Americans slightly less positive about housing market than last year
Americans are positive about the housing market…but not as much as they were last year, or the year before that. New data from Gallup shows that 69 per cent believe that now is a good time to buy a home; the average over the past two years was 74 per cent. It is a similar level though to Gallup’s polls from 2009-2012. The survey company researched sentiment from April 9-12 and found that it may have been affected by poor weather and slower home sales earlier in the year.
Regionally there are some differences with 64 per cent of those in the West saying now is a good time to buy, down from 75 per cent. In the East and South there were smaller drops while in the Midwest the number increased. On house prices, 59 per cent expect prices to rise in their local areas with 29 per cent expecting no change and 11 per cent expecting decline. In conclusion Gallup says that improved sentiment in the economy and lower mortgage rates is helping with optimism in the housing market.
Housing is “a good investment” says Blackstone CEO
The chief executive of Blackstone says that despite prices not rising as much after the financial crisis houses are still a good investment. Blackstone is the largest private owner of houses in the US with 47,000 properties in its portfolio worth about $90 billion and Steve Schwarzman told CNBC that “The market continues to go up for the value of a house.” He said that the company is still investing in more homes but has cut back from when the market was at the bottom.
Ridgewood tipped to be the next big thing in NYC
The neighborhood of Ridgewood in New York’s borough of Queens is being tipped as a possible area for a boom. The New York Post reports that many people who are being priced out of neighboring Bushwick and Astoria are now looking in Ridgewood. New businesses are also starting to open in the area to serve a growing customer base. The article highlights the cheaper rents giving savings of a few hundred dollars in some cases. Christian Wittmann, a broker at Halstead Property who lives in the neighborhood says that it has been under the radar but he says that there is increasing demand and house prices are already escalating. With little construction in the area and a reluctance of existing residents to sell, another broker Joseph V. Crifasi reports price increases of 30 per cent in the last 15 to 18 months; as long as many are taking to find somewhere.