Sales of existing homes skyrocketed a whopping 11.8 percent in February compared with January, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is the largest monthly jump ever, with the exception of a change in mortgage policy in 2015 that temporarily skewed the data.
Realtors pointed squarely to dropping mortgage rates and home prices for the increase in demand.
“Consumers are very sensitive to mortgage rates, at least that’s what we are finding out. So as mortgage rate began to drop, there was evidently a strong pent-up demand,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the Realtors.
At the start of last year, housing demand was robust and rates relatively low, with the average rate on the popular 30-year fixed right around 4 percent, according to Mortgage News Daily. That caused a frenzy in buying through the spring. But with supply remaining tight, prices overheated.
By summer, those prices were moving out of reach, especially as interest rates began rising. By November, the average rate on the 30-year fixed had spiked over 5 percent, and home sales plummeted.
Mortgage rates then began falling in December and moved decidedly lower in January to around 4.5 percent, causing the renewed interest in buyer demand. More consumers now believe it is a good time to buy a home and more believe the economy is improving, according to a sentiment survey by the Realtors in the first quarter of this year.
Sales of existing homes skyrocketed a whopping 11.8 percent in February compared with January, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That is the largest monthly jump ever, with the exception of a change in mortgage policy in 2015 that artificially pushed one month’s sales into the next month.
Home prices have been moderating for months and were up just 3.2 percent in February, the smallest annual gain in a few year.
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Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones are new territory for real estate investors. Peter Muoio, executive vice president and chief economist at Ten-X Commercial, an online transaction platform for commercial real estate, says opportunity zones are on track to be the hottest trend in commercial real estate for 2019. “With valuations at cycle highs and fundamentals waning, the tax incentivesoffered by these programs are massively attractive, especially as not all of these zones are created equal,” Muoio says, acknowledging numerous cities may prove to be diamonds in the rough. As capital flows in, certain submarkets could see increased volume, and “increased liquidity is a positive for the commercial real estate environment.”
New construction gets pricier.
Construction prices inched up 0.5 percent in October, reflecting a 7.9 percent increase year-over-year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index. That’s something investors should be watching closely in the year ahead, says Lee Roberts, managing partner of SharpVue Capital in Raleigh, North Carolina. “In addition to supply-demand factors, there is a large policy component to this,” Roberts says. “Not only are interest rates being driven higher by the Fed, but materials costs are being affected in part by trade policy, while labor costs are moving higher in part due to immigration policy.”
Build-to-rent gains momentum.
Build-to-rent is a relatively new trend, says George Maravilla, vice president at Tower Capital in Phoenix, but poised to expand. “These newly built and to-be-built rental communities have a lot of the conveniences and amenities of an apartment but feel more like a home,” Maravilla says, and as more developers move into this space it’s likely to join the mainstream of CRE asset classes. Build-to-rent communities are designed to fit the privacy and affordability needs of younger buyers shopping for a mortgage loan and boomers looking to downsize. Maravilla says build-to-rent represents a new frontier for investors with a pioneer mindset looking to diversify into non-traditional housing.
Real estate investment trends you can expect in 2019
Use education and a neutral third party to handle disagreement.
We need to talk about investing. As with most relationship decisions, communication is essential to successfully investing together. In fact, “open and honest communication (about money) may be the key to happiness,” says Jason Thacker, head of U.S. deposits and consumer payments at TD Bank. According to TD’s 2018 Love and Money survey, 80 percent of couples who characterized their relationships as “extremely” or “very happy” talk about money at least weekly, he says.
“Investing should be a joint venture with both spouses feeling like they have an equal say,” says Michael Landsberg, member of the American Institute of CPAs’ Personal Financial Planning Executive Committee. “There are synergies to be had when combining forces so take advantage of those potential benefits.”INVESTING IS AN emotional seesaw.
Here is fancy graphic that outlines the perceptions of the Real Estate Investing Industry and the differences between the way Men VS Women see it.
And it proves that people are starting to catch on to the power of investing in Real Estate…
…which means if you don’t act now, you’re going to look back in 5 years and KICK YOURSELF for not taking action sooner.
Check this out:
What can we take away from this?
The consensus is in: Real Estate holds the highest perceived value of investing out there. And there is a reason why it does.
a. It’s a secured method of investing – even when the economy goes to the crapper, if you’ve invested wisely, and saved yourself % off of Market Value on the property, you will be in an incredibly lucrative place when the economy rises back up.
b. It holds its value, and even increases in value as time moves forward (At a much more rapid rate than stock markets and other investment strategies)
c. People think it’s the best investment
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Big change in the land’s highest office can mean big changes in the economy. In general, promises are broken or only half kept. Still, we get clues on which areas of the economy will be favored, and which will not. Health care got a boost under President Obama, and defense did well under George W. Bush. With any politician running for office it’s hard to know exactly how things will turn out if they’re elected. What if Donald Trump were to become the next U.S. President, which sectors would benefit then? Here’s what some experts had to say on the matter:
Military strength has long been the Republican party mantra. Trump might be even more aggressive.
“In terms of going after terrorists from the air, you’d see an expansion of that,” says Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group. Compared to Obama, Trump is not risk averse and is much more likely to take action that is “narrowly unilateral and doing it without an awful lot of discussion.”
Who wins? High-tech defense and aerospace manufacturers like Lockheed Martin LMT-1.47%, Raytheon RTN-0.73%, Boeing BA-0.56%and Northrop Grumman NOC-0.39%.
It should be clear to anyone with a car that the nation’s roads need an upgrade. And Trump has said he would like to do something about it. In a debate in December, Trump said the nation would benefit from spending billions fixing roads, bridges, airports.
“Mr. Trump is Mr. infrastructure,” says Peter Tanous, chairman of Washington D.C.-based Lynx Investment Advisory. “He has more experience building than any president in history.”
On top of that, Trump’s biggest campaign promise—building a 50-foot wall on the boarder of Mexico—would be a huge infrastructure project. Estimates range from $15 billion to $25 billion to build the wall, which would have to stretch some 2,000 miles to cover the entire board. Maintenance could run another $750 million annually.
Tanous points to Jacobs Engineering JEC-0.89% as a likely benefactor of such a makeover. Likewise, the Fluor FLR-0.07%, which competes with Jacobs, will pick up business. As with all things that involve earth moving Caterpillar CAT2.19% should benefit as well.
Small stocks over large
“He has a fairly protectionist message,” says Jason Pride, director of investment strategy. Protectionism, whether it be through tariffs or quotas on imported goods will be bad for multinationals because they are directly involved in international trade.
Smaller companies, particularly those that predominantly operate in the United States, will be dramatically less affected. As a result small cap stocks should outperform the shares of large companies. A good investment then could be Vanguard’s Russell 2000 ETF, which tracks 2000 small-cap and mid-sized companies.
Still, Pride warns, because Trump is an outsider to the globalization establishment there will likely be a lot of uncertainty about how things will turn out if he becomes president. Already, Trump has back peddled on getting rid of a visa program for skilled workers. So look for some softening on his stance against free trade as well.
A protectionist policy to trade combined with a crack down on illegal immigration could have an interesting impact.
First, if companies started to manufacture in the U.S. again then we would likely see wages for skilled factory workers jump.
More and better wages for workers would likely benefit those industries not affected too much by international trade, like restaurants. That’s something that could benefit the dining business, says Peter Morici, professor of economics at the University of Maryland University School of Business.
That said, the back bone of the food service industry depends on at least some illegal labor. If the “mass deportation” ever materialized, which is doubtful, then wages and other costs in the restaurant business could rise as well.
Still, there could be a case for investing in primarily domestic chains, particularly those with clients that are less price sensitive if the restaurant industry does have to shell out more money for workers.Take a look at Del Frisco’s Restaurant DFRG-1.12%, and primarily domestic Ruth’s Hospitality RUTH0.00%, which owns Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
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