Category Archives: Economy

The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement

civic-involvement

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the civic participation of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report: Continue reading

Top Things to Watch in Real Estate in 2014

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By Gino Blefari, President & CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

crystal ball 2014Stand still. In the next 48 hours or so you will be slammed with a barrage of 2014 predictions. Everything from technology to the economy to politics and yes, housing, will have prognostications attached.

We’re not big on forecasts for the sake of forecasts. But since we do happen to live and breathe real estate, we thought it made sense to at least give a few high-level observations about where the market is likely headed next year.

Here goes.

Home sales

We expect sales to continue to outperform 2013 levels in markets with hot economies. Here in Silicon Valley, for example, we don’t anticipate any slowing whatsoever. In fact, we’re expecting a faster pace all around in this part of the world.

However, this will probably not be the case in all pockets of the U.S. While we expect steady sales and healthy markets, we think that markets where prices may have climbed a bit too high this year and markets that still struggle with low inventory may not see the same incredible summer sale season that they saw in 2013.

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Home Builders More Confident Going Into 2014

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By Gino Blefari, President & CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

Housing Market ChartHousing supply has been a hot-button issue this year as demand from buyers has increased in markets across the U.S. One area that everyone watches closely in connection with supply is new home construction, which has made some gains but hasn’t really soared enough to pull supply up as much as needed in many areas.

The latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index shows there could be more positive movement for new home construction in 2014. The index, which measures builder confidence based on factors like current sales conditions, sales expectations and prospective buyer traffic, climbed four points to 58 for December.

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Delinquent Borrowers More Optimistic on Housing

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By Gino Blefari, President & CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

street sign graphicHomeownership is a value that seems to be under constant assault in the media. Between the recent Nobel Prize winner who claims that owning a home is a bad investment to the frequent reports that our younger generations aren’t equipped to buy homes, you’d think the real estate market was tanking.

That’s why a recent survey of the ownership attitudes of delinquent borrowers caught my eye.

Fannie Mae’s national survey finds that delinquent mortgage borrowers’ views toward the housing market have become more favorable in 2013 compared to 2012, and the majority believes in the personal and financial benefits of homeownership.

This is significant news because this is a group of owners whose views on housing we would assume would be negative because of the bad feelings associated with falling behind on house payments.

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Housing Gets a Solid B+

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By Gino Blefari, President & CEO, Intero Real Estate Services, Inc.

b+Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more and more metropolitan areas return to pre-recession activity levels, giving more steam to the housing recovery at the national level and more confidence in housing overall.

In its latest data release, the National Association of Home Builders found that 52 out of approximately 350 metro areas nationwide have now returned to or exceeded their pre-recession activity in housing. NAHB’s latest index puts housing at 85% of normal activity.

We’re in solid B+ territory if we were to grade housing like a college professor.

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