Even though much of the country remains in a deep freeze, the real estate market is heating up and thawing out. Recent data released by the National Association of Realtors and relator.com indicate that steady and sustained growth in the housing market will continue through the spring and summer. Some of the most encouraging findings:
- In February, home prices rose 10.2 %, more than they had in seven years, according to the research –data provider CoreLogic. This increase marks the largest one year price increase since March, 2006 and the twelfth straight month of growth.
- Cities and states out West, including California, Las Vegas, and Phoenix are leading the growth markets. The biggest increases in home prices have been recorded in Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, and California.
- Rising home prices have helped more than 1.7 million homes reverse their negative equity, and put their mortgages “above water”. An additional 5% increase in home prices will lift another 1.8 million homes from “negative” to “positive” equity positions.
- 10.4 million homes are still underwater, but total negative equity fell by $42 billion last quarter.
- Negative equity continues to be a big challenge for the real estate market. Underwater borrowers, due to increased paper work with their lender to get approval to sell their home at current market value, are reluctant to place their current home on the market.
- Analysts recommend keeping an eye on “under equity” properties, those homes that have less than 20% equity in their homes. These property owners may have trouble securing financing from lenders with strict underwriting standards and credit restrictions.
- Current housing inventory remains low. Research indicates that housing inventory will be exhausted in about 4 months. Industry experts and analysts use a 6 month inventory as a the baseline benchmark for a healthy housing market. Limited inventory is a factor in the steadily increasing home prices.
Is your office prepared to manage a “hot” market again? Your agents and brokers need to be leveraging their relationships, utilizing their social media presence, and creating hyper local content to book more listings and encourage more buyers. Things have changed since the last real estate bubble, and buyers and sellers are demanding more personalized and immediate customer service. If your lead generation software and backend technology hasn’t been updated since the early 2000’s, you’ll be playing catch up with your competitors. Quantum Leads technology helps you capture more leads, sell more properties, and generate more revenue by streamlining your CRM tools, your social media initiates, and your to do lists in one easy to operate dashboard. Spring into this hot market and stay ahead of the curve.