More kids are flying the nest

During the recession, many young adults graduating from college were forced to move back in with their parents. This caused new household formations to drop dramatically from the long term average of 1.2 million formations annually to half that number. However, this may be the year this turns back around.

According to the Urban Land Institute’s report, Emerging Trends in Real Estate, household formations will increase dramatically. They project that 3.68 million additional households will be formed in the next three years. This brings household formations back to pre-recession numbers of 1.2 million a year.

What will happen in 2016?

One of the key indicators to an improving housing market is household formation: How many people are moving out and forming an independent living unit? Many of the people “moving out on their own” will be those Millennials who can finally move from their parents’ basements to their first home.

Not every person moving out will decide on an apartment. A certain percentage of consumers will decide that homeownership is a better option for themselves and their families.

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, believes:

“Demand for for-sale housing will grow and will continue to be dominated by older millennials, aged 25 to 34. This demographic has the potential to claim a third of home sales in 2016 and represent 2 million home purchases.”

What about household formations moving forward?

And Louis Keely, the President of The Demand Institute, predicts strong household growth will continue over the next ten years:

“We expect new household formation to be robust over the next decade as the large millennial generation ages and forms new households of their own.”

Bottom Line

Here come the Millennials!! They will finally be entering the housing market in 2016 and will dominate real estate sales over the next decade.

Why now is the time to buy

With spring right around the corner, you may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained below 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost three-quarters of a percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you find your dream home.

Black stainless…what do you think?

Appliance manufacturers are always showing off their latest high-tech, super energy efficient models. But now they’re doing it under a new finish: Black stainless.

KitchenAid, LG, and Samsung are among the appliance makers showing the black satiny finish. It’s the latest finish to go up against the long-held popularity of stainless steel, the rugged industrial look that has adorned modern kitchens for decades.

But stainless steel has had a love-hate relationship with home owners. Home owners love the shiny look but they tend to hate the fingerprint smudges that are often left behind. Manufacturers have tried alternatives, such as Whirlpool’s White Ice and GE’s Slate. But none have come close to biting into stainless steels’ popularity.

black-stainless1

Will black stainless catch on? Possibly, because it’s not that too different of a look.

It’s less reflective than the conventional stainless steel. It’s just slightly darker and offers a slightly more (but not completely) smudge-free finish.

KitchenAid first launched its black stainless steel finish in September 2015, which had designers calling it the hot “new neutral” that added “warmth” and “sophistication” to a kitchen space.

“Major appliances are the anchor pieces of a kitchen, and their color and design contribute largely to the overall look of the space,” says Beth Robinson, senior brand experience manager for KitchenAid. “As a stylish alternative to traditional finishes, our black stainless steel offers designers and consumers tremendous design flexibility and the chance to experiment with fresh ideas.”

What do you think? Do you think black stainless will catch on?

Net Worth and Homeownership

Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater.

The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:

Net-Worth-KCM

Put Your Housing Cost to Work For You

Simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings’. Every time you pay your mortgage you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments:

“Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

Bottom Line

If you are interested in finding out if you could put your housing cost to work for you by purchasing a home, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can guide you through the process.

Understanding Equity

CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 256,000 properties regained equity in the third quarter of 2015. This is great news for the country, as 92% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.

Price Appreciation = Good News For Homeowners

Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:

“Home price growth continued to lift borrower equity positions and increase the number of borrowers with sufficient equity to participate in the mortgage market. In the last three years, borrowers with at least 20 percent equity have increased by 11 million, a substantial uptick that is driving rapid growth in home equity originations.” 

Anand Nallathambi, President and CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is a great sign for the market in 2016 as well, as he had this to say:

“Homeowner equity is the largest source of wealth for many Americans. The rise in home prices, expected to be at least 5% in 2016, will continue to build wealth and confidence across America. As this process continues, it will provide support for the housing market and the broader economy throughout [the] year.”

This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?

study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their home as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 8% of homes are in that position (down from 9% in Q2).

The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%), when in actuality, 74% do!

2.10-KCM-ENG

This means that 37% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a housing situation that better meets their current needs (moving to a larger home or downsizing).

Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:

“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

If you are one of the many Americans who are unsure how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2016! Meet with a local real estate professional today, who can help you evaluate your situation and assist you along the way!

Now is the time to sell!

It is common knowledge that a large number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their home on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.

The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring, as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed which months most people listed their home in for 2015. Here is a graphic showing the results:

Calendar-2015-KCM

The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,860,000.

That number spiked to 2,280,000 by May!

What does this mean to you?

With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring. They are out looking for a home right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition for a buyer.

Bottom Line

It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.