I don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but everywhere I turn lately I seem to find more good news about better things to come in the real estate market. The evidence is both anecdotal and statistical.
Anecdotally, I can tell you that for the first month of 2012, it is as if someone has opened a floodgate. After being in a wait-and-see mode for several years, sellers are racing to list their homes. Meanwhile, buyers who have been straddling the fence about making firm offers are leaping to take advantage of reasonably priced homes and low mortgage interest rates. Our TEAM, in our new space at our main office (13127 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, FL 34609), is working overtime to meet the demand.
My observations about this upsurge are supported statistically in a few reports about the national and regional housing markets. Chew on these newsy nuggets to appreciate my optimism:
* The number of homes sold in Hernando County in December (242) was at a 6-month high. I have every reason to believe that number will rise even higher when January’s sales are tallied.
* According to a Jan. 18 story in the Tampa Bay Times. both the number of home sales and the median home sale prices in the region have increased significantly.
Why are we seeing these trends? It’s a combination of factors that point to an overall recovery in our economy, which is providing investors and consumers the confidence they need to make financial decisions with less uncertainty or fear. Consider that:
* Unemployment rates are falling. More people working means there is more money in the marketplace, which is good news for buyers and sellers.
* Mortgage interest rates are extremely low. According to a news release by the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications jumped 23.1 percent last week. That’s double from the previous week. Some of that activity can be attributed to a boost in homeowners refinancing to take advantage of lower interest rates. But it also is a clear indication that hesitant buyers are more confident to move forward.
* Freddie Mac issued its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® earlier this month and it confirms several other reports that mortgage rates are likely to continue their trend of record-breaking low interest rates.
* The State of the Nation’s Housing is an annual report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. It uses economics and demographics to identify trends in the national market. The 2011 report says that mobility rates, which track, among many other criteria, how many people are leaving one household to establish another, are rising. That is particularly true among young adults who have been living with their parents, grandparents and friends while waiting for the opportunity to pursue home ownership or rent their own place.
* The Harvard study, attributing a Freddie Mac survey, also shows that 62 percent of the U.S. population under age 35 now believe owning a home is a safe investment. That number dipped as low as 45 percent a few years ago. Baby boomers are poised to benefit from that optimism because they are in a prime position to sell their homes to younger people as they downsize to smaller properties.
Taken as the sum of their parts from the 10,000-foot-perspective, these reports reinforce the reality of what well-positioned REALTORs® are seeing on the ground: A housing industry that has emerged from the dark end of the street and is headed for the bright side of the road!THE Gail Spada TEAM hopes you have found this information useful. Your feedback is encouraged. Until next time, please remember our pledge: When it comes to buying or selling property in Hernando County, we make sure … it’s all about YOU!