As we kick off the holiday season – a season of giving thanks – it’s important for professionals in the housing industry take a step back and remember that there’s plenty to be thankful for this season. From our loyal pipeline of industry contacts and partnerships to our hardworking team, we all know that true success begins with people. As we reflect back on 2015, we’re also grateful for the steady rebound of the economy, which has brought with it a host of positive and significant improvements in the housing industry.
‘Best Quarter in Nearly a Decade’
Just this month, the National Association of Realtors reported 2015’s third quarter is the housing industry’s best quarter in nearly a decade. Specifically in the South, existing-home sales and home prices are each up 6 percent from last year.
“The demand for buying picked up speed in many metro areas during the summer as more households entered the market, encouraged by favorable mortgage rates and improving local economies,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While price growth still teetered near or above unhealthy levels in some markets, the good news is that there was some moderation despite the stronger pace of sales.”
Yun noted the fastest price appreciation was in the South due to job gains, above average shares of vacation and foreign buyers, and new construction.
Additionally, National Mortgage Professional reported distressed home sales hit their lowest point since September 2007. Distressed sales comprised 9.3 percent of total home sales in August. Comparatively, distressed sales were 32.4 percent of all sales in their peak during 2009.
Professionals in the housing industry can also be thankful for a bright outlook for 2016. The National Association of Realtors’ press release, aptly titled “Existing-Home Sales on Track for Further Expansion in 2016,” reveals existing-home sales are expected to increase, despite possible rising rates. Yun expects home sales to increase 3 percent next year in addition to a rise in home prices, which are expected to increase 5 percent in 2016. Lastly, new home sales are also expected to grow from a predicted 505,000 this year to 590,000 next year.
There’s even good news regarding millennials – a demographic that has been in the spotlight for traditionally choosing renting over buying.
“Millennials outnumber baby boomers by almost 10 percent, and they’re collectively just entering their homebuying years with marriage and children on the horizon,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO at Ellie Mae. “The good news is that most surveys are finding that millennials still want to engage directly with mortgage loan professionals and Realtors at key times in the buying process.
For mortgage loan originators, Realtors, builders and potential borrowers alike, we near the end of 2015 with plenty to be thankful for and look forward in anticipation of what 2016 holds for the housing industry.