This week in housing news, lots of graphs tell the housing market story, open-house goers show their cards, mortgage rates inch up, and a homeowner builds an igloo rental.
Real estate prices are rising across the country. Finding that home to turn into a rental property may have you looking outside your city. RentRange®, a single-family rental market data company, released a study identifying the top 25 cities in America to invest in rental homes.
The study analyzed the average rental rate increase and average gross yield (income return from an investment prior to operating costs) for single-family homes for the first quarter of 2016 (compared to Q1 of 2015). Data was collected on approximately 250,000 homes; sources include multiple listing services, property managers, landlords and listing web sites.
Strong Spring sales for existing and new construction bolstered optimism for the 2016 housing market. Continued low interest rates and increased inventory combined to provide more opportunities for first-time and repeat home buyers.
According to the National Association of Realtors, total existing home sales for the US went up 5.1 percent. This boost in the housing market reflects completed transactions for single family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops. After a decline in February that concerned market-watchers, sales rose in all four US markets – the Northeast, Midwest, South and West.
“With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.” — Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist
“Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures.” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
According to the NAR report, the median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $222,700, up 5.7 percent from March 2015 ($210,700). This is the 49th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in the housing market. Total housing inventory increased 5.9 percent to 1.98 million existing homes available for sale (1.5 percent lower than a year ago).
The National Association of Home Builders (NHB) also reported confidence for new home construction. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) reported that although single-family starts were down 9.2 percent from February 2016, the industry posted an overall 22.6 percent increase of single-family starts from March 2015.
Thinking about new construction? Read why You Need an Agent for New Home Construction.
As rents increase, Yun advises the housing market is poised for first-time buyers to aggressively seek out homes to buy: “With rents steadily rising and average fixed rates well below 4 percent, qualified first-time buyers should be more active participants than what they are right now.”
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