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Interest Rates headed up? Tiny homes and TikTok-pportunies 😂

By January 15, 2021 No Comments

Expect interest rates to stay low

“The long period of record-low rates on home loans could soon be over,” reads the lead in this ABC article. Yeah, well, probably not anytime soon.

Yes, the average rate on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate home loan rose to 2.79% this week from a record low of 2.65% last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. The rate stood at 3.65% a year ago.

However, as the Treasury yield rises so will the mortgage lending rate. But with the Fed keeping its lending rate at zero, there is a limit to how far up rates will rise. It may push past 3%, maybe, and then flatten out around there, because the Fed doesn’t plan to deviate from its Zero Interest Rate Program (part of its monetary policy) anytime soon.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that central bank policymakers should be mindful of how they talk about any future pullback in easy monetary policy.

Powell said he currently sees the economy as “far from our goals,” adding that when “clear evidence” points to progress, Fed policymakers will spell out its plans to financial markets.

“When the time comes to raise interest rates, we will certainly do that,” he said. “And that time, by the way, is no time soon.”

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Tiny homes go prime time and rentals

The housing boom set off by pandemic has treated those already operating in the space really well — even when the homes are tiny. And, according to a Business Insider report, there’s a push to make this once-fringe housing choice a mainstream option for homebuyers.

Most of the change of heart is down to Americans growing more desperate to buy a home, any home, at a time when demand far outreaches supply. And, let’s face, tiny homes can be built cheaper, and faster.

IPX 1031, a financial company, found that 56% of Americans said they would move into a tiny house during the pandemic, and that 86% of first-time buyers would buy a tiny house as their starter home.

Now the focus is on turning tiny houses into a legitimate form of housing by getting local governments to come on board (most still consider tiny homes against code). There are no building codes for tiny houses, which means they aren't being built to a certain safety standard. Plus, tiny houses aren't mentioned in most local zoning codes, so it's very difficult to find a place to legally park a tiny house in the US.

Zack Giffin, host of “Tiny House Nation” and vice president of the Tiny Home Industry Association said tiny houses are a great housing option for singles and retirees. One-bedrooms and studios make up only 12% of our housing.

Looks like an increasing number of new-builds are being built directly for renting. Investors are building tens of thousands of homes intended to be used as rentals, believing rentals will stay in high demand in suburban locations as home prices continue to rise, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Builders are teaming up with investors to build neighborhoods of single-family rental homes. Taylor Morrison Home Corp. predicts an increasing share of new U.S. homes—about 5% over the next few years—will be sold directly to investors. Usually, that percentage hovers around 1% for the company. LGI Homes Inc. told The Wall Street Journal that build-to-rent homes likely comprised up to 10% of its 2020 sales, or 900 homes.

Over the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2020, more than 50,000 homes had been built specifically as rentals, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Having this affordable alternative is all the more important considering how much home prices have increased. A recent report by Redfin found that the national median home price climbed to $335,519 in November, 14 percent higher than a year earlier — the biggest annual gain since July 2013. A record 35 percent of homes sold for over asking price and sales were swift, with homes averaging just 27 days on the market, a record low.

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People are literally buying houses they've seen on TikTok

We’ve already talked about how TikTok can DOUBLE your production with That Mortgage Guy, but we’re not the only one cashing in on the app!

For example, you could take your real estate business to TikTok and get a viral hit like this 35-year-old Kansas City, Missouri home inspector.

Bryan Standley had his home inspection video go viral and has generated more interest in his business increase as a result of using the TikTok app, which is something, he said,  has never happened on Facebook or Instagram.

Real estate agent Joseph Felling told BuzzFeed that he recently closed on two homes he sold via the social media app and has about 20 to 25 new clients. Felling’s videos are typical tours of moderately priced but attractive homes in the Dallas–Fort Worth suburbs with a caption like: “This is what $350,990 will get you in Allen, TX.”

You can even get financial advice on how to make that house purchase via the app. Quen Williams is a real estate agent in Austin who has gained over 300,000 followers in just a few months offering advice to home buyers.

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