We hope everyone is enjoying the Holiday season with family and friends. We know that many of you probably took a few days off last week, so here’s a quick review of what made the headlines Tampa real estate and beyond.
Many of you probably also take a few days at the end of the year to plan for the upcoming year, so we’ll overview the big-picture trends that will drive the real estate market, including how the recent Fed rate increase will affect mortgage rates and home buying and selling going forward. But first, here’s a detailed breakdown of how median average sales prices are trending in each Hillsborough County zip code. (Next week, we’ll review Pasco County.)
“If we do see some rate increases coming, because it reflects a stronger economy, nobody is going to not buy a house because the mortgage rates went up,” Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf said the Goldman Sachs Financial Services Conference earlier this month. “They can choose a different product and probably get the same rate. The same thing is true for small businesses.”
But Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan doesn’t agree with Stumpf.
“If you see rates rise, you’ll see the mortgage market slow down,” Moynihan said at same event earlier this month, before the Federal Reserve raised rates.
At still the same event, Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman noted that most interest-rate hikes have typically resulted in an uptick in home prices.
“Twenty-five out of 26 times when interest rates went up, home prices went up,” Schwarzman said.
Interest rates in the U.S. have been close to zero for the last seven years, intentionally kept low to allow employment and the market to recover from the crash in 2008.
For new homebuyers, the expectation of a rate hike spurred many to buy in the months leading up to the decision and encouraged a cycle of refinancing from existing homeowners.
But the moderate rate increase does not spell doom if you’re looking to buy a home – in fact, it may give you the push you need to get out there and buy your home before interest rates rise again, something economists are predicting for 2016.
How will rising interest rates affect you as a homebuyer? U.S. News asked experts to weigh in on whether you should be concerned about your ability to afford a mortgage and what you should know about interest rates in the next year.
Tampa Bay Times Senior Correspondent, Susan Taylor Martin, wraps up Tampa Bay’s real estate year by following up on some of the real estate stories covered in the Times in 2015.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that new home sales rose 4.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 490,000. But that increase was made possible mainly because the sales rate for October was revised sharply down to 470,000 from 495,000.
The housing market has strengthened for much of this year. Yet it has noticeably cooled since September as purchases of new homes in the Northeast and Midwest have been uneven.
Year to date, new home sales have advanced 14.5 percent, driven by job growth that pulled the unemployment rate to a healthy 5 percent and relatively low mortgage rates.
Is one of your resolutions to buy a new home in 2016? Here’s some advice on how you can live within your means and still buy the home of your dreams.