As we approach the holidays, there is an abundance of real estate news to be thankful for. Here are the top 5 trends benefitting buyers, sellers, agents, and lenders:
• Housing Rebound - According to fresh data from the U.S. Commerce Dept., the nation's October home-building permits vaulted to a 12-year high. Single-family construction rose for the fifth straight month, and confidence among homebuilders is the highest in 18 months.
• Interest Rate Reductions - October's benchmark interest rate cut -- the third in the past three months -- is starting to attract the attention of property investors, many of whom had been waiting on the sidelines for this very time. Low mortgage rates allow some buyers to qualify for bigger mortgages, which helps the higher end of the market.
• Foreclosures Drop - Recent data shows the U.S. foreclosure rate falling to a 20-year low, driven in part by a strong labor market. This includes foreclosed homes, bank-owned homes, REO foreclosures, and bank-owned properties. Plus, serious delinquencies, defined as all mortgages 90 days and more past due, fell in all states except Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, where the rates were unchanged.
• Green Trends - Driven mostly by younger buyers, eco-friendly construction has created a robust real estate investing segment. The Multifamily Green Building Adoption Index shows a rise in the 2019 green building certification in the multifamily market. A total of 251,763 units, representing 3.3% of the 7.7 million multifamily units across 39,071 investment-grade properties (i.e., those with 50 units or more) within the top 30 markets, have already been certified as “green," which includes green material such as eco-friendly flooring. (source: CBRE)
• Advancing Technology - Gone are the days when buyers had to contact an agent or wait for an open house to view a property. Prospective buyers can now shop for the right investment from the comfort of their favorite chair, with variations of virtual reality leading the way. New real estate marketing tools include 3D virtual tour software, augmented reality (AR) floor plans, and artificial intelligence (AI) to help connect buyers, sellers, agents, and properties.
There are other reasons to be thankful, including a rise in personal income. As with falling interest rates, this helps buyers move up, and while housing prices may be on the rise, they are moderate and not significant enough to scare off buyers. Finally, overall home ownership is on the rise after many years of instability.
Add it all up, and it should be a real estate Thanksgiving to remember!