Eastern Panhandle real estate made great strides in 2013 and according to many experts and economists, the housing industry is expected to continue improving in the coming year. Low inventories and low interest rates were what forced home prices to rise this year and even sparked many bidding wars and while home prices are set to continue rising this year, mortgage rates will do so as well.
In looking back on West Virginia real estate this past year, real estate experts and economists are able to make a few predictions on where housing is headed in 2014.
Inventory Will Stabilize and Return to Normal
Low inventories have come to characterize many parts of the market, especially during the holiday season. This has caused problems for some homebuyers looking for a variety of choices in their search for Eastern Panhandle homes for sale. As MSN Real Estate dubbed it, 2013 was the "year of low inventory," especially as buyer demand was on the rise. But now that homes are selling faster than they have in some time, this coming year should show homebuyers a rise in inventory levels, so much so that they return to normal levels.
Homebuyers and Positive Equity
The rising home prices this year "helped 2.5 million homeowners who were previously underwater regain positive equity status during the second quarter of 2013," reported MSN Real Estate. "However, approximately 7.1 million homes were still in negative equity at that time and an estimated 10 million homeowners, or about 21.1 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage, remained “under-equitied,” with less than 20 percent in home equity." The good news is that while these prices will continue to rise, it will eventually lift more homebuyers out of their underwater statuses and into positive territory.
Mortgage Rates Will Rise
Many homebuyers were thwarted by rising mortgage rates in Charles Town, Ranson, Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Martinsburg, Inwood, Falling Waters, and Hedgesville. In fact, rates across the board increased around 100 basis points this year, only expected to increase more in the coming year. Much of that has to do with the Fed and its consideration of slowly eliminating its bond-buying activities while the economy improves. As long as the Fed plans to do this, mortgage rates will be expected to rise slightly.
Homebuyers looking to move or purchase a new home in 2014 should take note of these changes and how they might affect their purchasing behaviors in the future. Fortunately, many of them will only benefit those ready to buy a home in Jefferson or Berkeley County and will actually make their journey to becoming a homeowner or current homeowner experience a much smoother one.
Think you're ready? Have more questions? Contact the Kable Team today! We're here to help you along your real estate journey and help you in finding homes on the Eastern Panhandle.
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