New Home Sales Up 12.7% From Last Year

Posted on October 10, 2018

According to the latest New Residential Sales Report from the Census Bureau, new construction sales in August were up 3.5% from July and 12.7% from last year! This marks the second consecutive month with double-digit year-over-year growth (12.8% in July). The report also showed that builders have ramped up construction with an increase in new construction starts and completions. The summer months are often a busy time for builders as they capitalize on the warmer weather to be able to finish projects. Below is a table showing the change in starts, completions, and sales from last August. Other notable news from the report is that the percentage of new construction sales in the $200-$299k range has continued to break away from the $300-$399k range. This shows that builders are starting to build lower-priced homes that will help alleviate some of the inventory challenges in the starter and trade-up home categories. The chart below shows the full breakdown. What does this mean for buyers and sellers? If you are thinking of buying or selling in today’s market, you no doubt have heard that there is a shortage of existing homes for sale which has been driving home prices up across the country. The additional new construction coming to the market could help alleviate this shortage, but we are still not back up to pre-crisis levels. Read More >>

What’s Going On With Home Prices?

Posted on October 09, 2018

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, national home prices in August were up 5.5% from August 2017. This marks the first time since June 2016 that home prices did not appreciate by at least 6.0% year-over-year. CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft gave some insight into this change, “The rise in mortgage rates this summer to their highest level in seven years has made it more difficult for potential buyers to afford a home. The slackening in demand is reflected in the slowing of national appreciation, as illustrated in the CoreLogic Home Price Index.   National appreciation in August was the slowest in nearly two years, and we expect appreciation to slow further in the coming year.” One of the major factors that has driven prices to accelerate at a pace of between 6-7% over the past two years was the lack of inventory available for sale in many areas of the country. This made houses a prized commodity which forced many buyers into bidding wars and drove prices even higher. According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report, we are starting to see more inventory come to market over the last few months. This, paired with patient buyers who are willing to wait to find the right homes, is creating a natural environment for price growth to slow. Historically, prices appreciated at a rate of 3.7% (from 1987-1999). CoreLogicpredicts that prices will continue to rise over the next year at a rate of 4.7%. Bottom Line As the housing market moves closer to a ‘normal market’ with more inventory for buyers to choose from, home prices will start to appreciate at a more ‘normal’ level, and that’s ok! If you are curious about home prices in your area, let’s get together to chat about what’s going on! Read More >>

The True Cost of NOT Owning Your Home

Posted on October 08, 2018

Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for the entirety of America’s existence. Realtor.com reported that: “Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option…as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.” What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting? 1. In a previous blog, we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership: Homeownership is a form of forced savings. Homeownership provides tax savings. Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost. Buying a home is cheaper than renting. No other investment lets you live inside of it. 2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter. 3. Less than a month ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2018 could build more than $49,000 in family wealth over the next five years. 4. Some argue that renting eliminates the cost of taxes and home repairs, but every potential renter must realize that all the expenses the landlord incurs are already baked into the rent payment – along with a profit margin! Bottom Line Owning your home has many social and financial benefits that cannot be achieved by renting. Read More >>

Buying a Home is Cheaper than Renting in 38 States! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on October 05, 2018

Some Highlights: According to a study by GOBankingRates, it is cheaper to buy a home than rent in 38 states across the country. In six states the difference between buying & renting would account for less than a $50 monthly difference, leaving the choice up to the individual family. Nationwide, it is now 26.3% cheaper to buy. Read More >>

Are We About to Enter a Buyers’ Market?

Posted on October 04, 2018

Home sales are below last year’s levels, home values are appreciating at a slower pace, and there are reports showing purchasing demand softening. This has some thinking we may be entering a buyers’ market after sellers have had the upper hand for the past several years. Is this really happening? The market has definitely softened. However, according to two chief economists in the industry, we are a long way from a market that totally favors the purchaser: Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow Chief Economist: “These seller challenges don’t indicate we’re suddenly in a buyers’ market – we don’t expect market conditions to shift decidedly in favor of buyers until 2020 or later. But buyers certainly are starting to balk at the rapid rise in prices and home values are starting to grow at a less frenetic pace.” Danielle Hale, Chief Economist of realtor.com: “The signs are pointing to a market that’s shifting toward buyers. But, in most places, we’re still a long way from a full reversal.” In addition, Pulsenomics Inc. recently surveyed over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists and asked this question: “When do you expect U.S. housing market conditions to shift decidedly in favor of homebuyers?” Only 5% said the market has already shifted. Here are the rest of the survey results: Bottom Line The market is beginning to normalize but that doesn’t mean we will quickly shift to a market favoring the buyer. We believe Ivy Zelman, author of the well-respected ‘Z’ Report, best explained the current confusion: “With the rate of home price appreciation starting to decelerate alongside the uptick in inventory…we expect significant debate about whether this is a bullish or bearish sign. In our view, the short-term narrative will probably be confusing, but more sustainable growth and affordability will likely be the end result.” Read More >>

2 Factors to Watch in Today’s Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling

Posted on October 03, 2018

When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory. Interest Rates Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.72% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power. Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget. The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month. With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be over 5% by this time next year. Inventory A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 4.3-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 78 straight months. The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last three months. The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, in June, July, and August, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year. This is a trend to watch as we move further into the fall and winter months. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and closer to a normal market. Bottom Line If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. Read More >>

Mortgage Interest Rates are Still Going Up… Should You Wait to Buy?

Posted on October 02, 2018

Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased by close to a quarter of a percent over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to rise another quarter of a percent by next year. In addition to the predictions from the four major reporting agencies mentioned above, the Federal Open Market Committee recently voted “unanimously to approve a 1/4 percentage point increase in the primary credit rate to 2.75 percent.” Historically, an increase in the primary credit rate has translated to an overall jump in mortgage interest rates as well. This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact that they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows. Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades: Bottom Line Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago. Read More >>

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

Posted on October 01, 2018

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market’s demand for it. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index. Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand). Buyer Demand The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”   The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey showed that in 38 out of 50 states buyer demand was slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong. Only six states had a ‘stable’ demand level. Seller Supply  The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?” As you can see from the map below, 23 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 22 states and Washington D.C. reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 5 states reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for homes. Bottom Line Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together so I can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now! Read More >>

Should I Buy Now? Or Wait Until Next Year? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on September 28, 2018

Some Highlights: The cost of waiting to buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time. Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 5.2% by the third quarter of 2019. CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.1% over the next 12 months. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to! Read More >>

Are Home Prices Softening or Are They Falling?

Posted on September 27, 2018

We are beginning to see reports that more housing inventory is coming to the market and that buyer demand may not be increasing at the same pace it did earlier this year. The result will be many headlines written to address the impact that these two situations will have on home values. Many of these headline writers will confuse “softening home prices” with “falling home prices,” but there is a major difference between the two. The data will begin to show that home values are not appreciating at the same levels as they had over the last several years (softening prices). This does NOT mean that prices are depreciating (falling prices). Here is an example: Over the last several years, national home values increased by more than 6% annually. If you had a home worth $300,000 at the beginning of the year, it would be worth $318,000 by year’s end. If the appreciation rate “falls” to 4%, that $300,000 house would be worth $312,000 at the end of next year – a $6,000 difference. The price of the home did not fall. It just didn’t increase at the level it had the previous year. Appreciation rates are projected to end this year at approximately 5%, and then drop to somewhere between 4-5% next year. This drop in appreciation rate will cause home price increases to soften. Again, this does not mean that home prices will depreciate, but instead that they will appreciate more slowly. Bottom Line Be careful when reading headlines that discuss home values. Some headline writers will be legitimately confused and will use the word falling in place of softening. Others will realize that the headline “Home Prices are Falling!” will get more clicks than “Home Prices are Softening” and will intentionally write the more compelling headline. Read the article. If the word depreciation is not mentioned, home values are not falling. Read More >>

The Cost of NOT Paying PMI

Posted on September 26, 2018

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer as median incomes, rents, and home prices all vary depending on where you live. There is a common misconception among homebuyers that a 20% down payment is required, and it is this limiting belief that often adds months, and sometimes even years, to the home-buying process. So, if you can purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment… why aren’t more people doing just that? One Possible Answer: Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Freddie Mac defines PMI as: “An insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage. It’s a monthly fee, rolled into your mortgage payment, that is required for all conforming, conventional loans that have down payments less than 20%. Once you’ve built equity of 20% in your home, you can cancel your PMI and remove that expense from your mortgage payment.” As the borrower, you pay the monthly premiums for the insurance policy, and the lender is the beneficiary. The monthly cost of your PMI depends on the home’s value, the amount of your down payment, and your credit score. Below is a table showing the difference in monthly mortgage payment for a $250,000 home with a 3% down payment and PMI vs. a 20% down payment without PMI: The first thing you see when looking at the table above is no doubt the added $320 a month that you would be spending on your monthly mortgage cost. The second thing that should stand out is that a 20% down payment is $50,000! If you are buying your first home, $50,000 is a large sum of money that takes discipline and sacrifice to save. Many first-time buyers save for 5-10 years before buying their homes. To save $50,000 in 10 years, you would need to save about $420 a month. On the other hand, if you save that same $420 a month, you could afford a 3% down payment in less than a year and a half. In a recent article by My Mortgage Insider, they explain what could happen in the market while you are waiting to save for a higher down payment: “The time it takes to save a (larger) down payment could mean higher home prices and tougher qualifying down the road. For many buyers, it could prove much cheaper and quicker to opt for the 3% down mortgage immediately.” The article went on to say, “Since renters typically devote a higher percentage of their income to housing than homeowners, providing flexible down payment options can help renters with solid earnings purchase a home – and gain a fixed-rate mortgage with principal and interest payments that will not increase over the life of the loan.” If the prospect of having to pay PMI is holding you back from buying a home today, Freddie Mac has this advice, “It’s no doubt an added cost, but it’s enabling you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment.” Based on results of the most recent Home Price Expectation Survey, a homeowner who purchased a $250,000 home in January would gain $50,000 in equity over the next five years based on home price appreciation alone (shown below). Bottom Line If you have questions about whether you should buy now or wait until you’ve saved a larger down payment, let’s get together to discuss our market’s conditions and help you make the best decision for you and your family. Read More >>

Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

Posted on September 25, 2018

The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search. Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year. How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment? Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year. If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes. Bottom Line Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now. Read More >>

How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value?

Posted on September 24, 2018

Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. In CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, they revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.2% year-over-year. CoreLogic broke down appreciation even further into four price ranges, giving us a more detailed view than if we had simply looked at the year-over-year increases in national median home price. The chart below shows the four price ranges from the report, as well as each one’s year-over-year growth from July 2017 to July 2018 (the latest data available).  It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor which determines how much your home has appreciated over the course of the last year. Lower-priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize. Bottom Line If you are planning to list your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range. Read More >>

4 Reasons to Sell This Fall [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on September 21, 2018

Some Highlights: Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. Read More >>

Is the Real Estate Market Finally Getting Back to Normal?

Posted on September 20, 2018

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 currently have about 4.5-months inventory. This means prices should continue to appreciate at above-normal levels which most experts believe will happen for the next year. However, two things have just occurred that are pointing to the fact that we may be returning to a more normal market. 1. Listing Supply is Increasing Both existing and new construction inventory is on the rise. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that inventory has increased over the last two months after thirty-seven consecutive months of declining inventory. At the same time, building permits are also increasing which means more new construction is about to come to market.  2. Buyer Demand is Softening Ivy Zelman, who is widely respected as an industry expert, reported in her latest ‘Z’ Report:  “While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Surveydoes suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets. Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0- 100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.” With supply increasing and demand waning, we may soon be back to a more normal real estate market. We will no longer be in a buyers’ market (like 2007-February 2012) or a sellers’ market (like March 2012- Today). Prices won’t appreciate at the levels we’ve seen recently, nor will they depreciate. It will be a balanced market where prices remain steady, where buyers will be better able to afford a home, and where sellers will more easily be able to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles. Bottom Line Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange. That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller. Read More >>

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

Posted on September 19, 2018

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 dream home, let’s get together to discuss your options! Read More >>

Home Prices: The Difference 5 Years Makes

Posted on September 18, 2018

CoreLogic recently released their Home Price Index Report. One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from July 2013 to July 2018 to show how prices over the last five years have fared. The graph below was created to show the 5-year change in price from July 2013 to July 2018 by price range. As you can see in the graph, the highest price appreciation occurred in the lowest price range with 48% growth, while the highest priced homes appreciated by 25%. This has been greatly fueled by the lack of inventory of homes available at the lower price ranges and high demand from first-time buyers looking to enter the market. Where were prices expected to go? Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists and asks them to project how residential home prices will appreciate over the next five years for their Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES). According to the Q3 2014 survey results, national homes prices were projected to increase cumulatively by 19.5% by December 2018. The bulls of the group predicted home prices to rise by 27.8%, while the more cautious bears predicted an appreciation of 11.2%. Where are prices headed in the next 5 years? Data from the most recent HPES shows that home prices are expected to increase by 20.0% over the next 5 years. The bulls of the group predict home prices to rise by 31.2%, while the more cautious bears predict an appreciation of 9.3%. Bottom Line Every day, thousands of homeowners regain positive equity in their homes. Some homeowners are now experiencing values even greater than those before the Great Recession. If you’re wondering if you have enough equity to sell your house and move on to your dream home, let’s get together to discuss conditions in our neighborhood! Read More >>

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

Posted on September 17, 2018

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. Read More >>

Is Buying a Home Really More Stressful Than Planning a Wedding? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted on September 14, 2018

Some Highlights: According to a new survey from Open Listings, 62% of Americans ages 25-54 believe that buying a home is more stressful than planning a wedding. Many young couples are saving for a wedding and a home at the same time. The average US wedding now costs 66% of a median home down payment, according to The Knot. Read More >>

Are Homebuyers Starting to Hit the ‘Pause’ Button?

Posted on September 13, 2018

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 by 0.3 percent year over year in July, the third consecutive month that the U.S. ShowingTime Showing Index recorded buyer interest deceleration compared to the previous year. The June 2018 figures revealed a 0.0 percent change in showing traffic from 2017, while May showed a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase. The 12-month average year-over-year increase was 4.6 percent.” Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening Realtors Confidence Index by the National Association of Realtors Methodology: The REALTORS Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions. Latest Report: “REALTORS reported slower homebuying activity in July 2018…The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 62, down from the same month one year ago (69). This is the fifth straight month (since March 2018) that Realtors reported a decline in buyer activity compared to conditions one year ago.” Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening The Real Estate Broker Survey in the ‘Z’ Report by Zelman and Associates(subscription needed) Methodology: Proprietary survey results of real estate executives. Latest Report: “While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets. Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0-100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.” Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening Bottom Line Again, three of the four most reliable measures of buyer activity are reporting that demand is softening. We had a strong buyers’ market directly after the housing crash which was immediately followed by a strong sellers’ market over the last six years. If demand continues to soften and supply begins to grow (as is projected to happen), we will return to a more neutral market which will favor neither buyers nor sellers. This “more normal” market will be better for real estate in the long term. Read More >>

Imperial Home Team

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