We’ve pulled together this week’s top real estate news articles—and with a new twist. Each story has been synopsized for your reading enjoyment—not to mention convenience. But don’t worry: We’ve included a link to the full story so can read on if that’s how you’d prefer to roll. Feel free to share your thoughts below. We want to know what you are thinking!
What are the housing market expectations for 2018?
As the saying goes, timing is everything. And some are predicting that the new year is going to be all about just that. Renters and buyers both should take heed.
— U.S. News (@usnews) December 14, 2017
Buying and selling
People are still unsure about their ability to get into that first home, Trulia is reporting, and they are getting a little tired of optimism about the future. High rents are making it tough to save for a down payment, and fewer starter-priced homes are available.
According to Trulia:
- The suburbs are still more affordable than urban areas.
- Millennials continue to join the homeownership club at a slow pace, but whether it’s lack of confidence in their financial situation or lack of opportunity in the urban areas they’d prefer is a mystery.
Everyone has been talking about the lack of inventory on the market since the Great Recession. And things haven’t improved much on that front. Mixed-use communities—dubbed “surban”—are on the rise, with development focused on creating an environment where tenants and homeowners can live, work, and play.
With cities still a favorite place for younger folks to live, developers are building smaller places to increase their profit margins. So far, residents seem to be making it work.
The number of people renting versus owning is on the rise—and likely to continue to grow as we move into 2018. Although the prices (sky-high in some markets) probably won’t go down, renters might gain more power when it comes to lease negotiation because so many new builds will be completed.
The GOP’s tax reform is on everyone’s mind, especially regarding how this will affect current and future homeowners. Experts agree that the proposed changes will likely impact those on the coastal markets most, but for now, it’s anyone’s guess as to what it might mean for the real estate market.
The two major parties are living in parallel universes when it comes to the new Republican tax bill. https://t.co/doXZex4qFK
— U.S. News (@usnews) December 14, 2017
Decade since recession: Thriving cities leave others behind
It’s almost difficult to believe it’s been a full decade since the Great Recession that officially began in December 2007. It was quite a blow to the nation’s economy as it hovered on the edge of a full-on Depression.
There has been plenty of growth across the country in the years since we narrowly missed the total brink of disaster, but not every area has recovered.
Seattle is among a handful of cities that have enjoyed a boom in the past decade, with signs of a busy, bustling city all over: tall cranes, packed hotels, packed restaurants. Other cities that are flourishing include Denver; Portland, Oregon; Provo, Utah; and Raleigh, North Carolina—most likely because they have become tech hubs. Pittsburgh and Oklahoma City are also sitting pretty, as is Boston, which saw the eleventh best income gain in the country since 2007.
Contrast those cities with Las Vegas, dotted with half-built housing developments and residents who are making 20 percent less than they were in 2007.
The South and Midwest have also been hard-hit, and it shows in fewer jobs and lower household incomes today than before the downturn. Too many manufacturing jobs have either been lost to China or have been replaced by technology.
The gap between the richest and poorest U.S. cities is nothing new, but whereas the gap narrowed somewhat from the 1880s to the 1980s, this is no longer the case. Experts blame high-tech workers tending to locate within the same cities, steadily rising home prices and rents, and industries that were leveled by the recession.
What to do when your home isn’t selling
Sure, it’s a seller’s market in many places all across the country. But that doesn’t mean homes are selling themselves—well, at least not everywhere. What do you do when you have a stubborn listing that is not moving—or letting the sellers move?
- Study the market to ensure the home is appropriately priced.
- Make sure the home is in good shape, with the necessary renovations to make it attractive to buyers.
- Keep it on the market during the holiday season. People still buy—even when it’s the offseason.
- Talk to your sellers about incentives that might help make it more attractive to buyers.
- Hire an expert to stage the home. Even if you think your buyers—and you—have good taste, nothing beats that of an expert who is more likely on top of the latest trends.
Santa Claus’s home jumps in value
Apparently, not even the North Pole is exempt from an uptick in real estate prices. The residence of Kris Kringle, which was added to Zillow’s site in 2016, is enjoying a 6.5 percent increase in value. The current Zestimate of this 2,500-square foot home that sits on 25 acres of arctic bliss is $710,559. Are you ready to make an offer?