Nicole’s Real Estate News – December 2013

THE BUZZ

The housing market in 2013 reflects a seasonal real estate pattern. After the hot housing frenzy in the spring, with multiple offers and rising prices, sales slowed. November data is being tabulated now, but October marked the fifth month of decline.

However, the gains year over year remain higher. The National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently stated, “Annual existing-home sales should be nearly 10% higher this year than in 2012, totaling just above 5.1 million.”

Why the post-sprint slowdown? Headwinds included limited inventory, falling affordability conditions, slow job creation, the government shutdown, and stringent mortgage underwriting standards.

If you are considering buying, now may be the time to negotiate a good deal. In the end, you will have taken advantage of a buyer’s market. And if the market continues with seasonal housing market fluctuations, you will be comfortably settled in your new home long before the coming spring rush.

 JUST ASK

Q: Who are today’s buyers?

A: A new trend is emerging. In addition to growing families getting larger homes, and empty nesters moving into smaller homes close to amenities, Chinese buyers are the fastest-growing source of foreign buyers of U.S. properties. According to the NAR, buyers from China are particularly interested in California, where they pay all cash for their new homes, which are also viewed as a “safe haven for their wealth”. These buyers base their purchases on the quality of education and the potential for investment returns per CNBC.

Chinese buyers tend to purchase property in the upper price ranges, with a median price of $425,000. As this trend grows, you will see builders tailoring their new homes to incorporate multigenerational floor plans and feng shui principles.

 

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