When we first launched Real Estate Today nearly four years ago, the housing market was very different. Tough times, all around.
Many American homeowners suddenly found their jobs were gone. Others found the payments on their adjustable rate mortgages were going way up. And as we all know, many of those Americans lost their homes. But even those homeowners who hung on to their houses found their equity was quickly being eaten away by dropping home values.
Yes, tough times.
And the fact is that downturn caused some voices across the country to question the value of home ownership. Some said that the nation’s housing markets would never, ever be the same again and we’d be better off as a nation of renters, instead of home owners.
But as we’ve said on today’s show that was then and this is now. Things are much better in today’s market. Home prices are inching up. Sales are rebounding. And while foreclosure is still a problem, it’s much less of a problem than it was in early 2009. There’s a lot of positive news about housing all over the United States.
And you might have noticed the voices questioning homeownership? They’re pretty quiet these days. All it took is a return to ‘normal.’ And right now, we’re pretty close to a normal, healthy real estate market.
A market that appears to be stronger and more sustainable than it was a few years ago and one that will get even stronger over time.
So as we wrap up our look back over two hundred episodes of Real Estate Today, we want leave you with a big look forward as well.
And here’s the question: by the time we broadcast our 300th episode towards the end of 2014 where will the nation’s housing markets be then?
Let’s review what some housing economists are forecasting, and how it might affect you.
First, home prices …
We’ve made notable gains this year. And some economists are predicting prices to really take off by 2014, welcome news if you’re a home owner!
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® predicts the time this year ends, prices of existing homes will have risen 6 percent. Next year, prices are expected to rise an additional 5 percent or so and then another 5 percent in 2014.
For some home owners who saw their values drop the last few years, that may just be the boost you need to see solid equity once again in your home.
OK, so home prices are on the rise how about sales? That’s important if you plan to sell in the next two years. Will you be able to?
By 2014, home sales are expected to grow by about 14 percent. That’s significant.
Demand is increasing as many believe that housing finally “hit bottom” this year and is on its way up.
How about mortgage rates?
Mortgage rates are at record-breaking lows. 30 year fixed-rate mortgages are in the three and a half percent range for the most qualified buyers. That’s quite a difference from 2009 when they averaged about 5 percent.
These low rates won’t stick around forever. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is forecasting 30 year rates to climb to 4.6 percent, within a couple of years.
So that’s one prediction that’s not so great. But, we never expected the ultra-low rates would stick around forever.
Another prediction involves short sales and foreclosures. Millions of people lost their homes over the last few years. In fact, in 2009, distressed properties accounted for nearly half of all home sales! But, that’s changing for the better.
The NAR projects that distressed sales will fall to about 25 percent of the market-share of sales this year. And by 2014, they’re expected to fall to about 8 percent. That will bode well for everyone in the housing market.
If all these predictions hold true, the next few years should be looking good, for most areas in the nation’s real estate markets.
And we couldn’t be happier to say that. Things are better now, than they were and they’re expected to get even better with every passing year. And that’s a story we’ll be following closely, right here on Real Estate Today.
So finally, let’s leave with a few last words about us.
As you know, Real Estate Today is presented by The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And we’re committed to bringing you the best possible real estate strategies, information and news every week.
We want to show the younger people how to get in the game. And we want to show the more experienced people techniques, tactics and opportunities that you might not know about.
And for all our listeners, we want you to know that the best way to approach any transaction is with a REALTOR® by your side. They’ll bring along the best in-depth market knowledge for the neighborhood where you want to buy, sell, and put down roots.
That’s why we’re here. For 200 shows we’ve had one goal: to help you thrive in todays and tomorrow’s real estate market. And that will always be our goal, every week, every year.
So from all of us here at Real Estate Today, whether you’ve heard one show, or all 200 – Thank you for listening. We appreciate it.