As interest rates continued to flirt with hitting 4 percent, home buyers in the High Country remained unperturbed.
October was another busy month for home sales. Realtors® in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, and Watauga counties continued to see steady business through the end of the summer season into fall.
For the month, there were 233 homes worth $66.78 million sold by Realtors® in the four-county area, as recorded by the High Country Multiple Listing Service. The average price for the month – total value divided by total sales – was $286,593, a high for the year.
With two months remaining in 2017, local Realtors® are slightly ahead of last year’s sales pace, 1,785 to 1,763. That’s a 1.2 percent increase year over year. With regard to value, Realtors have this year so far sold $461.47 million in property, up 5.8 percent from the first 10 months of 2016.
If trends continue, 2017 will extend to seven the number of consecutive years sales have increased year-to-year. In 2010, local Realtors sold 939 homes total.
Inventory levels are down to where they were in April. As of November 18, there were 2,036 active listings within the MLS, down from the year high of about 2,430 in mid-August.
As sales have remained steady, interest rates have slowly climbed. As of November 16, the 30-year fixed rate was 3.95 percent, according to loan giant Freddie Mac. The rate peaked at 4.3 percent in mid-March, and steadily fell to 3.78 percent by mid-August. It’s been trending upward since.
A year ago the rate jumped from 3.57 percent to 3.97 percent a week after the election (November 17).
The 15-year fixed rate is 3.31 percent.
Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that half of the experts it surveyed say rates will remain relatively stable in the coming week.
Nationally, inventory remains tight and activity muted due to hurricanes earlier this year. For September, the most recent month in which national statistics are available, existing home sales were up .7 percent. That was the second smallest month-to-month growth of the year, and below the 1.5 percent increase from August to September 2016.
“Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist. “Realtors® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings – especially at the lower end of the market – and fast-rising prices that are straining the budgets of prospective buyers.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in September was $245,100, up 4.2 percent from September 2016 ($235,200).
Local rest estate activity continued its long standing upward trend through September, with third quarter sales the best in several years.
Growth continues to be driven by competitive interest rates, which remain below 4 percent. Inventory has slowly declined as the summer months fade.
Realtors® in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties sold 239 homes worth $65.94 million in September, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. It was the most homes sold since August 2016 (241), and the highest total value for a month since last October ($66.63 million).
It was also the busiest September in at least 10 years. Last year there were 227 homes sold in September, and just 200 in September 2015.
For the quarter – which includes all sales from July through the end of September – local Realtors sold 659 listings worth a combined $170.45 million. The sales were up 2.2 percent compared to the same span last year, and up 38 percent compared to the third quarter of 2014.
The average sale price for the quarter – total value divided by individual listings sold – was $258,645.
For the year so far, local Realtors® have sold 1,547 homes worth $392.36 million. The average sold price was $253,628.
As sales have been brisk, inventory has slowly declined. There were 2,277 listings within the MLS as of October 9. That’s down from 2,348 in early September, and the 2,327 for sale August 22.
Interest rates are slightly higher than they were a month ago. Loan giant Freddie Mac reported October 12 the average 30-month fixed rate was 3.91 percent. It was 3.78 a month prior, and 3.47 percent at this time last year.
The average 15-year fixed rate was 3.21 percent, up from 3.08 percent in September.
According to some analysts, the recent destruction by two separate major storm systems may stabilize rates in the short term.
“The impact of [the] hurricanes will make it difficult to read a trend on economic data, keeping mortgage rates in a holding pattern,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.
Bankrate.com, which puts out a weekly mortgage rate trend index, found that nearly two-thirds of the experts it surveyed predict rates will remain relatively stable in the coming week.
Nationally, home sales are declining. In August, the last month in which national statistics are available, sales of existing homes were down for the fourth time in five months.
“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors® chief economist. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country. Sales have been unable to break out because there are simply not enough homes for sale.”
Real Estate Today opens doors for buyers and sellers with critical and credible information on the real estate market. It’s fast paced and fact packed with experts, interviews, call-ins, field reports, and timely market conditions. The latest episode is America Rebuilds! It focuses on the recent hurricanes to hit the United States. Among the interviewees, Priyanka Johri:
Priyanka Johri is a Houston broker-owner – whose real estate office became a true shelter from the storm. Priyanka is the broker-owner of Woodlands Eco Realty, and board member of the Houston Association of REALTORS®, opened her office to anyone who need a place to sleep, or stay, as the floodwaters tore across Houston. Priyanka also rescued hundreds of animals – which makes sense, since she already has a charity called Pure Mutts – which rescued abandoned animals.
Midway through 2017 local real estate sales are slightly ahead of last year’s pace, according to the latest report by the High Country Association of Realtors.
The summer selling season hasn’t been as frantic as last year, but inventory is expanding. New sellers continue to enter the market, reflecting a national survey which shows strong sentiment that now is a good time to sell.
Through June, local Realtors sold 886 homes this year, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which tracks Realtor sales in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. That’s the most homes sold in that six-month span in more than 10 years.
It’s 1 percent more than this time in 2016, when 874 homes had sold. It’s also higher than in 2007, when 836 homes were sold prior to the national housing market collapse.
With regard to the summer selling season, local Realtors sold 356 listings in May and June, a 9 percent decline from last year, when 390 homes were sold in that span.
Total sales value for the year so far was $221.62 million, with an average sale price of $250,247.
In June alone, local Realtors sold 187 listings worth $50.23 million.
Inventory has expanded. There were 2,480 active listings in the MLS as of July 27. That’s well below this time last year (2,975) and the year prior (3,104), but a 4 percent increase from mid-June when 2,330 homes were for sale.
Interest rates have long attracted buyers. The 30-year rate had declined since the start of the year, and dropped to 3.88 percent on June 29. It rebounded in mid-July, when it averaged 4.03, according to loan giant Freddie Mac.
That was the first time since May the 30-year rate surpassed 4 percent. It has since declined. As of July 27 the 30-year average rate was 3.92 percent. The 15-year average rate is 3.2 percent.
A year ago both rates were 3.48 percent and 2.78 percent, respectively.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released its quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey. It reported that 71 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to sell, which is up from last quarter (69 percent) and considerably more than a year ago (61 percent).
This is despite declining inventory nationally, compared to this time last year.
“There are just not enough homeowners deciding to sell because they’re either content where they are, holding off until they build more equity, or hesitant seeing as it will be difficult to find an affordable home to buy,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “As a result, inventory conditions have worsened and are restricting sales from breaking out while contributing to price appreciation that remains far above income growth.”
According to the survey, 80 percent of homeowners (unchanged from last quarter and a year ago) think now is a good time to make a home purchase.
Real Estate Today opens doors for buyers and sellers with critical and credible information on the real estate market. It’s fast paced and fact packed with experts, interviews, call-ins, field reports, and timely market conditions. the latest episode is Secrets of the Pros. Among the topics, Be Prepared – Buyers.
Right now we’re going to talk about one of the most effective techniques in real estate. And that is being completely prepared – ahead of time.
If you’ve ever painted a room you know the feeling. You want to get in there and start painting as soon as possible so that your whole area is transformed…with a brand new look that’s fresh and clean. But the fact is the most important part of painting the right way is preparation! You’ve got to spend time making sure that everything is ready, before you open that can of paint and start rolling it on the walls.
Real Estate Today opens doors for buyers and sellers with critical and credible information on the real estate market. It’s fast paced and fact packed with experts, interviews, call-ins, field reports, and timely market conditions.
The July 4th Special. Among the topics, The 30 Year Mortgage?:
This Tuesday, the country will celebrate America’s 241st birthday. You’ll see fireworks and picnics, parades, and American Flags everywhere.
But as we celebrate all the things that make America what it is, there’s one thing that is uniquely America, that I bet no one’s going to celebrate. Ha. But maybe they should!
Because there’s a wonderful thing here in America – that up to 90% of the nation’s homeowners rely on. And I’m talking about the 30 year – fixed rate – home loan.
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