Happy New Year….and Many More!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Can you believe it? It’s 2014 — how time flies.
What portends for us in the future? As we all saw, the Federal Reserve recently announced that in January they are beginning the ending of the large bond buying stimulus program by $10 billion a month as they began to help stabilize the economy. With the growing strength of the national economy, it is their hope that we will not need the economic “boost” that we got with this program. Can it come back, if the economy falters again??? Absolutely!!!! We have all been waiting for this to begin and know that interest rates will increase for both consumers and business. The stock market’s initial response was very positive, indicating the Fed and the stock market believe the economy is, indeed, improving. In other words, we’re looking at positive news as we enter 2014. That’s good news for all of us!
It’s been my pleasure to report during the past year that real estate sales were strong….sales volume was above the previous years….median sales prices through the first 11 months of 2013 were all up. As you have seen in the Schiffer Line, Beverly Hills leads the pack for the past year — as it normally does, but the strength in the real estate market does not appear to be ebbing, especially on the Westside. In many ways, our strengths have always been sheltered, to some degree, by our strategic location in the hub of the entertainment industry and growing technology hub, which have not suffered as much as other industries in the US.
According to the National Association of Realtors, surging stock prices and increased consumer confidence are among the factors propelling sales in the upper-end housing market (over $1 million). Sales of homes in this range rose 31% in the month of October 2013 over the previous year.
Of course, the stock market’s rise along with modest interest rates spurred the surge in residential mortgages….and even if there is a slowdown in 2014, the economy is expected to grow from 1.9% in the first quarter to 3% annual growth rate later in the year according to the UCLA Anderson School Forecast and others, too. In other words, we’re not going backward, and according to the NAR, real estate prices should be outpacing the growth in the economy — always welcomed news! So, I am enthusiastic as we move into the 2014.
I am looking forward to seeing you around and as always please let me know how I might assist you with any of your real estate needs.