Know the Market: Five Trends That Are Happening in Real Estate

The real estate market is an ever-changing environment. What was true of the housing market six months ago may not be true today. Keeping an ear to the ground is essential if you are even considering purchasing a home sometime in the near future. Here are five trends that are happening nationwide in real estate right now and, as such, should be on your radar, and once you are done with this list, move to the 4 Things to Consider Before You Hire a Realtor to Manage Your Property:

Home Prices Are Increasing Slowly But Surely

The bad news for buyers, as you will see if you continue reading, is that home prices appear to have bottomed out. The good news, especially for those seeking homes in Utah and other western states where prices once surged out of control, is that they are rising at a rather modest pace

Interest Rates Are Rising

Unfortunately, the days of record-breaking interest rates are over. After hitting unprecedentedly low levels in 2012, interest rates are back on the upswing. To make matters worse, costs associated with acquiring a loan are also rising. The Federal Housing Agency (FHA) increased its one-time upfront mortgage insurance premium for minimum down-payment loans (less than 5 percent down) to 1.75 percent of the loan. The FHA Fiscal Solvency Act of 2012 permits the agency to increase premiums another .3 percent (up to 2.05 percent) annually.

More Homes Are on the Market

Although home prices are increasing, an increase in the number of homes on the market has kept them from skyrocketing to pre-2006 levels. This uptick is due in large part to increased construction of new homes, allowing buyers more options than they have had in years.

There Are New Mortgage Rules Protecting Prospective Buyers

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is essentially the federal government’s consumer watchdog, recently announced the Ability to Repay Rule (ARR). The ARR serves as a protective measure for prospective home buyers, forbidding lenders from engaging in certain unsavory practices that contributed to the most recent wave of foreclosures. It requires that lenders verify borrowers’ financial information to ensure that loans will be repaid.

New Construction Is on the Upswing

New construction means an increased supply of available homes. An increased supply of available homes means lower prices for potential buyers. Additionally, a surplus of new homes on the market means that fewer buyers will have to concern themselves with the cosmetic and structural damage that occurs over the course of every existing home’s life. Instead, they have the luxury of being able to focus on other details.