Housing Markets Nationwide Hit Key Milestone

There are many ways to gauge the health of the housing market. But no matter which way you look at it, the ultimate goal is to figure out where things are headed and how that will affect home buyers and sellers, as well as current and future homeowners.

In other words, the data may differ but it’s all getting at the same question. Take the National Association of Home Builders’ Leading Markets Index – which compares current conditions to previous norms. The NAHB’s index looks at employment info, home prices, and building permits in 340 metropolitan areas across the country in an effort to determine how those markets have rebounded since the housing crash and what they should expect going forward.

According to the latest results, markets nationwide are running at an average of 100 percent of normal economic and housing activity. And, if that sounds good, it’s because it is. “This is the first time the LMI has reached this key milestone and it shows how much our industry has improved since the depth of the Great Recession,” Granger MacDonald, NAHB’s chairman, said in a press release. But though the data shows great strides across a majority of markets, it also shows that – while employment levels and home prices have rebounded strongly – building permits still lag behind. That’s an issue because many markets are in need of new homes to help provide options for buyers and keep affordability conditions under control.

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his article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

 

What does it Mean when a Home’s Sale is Pending?

There are steps to buying a home. You don’t just find a house, make an offer, and move in as soon as it’s accepted. In fact, though having an offer accepted is a big step, it’s really just the first of the closing process.

There are many things that need to be done before your accepted offer becomes a final sale. During this process, the house you’ve chosen is taken off the market but not officially sold. Until you’ve got keys to the house, it’s considered a “pending sale” or “under contract”.

Pending sales are important because they can be a good indicator of where home sales are headed. Because of this, the National Association of Realtors keeps track each month of the number of homes that are under contract as a way of watching what’s ahead for the market. For example, the NAR’s most recent Pending Home Sales Index was virtually flat from the month before. These results show that low inventory may be holding home sales back. “Home shoppers are coming out in droves this spring and competing with each other for the meager amount of listings in the affordable price range,” Jennifer Bixby said.

In other words, what we can learn from how many pending sales there were in April is that buyers should be prepared to move fast this spring and sellers should expect to find favorable conditions.

 

 

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Spring Has Homeowners Seeing Opportunity

This year’s housing market depends a lot on whether or not current homeowners decide now’s the time to put their home up for sale. With inventory low, home prices have been climbing and causing affordability concerns for buyers.

There are two ways to relieve upward pressure on prices. One is more new home construction. The other is more homeowners putting their homes on the market. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s senior vice president and chief economist, says the market may get a boost, if current homeowners become more active. “The housing market could get some tailwinds from a seasonal rise in for-sale inventory, particularly as some sellers seek to lock in profits from recent rapid home price gains,” Duncan said. “The market could also get a boost from homebuyers who decide to jump into the market before rates rise further.”

The good news is there are an increasing number of Americans who believe this is the time to sell. In fact, Fannie Mae’s most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index saw a 9 percent jump in the number of survey participants who said they feel it’s a good time to sell a house. If more homeowners begin to list their homes this spring, it’ll offer buyers better choices. It’ll also help moderate future price increases.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Why Aren’t More Homeowners Looking To Sell?

Recent real estate data shows home buyer demand is high. There are a lot of buyers looking to take advantage of current conditions out of concern that mortgage rates may go up this year or prices will rise further. That, along with pent-up demand from younger buyers and previously underwater homeowners looking to finally move, means it should be a great time to sell a house.

So, if buyer demand is up and conditions are right, why aren’t more homeowners putting their homes up for sale? Well one reason, according to a recent survey, is that they’re afraid they won’t be able to find a suitable replacement for their current home. With inventory tight in many markets, some homeowners – who may otherwise be ready to sell – say they’re hesitant.

However, as more homeowners get in the market and off the sidelines, that will begin to change. In the meantime, buyers looking to purchase a home this spring should expect to see available homes for sale selling more quickly than they did last year.

In other words, there will likely be some competition for hot properties. Interested buyers will have to move fast. One way to beat the competition is to be prepared. If you’re a buyer, have your financing lined up in advance and have a professional Realtor working for you. Experienced representation will be key to winning negotiations in this hot market.

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Will This Year Be Better For Buyers Or Sellers?

If you want to know whether this year is going to be good for buyers or sellers or both, you need to watch for a couple of factors. First, take a look at the housing market. A recent uptick in mortgage rates, combined with higher prices and lower inventory, have made buying a home slightly less affordable than it was a couple of years ago.

However, mortgage rates are still historically low and, though prices continue to rise, they have slowed down. That means, though affordability isn’t what it was a few years ago, buying a home remains an affordable choice. This is especially true when taken together with recent economic data. That’s because, whether or not higher rates will deter potential buyers really depends more on whether or not those buyers feel financially secure and optimistic about their prospects. In other words, if Americans continue to see better job opportunities and higher wages, they’ll be less likely to hesitate when thinking about buying a house regardless of where rates and prices go.

According to the most recent outlook from Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group, how things play out will depend largely on young Americans. “Tight inventory remains a boon to home prices and Americans’ net worth, but it also continues to price out many would-be first-time homebuyers.” However, our research suggests that aging millennials, now boasting higher real wages, are beginning to narrow the homeownership attainment gap.

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

The Absolute Best Time to List Your Home

Though it’s commonly said that spring is the most popular time for home buyers to begin looking at houses, a new analysis has narrowed it down even further. In fact, the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends pinpointed the best two weeks of the year to list a house. The study found that homes listed between May 1st and 15th sold nine days faster than the average listing. Additionally, homes that were listed during that time frame sold for 1 percent above average.
However, you may not be able to expect the same success if you’re selling a house in an area with a warmer climate. That’s because, regions where the weather doesn’t change as drastically from season to season will see less variation in sale price. According to Zillow’s chief economist, Dr. Svenja Gudell, there’s one possible reason homes listed near the end of April or beginning of May do so well. “Many home buyers who started looking for homes in the early spring will still be searching for their dream home months later,” Gudell said. “By May, some buyers may be anxious to get settled into a new home – and will be more willing to pay a premium to close a deal.”

 

This article is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Will Low Inventory Affect Your Home Search?

If you’ve followed the housing market at all this year, you’ve likely heard something about inventory. Inventory refers to the number of homes available for sale. This year, it’s been lower than usual. And, when for-sale inventory is low and buyer demand is high – as it’s been this year – prices rise and sellers hold most of the negotiating power.

In many markets, that has been the story this year. However, according to a new analysis from Trulia, whether or not low inventory will affect a buyer’s home search depends on where that buyer is looking and what kind of home they’re looking to buy. For example, starter homes had the largest drop in inventory last year, falling 10.7 percent.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the number of high-end homes for sale only fell 3.7 percent. Naturally, that means a first-time buyer looking for an affordable home may have fewer homes to choose from than a luxury home buyer. However, it also depends on where you live.

Here in Fremont, we have averaged 27 sales a month over the past 6 months. With only 57 active listings today, that is an inventory supply for 2 months. A balanced market is closer to 4-6 months of inventory. If you are thinking of selling now is the time!

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

How Do You Compare to the Typical Home Seller?

The National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers takes an annual look at the who, what, where, and how of the year’s typical real-estate transaction.

Based on a survey sent out across the country, the results reveal things like how much the average home seller made on the sale of their home, how buyers came up with their down payment, and what types of homes sold, who sold them, and for how much. For example, last year’s typical seller was 54 years old, had been living in their home for 10 years, and had a median income of $100,700.

The most commonly cited reason for selling a home was to find something bigger, which was named by 18 percent of respondents. Other common reasons for selling a home included wanting to live closer to friends and family and because of a new job.

The majority of sellers didn’t have to offer any incentives in order to attract a buyer for their home and nearly 9 in 10 used a real-estate agent to help sell their house. The typical home seller was able to sell their home for $43,100 more than they purchased it for and got 98 percent of their final listing price.

 

This information is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Housing Outlook Sees Strong Year Ahead

Though there is some uncertainty about how changing economic policies might affect the economy and housing market in the months to come, Fannie Mae’s most recent Economic and Housing Outlook from their Economic & Strategic Research Group sees continued improvement ahead.

In short, improved consumer spending, a healthy labor market, and rising wages should continue to support economic growth. But what does this mean for the housing market and real estate this year? Well, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist, the housing market should remain strong and build on last year’s performance. “We expect housing to remain resilient and continue its recovery in 2017, with affordability standing out as the industry’s greatest obstacle, particularly for first-time homeowners,” Duncan said. “Demographic factors, however, are positive. Our research shows that older Millennials have begun to buy homes and close the homeownership attainment gap with their predecessors.” An increasing number of younger buyers is good news for the market, as is the expected bump in new home construction.

If the supply of homes for sale can keep up with buyer demand, a better balanced market may help alleviate affordability concerns and lead to favorable housing conditions in 2017.

 

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St. Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.

Are you planning to sell in 2017? Here are some Tips

Selling a home can be challenging in any year. Even if market conditions are perfect for homeowners who want to sell, just the act of finding a buyer, shopping for a new place, and organizing a move can be overwhelming. Add in lower for-sale inventory, higher mortgage rates, and economic uncertainty and it may seem like too much to take on.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of help available to guide you through this year’s real estate market. A recent article on Trulia breaks down some of the top tips for selling a home in the New Year.

First on their list is hiring the right agent. Having a professional who knows the local market and your needs can reduce your stress level and make everything else run more smoothly.

You’re also going to want to prepare for competition. Analysts expect inventory to rise this year and that means an increasing number of homes for buyers to choose from. Making your house stand out from the pack might mean staging it according to the demographic most likely to be moving to your neighborhood.

You should also be sure to keep up with technology. These days, everything from virtual tours to drone photography can be used to set your listing apart. Ultimately, though, nothing works better than pricing your home correctly from the start.

With a good agent and the right price, you shouldn’t have any trouble selling your house in 2017.

 

jenThis content is provided by Jennifer Bixby, the broker for Don Peterson and Associates Real Estate, 100 E. 6th St.  Jennifer can be reached at 402-721-9700 for answers to questions regarding real estate.