Thursday, January 3, 2013

National Real Estate Predictions for 2013

There have been many predictions for real estate in 2013, most cautiously hopeful that the housing market will continue to climb. There are many factors at play, of course, from the national economy to the local economy to the dreaded fiscal cliff. Still, there are certain common predictions that seem fairly certain across the board:
  • Urban-style living with easy access to shopping, eateries, and work is the new McMansion in the outer suburbs. 
  • Interest in mixed use communities will continue to grow, and developers are listening. Expect prices for these types of neighborhoods to grow higher faster, and for this to be the trend in new construction for at least the next five years.
  • Job growth is a better predictor for real estate growth, rather than rising housing prices.
  • As housing prices rise, more properties will go on the market. As the inventory grows, more homes and foreclosures will move out of the shadow market and become available to buyers. While the intensely good deals from the past four years will fade away, the selection and quality will be better.
  • Some trends haven't changed-- home sizes for new construction are down considerably from  the extremes they hit before the recession, but great rooms and other open spaces, at least 2 bathrooms, and at least 3 bedrooms all remain priority features.
The housing paradigm has largely shifted to the opposite of what it was in 2008, when sprawl was king both in terms of location and architecture. 

While suburban communities are still thriving in many parts of the country, buyers looking for the next big thing should keep their eye on properties nearer to city centers and commercial districts. Sellers should be aware that homes that were total trend setters in 2008 may not be primed to move as quickly now.

In short, 2013 should be positive for both buyers and sellers. Sellers with little luck moving their property will see an increase in buyers with greater spending power. Buyers will have even more options, but still at historically good deals.