First Quarter Trends

The first quarter of 2011 is over and we can now ask what’s happening in the real estate marketplace and what are the new trends?

More ALL CASH transactions: In January, over 30% of all real estate transactions in California were All CASH. In 2010 27.8 % of all sales were all cash. Many investors paid all cash as did 29.2% of the buyers of the $1,000,000 and up market.

Vacation Homes Sales surged higher in a sign that the housing market is finally making a major move in a positive direction. Condo sales in Hawaii and Florida are way up.

Generation X—young families and adults ages 31-45—sometimes referred to as Echo Boomers are likely to lead the home-buying recovery. There are 81 million “Echo Boomers” (people born between 1981 and 1999) compared to just 78 million Baby Boomers. Generation Y: These buyers prefer a larger lot, suburban development, and are family oriented.

WINKS: Demographers say that in 2015, more than two out of every households occupied by generation Y will be WINKS (women with income and no kids).

Baby Boomers: Born between 1946 and 1964—78 million strong. Many baby boomers are delaying their retirement and want to keep working. They want a first-floor Master bedroom near the washer and dryer and lots of convenient storage. Many are being a part of the “Sandwich Generation”—Boomers living with both their kids and their parents. These families like having two master suites, a second cooking area and again, lots of storage.

Energy Savings and Energy Star: In order to get Energy Star certification, builders will have to install the right insulation, HVAC systems, and other features related to energy efficiency. In some recent polls, 70% said that would pay $5,000 more for a “Green” home
Big Builders are removing all of the extras out of construction costs and dropping the national average cost to build 36% to $52.00 per sq. ft. For
Sheds are the next best thing! As homes get smaller, a separate shed will become a popular home addition.
Remodeling: Practicality will rule a new era. For the most part, homeowners are sticking to the projects that really need to be done and will help them save money. They’re going to do smaller projects in the kitchen and bath instead of ripping out and starting over. Also, newly purchased foreclosed homes will need a lot of work. With all of this said, the recovery here will be nothing like the boom of a few years ago.

***There are no clear dates for Generations X, Y and Z. The dates over-lap and vary.***

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