Whether you’re looking to sell your home or spent the last year waffling between renting or buying, you probably have one question as we head into the new year: Will 2015 be better — or are we headed into another year of the same?
There’s no such thing as a real estate crystal ball, and anyone who claims to have all the answers probably has a hidden agenda. With many factors to consider, let’s take a closer look.
The recovery process — where are we?
Trulia’s Chief Economist Jed Kolko recently came to the conclusion that while none of the five measurements in Trulia TRLA +% Housing Barometer are completely back to normal, most are making progress. It’s been three years since prices bottomed out in 2011, and we are still very much in recovery mode with rebound effects slowing; housing prices are no longer significantly undervalued and the investor market is drying up.
As a former broker, I have to agree — the investor well is indeed dry. In the past week alone I’ve received calls from three investor groups inquiring about off-market deals in the Seattle metro area. They complained that rising prices have impacted the number of available opportunities and so they’re looking for additional sources. (Sorry! No deals here.)
The good news is that most of us think things are about to get better. Regardless of the slowing rebound effects, there is optimism in the air. According to the Trulia study, consumers think 2015 will be an improvement over 2014 for all real estate activities, especially for sellers.
The millennial factor
Undoubtedly, the purchasing power of the millennial demographic packs a serious punch. And it seems that homeownership still plays a key role in the American dream, especially among young adults — an overwhelming 93 percent of young adult renters responded yes when asked if they will be purchasing a home someday.
-The author is a Forbes contributor.