Top 5 Real Estate Trends of 2014

According to®, 2014 ended leaving many indicators of a stronger housing recovery on the horizon. Here are the top 5 real estate trends of 2014:

1. Improving economic fundamentals: After an especially harsh winter, the economy picked up steam this spring and produced a banner year for new jobs. The GDP this year was higher and is still trending higher, resulting in stronger consumer confidence.

2. Historically low mortgage rates continued: Mortgage rates declined despite the end this year of quantitative easing, a monetary policy intended to stimulate the economy. Global weakness, along with actions by the European Central Bank and central banks in Asia, kept our Federal Reserve from raising the Federal Funds Rate, which kept mortgage rates low.

3. Return to normal price appreciation: After two years of abnormally high levels of home price appreciation in 2012 and 2013, price increases moderated throughout 2014. We are now experiencing increases in home prices consistent with long-term historical performance.

4. Decline of distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales declined throughout the year, and while total home sales decreased year over year, normal (non-distressed) home sales increased over 2013. Foreclosure inventories also fell substantially and are forecasted to be down 30% year over year at the close of 2014.

5. End of the era of major investors active in purchases: Related to the drop in distressed sales opportunities, and against a backdrop of higher home prices, portfolios of single-family homes for rent may have reached their peak this year. Large-scale investors purchase activity in the single-family market sector continued to decline, leaving more room for traditional first-time buyers.If you are considering moving to Montecito, Hope Ranch and Santa Barbara, I suggest you act now to take advantage of these top 5 real estate trends of 2014! Just call me, John, at (805) 455-1420 or my brother Bill at (805) 455-3030 and we’ll take care of you. Meantime, please check out our comprehensive website.