Both residential and land sales showed strong growth and stability in 2013. Pent up demand, much improved consumer financial health, rising rents, low mortgage rates improving economic conditions and increased confidence in residential property as an investment all point toward an optimistic look at the real estate market outlook for 2014. Most industry leaders agree the market will show modest increases or remain similar to 2013.
United Country recorded a 9% rise in residential sales volume, which gives insight into the non-urban, small city, town and surrounding property (non-urban) markets across the nation that the company specializes in. Rents continued to increase in 2013 as mortgage rates remained near historical lows. Housing prices have adjusted to the market and now, according to the National Association of Realtors, housing affordability is strong and was up slightly at year’s end. Mortgage rates were down from November – which helps affordability – but an increase in inventory will help ease the pressure on home prices. Consumers wanting to take advantage of this historically strong affordability are moving now to beat expected increases in mortgage rates and home prices over the next few years as the economy improves and the fed reduces rate support.
Land – the other nearly half of United Country Real Estate sales – has continued to show strong sales and price appreciation, and again has proven to be a solid investment. United Country showed a 3% increase and all land sales in 2013 after a record breaking 2012 and an amazing 18% increase in recreational land (including hunting, fishing, equine and general use) sales in 2013. All segments of land sales remain strong and stable showing continued price per acre appreciation over the last few years.
“The economic conditions are perfect for lifestyle real estate demand as the economy continues to improve, affordability remains at an all-time high, consumers financial positions improve, technology allows for long distance commuting, more and more baby boomers retire and move out of urban America, farm commodity prices remain historically high, worldwide demand for U.S. crops continues to grow and consumers can finally purchase their dream property they have been waiting for”, said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. “Even recreational property (a more discretionary segment) is moving strongly again and is seen as a key indicator of healthy buyer confidence, which is a major driver in any consumer market.”
“We all continue to pursue the American dream,” Duffy said. “Lifestyle property is a big part of this dream of truly owning amazing properties and enjoying the lifestyle afforded by non-urban real estate in the U.S. and resort areas of Panama, Costa Rica and Mexico, where United Country Real Estate operates over 500 offices.”
For anyone dreaming of owning a second home, vacation home, retirement home, ranch, farm, ski property or any other lifestyle property, United Country is the largest marketer of non-urban real estate and offers tens of thousands of these type properties online at UnitedCountry.com.