Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018:

Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

Buying a Home? 4 Things You Should Know About Home Appraisals

As you might already know, summertime is a very busy time for real estate agents. That’s why so many home buyers decide to enter the market during this time of year.

If you too are a prospective home buyer planning to enter the market soon, then you’ve visited the right real estate blog!

Today, we’re going to share four things that every home buyer should know about appraisals.

What Are Appraisals and Why Are They Important?

An appraisal is the valuation of a property by the estimate of an authorized person.

These are particularly important for those who will be taking out a loan on their next home.

And unless you’re independently wealthy (or have been successful in building a sizeable savings account), you will more than likely end up requesting a loan.

When you ask for that loan, banks reference your home’s appraisal as a way of deciding how much to give you. That’s why appraisals are so important.

Consider this example: Let’s say you make a purchase offer on a home for $120,000. You need a loan for exactly that amount.

However, when the appraisal comes back, it says the home is worth only $100,000 – and the bank isn’t willing to give you a penny more.

This means that you’re faced with a $20,000 budget gap. And that’s enough to kill many a real estate deal.

But Don’t Worry – We Can Help!

Here is some valuable information on appraisals that may help you avoid unfortunate situations like the one above:

Appraisers must meet certain criteria first. According to the Appraisal Institute, a qualified appraiser should be licensed or certified and also should be familiar with the local area. What’s more, federal regulations stipulate that the appraiser must be impartial and have no direct or indirect interest in the transaction. Fannie Mae even requires that appraisers certify that they have experience appraising similar properties in the same area.

Appraisal values are influenced by a number of factors. For instance, appraisers will consider recent sales of similar properties as well as current market trends. They’ll also factor in such things as the home’s amenities, number of bedrooms, floor plan functionality and more.

Appraisers are required to do a complete visual inspection of the interior and exterior of the home. During this time, they’re also required to note any conditions that may adversely impact the property’s value. This may include needed repairs.

Generally speaking, appraisers use Fannie Mae’s Uniform Residential Appraisal Report for single-family homes. This report asks the appraiser a number of questions, including what the home’s interior and exterior look like, what neighborhood it’s located in and what nearby comparable sales there are. Other parts of the report include: a street map showing the appraised property, an exterior building sketch, an explanation of how the square footage was calculated, and photos of the home. After providing all of this information, the appraiser offers an analysis and conclusions about the property’s value based on this information.

We’ll Help You At Every Stage of the Home Buying Process

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home buyer.

Hopefully, if all goes well, the appraisal on your next home will go smoothly and you’ll be that much closer to owning your own home.

For EVERY stage of the home buying process, we want you to know that we’ll be there to assist you in order to make the experience as seamless as possible. Contact us today to learn more about the services we provide and the valuable advice and insight we can offer.

US Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Month in a Row

We have some excellent news to report from the national housing market: Evidently US pending home sales index increased for the third straight month in April.

This is a great testament that the national housing market is getting back on track and becoming increasingly stable.

If you’re considering entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this new trend.

The Latest Outlook from the Housing Market is Positive

Let’s take a closer look at the recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to recent data, the pending home sales index (which is based on contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes) increased 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 108.6 in March.

This is also higher than in February, when the level was 107.4.

And evidently, the increase in the home sales index is higher than many economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal thought it would be. They had expected the increase to be 1 percent.

Here are some additional highlights from the recent report:

  • When comparing March 2014 to March 2015, the index increased 11.1 percent.
  • Completed existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March. This increase followed two months in which the gains were lackluster.
  • And although sales of newly built single-family homes decreased from February to March, they increased almost 20 percent from the sales pace of a year ago.
  • The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.77 percent in March, which is slightly above the previous month but also down from a year earlier.
  • And pending sales of existing homes increased in the South and the West during the month of March, but decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • Meanwhile, markets across the country are seeing home prices increase.

Experts believe that low housing inventory have driven prices up on existing homes. And while that has helped to close the gap in cost between newer homes (which are typically more expensive) and previously-owned homes, existing home sales still account for roughly 90 percent of the overall market.

Will These Positive Housing Market Trends Continue?

Check back with us soon to see if national real estate activity continues on this upward trend or takes a dip.

Having the most up-to-date market data is critical to ensuring a successful outcome as a buyer or seller. That’s why we hope you’ll check back here again soon for the most up-to-date information on the market possible.

New US Home Sales and New Housing Starts See Major Surge

\Regardless of whether you’re navigating the new home sales market or the new construction market, you’ve likely heard some great news over the last few weeks.

That’s because both sectors of the national housing market have made gains recently, according to media reports.

If you’re planning on entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we recommend you continue reading to learn more about the latest trends on the housing market.

A Closer Look at US Single-Family Housing Starts

According to a recent Reuters article, groundbreaking for U.S. single-family homes increased to its highest level in more than 6 years in December.

Experts say that this, coupled with a huge jump in permits, hints at a recovering housing market.

Here’s what national data revealed about single-family housing starts:

  • Single-family housing starts jumped 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 728,000-units.
  • That figure is the highest level it’s been since March 2008.
  • The jump in housing starts offset a 0.8 percent fall in groundbreaking for the multi-family homes segment.
  • These two factors combined lifted overall housing starts 4.4 percent to a 1.09 million-unit rate last month.
  • It should be noted that Wall Street had forecast starts rising to a 1.04 million-unit pace.
  • For all of 2014, groundbreaking increased 8.8 percent to 1.01 million units, the highest since 2007.
  • Single-family housing starts in 2014 were also the highest in seven years.
  • Single-family permits increased 4.5 percent to their highest level since January 2008.

Equally Positive Signs Seen on for New Home Sales

Meanwhile, sales of new homes also showed signs of growth in recent months.

Here’s what Reuters recently reported about this subsection of the market:

  • Sales increased 11.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units.
  • New home sales, which make up roughly 8 percent of the housing market, saw a total of 435,000 homes sold compared with 429,000 in 2013.

We’ll Help You Become an Informed Buyer or Seller

We truly believe that the more informed buyers and sellers are about the local housing market, the more likely they are to enjoy a successful outcome on the market.

That’s why we bring you pertinent information about the housing market every month.

Check back here soon for even more information about the current state of the housing market and how it may affect you.

Report: US Home Inventory Low, Making It a Great Time to Sell

Happy New Year! We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that you’re as excited and hopeful about 2015 as we are!

And if you’re a prospective home seller, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors suggests that there’s a good chance you can get a great price on your home right now.

According to the recent report, US home sales recently hit a six month low, with inventory at a low point too.

While this may seem discouraging at first blush, this actually suggests that those homes that are being sold on the market are being met with increased demand. After all, home buyers have a smaller selection of available homes to choose from than in recent months.

The key to sealing the deal on your home for sale and getting a great price is expert marketing.

A Closer Look at This Recent Real Estate Report

Here are some of the highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:

  • Existing home sales decreased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units.
  • That figure is the lowest it’s been since May
  • Meanwhile, home inventories reached an eighth month low.
  • Home sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago during the month of December.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. housing index was down 0.2 percent as shares in the largest homebuilder (D.R. Horton) decreased 0.4 percent. Lennar Corp fell 0.43 percent and Pulte Group decreased 0.19 percent.
  • Also, the inventory of unsold homes decreased 6.7 percent from a year ago, to 2.09 million.
  • At November’s sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to sell all homes currently on the market. A six month supply is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.
  • The decreased supply of homes means that the median home price increased 5 percent from a year ago.

Experts say that fickle wage growth as well as higher home prices have kept a lot of first-time home buyers out of the market.

Still, experts also say that with job gains and wage growth expected in early 2015, more and more first-time home buyers are likely to enter the market in the coming months.

In fact, during the month of November, first-time home buyers accounted for 31 percent of all transactions, which is the biggest share they’ve occupied since October 2012.

For comparison purposes, first-time home buyers comprised 29 percent of all transactions in October.

Expert Real Estate Marketing is Key to Selling Your Home

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity to get a good price on your home, you just have to make sure your home stands out to prospective and qualified home buyers.

That’s where working with an experienced real estate agent can help. A professional will be able to create a custom-made marketing plan for your home that will maximize its exposure to the right buyers.

This will ultimately lead to you getting your home sold in a relatively short amount of time and for a great price!

Check back here soon for more expert insight on the national housing market and how it may impact you as a seller.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015 for you and your family!

US Home Sales Rose In September, Report Shows

U.S. homes sold at a faster rate in September than any other time this year, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors said.

Evidently, sales of existing homes increased 2.4 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million.

Experts are saying that this increase is a great sign that the housing market is picking up and moving past the slowdown that started in mid-2013.

More Encouraging Signs on the National Housing Market

The National Association of Realtors provided some additional information that helps paint a more complete picture of the current state of the housing market:

  • The sales rate has dropped 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
  • First-time home buyers comprised about 29 percent of all sales. This is below the historic average of roughly 40 percent.
  • Median home prices increased 5.6 percent over the last 12 months to $209,700.
  • September sales increased in the South and West compared to the previous month.
  • Meanwhile, sales increased slightly in the Northeast and dropped in the Midwest.
  • Nationally, the share of purchases by investors decreased from 19 to 14 percent year-over-year.
  • The report projects that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year, down 3 percent from 5.09 million in 2013.
  • Generally speaking, real estate experts say 5.5 million existing home sales is a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, housing starts increased 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million homes, although much of that was new apartment buildings.
  • Apartment construction has jumped 30.3 percent over the past 12 months, almost three times the rate of growth for single-family houses.

Many Forces Are at Work to Create These Conditions, Analysts Said.

For instance, over the last year, fewer investors have entered the market. Luckily, their pullback has been offset by existing homeowners who are moving up to more expensive properties or downsizing as empty nesters.

Meanwhile, some would-be buyers have been kept out of the market because of rising prices through much of 2013, weak income growth and tighter credit standards.

Experts are now predicting that the worst of the housing market recession is over but that the economy and housing market will likely grow in fits and starts.

One development that might help with this growth is the fact that the federal regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering creating an option for lower down payments so more people can qualify for a mortgage.

And because the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped below 4 percent recently, experts are expecting more buyers to enter the market.

In Fact, Many Signs Suggest Now Is a Great Time to Be A Buyer

For instance, online real estate brokerage Redfin said that only 44 percent of its offers in October faced bidding wars. This is down form a high of 75 percent in March 2013.

Meanwhile, more homes are expected to become available on the market thanks to many investors’ plans to sell for tax reasons at the end of the year.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to invest in property, now is a great time to do so!

Your #1 Real Estate Resource

We believe that knowledge is power and so we work hard to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on the national housing market. Hopefully you found today’s report helpful!

Check back here soon for more valuable insight on the recent trends on the national housing market and how they may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller!

US Real Estate Market Sees 6-Year Home Sales High

We’re breaking records on the U.S. housing market!

Evidently, during the month of August, national home sales reached their highest levels in more than six years, according to a recent report from the Commerce Department.

This is incredible! That means that sales activity has returned to the levels it was pre-bubble burst. And this spells great success for anyone interested in listing their home on the market.

A Closer Look at US Home Data

According to Commerce Department figures, new home sales jumped 18 percent to a 504,000 annualized rate, which is the strongest it’s been since May 2008.

Not only that, but this rate is even higher than the highest forecast made by a Bloomberg survey of economists.

This one-month increase shattered a 22-year record. That’s because the last time the US housing market saw a one-month increase this big was 1992.

Here’s what else the Commerce Department revealed in its report:

  • Economists surveyed in the Bloomberg report said the pace would increase between 405,000 and 455,000.
  • The median forecast of 74 economists was that the pace would increase 430,000.
  • The median sales price of a new house increased 8 percent year over year in August, to $275,600
  • Home purchases increased in three of four U.S. regions. The West led the group with a 50 percent jump.
  • The housing inventory (given the current sales rate) dropped to 4.8 months from 5.6 months in July.
  • There were 203,000 new houses on the market at the end of August.
  • Existing home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a 5.05 million annual pace last month. This occurred after existing home sales reached a 10-month high of 5.14 million in July.
  • Housing starts decreased 14.4 percent to a 956,000 annualized rate. This occurred after July’s 1.12 million pace was the strongest it’s been since November 2007.

Canada Home Sales See Encouraging Numbers as Well

  • Canadian national home sales increased 1.8 percent from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity were 2.1 percent above August 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes decreased 1.2 percent between July to August.
  • The MLS Home Price Index increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.
  • The national average sale price also increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.

Moving The US Real Estate Market Forward

Experts say that the housing market has been growing in fits and starts but that steady growth is what will be needed in the long-term to effectively stabilize the market.

Still, home sellers can be encouraged by these recent numbers as they do demonstrate that the market is headed in the right direction!

Check back here soon as we continue to watch the housing market, looking for trends that impact you as home buyers and sellers.

US Home Sales Outperform Real Estate Experts’ Previous Predictions

It’s always a good sign on the national housing market when sales activity is better than even the experts predicted!

And that’s exactly what happened recently when the latest market activity report was released by the National Association of Realtors in July.

Evidently, contracts to purchase previously-owned properties increased more than expected during the month of July, signaling that there truly is renewed momentum on the national housing market.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at The Numbers

According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, the pending home sales index increased 3.3 percent after a 1.3 percent decrease during the month of June.

That increase is much higher than previously expected. In fact, the median projection according to a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the index to increase about 0.5 percent. Specifically, estimates from 37 economists ranged from a decrease of 0.5 percent to an increase of 3 percent.

So why did the number of home sales do significantly better than previously predicted?

Experts credit the increase to a lot of factors, including:

  • Increased hiring
  • Rising property values
  • Historically low interest rates

Not only are these factors increasing home sales but they’re also encouraging builders to break more ground.

Other factors encouraging a more robust housing market include a gross domestic product that grew at a 4.2 percent pace during the second quarter as well as the fact that unemployment claims decreased to 298,000 last week.

Experts add that faster wage growth as well as easier access to credit would also help boost the local economy

More Housing Market Data That Will Help Provide Context

Still, not all of the news from the national housing market has been completely positive.

Here are some other highlights of the National Association of Realtors’ latest report:

  • Purchase contracts decreased 2.7 percent in the 12 months ending in July, which followed a 4.7 percent year-over-year decline in June.
  • July marked the 10th month of year-over-year declines
  • The pending sales index was 105.9 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.
  • Pending sales increased in three of four regions. Specifically, sales were up 6.2 percent in the Northeast, 4.2 percent in the South and 4 percent in the West. Purchase contracts decreased 0.4 percent in the Midwest.
  • Resales increased to a 5.15 million pace, which is the best they’ve been since September.
  • Construction also rebounded, with starts climbing 15.7 percent to a 1.09 million annualized rate
  • Meanwhile, contracts on new homes dropped unexpectedly during the month of July to a 412,000 annualized pace, which is the weakest it’s been since March.
  • The average rate for a 30-year, fixed mortgage was 4.10 percent in late August, down from 4.53 percent at the start of the year

Let’s Start Discussing Your Personal Real Estate Dream!s

Are you interested in listing your property soon and getting a great price for it? Or perhaps you want to find the home of your dreams but just don’t know where to start.

Regardless of what your real estate needs are, we’re here to help!

And please make sure to check back here next month as we continue to provide you with valuable information that will help you navigate the local housing market!

Report: US Home Sales Increased Sharply in May

US Home Sales InformationIt’s certainly a headline we like to see around here: “US Home Purchase Contracts Have Seen a Significant Increase.”

And in fact, that’s exactly what The Associated Press recently reported.

This is great news, especially given that – so far this year – the pace of buying is slower than in 2013. A lot of this can be attributed to the harsh winter that kept many home buyers inside.

But as the recent report indicates, spring and summer sales activity may ultimately compensate for those sluggish winter months.

It’s Not Just Sales Contracts Enjoying Favorable Conditions

Here’s a full report of what the National Association of Realtors recently revealed:

  • Its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 6.1 percent to 103.9 in May.
  • That marks the sharpest month-over-month gain since April 2010.
  • The index is still, however, 5.2 percent below the level it was at a year ago.
  • Experts believe that lower mortgage rates and an increased home inventory drove much of May’s gains.
  • All four U.S. regions (the Northeast, Midwest, South and West) saw increases in signed purchase contracts

Meanwhile, in a different report released by the Association, completed sales of existing homes increased 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes.

Still, it’s worth noting that sales are down 5 percent year over year.

The association predicts that sales of existing homes will decrease 2.8 percent this year to 4.95 million. That’s compared to 5.1 million in 2013.

In terms of new homes, sales increased 18.6 percent in May to an annual rate of 504,000. That’s the highest level since May 2008.

Why Are Things Showing Improvement Now?

Of course, it helps that we’re still in the spring and summer home buying market.

But another key factor is the removal of two previous obstacles: Rising mortgage rates and a low supply of available homes for sale.

Average rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 4.17 percent recently. Before, it had been at 4.20 percent and higher. Still, rates are roughly 0.25 percent higher than they were at this time last year.

Meanwhile, the supply of homes has increased. By 2.2 percent in May to 2.28 million. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago, helping to fuel increased activity on the market!

How Can You Expect This to Affect You?

If you’re a home seller, the recent flurry of activity should give you confidence that you too will be able to sell your property and in a reasonable amount of time as well.  But one things that will decide that is working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the market.

And if you’re a home buyer purchasing a property on the local housing market, the recent activity suggests that you’re in good company – with more and more people entering the market to invest in property!

Always Here To Give You The National Real Estate 411!

What other valuable information would you like to learn about the real estate market in order to make your transaction easier? We will be happy to supply you with all of the insight you need!

Contact us today for valuable real estate advice today!

And make sure to check back to our website soon for more pertinent information that affects you!

US Home Sales See Second Consecutive Month of Increases in May

US Home SalesOne month of positive real estate sales is encouraging, but sometimes it can be a fluke.

That’s why we’re always so thrilled when positive numbers one month carry over into the next month.

And that’s just what we saw with the recent release of May sales numbers.

According to a recent USA Today article, existing home sales increased for the second straight month in May, increasing to their strongest rate since the fall.

More Details Emerge About the Current State of the US Housing Market

Here’s what the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors revealed: Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, which marks a 4.9 percent increase from April’s rate of 4.66 million.

This was the highest monthly percentage gain since August 2011!

And this wasn’t the only indicator that the market is improving. In fact, metrics across the board hinted at growth on the national housing market:

  • Sales prices also showed marked increases. Specifically, the median existing home price was $213,400 in May, up 5.1 percent from a year earlier.
  • Meanwhile, sales of homes priced at $1 million and above increased everywhere but the Midwest
  • Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 2.2 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That’s 6 percent higher than a year ago.
  • At May’s sales rate, there’s a 5.6-month supply of homes for sale, which is close to the 6-month inventory that’s considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

Of course, some obstacles still remain on the market.

For instance, sales are still weaker than they were a year ago, when the annualized sales rate was 5.15 million.
And through May, sales were down 8.2 percent from the first five months of last year.

What’s more, the market continues to be difficult for those home buyers with modest financial resources, particularly first-time buyers. Consequently, these home buyers’ share of sales decreased to 27 percent in May, down 2 percent from April 2013.

And although single-family home sales rose 5.7 percent from April, they’re also down 5.7 percent from a year ago.

Still, real estate experts across the country remain optimistic.

They agree that at least three factors will continue to encourage growth and improvement on the national housing market:

  • More homes are being listed on the market
  • Home prices are rising more slowly than in 2013
  • Mortgage rates have declined recently

All of these factors will drive more and more home buyers to the market, further encouraging a healthy and stable real estate market.

Count on Us for Reliable National Real Estate Data!

We hope you ‘ve learned something useful about recent  national real estate trends and how they may affect you locally.

Check back here on July 15 as we continue to provide you with useful and up-to-date housing market information that is relevant to you!