This is a common question that home buyers and sellers in the coastal Lowcountry consistently ask themselves. In early June 2016, the leading economists in real estate converged on The Big Easy as they presented their answers to this question and many more at the 50th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference for the National Association of Real Estate Editors.
Here are some of the top takeaways from this four-day conference:
Millennials and first-time home buyers and their impact on the market were the topic of many conversations at the conference. Chief Economist for Realtor.com, Jonathan Smoke, was quoted to say:
“At any given time in our history, demographics would explain 60-80% of what’s happening [in the market], and we are in a period of time where Millennials make up a largest demographic group according to the Census, at 84 million.”
We have learned from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that the median first-time home buyer age is 30 and today’s millennials are entering a prime age to drive the housing market into the future. And in our area, first-time home buyers and millennials have found that Bluffton real estate offers incredible values with a 2015 median home sales price of $240,000.
Chief Economist for NAR, Lawrence Yun, shared his views regarding myths and affordability, suggesting that these may be holding potential buyers back.
“84% of current renters have the desire to own. While 36% believe they cannot afford a home and 60% of renters believe it would be ‘difficult’ to qualify for a mortgage.
Jonas Moe, Vice President of Ellie Mae, offered advice to potential buyers, encouraging them to find out their options before assuming that they do not qualify for a mortgage:
“Many potential home buyers are 'disqualifying' themselves. You don't need a 750 FICO Score and a 20% down payment to buy.”
Interestingly enough, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) revealed that Millennials and Baby Boomers are often competing for the same housing inventory, causing a challenge as these two groups are the largest generations by population. Both groups are looking for affordable, convenient homes close to city centers and ‘what’s happening.’
Millennials and Baby Boomers continue to have a large impact on available supply. The American Dream of homeownership is still alive across all demographic groups. If your dreams include owning your own home, it is important to meet with a local real estate professional and a mortgage broker who can evaluate your ability to buy now and present you with the home of your dreams.