A few trends to notice moving into the 2016 selling season…
AFFORDABILITY – Increased prices, stagnant wages and rising interest rates will have a negative effect on affordability. Middle Tennessee is still relatively affordable compared to other parts of the country taking into account our relatively lower prices, the still low interest rates, our low property taxes (TN ranks 38th in the country), and a median household income that is above the national median in all of our communities.
GOOD MARKET – STILL COMPETITIVE – The Middle Tennessee market remains very active, but buyers and sellers need to be realistic about the process. New regulations have complicated the loan process, but full-time, knowledgeable Realtors and Lenders can make the process easier and increase the likelihood of a successful transaction. Make sure you have the best people on your team.
DESIGN – Large showers, high end finishes, contemporary, ranch style, open plans, quality, outdoor living, energy efficient, grey or neutral colors – these are features today’s buyers want.
INTEREST RATES – It is predicted interest rates could increase to the 5 to 5.5 percent range. Although these are low compared to past history, increases cut buying power. Buyers would fare better by getting into the market before we see increases.
FIRST TIME BUYERS – Properties under $300,000 are flying off the shelf, but there are opportunities for first time buyers to get into a home if they are patient, prepared, pre-approved by a reputable lender, decisive, realistic about their wants and needs, and carefully consider the offer they will make.
MOVE-UP MARKET – The over $400,000 market isn’t moving as fast as the lower prices, and this presents an opportunity for homeowners wishing to move up.
RENTAL MARKET – What has been favorable for investors has been more of a challenge for those looking to rent. Low vacancy and increasing rents have caused some people to move into the outlying communities and in some cases they made the decision to purchase rather than rent. Several apartment developments are in the works which will help ease this situation.