New Housing Trends Show a Rebound

Blog courtesy of the Missoula Organization of Realtors.

The messages the American public have received in terms of housing and an economic recovery have been mixed at best; but home sale numbers and prices, low mortgage rates, and a spike in home builder confidence point to a housing turnaround.

Rebounding from another slow year in the Nation and Missoula, the housing market is picking up steam. Prospective home buyers are taking advantage of insanely low mortgage rates and reductions in home prices. Home buyers have opportunities now that they haven’t had in years in terms of inventory and bang for their buck. For example:
Desired monthly payment-$1,000
Current Interest Rate-3.88%
House Price-$213,000
2007 Interest Rate-6.00%
House Price-$167,000

In addition, although economists have suggested for years that a turnaround in the housing market will be necessary in order for the economy to recover, politicians are just now getting the message. It seems that this issue will play a key role in the upcoming elections. Below are headlines that illustrate both recovery and how regulations may help (or hurt) in the future.

• HouseLogic: Home Sales Rise in December
Existing-home sales continued on an uptrend in December, rising for a third consecutive month and remaining above a year ago, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

• CNN Money: Mortgage Applications Surge Amid Record-Low Rates
Mortgage loan applications surged 23% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as record-low interest rates convinced many home owners it was time to refinance into lower-cost loans.

• Wall Street Journal: Home-Builder Sentiment Hits Highest Level Since Mid-2007
U.S. home builders’ sentiment rose in January to the highest level in 4 1/2 years, the latest in a series of signs that the housing market is finally beginning to recover after a prolonged bust.

• The State: Rally for Home Ownership Bridges Political Divide
Hundreds turned out in a diverse crowd for a rally designed to head off prospective federal legislation that could hurt home buyers and owners. The well-publicized rally attracted Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, along with U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, a Republican.

• HouseLogic: Time for GOP Candidates, and Obama, to Step Up on Housing Policy
If you’ve been paying attention to the Republican presidential candidates lately, you wouldn’t guess that housing is one the most important issues on voters’ minds. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich — the top three finishers in most national polls — have been fairly quiet on the issue. Instead, the leading Republican contenders have been narrowly focused on attacking President Barack Obama’s jobs record.

At the heart of the matter is the fact that no matter what the economy is or what a politician says, home ownership is still a dream for most Americans. And with many indicators are pointing towards positive trends and positive political attention, now might just be a good time to dip your toes in the water.