The most pressing question in This Week in Real Estate is: will this be the best year for home sales in nearly a decade? As the first quarter prepares to close in just over 2 weeks, Freddie Mac believes the answer is yes. And, if you have not read the 2015 National Association of Realtor’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study that was released this week, I encourage you to. Below are a few of the highlights from the second week in March that influence our business:
* Freddie Mac: 2015 best year for home sales in 8 years. “We expect this year to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007 when we saw total home sales about 5.8 million for the year,” said Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist with Freddie Mac. Reasons Freddie Mac is optimistic: high affordability, improving labor markets, rising rents and expanded credit availability. Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33221-freddie-mac-2015-best-year-for-home-sales-in-8-years
* Home buyers borrowing more than ever before. The average loan size for home purchases reached $294,000 last week, the highest amount since the Mortgage Bankers Association started keeping records 25 years ago. While the loan amounts increased, so did the cost of borrowing money. The average rate for a 30-year, fixed rate loan last week was 4.01 percent, the highest level so far this year and up from 3.96 percent the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The association expects mortgage rates to continue marching upward as strong jobs data reinforces expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as soon as June. The organization predicts long-term mortgage rates will reach 4.6 percent by the end of this year and 5.4 percent by the end of 2016. Full Story… http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/11/Home-Buyers-Borrowing-More-Ever
* NAR Generational Survey: Millenials Lead All Buyers, Most Likely to Use Real Estate Agent. For the second consecutive years, NAR’s study found that the largest group of recent buyers was the millenial generation, those 34 and younger, composed 32 percent of all buyers (31 percent in 2013). Generation X, ages 35 – 49, was closely behind with a 27 percent share. Regardless of their age, buyers used a wide variety of resources in searching for a home, with the internet (88 percent) and real estate agents (87 percent) leading the way. Millennials were the most likely to use a real estate agent, mobile or tablet applications, and mobile or tablet search engines during their search. Although the internet was the top source of where millennials found they home they purchased (51 percent), they also used an agent to purchase their home at a higher share (90 percent) than all other generations. Gen X homeowners represented the largest share of sellers (27 percent) followed by older boomers (23 percent) and younger boomers (20 percent). A combined 60 percent of responding sellers found a real estate agent through a referral by a friend, relative or neighbor, or used their agent from a previous transaction. Eighty-three percent are likely to use the agent again or recommend to others. Full Story… http://www.realtor.org/reports/home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends
* The bitter divorce of ListHub and the Zillow Group was completed in a California courtroom on Thursday. The two parties have settled and ListHub’s listing data will now disappear from Trulia on April 7, the same day it was already set to disappear from Zillow. Full Story… http://www.housingwire.com/articles/33235-zillowtrulia-settles-with-move-listings-will-disappear-in-april
Have a productive week!