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Existing Home Sales Rebound in December

26 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Sales-Rebound-KCM
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released their latest Existing Home Sales Report on Friday. Sales of existing homes rose by the largest increase ever recorded as they rebounded 14.7% over November’s numbers and now stand at 7.7% higher than a year ago.

While this is great news for the housing market, let’s take a look at one of the main reasons why there was such a large increase in sales.

As we explained last month, the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” (TRID) initiative delayed some closings, pushing a portion of November’s would-be transactions to close in December.

“December’s rebound in sales is reason for cautious optimism that the work to prepare for ‘Know Before You Owe’ is paying off,” says NAR PresidentTom Salomone.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist, had this to say about the surge in December sales:

“While the carryover of November’s delayed transactions into December contributed greatly to the sharp increase, the overall pace taken together indicates sales these last two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015. Additionally, the prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months and warm November and December weather allowed more homes to close before the end of the year.”

The most important realization to come out of the report is the fact that inventory of existing homes for sale dropped dramatically from a 5.1-month supply in November to the lowest figure since January 2005, at a 3.9-month supply.

A normal market, where prices rise with inflation, is defined as having a 6-7-month supply of homes for sale. As you can see in the chart below, inventory levels in 2015 were at or below a 5.2-month supply for the entire year.

Slide22

If inventory levels do not recover, this could be a challenge for sales moving forward as buyer demand remains strong and competition for the homes that are on the market continues to rise.

Bottom Line

If you are considering listing your home for sale in 2016, now is the time! With inventory levels at their lowest mark in over 10 years, listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and allow you to get the best price for your home.

Source: KCM.com

Rents Still Skyrocketing

22 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Rents-Skyrocketing-KCM

Zillow recently revealed that the 43 million renter households in the US spent $535 billion on rent in 2015. Aggregate numbers like these often make it difficult to truly assess a situation. For more clarity, we want to share some points that were made in aWall Street Journal article earlier this month.

The article made two important points:

1. Rents are increasing faster than the last several years:

 “Apartment rents increased faster last year than at any time since 2007.”

2. Rent increases are accelerating

“Another report from Axiometrics Inc., a Dallas-based apartment research company, showed that rents increased 4.7% in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter a year earlier, the strongest year-end performance since 2005”.

Here is a graph to illustrate the rate of increase over the last several years:

Rents-KCM

Source : KCM.com

Thinking of Buying? Selling? 5 Reasons You Need To Hire A Professional

20 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Hire-A-Pro-KCM

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, who knows what these actions are to make sure that you acquire your dream.

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $210,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of your most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

Source : KCM.com

Lack of Listings Slowing Down the Housing Market

14 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Lack-Of-Inventory-KCM

The housing crisis is finally in the rear view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up. Home sales are up. Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen dramatically. It seems that 2016 will be the year that the housing market again races forward.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout this winter, supply is not keeping up.

Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:

Calculated Risk:

“Low inventory is probably holding down sales in many areas.”

Capital Economics:

“A lack of housing inventory continues to drive developments in the market. As demand has slowly recovered, low inventory levels have weighed on home sales.”

Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic:

“Many markets have experienced a low inventory of homes for sale along with strong buyer demand… These conditions are likely to persist as we enter 2016.”

Doug Duncan,Chief Economist at Fannie Mae:

“Several factors point to constrained housing affordability in 2016, particularly for first-time home buyers, including slow single-family supply response and limited inventory of starter homes on the market.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Sparse inventory and affordability issues continue to impede a large pool of buyers’ ability to buy, which is holding back sales.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.

Source : KCM.com

Thinking of Buying a Home? 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Answer First

12 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

3-Questions-KCM

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Answering the following 3 questions will help you determine if now is actually a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?

This truly is the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

A study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that the four major reasons people buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

  • A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education
  • A place where you and your family feel safe
  • More space for you and your family
  • Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Home Price Index from CoreLogic, home values are projected to increase by 5.3% over the next 12 months.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, if you are planning on buying a home that costs $250,000 today, that same home will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait till next year. Your down payment will need to be higher as well to account for the higher home price.

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors and Freddie Mac have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by approximately three-quarters of a percent over the next twelve months as you can see in the chart below:

Slide2

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Source : KCM.com

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real?

09 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Obstacles-KCM

Yesterday, we discussed the belief Americans have in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream. We also discussed some of the obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that many of the obstacles mentioned are perceived, not real.

A recent study by Fannie Mae, What Do Consumers Know About The Mortgage Qualification Criteria?, revealed that many consumers are either unsure or misinformed regarding the minimum requirements necessary to obtain a mortgage. Let’s break down three such challenges.

Down Payment

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate down payment is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Maereport:

  • 40% of all renters don’t know what down payment is required
  • 15% think you need at least 20% down
  • An additional 4% think you need at least 10% down

The Reality

There are programs offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA that require as little as 3-3.5% down. VA and USDA loans offer 0% down programs. According to theNational Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for a first time buyer is 6%.

Credit Score

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate credit score is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Maereport:

  • 54% of all renters don’t know what credit score is required
  • 5% think you need at least a 740 credit score

The Reality

Many mortgages are granted to purchasers with a credit score of less than 700. According to Ellie Mae, the average credit score on a closed FHA purchase is 687 and the average credit score on all loans is 722.

Back End Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that they carry too much debt which is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 59% of all renters don’t know what DTI is acceptable
  • 25% think you need at under 25%
  • 7% think you need under 39%

The Reality

Lenders like to see a back-end ratio that does not exceed 36%. Fannie Mae’s maximum total DTI ratio is 36% of the borrower’s stable monthly income. The maximum can be exceeded up to 45% based on credit score and other requirements.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of knowledge or misinformation keep your family from buying a home this year. Meet with a local real estate professional who can evaluate your ability to buy now!

Source : KCM.com

 

Real Estate Shines as an Investment in 2015

06 Jan 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

Return-On-Investment-KCM

Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University reveals that when a family is buying a home they consider the financial benefits of homeownership along with the social benefits. The survey mentions things like:

  • Paying rent does not make sense
  • Homeownership provides a good financial opportunity
  • Owning a home helps you building family wealth
  • Buying a home is investing in your retirement
  • Home equity gives you something to borrow against

So how did homeownership match up against other investments in 2015? Here is a chart that compares its return on investment against precious metals and the stock market last year:

2015-ROI-KCM

Bottom Line

Not only did homeownership offer all its social benefits. It also was a great investment financially.

Source : KCM.com

American Dream of Homeownership Still Very Much Alive

30 Dec 2015 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

American-Dream-Alive-KCM

In a recent post, Trulia examined whether homeownership was again being seen by adults in the US as a “part of their personal American Dream.” Over the last five years:

  • The percentage of U.S. adults who believe homeownership is part of their American Dream increased from 70% to 75%
  • The percentage of 18-34 Year-olds who believe homeownership is part of their American Dream increased from 65% to 80%

Here is a graph of the survey over the last five years:

American-Dream-KCM1

Bottom Line

As the housing industry recovers from the crisis of 2008-2010, Americans belief in homeownership as part of their own personal American Dream has also made a strong comeback.

Source : KCM.com