Our real estate holiday wishlist

lauren and scottsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

As 2015 winds down, we are already assessing the 2016 Kansas City real estate market. This year has been solid, with lack of inventory as our featured issue. Prices have been up, time on the market has been down, but inventory has been way, way down. We’ll have our year-end review next month, but it’s safe to say that 2015 will go down as a good, seller’s market. While we wait to see how many people list their homes next year, here is our holiday wish list for 2016.

Increased Inventory. Low inventory held a good market back from being great in 2015, leaving many buyers still looking for a home that’s a good fit. We’d love to see a conservative growth in inventory in 2016, giving buyers more options while preserving healthy home values.

Continued Low Interest Rates. Most experts predict that interest rates will soon begin to rise, maybe as early as December 16th. We’ve enjoyed historically low rates for some time now, and higher interest rates won’t be a surprise. However, we hope buying a home remains affordable for as many buyers as possible. Fortunately, the Mortgage Bankers Association doesn’t predict the average 30-yr rate to reach 5% in 2016.

TRID Success. As we talked about our TRID article, a new era in home loans began in October. Everyone in the real estate industry, and certainly everyone who takes out a home loan, is operating under a new set of rules, requirements and timelines. Indeed, November is predicted to be a down month, in part because buyers have budgeted more time for closing. In our experience, lenders and title officers have a great handle on things, which bodes well for 2016. Buyers can help the process by having all their information together as soon as possible, and by getting things to their lender as quickly as possible when the call comes.

Homeowner Equity. 2015 was a good year for equity. Home prices are up, and they look to continue that way in 2016. For many homeowners, 2016 could mean finally being above water. For many, added equity could mean the decision to list their homes. More equity for more people would have an impact beyond the bounty of a more valuable asset.

Post-Christmas Deals/Home Freshening. Post-Christmas deals will be all over the place, for what seems just about every good and service available. There will be a lot of affordable solutions to any home issue, for homeowners looking to list next year, those just wanting to start 2016 with a fresh look, or those who want to stock up on home maintenance supplies.

Home Searching. Searching for homes can be a lot of fun. Buyers and sellers have more technology than ever at their disposal, and should take advantage of it. There are many robust online home search tools out there (ours is at www.laurenhruby.com), and any real estate agent can help with a professional search or competitive market analysis. Homeowners can also assess the value of their own homes by performing a search of homes in their area. We encourage everyone to explore the Kansas City market in 2016.

Early Contact by Sellers. Some predict that the 2016 busy season will arrive early this year, in the first quarter. If this occurs, sellers who have contacted their listing agent early will reap the benefits of the active market. Listing can entail a lot of work, and planning ahead is always encouraged. The time to talk about listing in 2016 is now.

Continued Urban Core Development. There has been a lot of development in the Kansas City urban core in 2015, and many of the projects are still in preliminary or beginning stages. This has lead to continued optimism for growth across the metro area, particularly from high-profile projects such as Westport Commons, KC Streetcar, and the KC Convention Hotel project. We hope each of these projects is successful, that they are financially sound, and that they help spur other benefits in surrounding neighborhoods in 2016.

PorchFestKC. OK, we are a bit biased on this one. As a proud sponsor of PorchFestKC, and as music fans and lovers of neighborhood block parties, we hope that the event will find a new home in 2016. PorchFest has been in the West Plaza neighborhood for two years, but is looking for a new neighborhood. We suspect that we’ll enjoy the event next summer, somewhere, and we look forward to seeing everyone there!

Happy Homes. Our last wish is that every home is happy this holiday season. It’s a fun and stressful time of the year. May everyone’s home be a place of refuge to share special times, great food and lots of laughter. If you are one of the 30,000 or so households that bought a home in the Kansas City area in 2015, we hope you have a wonderful first holiday season in your new house or condo. If you will be listing or buying in 2016, we wish you luck with your experience. Give us a ring; we’d love to help.

Author’s Note – If you enjoy reading our Midtown KC Post articles, and might be buying or selling your own home, please contact us. We enjoy writing these, and love helping people.

Lauren Hruby Real Estate



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