Top Ten Real Estate Stories of 2015

Posted by Steph Kaye on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016 at 9:08pm.

Whether you bought a house or sold a house, 2015 was a historical year for the real estate market. Buying trends were on the rise as lenders reported more affordable homes. So what did the real estate market learn from 2015? Here are the Top Ten Trends we learned from the 2015 housing market:

  1. Housing Market Grows Stronger With Sell of More Foreclosed Homes

Whether your market fared well or fared poorly, you likely saw some kind of upward trend in housing prices. With foreclosures being completed at such a high rate, communities appreciated in value as more bank-owned houses were sold.

  1. International Home Buying on an Upward Trend in the United States

2015 meant a strong year for foreign buyers. Plenty of cash came in from overseas, driving up housing prices particularly in states like California and Michigan. Although with the U.S. dollar getting stronger, some predict a decline in this trend.

  1. Successful Year for Real Estate Conferences

Accessing information and being active in the real estate industry continued to become easier as large companies such as NAR and Inman Connect hosted information-rich conferences.

  1. CFPB Comes to the Aid of Consumer Credit

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau made more substantial moves to make home buying less confusing and financially burdensome for buyers. By creating programs such as “Know Before You Owe” and making educational resources for home buyers more accessible, vulnerable consumers were able to make more educated decisions.

  1. Banks Ease on Mortgage Lending Standards as Houses Become More Affordable

Fannie Mae reported that lenders are easing on their standards for mortgage approval. In addition, mortgage rates remained low at the beginning of 2015 to make owning a home more affordable.

  1. Millenials Dominate Housing Market Once Again

Even with the student loan crisis stronger than ever, this young, eager generation continues to buy homes faster than any other age demographic. Millenials accounted for approximately ⅓ of home purchases while gravitating towards areas with high walking accessibility. 

  1. Realtor Confidence High in Future Market, While Current Buyers Remain Skeptical

Realtors and home builders were confident in 2015 that the housing market would continue to improve based on the upward trend of approved mortgages. Buyers, on the other hand, still showed signs of apprehension for their investments.

  1. Social Media Continues to Trend Upward for Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate companies found success in listing their homes online. A reported 42% of home buyers started their search for a home online. An increase in social media marketing and SEO Real Estate sites seem to explain this online movement.

  1. Hard-Hit Markets Show Life

Some of the largest and historically hard-hit housing markets in the U.S. showed signs of improvement in 2015. In addition, four of the reported top ten U.S. cities with the strongest real estate market hailed from Michigan.

  1. 2016 Housing Market Forecast: Positive!

Considering all the ups and downs of the housing market, the prediction for the 2016 market remains positive. So positive, in fact, some are concerned another housing boom and bust could be looming. Sales are projected to increase by nearly 4%, but buyers should be urged to do their homework.

It seems there is still a ways to go before the U.S. housing market climbs back to pre-recession levels, but the outlook is good for homebuyers in 2016 if buyers remain confident and educated.

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