Climbing interest rates and the 2015 market

via Inman

A real estate outlook for 2015

The Boutique Real Estate Group.

Are you optimistic about 2015?

Absolutely. We’ve come a long way since just three years ago in 2011, when home values were slowly rising again, and interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were just starting to dip below 5 percent. Now, buyers are still enjoying low interest rates, and the sellers who bought their homes after 2006 are finally starting to see a buildup of equity in their homes. This positive trend is projected to grow toward 2015 and 2016.

The economy?

CAR recently came out with the 2015 California Housing Market Forecast, showing that unemployment rates have been steadily decreasing from 7.4 percent last year to about 6.2 percent this year. Next year’s projection for unemployment is predicted to be near 5.8 percent. With falling unemployment rates, we’ll also see a rise in real disposable income: A change of about 2.6 percent more in 2014 than 2013, which should continue to rise through 2015. This means more savings and purchasing power for those who have been saving and planning to purchase a home in 2015.

The housing market?

Here’s the deal: People who bought in 2013 wished they purchased in 2012, and people bought in 2014 wished they purchased in 2013. So what will the buyers for 2015 tell their 2014 selves? Buy now! Why? Four really good reasons: Prices will continue to rise; interest rates are projected to increase; either way you are already paying a mortgage or rent; and if not now, then when? On the other hand, sellers are also enjoying a positive trend in home values and, if priced correctly, will typically sell in three months or less. Overall, we should see the real estate market stabilizing in 2015, with growing home values and higher interest rates.

Your success?

No matter what year it is, I’m always optimistic about my success. To me, success is not only about the growth in my sales, but also the growth in the relationships I nurture and maintain with my clients, and the business lessons I learn throughout the year. This coming year will mark my third year in real estate, as well as the third year I’m truly happy with my career!

What are you worried about?

I’m worried for my buyers who may be priced out of their price range if they don’t take advantage of the current home values and low interest rates. I saw this happen to a handful of my buyers from 2013 onto 2014, where they wanted a number of bedrooms at a certain budget, but due to the rise in interest rates and home values, they could no longer afford the home they wanted and had to extend their lease for yet another year. I predict the same may happen to the current buyers who decide to stay on the fence about their home purchase as values and interest rates will continue to rise.

How much do you fret about global events?

Quite honestly, I don’t have time to fret too much about global events. However, I will add that the recent change in government in China has lead many Chinese investors to move their assets from China to America, effectively driving up all cash sales and home values.

Will mortgage rates go up or down next year?

Up, up, up!

Will home prices appreciate next year?

Yes.

Will agents be more productive next year? Why or why not?

Since the market is stabilizing, I believe active agents will continue to be productive, while agents who work part-time may see a drop in their sales compared to this year. We saw this happen with production volume in 2013 to 2014 as home values and interest rates continue to rise.

Will the portals play a bigger role in real estate next year?

Today’s buyer will most likely do research on the community and home they are thinking about purchasing prior to contacting an agent. This means they are less and less dependent on their portals for information. The only upper hand we have as agents is being even more knowledgeable about the communities where we work to help our clients differentiate between the facts and myths they read online.

What will be the biggest source of real estate leads next year?

Client referrals and online marketing, like ZTR, our brokerage-based website and in-house seller capture sites.

Are you making plans to expand, contract or maintain your business this year?

Being part of The Boutique Real Estate Group always challenges us to think differently and discover different ways to stand out amongst the hundreds of other agents in our community. Personally, I’m planning to team up and collaborate on more marketing strategies with other professionals in the industry. It’s always a good thing to grow your network!

What is the biggest challenge for the industry in the coming year?

The challenge next year will be removing the idea anchor of previously lower interest rates for many current buyers. Since many buyers this year will trickle onto next year, buyers may have the feeling that they “missed the boat.” But in reality, interest rates will only continue to grow. As for sellers, many homes currently on the market have started to face a bit of competition this year with all of the new developments in Orange County. Although hundreds of new homes will be hitting the market in 2015, nothing beats a low HOA and no Mello-Roos!

Lavish Luxury: 10 Multi-Million Dollar Dream Homes

via Leverage Global Partners

Looking for the ultimate in lavish luxury? From extravagant penthouses to sprawling country estates, these 10 multi-million dollar dream homes from our Leverage Partners around the world are the epitome of opulence:

Unparalleled French Country Estate
Represented by J. Rockcliff Realtors  |  $42,000,000

J-Rockcliff1

This custom 100+ acre French Country estate is unparalleled in the Bay Area, with abundant terraces offering vistas of rolling hillsides and valleys.

Exclusive Sunridge Plateau
Represented by Thornhill Real Estate Group |  $14,950,000

Thornhill3

Perched at the top of a Whistler, BC plateau, this magnificent mountain home has endless views and classic Craftsman style architecture with a modern flair.

Marvelous Historical Manor
Represented by Influence Real Estate  |  $12,900,000

Influence1

This marvelous historical manor is a Utah gem that is steeped in history, with ornate details that have been carefully preserved the home was established in 1938.

500-Acre Tropical Retreat
Represented by Plantación Properties  |  $29,750,000

Plantacion

This exclusive Costa Rica estate is a haven of solitude and serenity set amid 500 acres of tropical jungle, majestic cliffs, and dazzling white-sand beaches.

Stunning Fifth Avenue Home
Represented by CORE  |  $34,500,000

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History, elegance, and modern restoration converge in this magnificent Fifth Avenue home with unobstructed views of Central Park and the NYC skyline.

 Quiet Lake Equestrian Estate
Represented by Barbara Cleary’s Realty Guild  |  $29,900,000

HDRtist HDR Rendering - http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

Set against 152-acres of scenic countryside, a classic Tudor-style mansion and pristine state-of-the-art equestrian facilities offer the ultimate haven of privacy and relaxation.

Iconic Hawaiian Destination
Represented by The Boutique Real Estate Group  |  $26,000,000

Boutique

Designed according to the timeless principles of feng shui, this Maui estate invites nature in, with whitewater ocean views and warm fragrant breezes.

Modern Homage to Aspen-Living
Represented by Shane Aspen Real Estate  |  $13,900,000

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This modern Aspen home is where quiet and comfort meets excitement and sophisticated elegance, with panoramic mountain views from terraces in virtually every room.

French Normandy Estate
Represented by Partners Trust  |  $18,000,000

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Located in the most prime section of Lower Bel Air, this French Normandy estate is excellent for large gatherings, featuring expansive park-like grounds and elegant formal rooms.

Magnificent Beachfront Villa
Represented by Beauchamp Estates  |  €8,500,000

Beauchamp-Cannes

 Located on the dazzling French Riviera, this beachfront property, with beautiful views of the Mediterranean, is set amongst lush landscaped gardens.

Which of these dream estates would you like to call home?  Please share your ideas below.