Can you believe that it's already Black Friday! Neither can we. We hope you had a great day yesterday and, if you've been shopping today, you at some point have managed to put your feet up and relax for a while. Holidays can be hard work!
We've managed to spend some time contemplating over the past couple of days and we couldn't stop thinking back to what a great year we've seen in real estate. Perhaps the big difference this year is that there is still so much activity in the market so late on.
Here are five defining characteristics of real estate this year that look set to continue right through to December 31st, and beyond:
Low Mortgage Rates All Year! - When the history books are written about real estate in 2015, mortgage rates surely have to play the starring role. We've endured various moments when they were predicted to start rising, but it just hasn't happened. Attention is now turning to the Federal Reserve meeting in mid-December that could finally see an interest rate rise. The effect on mortgage rates is uncertain, however, with plenty of historic evidence to suggest that they could even fall after such an announcement. That isn't to say that low rates are here to stay, however, and at some point they simply have to rise away from the near historic lows we've been enjoying and which continue to give buyers a heightened sense of urgency to lock in low rates while they still can. That's why the end of this year is still so busy for closing deals.
The Comeback of the First Time Buyer - This has been such a welcome trend in 2015, helped along by continuing cheap home loans and other incentives such as ultra-low down payment mortgages. Statistics show that a vast majority of young Millennial buyers who are currently renting have home ownership in their sights. The profound knock-on effect of all this on the rest of the home purchasing chain cannot be over-emphasized.
Renting is Even Less Attractive - All year we've been stressing the great current opportunities to break the renting cycle and own your home. Every report on renting seems to point to the same conclusion - it is only going to get more and more expensive and take a higher percentage of household incomes. With rental demand still so high, this is great news for property investors, of course, but for renters the message couldn't be clearer - buy right now if you possibly can!
Low Inventory - The low availability of homes for sale that we've seen for some time now in the Albuquerque area is simultaneously a problem and an opportunity. While buyers would like more choice, sellers are able to enjoy a more robust asking price, or even multiple offers above that level. There's less competition for homes in every sector and neighborhood too, so that makes selling quickly for the right price an even more likely prospect. Don't forget also that some buyers will have temporarily taken their homes off the market for the holidays. Bottom line - even less competition between now and the end of the year.
Buyer Sentiment - The feel good factor has most definitely returned to real estate this year. Stronger job prospects, a healthier economy and, of course, cheap borrowing and sensible home price levels have given buyers tremendous incentives and motivation to either embark on home ownership for the first time or to move upscale. The high levels of enthusiasm show little sign of diminishing, making prospects until the end of the year the best we can remember.
It really isn't too late to list your home or buy one in 2015. Call us today and get things started - it could be your best ever Black Friday decision!