Real Estate Update: 7 Great Reads

by August 22, 2017
House-hunting season is in full swing, full of local stories for business reporters. Read up on the big trends and forecasts before digging in.

House-hunting season is in full swing, with plenty of local stories for business reporters. Read up on the big trends and forecasts before digging in. (Image by “savannasherstad” via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain)

The housing market typically wakes up in March and remains hyper-active until the end of August. Bone up on the latest trends and forecasts before investigating the real estate business in your own community.

Predictions for the year ahead

MarketWatch looked into the 5 big trends to watch for in 2017, and came up with some surprising predictions. Among them: the increased use of drones for flyover photos and virtual inspections, new “surban” neighborhoods with urban amenities in suburban spaces, millennials and the changing first-home market and Gen Z’s lofty housing expectations.

Chiming in with its own 2017 forecast, U.S. News sees a rise in interest rates, anticipating an increase of a full percent by the end of the year. Experts also expect that rising city prices will force millennials out to the suburbs, new development will lower rental rates and overall optimism will spur home purchases, despite high prices.

Measuring the market

A piece on CNBC.com looks into the current surge in home sales, resulting in the fastest market in years. In March, even Las Vegas, former poster child for the housing market’s collapse, saw a 15 percent rise in home sales from the same time a year ago.

At Forbes, the experts focused on the issues of rising prices, mortgage volatility, credit availability and the phenomenon of “rate lock,” which limits inventory as homeowners with mortgages below 4 percent tend to stay in their current homes rather than upgrade to larger properties.

Also from Forbes, a slideshow highlights the 20 U.S. cities that are best situated for real estate investment. While the majority are in the south, there are a few northern surprises.

Tiny homes and flipping

A number of real estate trends that have spawned television shows and inspired consumers have been scrutinized by serious news organizations. The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the real-life challenges of the tiny house craze. The Wall Street Journal waded into the world of flipping, and the banks suddenly happy to make loans to companies that specialize in financing quick fix-ups.