Spring is here and that means increased activity for the housing market.  HSH.com offers valuable information for homeowners and buyers alike.

~~Homeowners and buyers: 6 things to watch this spring

By Tim Manni of HSH.com


The U.S. economy is off to a bit of a rocky start in 2014, something that might actually benefit homebuyers this busy spring homebuying season. The unsteady – and frankly, at times unpredictable – economy has allowed mortgage rates to hit yearly lows as recently as the first week in March.

But just as the economy seems to be taking a turn for the worse, surprisingly positive figures (see the February job numbers) send mortgage rates higher. Regardless of the turbulence, interest-rate conditions are expected to remain quite favorable this spring.

What is anticipated to negatively impact home seekers in the coming months is housing inventory. No stranger to the headlines, limited inventory has been stymieing homebuyers for a while now. Improving home prices throughout 2013 and the prospect of moderate price growth throughout 2014 will allow some owners to put their homes up for sale, but many are predicting the pickings to remain rather slim.

With the wicked winter weather behind us (hopefully), the market needs a jump-start, and perhaps warmer temperatures will do the trick. But can warmer temps thaw strict lending standards? With the new federal regulations just underway, it's unfortunately too early to say.

This is going to be an interesting spring for borrowers. Will there be enough quality, nondistressed homes to compete with demand? Will lending conditions ease enough to accommodate the nation's underserved mortgage borrowers? Will investors continue to have a strong presence within the marketplace? Can young homebuyers overcome common obstacles to reclaim their share of the market?These are all questions that will be answered in time.