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Does it feel different?

by Mayes Harris Team

As I am setting here planning my day, I thought "How does today feel compared to six or nine months ago".  I found my answer to have mixed reactions.  So many friends are looking for work or have suffered dramatic cuts in their business or income, that you wonder-are things getting better? 

We know from past recessions, the recovery starts way before the unemployment falls.  Yet, I am more optimistic today than 3 or 6 months ago.  There are many positive signs, that the economy is starting to see some recovery....housing is showing increased activity. 

Sales in the Charlotte area has slowly increased month over month since January.  Inventory of existing homes for sale is decreasing as buyers are becoming more eager to purchase their first home or that move up home they were not able to afford earlier, but in today's market is a reality. Builder have started building new specs, something unheard of three months ago.  Their quick action to stop new starts of spec homes, has kept "new home" inventory in the 7 months range compared to 6 months in a strong market.  While mortgage approval criteria has been more restictive, for buyers with good credit scores, the low rates is making it an opportune time to buy. Meanwhile, without media fanfare, we are getting people relcoating to the area on a weekly basis and those people need homes and guess what....they are buying.

So, my answer is--Yes---while it's going to be a steady but slow return, things are feeling much better. I share with you a headline from today's Business Week, -Now is the Time to Buy. 

Now's the Time to Buy in Real Estate
Investors are returning as the real estate market recovers.

BusinessWeek’s real estate guru Marc Roth points out these opportunities, which he says make sense if investors are willing to look over the property carefully and ask tough questions.

Options they should consider include:

  • Buying a single-family house. This could be a first home or a dream home or a home to rent out.
  • Buying a multi-family investment property.
  • Snapping up a vacation property. There are deep discounts to be found in high-end resort areas.
  • Investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust. REITs were hit hard in the downturn, but many are on their way back.


Source: BusinessWeek, Marc Roth (08/26/2009)

Feds Keep Short Term Rates Same

by Mayes Harris Team

Good news from the Feds today......keeping short term rates the same which led in upward finish for stocks  The economic factors are showing the economy is stabilizing.  The following article was just release from the Associate Press.

Fed Will Keep Key Rates Low
When the Federal Reserve ends its meeting on Wednesday afternoon, it is almost certain to leave the key rate at or near zero and pledge to hold it there.

That makes it likely mortgages will stay historically low and rates on home-equity and other consumer loans will hug 3 percent.

But it is unclear whether the Fed will continue some programs that have kept mortgages and other consumer debt even lower than the market might expect. One such program involves buying U.S. Treasurys. The Fed is set to buy $300 billion worth of Treasury bonds by the fall. It has bought $235 billion already this year.

"I think they'll let it expire. It seems the mood turned against Treasury purchases in the last couple of months, and there's been some skepticism whether it has worked in bringing rates down," says Michael Feroli, an economist at JPMorgan Economics.

Source: The Associated Press, Jeannine Aversa (08/11/2009)

Having Difficulty Making Your Mortgage Payment?

by Mayes Harris Team

Are you having difficulty in making your mortgage payment?  Perhaps you are like many other home owners in Charlotte,chose one of the adjustable mortgages offered in the past few years a low interest rates. Now the loan rate has adjusted, and you find it difficult to make the new payment.  You are not alone and there is a program out there to help borrowers like you. 

The Loan Modification Program implemented earlier this year is expiring in November unless extended by Congress.  Simply, the loan modification requires lenders to work with "qualified applicants" to adjust their loan payments to prevent them from losing their home. Now is the time to act!!!

 Not sure you qualifiy?  Go to the link below and quickly take the test to see if you qualify....if so, please contact your lender to proceed with the process. 

http://makinghomeaffordable.gov/about.html

Charlotte Home Sales Continue Positive Trend

by Mayes Harris Team

People are constantly asking us what is happening in the Charlotte home market.  Well there is some good news to share, but we still have a long way to go. First the good news, Charlotte Metro Area home sales increased for the fifth month in a row indicating the market may be stabilizing.

 

Single family detached home closings for January 2009 were at 1001, (one of the lowest number of closings in recent years) while in June closings reached 1858 homes. While this sales activity is a positive trend, we are still in for a long recovery period and we do not anticpate returning to the highs of 2007 anytime soon.

Here are some of the trends behind the nos:

  • First time home buyers are taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit
  • Buyers are focusing on the resell market in well established communities...where they believe it's a safe investment
  • Homes under the $250K range are seeing the greatest activity
  • Interest rates for conforming loans (Under $417K) have continued to remain low...
  • The average Charlotte home sales price has seen an uptick after several months of decline
  • The average home sold for 92.9% of list price....with higher priced homes and foreclosures seeing a greater discount

What does this mean for you as a seller or buyer?  

 

Buyers:

If you are considering buying a smaller, larger or just a different home, there is a limited window of time to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates.  If you are considering building, builders are offering some of their best prices in years due to lower material prices and labor costs.  According to a recent Wall Street Journal news article here are some things to consider:

  • Waiting for the right time can be expensive. Some buyers would have more equity today, despite falling prices, if they had bought when they were first considering it, instead of continuing to pay rent.
  • Financing is fickle. Some people who were highly qualified last year can’t find financing this year because the credit market has tightened or their personal financial situation now makes them an undesirable borrower.
  • Interest rates are headed up. If prices decline by another 10 percent, but interest rates increase by 1 percentage point, the monthly payment will be the same\Waiting for the right time can be expensive. Some buyers would have more equity today, despite falling prices, if they had bought when they were first considering it, instead of continuing to pay rent.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Douglas Heddings (07/27/2009)

Sellers:

If your home is currently listed or thinking about selling you will need both patience and flexibility.  Every situation is different, but in general it will take longer to sell your home than in past years.  The average days on the market (known as DOM) for June sales was 120 days.

 

There is a tremendous amount of inventory on the market, your homes must stand out and show well....if people can't imagine how they can live the home, then they will quickly move on to a different listing.

Finally, know your competition!  A good understanding of your home value in comparison to the rest of the market is essential.  If you have questions regarding your market value, we can assist you. 

 

Questions regarding your specific home or submarket?

Simple email us at gina@mayesharrisrealty.com and we will be glad to help. 

 

 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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