Roanoke in 2016: What to expect

  1. The promise of increased mortgage rates will nudge those on the fence to buy a home before another rate hike

    • The FED already increased mortgage rates by .25%, and they have promised that this is just the beginning.  While the threat of higher rates has seemed to be on the horizon forever, it has now become a reality.  Those who have been thinking about buying--now is the time.  You may never (even in your lifetime) see mortgage rates this low, and they will not be here for long.
  2. Rents will go up up up!

    • Have you noticed that almost everywhere you turn in Roanoke, another apartment complex is being erected, or an old building is being converted to apartments?  Well, one reason is because commercial builders are expecting to profit with rising rents.  We can take a hint from the bigger cities such as Seattle: rent there is so steep that a new trend has emerged -- "Apodments".  Apodments are tiny, 208 square foot living quarters that aim to make rent "affordable". The bigger Roanoke grows, the higher rent will become.
  3. Residential builders will begin more affordable projects

    • Millennials are entering the market in full force, and they are the biggest generation to date (yes, baby boomers, they even outrank your numbers).  This younger generation wants and needs homes under $300K (and not those stale ones from 1970). You’d better believe that local builders are catching onto this big influx of customers!  Expect to see new single-family home construction emerge tailored to the Millennial market.
  4. Homebuyer traffic to the West End will increase

    • The bustle of Downtown Roanoke is creeping westward towards “Downtown West”, or “West End”.  The draw to downtown life is bigger than before, and for those that don’t want to live in multi-unit buildings (apartments and condos), choices have previously been slim.  Now, the West End is becoming the new hotspot for prime affordable housing. I predict that 2016 will bring a new breath of investor attention and renovations, leaving many homes perfect for single buyers and young families.
  5. The big Norfolk Southern migration from Roanoke will be filled with a new resident

    • Now, this might be half speculation and half just wishing, but I have a hunch that by the end of 2016, Roanoke will be looking at its newest big corporation.  The move of Norfolk Southern last year left us with a big, empty, house-sized hole in our hearts.  It’s gotta be filled by someone. Vince Lombardi once said about his championship team: “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”  Roanoke has had its fair share of knock-downs. But as has been said of our home town: we are resilient, we’ve got the get-ups, and we will be revived.