From the Wires
The Pros and Cons of Today's Housing Market
By: PR Newswire
Nov. 20, 2012 07:51 PM
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- With turkeys defrosting in refrigerators and cans of cranberry sauce flying off the shelves, it's time to sit down and think about what we should be thankful for in today's housing market. If you don't think there's very much to smile about, think again! In fact, there are 3 pros to today's housing market:
1.New construction is going up According to the Commerce Department, the number of newly-constructed homes surged 15% in September. That means builders are now working as fast as they were back in 2008 – clearly a sign that the demand is starting to come back. In fact, there is such a demand for brand new homes in Tampa that there aren't enough construction workers to go around! On a national level, all of that building isn't just good for the housing market. It's also good for the job market. After all, every new house that goes up creates jobs for the people who build it!
2. Existing home sales are up New constructions aren't having all of the fun. The October sales numbers just came out, and the number of existing home sales went up 2.1%. Even better news? The median sales price is 1% higher than it was in October 2011 (right now it's at $178,600). It's a small step, but it's also a step in the right direction.
3.Interest rates are still low You might be tempted to call 2012 the "Year of the Low Interest Rate", thanks to all of the record lows we set this year! And, as the sun starts to set on 2012, 30-year rates are still well under 4%. In fact, right now the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.34% -- yet another all-time record. So, if you're still on the fence about buying or refinancing, these low rates might just make up your mind for you! Of course, there is still plenty of work to do.
You may not be so thankful for these 3 things around the Thanksgiving table this year:
1.Home values Those little gains we're seeing now will take a long time to add up. Unlike the pre-bust housing market – when you could go out, buy a house, and sell it a few months later for a profit – times have changed. In fact, according to a study done by the analytics firm Fiserv, housing prices won't return to their pre-bust levels until 2023.
2.Unemployment With the nation's unemployment rate still hovering around 8%, you can't expect to see a major improvement in the housing market. Obviously, people aren't going to run out and buy houses if they don't have jobs! Even many of the people who do have jobs are afraid to commit to a 15-year or 30-year mortgage. After all, they're one pink slip away from facing a serious foreclosure threat. Many of them would rather rent until things start to level out, rather than risk a financial nightmare.
3.Quantitative Easing The Federal Reserve's plan to buy $40 billion worth of bonds every month for the foreseeable future is designed to keep interest rates low. So far, it's doing that, which is a good thing. However, the Fed says it plans to keep interest rates low until 2015. As a result, there's not really a sense of urgency for buyers to run out and buy NOW. Since they know they have at least two more years of low rates, there's nothing motivating them to take action (and, thus, aid the housing market's recovery) right now.
Hopefully, with another year under our belts, we'll have even more to be thankful for next Thanksgiving!
Daniel Torelli RealtyPin.com, 514-836-1432, firstname.lastname@example.org
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