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Douglas Lenski

Wisconsin Real Estate Trends

Monday, January 27, 2014 - Article by: Douglas Lenski - Wholesale Mortgage Services of Wisconsin - Message

If you are looking to make some real estate investments in 2014, this is a year that is likely to provide some promising returns. 2013 brought increases in home values, and foreclosures were on the decline, meaning that there were fewer surprises waiting to attack values through comparable transactions. Here are ten trends that you can expect to see continue or take off as the year goes by.

Mortgage rates will go up Over the past week or so, rates have started to tick back down as a result of a shaky jobs report in the last month of 2013. However, most analysts predict that rates will climb up to 5 percent before 2014 comes to an end. Even though the Federal Reserve is likely to maintain its policy of snapping up securities backed by mortgages under new chief Janet Yellen, the rate of those purchases is likely to slow down, which will also make rates go up a bit. This will make financing a home a little more costly, but 5 percent is still a very low figure if you look at the historical trends. Before 2008, the rates had not fallen below 5.8 percent in the previous 36 years.

The supply of homes will go up One reason prices went up at the start of 2013 was a drop in supply. However, the shortage began to ease in February, and a boost in new home construction, as well as increases in price, will bring both old and new homes to the market this year, bringing inventory closer to its historical levels.

Fewer homeowners will find themselves in the red Because values went up, almost 3 million homeowners found that they were no longer underwater in their loans in 2013. While more than 6 million homes nationwide were still underwater as 2013 came to a close, that number should continue to go down because of the increase in values. P Home values will go up 3 percent P This number changes depending on which analyst you ask. Some say 3 percent, some say about 5 percent, but everyone is predicting an increase. Some areas saw increases over 20 percent in the hottest areas in the country, but that sort of jump is not sustainable. Gains will continue to come in, but they will be slow and steady.

Mortgages will be easier to obtain When interest rates go up, loans are actually easier to get. When rates go up, people stop refinancing their loans. Lenders still need new business, so they have to compete for homebuyers. This is good news if you're shopping for a mortgage, because standards will tend to slip a little bit so that the lenders can get more business. The new rules about Qualified Mortgages still will apply, but it won't be as tough as you might think.

Home affordability will drop Even though price increases will slow a bit, it will be harder for people to afford to buy a house, because interest rates will go up. The problem isn't price or interest rate, though, as much as it is income. Housing costs are climbing more quickly than income. The Home Affordability Index, as calculated by the National Association of Realtors, hit a five-year low in 2013, and that trend is not expected to change this year.

A lot of Americans will move Because credit will be easier to get, more people will get out of their mortgages and prices will keep going up, a lot of Americans will move. However, they'll be headed to smaller houses in locations that are priced more reasonably. Because regulations are making it harder to get big loans, many people will move to less expensive cities like Austin, Houston, Atlanta, San Antonio, Raleigh, Portland, Richmond, and Fort Worth.

Home ownership will plummetFor the first time in 19 years, analysts predict that home ownership will drop below 65 percent in 2014. Because so many people bought homes in a bubble that was the product of easy mortgage rules and unlikely expectations of home price increases, that number had gone up over 70 percent. This is more of a correction than a real decline. As more adult children become independent and move into apartments, expect that rate to get closer to 60 percent in 2014.

Buying a home will become easier When the bottom fell out of the housing market, as many as 20 percent of home purchases were done by investors. However, with inventory on the rise along with prices (along with fewer foreclosures), investors are cooling off a bit, and more homeowners are buying houses. This means that the buying market is going back to more normal characteristics, and if you are qualified to buy a home, you should find that the process is not nearly as complicated.

Foreclosures will drop significantly September 2013 was the 36th consecutive month featuring year-to-year drops in foreclosures. Since the end of 2012, foreclosures have dropped by a third. As the housing recovery continues, this process should remain consistent as well.

If you live in Wisconsin and are looking to purchase a home, 2014 could be the best opportunity that you have for a while. It is going to be harder for people to afford homes as interest rates start to climb once again. While this is unfortunate in a number of ways, the fact that credit will also be slightly easier to get means that you will be likely to find approval for a loan, but it might not be the dream home you were hoping for. This is one of the inconvenient truths of economic recovery. The reason why interest rates have been low for so long is that the American government has been desperately trying to spur some sort of growth. Now that the growth is here, it's going to be hard for those who haven't already taken advantage of the special opportunities to buy a house to do so. If you have put together a down payment and taken care of your credit score, then you should find the loan you want. Before costs creep up, talk to a realtor about finding the most house you can. If you strike while the iron is still hot, you can still take advantage of the recession and buy a wonderful home.

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