COVID Rises – But Mortgages Applications Rise, Too

The world continues to adjust to COVID-19, and the real estate market continues to march on.

With the record-low interest rates that have continued, potential homebuyers have jumped at their opportunity to purchase homes.

Although purchase mortgage volume dropped 3% during the week of June 15th, it was still 18% higher than a year prior.

Joel Kan, Mortgage Bankers Association’s Chief Economist, explains, “One factor that may potentially crimp growth in the months ahead is that the release of pent-up demand from earlier this spring is clashing with the right supply of new and existing homes on the market. Additional housing inventory is needed to give buyers more options and to keep home prices from rising too fast.”

2020 has certainly changed many outlooks for the predicted year in real estate, but experts are keeping a close eye on mortgage prices and housing demands.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Rethinking Real Estate Space: Commercial Offices Post COVID

With many employees working from home while the world tries to adapt to COVID-19, the idea of the “workspace” might change.

A new survey found that 35% of new remote employees would like to permanently work from home. Of the 35%, a majority would like there to be a hybrid option (85%) – working in the office two days a week and working from home three days a week. 7% said they wanted to work from home just one day a week.

So what does this mean and look like for commercial spaces in the future?

Some experts are predicting that satellite offices will open in suburban communities. These potential spaces can help cut down on public transportation and minimize the amount of people working in one space.

Real estate agents also agree that with the average lease term for commercial spaces usually seven years, and only 14-15% of tenant leases ending at the same time, the worry of many vacant retail spaces happening at one time likely won’t happen.

As for what the future holds in commercial real estate – experts aren’t quite sure. But with the “traditional” 9-5 desk job quickly changing, we’re sure to see spaces change too.

For more real estate news, take a peek at Alliance Title’s Blog.

How Will the Home Change After COVID?

With more and more people working from home, and college students returning to their parent’s homes to participate in online schooling, and couples or roommates having to maneuver between each other’s zoom meetings – are open floor plans going to be a thing of the past?

Open spaces (the large space that usually combines the family room, dining room, and kitchen), might not seem super ideal when a large majority of people are at home at once trying to accomplish different things.

Some experts are wondering whether homes will move towards a traditional style – where rooms are more separated and have “designations.” Another good reason housing might move back to this style is for economic reasons – HVAC experts claim that open floor spaces take more time to heat or cool, which results in higher bills.

Others have a harder time imagining the open floor plan disappearing. Michael Ackerman, of Coldwell Banker in Seattle, believes that “people won’t go back to a more formal design after getting a taste of natural light and the flow of a great room. [Instead] people are setting up workspaces in their garages, in their spare bedrooms, wherever they find space.”

What do you think? Will open space formats be a pre-covid luxury? Sound off in the comments below!

For more real estate tips and news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

The Need for Real Estate Agents Rise

Potential homebuyers, pre-covid, might have debated whether or not to use a real estate agent – but it looks like many home seekers are more determined to have an agent by their side.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a new survey that found nearly 47% of home shoppers felt that a real estate agent was more vital than before the pandemic. The main reason?

Peace of mind.

A real estate agent helps guide, explain, and present homes you might not have seen otherwise.

54% of buyers and 62% of sellers agreed that because of the uncertainty that COVID-19 brings, the extra help from a real estate agent was among the top of their lists.

NAR President and Broker, Vince Malta, stated: “While we celebrate homeownership month, we embrace today’s version of homeownership and the unique paths homeowners take to realize their dream. For prospective buyers, the desire to own a home remains strong, and the guidance, expertise, and professionalism Realtors provide is more important now than ever.”

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Homeowners Remodel During Quarantine

What have you found yourself doing while you’ve been stuck at home? Have you picked up a new hobby? Is your home super organized?

Have you remodeled?

While many homeowners have been stuck at home, some of them have dug out their tool box and got to work.

According to Houzz, a home renovation and resource site, outdoor remodels, bathroom updates, and kitchen projects have been on the list of priorities. 79% of homeowners surveyed have considered making remodels to help enjoy their home more – and that makes sense, considering we’re all now spending a majority of our time there.

Here are some of the other projects homeowners are looking forward to:

  • Changing Décor – 47%
  • Upgrading / adding lighting – 30%
  • Changing layout – 27%
  • Upgrading / adding storage space – 25%
  • Upgrading / adding outdoor space – 24%

Some of the reasons why homeowners are remodeling are quiet interesting – homeowners are baking or working out more, so upgrades to the kitchen or adding an additional workout space are also on homeowner’s minds.

Here’s Houzz’s infographic on what homeowners believe is lacking in their homes:

New housing trends will emerge as we spend more and more time at home – what will we see?

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s blog here.

Is COVID-19 Impacting Mortgage Rates?

With all the uncertainty COVID-19 brings, it does seem to at least be positively impacting the real estate market.

Average daily rates have dropped to a new low of 3.09% as of May 15th – and real estate professionals believe they’ll dip even lower. Realtor.com’s Chief Economist, Danielle Hale, explains, “We expect mortgage rates to stay low and possibly slip lower. We’ll flirt with the 3% threshold for a while before we go below it.”

Similar to Fannie Mae’s May forecast – Hale also believes rates will fall to 2.9% by the end of 2020.

This all depends, however, on how COVID-19 continues to impact the economy.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Home Internet Searches on the Rise

Many potential homebuyers halted their shopping in the wake of COVID-19, however, it seems as though buyers are making their way back.

LendingTree’s newly found research helps show a possible surge in home purchases. Their findings analyzed Google search data to understand how popular the term “homes for sale” was in 50 of the nation’s largest metros.

Searches in these areas have risen, compared to their 2020 lows at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. The end of April showed that these property searches have rebounded by 54%.

Combined with historically low interest rates, homebuyers see a potential for a great deal – inventory still, however, being a hindrance when it comes to the real estate market.

Check out LendingTree’s infographic, here:

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Rethinking 2020: Real Estate Changes with COVID-19

Spring and summer 2020 looked to be quite the year for real estate – it was predicted to be one of the biggest years in sales in decades. However, with COVID-19 changing much about how things are operated, the 2020 year for real estate has adjusted.

COVID-19 halted many potential homebuyers and sellers. However, it is predicted that home sales will jump in late summer/early fall as Millennials make the jump to own homes.

Homes are still currently being bought and sold, just at a slower pace. The medium price for a home is expected to hold steady, rising just 1.1% in 2020 over the previous year. Chief Economist for Realtor.com, Danielle Hale, explains, “Were it not for COVID-19, we probably would have seen prices rise in the 2-4% range.

But buyers shouldn’t worry. Mortgage rates are expected to stay in record lows, hovering around 3.2%. Some lenders, however, might require larger down payments and higher credit scores due to the large amount of unemployment grappling the country.

Real estate has always been adaptable – with many safety measures in place to ensure the safety of employees and clients, home buying and selling is still accessible. And with many people rethinking their living spaces, it might drive homebuyers towards suburbs. Hale continues, “The experience of being at home for a long period of time has everyone rethinking their priorities. People are recognizing space is more important, so they’re looking for more affordable areas where they can have more space at the same price.”

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The Pandemic Push – Millennial Homebuyers on the Rise

It’s true – millennial homebuyers have slowly been entering into the housing market. But even with current quarantine restrictions in place, it looks like millennials are more inclined to make the leap of purchasing.

According to Realtor Magazine, new-home transactions have reportedly doubled in the last two weeks. Are millennials tired of being renters in smaller apartments? Is COVID-19 accelerating reasons to move into a bigger space that they can call their own?

Ken Perlman and Lesley Deutch, principals at John Burns Real Estate Consulting, explain the recent uptick in home sales: “first-time buyers are most likely to be living in dense apartments that lack social distancing opportunities […]”.

The trend seems to follow along the same lines with young and growing families needing to upgrade their current homes. John Burns Real Estate Consulting estimates that this [home-upgrading] segment will push nearly 80% of household growth over the next few years.

Check out John Burns Real Estate Consulting infographic below:

Wanting more real estate news and trends? Check out Alliance Title’s Blog, here.

Housing Preferences During COVID-19

People seem to be changing their ideas on what they love and don’t love about their homes – COVID-19 has definitely shaped the way clients view essential needs within their homes.

Nate Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer of realtor.com ®, explains, “After more than a month of stay-at-home orders, it’s safe to say American are really getting to know what home features work and don’t work for their families.”

Realtor.com ® then released a survey, showing what homeowners have come to enjoy about their homes, and what they wish to improve. Check out the results below:

What Homeowners Like Most

  • A quiet neighborhood – 13%
  • Outdoor space – 13%
  • Close proximity to grocery stores and pharmacies: 13%
  • Updated kitchen – 10%
  • Natural light – 9%
  • Flexible spaces for crafting, gaming, etc. – 6%

What Homeowners Wish to Improve

  • More space – 19%
  • Updated kitchen – 13%
  • Home gym – 11%
  • Update the style/aesthetics – 9%
  • More natural light – 9%
  • Add a yard or patio – 9%
  • Add a bathroom – 6%

While the world is still at a standstill, it might be a good time for home improvements! For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.