We are not surprised what the experts in the housing industry are saying will be this year’s home building trends. The biggest factor and influence being the economy. Although the economy is finally showing some big improvements, learning from past mistakes will be reflective in consumer’s decisions in 2012.
According to National Association of REALTORS latest data shows total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in November from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above the 3.94 million-unit pace in November 2010.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said more people are taking advantage of the buyer’s market. “Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34 percent above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 – a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing,” he said. “We’ve seen healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today’s market for buyers with long-term plans.”
Unemployment numbers are down, building permits are up, housing values are rising and builder confidence is up. According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 3.99 percent in November from 4.07 percent in October; the rate was 4.30 percent in November 2010; records date back to 1971.
NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of a real estate company in Miami, said housing affordability conditions have set a new record high. “With record low mortgage interest rates and bargain home prices, NAR’s housing affordability index shows that a median-income family can easily afford a median-priced home,” he said.
Buyers of new construction in the new year will be looking for sustainable products and materials with the focus on cost savings and energy efficiency. In Maine and neighboring states, classic New England house design will still be popular, but with more modern touches and high tech gadgets. The ability to call your vacation home on the way there to turn the heat on is one of many modern amenities that buyers are requesting.
Buying American-made products will continue to be a priority, not just for the building industry, but for all Americans that truly care about this great country. What better way to put Americans back to work and to keep profits in the country than to buy products made in America?