Listing Courtesy of VICKIE YORK AT THE BEACH REALTY
Any way you cut it, real estate makes up a huge chunk of the overall economy. One consequence of that is that the health of the real estate industry is constantly being put under a microscope (if it were a human patient, it would probably grow alarmed by all the doctors and specialists constantly calling it in for routine check-ups).
Everyone from Washington regulators to Ocean View tradespeople look to the performance of residential real estate as one of the most meaningful indicators of how everything else is doing. Locally, it’s not surprising that the pace of real estate sales in Ocean View always seems to align with many other area business prospects as a whole.
Probably because that’s true in most places, the National Association of Realtors® has come up with a new way to poke and prod the patient. It’s called the “HOME Survey”— ‘HOME’ being an acronym for “Housing Opportunities and Market Experience.” This is a somewhat strained way to describe the purpose, which is to find out how typical consumers feel about residential real estate in general, and homeownership in particular.
Instead of being another dry collection of statistics, this survey could turn out to be a lot more revealing than many others because it is going to be measured every month from now on—then reported every quarter. Even though it will be conducted nationally, I’m guessing that Ocean View real estate trends could well turn up here, since it is the changes in attitude that will become apparent.
Anyway, the first survey results are in—so we have a baseline we can use for comparison. These first findings reveal some very positive findings. Among them:
Since ‘The American Dream’ is such a generalized term, the survey attempts to nail down which features of owning a home are the most appealing. The three leaders are, “A place to raise a family” (36%); “Owning a place of your own” (26%); and “A nest egg for retirement” (14%).
It should be interesting for Ocean View real estate watchers to compare future findings with that baseline—and to see if local attitudes reflect the same kind of shifts. In any case, if your own feelings about home ownership match those findings, you can easily begin your own made-to-order version of a Ocean View “Housing Opportunities and Market Experience.” Just call me! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at email@example.com, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.
If you’ve ever had the kind of neighbor who is apt to borrow something (like your hedge trimmer), only to later complain about how it performed, you know how much patience it takes to hold your tongue. The Mortgage Bankers Association would be justified if they felt that way about me: I read their website, and sometimes quote it in posts about current Sussex County mortgage rates—but it sure makes for dull reading!
Anyway, with apologies to their (undoubtedly hard-working) writing staff, last week’s blog about national mortgage rates was as numbers-heavy as usual, yet still held a contradiction…but one that actually makes perfect sense. It also flags what could be seen as a bellwether that Sussex County home buyers and sellers would be hard-pressed to ignore.
The apparent contradiction was that mortgage rates were on the increase: national mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans rose to 4.17%, which is the highest they’ve been since November. This is for conforming loans; the jumbos (greater than $417,000) went north as well, up to 4.15%.
As everyone knows, low mortgage interest rates are terrific for our Sussex County residential home sales. The low monthly payments that they create make homeownership more affordable for a greater number of buyers. So when rates increase and monthly payments go up, it should create a drag on the market. The apparent contradiction in the MBA release was that the increase in rates was accompanied by an increase in mortgage applications. And it was a big one: up 8.4% from the week before.
Most commentators were united about the phenomenon, and it’s hard to disagree. In addition to the natural surge that comes with the season (spring and summer are always expected to be quite active), consumers are seeing the uptick in mortgage rates and suspecting that rates will head higher. That’s nudging them to action, causing them to jump in now, while rates are still attractive—especially compared with historical averages.
CNBC’s Diana Olick agreed that such sharp increases actually help the home-buying market. She quotes one lender’s take about the buyers: “They understand that ‘wait a minute, rates are at an all-time low, let’s react now, let’s react before they go higher.’”
It’s far from a certainty that rates will continue to take off. Lots of us remember last year, when almost all the experts predicted a rise, yet mortgage interest rates headed in the opposite direction…and stayed there! But you can hardly blame area buyers if they go with the national trend and decide that locking in today’s rates is a prudent move: it’s a bird in the hand.
If you have been thinking along the same lines, I hope you will give me a Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.