The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) conducts an annual survey of people that recently bought a home to find out what features prompted them to buy the home they bought. The REALTOR findings were revealed in the newly released 2013 Profile of Buyers’ and are a good insight into the mind of today’s home buyer.
Highlights from the profile: Continue reading REALTORS Survey Reveals What Home Buyers Want
New Home Building Permits On The Rise
New home building permits issued in February were at an annual rate of 600,000 homes, an increase of 25.5 percent from February 2012 and an increase of 2.7 percent from January. New home starts in February were at an annual rate of 618,000 homes, a 0.5 percent increase from January and a 31.5 percent increase from February, 2012.
If you are facing foreclosure, there is free help available to you through HUD-approved counseling agencies that can provide you with information and assistance to avoid foreclosure. The agencies can even determine if you may be eligible for a special loan modification or refinance through the Federal Government’s “Making Home Affordable” plan which may help you keep your home by reducing your payments. These are not-for profit agencies that do NOT charge you but are funded, in part, by HUD. To find an agency in your area, select your state from the drop down box below and click on the button below it, or click on your state on the U.S. map below. Continue reading Free Help Is Available To You If You Are Facing Foreclosure
Existing home sales are expected to surpass the 5 million mark in 2013, according to Kiplinger’s Economic Outlook published yesterday. Last year there were 4.65 million homes sold and Kiplinger is predicting a 7.5 percent increase this year bringing the total to close to 5 million. According to the National Association of REALTORS, existing home sales in January were at an annual pace of 4.92 million homes so assuming the pace gains a little steam through the year, we just may see 5 million existing homes sold this year. Kiplinger is predicting a jump of 36 percent in new home sales in 2013 with a projected 500,000 new homes expected to sell this year.
There’s a new home buyer in town….the “Millennial’s” which, for the sake of this survey was considered to be people between the ages 18 and 35 and what they are looking for in a home is distinctly different than that of their parents generation which, for many of them, are the baby boomers. This group of young home buyers are not looking for stereotypical and prototypical luxury homes but instead want homes that are different and suit their personal lifestyle, according to a survey by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate. Continue reading Babyboomers Kids Not Following in Parents Footsteps When It Comes to Buying a Home
Over eighty percent (84 percent) of real estate professionals feel 2013 will bring more home sales and higher prices than 2012, according to the results of a survey by Market Leader. This represents a 28 percent increase in confidence in the market from a year ago when a similar survey was conducted.
2012 vs 2013 Real Estate Confidence Continue reading Four out of Five Real Estate Agents Expect Home Prices and Sales To Increase in 2013
During my 30+ years in the real estate business, I’ve seen “man caves” of all types in a variety of homes, usually they are tucked away in the basement of the home or perhaps in the garage or attic. Here’s a new one for me though, a man cave in a 4,000 square foot barn with an interior that reminds me of Cabella’s. The barn features include a big screen TV (of course), scenery of rocks and woods with stuffed trophy animals perched on the rocks, a full kitchen, two baths, wet bar, stone fireplace, hardwood floors and more! Oh yeah, the barn is locate don five acrews in Onsted Michigan and comes iwth a five bedroom, 5,912 square foot home and a pool, all for just $599,900. In the words of listing agent, Ralph Roberts, “The house is beautiful, but the barn is the ultimate gem of the property. It’s like a five-star hunting lodge and whoever ends up buying it will have the room of a lifetime.”
Photo by: PRNewsFoto/Ralph Roberts Realty
Short sales make up a significant portion of the home sales today and present an excellent opportunity for home buyers to make a good buy on a home, assuming they can be patient and deal with the somewhat protracted process. With this in mind, where are the best places in the U.S. to buy short sales? Well, according to the latest report from RealtyTrac, Santa Barbara, CA is the number one short sale market in the U.S., with short sale activity in the 4th quarter of 2012 increasing over 100 percent (107 percent) the the year before and short sale homes selling for an average of $178,201 less than is owed on the home. See the chart below for the top 15 short sale markets in the country:
Continue reading Best Places To Buy A Short Sale
According to a recent report by the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network (LMSPN), a national anti-scam effort comprised of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF), and NeighborWorks America, there have been more than 30,000 loan modification scams reported in the past three years. According to the group, the scammers are becoming “increasingly aggressive online, using targeted web advertisements to reach homeowners who are searching for mortgage relief over the Internet.” The group cautions that homeowners should be aware that no one other than your present lender can guarantee any form of mortgage relief.
Below are six (6) warning signs to look for that may indicate you are dealing with a loan modification scammer: Continue reading How To Avoid Being Taken By A Loan Modification Scammer
The price of a home was cited as the leading motivator for first-time home buyers’ selection of a house to buy with thirty-eight (38) percent of first-time home buyers giving that as their top key concern, according to the recently released 2011 American Housing Survey (AHS) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Proximity to work came in 2nd, with thirty (30) percent of first-time home buyers name this as their key concern when selecting a house to buy.
Repeat, or “trade-up” buyers, on the other hand focused more on the homes design and the neighborhood with thirty six (36) percent of trade-up buyers say the design of the home was their primary reason for selecting a particular house and twenty eight (28) percent said it was the looks and design of the community.
Almost half of the home sales (43 percent) in the U.S. during 2012 were short sales and foreclosures, according to the RealtyTrac year-end 2012 U.S. Foreclosure & Short Sales Report™ released this morning. The report shows there were a total of 947,995 properties sold in 2012 that were in some stage of foreclosure accounting for 21 percent of all U.S. residential sales during the year and there were 993,137 properties sold in 2012 that were short sales accounting for 22 percent of all U.S. residential sales.
Other highlights from the report: Continue reading Almost half of the home sales in the U.S. during 2012 were foreclosures and short sales
The National Association of Realtors says that, nationwide, the supply of existing homes for sale has fallen for seven straight months to what is almost an eight-year low in January which has now caused much of the country to find themselves in a seller’s market. So, what housing markets are “sellers markets” in the US? To answer this, I turned to the MORE, REALTORS1 Top Ten List of Cities Becoming Seller’s Markets, based upon their Market Action Index®, an index that looks at supply and demand of housing. The list below is a real-time list, so will change over time, but at the time I wrote this article, San Francisco was #1 on the list and 6 of the top 10 locations were in California. If you are thinking of selling, and want to know if you home is in a sellers market, click here and I’ll let you know. Continue reading Many Housing Markets In U.S. Becoming Sellers’ Markets As Inventories Shrink
New home sales started off 2013 with a bang, with sales in January at a seasonally adjusted rate of 437,000 homes, an increase of 15.6 percent from the month before and an increase of 28.9 percent from a year ago the largest increase in activity since 1993, according to the new home sales report for January 2013 just released by the Commerce Department. The median price of new homes sold in January 2013 was $226,400 and the inventory of new homes for sale at the end of the month worked out to a 4.1 month supply.
A survey conducted by ORC International revealed that over half (52 percent) of current renters said they anticipate buying a home in the next five years. Tenants with children under 13 are most likely to buy a home with 69 percent of them responding that they anticipate becoming a homeowner in the next five years followed by single family tenants in general, with 60 percent of those tenants anticipating buying a home and just 44 percent of apartment renters feeling that way.
Top three reasons tenants don’t want to own a home: Continue reading Over half of current tenants want to be a homeowner in next five years
The number of underwater homeowners, homeowners that owe more on their mortgage than the current value of their homes also known as being in a “negative equity” position, declined by 11.5 percent in 201, according to the Zillow® Negative Equity Report for 4th quarter 2012. During the 4th quarter, 27.5 percent of all homeowners in the U.S. with a mortgage were underwater on their mortgages, down from 31.1 percent the year before which freed nearly 2 million homeowners from a negative equity position on their mortgage.
At the end of 2012 there were, according to the report, approximately 13.8 million homeowners in a negative equity, or “underwater”, position on their mortgage, down from 15.7 million homeowners the year before. In 2012 home prices rose 5.9 percent in the U.S. and is the primary reason for the improvement in the number of homeowners that are underwater. Continue reading Number Of Underwater Homeowners Drops Over 11 Percent in 2012
Almost 75 percent (74.9) of all the homes sold in the last quarter of 2012 were affordable to a family earning the U.S. median income of $65,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) that was just released. This was a significant increase from the prior quarter when 74.1 percent of all homes sold were affordable to a family with a median income and a sharp contrast to 6 years earlier at the end of the boom in 2006, when just 41.6 percent of the homes sold were affordable to a family with a median income.
Not everywhere in the U.S. is so affordable though, such as San Francisco, at the top of the list of the least affordable metro areas in the U.S. where just over a fourth (28.4 percent) of all homes sold would be affordable to a family with a median income in spite of the fact that the median income in that area at $103,000 is over 50% higher than the U.S. median income. At the other end of the list is Ogden-Clearfield, Utah at the top of the list for most affordable metro areas for housing where a whopping 93.7 percent of the homes sold in the 4th quarter of 2012 were affordable to a family with a median income.
After all the talk over the past few years of an over supply of homes on the market, shadow inventory and the like, could we really be facing a shortage of homes in the near future? Well, many economists think so and the more I study it the more I can see that it is a very distinct possibility. When the real estate market crashed, back in 2007-2008, there was an oversupply of homes on the market including a large inventory of new homes. However, as the chart below shows, new home construction came to a screeching halt, with production dropping to about one-third of the 1.5 million new homes per year the prior few years had averaged. Continue reading Could we be short 1.5 million homes?
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in a report that was just released, says there are “serious problems in the residential appraisal process (that) must be addressed in order to restore confidence in the residential real estate market and to establish a foundation for sustainable growth of the U.S. economy”. The report says that standards and requirements vary greatly across the country since appraisals are regulated by the state, resulting in a system that is “inconsistent, confusing and does not serve consumers well.” Continue reading Home Builders Say Appraisal Reform Necessary To Restore Confidence In Housing Market
A survey conducted by Point2Homes and PropertyShark revealed that almost three-fourths (71 percent) of the real estate agents and consumers surveyed feel that home prices will stabilize or increase in 2013.
What will influence the 2013 real estate market the most?
- Mortgage rates
- Financing becoming easier to obtain
If you are one of those people that have been waiting to buy a home until you were sure the market had hit rock bottom, guess what? You waited too long, at least that’s the case in many cities throughout the U.S. as we are seeing homes seller quicker and for prices much closer to asking price as a result of fewer homes on the market and increased confidence in the housing market. This week, Zillow just published a list of what they feel are the top 10 cities that are becoming sellers markets based upon the sales price to list price percentage as well as the time it takes to sell and MORE, REALTORS1, published a list of their pick of top 10 cities that are becoming sellers markets based upon their Market Action Index®, an index that looks at supply and demand of housing. While there are some differences between the lists, both lists put San Francisco as the number one market for becoming a sellers market (at the time of this writing…the MORE list is real time so it will change with the market). Continue reading The Housing Market is a Sellers Market In Many Cities
Foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) occurred on 150,864 properties in the U.S. in January, a decline of 7 percent from the month before and down 28 percent from a year ago, according to the latest data from RealtyTrac.
Highlights from the RealtyTrac foreclosure report for January 2013:
Just over 1 of every 20 homeowners (5.19 percent) with a mortgage were 60 or more days delinquent on their mortgage which is a slight improvement from the prior quarter when 5.41 percent were delinquent and a big decline from a year ago when over 1 of every 17 borrowers (6.01 percent) were delinquent, according to a report by TransUnion.
“The national mortgage delinquency rate experienced its largest yearly decline since the conclusion of the recession, though we still remain far above normal levels,” said Tim Martin, group vice president of U.S. Housing in TransUnion’s financial services business unit.
Mortgage Delinquency Rates for 4th Quarter 2012: Continue reading Fewer homeowners delinquent on mortgage loans
I’m still not sure about this post, but I guess since my wife has been packing my lunches in gift bags from her favorite jewelry stores the last few days as reminders that Valentines is coming soon, I have Valentine’s on my brain. Well, I’m not the only one because Zillow has introduced their “In the Move for Love Index” which lists the best cities for young singles to relocate for love. In selecting cities for the list, Zillow says they looked at the cost of rent versus income and then also looked at the walkability of the city as well as the ratio of, and abundance of, single males to single females under 35.
The Top 10 Cities To Find your Valentine: Continue reading Top 10 Cities For Romance and Real Estate
Sixty-five percent of renters that respondents to the January 2013 Fannie Mae housing survey said they would buy a home if they were to move. Of those that responded to the survey, about 41 percent expect home prices to go up in the next year and 50 percent said they expect rental rates to go up in the coming twelve months.
Highlights from the survey:
Homebuyers have been busy, according to a report released by Redfin which shows during the period January 6th through February 2nd, property tours by homebuyers increased 58 percent from the prior 4 week period, an expected seasonal increase but a larger one than during the same time last year when the activity was up just 52 percent. Buyers are busy making offers too, with offers increasing 70 percent during that same period which is about 20 percent more activity than a year ago when home offers during this same period increased 58.5 percent from the prior 4 weeks.
A survey conducted by Apartments.com shows that in the 4th quarter of 2012, 35.1 percent of tenants surveyed were previous homeowners which is up from 33.6 percent the year before. Affordability and flexibility of choosing a location to live topped the list of whey former homeowners chose to become tenants this time around. While 5th on the list of reasons given for the change, the loss of a home due to foreclosure or divorce increased nearly 90 percent (89.8) in the past year.
Why previous homeowners chose to rent: Continue reading More former homeowners turning to rental
There were 767,000 homes foreclosed on during 2012 which is an improvement from the 860,000 foreclosed homes the year before however is still well above the “normal” number of foreclosures, according to a report released today by Corelogic. In fact, although the number of foreclosures continues to decline, 2012 still saw more than three times the number of homes foreclosed on per year from the period 2000 through 2006, prior to the real estate market crash.
Continue reading Foreclosures Decline in 2012 But Still At Elevated Levels
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than half (52 percent) of foreign-born householders owned their homes in 2011. In contrast, about two-thirds (67 percent) of native-born householders owned their homes.
A new report, Homeownership Among the Foreign-Born Population: 2011, released today, examines the homeownership and renter status among foreign-born households based on data from the 2011 American Community Survey. Continue reading Homeownership by immigrants in U.S. increases with time in U.S. and citizenship
Home prices in November rose 5.5 percent from the year before, according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20 city composite that was just released. According to the report, 19 of 20 cities covered in the index, for the 12 months ended in November, prices rose in 19 of the 20 cities and fell in New York. Additionally, 19 of 20 cities saw home prices rise faster in the 12 months to November than in the 12 months to October.
David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee, when speaking about this latest report, said “the November monthly figures were stronger than October, with 10 cities seeing rising prices versus seven the month before.”
Continue reading Home prices continue to rise in most major metro areas
New homes sold in December at a seasonally adjusted rate of 369,000 homes which is down 7.3 percent from November but is an increase of 8.8 percent from the same time last year, according to the new home sales report for December 2012 from the Commerce Department. This closes out 2012 with almost 20 percent more new home sales than 2011. New home prices were on the rise during the year as well, increasing from $218,600 in December 2011 to $248,900 in December 2012 and the supply of new homes for sale fell from 5.4 months supply in December 2011 to a 4.9 month supply in December 2012.
Continue reading New home sales increase 20 percent in 2012; Inventory declines