Report: US Home Prices On the Rise

Home Buying 5The National Association of Realtors recently announced the latest US real estate figures and the numbers are encouraging for anyone considering selling their home.

Evidently, home price growth accelerated in much of the country during the fourth quarter of 2014.

This is a fantastic development for anyone hoping to get a good price on their home for sale. Continue reading to learn more.

What You Should Know About US Home Sales

Here is an overview of the highlights of the most recent real estate market report:

  • The median price of an existing single-family home increased year-over-year in 86 percent of 175 metropolitan areas.
  • 24 areas had price gains of 10 percent or more.
  • That figure is up from 16 regions during the third quarter.
  • Meanwhile, prices declined in 24 areas.
  • Experts credit the home price acceleration at least in part to low mortgage rates and improving employment conditions.
  • Still, home price gains are reducing affordability in areas across the country, which had 25 percent growth on average over the last three years.
  • At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.85 million previously-owned homes listed for sale, down from 2.01 million a year earlier.
  • The number of markets that saw year-over-year price gains in the fourth quarter has increased.
  • The median price for an existing single-family home in the three months through December was $208,700, which is up 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.

A Different Effect Seen in Canada

As US home prices have increased, a lot of Canadian cities are seeing declines in home prices.

According to the market data:

  • Home prices have started trending downward in several major Canadian cities, including Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Hamilton, Ont.
  • Still, at least two major cities showed gains. On an annual basis, home prices were up 7.4 percent in Toronto and up 5.1 percent in Vancouver.

When It Comes to Real Estate, Knowledge is Power

We take pride in being able to provide you with the most up-to-date market information so that you can make informed decisions as home buyers and sellers.

Check back soon for even more updates on the state of the national housing market and how that may impact you as a buyer or seller.

New US Home Sales and New Housing Starts See Major Surge

new housing startsRegardless of whether you’re navigating the new home sales market or the new construction market, you’ve likely heard some great news over the last few weeks.

That’s because both sectors of the national housing market have made gains recently, according to media reports.

If you’re planning on entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we recommend you continue reading to learn more about the latest trends on the housing market.

A Closer Look at US Single-Family Housing Starts

According to a recent Reuters article, groundbreaking for U.S. single-family homes increased to its highest level in more than 6 years in December.

Experts say that this, coupled with a huge jump in permits, hints at a recovering housing market.

Here’s what national data revealed about single-family housing starts:

  • Single-family housing starts jumped 7.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 728,000-units.
  • That figure is the highest level it’s been since March 2008.
  • The jump in housing starts offset a 0.8 percent fall in groundbreaking for the multi-family homes segment.
  • These two factors combined lifted overall housing starts 4.4 percent to a 1.09 million-unit rate last month.
  • It should be noted that Wall Street had forecast starts rising to a 1.04 million-unit pace.
  • For all of 2014, groundbreaking increased 8.8 percent to 1.01 million units, the highest since 2007.
  • Single-family housing starts in 2014 were also the highest in seven years.
  • Single-family permits increased 4.5 percent to their highest level since January 2008.

Equally Positive Signs Seen on for New Home Sales

Meanwhile, sales of new homes also showed signs of growth in recent months.

Here’s what Reuters recently reported about this subsection of the market:

  • Sales increased 11.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 481,000 units.
  • New home sales, which make up roughly 8 percent of the housing market, saw a total of 435,000 homes sold compared with 429,000 in 2013.

We’ll Help You Become an Informed Buyer or Seller

We truly believe that the more informed buyers and sellers are about the local housing market, the more likely they are to enjoy a successful outcome on the market.

That’s why we bring you pertinent information about the housing market every month.

Check back here soon for even more information about the current state of the housing market and how it may affect you.

Young Buyers Returning to the US Housing Market En Masse

housing marketA key factor in the housing market recovery is returning to the national market en masse, much to the elation of housing market analysts.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, more and more first-time home buyers are entering the market because they feel more confident about the economic recovery.

Faster economic growth and a labor market that’s approaching “full employment” (according to the Federal Reserve) are aiding in that rise in confidence among first-time home buyers.

Even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, this news is sure to benefit anyone who is navigating the national housing market right now.

Fannie Mae Economist Makes Positive Predictions for 2015

Douglas Duncan, a chief economist at Fannie Mae in Washington, made the following predictions about the year ahead:

  • There will be a 6.3 percent increase in mortgage lending for purchases this year.
  • This increase follows a 9.6 percent decrease in 2014.
  • Increasing confidence in the job market is the strongest indication that home sales will improve.

Thomas Reuters Consumer Sentiment Poll Reflects Similar Optimism

Recently Thomas Reuters partnered with the University of Michigan for a consumer sentiment poll and this is what they found:

  • Consumers expect an increase of 1.7 percent in their incomes in 2015, the highest since 2008.
  • Those under 45 years old expect the biggest gain at 4.7 percent.

More Encouraging Factors From The National Economy

Meanwhile, economic growth (bolstered by consumer spending as well as business investment) is increasing. In fact, the Commerce Department reported that the US grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, which is the fastest since 2003.

The Fed said it expects the economy will expand between 2.6 percent and 3 percent in 2015, up from 2.3 percent to 2.4 percent in 2014.

Plus, the economy added more than 2.7 million jobs in 2014, which is the most since 1999, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And the jobless rate will average 5.2 to 5.3 percent, which is at the level last seen before the financial crisis.

All of this job growth and creation means that the median household income in 2014 increased 1.6 percent to $53,880 through November. Experts say that rate should increase through 2015.

Which Brings Us Back to the First-Time Home Buyer

All of this growth and prosperity is driving young home buyers to the market. As they enter the market, more homes will change ownership, freeing up existing home owners to buy bigger and better homes.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You need a regular stream of first-time home buyers to aid in the growth of any housing market. Thus, we’re thrilled that more and more first-time home buyers are coming back to the market.

Your #1 Resource for Real Estate News

We hope you found today’s news on first-time home buyers as encouraging as we did!

Check back here soon for more valuable information on the current state of the housing market and how it may impact you as a buyer or seller.

Report: US Home Inventory Low, Making It a Great Time to Sell

time to sellHappy New Year! We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that you’re as excited and hopeful about 2015 as we are!

And if you’re a prospective home seller, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors suggests that there’s a good chance you can get a great price on your home right now.

According to the recent report, US home sales recently hit a six month low, with inventory at a low point too.

While this may seem discouraging at first blush, this actually suggests that those homes that are being sold on the market are being met with increased demand. After all, home buyers have a smaller selection of available homes to choose from than in recent months.

The key to sealing the deal on your home for sale and getting a great price is expert marketing.

A Closer Look at This Recent Real Estate Report

Here are some of the highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:

  • Existing home sales decreased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units.
  • That figure is the lowest it’s been since May
  • Meanwhile, home inventories reached an eighth month low.
  • Home sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago during the month of December.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. housing index was down 0.2 percent as shares in the largest homebuilder (D.R. Horton) decreased 0.4 percent. Lennar Corp fell 0.43 percent and Pulte Group decreased 0.19 percent.
  • Also, the inventory of unsold homes decreased 6.7 percent from a year ago, to 2.09 million.
  • At November’s sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to sell all homes currently on the market. A six month supply is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.
  • The decreased supply of homes means that the median home price increased 5 percent from a year ago.

Experts say that fickle wage growth as well as higher home prices have kept a lot of first-time home buyers out of the market.

Still, experts also say that with job gains and wage growth expected in early 2015, more and more first-time home buyers are likely to enter the market in the coming months.

In fact, during the month of November, first-time home buyers accounted for 31 percent of all transactions, which is the biggest share they’ve occupied since October 2012.

For comparison purposes, first-time home buyers comprised 29 percent of all transactions in October.

Expert Real Estate Marketing is Key to Selling Your Home

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity to get a good price on your home, you just have to make sure your home stands out to prospective and qualified home buyers.

That’s where working with an experienced real estate agent can help. A professional will be able to create a custom-made marketing plan for your home that will maximize its exposure to the right buyers.

This will ultimately lead to you getting your home sold in a relatively short amount of time and for a great price!

Check back here soon for more expert insight on the national housing market and how it may impact you as a seller.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015 for you and your family!

5 Predictions for the US Housing Market in 2015

PredictionAre you a current home owner who is considering listing your property on the market in 2015?

If so, then you’re likely to enjoy a lot of success!

After all, Realtor.com recently released its top predictions for the housing market in the New Year. And all of them seem to favor home sellers.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at National Housing Market Predictions

Millennials will enter the market en masse. This is something the housing market has needed for the last couple of years: More Millennials entering the market as first time home buyers. And according to projections, that’s what you can expect in the New Year, with more than two thirds of household formation being credited to this demographic. Helping matters is the fact that about 2.5 million jobs are expected to be added next year, improving home buying power.

There will be an increase in existing home sales. These sales are expected to increase 8 percent during the New Year. Meanwhile, as more people gain employment and increased incomes, distressed property inventory is expected to decline. All of this means a lower real estate inventory. This coupled with a surplus of buyers will create a seller’s market.

Home prices will rise. This generally follows when housing inventory shrinks. In fact, prices are expected to increase by an average of at least 4.5 percent in the coming year. Thus, if you’re thinking about possibly selling your home, 2015 is likely going to be a good year for doing so.

Mortgage rates will increase as well. For much of 2014, these rates have hovered around 4 percent and under. But with the previously mentioned factors and the Federal Reserve’s expected rate hike in the early part of 2015, residents can expect home loans to shoot up to 5 percent in 2015. If you have been thinking about re-financing, it makes sense to do it sooner rather than later since mortgage rates are likely to increase.

Home affordability will decline. With all of these changes on the market expected, home affordability is projected to decrease by 5 to 10 percent. This will be driven by price appreciation, mortgage rate hikes and tighter housing inventory. Again, if you’re thinking about possibly selling your home, 2015 is likely to be a good year for home sales.

See You In 2015!

We hope that as a home seller, you’ve found the above predictions encouraging.

We’ll be back in the New Year to discuss whether these real estate predictions come true and to revisit how they will impact buyers and sellers.

For now, we hope you and your family have a happy holiday season!

10 Winter Home Improvements That Are Worth The Investment

ChecklistWe hope everyone had a memorable Thanksgiving Day last week and enjoyed the long holiday weekend.

With December officially upon us, residents can expect temperatures to continue to dip as we head into the New Year.

So today, we wanted to share with you some relatively easy home improvements that you can make that will save you money during the winter months.

Home Tips for Saving Yourself Money This Winter

Here are 10 home improvements that you can make this winter that will save you both money and energy:

Caulk around windows and doors, making sure that all cracks and holes are sealed. This will keep the cold air out of your house, which will keep your heater from working overtime. If necessary, you might also consider adding or replacing weather stripping.

Add area rugs to your tile and wood floors. This creates an extra layer of insulation in your home and also makes it easier to walk around your home in bare feet during the winter time.

Install glass doors that close off your fireplace. This will not only keep cold air from coming down and through your house but it will also prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney. Also, if you use your fireplace, make sure to close the flue when you’re finished.

Insulate your attic door. For instance, you can buy covers for your attic staircases or openings. This will actually help you reduce energy costs all year long.

Cover your windows. Even if you don’t have storm windows, you can create your own with a window insulation kit. And inside your house, consider using insulated drapes.

Buy Insulated Garage Doors and Exterior Doors. Typically, the garage doors that come with most homes aren’t insulated. You can change that to save on energy costs.

Add insulation to your home throughout. This includes in the attic as well as the crawl space, garage and basement. Experts recommend that you add insulation if you haven’t done so in more than 20 years.

Reverse Ceiling fans. Some people may not be aware of this but you actually have the option of reversing your ceiling fans. Running them counterclockwise makes it cooler during the summer months but by making them clockwise, they will circulate warm air back into the room.

Replace your furnace filters. Just like with anything else, dirty furnace filters will make it work less efficiently. Generally speaking, filters should be changed every month during the heating season.

Replace your outdated furnace altogether. If your furnace is older, you might consider purchasing a newer unit that is going to produce more heat with less energy. Just make sure that you get the right size for the space you have.

If you want to take your home-savings even further this winter, you can check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s do-it-yourself energy audit on their website. Or you can call a contractor and request a professional audit.

Offering You National Home Advice You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

We hope you found this information helpful as a current home owner.

Please be sure to check back soon as we continue to provide you with useful and relevant real estate information!

More US Home Buyers Returning to Market Because of Easier Mortgage Rules, Stable Rates

US Home Buying 2More and more home buyers are returning to the US housing market because they’re noticing favorable market conditions.

Specifically, buyers are feeling more comfortable about navigating the market thanks to interest rate stabilization and easier mortgage rules, according to a recent article by Reuters.

This is fantastic news for the overall health of the housing market. After all, it suggests that the national real estate market is likely to become more stable over time.

Trends That US Home Buyers Should Be Aware Of

According to the recent Reuters article, new home builders D.R. Horton Inc and Toll Brothers Inc. are seeing jumps in home buyer demand.

And they’re not the only ones.

In fact, new home builders everywhere are reporting improved home buyer enthusiasm, which has been a great relief to many of the companies after an underwhelming spring home selling season.

And pre-owned home sales are also reflecting similar home buyer enthusiasm levels.

Here’s what else the national home buyer should know about recent trends on the housing market:

  • Interest rates decreased in October to their lowest levels since June 2013
  • In fact, these interest rates are still considered to be at historic lows.
  • The Dow Jones U.S. home construction index increased about 4 percent this year so far. And this increase came after the index already doubled between January 2012 and January 2014.
  • Meanwhile, new proposed rules will allow buyers to purchase homes with down payments as low as 3 percent.

The proposed rules are great news for first-time home buyers, who are a key part of any housing market recovery. In fact, some experts believe that the housing market recovery will speed up as soon as more first-time home buyers enter the market.

And a faster housing market recovery is good news for everyone!

Meanwhile, In Canada…

The real estate market conditions in Canada are looking just as encouraging, with Canadian resale home prices continuing to rise in October.

Prices were up 5.4 percent from a year earlier, which is right on par with September’s year-on-year gain.

What’s more, October marked the 11th month in a row that the index has increased. Still, it should be noted that prices rose in only five out of the 11 metropolitan markets surveyed.

Prices rose 1.2 percent in Vancouver and rose 0.5 percent in Calgary. Toronto saw prices decrease 0.2 percent.

Your Central Source for Housing Market News

Check back here soon for more valuable updates on the current state of the national housing market and how they may impact you as buyers and sellers.

We pride ourselves on offering you relevant and reliable information that will help you make the best real estate decision possible for you and your family!

US Home Sales Rose In September, Report Shows

US Home Selling 7U.S. homes sold at a faster rate in September than any other time this year, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors said.

Evidently, sales of existing homes increased 2.4 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million.

Experts are saying that this increase is a great sign that the housing market is picking up and moving past the slowdown that started in mid-2013.

More Encouraging Signs on the National Housing Market

The National Association of Realtors provided some additional information that helps paint a more complete picture of the current state of the housing market:

  • The sales rate has dropped 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
  • First-time home buyers comprised about 29 percent of all sales. This is below the historic average of roughly 40 percent.
  • Median home prices increased 5.6 percent over the last 12 months to $209,700.
  • September sales increased in the South and West compared to the previous month.
  • Meanwhile, sales increased slightly in the Northeast and dropped in the Midwest.
  • Nationally, the share of purchases by investors decreased from 19 to 14 percent year-over-year.
  • The report projects that 4.94 million existing homes will be sold this year, down 3 percent from 5.09 million in 2013.
  • Generally speaking, real estate experts say 5.5 million existing home sales is a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, housing starts increased 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million homes, although much of that was new apartment buildings.
  • Apartment construction has jumped 30.3 percent over the past 12 months, almost three times the rate of growth for single-family houses.

Many Forces Are at Work to Create These Conditions, Analysts Said.

For instance, over the last year, fewer investors have entered the market. Luckily, their pullback has been offset by existing homeowners who are moving up to more expensive properties or downsizing as empty nesters.

Meanwhile, some would-be buyers have been kept out of the market because of rising prices through much of 2013, weak income growth and tighter credit standards.

Experts are now predicting that the worst of the housing market recession is over but that the economy and housing market will likely grow in fits and starts.

One development that might help with this growth is the fact that the federal regulator overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is considering creating an option for lower down payments so more people can qualify for a mortgage.

And because the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped below 4 percent recently, experts are expecting more buyers to enter the market.

In Fact, Many Signs Suggest Now Is a Great Time to Be A Buyer

For instance, online real estate brokerage Redfin said that only 44 percent of its offers in October faced bidding wars. This is down form a high of 75 percent in March 2013.

Meanwhile, more homes are expected to become available on the market thanks to many investors’ plans to sell for tax reasons at the end of the year.

So if you’ve been sitting on the fence about whether to invest in property, now is a great time to do so!

Your #1 Real Estate Resource

We believe that knowledge is power and so we work hard to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on the national housing market. Hopefully you found today’s report helpful!

Check back here soon for more valuable insight on the recent trends on the national housing market and how they may impact your efforts as a buyer or seller!

Real Estate Agent Training: Wealth Building for Agents

Real Estate Agent BudgetWe had such a great turnout for our last real estate agent training class, Wealth Building for Real Estate Agents with Nick Malouff, John Farmer, and Jodi Padgett on how real estate agents can better prepare for their financial futures that we’re doing it one more time for those that missed it.

By the nature of our work as independent contractors even the best agents don’t have predictable income.  We earn commissions when we sell homes, and every month is different from the last.   Adding to the challenge is that those commission checks not only have to cover our day to day costs of living, but also the costs of operating our businesses, taxes, and more.  The result is that many don’t set aside enough to be able to retire, and those that do often aren’t aware of retirement investment options that may be better suited to them.

Nick, John, and Jodi will walk you through what, when, and why you may want to use different means of investing for your retirement.  From investing in real estate within a retirement account to investing in mortgage notes or tax leins, and a whole lot of options in between, you’ll what options are out there that you might not be aware of. They’ll also cover how to work out how much you will need to set aside, explain the differences between things like IRA’s, SOLO 401k’s, 529 Plans, and more.

Scroll down to Register here or click the button below to go to the event page.
Eventbrite - Master Series:  Wealth Building for Real Estate Agents


 

 

John Gorden Moves to BloomTree Realty

John Gorden Prescott AZ RealtorWe’ve seen a trend happening.  Some of the Prescott area’s top agents have been making a move to BloomTree, and now John Gorden has done the same.  We’re thrilled to have him come on board!  John came to BloomTree from Realty Executives to find a brokerage partner to better fit his business goals, and as he says it “there’s a great feeling of energy and cooperation here and I wanted to be a part of that”.

Here at BloomTree we pride ourselves on always putting the client first, and John does just that.  He has a knack for helping clients find the home that fits their needs as well as their lifestyle and he uses his in depth knowledge of Prescott subdivisions and areas as well as listening carefully to his clients to do just that.  In addition to his work with home buyers and sellers John also has extensive experience in commercial properties, and we know our expertise on the “business side of the business” here at BloomTree will be a great match for John to be able expand as our commercial real estate division continues to grow.  Continue reading “John Gorden Moves to BloomTree Realty”