Message from the President
Market Predictions for 2015
With the economy continuing to show improvement and income levels seeing growth, housing experts and economists have high hopes for 2015. Prospects are looking bright for homeowners and prospective home buyers. Here are a few trends and predictions we expect to see play out in the coming year.
Lending standards will be loosened. In December 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they will be offering 3 percent down payment mortgages, rather than 5 percent. Many potential buyers simply do not have the resources to save for a substantial down payment. This new program will allow first-time, creditworthy buyers, who would otherwise be kept out of the market, to purchase a home.
Mortgage rates will go up. With the economy improving, the Federal Reserve has indicated that they will be increasing the federal funds rate in 2015. This rate has a substantial impact on mortgage rates, which have been at historic lows for the past few years. This means that if you are considering buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, now is the time. The rates will likely increase as the year progresses.
Millennials will enter the market. As the economy continues to make gains and the job market improves, millennials (ages 25-34) will start forming households and entering the housing market. Millennials began to enter the market in 2014, but as the job market continues to improve and rent prices continue to rise millennial’s involvement in the housing market will likely increase. Combining that with opportunities for lower down payments, it’s a prime time for young people to enter the market.
Builders will begin to ramp up production in 2015. This increase in inventory should help improve choices for consumers, another potential draw for first-time buyers.
I have a special email “Joe on the Go” for you to keep in touch with me and sending your questions or comments any time, on any subject 24/7/365.
Economic Conditions in Upstate New York
Thank you Richard Peach and Jaison Abel from the Federal Reserve Banks, New York and Buffalo, who spoke on the housing market for our region this morning at the Millennium Hotel. The information they provided helped REALTORS understand more about the current and future economy in Western New York and Buffalo. There were over 120 attending the event and the power point from the presentation can be accessed here.
Jaison Abel - Local Conditions
Richard Peach - National Conditions
BNAR Supports Meals on Wheels
Meals on wheels staff and volunteers are committed to enriching lives and promoting independent healthy living by offering nutritious food and a friendly visit. But Meals on Wheels is more than just healthy food. Meals on Wheels volunteers, who visit with homebound seniors and disabled individuals each day, serve as a critical link between clients and their families, loved ones and neighbors. All volunteers are trained to watch out for troubling developments in each home—a recipient who seems out of sorts or ill, an unsafe condition in the house (such as debris or temperature issues), etc.—and follow specific instructions for reporting such incidents. This safety check provides peace of mind to clients and caregivers alike. For many of the homebound clients, Meals on Wheels serves, human contact, conversations and laughs may be all too infrequent. In fact, some clients do not interact with anyone other than their volunteers all week, month or even year. The importance of the daily visit is, quite simply, immeasurable.
NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation Grant Program
First time homebuyers may qualify for a grant of $2000 through the NYSAR Housing Opportunities Foundation, Inc. to assist with closing costs and/or down payments. The grants are gifts with no payback requirement and are available to low-to-moderate income families in New York State. Here is the link to the eligibility requirements and application.