Defying high unemployment and an economic recession, the housing market has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. That isn’t likely to let up heading into the winter months, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®.
“This winter may be one of the best winters for sales activity,” Yun said. “It won’t match summer or spring sales numbers, but on a winter-to-winter comparison, this could be one of the best breakout years just based on the fact that pending contracts are at such a higher level.”
Mortgage applications also are up 20% year over year, which reflect buyers in the pipeline that have been approved for mortgages and are ready to buy. Home prices are up too.
What’s next for 2021? A persistent housing shortage will likely keep home prices elevated, while new- and existing-home sales will continue to rise as record low mortgage rates and a work-from-home trend give housing markets a boost, Yun said. Low mortgage rates are key against higher prices: One major factor contributing to the hot housing market has been record-low mortgage rates, under 3%, said Yun. He predicts rates will continue to stay low into 2021. Mortgage rates are helping housing affordability balance against rising home prices.
Here’s Yun’s forecast for the housing market heading into 2021, and how it fares against his 2020 end-of- year forecast:
Health and wellness are more important to homeowners than ever before, especially as many cities and states aim to progress into the next phases of re-opening. These days, there is a high demand for antimicrobial materials in the home. Buyers are seeking finishes that are easier to clean such as unique stone surfaces rather than porous, delicate wood floors and cabinetry.
Also, we’re seeing a new trend with people desiring an “Amazon” room or “Package room” – a dedicated room to store online deliveries in large single-family homes. This functions both as storage space and a separate part of the home in which packages can sit for a few days and become “decontaminated” before any of the residents come into contact with them (coronaviruses can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours)
The demand for an Amazon room is centered around a desire to keep the home as healthy and safe as possible, and these days, that starts from the entrance of the home. Additionally, people are seeking out higher-grade filters, for both air and water, as well as smart lighting to better mimic our natural environment. With the home being our sanctuary, it is important to make it as healthy as possible.
4 Elements That Support Wellness at Home by Becky Harris, designer and blogger @ Hatch: The Design Public Blog
At fall October, 2020’s High Point Market, a keynote talk informed designers on how to help their clients promote health at home. The Intersection of Wellness and Home Design was one of the educational keynote talks. Experts on the panel for design professionals discussed ways to improve health, wellness and comfort with style, and they shared their perspectives on the best approaches. Here are 4 key points they focused on for promoting good physical and mental health through home design.
There are SO many questions you will have if you are buying or selling a home in 2020/2021.
When is the best time to sell? What is the best time to buy?
What will my costs be?
How will you determine my listing price?
I have some repairs and updates I need to do before I sell. Do you have someone who can help me with those? Can I pay for them out of my proceeds?
Do you have any mortgage companies I can talk with?
How long will it take to sell my home?
I have been using Zoom to facilitate these personal meetings when a one-on-one in your home is not available. It’s easy and private!
Call me to schedule our 1st meeting…you need the information BEFORE beginning the buying or selling process!
25 years of helping Buyers and Sellers in North Harris and Montgomery counties has enabled me to have the Real Estate Experiences that will give you the answers you are looking for!
Mop with microfiber. Instead of using a commercial hardwood floor cleaner with harsh chemicals, start cleaning your hardwoods with microfiber mop pads, which use only water to remove dirt and grime effectively.
Eliminate clutter. Put simply, clutter attracts dust, and too much clutter makes finding that dust more and more difficult as time goes on. So if you want your place to stay clean for longer, don’t give dirt and dust so many good hiding places!
Ditch paper towels. Invest in a large stack of premium cotton cloths, and use them daily to clean your kitchen instead of using paper towels, which add waste.
Naturally clean the garbage disposal. To remove foul odors from your garbage disposal, cut up a lemon and grind it in the disposal. Follow by grinding a cup of ice to loosen any smelly grime that may cling to the disposal’s blades.
Use olive oil to make appliances shine. A little dab makes for a great polish for stainless steel refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.
Steam-clean your shower. Most commercial bathroom products are loaded with toxic chemicals. A better way to cut through soap build-up on shower walls, doors, and tiles is to use a steamer. And there’s no scrubbing required!
1. Accentuate the vertical: Draw the eye upward so a room looks more spacious. Add a bookshelf that reaches to the ceiling. Install vertical shiplap or wallpaper with vertical stripes. Hang a pendant light fixture.
2. Consider “see-through” furniture: Choose chairs and sofas with visible legs instead of furniture with skirts that reach the floor. This allows you to see under and around pieces so they appear to float in the room rather than dominate it. Glass coffee tables are a good choice, too.
3. Go big with accents: Many people think small when designing a small room. Instead, add a couple of oversized accessories, like a big piece of art or a single large chair. A lot of little objects make a room appear cluttered while one or two big ones make it feel more spacious.
4. Simplify the color scheme: Use a monochromatic color scheme for walls, furniture, and accessories. When objects are a similar color, your eye doesn’t dwell on each one but rather sees them in a unified, uncomplicated form.
5. Skip the curtains: Curtains block natural light and the view to the outdoors, making a room feel smaller and darker.
Excerpted from Realtor.com magazine
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose two basis points to 2.953%, the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was unchanged at 2.546% and the average rate on a 5/1 ARM fell two basis points to 2.957%, according to a NerdWallet survey of mortgage rates published daily by national lenders. A basis point is one one-hundredth of 1%. Rates are expressed as annual percentage rate, or APR. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is one basis point higher than one week ago and 101 basis points lower than one year ago.
In the unpredictable week ending Oct. 2, not all mortgage rates moved in the same direction.
Despite the pandemic, a lot of people have been buying homes in the last few months. Home resales rose to an annual rate of 6 million in August, which was the fastest pace since December 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors
However, further slowdowns in hiring could cause some households to delay decisions to buy.
Excerpted from NAR and NerdWallet.com
The popular “grandmillennial” style draws design inspiration from trends past, and millennials, who love vintage, are reviving wallpaper. Welcome back to your grandmother’s living room. Floral wallpaper is the central focus of this trend, though a tad updated with larger prints. Just think how pink peonies against a black backdrop can give that floral wallpaper a more modern edge. Floral wallpaper also is being used in smaller doses: You may only spot it in the powder room or as an accent wall in an otherwise neutral room. See the bathroom picture included here - see how the floral wallpaper is dressing up this space!
From Design Trends By: Melissa D. Tracey, Realtor.com 9-2020
Texas’ housing market slowed in August after a surge of pent-up demand inflated sales numbers the previous month.
"Sales activity is no longer catching up from the economic shutdown that hindered the showing of homes and closings at the beginning of the spring buying season," said Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. James Gaines. "Existing homes sold through Texas Multiple Listing Services peaked in July as the economic consequences of the ongoing pandemic continued to develop."
Existing-home sales fell 14.6 percent from July but remained 3.4 percent higher than in August 2019.
"Low mortgage rates supported the year-over-year increase, but the effect of that stimulus may dwindle if persistent unemployment shrinks the number of qualified homebuyers," Gaines said.
According to the National Association of Realtors, existing-home sales at the national level increased for the third consecutive month on a seasonally adjusted basis and maintained double-digit year-over-year growth. They attribute the gains to robust demand but note rising supply-side constraints. Center Research Economist Dr. Luis Torres highlighted the supply-demand imbalances that will challenge the housing market over the next year.
"While sales surged during the summer, the number of new listings hitting the market has not matched that recovery, worsening the state's housing shortages, particularly for homes priced less than $300,000," said Torres. "This mismatch has pulled the months of inventory for homes priced less than $300,000 to record lows of fewer than 2.5 months."
Diverging trends across price ranges have led to increases in the median sale price for existing homes, which increased by more than 10 percent year over year for the second consecutive month, according to Center research.
Excerpted from Texas A&M Real Estate Center
Kitchens can be expensive to renovate, so make sure to choose upgrades that will stand the test of time—and outlast trends that come and go.
Engineered quartz will continue to be a popular countertop option for a long time. It’s less prone to damage than other countertop materials and doesn’t stain from acidic substances, making it an increasingly long-lasting choice.
2. Bright, cool spaces
The all-white kitchen will likely stay popular for years to come,” Life Rejoice notes. Still, some of us will appreciate a dash of color, if only to accentuate the squeaky clean impression all those white walls and cabinets give. For example, blue on larger surfaces against mostly white backdrops can add elegance. Keep the pallet sparse, with only one or two other colors used for touches on fixtures and hardware.
3. Add in Texture
Texture can help break up the monotony of an all-white space. For example, consider beadboard, shiplap, brass, strap hinges, latches, various wood essences, and combined with gray paint to “give your kitchen a lively, but at the same time restrained look. “Expressing through texture is considered to be an all-around safer bet than doing so with pure colors if a timeless look is what you’re after.”
4. Dark floors
Bright kitchens offer cleanliness and warmth. But to balance out predominantly light colors on walls and cabinetry, use darker floors. Hardwood or wood-look tile would be great choices.
Excerpted from www.lifechoice.com