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Homes Continue to Sell Quickly Nationwide

by Mayes Harris Team

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report, which revealed that homes were on the market for an average of 47 days in March. This is a decrease from the 59 days reported in February, as well as the 52 days reported back in March 2015.

42% of homes across the country were on the market for less than a month, which is the highest it’s been since July 2015 (43%)!

Among the states with homes selling in 30 days or less are Washington, Oregon, and Minnesota. The map below was created using results from NAR’s Monthly Realtor Confidence Survey.

 

Bottom Line

Buyer demand is increasing as the inventory of homes available for sale remains low. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, let's meet up so I can help you take advantage of current market conditions!

One More Time… You Do Not Need 20% Down To Buy NOW

by Mayes Harris Team

A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today. 

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.

Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

2. FICO Scores

The survey also reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in March had a credit score of 753, while FHA mortgages closed with a 685 score. The average across all loans closed in March was 722. The graph below shows how the average FICO Score required has come down over the last 12 months and has stayed around 722 for the last six months.

 

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, sit down with a professional who can help you understand your true options.

New Home Buyers Look For Green Options

by Mayes Harris Team

Some Highlights:

  • 11% of new homebuyers stated "energy efficient features" as the reason for their purchase.
  • The most popular remodeling projects done for energy efficiency were insulation upgrades, HVAC replacements, and vinyl & wood window installations.
  • Research shows that word preference does make a difference when it comes to attracting "green buyers."

Thinking of Selling? The Market Needs Your Listing!!

by Mayes Harris Team

The housing market is really heating up and buyer demand is dramatically increasing as we enter the spring season. However, one challenge to the current market is a major shortage of inventory. Below are a few comments made in the last month by industry experts.


Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of NAR

Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new Listings quickly replacing what's being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com

Low inventories and tight credit will limit the gains we will see in 2016. However, given the level of pent-up demand evident in web activity and stated buyer intentions for 2016, we should see this spring materialize as the busiest season of sales since 2006.

Rick Sharga, Ten-X's EVP

Inventory is too low to support much higher sales. There's virtually no inventory available at the entry level, and single family housing starts and permits continue to languish at levels far below where they should be at this point of the recovery.

David Crowe, Chief Economist of the National Assoc. of Home Builders

Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.

Freddie Mac

Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets.

If You Are Thinking of Selling, Now Is The Time

by Mayes Harris Team

If you thought about selling your house this year, now 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 the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist of realtor.com, in a recent article revealed that:

“Would-be buyers face a dilemma: There will be more homes on the market over each week of the next three to four months, but there will also be even more prospective buyers. We are entering the busiest season of home buying with the lowest amount of inventory in three years. To be competitive, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage and be ready to act quickly if they find a home that meets their needs.”

Smoke goes on to say:

“Listings are growing as they normally do this time of the year, but because demand has been growing faster than supply, homes are selling faster. So the monthly trend is the normal seasonal pattern, but the year-over-year decline is reflective of demand being stronger than supply for more than a year, which is resulting in fewer homes available and faster-moving inventory.”

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.

Buying a Home is 36% Less Expensive Than Renting Nationwide!

by Mayes Harris Team

 

In the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.

The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 5% less expensive in Orange County (CA) all the way up to 46% in Houston (TX), and 36% Nationwide!

Other interesting findings in the report include:

  • Interest rates have remained low and even though home prices have appreciated around the country, they haven’t greatly outpaced rental appreciation.
  • Some markets may tip in favor of renting if home prices increase at a greater rate than rents and if – as most economists expect – mortgage rates rise, due to the strengthening economy.
  • Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6% for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.

Bottom Line

Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together to discuss the best course of action to get you into your dream home!

Home Prices Are Up…but there is a Challenge

by Mayes Harris Team

Home values continue to climb and are projected to increase by about 5% over the next twelve months. That is great news for anyone who owns a home. However, it could present a challenge for a family trying to sell their house.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the sales price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released information revealing just how prominent the challenge is in today’s market.


And the challenge is deepening…

Every month, Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner believes their house is worth as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Here is a chart showing that difference for each of the last 12 months.

As we can see the difference has increased each of the last two months.

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let's meet up so I can guide you through this, and any other obstacle that may arise.

RE/MAX Metro Realty Has Had A Fabulous 2015!!

by Mayes Harris Team

Our office may not be the largest in Charlotte, but we are fast becoming one of the mightiest. We just received the stats for 2015 and we have outsold the competition and that includes the larger brokerages in the area. Take a look and once again, thank you for your business, referrals and TRUST. We genuinely appreciate you!!


Real Estate: 2016 Will Be the Best Year in a Decade

by Mayes Harris Team

 

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist at realtor.com, exclaimed: “All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006.”

Now, Freddie Mac has doubled down on that claim and is saying that 2016 will be the best year that the real estate industry has seen in a decade. In their March Housing Outlook Report, Freddie Mac explained:

Despite the challenges facing the housing market, we expect this to be the best year for housing in a decade. Home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest level since 2006 according to our latest forecast…Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets, but on balance, the housing markets in the U.S. are poised for the best year since 2006.


The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are:

  • Low-interest rates
  • A resilient labor market
  • An increase in household formations
  • A projected increase in newly constructed homes

Bottom Line

2016 looks to be shaping up as a great year for residential real estate. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, we should meet up to discuss the new opportunities that are arising in the Lake Norman area market and nationally.  Contact me today to further discuss. 

Building Wealth: First Rung on the Ladder is Housing

by Mayes Harris Team

How Housing Matters is a joint project of the Urban Land Institute and the MacArthur Foundation. It is “an online resource for the most rigorous research and practical information on how a quality, stable, affordable home in a vibrant community contributes to individual and community success”.

A recent story they published, The First Rung on the Ladder to Economic Opportunity Is Housing, discussed the importance of having affordable housing available to as many families as possible because:

The ladder to economic success can stretch only so high without the asset-building power of homeownership.

Home equity provides Americans with the ability to send their children to college with less student loan debt and is the primary source of funds for retirement. Half of the assets of Americans over age 55 are in their home.


Bottom Line

I have often posted that the net worth of a family owning a home is 45 times greater than that of a family that rents. That is not a coincidence.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 18

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