Ringing in the New Year by peeking at the past
The devastation of Hurricane Katrina clearly was the leader in more than the real estate category. Thousands of residents losing their loved ones, homes, jobs and dreams became reality for one of the more popular areas of the country. Scores of Gulf Coast people continue to live in hotel rooms and trailers. The uncertainty of how, when, and where to rebuild will continue for countless months for many families. May the spirit of the Christmas season bring renewed hope to all hurricane victims.
Certainly rising interest rates made news this year. The prospect of higher home-loan payments began to slow sales--and investor speculation--in many markets. When monthly mortgage costs leap to levels that cannot be countered by higher rents, low-down payment landlords would rather walk away than sell for a loss.
Despite what you might have heard, the Federal Reserve's 12 moves to lift rates did not cripple sales in many popular owner-occupied neighborhoods. That's because consumers, spoiled by a terrific borrowing environment for the past three years, often jump down off the fence and buy when rates rise in an effort to catch rates before they move even higher. Home-loan rates, expected to rise considerably by the fourth quarter of 2005, finally did so; yet they were bouncing lower at the end of November than they were at the end of October.
Read the entire Tom Kelly Inman News Article