Report: US Housing Market Needs More Available Homes for Sale

US homes for saleThe national housing market is dealing with an issue of supply and demand right now and it’s impacting both buyers and sellers.

Specifically, the national housing market has too few people selling their homes compared with the number of people who want to buy homes, according to a recent report from Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller.

This is consequently driving home prices up, which in some cases is making available homes for sale unaffordable to buyers.

It’s certainly a unique situation and one that both home buyers and home sellers are going to need to learn how to navigate in the coming months.

Recent National Housing Market Activity Explained

Here’s what we know based on the recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index:

  • Last year saw a 13.4 percent jump in the average price of a home sold.
  • Average prices nationally are expected to increase by single digits this year.
  • The gains are expected to be the strongest in those cities with strong job growth, including Seattle and Austin.
  • Meanwhile, lenders are beginning to ease barriers for those with less-than-ideal credit, meaning that these home buyers could find it easier to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home.
  • Currently there are about five months worth of homes on the market, compared with 5.9 months in 2012 and 8.3 months in 2011.
  • Part of the explanation of low housing inventory is the fact that about 19 percent of home owners remain underwater on their mortgages, which may deter some sellers from listing because their sales price may be less than what they owe.
  • And an additional 37 percent are “effectively underwater,” which means that their sale would not be enough to cover the cost of listing their home as well as putting a down payment on a new home.
  • But luckily, warmer weather, job growth and a more robust economy are expected to help encourage more home owners to list their properties this spring.

Experts also believe that the rise in home prices will help the problem correct itself. After all, as sales prices continue to rise, it will lure more home owners to list their properties.

This in turn could lead to more listings, which might ease the bidding wars among buyers and help lower sales prices to make them more affordable.

And That’s Paramount to First-Time Home Buyers

After all, this segment of the market really fuels market growth and promotes overall market health.

But right now, these first-time home buyers are buying fewer homes because of lack of affordability. For instance, they purchased 1.5 million homes in 2013, which is about 500,000 fewer than they would have typically, on average.

Still, that situation appears to be improving as well, albeit slowly. For instance, about 738,000 people ages 25 to 34-year-old found jobs in the past year, meaning they will have more disposable income and financial power to buy their own home

Add to that the fact that mortgage companies have eased their lending standards slightly to reach a larger audience and you have the right conditions for a greater housing market recovery.

Keeping An Eye on the National Housing Market for You!

We hope you found the above information helpful as a home buyer or home seller. We definitely believe that one of the surefire ways to have a successful outcome on the local housing market is to stay informed about what’s going on at the national level.

Check back again here soon for further updates. For now, we hope you have a great day!

Expect to See an Exceptionally Busy Spring Home Buying Season in 2014

Spring home buyingIf you’re currently trying to sell your home on the local housing market, great news: it’s about to get very, very busy for you.

That’s because national real estate experts are projecting that this spring will see even more home buying activity than is already expected for this time of year.

Why? Because of pent-up home buyer demand from the unusually cold winter we had.  Home buyers who might have navigated the market in late 2013 and early 2014 ended up holding off because of the bad winter weather.  Can you blame them?  House hunting in frigid temperatures while trudging around in the snow and bad weather is no fun at all.

So now that it’s warming up outside, these home buyers – along with those who would have normally entered the market in spring – are flooding the real estate market.

More Trends to Expect This Spring on the National Housing Market

According to a recent Bloomberg article, the spring home buying market (which usually runs from March to June) was delayed because of the unusually bad winter we’ve had across the country.

This late start meant that home sales declined in February to the lowest level since mid-2012. And the number of contracts signed reached the lowest level since 2011.

Meanwhile, applications for mortgages to buy homes dropped to the lowest since 1995 during the month of February.

While this may all indicate a slowdown, experts are saying that a lot of this activity was related to the unseasonably bad winter. Consequently, they expect home buying to surge over the next few months.

Here are the predictions provided by real estate market experts:

  • Sales of existing homes will increase to 5.14 million in 2014, compared with 5.07 million last year.
  • Mortgage lending will total $661 billion, compared with $652 billion last year.
  • The average U.S. rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage will continue to rise from last year’s figure, when it was 3.57 percent.
  • First time home buyers will continue to increase in the market. For instance, in January, they made up 26 percent of the market. And in February, that figure rose to 28 percent.
  • The inventory of available homes will decrease. As of recently, the inventory was at 5.2 months.
  • Some markets are leaner than others. For instance, in Boston and Boulder, the number of homes for sale in February was down about 30 percent from the year before.

Keeping You Updated With the Real Estate 411

Happy spring home buying season to all the sellers out there! It’s definitely a great time to capitalize on the home buying energy and get a great price for your property.

And make sure to check back here again in a couple of weeks. You’ll be provided with even more news that will aid you as you navigate the market.

Report: US Home Prices Rose In January After December Decline

National home prices rose in JanuaryCorelogic just released some exciting news from the national housing market: Home prices are back on the rise!

The real estate data provider reported that home prices increased 0.9 percent in January after falling 0.1 percent in December.

And this is indicative of a larger trend, Corelogic reported. After all, over the last 12 months, prices have actually risen a total of 12 percent, which is the biggest year-over-year gain in over eight years!

Home sellers are sure to be encouraged by this recent development because it means that they have a better chance of getting the price they want for their property.

Housing Market Gaining Strength, According to Recent Data

Here’s an overview of recent activity on the national housing market:

  • Although home prices increased, total home sales actually dropped in January. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales dropped to their lowest level in 18 months.
  • However, the total number of available homes for sale remained low, which is why experts believe prices increased, at least in part.
  • The average rate on a 30-year mortgage showed a 1 percent year-over-year increase, which means that home buying costs are a little higher.
  • Meanwhile, builders started working on 16 percent fewer homes in January when compared to December. That marks the second straight month for decline.
  • Despite recent increases, national home prices are still 17 percent lower than when they were at the peak of the housing market bubble in April 2006.
  • In three states (Louisiana, Nebraska and Texas), prices have set highs. Meanwhile, in 19 additional states, prices are within 10 percent of their peaks.
  • Those states with the largest year-over-year price gains in January were: Nevada (up 22.2 percent), California (up 20.3 percent), Oregon (up 14.3 percent), Michigan (up 13.7 percent) and Georgia (up 13.4 percent).
  • Mississippi was the only state to show declines in home prices.

Homes With Negative Equity are Decreasing

Also recently, Core Logic reported that a total of 4 million U.S. homes returned to positive equity in 2013.

This means that the total number of mortgaged residential properties in the country is now at 42.7 million!

Meanwhile, roughly 6.5 million homes (or about 13.3 percent of all mortgaged homes in the country), still had negative equity by the end of 2013.

The decrease in homes with negative equity is another piece of good news for home sellers because it means that home prices throughout the community will be on the rise!  And that is sure to affect the price they can get for their own property.

Your One-Stop Shop for National Real Estate News

Check back to our website on April 1 for more pertinent national real estate news that affects you.

After all, one of the keys to ensuring a successful outcome on the local housing market is to enter it as an informed and prepared buyer or seller.

Report: National Home Buyer Enthusiasm Helped Drive Up Prices in 2013

Home buyingHome buying fervor has driven home prices to their largest annual gain since 2005, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Evidently, home buyer interest – fueled by low mortgage rates as well as reduced inventories – helped drive prices up in 2013.

Now, experts are saying that home buyers and home sellers can expect price gains to level off in the wake of the home buying frenzy.

Key Statistics For National Home Buyers or Sellers

According to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index, U.S. home prices increased 11.3 percent year-over-year during the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Case-Shiller index that measures home prices in 20 major metropolitan areas reported that prices increased 13.4 percent during that same period of time.

And another index, which is calculated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, reported that prices increased 7.7 percent, to an eight-year high.

More News You Can Use

Here’s what else real estate analysts recently reported about the national housing market:

  • Home priced decreased 0.1 percent from November to December in the 20-city index.
  • That marked the second straight monthly decline.
  • Experts noted that the monthly declines during the fourth quarter were actually the smallest for that period in eight years.
  • Meanwhile, in January, sales of previously owned homes dropped 5.1 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Home builders across the country reported increased profits in recent months. For instance, Luxury builder Toll Brothers said it saw a 21 percent year-over-year increase in its average sales price during the quarter ending in January.
  • However, the builder also reported that new contracts for homes during that same quarter decreased 6 percent year-over-year.
  • Meanwhile, all 20 cities reported annual gains last year, including Las Vegas with the largest at 25.5 percent and San Francisco following close behind with 22.6 percent.
  • Across the US, home prices have increased 21 percent after bottoming out in early 2012.
  • Home prices, which dropped 35 percent between 2006 and 2012, now are 21 percent below their previous peak.
  • Now, home prices are at the levels they were in mid-2004.

Experts say that the rising home prices are good in one sense, although they may also curb home buyer activity as homes become increasingly less affordable.

Still, in the long run, the leveling out of price gains is a good thing because it means a more stable and robust housing market.

Your National Real Estate Experts

We hope you stop by our blog again soon to get the latest information on national housing market activity.

We’re your national real estate experts and we’re here to help you make an informed decision on the market as a buyer or seller!

Report: National Home Buyers Can Expect to Pay More for Real Estate in 2014

US Home SalesChanges are afoot on the national housing market that suggest that this year is going to increasingly favor the home seller. And that means buyers will likely be paying more for real estate in 2014.

According to a recent news article, the National Association of REALTORS® recently reported that nearly 5.1 million homes sold last year, which is the highest rate it’s been since 2006.

Meanwhile, values are rising as home sellers grow increasingly tired of selling their home for “cheap.”

Although this is resulting in longer Days on the Market averages, it also means that home prices are rising.

A Look Back at 2013 Activity

Here’s an overview of national real estate activity, according to December data:

  • From January to December 2013, there were 4.87 existing home that were sold on a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis.
  • That figure is one percent higher from the month before.
  • For 2013 overall, there were 5.09 million home sales, which is a nine percent increase from the year before.
  • What’s more, that figure is the highest reading it’s been since 2006.
  • Meanwhile, home builders reported increased buyer foot traffic. In fact, they said the activity had reached a 7-year high.
  • And by December 2013, the home supply was down to 4.6 months. This means that if activity stayed the same, all available homes for sale would be sold in that time frame.
  • The latest report also revealed that homes are not selling as quickly as the year before.
  • While 28 percent of homes sold in 30 days or less, the Median Days on the Market actually increased substantially, from 16 to 72 days.
  • In fact, Days on the Market has been steadily increasing for the last seven months.
  • Here’s another thing to note: home prices have increased more than 20 percent in some regional housing markets over the last year, in part because of bidding wars.
  • In December, foreclosed homes had a median Days on Market of 67 days.

A Look Ahead to 2014

Experts predict that cold weather in December and January may have created even more pent-up home buyer demand, which could bode well for housing market activity in the coming months as temperatures warm up.

Experts are also saying that while home sales have slowed over the last several months, competition is greater than ever.

This is aided by the fact that home sellers are feeling more confident than ever. They’re no longer worried about whether their home will ever sell, they’re worried about getting the best price possible for their home.

Thus, many have raised their list prices to values that they think are reasonable instead of pricing them undervalue in an effort to attract buyers.

While this might slow the momentum a little (and thus lead to longer Days on the Market), the long-term effect will be that prices will rise as buyers realize this is not a passing trend.

Your #1 Source for National Real Estate News

Please check out our website again soon to receive national real estate market updates and see how recent activity may affect your efforts as a buyer or seller.

Almost All U.S. Cities Can Be Optimistic About Real Estate Market in 2014

Local Economy UpdateThe economic recovery is not just confined to one region of the United States, according to a recent news article.

Evidently, a recent report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors noted that almost every city in the country is expected to see economic growth in the New Year!

This is great news for everyone because it shows that our economy continues to strengthen after the recent recession.

Why You Can Expect Great Things in 2014

According to the recent report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, most cities in the US are expected to see economic growth and job gains in 2014.

Here are the cities that are expected to lead the pack:

  • Naples, Florida
  • Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Austin, Texas

What’s more, those cities who were severely affected by drops in manufacturing or by the housing market crash are also expected to see gains in the new year:

  • Youngstown, Ohio is expected to see economic growth of 1.6 percent
  • Buffalo, New York is expected to see economic gains of 1.5 percent
  • Shreveport, Louisiana is expected to grow by 1.6 percent, after the community saw a 5.2 percent decrease last year.

Experts say that part of the key to economic growth has been the stabilization of housing. Job growth has also helped to encourage spending.

They noted that college towns (such as Lawrence, Kansas or Austin, Texas) are expected to make strong gains while the larger cities (like New York and Chicago) are expected to see more modest growth.

Here are some more highlights of the recent report:

  • 340 of 363 metro areas will see economic growth by at least 1 percent.
  • Last year, only 183 metro areas saw such growth.
  • In addition, experts predict that 69 of those 363 metro areas will see growth exceeding 3 percent.
  • And only seven of the 363 metro areas will probably not see economic growth, according to the report.
  • While that’s unfortunate, it’s still exceptionally better than last year when 97 metro areas didn’t see growth.

A New Year, A New Economy

With a New Year comes new opportunity. We’re thrilled to know that the local economy in almost all major US cities is expected to grow in the coming year.

Check back here soon to learn about more about national trends that may affect your efforts as a home buyer or seller.

More Gains Expected in 2014 for US Housing Market

US Real EstateExperts emphasized recently what they’ve been saying for weeks: The US housing market will show even better gains in 2014.

Evidently, experts believe that it will be a good year for housing, despite the fact that sales are likely to level off slightly.

Those interested in buying and selling real estate in the US in 2014 will surely find the following information helpful as they navigate the market!

Good News for US Homes for Sale

Here’s the outlook for the US housing market, according to a recent article I was reading:

  • Interest rates on 30-year mortgages are expected to rise above 5 percent by midyear. Currently, the national average is about 4.5 percent.
  • Home prices are expected to increase 5 to 6 percent in 2014, which is about half of what it was in 2013.
  • New home construction is expected to show immense growth in 2014, which is great for the homebuilding industry as well as those buyers looking for more options.
  • The number of foreclosed homes has dropped significantly in the last several months, suggesting that the foreclosure crisis is nearing an end.

In a related article, CoreLogic reported a similarly optimistic outlook for 2014, especially given the most recent data available.

Citing November 2013 data, CoreLogic reported that:

  • Home prices increased 0.1 percent from October to November.
  • Home prices rose11.8 percent between November 2012 and November 2013,
  • 2013 represented the best year for housing since the financial crisis.
  • When all was said and done, home prices increased about 11.5 percent in 2013, which was the biggest gain since 2005.
  • And sales of existing homes reached 5.1 million in 2013, the National Association of Realtors said.  That’s an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.
  • That figure is also the highest it’s been since 2006.
  • CoreLogic said that, after talking with several economists, they expect sales and prices to continue rising this year, albeit at a slower pace.

Those markets that are expected to be the “hottest” in 2014 include:

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Austin, Texas
  • San Jose, California
  • Miami, Florida
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • San Diego, California
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Boston, Massachusetts

Buying and Selling US Real Estate

Hopefully it will be a great year for the national housing market. One thing is for sure: It will be an improvement from the year before!

Check back here soon for more pertinent information on the current state of the national housing market!

National Housing Market Weathering Higher Mortgage Rates

National home salesThe sales of new U.S. single family homes fell only slightly in November in the wake of higher mortgage rates.

Meanwhile, prices on new homes continued to rise, signaling to national housing market experts that the market truly is weathering higher mortgage rates, according to a recent news article.

National Housing Market Showing Resilience, Experts Say

The Commerce Department recently reported that sales fell 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000 units.

Here’s what else was revealed about recent market activity:

  • November’s numbers marked a fall from October’s revised 474,000 pace, which was the highest level since July 2008.
  • For November, economists had expected new home sales to be at a 445,000 unit pace in November.
  • Compared with November 2012, sales were up 16.6 percent.
  • Although higher mortgage rates have slowed the rate of home resales since August, activity is expected to accelerate next year.
  • Experts credit this in part to employment gains.
  • What’s more, experts say that a lean housing inventory is also expected to increase activity.
  • For instance, in November, the supply of houses on the market decreased by 6.7 percent.
  • The median price of a new home rose 10.6 percent from a year ago.
  • If the housing market remained at November’s sales pace, it would take 4.3 months to clean the market of available homes, which is the smallest inventory there’s been since June.
  • In October, the housing market inventory was at 4.5 months.
  • For a reference point, a 6-month supply is normally considered as a healthy balance between supply and demand.
  • Although home sales decreased in the Midwest and South, sales showed strong gains in the West and Northeast.

Helping You Buy and Sell Homes

The recent activity is actually encouraging, despite the fact that the sale of new single family homes actually dropped.

That’s because the decrease was actually pretty slight, meaning that the national housing market is adapting to higher mortgage rates better than even some experts anticipated.

Check back here soon for more national real estate news that affects your efforts as home buyers and sellers!

A Very Merry Year End National Real Estate Report

National housing market salesWhichever way you look at it, the real estate market is finishing strong as we wrap up 2013!

According to a recent Bloomberg report, several market indicators are showing growth and gains, which is great news for home buyers and home sellers alike!

Today, we’re going to share with you some of the highlights of this recent report. Happy holidays everyone!

US Home Sales

According to the Bloomberg article, purchases of new U.S. homes rebounded during the month of October from the lowest level it’s been in more than a year.

Specifically, home sales of these new homes jumped 25.4 percent to a 444,000 annualized rate. This was only a month after that figure was down to 354,0000, which was the weakest it’s been since April 2012.

Experts say that this signals that home buyers are beginning to adjust to higher mortgage rates.

Aiding this increase in home sales is the fact that there have been employment gains across the board, as well as stock price increases.

Here’s what else the report revealed about national housing market activity:

  • Home purchases decreased 6.6 percent in September from a 379,000 annualized pace in August.
  • The median home sales price showed a year-over-year decrease of 0.6 percent to $245,800 in October.
  • Home purchases rebounded in all four U.S. regions during the month of October
  • The biggest increase in home purchases was in the Midwest with a 34 percent increase.
  • The supply of homes decreased from 6.4 months to 4.9 months during the month of September
  • There were 183,000 new houses on the market by the end of October, which is down from 190,000 during the previous month.
  • New construction accounted for about 7 percent of the residential market in 2012.
  • Meanwhile, applications for building permits increased by 6.2 percent to a 1.03 million annualized rate, which is the most it’s been since June 2008.
  • That’s compared to a September pace of 974,000
  • There were 2.13 million previously owned homes for sale by the end of October, which is down from 2.17 million during the month of September.

National Real Estate News at Your Fingertips

As you can see, our national real estate market is becoming more active as residents everywhere become increasingly optimistic about the state of the housing market.

This bodes well for 2014 predictions for the national housing market!

Check back on January 1 as we continue to discuss real estate market activity that affects you!

US Homes Selling Quicker and Canadian Home Sales Prices Increasing!

US and Canada Home SalesAs real estate experts, we’re always looking for market indicators to suggest whether the market is favoring sellers or buyers.

We look at a variety of factors, including average list price,  median sales price and price per square footage.

Another indicator we look at is the days that a home spent on the market before it ultimately sold. And if the latest data is any indication, this metric is certainly starting to favor home sellers!

Why Home Sellers in the US Should Be Optimistic

According to the most recent real estate data, properties listed in September 2013 spent an average of 86 days on real estate websites, compared with 116 days last year!

This suggests that homes are selling nearly a month quicker than they did this time last year.

Here’s what else the most recent real estate data reveals:

  • Properties listed in all 30 of the largest metro areas in the country sold quicker in September when compared to last year.
  • Those homes in the San Francisco Bay area were listed for the fewest number of days at 48, followed by Sacramento with 59 days and Dallas with 60 days.
  • Comparatively, in 2010, homes listed were on the market an average of 119 days.

Experts say that a declining inventory of homes for sale has attracted more eager buyers to the market, resulting in fewer days on the market for homes for sale.

Historically low mortgage rates, an improving economic climate and depressed home price values are further encouraging this activity.

Canadian Real Estate Market Faring Well Too!

Although data on average days on the market was not immediately available, other real estate indicators suggest that Canada’s real estate market is faring just as well!

Here is some recent encouraging data released by the Canadian Real Estate Association:

  • Although the number of newly listed homes decreased by 0.8 percent from September to October, the Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price increased 8.5 percent year-over-year in October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) increased 3.5 percent year-over-year in October.
  • Between September and October, national home sales declined by 3.2 percent.
  • Meanwhile, actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was 8.3 percent higher from October 2012 to October 2013.

The Ultimate Source for Real Estate News

Check back here soon for more updates on how the national real estate markets in the United States and Canada are faring!

And for expert help on your own home-buying or home-selling goals, please contact us today!