Real Estate Investing 2014: The Year in Review
Sometimes, the best way to look forward is to look back. For real estate investors, this is about growth: if you can look at what you’ve done and what the market has done in the past, you can identify smart tactics for moving forward and avoid repeating mistakes, while building on your successes. With 2015 just days away, it’s a good time to reflect on what last year brought in real estate investing.
Real estate was a top investment. Back in September, we talked about how real estate became the top alternative investment pick: 77% of investors with at least $1 million in assets own real estate and 1/3 of surveyed investors planned to purchase investment properties in the coming months.
Property values continued to rise. Zillow reports that property values in the U.S. have gone up 6% in the last year and predictions indicate at least another 2.4% in the coming year.
Interest rates truly stabilized. 2014 allowed us to settle back in after the housing crisis. With interest rates and federal loan limits stabilizing, real estate investment became a bit more predictable—helping investors to regain confidence.
Tech stopped being so scary. Technology pervades nearly every aspect of our lives and the world of real estate investment can truly benefit from that technology. It appears that 2014 was the year that the real estate community really got on board with it and now it’s not a matter of convincing investment partners to leverage technology, it’s a matter of taking the lead.
Millennials became a significant market influencer. It might not be what you expect, but rates for first-time homebuyers dropped in 2014. Normally, millennials would fill this niche, but there are notable hindrances to home buying for individuals who fall into this generation designation—higher student debt and scanter job opportunities, for instance. That being said, millennials are now more inclined to settle down; increased employment opportunities should help them to do just that.
What does all this mean to current and prospective real estate investors? Investment properties continue to be a highly viable option for investors. 2015 is shaping up to be a great year for real estate investment.
- If you’re new to property investment, take the time to find mentors and be deliberate about your strategy. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; plenty of other real estate investors have made mistakes you can learn from.