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”

Excellent News for Home Buyers: US Prices Stabilizing

Home Selling 6If you’ve been weighing whether now is the right time to enter the local housing market as a home buyer, we have some news to share with you that will help you decide.

According to a recent report from real estate data provider CoreLogic, U.S. home price gains are slowing down, despite an increase during the month of August.

This is great news for home buyers because it means that you have a fantastic opportunity to get a reasonable price on your next home before prices continue to rise!

What Every Home Buyer Should Know About Recent US Housing Market Activity

CoreLogic reported that home prices increased 6.4 percent in August when compared to last year.

Still, that figure is actually down slightly from the annual gain of 6.8 percent in July.

Here’s what else the recent housing market report revealed:

  • The increase in home prices is also down when compared to how much they had been rising toward the end of last year. During that time, prices were rising as much as 12 percent.
  • Home sales have been mostly stable throughout 2014, as have price gains.
  • All states showed home price gains during the month of August, save for Arkansas where prices were stagnate.
  • Home values rose 11.1 percent in Michigan, which led the pack. And values in California and Nevada came in second place with 9.2 percent.
  • In terms of specific cities, the Houston area saw home values increase 11.1 percent compared to the previous year. Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas and Riverside also saw large gains.
  • Home prices nationwide remain about 12.1 percent below their peak average in April 2006.
  • Home purchases decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August.
  • Home sales decreased from a July rate of 5.14 million.
  • Meanwhile, the pace of home sales dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Experts say that an annual sales rate of 5.5 million is considered a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price has increased 4.8 percent over the last 12 months to $219,800, although that average dropped slightly during the month of August when compared to July and June.

Experts say that most of any uptick in sales activity (and thus, values) on the national housing market would depend on wage growth. That’s because wages are currently neck-in-neck with inflation, making it hard for home buyers to increase in buying power.

Still, there’s hope on the horizon:

Although hourly wages have only increased 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, there are signs that that activity will pick up in 2015.

Use Recent Activity on the National Housing Market to Your Advantage

As you can see, the market has stabilized itself enough where you could purchase a home and get a pretty good return on your investment as values eventually continue to rise.

So if you’re thinking about investing in real estate anytime soon, now is the time to do so!

And be sure to check back here soon as we continue to discuss with you important real estate trends that impact you!

John Hardy Joins BloomTree Realty

John Hardy Prescott AZMore big news from BloomTree Realty this morning in Prescott!

We are pleased to announce that John Hardy has joined BloomTree Realty.   John has been in the real estate business here in the Quad City area for over 16 years and has run the most productive team in our market with over 1000 transactions in the last 4 years. He will be closing his own office to join our company.  We couldn’t be more proud to have John Hardy and his team come on board! Continue reading “John Hardy Joins BloomTree Realty”

US Real Estate Market Sees 6-Year Home Sales High

US Home SalesWe’re breaking records on the U.S. housing market!

Evidently, during the month of August, national home sales reached their highest levels in more than six years, according to a recent report from the Commerce Department.

This is incredible! That means that sales activity has returned to the levels it was pre-bubble burst. And this spells great success for anyone interested in listing their home on the market.

A Closer Look at US Home Data

According to Commerce Department figures, new home sales jumped 18 percent to a 504,000 annualized rate, which is the strongest it’s been since May 2008.

Not only that, but this rate is even higher than the highest forecast made by a Bloomberg survey of economists.

This one-month increase shattered a 22-year record. That’s because the last time the US housing market saw a one-month increase this big was 1992.

Here’s what else the Commerce Department revealed in its report:

  • Economists surveyed in the Bloomberg report said the pace would increase between 405,000 and 455,000.
  • The median forecast of 74 economists was that the pace would increase 430,000.
  • The median sales price of a new house increased 8 percent year over year in August, to $275,600
  • Home purchases increased in three of four U.S. regions. The West led the group with a 50 percent jump.
  • The housing inventory (given the current sales rate) dropped to 4.8 months from 5.6 months in July.
  • There were 203,000 new houses on the market at the end of August.
  • Existing home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a 5.05 million annual pace last month. This occurred after existing home sales reached a 10-month high of 5.14 million in July.
  • Housing starts decreased 14.4 percent to a 956,000 annualized rate. This occurred after July’s 1.12 million pace was the strongest it’s been since November 2007.

Canada Home Sales See Encouraging Numbers as Well

  • Canadian national home sales increased 1.8 percent from July to August.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity were 2.1 percent above August 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes decreased 1.2 percent between July to August.
  • The MLS Home Price Index increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.
  • The national average sale price also increased 5.3 percent in August when compared to last year.

Moving The US Real Estate Market Forward

Experts say that the housing market has been growing in fits and starts but that steady growth is what will be needed in the long-term to effectively stabilize the market.

Still, home sellers can be encouraged by these recent numbers as they do demonstrate that the market is headed in the right direction!

Check back here soon as we continue to watch the housing market, looking for trends that impact you as home buyers and sellers.

The Senseless Loss of Agent Beverly Carter Creates a Focus on Agent Safety

realtor safety in the wake of the loss of agent beverly carter

The recent news regarding the senseless murder of Arkansas agent Beverly Carter has real estate agents and brokers across the country not only stunned and saddened but also taking a serious look at what we can do within our industry to ensure our own personal safety.  While this case has been extremely high profile, it is not an isolated incident.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Dept. of Labor shows that there were 25 homicides of real estate related workers in 2013.  That’s just the homicides.  It doesn’t include robberies, sexual assaults, and other violent crimes. Continue reading “The Senseless Loss of Agent Beverly Carter Creates a Focus on Agent Safety”

Saving Prescott Schools is better than Having Someone Bring Your Coffee to Your Desk

prescott schoolscarissa maxwell boomtree agent prescott*This post is contributed by BloomTree agent Carissa Maxwell.  These opinions are her own and may not necessarily reflect those of the company as a whole or our other agents.   In addition to her work with BloomTree Realty she is passionate about Prescott Schools and is active in our community.


I would like to start out by saying that I have no qualms about professionals having a secretary. If anything, I could use one of my own here and there for my clerical work. It would give me more time to talk with clients and get into more meetings instead of using that time to do more tedious tasks.

However, if things get tight in my budget, this would be the first thing to go when evaluating my business finances. I would “cut the fat” in my budget until things picked back up again. I am capable of answering my own emails, writing up my own contracts, inputting my own listings, and organize my own appointment

Utilizing an “assistant” is a luxury in my opinion.

So, why does the Prescott Unified School District not agree with this basic premise?

Currently, the Prescott School Board is facing a 2 million dollar budget cut that will be executed in the 2015-2016 school year. The decision of where these cuts will be made in the school district is happening in October. There have been a number of proposals presented to the board to “cut the fat”, all of which included everything from reducing the school week to 4 days to the closure of 2 elementary schools in our neighborhoods here in Prescott.

Why are there no proposals for any district budget cuts? If the board is proposing to close two Prescott schools in order to balance the budget, why is the district exempt from such cuts? So for instance, do we really need that many secretaries in the district office to run the district? Can we get by without a superintendent’s assistant?

If we let go of two secretaries, how many teaching jobs does that save? Where else can we “cut the fat” in order to save a school?

I am full of questions, and I am sure there are a lot of people in the community who also have questions. Come to the Concerned Community Meeting at 6 PM on Monday, September 22nd located at 820 E. Sheldon St. There will be childcare, including a movie and snack, so that our community can get informed and brainstorm some alternative options for budget cuts that we can present to the Prescott School Board. This decision affects property values, families, and the whole community.

WE NEED TO ACT NOW! The board makes a final decision in OCTOBER!



Thinking About Moving to Prescott? Here’s 8 Reasons Why We Love It Here.

moving to prescott If you’re thinking about moving to Prescott and need the inside scoop, here you go.  When you’re moving somewhere new, there’s always so much more to a place than you’ll find just by googling.  If you look on the web what you find is that Prescott has been on several best places to retire lists, it’s probably one of the most beautiful areas of Arizona, there’s a ton to do downtown, and there’s the World’s Oldest Rodeo, too.

But there’s so much more to it than that! If you haven’t taken a stroll through the downtown streets and stopped to pet a dog, or had a glass of wine on the rooftop at the Raven, been kayaking on Goldwater Lake, or eaten at Rosa’s, you have things to add to your must-do list. The people here are about as friendly as they get, too.

We spend a lot of time helping people buy homes because it’s what we do for a living, but one of the side benefits is hearing from people who are new to our area just how much they love it here, too. We asked our agents in our Facebook group, and here’s what they had to say.

A.J. Sheridan told us that one of the best things about Prescott is how friendly people are here. “People actually wave and nod as you go by”.  He also loves the sense of history here how dedicate our community is to preserving it, and says it’s a great place if you’re into volunteering.

Annette Palmer says “I love that I can put my dogs in the car and within 5-10 minutes we can be walking at the lake, or on a trail, or in the forest. Away from everything and enjoying the outdoors!”

Ask Rhonda Johnson, and she’ll rant about the views. The mountain views of Granite Mountain, Thumb Butte, and Brandshaws to Mingus Range. “They’re all so beautiful and ever changing. The sun sparkling against the rain soaked boulders, the clouds encircling Granite Mountain so you can see the bottom and top only… Way Cool!” Being tucked away in the mountains here, we have less light pollution.

Lori Hagen says it’s all about the night sky. “No matter the time of year, it’s always breathtaking.”

Kim Shaw loves everything that Prescott has to offer for someone who loves the outdoors. “You can get outside and enjoy hiking and biking all year round. The air is clean and there’s so much to do”

The community matters too. Ana Johnson reminded us of how safe Prescott is, too.

Check with Rosie Carroll and she’d tell you that “the trail systems here in Prescott are phenomenal for riding horses. Groom Creek Horse Camp is strictly horses only. They have several individual sites and two group sites plus they provide water, fire pits and restrooms. You can ride an easy loop or go as challenging as you want. It sits in the pines and just a gorgeous place to ride and relax.”

Leave it to Kristie Kay Cook to wrap it up with the best things about Prescott are Whiskey Row (yes, we all want to hang with Kristie for a night out at Whiskey Row!) and that it’s the birthplace of a company that is near and dear to our hearts, BloomTree Realty. If you’re new to Prescott or thinking about moving here, talk to a BloomTree agent. They not only love it here, but we think they’re the best real estate agents in town.

What did we miss?   Add your favorites in the comments

Report: Big Homes Are a Hot Trend on the National Real Estate Market

US Construction Big homes are a big deal on the national housing market, according to a recent article in USA Today.

Evidently, a growing number of home buyers are looking for larger homes to accommodate their every need and desire.

In fact, of the 569,000 homes built last year in the US, about 33 percent (or 188,000 homes) had three or more bathrooms. That’s the largest share since tracking of new construction homes started in 1987.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of last year’s total new homes (or 251,000 homes) featured four or more bedrooms – which is the largest share it’s been since 1973.

These homes also tend to come with a lot more amenities:

  • 53 percent of the homes built last year (301,000) had a patio
  • 63 percent (361,000) had a porch
  • And 22 percent (127,000) had a deck

It’s quite an interesting trend, especially given that at the same time, home ownership rates are remaining stable and the size of families and households is actually decreasing.

Let’s Take a Closer Look At This Recent U.S. Trend

Here are some recent real estate market statistics that will provide additional context on this trend:

  • The average square footage of new single-family homes in the United States jumped almost 57 percent to 2,598 in 2013, compared with 1,660 in 1973.
  • The Northeast boasts the second-highest average square footage, with that number jumping from 1,959 to 2,636 during that same time period. That’s an increase of 65 percent!
  • Meanwhile, the number of people actually living in these homes has continued to decrease. In fact, the average number of people per household in the US decreased from 3.01 in 1973 to 2.54 in 2013.
  • Specifically, families have decreased from 3.48 to 3.12 during that same time period.
  • As one might expect, bigger homes have caused a rise in the average sales price of new construction homes. In fact, that figure skyrocketed from $62,500 in 1978 to $324,000 in 2013.
  • The Northeast has the highest average sales price, which exploded from $63,000 in 1978 to $469,000 in 2013 – an increase of 646 percent.
  • Even within the short time frame of 2012 to 2013, sales prices still showed huge increases. For instance, the average sales price of newly built single-family homes jumped 20 percent – from $292,000 in 2012 to $324,000 in 2013.

Yet the income levels of individuals are not keeping pace with these bigger (and more expensive) homes. For instance, the median income in the US increased by 9 percent from 1978 to 2012 – from $56,975 to $62,241.

And the home ownership rate continued to decrease – from 65.4 percent during the fourth quarter of 2012 to 65.2 percent during the fourth quarter of 2013.

Experts say that those people in the higher income levels that are more active on the housing market. Maybe that’s why all-cash sales accounted for 42.7 percent of all U.S. residential property sales during the first quarter of 2014, up from 20 percent during the first quarter of 2011.

What Do You Make of This Recent Real Estate Trend?

We would love to hear your thoughts!

We certainly think that all of this market activity will have an overall positive impact on the U.S. real estate market.

For now, be sure to check back here soon for more valuable and up-to-date information that may impact you as a buyer or seller.