No Comments

What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values?

 

According to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Insights Report, nationwide home values increased by 8.2% over the last twelve months. The dramatic rise was brought about as the inventory of homes for sale reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand was buoyed by record-low mortgage rates. As CoreLogic explained:

“Home price growth remained consistently elevated throughout 2020. Home sales for the year are expected to register above 2019 levels. Meanwhile, the availability of for-sale homes has dwindled as demand increased and coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks continued across the country, which delayed some sellers from putting their homes on the market.

While the pandemic left many in positions of financial insecurity, those who maintained employment and income stability are also incentivized to buy given the record-low mortgage rates available; this is increasing buyer demand while for-sale inventory is in short supply.”

Where will home values go in 2021?

Home price appreciation in 2021 will continue to be determined by this imbalance of supply and demand. If supply remains low and demand is high, prices will continue to increase.

Housing Supply

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the current number of single-family homes for sale is 1,080,000. At the same time last year, that number stood at 1,450,000. We are entering 2021 with approximately 370,000 fewer homes for sale than there were one year ago.

However, there is some speculation that the inventory crush will ease somewhat as we move through the new year for two reasons:

1. As the health crisis eases, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market.

2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell.

Housing Demand

Low mortgage rates have driven buyer demand over the last twelve months. According to Freddie Mac, rates stood at 3.72% at the beginning of 2020. Today, we’re starting 2021 with rates one full percentage point lower than that. Low rates create a great opportunity for homebuyers, which is one reason why demand is expected to remain high throughout the new year.

Taking into consideration these projections on housing supply and demand, real estate analysts forecast homes will continue to appreciate in 2021, but that appreciation may be at a steadier pace than last year. Here are their forecasts:What Does 2021 Have in Store for Home Values? | MyKCM

Bottom Line

There’s still a very limited number of homes for sale for the great number of purchasers looking to buy them. As a result, the concept of “supply and demand” mandates that home values in the country will continue to appreciate.

No Comments

The Holidays Aren’t Stopping Homebuyers This Year

The Holidays Aren’t Stopping Homebuyers This Year | MyKCM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, yet finding the perfect holiday gifts for friends and family is certainly still top of mind for many right now. This year, there’s another type of buyer that’s very active this holiday season – the homebuyer.

Each month, ShowingTime releases their Showing Index which tracks the average number of appointments received on active U.S. house listings. The most recent index notes:

“The Showing Index reported a 60.9 percent jump in nationwide showing traffic year over year in October, the sixth consecutive month to see an increase over last year.”

Here’s the breakdown of the latest activity by region of the country compared to this time last year:

  • The Northeast increased by 65.5%
  • The West increased by 64.7%
  • The Midwest increased by 55.7%
  • The South increased by 54.7%

Why is the traffic so active?

The health crisis definitely put homebuying plans on pause for many earlier this year. Buyers, however, are in the market and making moves well past the typical busy homebuying seasons of spring and summer.

One of the main reasons buyer traffic has continued to soar in the second half of 2020 is how dramatically mortgage rates have fallen. According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate last December was 3.72%. Today, the rate is a full percentage point lower.

Bottom Line

There are first-time, move-up, and move-down buyers actively looking for the home of their dreams this winter. If you’re thinking of selling your house in 2021, you don’t need to wait until the spring to do it. Your potential buyer is very likely searching for a home in your neighborhood right now.

No Comments

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

 

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently entering into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this can definitely work to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to put that money toward a down payment on your next home or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

When we’re in a sellers’ market like we are today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you sell your house. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally move into their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell your house at the perfect time. Today’s market gives sellers immense negotiating power. However, it won’t last forever, especially as more sellers return to the housing market next year. If you’re considering selling your house, the best time to do so is now.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, let’s connect today to determine your best move in our local market.

No Comments

6 SMART HOME DEVICES FOR LESS THAN $100

Every day, the world presents us with new technology. It seems like there isn’t much left that technology can’t do. Thankfully, with every advancement, many items have become more affordable. While a high-tech home may not be the choice for everyone, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to try out if you are interested in making your home a little bit more accessible. Here are 6 items to try:

  1. Smart Speakers

    Setting reminders, asking questions, and playing music on demand has never been so easy! Smart speakers are capable of making lists for you, looking up recipes, and so much more.

  2. Smart Plugs

    Left the coffee pot plugged in and need to turn it off, but you aren’t home? Smart plugs allow you to turn off (and on) something plugged in from your phone. These are also great for lighting systems like lamps or even holiday lights.

  3. Smart Doorbells

    Smart doorbells are an incredible investment. Monitor who is ringing your doorbell, when packages are dropped off, and so much more all with your phone!

  4. Smart Locks

    Lost keys? Need to let someone in to water your plants while you are out of town? Smart Locks allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock your door, or just use a keypad!

  5. Smart Switches

    Smart switches allow you to turn lights off and on with your phone. Next time you forget to turn off the kitchen light and you are already in bed, smart switches can save the day!

  6. Smart Bulbs

    Adjust the brightness of color in any room when you install smart bulbs. Great for kids or rooms where you want to be able to dim the lights!

No Comments

9 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Colorado Springs

first time home buyers in colorado springs

Colorado Springs is a great place for buying a new home. Unfortunately, purchasing a home for the very first time can be a stressful experience. Here are some tips for streamlining the process so you can find the home you’ve always dreamed of. 

 

  1. Hire a good agent. There is a lot to learn about the home-buying process and plenty of complex paperwork to go through. An experienced real estate agent can help make the process a lot easier and a lot more affordable. 

 

Since you will be working closely with your agent, it’s important to find someone you get along with well. The agent should also be highly skilled, motivated and extremely knowledgeable about Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. This will help you target the right home in the right neighborhood. It will also help keep costs down, especially if the agent is very familiar with the local market and available home inventory. 

 

  1. Know what you can afford. Before you begin looking for your dream home, you need to have a clear idea of your price range. Use a home affordability calculator to help you determine how much you can safely afford to spend without taking on too much unwieldy debt.

 

  1. Get pre-approved. Sellers typically will not accept an offer unless you have a lender’s letter stating you can acquire the financing required to close the deal. Having a pre-approval letter makes you look more serious to sellers, giving you an advantage over buyers who have yet to take this key step.

 

  1. Look into local financing programs. Even if you have your finances in order, you may still have trouble coming up with a down payment. Fortunately, there are a number of first-time homebuyer programs available locally and statewide. 

 

Before you start browsing for homes, check to see if you might qualify for a first-time buyer program available through El Paso County. You should also look into one of the following programs available to qualified first-time buyers looking to purchase a home in Colorado Springs and other Colorado communities. 

 

 

  1. Budget for closing costs. In addition to securing money for a down payment, you will need to budget for closing costs. This will generally run between 2% and 5% of your loan amount. 

 

  1. Pick the right neighborhood. Even if a home is perfect, the actual neighborhood could be a bad fit. So be sure to:

 

  • Research local schools, even if you do not have kids, since schools affect home value.first time home buyers
  • Look at local crime and safety statistics.
  • Map the nearest pharmacy, hospital, grocery store and other amenities.
  • Explore the neighborhood at different times on various days to check out noise, traffic and activity levels.

 

A good local agent can help give you invaluable input about specific neighborhoods, but only if they specialize in Colorado Springs real estate. 

 

  1. Stick to your original budget. Since it’s easy to fall in love with an overpriced home, it’s best to only look at properties that cost less than the amount you were approved for. Although you may be able to afford your preapproval amount, it won’t account for other monthly expenses that come with homeownership. Shop with a firm budget in mind to avoid getting in over your head. 

 

  1. Don’t just buy a home for today. It’s easy to focus on properties that meet your existing needs. If you plan to start a new family or expand your existing one, however, it may be better to buy a larger home you can grow into. Always consider your future wants and needs when deciding between available properties.

 

  1. Act fast. Colorado Springs real estate moves quickly in many areas because of limited inventory. It’s best to check out any newly listed homes that interest you as fast as possible. If a property is listed on a Monday, don’t wait until Friday to look at it. If you hesitate, you risk losing out to a more ambitious buyer.

 

If you’re thinking of buying your first home, contact The Wheaton Team. Over the past decade, we’ve established a well-earned reputation for specializing in residential real estate throughout Colorado Springs and all of El Paso County. Let us help you find the home of your dreams.