The sale of new buildings has proven to be resilient in recent economic challenges.
Despite the understandable decline in April, mortgage applications hit an 11-year high in June, according to a recent report by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
One of the main reasons is historically low interest rates. In mid-June, the average interest rate for a conventional 30-year fixed loan was 3.13% – after a high of 4.94% at the end of 2018.
This rate cut saves about $ 850 each month on a typical average Irvine home mortgage – and attracts those looking to move off the sidelines to Irvine’s new villages.
But it’s not just historically low interest rates that make Irvine so attractive.
“Irvine’s great asset was the master plan,” says Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow for city futures at Chapman University. “It is intended to do what people want.”
And what people want now – perhaps more than ever – are healthy environments.
“People want to hike. People want to see nature. Irvine was far-sighted enough to ensure all of this, ”he says.
Kotkin describes Irvine as a “hybrid” environment that combines the best of suburban settings (like village parks and schools) with urban amenities (like the office towers, entertainment and restaurants of the Irvine Spectrum District).
This hybrid environment is one of the reasons Irvine was voted one of the top 10 healthy communities in the United States. This is also a major reason many large cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, are losing population.
An accelerated trend
Kotkin also doesn’t believe these shifts from densely populated cities to suburban settings were due to the pandemic.
It’s been happening for a while, he says. And it will continue to drive demand in places like Irvine going forward.
“Many of these trends have already happened,” Kotkin recently told C-SPAN. “The population (of these cities) all declined before the pandemic.”
Kotkin continued, “A change has started where people start to say, ‘Do I really want to be on a train, on a subway, be in crowded places?’ ”
Irvine’s village design, on the other hand, offers a balanced array of coveted amenities surrounded by America’s largest urban network of open spaces to explore and admire.
In good times or in challenging times, it is this balance that makes Irvine homes so desirable.