Across the country, real estate professionals have seen the markets change from year to year. In 2015, the top and bottom cities stayed consistent throughout the last twelve months. Here, the leading experts touch base on factors that affect market pricing.
Q: What were the top 10 housing markets in 2015?
Real estate experts: With very little variation in raking, they were: Bellingham, Washington; Bend-Redmond, Oregon; Boise City, Idaho; Eugene, Oregon; Oak Harbor, Washington; Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington; Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California; Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Stockton-Lodi, California; and Stockton-Lodi, California.
Q: What makes these markets so strong, in your opinion?
Real estate experts: These are areas where there is a substantial population and plenty of adjacent commuter cities, meaning more jobs. The rankings take into consideration active listings, average days on market, price, and REO/foreclosure activity.
Q: Explain to us how remaining inventory is a measure of a city’s real estate market?
Real estate experts: Areas with enough houses up for sale to satisfy available buyers for 10 months or better are considered saturated, meaning there are more homes available than buyers. That means there isn’t much competition and, as such, the prices are driven down considerably.
Q: How do lower interest rates affect home prices?
Real estate experts: 2015 brought in historically low interest rates; homes were more affordable, even if the selling prices were higher than in years past. Less prohibitive financing means homes sell faster. This leaves a deficit in the market where there are now more buyers than available properties.
Q: How well do top markets appreciate?
Real estate experts: The top three markets appreciated by about 20% last year – which is quite a lot. But, since they had previously depreciated at a deeper rate, this sudden increase in value really just served to stabilize the markets. Markets are now leveling out at more appropriate supply vs. demand rates.