The real estate market in Burbank has gained a great deal of traction within the past year, and now increasing numbers of buyers are shopping for homes. After years of tightened credit and a significant shortage of affordable credit and home loans, banks and other lenders serving the Burbank area are also offering more real estate loans at significantly better prices.
That is thanks to improved confidence in the ability of borrowers to repay those loans, and easier credit is helping to facilitate home sales. Overall consumer confidence is also the highest it has been in at least five months according to recent government data. That trend – which was confirmed by robust holiday sales – is really good news for the housing market.
Widespread predictions that this year’s sales would be only one or two percentage points higher than last year’s, for example, including those made by the National Retail Federation (NRF), turned out to be much too conservative. Sales actually beat almost everyone’s expectations as they came in at least a full percentage point higher than what the NRF had anticipated.
Mortgage delinquency rates have also dropped almost 10 percent within the past three months, and despite lingering high unemployment the majority of Americans are feeling more secure about their chances for workplace promotions and higher income opportunities.
Meanwhile the gigantic inventory of foreclosure that has plagued California has finally begun to shrink, and that is good news for home sellers all over Burbank where distressed properties had been dragging down the prices of homes. As prices of homes and interest rates stabilize, buyers have greater impetus to finalize their plans to purchase a home. Rather than waiting on the sidelines out of fear that real estate prices and mortgage interest rates may suddenly fall even lower, they now realize that they have more to risk by putting off their purchases and missing out on rare bargains.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported, for instance, that there is renewed pressure on prevailing interest rates – which can easily trigger a sudden rise in mortgage rates. California has been seeing higher real estate prices for several months, and prices are expected to continue to slowly but surely trend upward. Apartment rental prices are already going much higher, and that is inspiring people who now lease to stop renting and invest in a home of their own.
Fortunately for prospective buyers, however, mortgage rates – including those on safe and reliable 30-year fixed rate loans – still remain close to the lowest they have been in American history. So it is still possible to buy an affordable Burbank home with a super attractive interest rate.
But that opportunity will not last forever. All indications point to an improved housing market in 2011, and homeowners who are thinking of selling should begin choosing a Realtor familiar with the unique Burbank market. That way they can prepare their homes for going on the market and be ready to take advantage of the expected improvement in sales and larger pool of motivated buyers over the coming months.