Data from 2015 is still being analyzed as it relates to the housing market and for real estate investors the good news just keeps pouring int. According to an article in USA Today* rental rates in the 100 largest metropolitan areas jumped nearly 5.0% last year, the sixth straight year of increases. During that time, rental rates for apartments climbed 22.5%, the single biggest jump in more than two decades. And in yet another article, this from Fortune Magazine,** rental prices will continue to rise as existing home values continue to increase as well. For those well qualified to invest in multi-and single family properties, this combination means an increase in equity as well as continued increases in monthly cash flow.

As the stock market continues to struggle to find its footing, safer bets in Treasuries and mortgage bonds have been the beneficiaries, keeping financing costs low. According to Freddie Mac’s most recent survey, the 30 year fixed rate fell another three basis points from 3.65% to 3.62%. Rates for non-owner occupied units are typically .125% to .25% higher than those for an owner occupied home. The record low for the 30 year fixed rate came in late 2012 when the average notched 3.15%.

As winter begins to thaw and home buying season begins we can expect a continued increase in home values as well as a greater demand for rental property. While mortgage lenders have become more accommodating in their guidelines getting a mortgage approval today is still more difficult than it was 10 years ago. This due diligence and lower foreclosure rates have helped keep money available and lending more predictable. It looks to be a very good year for real estate.

*USA Today, “No Let-Up Seen in Rent Hikes This Year” January 2016

**Fortune Magazine, “Rent Will Be Even Less Affordable in 2016” December 2015