Newsletter - March 2018
In January, we talked about some predictions for the 2018 housing market. While it’s only March, one of those predictions has already proven to be accurate:
The uptick in new home construction.
"My biggest prediction for housing in 2018 is that inventory will remain low and builders will focus on building more entry-level housing options," said Allison Bethell, real estate investment analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, back in December.
"People have been priced out of renting and purchasing, so builders will try to fill that void through townhomes, condos and single-family communities that offer affordability, value and are environmentally conscious."
Housing starts jumped 9.7% in the first month of 2018, to the highest level since October 2016, according to USA Today, and building permits for January hit their highest level since 2007.
A stronger economy has given more Americans the confidence to buy a home, but historically low inventory has driven up prices.
“We are seeing the lowest level of inventory in at least two decades,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research at realtor.com. “It really is a shortage of historical proportions.”
Builders are racing to pick up the slack, and optimism is high. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index released last month read 72 for the second straight month in February. (Anything over 50 indicates that builders see conditions as good rather than poor.)
So what else can buyers, sellers, investors, and real estate professionals expect this year?
Higher interest rates, for one thing:
"According to various housing economists, 30-year fixed interest rates are expected to increase 0.30% to 0.70% next year - up from the current 4.00% mortgage rate levels," said Carlos Miramontez, vice president of mortgage lending at Orange County's Credit Union.
"This rate increase will slow the volume of consumers refinancing their home as most consumers have taken advantage of restructuring their home loan over the past few years when interest rates were at lower levels."
And fewer mortgage delinquencies, for another:
“From a credit performance standpoint, mortgage loan delinquency rates are the biggest story and are expected to decline [in 2018] driven primarily by strong employment and rising home prices,” said Matt Komos, VP of Research and Consulting at TransUnion.
According to TransUnion’s 2018 consumer credit forecast, the mortgage delinquency rate is expected to drop to 1.65 percent by the end of 2018 - the lowest since 2005.
As you keep your eye on the housing market this year, remember that Blue Streak Docs can manage your document retrieval and property reports to ensure you have everything you need to protect your portfolio. If you haven’t worked with us before, give us a try and get your 5th order FREE!
Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House (RMH) offers a place to stay for families faced with having a child in the hospital. This eases the families burden of traveling back and forth which sometimes can be difficult depending on the length of the trip. Many of these families come unexpectedly to the RMH without time to pack. The RMH house offers not only a place to stay, but toiletries, food, snacks and other support to the families in their time of need. These families count on volunteers to come in and cook meals for them which gives them the comfort of home cooked meals after long days at the hospital. On Sunday, several of the staff at Blue Streak Docs paid their second visit to the RMH to cook a meal. The company and staff donated food and made them ham, macaroni and cheese, salad and Oreo truffles. We also hosted a craft time for the kids where they were able to make their own Valentine's cards and decorate a holder for the cards. Lastly, we made up snack packs with food and notes of encouragement for families to take with them to the hospital. It was really rewarding to see the smiles on the families faces as they enjoyed the crafts and food in what is otherwise probably a very hard time for them. I'm proud to work for a company that allows us to give back to the community.
Employee Of The Month
“Jill has worked in production for both recordings and document retrieval. She worked her way up and is now the Document Retrieval and Recordings Production Manager. Under her direction the department has grown reaching highest ever levels of production. She gives 110% each day to ensure our clients and vendors are happy. Jill keeps her team motivated and morale high. She is constantly working to improve the department and our product so that we can provide our clients with lightning fast service with precision accuracy.”