Housing Market Improves Despite Challenges 

The National Association Of Home Builders’ Leading Markets Index compares current price, building permits, and employment levels to their previous norms in 337 markets across the country. The index is an effort to measure how quickly individual markets have recovered following the housing crash and financial crisis.

According to the most recent release, 196 metro areas have returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity as of the second quarter of this year. In other words, housing markets across the country continue to make gains, despite current challenges.

Granger MacDonald, NAHB’s chairman, says the report shows that the recovery has been widespread. “This report shows that the housing and economic recovery is widespread across the nation and that housing has made significant gains since the Great Recession,” Granger said. “However, the lagging single-family permit indicator shows that housing still has a ways to go to get back to full strength.” Among the three main index components, building permits are still falling behind previous norms, while price and employment levels have largely rebounded.

 

This advertisement was 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 your real estate needs.

Today’s Home Buyer Is More Market Savvy

One result of the housing crash is that American home buyers are now more savvy about the housing market. In addition to finding a house they love, they are also concerned with market fluctuations and whether or not they are buying at the right time. In fact, a recent survey from Value Insured shows 63 percent of all buyers and 72 percent of millennials say they worry that they’ll buy a house just as home prices peak.

This concern is natural considering recent history. However, the longer you live in a house, the less likely you are to suffer the effects of market fluctuations. That means, if you’re buying a house you love and plan to live in for, at least, the next five to seven years, you can feel more comfortable buying regardless of where the market may be.

Joe Melendez, CEO of Value Insured, says the fact that this is a common concern shows Americans are more informed these days. “Beyond the jitters, I see in our survey an increasingly informed nation of home buyers, who understand the risk of the market,” Melendez says. “To those concerned about a price correction, or waiting to time the market, I recommend a proactive approach. Have an exit plan, then anytime you find a home you love is a good time to buy.”

 

 

 

This advertisement was 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 your real estate needs.

Millennials Say Having A Dog Is A Top Reason To Buy

There are a handful of common answers that come up time and time again when Americans are surveyed about their reasons for buying a home. For example, a desire for more space is always at or near the top of any list documenting prospective buyers’ main motivations. After all, if you’ve run out of space where you are – whether it’s because you’ve started a family or because you’ve got a lot of stuff – you’re probably going to be eager to move somewhere bigger. But, though survey after survey finds we all share some common wants and needs when it comes to our homes, a new survey of young Americans who have never owned a home found a surprising reason behind their desire to become homeowners.

So, what was it? Well, 42 percent of respondents said their dog, or desire to have one, was a key factor in wanting to one day buy a home of their own. And, though that may seem unusual to those of us who don’t have pets, those that do, more often than not, consider them a part of their family. So, for a renter who may have trouble finding a landlord that will allow pets at all or one that won’t charge them extra for having one, buying a home can provide a less stressful environment for both the homeowner and their beloved pet.

 

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, member of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and 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 your real estate needs.

Is Buying a Home Still an Affordable Choice?

These days, determining the affordability of buying a home isn’t such a simple calculation. There are always a lot of variables to consider – including prices, mortgage rates, wages, and local factors – but today’s housing market contains a number of contradictions that may make it even more difficult for potential buyers to figure out.

For example, home prices have recently been making a lot of news, mostly because they’ve regained much or all of the value lost following the housing crash. At the same time, though, mortgage rates have remained just above historic lows for the past several years. In other words, if you live in an area where home prices have been slower to rebound, low mortgage rates likely mean homes are still a good deal in your neighborhood. On the other hand, in some areas – where home prices have pushed beyond previous highs and low inventory is limiting available choices – favorable mortgage rates make less of an impact.

Here in Fremont buying is affordable for the average household, though challenges remain. Thanks to very low mortgage rates, monthly mortgage payments are affordable for the average household despite currently high house prices. Nevertheless, hurdles to homeownership arise from the difficulty of finding a house.

 

This advertisement was provided by Jennifer Bixby, of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and 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 your real estate needs.

Prices Move Higher as Homeowners Stay Put

Widely seen as the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Dow Jones Indices is a monthly look at home values that has been conducted for more than 27 years. According to the most recent release, national home prices are up 5.8 percent over last year, with the largest gains seen in the West and South.

David M. Blitzer managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says there’s some regional variation in how quickly prices are rising, but generally the issue is the number of homes available for sale. “Over the last year, analysts suggested that one factor pushing prices higher was the unusually low inventory of homes for sale,” Blitzer said in a press release. “People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up.” Because of this, there are fewer homes for buyers to choose from but home sellers, on the other hand, enjoy increasingly favorable conditions. And yet, many current homeowners are staying put.

If more homeowners put their homes up for sale, and new home construction continues to improve, the market will balance in the coming months and home price increases will begin to moderate.

 

This advertisement is provided by Jennifer Bixby, part of the Bixby & Sorensen Team and 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.

 

Today’s Typical Home Sells in Less than a Month

Home buyers are out in large numbers this spring. Proof of that can be found in the most recent sales report from the National Association of Realtors. Their monthly tally of how many previously owned homes sold the month before found that the typical home for sale was on the market for just 29 days in April, down from 34 days the previous month.

That’s a strong indication that buyer demand is outpacing the number of homes for sale this spring. And that’s saying something, especially since April saw a 7.2 percent increase in for-sale inventory by the end of the month. In other words, there are more homes coming on the market but still not enough to match the number of interested home buyers.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says affordable homes are going fastest. “Homes in the lower and mid-market price range are hard to find in most markets, and when one is listed for sale, interest is immediate and multiple offers are nudging the eventual sales prices higher.” But despite the competition, buyers aren’t deterred. In fact, the number of first-time home buyers was up for the month and, a look at regional results, shows existing home sales are above or even with last year’s results in the South, West, and Midwest.

 

 

 

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

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.

 

Fixer-Uppers Prove Popular with First Time Home Buyers

Last year, first-time home buyers spent 22 percent more renovating their new house than buyers the year before. The increase shows a significant spike in younger buyers who are willing to take on the challenge of buying a fixer-upper.

But what’s behind the surge? Well, one obvious reason to buy a house in need of some work is price. Naturally, if you’re going to find a bargain, it’s likely going to be because the house isn’t in the best shape. Depending on how handy you are – or how much savings you’ve built up – you may be inclined to grab a lower-priced house with a plan to upgrade it to your liking.

The other reason, which would help explain the recent spike, are current market conditions. Since inventory in many markets is low, there are fewer homes available for buyers to choose from. That means, more buyers are going to have to look at homes that may need a little help.

Nino Sitchinava, principal economist for Houzz, the company who conducted the survey, says recent buyers are always a big share of renovations and low inventory of affordable homes is helping to boost those numbers. “Younger and cash-constrained first-time buyers are responding to the low inventory of affordable homes by purchasing properties that require more than just cosmetic upgrades.”

 

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.

Millennials Turn Traditional When it’s Time to Buy

Whenever the topic of millennial home buyers comes up, the assumption is that they’re all searching for urban lofts and using the latest tech to find them. In other words, the next generation of home buyers isn’t interested in the old way of doing things.

However, survey after survey seems to contradict those assumptions. In fact, recent surveys have found millennials are far more traditional than most assume. For example, a recent survey of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 found large majorities said they’d prefer to work with a local real-estate agent and lender as opposed to online services when searching for a house to buy.

Doria Lavagnino, co-founder and president of CentSai, the company behind the survey, says younger buyers want the comfort and reassurance of a recommendation from someone they trust. “Buying a home for the first time is daunting, and working with a local agent – particularly an agent referred by a parent or friend – could provide peace of mind.” The survey also found a majority of respondents said they plan to buy in the next two years and – among those who said they don’t plan on buying – nearly 70 percent said it’s because they can’t afford to, rather than because they prefer to rent.

 

 

 

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.

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.