Here’s some good news for house hunters

Here’s some good news for house hunters

House hunters priced out of the market might finally be getting a bit of relief.

For the first time since 2011, incomes rose faster than home prices in the U.S., according to a new report from Zillow.

The median home price climbed to $188,100 in August, a 5% increase from the same time a year ago.

And last week, the Census Bureau reported that median household income increased to $56,516 in 2015, up 5.2% from 2014.

“People will have a chance to see more money coming in on a monthly basis in their paychecks, allowing them to save more for a down payment or afford more in a mortgage payment,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.

Related: How much house can you afford?

While the rise in income — which was the first increase since 2007 — is good news for wanna-be home buyers, incomes still have a long way to go to catch up with home values.

Home prices have shot up since 2012, as strong demand and limited supply created an affordability issue in markets throughout the country.

In the wake of the 2008 housing crisis, banks also stiffened their lending standards, including down payment requirements. Higher prices mean larger down payments, which are a major obstacle for many potential buyers.

Mortgage rates hovering near record lows have helped ease some of the price pain. The average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage is 3.48%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, the rate was 3.86%.

While home appreciation is slowing nationwide, some markets are still on fire.

Prices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle and Denver experienced double-digit annual growth. For instance, in Portland, home prices are up nearly 15% year over year to hit $338,900.

Renters are also starting to see some relief.

Rising home prices had pushed more people into the rental market, which in turn caused rental prices to soar.

Right now, rents are growing 1.7% nationally, according to Zillow. A year ago, rents were rising by more than 6%.

6 global cities that could be in housing bubble

Housing markets across the globe are overheating, and some are at risk of a bubble.

Vancouver’s housing market is the most at risk, according to The UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index, thanks to skyrocketing home prices and strong buyer demand.

London, Stockholm, Sydney, Munich and Hong Kong are also in bubble-risk territory, the report showed.

Low interest rates are a big contributor to inflating the potential bubbles.

Related: The 10 hottest housing markets for 2016

Home prices in the most at-risk cities have jumped by nearly 50% on average since 2011. At other major cities, prices have increased by less than 15%.

In Vancouver, prices have risen more than 25% since the end of 2014. A weak Canadian dollar brought strong demand from foreign buyers looking for investment opportunities. The market became so overheated that the government stepped in and passed a 15% property transfer tax on foreign buyers in August.

London is also in the bubble zone with prices sitting 15% higher than where they were at the 2007 peak, despite the fact that incomes are now 10% lower.

“If you look at Vancouver, London and Sydney, these are the markets that have attracted a lot of foreign money, particularly from Asia, that has been a lot of the driver,” said Jonathan Woloshin, strategist at UBS Wealth Management Americas.

Related: Here’s some good news for house hunters

Hong Kong isn’t quite as hot as it has been, but it’s still inflating. Incomes are flat, which has created affordability issues.

“You have a situation where a lot of people felt comfortable going back to Hong Kong ,but it’s an island so there’s not a lot of room to develop and demand is outstripping incomes.”

The report also found that all European cities are currently overvalued.

For instance, in Amsterdam, home prices grew at a rate of nearly 15% for the last four quarters, and are up 25% since its market bottomed in 2013. And in Frankfurt, prices are up 30% since 2011, while incomes have risen at a much slower pace.

“In this search for yield in a low-interest rate environment, it has pushed capital into real estate assets both in residential and commercial worlds,” said Woloshin.

While no U.S. cities made the bubble-risk list, some markets there are also heating up. For example, UBS deemed San Francisco’s housing market overvalued, as prices have risen 50% since 2011. Wages have also been strong in the area, increasing faster than the national rate, so affordability is still an issue.

 

How to Make Your Rental Unit Stand Out From the Competition

If you’ve decided to purchase real estate in Edmonton for rental purposes, you may be wondering how to make your unit stand out from the competition. Our realtor team at Proctor did some research to find the best ways to make your real estate investment more desirable to prospective renters.

Below are a few of our top tips that will help get you the best return on your rental property investment.

Don’t underestimate curb appeal

First impressions are a big deal, so if your rental property has an exposed exterior do your best to make it look as appealing as possible. If you’re looking for a tenant in the warmer months, be sure that your yard is clean and kept. Make your property even more attractive by adding flowerpots near the front entrance. During the winter months, keep your walkways and driveway clear of any ice and snow to ensure potential renters can safely access your property for a viewing.

Keep your interiors clean and neutral

Walking into a space that looks cluttered and personalized to another individual can make it harder for possible tenants to picture themselves living in the home. Keep your interior design as simple as possible and try to stick to neutral colours that will go with a variety of different furniture colours. You can’t go wrong with white tones on walls – this also helps keep the home looking big and bright. Carpets should all be professionally cleaned, and any hardwood or tile floors must always be swept prior to a showing.

Staging can make all the difference

Bringing a vacant property to life by staging a few key spaces can be a fantastic way to help renters visualize themselves living in your rental unit. If you have the budget to hire a professional staging company, go for it! You can also take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and invest in a few key pieces that can later be resold after your property is rented. If you do plan on taking the DIY route, try to stick to a monochromatic colour palette, or choose tones that only vary in shade throughout each space. Remember not to go wild with patterns or personal touches – this could end up being a deterrent for potential renters!

Safety is key

Make your property feel as safe as possible. Ensure your home’s doors are fitted with appropriate locks, and check that all windows can be properly closed. If possible, install a security system on your property. Renters will be happy to know that their potential new home is equipped with home security, plus you’ll have some additional peace of mind knowing that your rental investment has some extra protection.

Do you like the property you see in this post? Take a closer look here, or contact me, Chris Proctor, for more information. You can also browse our featured listings for more outstanding real estate options in Edmonton.

If you’ve decided to purchase real estate in Edmonton for rental purposes, you may be wondering how to make your unit stand out from the competition. Our realtor team at Proctor did some research to find the best ways to make your real estate investment more desirable to prospective renters.

Below are a few of our top tips that will help get you the best return on your rental property investment.

Don’t underestimate curb appeal

First impressions are a big deal, so if your rental property has an exposed exterior do your best to make it look as appealing as possible. If you’re looking for a tenant in the warmer months, be sure that your yard is clean and kept. Make your property even more attractive by adding flowerpots near the front entrance. During the winter months, keep your walkways and driveway clear of any ice and snow to ensure potential renters can safely access your property for a viewing.

Keep your interiors clean and neutral

Walking into a space that looks cluttered and personalized to another individual can make it harder for possible tenants to picture themselves living in the home. Keep your interior design as simple as possible and try to stick to neutral colours that will go with a variety of different furniture colours. You can’t go wrong with white tones on walls – this also helps keep the home looking big and bright. Carpets should all be professionally cleaned, and any hardwood or tile floors must always be swept prior to a showing.

Staging can make all the difference

Bringing a vacant property to life by staging a few key spaces can be a fantastic way to help renters visualize themselves living in your rental unit. If you have the budget to hire a professional staging company, go for it! You can also take the do-it-yourself (DIY) approach and invest in a few key pieces that can later be resold after your property is rented. If you do plan on taking the DIY route, try to stick to a monochromatic colour palette, or choose tones that only vary in shade throughout each space. Remember not to go wild with patterns or personal touches – this could end up being a deterrent for potential renters!

Safety is key

Make your property feel as safe as possible. Ensure your home’s doors are fitted with appropriate locks, and check that all windows can be properly closed. If possible, install a security system on your property. Renters will be happy to know that their potential new home is equipped with home security, plus you’ll have some additional peace of mind knowing that your rental investment has some extra protection.

Do you like the property you see in this post? Take a closer look here, or contact me, Chris Proctor, for more information. You can also browse our featured listings for more outstanding real estate options in Edmonton.

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