In the past, I have been careful to temper my personal opinions with objective reasoning. However, I feel compelled to get this message across to you, my clients, just as I would pick up the phone and call my father if I came across something that could benefit him substantially. For some of you, this is singing to the choir, but for others it may be an eye opener.
2013 is “The Year” to buy residential real estate. There has not been a better time in recent history and I believe there will not be a better time in the future.
My logic is simple.
1. Values are clearly moving up and are expected to continue to do so. The fundamentals of the market are strong and supportive of future price appreciation.
2. Rates are still near record lows, but the window of time for this, is limited, and 2013 is the window. As the economy continues to strengthen, rates will no doubt continue to rise. For more insight into why rates will increase, click here for my Blog Post. It is not likely that rates will be below 4%. Right now it is 3.5%.
Granted, it is still relatively difficult to qualify for a mortgage, but that’s indicative of a new reality, and not something that is expected to change. I do see incremental improvements in the mortgage process and approval criteria down the road, but these are not guaranteed and not game-changing.
What about 2012? In hindsight, 2012 was a great year to buy, possibly the best ever. However, you know what they say about hindsight…. Plus, at that time there was more risk. We didn’t know for certain that values were going to pop up 10% from January 2012 to January 2013. The risk present then doesn’t seem to be there right now.
The Wheels are in Motion: Regardless of your outlook with the economy as a whole, the political challenges in Washington, and the changing dynamics in this country, you cannot ignore the significantly positive trends in residential real estate. Huge sums of money have come into the market in the form of cash from hedge funds, over-seas investors, and individual investors. This is creating a market of cash buyers and is expected to continue if not increase in 2013 and will only push prices up further. Unfortunately, this is a trend that also makes it difficult for a normal home buyer with mortgage financing to get a property, because sellers always prefer to sell to cash buyers.
A Market and an Industry Strengthened Through Adversity: Real Estate has always been a make sense, don’t over-think it, gut-check, sort of market and just as it is easy to look back and see why the crash happened in 2008-2010 (too easy to get loans, bad loans, overly-inflated prices, etc) it will be the same looking back to this year and seeing the substantial growth. People will say it was a no-brainer. The real estate market, this industry, and the people who work in it, have been through hell and back you could say and are now hardened, strengthened, and firm both in resolve and commitment, but also disciplined and hungry. These are core fundamentals that will drive future growth of the industry and the markets.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”