The Future of Housing

Ipsos, an independent market research company, recently gathered a panel of experts to weigh in on the future of housing. From climate concerns to home automation, the panel looked at what changes may be necessary in order for our homes to meet our needs in the future.

One of the topics focused on the fact that Americans are growing older. In fact, by 2060, nearly 100 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and – if current numbers are any indication – the vast majority of them will prefer to stay in their own homes and communities as they age. According to Rodney Harrell, director of livable communities for AARP’s Public Policy Institute, the current housing stock may not be suited to the needs of an aging population. “The problem is you can’t create a new housing stock overnight, so we have to start working now,” Harrell said. “Nobody should be forced from their home because it doesn’t work for them.”

How our homes adapt to our needs will depend, in part, on advancements in smart-home technology but also on how soon builders and home remodelers begin installing features that make it easier for the elderly to preserve their independence. Jennifer can help your transition into your next home, give her a call!

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Renting a Home is Getting More Expensive

Many people assume that renting is always going to be cheaper than buying a house. Mostly, this is because of the upfront costs associated with buying. Having to come up with closing costs and a down payment, in addition to taking on a monthly mortgage payment can be intimidating for someone who wants to buy but feels it’ll be easier and more affordable to rent.

New data shows this is particularly true right now and it’s driving up the costs of renting a single-family home. Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, says the current environment is causing the increase. “Those who want to buy are finding it difficult to find the right one, or may need a bit more time to come up with a down payment, but still want the advantage of space that single-family residences often provide,” Gudell said. “This, coupled with the foreclosure crisis turning millions of homeowners into renters, is a big reason why demand for single-family rental homes has risen over the last few years.”

What this means is that, if you hope to buy but aren’t sure you’re ready, it’s important to research your options. In many markets, buying is still more affordable than renting, and may be especially so if you’re looking to rent a single-family home rather than an apartment.

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

The Real Reason There Are Fewer Homes For Sale

These days, many markets are suffering from a lack of homes for sale. And where there are fewer homes to buy, there are higher prices and more competition among buyers. But what’s behind the shortage? Well, a new survey reveals the real reason homeowners have decided to stay put and it’s probably not what you’d expect.

The survey found simple demographics may be the biggest factor. A closer look at the numbers reveals that younger homeowners have plans to sell in the near future but the vast majority of baby boomers don’t. In fact, 85 percent of older homeowners said they had no plans to sell in the next year. This, however, isn’t that odd. Older Americans have always been less likely to move. The difference these days is that the overall population has grown older.

The share of Americans between the ages of 55 and 74 has risen 30 percent in the past 30 years. That means, there are more older homeowners who aren’t that likely to put their homes up for sale. The good news, though, is that 60 percent of owners who said they were hoping to sell within the next year are millennials, which means there could soon be more affordable homes on the market for interested first-time buyers.

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Cash Sales Are A Sign Of A Competitive Market

Most people don’t buy their house with cash. In fact, historically cash sales account for just 10 percent of all home sales. But, according to Freddie Mac’s most recent monthly outlook, the fact that the number of homes for sale remains lower than normal has caused a higher than normal number of cash sales.

“Usually, not many people like to invest a lot of cash into real estate, which is illiquid and has high transaction costs,” Freddie Mac’s chief economist, Sean Becketti, says. “However, in the current, highly competitive housing market, a cash offer is an effective way to gain an advantage over other bidders.” Still, cash sales are well below their peak of 35 percent, with a share closer to 18 percent according to the most recent data.

Overall, Freddie Mac expects mortgage rates to remain low through the end of the year and home sales to surpass last year’s numbers. However, low inventory remains an issue. The outlook says home sales would have been much higher if not for the fact that many markets have fewer homes for sale than is typical. Locally here in Fremont, we are still experiencing a lower than average number of homes for sale. If you are considering a change, it’s still a great time to sell!

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Number Of Showings Up 10% Over Last Year

If you had any doubt that home buyers are active this fall and looking to buy, some new numbers should help put that notion to rest. New research shows that the number of showings – which refers to a professionally arranged tour of a home for sale – are up 10.3 percent nationally over the same time last year.

Regionally speaking, the Northeast saw the largest jump, with a 15.2 percent increase as of June. However, the Midwest and South also saw double-digit improvements. In fact, only the West saw a slight year-over-year decline. The numbers are a good indication of how much interest there is this fall from potential home buyers.

That’s good news for homeowners who are looking to sell their house, as it adds to the growing evidence that, in many markets, there are more buyers than homes for sale. Of course, that also means home buyers that are looking to buy this season should be prepared to move quickly, as good homes aren’t going to stay on the market very long.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Housing Market Improves Despite Challenges 

The National Association Of Home Builders’ Leading Markets Index compares current price, building permits, and employment levels to their previous norms in 337 markets across the country. The index is an effort to measure how quickly individual markets have recovered following the housing crash and financial crisis.

According to the most recent release, 196 metro areas have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity as of the second quarter of this year. In other words, housing markets across the country continue to make gains, despite current challenges.

Granger MacDonald, NAHB’s chairman, says the report shows that the recovery has been widespread. “This report shows that the housing and economic recovery is widespread across the nation and that housing has made significant gains since the Great Recession,” Granger said. “However, the lagging single-family permit indicator shows that housing still has a ways to go to get back to full strength.” Among the three main index components, building permits are still falling behind previous norms, while price and employment levels have largely rebounded.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Today’s Home Buyer Is More Market Savvy

One result of the housing crash is that American home buyers are now more savvy about the housing market. In addition to finding a house they love, they are also concerned with market fluctuations and whether or not they are buying at the right time. In fact, a recent survey from Value Insured shows 63 percent of all buyers and 72 percent of millennials say they worry that they’ll buy a house just as home prices peak.

This concern is natural considering recent history. However, the longer you live in a house, the less likely you are to suffer the effects of market fluctuations. That means, if you’re buying a house you love and plan to live in for, at least, the next five to seven years, you can feel more comfortable buying regardless of where the market may be.

Joe Melendez, CEO of Value Insured, says the fact that this is a common concern shows Americans are more informed these days. “Beyond the jitters, I see in our survey an increasingly informed nation of home buyers, who understand the risk of the market,” Melendez says. “To those concerned about a price correction, or waiting to time the market, I recommend a proactive approach. Have an exit plan, then anytime you find a home you love is a good time to buy.”

 

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Why New Home Sales Should Matter To You

There are many parts to a healthy housing market. Whether you’re talking about home prices, mortgage rates, new home construction, or another housing metric, each one of them have an effect on home buyers and sellers – even if some of those effects aren’t as obvious as others.

Take new home sales. If you’re not looking to buy a new house, how does it affect you? Well, for one, when new homes are in demand, more new homes get built. And, when more new homes get built, the boosted inventory of homes for sale can help reduce price increases. For example, the current housing market’s main challenge is too few homes for sale. Because inventory has been low in many markets, buyers have seen prices go up and choices decline.

So, news that new home sales increased nationally for the second straight month is encouraging because increasing sales could help spur more new homes to be built, which would help balance the market and keep prices from becoming unaffordable for the average buyer.

Locally here in Fremont, the city has permitted 21 new residential homes thru July with 6 more in review. Compared to previous years, this is quite an increase! So, even if you aren’t in the market for a new home, you could indirectly benefit from more new homes being bought and sold in your neighborhood.

 

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.

Is Buying a Home Still an Affordable Choice?

These days, determining the affordability of buying a home isn’t such a simple calculation. There are always a lot of variables to consider – including prices, mortgage rates, wages, and local factors – but today’s housing market contains a number of contradictions that may make it even more difficult for potential buyers to figure out.

For example, home prices have recently been making a lot of news, mostly because they’ve regained much or all of the value lost following the housing crash. At the same time, though, mortgage rates have remained just above historic lows for the past several years. In other words, if you live in an area where home prices have been slower to rebound, low mortgage rates likely mean homes are still a good deal in your neighborhood. On the other hand, in some areas – where home prices have pushed beyond previous highs and low inventory is limiting available choices – favorable mortgage rates make less of an impact.

Here in Fremont buying is affordable for the average household, though challenges remain. Thanks to very low mortgage rates, monthly mortgage payments are affordable for the average household despite currently high house prices. Nevertheless, hurdles to homeownership arise from the difficulty of finding a house.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding your real estate needs.