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”

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”