Relocation in the U.S.: Housing, Rental, and Mortgage Trends
As U.S. housing markets continue to improve, changing real estate, mortgage, and rental markets may impact relocation programs. Cartus, along with the Relocation Directors Council (RDC), provides an update of U.S. market trends in our latest U.S. Market Watch, with a look back on 2015 and what to expect in 2016, including home sale prices, inventory levels, mortgage industry changes, and the U.S. rental market.
- Home prices continue to rise: year-over-year gains have been achieved for 46 consecutive months.
- Inventory is low: inventory supply was at 3.9 months in December, below the six months considered a balanced market.
- Mortgage rates rose slightly: interest rates are projected to rise to 4.5% or higher in 2016.
- Home ownership rate is still low: “Boomerang Buyers” and Millennials may boost the housing market in 2016.
- High demand for rentals: a shortage of rental units and high demand are causing spikes in rental pricing.
- Job growth is strong: the jobless rate is at 4.9%, down by more than half since exceeding 10% in October 2009.
How Can Relocation Managers Assist Employees?
Relocation managers need a keen understanding of mortgage and real estate markets so that they can be sure that their policies and programs, such as marketing incentives and rental support, are in line with current trends. They also need to advise their employees on best practices; for instance, employees dealing with “hot” markets on either selling or buying ends need to be prepared to move quickly and even deal with bidding wars, so obtaining any needed approvals from the company in advance will be key, as well as getting approved for a mortgage as early in the relocation process as possible.
We will continue to keep you updated on the improving U.S. real estate markets and economic outlook. For more key market trends and best practices that you and your relocating employees need to know, download our March 2016 U.S. Market Watch.
The RDC provides up-to-date real estate market information, including median sales prices, active listings, days on market, and more. RDC members, many of whom are part of the Cartus Broker Network, are recognized leaders in the relocation industry and are known for their delivery of exemplary, comprehensive service to their corporate clients, transferees, and industry partners.