New York's Jason Halpern talks Northern California Real Estate

Following increased profits in property sales in 2016, Northern California’s housing market is expected to register slight growth this year. Jason believes that there would be moderate increase in current home sales of approximately 0.8% to reach more than 300,000 units in 2017.

Though the real-estate sector is still less active than it was about a decade ago when there was the housing boom, it’s expected to become one of the most popular in the country at large. In fact, Jason Halpern thinks that it will be America’s 4th most competitive housing market in 2017, as indicated by property value appreciation and overall increase in sales volume.

As other parts of U.S are expected to experience slow growth in property market due to increased mortgage rates and other factors, things would be different in Northern California as a result of a more stable economy. The area will create more jobs for people who shall then be able to afford buying homes.

Halpern is also of the opinion that there would be population growth which shall further boost the industry’s prospects, more people will move into the region from other parts of California and countrywide having being attracted by the better standards of living that Northern California has to offer.

Statistics show that home rates in places such as Sacramento will grow by 7.2-percent, whereas in other parts of Northern California it would do so by a modest 4.9%, which is very affordable for those who want to buy their homes on budget.

Jason Halpern states that this positive trend represents a boost for the community, which has spent almost a decade recovering from the last burst housing bubble. Not only are potential home buyers excited about Northern California’s real-estate market, but also the property developers who will now be able to sell their homes much faster and with less competition from other industry players.

The JMH Development founder thinks this forecast is quite plausible, based on sales activities that are already taking place on the ground. For instance, in just 1 week 6 homes were sold in McKinley Village area despite experiencing rainy weather. Something that normally doesn’t happen.

Though overall demand for housing is expected to be strong in Northern California, some buyers may still remain price–sensitive and refuse to overpay. Meaning that eventually property owners may be forced to standardize their rates.

According to Jason Halpern, most buyers are sensitive about paying the correct price. Therefore, if a home is not well appraised it may end up sitting instead of selling as the customers would be more interested in affordable houses within the area.

Furthermore, more millennials are expected to become homeowners in 2017, thus driving up homeownership rate in Northern California significantly. Moreover, since this group of individuals is racially diverse compared to the others, they represent an ever changing demographic of property ownership in America.

Research shows that almost half of all homebuyers in 2016 were doing it for the first time, there was an increase in ownership to 35-percent which is the highest rate since 2013. Similarly, those aged 35 and below consisted of 61-percent of first-time home buyers this year in Northern California.

Jason Halpern

In light of this development, Jason says that young adults are increasingly choosing to settle down and buy homes as a long term investment that will guarantee them a brighter future. Even with many buyers facing mortgage and affordability challenges, the appeal of homeownership is strong among the younger people.

Furthermore, rent affordability will improve thanks to increased household incomes and availability of more homes to choose from for residence. Tenants should anticipate to have it much easier this year, reduced lease appreciation will also make renting homes more affordable than it was in the last 2yrs.

Jason Halpern believes most cities in Northern California will focus development on smaller homes adjacent to public transit hubs, as well as urban centers. He also points that construction in certain parts of the region will reflect on 'surban’ lifestyle, whereby urban and suburb movements collide. This trend shall also be boosted by revamped suburban downtowns that are beginning to approve new housing.

Despite the positive reflections, Halpern still maintains that price appreciation for homes in Northern California has relatively cooled off since 2013, when the property market was booming following the recession aftermath. This area is steadily emerging from the void that was created when property market collapsed.

The new U.S President’s policies on immigration will also affect housing costs if implemented. Since these rules bar foreigners from crossing into the country looking for menial jobs, such as in the construction industry, the cost of building new homes may increase significantly due to scarcity of cheap labor and this might eventually be passed down to the buyer.

For those considering building their own homes instead of buying, it’s worth noting the extra cost that may emerge amidst labor shortages if the President’s hardline stance on immigration is followed through.

Jason says that more people will be seeking to buy homes further into the suburbs instead of inner cities, due to the affordability factor. Since high pricing was a major challenge for homebuyers in 2016, coupled by increased home rates, those looking for inexpensive housing options are pushing farther away from the cities. Consequently, this may translate to more people driving to work rather than using public transit routes in the near future.

Generally, homes values in Northern California will be stable and not affected by market fluctuations and uncertainties. Nevertheless, there might be a slowdown in home-price growth as the year steadily progresses and this shall be welcome relief for potential buyers.

Furthermore, Jason Halpern suggests that there would be an increase in small housing units or studios next to the main homes. These mini-households, also known as accessory dwelling units or ADUs, may be an innovative solution to Northern California’s shortage of housing inventory. They also allow for what Halpern calls 'invisible density’, which is surplus housing stock that doesn’t alter the way that single-detached home blocks appear from the street.

In conclusion, Jason believes Northern California’s real-estate market has a lot of potential for home buyers. Property sellers are also expected to reap more profits than due to increased market interest.


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