Though there is some uncertainty about how changing economic policies might affect the economy and housing market in the months to come, Fannie Mae's most recent Economic and Housing Outlook from their Economic & Strategic Research Group sees continued improvement ahead.
New data from the Commerce Department and the National Association of Home Builders shows builders are optimistic about the market for new homes this year.
For a lot of people, buying a home is both exciting and a little bit intimidating. On the one hand, it's seen as a vital part of achieving the American dream and, on the other, it's a major financial undertaking that comes with some real risks. So what are some of the top fears of potential home buyers?
There are an endless number of reasons you might decide to buy a home at any particular time in your life. Whether you just got a new job on the other side of town or are looking for a place closer to family, the motivation behind a move is usually very personal. But there are economic factors at play, as well.
The real-estate market is constantly evolving and there are a lot of moving parts. So, whether you're buying or selling a home, it's good to have some awareness of your local market, average mortgage rates, home prices, inventory, etc. That way, you aren't approaching a major financial transaction totally in the dark. So what should you be watching if you're looking to buy or sell this year?
Sales of previously owned homes rose for the third consecutive month in November, reaching their highest sales pace since February 2007. The 0.7 percent gain in November put home sales 15.4 percent above where they were at the same time last year.
If you've followed the housing market at all this year, you've likely heard something about inventory. Inventory refers to the number of homes available for sale. This year, it's been lower than usual. And, when for-sale inventory is low and buyer demand is high – as it's been this year – prices rise and sellers hold most of the negotiating power.
There are a number of perspectives from which you could view the housing market. That's why there are surveys gauging the attitudes of buyers and sellers, as well as Realtors, mortgage lenders, and builders. Each has an unique take on the real estate market that is based on their specific role.
Though still new to most homeowners and buyers, smart home technology is starting to catch on. These days, you can find everything from smart thermostats to locks and light bulbs that use an Internet connection to allow you to control them from your phone or computer.
It's normal to feel a little bit of stress when buying a house. Whether it's financial worry or just the logistics of moving all of your belongings to a new home, there's a lot to think about and plan for. This is especially true for first-time home buyers.