Now twelve months into 2016, we’ve had a big year in real estate! Between the Olympics, the elections and of course, real estate, many changes and trends have emerged.
Rent Vs Buy: Always a hot topic! Typically, consumers have assumed that renting is more affordable than buying a home. But, numerous factors have changed home buying in 2016, including credit reporting!
Have you checked your credit score lately? You may have seen an increase thanks to the new FICO 9 reporting system. Historically, the weight of medical bills negatively impacted consumer credit reports, but now, “A person’s credit score, with medical conditions, will increase on average of 25 points under the new system,” says John T. McElya, Senior VP of Amarillo National Bank. “That is very significant. It is the difference between a 2.99% interest rate, or a 6% interest rate.” Big savings!
Credit scores will also be accompanied by more developed reports about borrower’s spending and credit habits. Making one late payment of just $25 can significantly lower your score – sometimes as much as 100 points! Now, rather than only seeing a score, lenders are now able to see if the borrower makes minimum or additional payments each month, pays off revolving credit lines monthly, reduces the total amount borrowed over time and if they make inconsistent changes in their monthly payments throughout the year.
Credit reporting paired with historically low interest rates, gives more buying power to renters-turned-buyers. If you’ve had reservations about starting the home buying process, now is the time to explore your options and take advantage of the benefits!
Millennials: Real estate activity related to Millennials is usually a debated topic, but real estate trends among participating Millennials seems to point towards strong urban markets. These young consumers seek more than just the 9-to-5 urban experience. As Mary Fitzer, Inman writer, explains “Planners and business owners are creating cities in which people want to work and live. Agents will find themselves pushing fewer homes in the suburbs and more in the heart of the city”. Popular Florida markets expected to follow with this trend into 2017 are Jacksonville and the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area. Tampa has already been developing our core urban areas and there is no stopping us now!
Builders: Slowly but surely, we’ve become more environmentally conscious and home builders of 2016 are no exception. Industry professionals have implemented the use of new construction techniques and more environmentally friendly building materials to construct more sustainable homes and combat the challenges associated with dwindling natural resources and energy conservation. By conserving more natural resources and using energy efficient and green building materials in building communities and new homes, “Increased durability means more lives and buildings will be saved, costs to rebuild will be pared and insurance premiums (are) lowered” as RealtorMag clarifies. In Florida real estate, builder manufacturing and insurance savings are key to home affordability!
Overall, these advances throughout the past year are favorable for consumers across the nation. Do you recognize these factors as part of your real estate activity in 2016?