Nicole’s Real Estate News – December 2014

THE BUZZ

The National Association of Realtors recently released it’s economic and housing forecast for 2015 and 2016. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the NAR, forecasts existing-home sales this year to fall slightly below 2013’s 5.1 million sales to 4.9 million, and then increase to 5.3 million in 2015 and 5.4 million in 2016. Yun expects the national median existing-home price to rise 4% both next year and in 2016.

“The increase in median prices for existing-homes has leveled off, representing a healthier pace that has kept affordability in-check for buyers in many parts of the country while giving more previously stuck home owners with little or no equity the ability to sell,” says Yun.

Leslie Appleton-Young, Vice President and Chief Economist with the California Association of Realtors. reports that home sales will rise modestly in 2015 and prices are expected to flatten out, marking the slowest price gain in four years.

And forget about that rumored rise in mortgage interest rates. During the trade group’s 2015 California Housing Market Forecast, Appleton-Young projected only a slight increase to 4.5% from 4.3% this year. “The forecast is always for higher rates,” Appleton-Young said. “Our look next year is that we don’t see rates going up very much.”

Here’s what you can expect: a better year for first-time home buyers, fewer investors, more inventory, and a friendlier lending environment. It could be a great mix of variables for you to make your next real estate move.

JUST ASK

Q: What are smart real estate moves in the month of December?

A: In the midst of sipping at Holiday Teas, shopping at the mall, and dressing up for The Nutcracker, house shopping and selling is often not the first priority. However, this can be an opportune month for both buyers and sellers.

With the raging spring real estate rush around the corner, now is the time to take advantage of a slow season for house contractors. If you’re even remotely considering selling your house in 2015, now is a perfect time to unclutter, fix and improve. I can help you prioritize if you’d like – just give me a call. Think of it this way – while you make improvements, you’re also preparing your house for any holiday parties and dinners as well.

If you’re a buyer, this can be a great time to find your next home. Some of the best deals of the year in real estate happen in the slower winter months. Let me know if you’d like me to help you scour the market.

The market will heat up. Be prepared.

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