Selling

Is the Real Estate Market Finally Getting Back to Normal?

The housing market has been anything but normal for the last eleven years. In a normal real estate market, home prices appreciate 3.7% annually. Below, however, are the price swings since 2007 according to the latest Home Price Expectation Survey: After the bubble burst in June 2007, values depreciated 6.1% annually until February 2012. From March 2012 to today, the market has been recovering with values appreciating 6.2% annually. These wild swings in values were caused by abnormal ratios between the available supply of inventory and buyer demand in the market. In a normal market, there would be a 6-month supply of housing inventory. When the market hit its peak in 2007, homeowners and builders were trying to take advantage of a market that was fueled by an “irrational exuberance.” Inventory levels grew to 7+ months. With that many homes available for sale, there weren’t enough buyers to satisfy the number of homeowners/builders trying to sell, so prices began to fall. Then, foreclosures came to market. We eventually hit 11 months inventory which caused prices to crash until early 2012. By that time, inventory levels had fallen to 6.2 months and the market began its recovery. Over the last five years, inventory levels have remained well below the 6-month supply needed for prices to continue to level off. As a result, home prices have increased over that time at percentages well above the appreciation levels seen in a more normal market.  That was the past. What about the future? We…

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25% of Homes with a Mortgage are Now Equity Rich!

Rising home prices have been in the news a lot lately and much of the focus has been on whether home prices are accelerating too quickly, as well as how sustainable the growth in prices really is. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising prices, however, is the impact that they have on a homeowner’s equity position. Home equity is defined as the difference between the home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens (loans) on the property. While homeowners pay down their mortgages, the amount of equity they have in their homes climbs each time the value of their homes go up! According to the latest Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, “13.9 million U.S. properties in Q2 2018 were equity rich — where the combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value — representing 24.9% of all U.S. properties with a mortgage.” This means that nearly a quarter of Americans who have a mortgage would be able to sell their homes and have a significant down payment toward their next home. Many who sell could also use their new-found equity to pay off high-interest credit cards or help children with tuition costs. The map below shows the percentage of properties with a mortgage in each state that were equity rich in Q2 2018. Bottom Line If you are a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by moving up to your…

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If You Are Thinking of Selling? You Must Act NOW!

If you thought about selling your house this year, now more than ever may be the time to do it! The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned about the concept of supply and demand, so we understand that the best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, recently commented: “Contract signings inched backward once again last month, as declines in the South and West weighed down on overall activity.” Yun goes on to say: “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.” In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction, including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies. Bottom Line As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

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Are Homebuyers Starting to Hit the ‘Pause’ Button?

For the last several years, buyer demand has far exceeded the housing supply available for sale. This low supply and high demand have led to home prices appreciating by an average of 6.2% annually since 2012. With this being said, three of the four major reports used to measure buyer activity have revealed that purchasing demand may be softening. Here are the four indices, how they measure demand (methodology), what their latest reports said, and a quick synopsis of the report. The Foot Traffic Report by the National Association of Realtors Methodology: Every month SentriLock, LLC provides NAR Research with data on the number of properties shown by a REALTOR®. Lockboxes made by SentriLock, LLC are used in roughly a third of home showings across the nation. Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future. Latest Report: “Foot Traffic climbed 3.2 points to 55.8 mid-summer in July. Additionally, the diffusion index is higher than last year by 13.5 points. Despite a healthy economy and labor market, supply and new construction remains unable to keep up with buyer demand.” Synopsis: Buyer demand remains strong. The Showing Index by ShowingTime Methodology: The ShowingTime Showing Index® tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends. Latest Report: “Showing activity throughout the country increased…

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Home Prices Have Appreciated 6.9% in 2018

Between 1987 and 1999, which is often referred to as the ‘Pre-Bubble Period,’ home prices grew at an average of 3.6% according to the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every month, the economists at CoreLogic release the results of their Home Price Insights Report, which includes the actual year-over-year change in prices across the country and their predictions for the following year. The chart below shows the forecasted year-over-year prices for 2018 (predictions made in 2017). According to their predictions, the average appreciation over the course of 2018 should be 4.8%, which is still greater than the ‘normal’ appreciation of 3.6%. If we layer in the actual price appreciation that has occurred this year, we can see that over the course of 2018, home prices have appreciated by an average of 6.9% and have outpaced projections all year! What does this mean? The tale of today’s real estate market is one of low inventory, high demand, and rising prices. The forces at work can be simply explained with the theory of supply and demand. That being said, if a large supply of inventory were to come to the market, prices may start to appreciate closer to the forecasted rate which would STILL be greater than the historic norm! Bottom Line If you are a homeowner whose house no longer meets your needs, now may be a great time to list your home and capitalize on the equity you have gained over the last year to make a significant down payment on…

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NAR Reports Show It’s A Great Time to Sell!

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when the demand for that item is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that right now continues to be a great time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered in the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report. THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) are down 2.3% from last year and have continued to fall on an annual basis for seven straight months. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “The reason sales are falling off last year’s pace is that multiple years of inadequate supply in markets with strong job growth have finally driven up home prices to a point where an increasing number of prospective buyers are unable to afford it.” Takeaway: Demand for housing is strong and will continue to grow in 2019. Without an influx of new listings for sale, pending home sales will continue to decline. Listing now means you will be able to take advantage of the demand currently in the market. THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales-based, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained: Total housing inventory decreased 0.7% to 5.34 million homes available for sale in July This represents a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace Sales…

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Home Prices Up 6.49% Across the Country! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently released their latest quarterly Home Price Index report. In the report, home prices are compared both regionally and by state. Based on the latest numbers, if you plan on relocating to another state, waiting to move may end up costing you more!

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What Does the Future Hold for Home Prices?

Home prices are at the top of everyone’s minds. Can they maintain their current pace of appreciation? Will rising mortgage rates negatively impact home values? Will the next economic slowdown cause prices to crash? Let’s try to answer these questions based on what has happened in the past as well as what we know about the current real estate market. The Impact of Rising Interest Rates We explained earlier this year that rising mortgage rates have not negatively impacted home prices in the past and probably wouldn’t this time either. Freddie Mac’s comments were very direct: “In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.” They were correct. So far this year, home values have continued to appreciate above normal historic percentages and it appears the gradual increase in rates has had little impact on prices. The Impact of an Economic Slowdown Many people fear that when the economy turns, we may see the same depreciation in home values as we did a decade ago. However, we recently reported that the same group of economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists who predicted the next recession will occur in the next 18-24 months have also projected that house prices will continue to…

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5 Reasons You Should Sell This Fall!

Here are five reasons why listing your home for sale this fall makes sense. 1. Demand Is Strong The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase…and are in the market right now! In fact, more often than not, multiple buyers end up competing with each other to buy the same homes. Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market. 2. There Is Less Competition Now  Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon! Historically, a homeowner stayed in his or her home for an average of six years, but that number has hovered between nine and ten years since 2011. Many homeowners have a pent-up desire to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell. 3. The Process Will Be Quicker Today’s competitive environment has forced…

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A+ Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Hiring a real estate professional to help you buy your dream home or sell your current house is one of the most ‘educated’ decisions you can make! A real estate professional has the experience needed to help you through the entire process. Make sure that you hire someone who knows current market conditions and can simply and effectively explain them to you and your family!

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