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December 2023, What Does Home Mean to You for The Holidays?

 
 
Hi Clients and Friends –
 
Happy Holidays! The song, “There is no place like home for the holidays…." has always been one of my favorites, and being in the home business, this year that song made me stop and think.... What does “home” really mean to people? Here are some things the team came up with. Let us know what you think. 
 

Home is . . .

  • A place where one can forget the worries of the world, even for a brief moment
  • Where you feel that you belong
  • A place to be loved and feel safe
  • Security
  • Where the heart is
  • Where we create memories and enjoy celebrations with families, friends, and pets
  • Respite - a place to rejuvenate
  • A place to be able to safely express ourselves and be creative
  • Where we can establish a sense of who we are and where we fit into the world
 
Home is more than the physical existence of the walls and a roof … home is how we feel .... a place where we can truly be ourselves. This holiday season, whether your home is a loft, a villa, or an estate, may you enjoy your special experience of “home” with your loved ones. 
 
Happy Holidays, from our “homes” to yours! – Leslie, Max and Kristin
 
And by the way … Santa came early this year with interest rates at 6.62% with more reductions forecasted. ( yay Santa!) Looks like 2024 is going to be off to a great start! 
 

Best of the Best

Check out this year's top luxury home trends!
 
 

Where to See the Best Christmas Light Displays Around Denver This Year

 
 
’Tis the season! Every year, zoos, gardens, parks, and even private homes throughout the Denver metro area deck the halls with elaborate displays of holiday lights that would make Clark Griswold cry tears of joy (and jealousy). Below, we’ve rounded up a list of the best residential and public spots where you can stroll through spectacular set-ups, drive by flashy facades, and pose for the perfect family photo-op.
 
Source: 5280 Denver’s Mile High Magazine, read full article here.
 

Housing Market Predictions 2024

 
Hopeful home buyers are getting an early holiday gift: declining mortgage rates. Since hitting a 2023 high in late October, the average 30-year fixed rate has receded by over half a percent.
 
The average 30-year fixed rate slid 19 basis points to 7.03% in the week ending December 7, the sixth consecutive week of decreases, according to Freddie Mac. A basis point is one-hundredth of one percentage point.
 
Yet, despite this easing, a perfect storm of still-high mortgage rates and home prices amid historically low housing stock continues to put homeownership out of reach for many—most notably first-time buyers—who remain more pessimistic than ever about being able to afford a home as we close in on 2024.
 
Mortgage rates surged—hitting a high of 7.79%—and median home prices in the third quarter were north of $400,000. Moreover, in July, average monthly payments hit their highest level ever at $2,306, according to Intercontinental Exchange, a financial technology and data services provider.
 
However, 2024 may be a better year to purchase a home—at least for some. While home prices will likely remain elevated—and even increase in some markets—industry experts expect prices in certain areas of the country to soften.
 
Economists are also optimistic that the Federal Reserve is done with its 20-month-long rate-hiking campaign after policymakers kept the federal funds rate unchanged for a second straight meeting on November 1 and inflation showed signs of slowing in October. The federal funds rate is the benchmark interest rate financial institutions charge each other for overnight loans; it tends to indirectly influence mortgage rates.
 
Even so, affordability challenges will continue in 2024. Pent-up demand and low inventory will generally bolster prices, and elevated mortgage rates will remain until the Fed implements cuts to the federal funds rate.
 

When Will the Housing Market Recover

For a housing recovery to occur, Gumbinger says several conditions must unfold.
 
“For the best possible outcome, we’d first need to see inventories of homes for sale turn considerably higher,” Gumbinger says.
 
"This additional inventory, in turn, would ease the upward pressure on home prices, leveling them off or perhaps helping them to settle back somewhat from peak or near-peak levels.”And, of course, interest rates would need to cool off.
 
But Gumbinger says don’t hope they cool too quickly. Rapidly falling rates could create a surge of demand that wipes away any inventory gains, causing home prices to rebound.
 
“Better that rate reductions happen at a metered pace, incrementally improving buyer opportunities over a stretch of time, rather than all at once,” Gumbinger says.
 
He adds that mortgage rates returning to a more “normal” upper 4% to lower 5% range would also help the housing market, over time, return to 2014-2019 levels.
 
Yet, Gumbinger predicts it could be a while before we return to those rates.
 

Will Mortgage Originations Remain Low Through 2024

Eye-popping mortgage rates in the last few years have led to plummeting mortgage applications. However, with rates beginning to recede, purchase and refinance application activity has risen to a small degree.
 
Despite the improved pace, application activity remains very low due to elevated mortgage rates and perpetuating affordability challenges, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
 
Even so, there is a bright spot. Mortgage applications for new homes surged by almost 40% in October—the ninth consecutive month of annual growth. 
 
Moreover, new construction provided a way into the market for first-time buyers.
 
Though the MBA expects a mild recession for the first half of 2024, it predicts total mortgage origination volume will increase from an anticipated $1.64 trillion in 2023 to $1.95 trillion next year amid rates drifting down to near 6% by the end of 2024.
 
“As [2024] unfolds, we should start to see signs of increased activity in both existing and new home sales, accompanied by a boost in active building contributing to housing starts,” says Matt Vernon, head of consumer lending at Bank of America. “It’s an exciting time for the housing market, and staying informed will be key to navigating the changes ahead.”
 
Source: FORBES, read full article here. 
 

 
 
 

Grateful for our fantastic clients!

"As first time home buyers, we had so many questions and were buying in a competitive market, so we knew we needed a good agent. Leslie was incredible to work with, answering all our questions (even the dumb ones) and negotiating our contracts in a quick and professional way. Definitely would recommend Leslie and her team!" 

– Michelle W.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

 


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