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Bozeman Invests Millions in More Parks and Trails

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

bozeman trails

 

As Bozeman has grown, The Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department has been taking steps to maintain and enhance our beloved parks and trails. The department currently manages more than 40 parks and 60+ miles of trails in and around Bozeman.

The one thing that the city of Bozeman, Montana takes pride in, above all, is its parks and trails. People come here for the freedom to get lost in the bliss of Montana’s beautiful countryside, while also being just minutes from the heart of a bustling city.

Since the $15 million park bond was approved by voters in 2012, the city spent about $14 million of its funding on projects such as stream remodeling, trail extensions and three new parks that will add 150 acres to the city’s current 500 acres of parks.

 

Six major park projects are currently underway in Bozeman.

 

The Story Mill Community Park Project is working on transforming 55 acres adjoining the historic Story Mill on the northeast side Bozeman, an area currently lacking in parks, into both a nature sanctuary and a fun place outdoor recreation, community gatherings, and educational programs.

This new park will be an urban-style wetland, outlined by boardwalks along Bridger Canyon Drive, with a new trail, named Story Mill Spur, added to the trail network. In addition, this project will turn an old boys and girls club into the city’s first community center. 

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFSoIBKxV_U

 

A New 80-acre Sports Park will be built on the west side of town, by Flanders Mill Road and Baxter Lane. The park will include 12 rectangular fields for sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and ultimate Frisbee, while also having open space, trails, and a playground and a splash pad for the kids. This park is planned to open in 2018.  

A Nine-Acre Addition will be made to the 16-acre Bozeman Pond Park near Gallatin Valley Mall. This extension will include a new off-leash dog park, more trails, picnic areas and a natural playground.

Enhancement will be made to Bozeman Creek through Bogert Park, as part of the city's environmental restoration initiative. The Bozeman Creek Enhancement Committee believes that the Bozeman Creek “is a focal point of our quality of life,” and intends “restore the natural processes for a functioning stream ecosystem.

Two New Trails will be added to connect Bozeman’s trail system to the “M.” Front Street Trail will connect Oak Street Pathway to Story Mill Spur, leading to a 2.1-mile path that will be paved all the way to the famous “M” Trail. The goal of this project is to eliminate the need for hikers and bikers to drive a car just to get out of town. The completion date for this project is set for 2018.

More To Come, as the director of Bozeman Parks and Recreation, Mitch Overton, says there’s another $25 million in park projects underway with contributions from partners like Trust for Public Land, Gallatin Valley Land Trust, the Sports Park Foundation and many others. Seems like a great value for taxpayers!

 

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Bozeman Ramps Up Development This Spring

It’s that time of the year again! The weather is getting warmer, the BBQs are firing up, and Spring cleaning has begun! It’s time to take care of all those dreaded chores that you’ve been putting off all year. But before you start going on a cleaning frenzy, be sure to prioritize the most important areas of your home—areas that you probably didn’t realize was so important.

Here’s a list of some of the most important Spring cleaning tasks that you should be taking care of every year.   

Dusting…

Refrigerator Coils

Refrigerator coils are a dust magnet, and if left unattended, accumulation of dust can impair energy efficiency. Too much dust will force your refrigerator to work harder and spend more costly energy to keep your precious groceries cold.

Cleaning them is easy. The coils can be found on either on the bottom or back of the machine. Just take a vacuum with an upholstery attachment and suck up all the big chunks. Then, use a duster or a specialized refrigerator coil brush to clean between the coils and pick up any pet hair or dust that’s clung to the coils.  

Ceiling Fans

It’s easy to forget about your ceiling fans, so here’s a friendly reminder to clean them before you start flinging dust around the room. Dusty ceiling fans are also a big source of allergens, which you don’t need more of in the Spring, or ever.

Baseboards

Much like other crevices of your home where you don’t typically pay attention to, baseboards can accumulate a lot of dust. So, don’t forget about the baseboards, especially if you’re getting ready to move out of an apartment. Landlords might keep more of your deposit if you leave more for them to clean (it happened to me).

Washing…

Pillows—not just the pillow cases

Yes, your pillows are washable. Once or twice a year, you should be washing your pillows to clean off your nasty sweat and dead skin cells, which dust mites love!

Comforters

Just like pillows, comforters are also a favorite place for dust mites to hang out.

Mattresses

You might think it’s protected by your sheets, but it’s not. While you’re washing your sheets, pillows, and comforters, vacuum the mattresses, then spread baking soda on it and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it again.

Deep Cleaning…

Shower Heads

If you have hard water, shower heads can easily accumulate lime scale that is tough to remove…or is it? If you wrap a plastic bag full of distilled white vinegar over the shower head and let it soak for a few hours, magic happens!

Appliances

So things that do the cleaning, don’t need to be cleaned, right? WRONG! Your dishwasher, washer, and dryer can actually get quite gunky if you don’t clean them on a regular basis. Here’s a few secrets to get the job done right.

Dishwasher—Food and leftover soap can build up along the bottom and sides of your dishwasher. Place a shallow bowl of white vinegar in the dishwasher and sprinkle a LITTLE BIT of baking soda along the bottom, then run it through a hot cycle.

(Important note: vinegar mixed with baking soda starts a chemical reaction, which is why it does a good job cleaning, but can also cause explosive fizzing if too much is added)

Washer—Dirt and detergent can build up in your washer and can even stimulate mold growth in the worst cases. A cup of bleach through the hottest cycle possible should do the trick!

Dryer—While you should be cleaning off the lint screen after every cycle, you should also occasionally pull off the hose in the back and try to remove as much lint as possible (a leaf blower works great!). Hint: if it takes longer than normal to dry your clothes, it’s time to check the hose.

Carpets

Advice from the Environmental Protection Agency: you should be steam cleaning your carpets at least once or twice a year. Bacteria and dust mites thrive in dirty carpets, so don’t put yourself or your children at risk of health issues and allergies. Plus, carpets are not cheap, so keep them in their best shape!

Filters

Filters obviously can’t do their job if they are clogged up, which would increase energy use while spreading dust throughout your entire house. Air filters, furnace filters, and even vacuum filters should all be checked on a regular basis and replaced when necessary.

 

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The Cost of Improving Bozeman's Transportation Infrastructure

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

It’s great to see Bozeman, Montana grow and prosper as a thriving community, but there’s always a catch to population growth—traffic.

The city expects that by 2040, Gallatin County will have 77,000 new residents, 36,000 housing units, along with 48,000 new jobs. Even if all of Bozeman’s road projects on its 5-year plan are completed, the city projects that traffic will still overcrowd major streets like Huffine, College, Griffin, 19th and 11th Avenue

The Cost of Adding Traffic Capacity

The city is well-aware of the challenge ahead to accommodate for Bozeman’s rapid growth, and they found that the cost would be staggering. According to actual construction bids, a standard two-lane road in Bozeman, with curbs, bike lanes and sidewalks, costs about $2.2 million per mile. Four lane roads are more than double the cost, at roughly $5 million per mile.

Upgraded intersections are also incredibly expensive. A large traffic signal was estimated to cost about $2.4 million, and a roundabout would cost about $2.9 million.

If the city follows through with every project that it has planned for Bozeman for over next 25 years, the total cost would amount to an estimated $380 million. This plan includes 58 major street network upgrades ($174 million), more than 42 miles of new roads ($129 million), and 53 “system management” projects, which mostly includes intersection upgrades ($77 million).

How Can We Mitigate These Costs?

With such a high price tag for new roads and intersections, it’s understandable that the city is so conservative about starting new construction projects. Fortunately, with the exception of Rouse Avenue north of Peach Street and Kagy Boulevard between 19th and Seventh, Bozeman’s streets are still big enough to handle their current traffic volumes, according to the engineers working on the plan.

To minimize the need to sacrifice hard-earned tax-payer dollars, the city encourages drivers to use alternative transportation options.

One option, of course, is to have more commuters walk or ride a bike. However, while this may work for the summer months (which wouldn’t help much because school is out for summer anyways), we wouldn’t see many people enduring the brunt of winter just to get to work or school.

Another more practical idea is to break up the typical 9 to 5 work schedule. City planners are currently working with researchers at the Western Transportation Institute (an affiliate of Montana State University) to coordinate alternating work schedules with employers in attempt to calm the intensity of rush hour traffic.

For those that simply have no other option, they can try to plan a route around the most congested intersections. For your reference, below are some the most overloaded intersections to avoid:

  • Baxter and Davis
  • Babcock and Ferguson
  • Kagy and Seventh
  • Kagy and Sourdough

Here are also several intersections that are most prone to crashes:

  • Valley Center Spur and Frontage Road
  • 19th Avenue and Goldenstein
  • Willson and Peach

 

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Bozeman Ramps Up Development This Spring

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Looks like this spring is going to be a busy season for Bozeman, Montana. Aside from the many new residential homes and apartment buildings sprouting up around town, numerous new businesses are opening soon and development projects are breaking ground.

Here is a quick snap shot of some of the new development happening now in Bozeman.   

Restaurants

There are several new restaurants coming to town, and most are opening around the same time in April. Here are a few of them.  

The M Donut Factorylocated on Main Street, is set for a slow opening in April, and then a grand opening in June. The owner, a retired cop from California, is excited to share his love for donuts with Bozeman. He plans to offer all traditional doughnuts at first, then specialties, and eventually some gluten-free and vegan options. 

The M Donut Factory

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream will be opening in April, replacing the old Rockford Coffee shop on Seventh Avenue and Main Street. The ice cream shop will offer more than a dozen flavors, ranging from honey cinnamon to Madagascar vanilla, and homemade waffle cones.

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream

Stuffed Crepes and Waffles will be bringing a little piece of France to Bozeman on downtown Main Street, next to the Country Bookshelf. Sometime in April, this crepe and waffle joint will offer both authentic and non-traditional crepes and waffles, smoothies, ice-cream, and delicious parfaits.

Sidewinders is set to open on June 1st on Bozeman’s west side, off Huffine Lane. This family-owned and operated American grill will feature 8,000 square feet, with rooftop seating, a large bar, and even an arcade! The restaurant is popular for its chicken pot pies, French onion soups, and stuffed pretzels, while also serving burgers and steaks. The best part about this place? — a selection of more than 70 draft beers!

Taco del Sol will be catering to Four Corner’s growing appetite in April with a second location closer to home. On Shedhorn Drive, in the old Frugal Frame Shop, this new shop will be much smaller than the one on Main Street, with under 1,000 square feet floor space. The owner intends to cater to the “summer crowd” that passes through Four Corner’s, offering to-go cold wraps, snacks, bars and fruit in addition to its regular tacos and burritos.

Commercial Development

There are two new commercial development projects set for Bozeman, with one underway right now.

#1 A project has just started to turn 20-acres of the Opportunity Subdivision (south of Target and the City Brew on North 19th Avenue) into 6 developed lots—5 will be for shops and businesses, and 1 will be residential. Right now, construction of two roads is underway for this development, named Kimberwike and Max streets. The plan does not specify what the businesses and tenants will be for the commercial lots.

#2  There is also a 19-acre development project in the works for the Ferguson Farm development. The plan includes yet another restaurant and a 22,000-square-foot multi-use space that will host about nine businesses, including anything from brew pubs to coffee shops, and eventually a lodge and grocery. The project is planned to start sometime this summer.  

Office Buildings

Two new office buildings are being built across from each other on the intersection of 19th Avenue and College Street.

On the northwest corner, the old house currently sitting on the lot will be torn down to make way for a 17,000-square-foot commercial building. According to the planning documents, this space will be used for offices.

On the northeast corner, next to the Montana Skin Cancer and Dermatology Center, Excel Physical Therapy is constructing a two-story, 8,500 square foot building that the company plans to relocate to. The top floor will be rented out to a separate business.

More to Come

As a rapidly growing and thriving community, there is much more to come for Bozeman. The city has been attracting a lot of attention for its entrepreneurial activity and business success, making-up another great reason to move here than for just its beautiful scenery, outdoor recreation, and small-town charm. It will be exciting to see what the high-tech sector brings our town in the years to come.

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A Skeptic Outlook for $125 Million Proposal for Two Bozeman High Schools

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

Bozeman’s $125 million plan for a second high school and improvements to the existing one is awaiting voter approval in the upcoming May 2nd election, and the outlook doesn’t look so good.

Voters normally approve Bozeman School District’s development plans, and by big margins. In the last seven school construction bond proposals, ($36 million for Bozeman High School, $16 million for Sacajawea Middle School, $5.5 million for Hawthorne Elementary, $17.5 million and $26.3 million to build Hyalite Elementary and Meadowlark Elementary, and two bonds of $14.1 million and $5.75 to build the new Chief Joseph Middle School) each were approved by margins as high as 62 to 70 percent.

It seems, however, that voters are changing pace. In the last November election, voters of Gallatin County rejected the $71.5 million proposal for a new courts and law enforcement facility. The proposal lost by 3 percent (47% approved by city and county voters).

Even more discouraging to the School Board is the results from a recent poll conducted by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. While it was an unscientific online poll, it revealed that out of 1,500 responses, 54 percent disapproved of the project (811 disapproved, 591 approved, and 99 were undecided).

Why the Opposition?

In a recent meeting with a room full of retirees, attendees expressed their concern that the project would spend unnecessary tax dollars. One gentleman criticized the plan for not saving money by sharing sports facilities with Montana State University. $2.5 million of the proposed plan would go toward upgrading Bozeman High’s current stadium, and more would go toward a large gym for the new high school.  

Countering the skepticism, Rob Watson, the school superintendent, explained that the School Board already cut the original estimate down from $144 million, and added that MSU couldn’t guarantee that the high schools could use its facilities.

What Will This Project Cost Taxpayers?

The cost to taxpayers for the $125 million plan would be about a 9 percent increase in property tax over a 20-year period for homeowners in the Bozeman elementary school district. As the city grows with more businesses and homes, however, the cost should decrease as more property owners share the expense.

The School Board Says Bozeman Needs This Project

The School Board urges voters to approve this project, explaining that the current high school is reaching its 2,400-student capacity and is deteriorating. Trustee Wendy Tage says that the glass-walled lobby in front of the cafeteria “could fall over in an earthquake.” And the amount of repair and maintenance that is needed for Bozeman High School would be like, as Parent Matt Kraska says, “polishing a turd.”

If this bond doesn’t get passed, the School Board would have no choice to go back to the drawing board and modify its plan for the next election in November. Watson says that if they must, they could either plan a smaller design for the new high school or make fewer improvements the current one, but something needs to be done nonetheless.

 

Below is where the new Bozeman high school would be located, on the corner of West Oak and Cottonwood Road.

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Another Mid-Rise Building Approved for Bozeman

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The lots currently occupied by the vacant old Pizza Hut at 716 W. Babcock Street and the home next to it may soon be the site of another four-story apartment building in Bozeman. The SOBO Lofts, or South Bozeman Lofts, is planned to hold 42 one-bedroom apartments and 3,000 square feet of commercial space facing Babcock Street.

The project came by surprise as it was approved by Bozeman planning director Marty Matsen without a public hearing before the Bozeman City Commission. Meanwhile, a heated debate over another mid-rise building is already underway for the Black-Olive proposal downtown. It will be interesting to see how the neighbors respond when they see this building go up.  

Here’s a map of all the mid-rise buildings that are currently planned or being constructed in Bozeman: 

 

Matsen said that the SOBO Lofts plans abides by Bozeman’s zoning code, which does not merit a hearing before city commissioners. The SOBO building is planned to be 50 feet high, and include 52 parking spaces, which Matsen says is well within the zoning requirements. In this B-2M zoning district, buildings are restricted to 60 feet in height. However, some residents have expressed concern about overflow parking and the scale of the building conflicting with the character of the neighborhood.

Projects that do not conflict with zoning codes are only reviewed by the city planning department, and approved by the planning director. Matsen also pointed out that the proposal was presented to a public hearing with the Design Review Board and was granted a unanimous approval, but it wasn’t as well attended as the packed meetings for the Black-Olive proposal.

What About the Black-Olive Project?

While the Black-Olive project was also within zoning requirements, it was unique in that the City Commission reclaimed authority over the city planning director’s approval after concerned neighbors appealed the planning director’s approval (A public hearing before the commission is scheduled for April 3rd). The same can be done for the SOBO Lofts if an “aggrieved party” appeals the decision to the City Commission—for a fee of $8,700.

The developer behind the SOBO project, Rob Pertzborn, from Intrinsik Architecture, says they are moving forward with the project, but he has not yet confirmed a date to begin construction. His next step is to apply for a demolition permit, then develop construction designs and seek bids from contractors.

 

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Mortgage Rates Fall By Largest Weekly Margin Over Two Months

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

As of March 23, the average mortgage rates have just fallen by the greatest weekly margin over the last two months, according to Freddi Mac’s mortgage rate survey.

  • From last week, 30-year fixed mortgage rates declined by 7 basis points from 4.30 percent to 4.23 percent this week. At this same time last year, these rates were at a lower 3.71 percent.
  •  
  • 15-year fixed mortgage rates also declined, by 0.05 percent from 3.50 percent to 3.45 percent this week. At this same time last year, these rates were at a lower 2.96 percent.
  •  
  • 5-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) declined by 0.04 percent, down from 3.28 to 3.24 percent this week. At this same time last year, these rates were at a lower 2.89 percent.

Mortgage Rate Graph

This data was pulled from Freddie Mac weekly survey data for 2017. While we attempt to provide reliable, useful information, we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, current or suitable for any particular purpose. Estimates are subject to change without notice.

 

With such a dramatic change in direction soon after experiencing a jump in rates last week, Freddie Mac notes that this is a sign of continued uncertainty in the market. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) projected a steady climb in mortgage rates through 2017 and 2018, so this might be a better time to lock in on a mortgage rate while it’s lower if you have been looking to buy a home.

 

Follow us on Facebook, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive exclusive information about the housing market, real estate tips and advice, and local news and development.


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Red Flags in the Real Estate Market

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The real estate market is similar to the stock market—it’s a roller coaster. Prices fluctuate, demand is seasonal, and a lot of money can be made by those who know how to play the game.

Tracking the trends and market conditions of your local area is key to anticipating opportunities and threats in the real estate market. Here are some of the biggest factors to look for to help you make smart, informed decisions, whether buying or selling a home.

Months of Supply, or Days on Market (DOM), determines whether the market favors buyers or sellers. As the phrase implies, months of supply indicates the average number of months it takes for a house to sell. Greater than 6 months of supply is considered a buyer’s market, less than 4 months is considered a seller’s market, and anywhere between the two is considered a balanced market.

Number of Closed Sales is a great way to get a feel of how “hot” the market is. Following the trend for closed sales is helpful for understanding the seasonality of your local market. Summer months are typically much busier than winter months.

Mortgage Rates is a major factor in determining buyer demand. The rule of thumb is that as rates go up, buyer demand goes down. In particular, if mortgage rates and housing prices outpace income levels (which is a national trend today), buyer demand will likely decline as home affordability becomes an issue. The Fed funds rate is also an indicator for which direction mortgage rates will go, and the Federal Reserve normally announces what the Fed funds rate will be in the coming years.  

New Construction is a big player (especially today) in determining price levels and available inventory. Currently, much of the nation (including here in Bozeman, Montana) is experiencing a housing shortage, causing prices to rise and intense competition among homebuyers. The construction industry is still recovering from the housing crisis, and is struggling to keep up with demand as millennials enter their prime home buying years.

Local Development is vital to uncover opportunity. Much like a business, real estate investment is all about location, location, location. Development such as new roads, schools, and shopping centers are all signs that property values may increase. A growing community (like Bozeman, Montana) can be very profitable you invest early.

Housing Affordability in city limits is an indicator for future development in outlying areas. Much like what we’re experiencing here in Bozeman, as properties in town become limited and overpriced, you can expect the outer fringes to soon be in high demand.    

Staying informed with these trends will help equip you with the best decisions going into the real estate market. Anticipating which direction the market will turn will not only uncover investment opportunity, but also help insulate you from any threats (like the recent housing crisis).

For exclusive information and statistics in your local market, you can contact a Realtor® for the most recent market conditions. Subscribe to our newsletter, and once a month, we’ll send you local market reports and news updates for the Bozeman, Montana area. 


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How Homebuyers Win in a Seller's Market

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

With limited inventory, and no clear signs that new construction will be catching up any time soon, homebuyers are forced to face a seller’s market. In a seller’s market, competition among buyers is strong, and the pressure is on to place an offer before someone else does. However, there are a few key steps you can take for a competitive edge in a seller’s market.

Know Your Local Market. It’s crucial to know local market conditions, more than ever in a seller’s market. You should get a firm grip on housing prices, inventory levels, information about different neighborhoods, development plans around town, and as much information as you can find (Sign up for our newsletter and, once a month, we’ll send you market reports for the Bozeman, Montana area). Realtors® are also a valuable resource for exclusive insights about market conditions, and can serve as your trusted guides in the real estate market.

Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage. This is huge, but surprisingly ignored by most buyers. From what we’ve experienced as Realtors®, most buyers will start shopping around with an estimate from an online mortgage calculator. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but online mortgage calculators can greatly exaggerate what you can truly afford.

If you’re serious about buying, don’t rely on what you find online. Contact a loan officer and get pre-qualified before you start shopping around. This has several major advantages, including:

#1 Saving Time. It would be a big disappointment if you come across a home that you absolutely love, but is sold before you’re ready to make an offer. Having your finances in order will streamline the process, and allow you to place an offer before other buyers.

#2 Signals to Sellers That You’re Serious. Any offer that isn’t backed by a pre-approved mortgage will likely be ignored. Having proof of financing in-hand shows sellers that your offer is serious, giving you the advantage over other buyers that skipped this pre-emptive step.

#3 Knowing Your Budget. This may be stating the obvious, but it’s important to get an accurate estimate of what you can afford—buying a home is no small deal! A pre-approval from a loan officer is the really the only way to get an accurate estimate, not online mortgage calculators.

Start Shopping Early. While it may be a seller’s market, it can be seasonal. The winter months are typically much slower than the summer months, so buyers may find better leverage and negotiating power earlier in the year. The downside, however, is that slower periods typically means less houses on the market, so you’ll have less to choose from.

Act Fast. In our market, we’ve personally seen listings sell within just hours after being active. This is why the previous tips are so crucial—you need to be ready. When you see a house that you love, and absolutely must have, don’t expect the seller to wait for you. Be prepared to drop everything you’re doing and go see the property, and don’t spend too much making your decision. While you should never buy on impulse, you also need to be diligent if you plan on scoring your dream home in a seller’s market.


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Survey Finds Seceding Buyer Confidence in the Real Estate Market

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) forecasts a negligible increase in existing home sales going into 2017. According to survey findings from a total of 2,776 household respondents from the fourth quarter of 2016, consumers are losing confidence that now is a good time to buy a home.

Much of the skepticism in the market is held by renters. According to the survey, 11 percent of renters lost confidence in buying a home last year. Last quarter, 57 percent of renters believed it was a good time to buy a home, down from 68 percent in 2015.

Homeowners, on the other hand, seem to be more optimistic, with 78 percent of homeowners believing that now is a good time to buy a home. At the same time, the majority of homeowners (62 percent) believe that it is also a good time to sell.

The Contributing Factors

There are several factors that are likely contributing to the seceding buyer confidence—rising mortgage rates, steady price growth, and limited inventory, countered by an optimistic economic outlook.  

Rising Mortgage Rates—With the considerable increase in mortgage rates after the election, buyers may be reluctant to lock themselves in on a higher interest rate than they could have had. However, with expectations of a continued climb in mortgage rates through 2017 and 2018, it might be a better decision to buy now rather than later.

Steady Price Growth—There has been a steady price growth since the housing crisis, with national averages finally back to pre-recession levels. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, says there is declining affordability in many areas of the country. With rents and home prices rising faster than income levels, more buyers are falling out of reach of their dream home.

Limited Inventory—A declining supply of inventory is another major issue, one that largely contributes to price increases. The rate of new construction is falling short of demand, by what Yun estimates to be about 3 million homes. How the construction industry accommodates for the rising demand as millennials reach their prime home buying years will shape the market in the years to come.

A Brighter Economic Outlook—The economy seems to be holding things together in the real estate market. Yun says that 2017 is expected to bring about 2 million new jobs. Unemployment levels have fallen to 4.7 percent last year, and is expected to be 4.5 percent through 2017 and 2018. According to a recent forecast from The Federal Open Market Committee projects that the U.S. GDP will rise to 2.1 percent this year.

With more jobs, and more millennials coming to market, Yun is hopeful that buyer demand will remain steady through the affordability tensions brought by rising mortgage rates and prices outpacing income growth.

With so many different factors affecting local markets, it would be wise to get in touch with a real estate agent for the best, and most informed decision about buying or selling. As NAR President William E. Brown says, “A Realtor® will have their pulse on current market conditions and can ensure a buyer is only searching for and making offers on a home that fits within the budget."

 


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