We are already two weeks into 2014. So, now’s a prime time to take a look at what’s in store for us this year in the world of real estate.
Signs point to another good year for the housing market, although the recovery most likely won’t clock the same breakneck speed as last year.
Here are 5 predictions, made by experts in the field, to help prepare you for any home-selling or buying activities this year:
1) Home prices will continue to rise: The chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, foresees home prices rising by 6 percent. This is about half of the increase in home values seen in 2013, indicative of 2014’s reduced pace.
2) So will mortgage rates: I’m sorry home-buyers, but the low interest rates of 2013 are not going to stick around. We go again to Lawrence Yun, who predicts that the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will climb to 5.5 percent before the year is over.
3) Fewer foreclosures on the horizon: Thankfully, the worst of the foreclosure catastrophe that devastated so many Americans appears to be history. According to Daren Blomquist, who monitors the foreclosure market at RealtyTrac, "We're in the home stretch of getting through the foreclosure crisis, but we won't cross the finish line, with filings back to pre-crisis level, until early 2015."
4) Borrowers can expect more ease in securing a mortgage: Although interest rates are expected to rise, Erin Lantz, director of mortgages with Zillow, points to a “silver lining.” Lantz says that “rising rates means lenders' refinance business will dwindle, forcing them to compete for buyers by potentially loosening their lending standards." That’s encouraging.5) Rental market to stay strong: Because of items 1 and 2 above, along with other factors such as a decline in home-ownership and a surge in Americans on the move, forecasters at Zillow envision a robust rental market in 2014.
What are your predictions for U.S. real estate in 2014? Tell us in the comments or in a blog post.