Bidding Wars to Heat Up This Spring

Likely to be a hallmark of this year’s spring homeselling season: Bidding wars. As home listings are scarcer and buyer demand remains high, home shoppers are finding a lot more competition this spring, particularly in hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver, and Boston.

An improving job market, growing consumer confidence, and the threat of rising mortgage rates have Americans flocking to housing. But many markets remain tight for listings. Housing starts remain well below levels prior to the recession and are geared more toward the higher end of the market. Homeowners also are reluctant to sell their existing home because they’re unsure of where they’d move to with the dearth of listings.

Homes are selling at a rapid clip in places like Denver; Seattle; Oakland, Calif.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Boise, Idaho; Madison, Wis.; and Omaha, Neb., according to the real estate brokerage Redfin.

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The 5 Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2017


We won’t pretend to know everything that 2017 will bring—heck, 2016 sure surprised us—but we’re pretty certain there will be changes. A lot of them. And while the surprise triumph of Donald Trump in the presidential election won’t alter the fundamentals shaping the 2017 real estate market, its impact is already being felt.

We’ve seen interest rates jump since the election, a movement that’s likely to affect the youngest generation of home buyers.

Just like last year,®’s economic data team analyzed our market data and economic indicators to come up with a picture of the key housing trends for 2017. As we prepare to bid farewell to 2016, it looks like we’ll be saying goodbye to the last of the record-low interest rates of the past few years, too. Interest rates have shot up 40 basis points, or 0.4 percentage points, since Trump’s election.

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Neighborhood Features That Drag Down Prices


Living near bad schools can decrease a home’s value big time. Indeed, the median home price in ZIP codes with schools that receive a one to three rating (out of possible 10) is only $155,000.® analyzed home prices and appreciation rates in U.S. ZIP codes to identify possible factors that could drag down prices. Researchers compared the median home price of the ZIP with that facility with the median price for all homes in the same county.

Here are five neighborhood features that had the biggest impact on dragging down nearby home prices.

How Long It Takes to Save for a Down Payment

Saving Money

Renters in some cities may face a long road toward home ownership. Faced with high rents, some may even have to wait a few decades before they’ll be able to save enough for a down payment – that is, if they keep saving at the same rate, finds a new survey by Apartment List.

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9 Neighborhood Features That Hamper Values


Certain features near a home — like cemeteries and power plants — could drag down a home’s price. By analyzing home prices and appreciation rates in the 100 largest metro areas with a “drag-me-down facility,”® recently identified which could have the biggest impact.

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Seattle home price increase ties for No. 1 in U.S.

For Sale and Sold

Seattle is tied for having the nation’s fastest-rising home prices, according to the latest data from S&P/Case-Shiller.

The Seattle area tied with San Francisco and Tampa, Florida for posting biggest increase between September and October, at 1.3 percent, according to the data released Tuesday.

The index measures the nation’s top 20 metros. Year-over-year, Seattle home prices were 8.8 percent higher in October than in October 2014. That put Seattle fifth, behind only San Francisco, Portland and Denver (all 10.9 percent) and Dallas (9.3 percent).

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The Next Three Months: Best Time to Buy

Time to Buy

Low mortgage rates, declining home prices, and homes that are lingering on the market longer are three main reasons why the next three months could be the best time to buy so far this year, says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist.

“The spring and summer home-buying seasons were especially tough on potential buyers this year with increasing prices and limited supply,” Smoke says. “Buyers who are open to a fall or winter purchase should find some relief with lower prices and less competition from other buyers.”

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