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      Blog :: 08-2015

      The Real Reason Americans Buy a Home

      The Real Reasons Americans Buy A Home | Keeping Current Matters

      We often talk about the financial reasons why buying a home makes sense. But often, the emotional reasons are the more powerful, or compelling reasons. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University performs a study every year surveying participants for the reasons that American’s feel are most important in regards to homeownership.

      The top 4 reasons to own a home cited by respondents were not financial.

      1. It means having a good place to raise children & provide them with a good education

      From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchasing their home, may have this in the back of their mind as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.

      2. You have a physical structure where you & your family feel safe

      It is no surprise that having a place to call home with all that means in comfort and security is the #2 reason.

      3. It allows you to have more space for your family

      Whether your family is expanding, or an older family member is moving in, having a home that fits your needs is a close third on the list.

      4. It gives you control over what you do with your living space, like renovations and updates

      Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you’ve seen online 100 times? Who’s to say that you can’t in your own home?

      The 5th reason on the list, is the #1 financial reason to buy a home as seen by respondents:

      5. Owning a home is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to my family

      Either way you are paying a mortgage. Why not lock in your housing expense now with an investment that will build equity that you can borrow against in the future?

      Bottom Line

      Whether you are a first time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in their life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.

      When is it a Good Time to Rent? Definitely NOT Now!

      People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent.

      The Census Bureau just released their second quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

      Median Asking Rent Since 1988 | Keeping Current Matters

      At the same time, a report by Axiometrics revealed:

      "The national apartment market's annual effective rent growth rate of 5.1% in June 2015 represented a 47-month high, and continued a streak of 5.0%-plus rent growth that is now the longest in at least six years, according to apartment market research. The effective rent growth in June 2014 was 3.7%, putting June 2015's exceptional performance into perspective.

      This is the highest rate since the 5.3% of July 2011. The metric has reached at least 5.0% for five straight months, the longest such streak since Axiometrics started monthly reporting of annual apartment data in April 2009."

      Where will rents be headed in the future?

      Stephanie McCleskey, Axiometrics vice president of research, commented on the above report in an article by Real Estate Economy Watch:

      "Rent growth is just shy of the post-recession peak, and the June metrics reflect the continued strength of the apartment market. The demand for apartments is still strong, despite the record number of new units being delivered this year. Tight occupancy is why landlords can push rents higher."

      Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed? This Fall? Next Year?

      The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

      Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s July 2015 U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.

      30 Year Fixed Rate Prediction | Keeping Current Matters

      How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

      Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

      Dr. Frank Nothaft, the SVP & Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say in their latest MarketPulse:

      “If you are thinking of buying a home and have the financial means to do so, this could be a good time to take a look at the neighborhoods you are interested in. We expect home prices in our national index to be up about 4.3% in the next 12 months, and mortgage rates are also likely to increase over the next year.”

      If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

      Bottom Line

      Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

      Pending Home Sales Remained Strong in June

       

      Pending Home Sales Remain Strong In June | Keeping Current Matters

      The National Association of REALTORSPending Home Sales Index is "a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings". The higher the Pending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales.

      The latest index was released last week, with the headline:

      Pending Home Sales Dip in June

      As we reported last month, May's Index levels were the highest recorded in the last 9 years. The small 1.8% decline from May remains 8.2% over last June and the third highest reading in two years. The NAR headline, while accurate, isn't the best representation of what really happened.

      NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun points towards "low inventory levels in many markets" leading to "reduced choices" at higher price points for the small decline in National Pending Home Sales.

      In every major region of the country, pending sales are up year-over-year as shown by the graph below:

      Pending Home Sales By Region | Keeping Current Matters

      Yun goes on to say that there needs to be a significant influx of inventory into the market before anything will change.

      "Unfortunately, because nearly all of these sellers are likely buying another home, there isn't a net increase in inventory. A combination of homebuilders ramping up construction and even more homeowners listing their properties on the market is needed to tame price growth and give all buyers more options." 

      So What Does This Mean To Buyers?

      There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home.

      What Does This Mean to Sellers?

      If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating... don't wait!

      There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, vacation, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

      Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price.

      Bottom Line

      Whether you are planning on buying or selling a house this year, waiting to act no longer makes sense.


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