January 29, 2015

Housing Trends January 2015

Welcome to the most current Housing Trends News.  It contains national and local housing information that you may find useful whether you’re in the market for a home, thinking about selling your home, or just interested in homeowner issues in general. 

Please click on this link to view the Housing Trends January 2015 Newsletter

The Housing Trends News contains the latest information from the National Association of REALTORS®, the U.S. Census Bureau, Realtor.org reports and other sources.

Sound decisions can only be made with accurate and reliable information, and I am happy to be a trusted resource for you. Thank you for the opportunity to provide you with this monthly News, and I look forward to answering any questions you may have and to the opportunity to be your REALTOR® in the future.

January 23, 2015

Houston #3 on Forbes Top Places to Live in 2015

Top Places to Live in 2015



Forbes recently spotlighted the top places to invest in the new year, whether for investors looking for rental properties or young professionals looking to make their first home purchase.  The cities in its top 20 list all have strong job markets and population growth, relatively low home prices, and many are still considered undervalued.

3. Houston, Texas

  • Average home price: $214,049
  • Annual price growth: 12%
  • Population growth (2010-2013): 6.2%
  • Annual job growth: 4.1%

The Clear Lake area is conveniently located within a 25 minute drive of downtown Houston.

Source: “Best Buy Cities: Where to Invest in Housing in 2015,” Forbes.com (Jan. 9, 2015)

Photo Credit: www.houstonarchitecture.com

January 22, 2015

The buzz about mortgage rates

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As oil prices have dropped, so goes mortgage rates.  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent this past week, the lowest weekly average since May 23, 2013, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. What’s more, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped below 3 percent, also for the first time since May 2013.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 15:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.66 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.73 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.41 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.98 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.05 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.45 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.90 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.98 percent average. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.10 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.37 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.39 percent average. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.56 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

January 22, 2015

Top Trends in Home Remodeling in 2015

Top Trends in Home Remodeling in 2015


Contemporary Kitchen by Edmonton Kitchen & Bath Designers Cucina Bella Ltd. – Rebecca Gagne CKD

Consolidating outlooks from top design-build remodeling firms and highly rated remodelers, the following is a quick look at design/remodeling trends for 2015:

1) The Healthy Home

According to the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, Houzz.com, nearly half of us remodel to prevent potential health problems.  Think touchless flushing toilets, healthier paints and carpets, better air filtration systems.

2) Bath AND a tub

The heated tile floors and warming towel racks show no signs of going away anytime soon.  Walk in showers with over-sized shower heads are popular votes too.  Large soaking tubs are high on the wish list too.

3) Recycle and re-purpose

Taking something destined for the landfill is now getting a new life.  If it can be sanded, painted and re-used like old wood, its getting a second look.

4) Remodel to stay in place

Call it the love it or list it phenomenon but statistics are showing that while housing markets have been hot, the price inflation in some areas may be spurring people to renovate and remodel instead of deciding to move.

5) Metals

Metals are making their appearance from counters, lighting fixtures, to sinks and to wall finishes.  Coppers particularly are one of the up and coming.

6) Color

Retailers are always in front of the emerging paint color trends.  Its almost like a subliminal message.  Look at your favorite home goods retailer to find out which colors are popular.  Subdued blues and greens are emerging as favorites this year.  Gray is quickly emerging as the go to color instead of neutral beige.  Dark charcoal cabinets mixed with white and black are popping up in kitchens and baths.

7) Less is more

The trend toward clean, simpler minimalist looks are growing in popularity.  The desire to come home to a simple, less cluttered home is growing.

8)  Kitchens

Kitchen cabinets are turning back toward flat fronts.  The use of higher end vinyl floor tiles is also coming back.  It costs less than ceramic and is warmer on the feet.  The turn away from stainless steel appliances and replacing cabinets vs painting them is also becoming popular.  Single basin sinks are replacing double basin sinks.

9)  Spending more

Average home remodel projects have increased from an average of $15000 to $20-25,000.

10) Outdoor living

Still hot on wish lists is the outdoor living space.  The more year round this space can be used, the better.


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