Confession: I cyber stalk real estate agents. I watch your Facebook statuses. I read your tweets, likes and shares. And, from time-to-time I even scan your Spotify feeds to figure out what new artists I should check out.
Why? Well, not because agents have the best taste in music (though I have seen some pretty good tracks on your playlists…)
The truth is, over time I’ve found that if you really want to know what’s going on in the real estate market, all you have to do is watch the conversations agents are having.
Recently, my cyber observations have made me feel like we’re in the dead heat of a market turnaround. It seems like agents are feeling better, doing more business, and generally positive about the market prospects in the year ahead.
But, I had to ask: is this anecdotal recovery I’m feeling real? And if so, where are the signs?
Here are six answers I found that support the notion that things are looking up for the real estate industry.
Take a look, share them, blog them, and shoot me a comment in the box below to let me know what signs of change (if any) you’re seeing in your area.
1. Both asking price and rents jumped 5 percent from last year
Trulia’s latest Price and Rent Monitors showed a big boost in asking prices across the U.S. – up 5.1 percent year-over-year. This a drastic change from the double digit declines of previous years.
The relevant news for your buyer and seller prospects isn’t just that home prices are climbing, but that renting is getting more expensive as well. The statistics showed rents are up 5.2 percent year-over-year.
If you understand supply and demand, it’s obvious that these two facts point toward more real estate moves happening, and that consumers have gotten over the angst of previous years and shifted into the “recovery mindset.”
To follow along or view past data releases from Trulia, check out the Pro Blog’s Industry Feed where you can find graphics and facts you can share to help boost consumer confidence in your market.
2. Mortgage rules got a renovation.
Predatory lending practices linger near the top of many economists’ blame lists for the most recent market decline. And, after years of fallout from bad mortgages, capable buyers have been, understandably, slow to purchase.
For those buyers who’ve been anxious about the mortgage process and skeptical of the predatory lending, this Thursday brought great news and a sure “go” sign for them to jump into the market.
Thursday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released it’s new mortgage guidelines which are “a set of standards that protects consumers from bad loans” according to David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The new guidelines show that banks and the government are working out their differences to create a safer, more secure environment for homeowner hopefuls. In addition, the new guidelines give those buyers access to mortgage best practices upfront to help them ensure they’re ready for application and ownership from the start.
For a great summary of the new guidelines, check out CNN’s article “New Rules Aim to Make Mortgages Safer”.
3. Delinquency & foreclosures are at record lows.
Declining delinquencies aren’t just fluffed headlines, the numbers support what it seems many agents are feeling.
Delinquencies are down. According to Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kolko, “ In November, 10.63% of mortgages were delinquent or in foreclosure, down a hair from 10.64% in October. The combined delinquency + foreclosure rate is at its lowest level in four years and is 41% back to normal.”
These stats are good news for buyer’s agents whose clients and prospects need a boost of confidence.
4. 93% of Millenials plan to buy.
Last quarter we released Trulia’s American Dream Survey and one of the top facts from our study showed that 93 percent of current millennial renters plan to buy.
This is good news for an industry that’s suffered from years of skittish home shoppers and a lot of talk about home buying no longer being a part of the American Dream.
5. Investors rush in.
Another sign that we’re on the way to a high-paced recovery is that investors are making major moves to capitalize on today’s opportunity.
A recent story from Bloomberg covered how Blackstone Group, the largest U.S. private real estate owners, sped up it’s purchases of homes to try to beat out fast rising prices.
This is a sign for on the fence buyers to start their hunt before the weather heats up and they face more competition than they can handle.
These are some of the national signs that show the recovery is well under way. Comment below and tell us what you’re seeing, reading, and witnessing in your local market.