for your property, and it will help us price your home correctly once you’re ready to list.

2.     Prep your home for the market. Most buyers want a home they can move into right away, without having to make extensive repairs and upgrades. Your professional can help you determine which ones are worth the time and expense to deliver maximum results.

3.     Start decluttering. Help your buyers see themselves in your home by packing up personal items and things you don’t use regularly and storing them in an attic or storage locker. This will make your home appear larger, make it easier to stage … and get you one step closer to moving when the time comes!

 

Sources:

  1. Freddie Mac Economic & Housing Research Forecast –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/pdf/201811-Forecast-04.pdf
  2. National Association of Realtors 2019 Forecast –
    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/2019-forecast-existing-home-sales-to-stabilize-and-price-growth-to-continue
  3. Bankrate 2018 Year in Review –
    https://www.bankrate.com/mortgages/year-in-review-for-housing-market/
  4. Forbes 2019 Real Estate Forecast –
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alyyale/2018/12/06/2019-real-estate-forecast-what-home-buyers-sellers-and-investors-can-expect/#a98b80a70d9a
  5. Mortgage Bankers Association Forecast –
    https://www.mba.org/2018-press-releases/october/mba-forecast-purchase-originations-to-increase-to-12-trillion-in-2019
  6. com 2019 National Housing Forecast –
    https://www.realtor.com/research/2019-national-housing-forecast/
  7. FOX Business –
    https://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/where-mortgage-rates-are-headed-in-2019


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What’s Up With Housing?

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Is there a bedroom makeover in your future? One of the easiest ways to refresh and revive your bedroom is with a fresh coat of paint.
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Industry expert Steve Friedman details the ins and outs of the sweeping legislation, including some good news for small builders and developers.
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Will we see the same trends as in 2018, when prices rose due to a relatively scant supply of available homes?
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Economists forecast growth in home prices to drop as higher interest rates impact the mortgage market, but Florida’s housing market is projected to do very well next year.
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How to handle the cost-per-square-foot question every buyer asks but no builder wants—or knows how—to answer.
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After four months of consecutive declines, consumer sentiment among Floridians rose in December. Similarly, consumer sentiment at the national level increased.
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Construction firms across Florida expect to step up hiring significantly in 2019 to meet a growing demand for the industry. There’s just one problem — a labor shortage that has plagued construction for years.


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What’s Up With Housing?

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New Years

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As America counts down to the tipping point where the nation shifts from a young country to an old one, is housing ready or not?
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“More and more clients realize the need to have engaging outdoor spaces as a key part of long-term usability.”
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With the new year quickly approaching, home design platform Houzz shares the top trends predicted to reign in residential design in 2019.
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Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
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What’s Up With Housing?

Merry Christmas

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Spanning the color spectrum from cool grays to warm terra-cottas, to blush oranges, these five color trends are expected to dominate the design and manufacturing industries in the coming year.
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First-time homebuyers made up the largest share of the U.S. home purchase market since 2005. Florida in particular has seen its first-time buyer market grow substantially faster than average lately.
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Less is best. Grass, that is. Do your shrubs need constant pruning? Then you don’t have the right shrubs in the right place, according to UF’s Extension Office.
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Many homeowners find themselves asking the question, “If we’re currently in a strong real estate market, why won’t my house sell?” 
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In most Tampa Bay areas, the supply of available houses increased dramatically in November compared to a year earlier. That could lead to lower prices. 


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What’s Up With Housing?

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While baby boomers have driven housing demand for decades, it’s time for millennials to take the wheel—but they need help from builders.
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The uplifting pick symbolizes an “innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits” and “authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy.” Here’s how to use the 2019 Color of the Year in homes.
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The dream of modular architecture has been kicking around for decades. Has its time finally come?
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As construction costs soar in cities, more and more companies and governments are imagining a different model: building off-site and then trucking fully constructed apartments in from the suburbs.
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From interest rate hikes to climate change, shifts in physical, political and economic worlds affect the real estate industry with short- and long-term hurdles.
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Guess what? Style isn’t static, and your home decor shouldn’t be, either. Even the most beloved design elements can start to feel unbearably stale after a while. How many are in your home?