Last month, Forbes published a piece on the top-10 trends for the U.S. housing market in 2014 based on analysis by national industry experts. Read on for a snapshot of these trends – many of which coincide with the trends cited by local experts, including LifeStyle CEO Jordan Luhn, in a recent Florida Today article.
1. More homes will be available. New construction and rising prices should bring more homes, both new and old, on to the market in 2014, helping inventory return to traditional levels.
2. Mortgage rates will rise. Online real estate database Zillow predicts rates will hit 5% by the end of 2014. While this number is up from recent years, it is still considered very low.
3. Mortgages will be easier to get. Because interest rates are set to rise, lenders will likely lose refinance business. This means they will, in turn, potentially loosen the standards home buyers must meet to qualify for a mortgage.
4. Home prices will rise 3%. This number is actually lower than the home price increases the U.S. saw in 2013. More specifically, in 2013, home prices rose 5% nationally, and even 20% in certain markets. This slow down of prices increases signifies a more balanced, healthy housing market.
5. Fewer homeowners will be underwater. Rising prices helped 2.5 million homeowners with underwater mortgages regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013, according to Realtor.com. While millions of other homes are still in negative equity, this number is predicted to decline this year.
6. Affordability will decline. Despite the slower pace of price increases, home affordability will decline as mortgage rates rise. The real culprit is income levels, which aren’t keeping pace with the increases in housing costs.
7. Ownership will decline. During the housing bubble, home ownership percentages were highly inflated, but ultimately proved unstable during the recession and recovery. In 2014, Zillow predicts the national percentage of home ownership will fall below 65% for the first time since 1995 – a reflection of the housing recovery and a balanced marketplace.
8. Americans will move. Rising prices, a reversal of underwater mortgages, and easier credit will free Americans up to move. But next time they’ll choose smaller homes in more affordable locations.
9. Foreclosures will fade. Foreclosure activity continues to decline, year-after-year. Expect this to remain true throughout this year.
10. Home buying process less crazed. The perfect storm of increased inventory, higher prices, and fewer foreclosures means that investors are stepping out of the buying market, giving way for regular folks. Add to that the loosening credit rules, and the housing buy market begins to look more normal.
Which of these top-10 trends for this year’s housing market do you think will have the biggest impact on Brevard County?