Consistent job growth and increased savings for Millennials hasn’t impacted Americans in an even manner; according to a Moody’s Analytics study, youth unemployment is higher than the national average of 5.8 percent – 6.2 percent for workers aged 25 to 34, and 10.5 percent for those aged 20 to 24 – and also, Millennial net worth is just $10,400, 42 percent less than the $18,200 for Generation X. In addition, student debt continues to be a hindrance as to why Millennials aren’t buying (and probably won’t buy well into 2015) and is affecting homebuying, new construction and mortgage applications.
Like 2013, inventory was still on the tight side this year, and while they decreased slightly due to buyer demand decreasing slightly, multiple offer situations were normal for agents to take part in. While home sales tracking has revealed significant drops in Aug. 2014, the numbers increased slightly for the remainder of the year, showing that homes for sale will probably remain at a consistent level through the winter, and increase in the spring when the market heats up again. The number of homes on the market all remained well below 2013 levels, but the rise in the number of customers requesting tours with Redfin agents, which went up approximately 2 percent, was enough to suggest a strong showing in the weeks leading up to the inevitable holiday decline.
Although mortgage rates will inevitably increase, they are still at quite a low, keeping home sales and homebuyer competition strong into 2015. In addition, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently announced the option for first-time buyers to buy with as little as 3 percent down. While it’s unlikely the change will provide any sort of overwhelming assistance to people currently having trouble securing a loan – especially considering how widely available the 3.5 percent option from FHA, and Millennials, on average, maintain a savings of -2 percent – this option for qualified borrowers at least could motivate first-time buyers to enter the market, helping to strengthen home sales in 2015, and slowly, over time, it could ease a larger pool of homebuyers into the market.
Read on to see what our expert panel has to say about their predictions for 2015: