Homeowners are redefining home value says new report
The value that homeowners put in their properties is much more than just the dollar value according to a new report. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has just released its first quarterly Homeowner Sentiment Survey compiled from a poll of more than 2,500 homeowners or those expecting to become homebuyers in the next six months. The report shows that value is defined not just be price and location but by other factors such as how the home fits with family needs and their overall confidence in their home as an investment.
A large majority of owners (89 per cent) expressed satisfaction with their home and current living situation; about a third said they’re considering selling their home in the near future. Those selling their homes seek properties that better fit their changing lifestyles and life events, among other reasons.
The report also shows the different attitudes of the generations with boomers and Gen-X looking viewing a home as a long-term investment while millennials want something to impress friends and be in a lively neighborhood. Millennials are also looking for an easy buying process and to be able to secure a mortgage and afford the payments.
The report also found that 88 per cent of homeowners say renovations are important over time; 60 per cent value ‘green’ improvements over replacing bathrooms and kitchens; and 61 per cent want to be able to improve their home to suit their requirements.
Overall sentiment in the housing market is high at 94 per cent and using a real estate agent for buying a home was effective for 93 per cent of respondents.
Low mortgage rates boost mortgage cash-outs
With mortgage rates low some mortgage lenders are reporting an increase in homeowners using equity in their property to pay down other debts or finance other projects. A report in the LA Times says that the number of ‘cash-outs’ among Bank of America mortgage holders was up 47 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2014. Non-bank mortgage originator LoanDepot reported a 78 per cent rise year-over-year and LendingTree’s requests for cash-outs were up 40 per cent. However Wells Fargo and preliminary data from Freddie Mac did not repeat these levels of growth.
Colorado housing markets improving
Housing markets in Colorado are generally improving although with some large differences. The Denver Post reports that the city metro is one of the tightest in the US with northeast Colorado not far behind. Further south is neither a buyer’s nor seller’s market and in the west of the state there is plenty of inventory according to the Colorado Association of Realtors, which is driving a buyer’s market. In March median sales prices were up 18 per cent in the Denver metro, 19.7 per cent in the northeast, 18.3 per cent in the northwest and 3.4 per cent in the southeast. The median sales prices were down in the southwest by 6.9 per cent and in the mountain region by 3.4 per cent.