Many will agree that the year 2012 won’t be missed. We witnessed Mother Nature’s wrath with a deadly tsunami, earthquakes (even Maine had an earthquake), tornadoes and a hurricane that will take years to recover. The presidential campaign divided a country and personal friendships, suicide bombings became a daily occurence and we witnessed tragedy after tragedy that left our hearts broken and stole the lives of the innocent.
A new year brings the promise of new beginnings and reflection. The housing experts seem confident that we have seen the worst of the housing bust and that we are in a recovery.
Mortgage rates have never been lower, banks are starting to lend again and house values are going up. Upward trends in recent months among a number of housing indicators point to a steady growth in the nation’s housing market in 2013, but several challenges remain, according to the latest economic and housing forecast by David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“Consistent, positive reports on housing starts, permits, prices, new-home sales and builder confidence in recent months provide further confirmation that a gradual but steady housing recovery is underway across much of the nation,” said Crowe. “However, stubbornly tight lending standards for home buyers and builders, inaccurate appraisals and proposals by policymakers to tamper with the mortgage interest deduction could dampen future housing demand.”
Sales of new single-family homes increased 4.4 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 377,000 units, according to figures released today by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. It was the highest monthly total since April 2010 when the federal home buyer tax credit expired.
“New-home sales are gradually picking up momentum as the economy improves,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Florida. “Prospective home buyers who have been sitting on the fence for years are moving back into the market due to continuing low mortgage interest rates, attractive pricing and the improving economy,” he said.
2013 home building trends will be similar to 2012. Open floor plans are more popular than ever, energy efficiency, sustainable materials and healthy choices in paint and flooring are demanded. A trend for 2013 is nothing trendy. It will be less about show and more about quality.
As we reflect on our past and work to improve our relationships, bodies, health, finances and lifestyle, the desire to nest, entertain, improve and update our home is just as fulfilling. Our homes not only reflect our personalities, but our values and what we hold dear.