New Homes Sales were up 4 percent in March, much better than expectations of only a 2 percent gain, and were up almost 9 percent from a year ago. Sales should continue to stay high because of demand. Revisions to the previous months are showing 2018 is off to a decent start. Given the recent report for March’s Housing Starts and Permits being much stronger than expected, it should only be a matter of time until we really see New Home Sales pick up more.
Millennials love art and a recent study argues there’s a direct link between public art and property values, fueling an area’s real estate growth. Developers are noticing the trend and beginning to use art to attract tenants. Public art, whether it’s a monument or a graffiti wall, is positively impacting neighborhoods, making them more desirable and attractive. It’s the culture and sense of community—identity—the art represents, and people want to be part of it. It’s the city’s version of curb appeal.
Promoting energy efficiency in a home listing is at least somewhat valuable, as reported by 71 percent of agents and brokers in a recent survey. The main reason is sustainability, but agents admit they don’t know enough about these products and their sustainability to educate clients. It’s apparent environment friendly features and neighborhoods are a factor in where and what homebuyers purchase. However, only 40 percent of listings were reported to have green features. When it comes to adopting such features, the Southern and Western states lead, with Fort Collins, CO dominating for most homes with green features.
Rental history is likely to predict a consumer’s mortgage loan performance, per a recent study. Makes sense, considering housing is typically the largest monthly expense for most consumers. Currently, credit scores don’t generally record rent payments made on time, only those that are missed. If credit scores were to take into account all rent payment history, millions more potential homebuyers could qualify for a mortgage. The top reasons why borrowers are denied a mortgage: credit history and debt-to-income ratio.