Right now, the Augusta Area real estate market is still somewhat under the influence of the economic downturn that began in 2007. However, the upcoming months will likely bring a dramatic change to the market. If a survey of national and local expert opinion holds true, the Augusta Area real estate market is poised for a housing boom.
Boomers on the move
In a recent survey, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate found that a high percentage of Baby Boomers plan to move out of their current homes. According to the survey, “57 percent of Boomers plan to move out of their current homes and 70 percent believe the house they retire in will be the best home in which they have ever lived.” Boomers are likely to find ready buyers for their homes because of another major population group that is moving into the homeownership market.
Millennials become homeowners
Millennials, ages 18 to 35, make up the largest population group since the Baby Boomers. Their move into the real estate market is creating a nation-wide housing demand. Another recent survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate indicates that Millennials view “Homeownership is the New Bling.” A 75 percent majority sees homeownership as a “fundamental indicator of success.” In addition to these two major population groups, a decreasing unemployment rate will bring other homebuyers into the housing market.
Augusta sees lower unemployment rate
The February 2014 results (latest results available at this posting) from the United States Department of Labor Bureau on Labor Statistics project an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in October 2013. As locals find steady employment, they will once again move into the homebuyer’s market. As if these indicators were not enough evidence, the most important indicator of a local housing boom is the attachment of a new mission to the local military base.
Cyber Center of Excellence
The recent announcement of the new permanent location for the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga., will also place an increased demand on the local real estate market. In an April 12, 2014, article, the Augusta Chronicle reported, “By 2019, the Army projects it will add 2,600 military, 900 civilian and 200 contractor jobs to Fort Gordon’s workforce, and boost the post’s student population by about 500 service members annually.” This is more good news for the Augusta Area Real Estate Market.
What it means for you
If you have been thinking about buying a home, now is the time. When all of the indicators collide, the home values in the Augusta Area are most likely going to increase, which means you will pay more for a home if you wait. Trulia, a real estate referral company, indicates this may be under way already. As of April 23, the Augusta Real Estate Overview on the Trulia website indicates that the average listing rate is up by 2.1 percent and the median sales price is up by 1.3 percent. While home prices vary from week-to-week, the overall trend is expected to rise.
In addition to increased property values, the other factor in your home-buying decision is mortgage interest rates, which are also expected to rise later this year. Bankrate, a financial website, states, “The Mortgage Bankers Association expects the 30-year fixed rate to rise to about 4.8 percent by the second quarter of the year, reaching 5 percent in the third quarter, according to the MBA’s latest forecast.” If you’re in the market, you should get pre-approved and lock in a rate as soon as possible.
While predicting the future of any market is an iffy proposition, we can look at all the factors that influence them. If the national and local indicators hold true, the Augusta Area real estate market is poised for a boom.