Signs of A Recovering Housing Market in 2013

The housing market recovery in the U.S. during 2012 was helped by the bottoming out of home prices, record-low rates, decline in foreclosure activity and healthy rental markets. Real estate analysts are pleased with the directions things seem to be heading and are anxious to see what 2013 has in store for the industry. The following are signs of a recovering housing market.

Higher Demand
Phoenix, Miami and North Virginia are seeing dramatic increases in rental and purchasing values. As the prices continue to rise, the need for demand elevates in those areas, especially as the price of rent continues to sky rocket. Renters won’t want to waste that kind of money for something that they don’t own and will take advantage of the lenders low interest rates. If you’re interested in going down the path to home ownership, a real estate agent can help with everything from finding the ideal home, negotiating a fair sale, having a building inspector look over the property and knowing what to expect during the lending process.

Mortgage Lending and Underwriting
The current guidelines for lending institutions and underwriting are rigid, thus making a home loan obtainable for homebuyers without good credit is especially difficult. The future outlook will continue to look bleak, and the subprime free-for-all has ended. Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to afford the luxury of qualifying for a loan. Credit worthiness is more important than ever. Equifax warns that there is no quick fix to eliminate past aspects of your credit history. Ideally, you must handle your credit responsibly over a long period of time. In order to improve your credit worthiness, it is important to pay your bills on time, get and stay current on credit card payments, pay off debt rather than shifting it to a new credit account and shop for loan rates within a short time period.

Decline in Foreclosures and Distressed Assets
The number of foreclosures and Real Estate Owned (REO) dwellings is still quite high, but lending institutions aren’t as quick to unload their inventory all at once. States such as Nevada, California and Florida are still experiencing a faster pace of foreclosures, but they are an exception to the trend. In addition, banks are learning to handle more short sales. Short sales happen when a bank agrees to accept less than the amount of the mortgage the seller owes to the bank. Banks would rather perform a short sale than a foreclosure any day. A foreclosure takes a long time and creates a huge expense for the banks; a short sale saves both time and money.

Job Security
The forecast for the coming year looks promising, and the housing market is expected to continue to see a gradual increase in home prices. As the job market improves, so will the home prices improve. According to Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, temporary and contract jobs are on the rise in 2013. Moreover, the west and the south are leading the way for where the jobs will be. In the West, twenty-eight percent of employers plan to add full-time, permanent workers in 2013 (up from 24 percent in 2012). In the South, 27 percent of hiring managers anticipate adding full-time, permanent employees in 2013 (up from 23 percent in 2012). In addition, small businesses will have an impact on employment in 2013. They are showing signs are increasing headcounts and there is a tendency to “re-skill” workers to fit positions in 2013. As workers become permanently settled in secure employment, they are more likely to look at home ownership options.

As we notice signs of a recovering housing market, the due diligence process for buying a home remains as vital as ever. Don’t neglect to hire a certified home inspector to verify the structural integrity of your home before you close the deal.

Brian Jardine

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