As we look at the housing market for 2014, if there is one thing almost every pundit agrees with is higher interest rates.
The Federal Reserve’s $85 billion bond-buying program has kept interest rates at or near record lows over the last few years, but the central bank will start tapering its purchases in January, a move that some experts say will cause mortgage rates to increase. We will likely see mortgage rates move up in the coming months.
Prices of homes are commonly thought to increase in the coming year and most projections show a modest growth of 3 to 5 percent. I have not seen any forecasts including any dramatic increases like we saw early last year.
“I think it is safe to believe prices will be modestly higher this year than last.”
While buyers may have to pay a bit more and have larger mortgage payments they should have more inventory to choose from in 2014. Low inventories last year often led to bidding wars which many potential homeowners lost to all cash investors. We should see more houses come on the market this year which will make it easier for buyers to “get into contract.”
Some industry experts are predicting it will be easier to get a loan in 2014 as refinancing demand shrinks and lenders look for other sources of revenue. This is one prediction I will have to see it happen. Maybe too many years of restrictive lending practices by the big banks have me jaded? I believe buyers will continue to struggle to get loans approved.
“Because of the higher interest rates, we are seeing predictions of a lower rate of homeownership.”
During the early 2000’s, homeownership was approximately 70 percent. This year it could sink below 65 percent if the experts are right.
Finally, based on the buying frenzy we saw last year I believe there continues to be a pent-up demand for housing and there are many potential homeowners who were unsuccessful in finding and buying property. They are still there, still want a house and have been watching the market carefully. They will return this year as much more savvy buyers.
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