Kathleen Buffington
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January 2016  

In The Market In 2016? Here's What's Ahead
Interest rates, millennials among factors to propel housing in 2016

With 2016 underway, housing predictions are filling the brisk winter air like snowflakes.  And with the spring market just around the corner, @properties is keeping a close watch on some key trends that we expect to play a role in the various communities and neighborhoods we serve. Here is what's on tap for the market in 2016:

Mortgage Rates To Stay Low...For Now: Last month, the Federal Reserve implemented its first interest rate hike in nearly a decade. However, since the announcement, interest rates have actually decreased as the stock market enters correction territory. Still, the Mortgage Bankers Association anticipates rates will gradually rise, so if you're a prospective homebuyer, now is a unique opportunity to take advantage of still-low rates before they rise and affect purchasing power.

Buying Still Beats Renting: Even with mortgage interest rates expected to eventually increase, home-buying remains more affordable than renting in most of the country, including Chicago, with rents at an all-time high and still climbing.

More Millennials Entering The Market: The aforementioned rising rents, along with increasing incomes, have many industry experts forecasting that 2016 will be the year millennials enter the housing market in larger numbers, further boosting demand.

New Construction Picking Up Steam: The new-construction market gained momentum last year, and we expect that to continue this year. Anecdotally, the year is off to a busy start at @properties as we begin marketing new condominium, townhome and single-family home projects throughout Chicagoland and Southwest Michigan.  

On top of marketing a slew of new developments, we have a lot of exciting things happening at @properties. If you've been to AtProperties.com lately, you might have noticed that we have removed the registration from our site to simplify the user experience. That means you can now access listings, market reports, and everything else on our site without logging in. We're also gearing up to announce our 2016 beneficiary for @gives back and another new office location. Stay tuned for details! 

As the #1 luxury brokerage firm in Chicago and the North Shore, @properties knows the high-end marketplace better than just about any real estate company. In this month's Market Minute video, we spoke with Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio International®, about the state of high-end real estate and important things for buyers and sellers to know as we head into the peak spring market. Watch the video here.

Watch Video

If you're thinking about buying or selling this year, or just looking for more information about your local market, contact me any time. Thank you for your business and referrals!

In the news:

Big Expectations For Housing In 2016
December 02, 2015

Do signs point to another housing boom? Perhaps -- home sales are poised to zoom to the highest levels since 2006 next year, according to a 2016 housing forecast issued by realtor.com®. Gains in new-home construction and existing home sales are both expected to push total home sales to the highest levels in years.

New Home Sales Up 14% Vs. A Year Ago As Rosier Economy Boosts Wages
Andrea Riquier | December 23, 2015

New home sales rose moderately in November, a sign the rocky housing recovery may be stabilizing. Sales ran at an annual rate of 490,000, the highest since August, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

CoreLogic: Chicago Home Price Growth Remains Moderate
James McClister | January 06, 2016

Since 2014, home prices have been in what CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft recently described as a "sweet spot," consecutively rising between 5 and 6 percent for 15 months. According to the research group's newest report, home prices rose 6.3 percent from Nov. 2014 to Nov. 2015. That makes 16 months.

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