What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?

What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?

As we move into the latter half of the year, questions about what’s to come are top of mind for buyers and sellers. Near record-low mortgage rates coupled with rising home price appreciation kicked off a robust housing market in the first half of 2021, but what does the forecast tell us about what’s on the horizon?

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Increase, but Remain Low

Many experts are projecting a rise in interest rates. The latest Quarterly Forecast from Freddie Mac states:

“We forecast that mortgage rates will continue to rise through the end of next year. We estimate the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022.”

However, even as mortgage rates rise, the anticipated increase is expected to be modest at most, and still well below historical averages. Rates remaining low is good news for homebuyers who are looking to maximize their purchasing power. The same report from Freddie Mac goes on to say:

“While higher mortgage rates will help slow the pace of home sales and moderate house price growth, we expect overall housing market activity will remain robust. Our forecast has total home sales, the sum of new and existing home sales, at 7.1 million in 2021….”

Home Price Appreciation Will Continue, but Price Growth Will Likely Slow

Joe Seydl, Senior Markets Economist at J.P. Morgan, projects home prices to continue rising as well, indicating buyers interested in purchasing a home should do so sooner rather than later. Waiting for rates or home prices to fall may not be wise:

“Homebuyers—interest rates are still historically low, though they are inching up. Housing prices have spiked during the last six-to-nine months, but we don’t expect them to fall soon, and we believe they are more likely to keep rising. If you are looking to purchase a new home, conditions now may be better than 12 months hence.”

Other experts remain optimistic about home prices, too. The graph below highlights 2021 home price forecasts from multiple industry leaders:
What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year? | MyKCM

Inventory Remains a Challenge, but There’s Reason To Be Optimistic

Home prices are rising, but they should moderate as more housing inventory comes to market. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, notes there are signs that we may see the current inventory challenges lessen, slowing the fast-paced home price appreciation and creating more choices for buyers:

“We have seen more new listings this year compared with 2020 in 11 of the last 13 weeks. The influx of new sellers over the last couple of months has been especially helpful in slowing price gains.”

New home starts are also showing signs of improvement, which further bolsters hopes of more options coming to market. Robert Dietz, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), writes:

“As an indicator of the economic impact of housing, there are now 652,000 single-family homes under construction. This is 28% higher than a year ago.”

Finally, while it may not fundamentally change the market conditions we’re currently experiencing, another reason to be optimistic more homes might come to market: our improving economy. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, notes:

“A growing economy in the summer months has multiple implications for the housing market. Growing consumer confidence, a stronger labor market, and higher wages bode well for housing demand. While a growing economy and improving public health conditions may also spur hesitant existing owners to list their homes for sale, it’s unlikely to significantly ease the super sellers’ market conditions.

Bottom Line

As we look at the forecast for prices, interest rates, inventory, and home sales, experts remain optimistic about what’s on the horizon for the second half of 2021. Let’s connect today to discuss how we can navigate the market together in the coming months.

Celebrate July 4th, our nation’s birthday –  but please do it safely!

Celebrate July 4th, our nation’s birthday – but please do it safely!

July 4th… it’s a time of celebration, family, friends, reflection about our nation’s independence, and is synonymous with barbecues, parades, and fireworks. The safest way for everyone to enjoy fireworks is at public displays conducted by professionals, and to not use any fireworks at home. They may be legal but they are still not safe.

In 2017, eight people died and over 12,000 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents. Of these, 50% of the injuries were to children and young adults under age 20. Over two-thirds (67%) of injuries took place from June 16 to July 16. And while the majority of these incidents were due to amateurs attempting to use professional-grade, homemade, or other illegal fireworks or explosives, an estimated 1,200 injuries were from less powerful devices like small firecrackers and sparklers.

Additionally, fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year, including 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and nearly 17,000 other fires.

If consumer fireworks are legal to buy where you live and you choose to use them, be sure to follow the following safety tips:

  • Never allow young children to handle fireworks
  • Older children should use them only under close adult supervision
  • Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear
  • Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands
  • Never light them indoors
  • Only use them away from people, houses, and flammable material
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person
  • Only light one device at a time and maintain a safe distance after lighting
  • Never ignite devices in a container
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
  • Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire
  • Never use illegal fireworks

Better yet, grab a blanket and a patch of lawn, kick back and let the experts handle the fireworks show.

Every year, young children can be found along parade routes and at festivals with sparklers in hand, but sparklers are a lot more dangerous than most people think.

Sparklers burn at about 2,000 degrees – hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers can quickly ignite clothing, and children have received severe burns from dropping sparklers on their feet. According to the National Fire Protection Association, sparklers alone account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for fireworks injuries. For children under 5 years of age, sparklers accounted for nearly half of the total estimated injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives, such as glow sticks, confetti poppers, or colored streamers.

So, enjoy this very important national holiday. Be grateful for our nation’s independence, but remember to do it safely and responsibly.

Goodwin Realty Tip… Don’t Wait To Sell Your House!

Goodwin Realty Tip… Don’t Wait To Sell Your House!

We’re in the ultimate sellers’ market right now. If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling, you have a huge advantage in today’s housing market. High buyer demand paired with very few houses for sale makes this the optimal time to sell for those who are ready to do so. Whatever the move you want to make looks like, here’s an overview of what’s creating the prime opportunity to sell this summer.

High Buyer Demand

Demand is strong, and buyers are actively searching for homes to purchase. In the Realtors Confidence Index Survey published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer traffic is considered “very strong” in almost every state. Homebuyers aren’t just great in number right now – they’re also determined to find their dream home. NAR shows the average home for sale today receives five offers from hopeful buyers. These increasingly frequent bidding wars can drive up the price of your house, which is why high demand from competitive homebuyers is such a win for this summer’s sellers.

Low Inventory of Houses for Sale

Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available homes for sale. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:

“For most sellers listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sales price… They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”

NAR also reveals that unsold inventory sits at a 2.4-months’ supply at the current sales pace. This is far lower than the historical norm of a 6.0-months’ supply. Homes are essentially selling as fast as they’re hitting the market. Below is a graph of the existing inventory of single-family homes for sale:

Inventory Levels

At the same time, homebuilders are increasing construction this year, but they can’t keep up with the growing demand. While reporting on the inventory of newly constructed homes, the U.S. Census Bureau notes:

“The seasonally‐adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 316,000. This represents a supply of 4.4 months at the current sales rate.”

What Does This Mean for You?

If you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, don’t wait. A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market today.

Bottom Line

As vaccine rollouts progress and we continue to see the economy recover, more houses will come to the market. Don’t wait for the competition in your neighborhood to increase. If you’re ready to make a move, now is the time to sell. Let’s connect today to get your house listed at this optimal moment in time.

« Hope Is on the Horizon for Today’s Housing ShortageHousing Wealth: The Missing Piece of the Affordability Equation »

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

Goodwin Realty & Associates Founder, Linda Goodwin-Nichols, named to 2020 Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame

Goodwin Realty & Associates Founder, Linda Goodwin-Nichols, named to 2020 Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame

Goodwin Realty & Associates is proud to announce that our very own Founder and President, Linda Goodwin-Nichols, has been named as an inductee to Junior Achievement’s Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame honors forward-thinking entrepreneurs and accomplished community leaders for their contributions to the region’s economic development and their commitment to business excellence.

Linda founded, has been the owner of Goodwin Realty & Associates, Inc. since 1973., and is an accomplished business owner and leader in the Osceola County community. Linda Goodwin has served as the Mayor of Kissimmee and has also had 2 four-year terms as City Commissioner of the City of Kissimmee.

The 2020 Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame has been re-imagined, amid the coronavirus pandemic, with a bold new vision. The “Almost In-Person” Hall of Fame event will take place on October 29, 2020. We’ll be sure to share more details about the Mid-Florida Business Hall of Fame as soon as they become available.

Linda, will be joined in this amazing community honor by Robert Finfrock, Laureate, and Tony Jenkins, Spirit of Achievement. A fourth honoree will be named soon.

Pre-Approval Makes All the Difference When Buying a Home

Pre-Approval Makes All the Difference When Buying a Home

You may have been told that it’s important to get pre-approved at the beginning of the homebuying process, but what does that really mean, and why is it so important? Especially in today’s market, with rising home prices and high buyer competition, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget so you stand out to sellers as a serious homebuyer.

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home right now. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Just as important, being able to present a pre-approval letter shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you land your dream home in an ultra-competitive market.

With limited housing inventory, there are many more buyers active in the market than there are sellers, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes are receiving an average of 5.1 offers for sellers to consider. As a result, bidding wars are more and more common. Pre-approval gives you an advantage if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, it’s likely you will. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war.

Freddie Mac explains:

“By having a pre-approval letter from your lender, you’re telling the seller that you’re a serious buyer, and you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage by your lender for a specific dollar amount. In a true bidding war, your offer will likely get dropped if you don’t already have one.”

Every step you can take to gain an advantage as a buyer is crucial when today’s market is constantly changing. Interest rates are low, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals such as a loan officer and a trusted real estate agent making sure you take the right steps and can show your qualifications as a buyer when you find a home to purchase.

Bottom Line
In a competitive market with low inventory, a pre-approval letter is a game-changing piece of the homebuying process. Not only does being pre-approved bring clarity to your homebuying budget, but it shows sellers how serious you are about purchasing a home.

« 5 Things Homebuyers Need To Know When Making an OfferHomeowner Wealth Increases Through Growing Equity This Year »

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

The real estate market is buzzing, some buyers buying sight unseen

The real estate market is buzzing, some buyers buying sight unseen

Amid the current pandemic, many real estate buyers are looking to take advantage of low mortgage rates, less competition, and motivated sellers. We’re also seeing a trend for some motivated buyers looking to relocate from dense urban areas to “smaller” less populated communities and homes with more living space and room to potentially work at home if their profession allows for it.

Remote or socially distanced real estate closings are also happening now to keep everyone involved safe. If you think you could be a candidate for buying a house sight unseen, here are some things to consider that will help make your effort successful.

Choose The Correct Agent
To keep transactions moving, tech-savvy agents, like those in  Goodwin Real Estate & Associates, have been pivoting to the new norm brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The right agent is instrumental in helping you with potentially buying a house sight unseen. Look for an agent who’s not afraid of technology and prepared to take advantage of tools such as FaceTime, Facebook Live, and Zoom to communicate effectively and help you explore properties virtually.

Be Proactive in Your Virtual Search
Before asking your agent to start scheduling virtual tours, be sure to do your homework so you’re not wasting your time on listings that aren’t the right match. A little time up front can save you a lot of time later in the process.

Property Photos And Videos
Perusing listing photos and videos that may be provided with a property is extremely helpful obviously. If you see a listing you like and a video is provided, ask if there are more videos. Often times more video was recorded but it wasn’t all included in the final listing video to keep it shorter.

Instead of exploring just the property you’re considering, make sure you check out the curb appeal of the surrounding homes in the neighborhood. You want to get a sense of what the neighborhood is like and how the owners of surrounding homes are caring for their properties. You don’t want to bother exploring properties any further if the overall standards for upkeep and care aren’t aligned with what you’re seeking in your new neighborhood.

The Virtual Onsite Tour
When a property has checked all the boxes and remains a candidate, it’s time to see what your agent can do about walking you through a live virtual tour. It’s possible there may be scheduled live virtual tours which you should check out as well which will be helpful, but your agent can hopefully negotiate an onsite visit on your behalf so you can explore more thoroughly with your agent as they walk through the property.

An experienced agent should know what to look for to understand what kind of shape a property is in. This would normally include things like doors and windows, signs of flooding or roof leaks, and any visible signs of unstable foundations. It would be a good idea to create a list of anything specific you want your agent to look at closely with you while they walk through a property.

Kitchen
Kitchens can be costly to upgrade, so you want to thoroughly explore what’s in the kitchen to make sure you know what you’re getting and what might need upgrading. Ask your agent to show you the sink fixtures, cabinets and appliances closely and look for signs of wear and aging. If you’re not planning on doing a remodel, you want to walk away from the virtual tour with a good idea of what you might need to replace.

Heating & Cooling Systems
Ask your agent to find out about the age and shape of the heating and cooling system in the home. Is it new or approaching end of life? Like the kitchen, this is another area that could be costly. A thorough home inspection should be part of your process which should include an evaluation of these systems to help you understand their condition and any possible expenses they may require.

Instead of exploring just the property you’re considering, make sure you check out the curb appeal of the surrounding homes in the neighborhood. You want to get a sense of what the neighborhood is like and how the owners of surrounding homes are caring for their properties. You don’t want to bother exploring properties any further if the overall standards for upkeep and care aren’t aligned with what you’re seeking in your new neighborhood.

These are all very useful suggestions, but without the help of an experienced realtor, the process can be daunting. Goodwin Realty & Associates has been assisting buyers and sellers for 47 years.There is simply no substitute for experience, integrity, and knowledge of the market. Call Goodwin Realty at 407.846.2787. today. 

Open House Do’s and Don’ts

Open House Do’s and Don’ts

As a seller you must realize a few basic, but imperative facts before you host your Open House. Remember, some people prefer to spend the majority of their time in the living room, some on the patio or front porch, some in a multi-media room, but one common denominator is that we all eat. That makes the kitchen in the running as the most important room in an open house, if not the most important. You’re going to have to deep-clean, declutter, and touch up whatever you can. Luckily, we’ve put together this pathologically complete checklist to help make sure you forget nothing.

Don’t make it hard on yourself: The night before, don’t fry fish, don’t whip up a new batch of kimchi, and don’t cook bacon the morning of the open house. Go out for dinner! Order takeout! Please?

Clean out the fridge! We all know that buyers will look in your refrigerator. They’re just nosy that way. Give them something to look at—a spotless interior. Then wipe down the outside, too.

Clean those floors! Nothing says turnoff like a trail of crumbs on the kitchen floor. If you have hardwood or tile flooring, vacuum and damp mop, making sure to get in all the dark corners. If you haven’t yet replaced your linoleum, sweep, mop, and wax it.

Make it shine. If you have stainless-steel appliances, take care of them properly. Wipe them down with the proper cleaning supplies. Honestly, one spray and a little elbow grease, and they’ll look brand-new.

Clean those stovetop drip pans—or better yet, replace them! A rusty, crusty drip pan can make your stove look older than it is. If you don’t have time to scrub them clean, spend a few bucks to replace them.

Degrease that hood. Those vents are grease magnets. Clean the filter before the open house. You may need to dig out the user manual to learn how to remove it, soak it, and make it make shine.

Clean the light-switch plates. Those switch plates can get splattered with grease or, worse, show years of fingerprints and dirt. If they can’t be freshened up, replace them—all of them.

Debug your light fixtures. See those dark spots in your overhead light fixture? Those are dead bugs! Clear the carcasses and wipe the glass clean.

Granite should sparkle. Most people wipe their countertops clean with the same dish sponge they use to wash their dishes. Let’s take it a step further. Use granite polish to wipe on a shine that will make buyers think you spent thousands of dollars on new granite just for them.

Countertops should be spotless. Nothing impresses buyers more than endless stretches of pristine countertop. So it’s time to stow the toaster, the Vitamix, the burr grinder, the rice cooker—all those appliances that take up valuable real estate.

Clean the microwave. You’ve already polished the stainless steel, now clean the inside. Few buyers will open the microwave and check inside, but for those who do, let’s not greet them with years of caked-on food splatters.

Clean the cabinets, inside and out. No one really cares if your canned peas are next to your canned tomatoes, but buyers do care about space. Now’s the time to purge: Do you really need that tin of Spanish octopus? A buyer should be able to open the cabinet door and see the back of the cabinet wall. And while you’re at it, get a pail of water and Murphy Oil Soap and wash your cabinets.

Update your knobs. Cabinet knobs installed in the 1980s can make a kitchen look dated. But upgrading them is easy: Just buy new ones, then install them. Presto! Your kitchen is awesome(ish).

Don’t bake cookies! Baking cookies seems like a nice gesture for buyers, but the trend has run its course. Just have a clean kitchen—everyone appreciates that.

No need to set the table. The kitchen is all about space. If you’re lucky enough to have an eat-in kitchen, let it speak for itself. A clutter-free kitchen with clean, expansive surfaces will do way more than a set of fancy dinner plates.

Flowers are always nice. The one exception to the clutter-free countertop rule is a vase of fresh flowers. Who doesn’t love a pleasant smell ?

 

Featured Home of the Month

Featured Home of the Month

5645 NOVA RD., ST.CLOUD, FL 34771

 

 

THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY FOR THE RIGHT BUYER.

3 SEPARATE HOMES, OVER 1100 FEET NOVA ROAD FRONTAGE,  MAIN HOUSE FEATURES SCREEEND POOL, CONFERENCE ROOM.

For more information on this or to schedule an exclusive showing please contact Linda Goodwin – Nichols 407-908-8718

Spotlight Home

Spotlight Home

This is a stunning 5 bedroom/ 3.5 bathroom 2-story that sits on the conservation area. The exterior features paver driveway, faux wood garage door, upgraded landscaping and stunning stone work that gives this home great curb appeal. 

 

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