Tag Archive Why Buy Now

ByAdmin

Inventory declining as real estate activity stays busy

High Country temperatures are beginning to cool, but not the busy summer real estate season.

In August local Realtor activity hit a high for the year, surpassing 200 for the second straight month. Interest rates dropped throughout the month, and by mid-September were at their lowest levels of 2017.

August real estate salesLocal inventory, meanwhile, is starting to decline.

There were 209 homes worth $52.6 million sold in August, according to the High Country Association of Realtors, which represents real estate professionals in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties. That was the busiest month of the year so far, and a slight increase over the 204 homes worth $50 million sold in July.

The average sale price – total value divided by sales – was $251,000, as calculated by the High Country Multiple Listing Service.

Overall sales for the year are slightly outpacing 2016, 1,301 to 1,292. The summer season is just keeping pace with last year. There were 602 homes sold from June through August, compared to 629 sold in that span last year.

Inventory is beginning to reflect the recent activity. After peaking at 2,430 homes in mid-August, there were 2,348 active listings within the MLS as of Sept. 13.

Interest rates are also dropping. Loan giant Freddie Mac reported September 14 the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.78 percent. The average 15-year fixed rate was 3.08 percent.

Both rates are down from where they were in mid-March, when the 30-year average was 4.3 percent. They have been on a downward trend since. There is reason to believe that could change.

“Following a sharp decline last week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose 11 basis points this week,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti. “If Treasury yields continue to rise, mortgage rates could see an increase in next week’s survey.”

The lower rates are spurring activity. Mortgage applications to purchase a home jumped 11 percent the week of September 11, and were 7 percent higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage applications to refinance a home loan also rose, up 9 percent for that week.

ByAdmin

Realtors record another busy month in July

July was the busiest month in local real estate sales in almost a year, as buyers were undeterred by a brief spike in interest rates.

July 2017 sales graphicThose rates have since dropped to their lowest level so far this calendar year. At the same time, nationally, home prices are increasing as inventory tightens.

There were 204 homes worth $50.04 million sold locally in July, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service, which tracks Realtor activity within Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties.

That was the busiest July in at least 10 years, with sales 15 percent higher than last July (177), and 10 percent higher than July 2007 (185).

It was also the busiest month overall since last October, when 244 homes were sold.

The average sold price in July – total value divided by total sales – was $248,594.

For the year, local Realtors have sold 1,091 homes worth a combined $271.22 million. That sales mark is 3.8 percent higher than this time last year.

Even with that activity inventory has remained consistent. In early July there were 2,428 active listings within the MLS. As of August 24 that number had decreased by just four, to 2,422.

Meanwhile interest rates have dropped to their lowest point of the year. As of August 24 the average 30-year fixed rate was 3.86 percent, as reported by loan giant Freddie Mac. The average 15-year fixed rate was 3.16 percent.

Those rates were 4.03 percent and 3.29 percent, respectively, on July 13.

To put the decrease in perspective, a $300,000 home purchased with a 30-year mortgage that week in July would have incurred a total estimated cost of $521,228 and a monthly payment of $1,448.

That same house purchased in late August would cost an estimated $506,930, with a monthly payment of $1,408.

Bankrate.com surveys what it classifies as experts in the mortgage field on their opinion regarding the direction of interest rates in the coming weeks. According to its August 23 report, 54 percent of its panel expects rates to remain relatively unchanged; 31 percent predict an increase.

Other national real estate trends include increased prices and steady demand. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median sold price for existing single-family home in the second quarter of 2017 was $255,600, the highest for any quarter since early 2016.

That occurred as national existing home inventory shrunk, from 2.11 million homes for sale at the end of June 2016 to 1.96 million homes for sale the end of June 2017.

“The 2.2 million net new jobs created over the past year generated significant interest in purchasing a home in what was an extremely competitive spring buying season,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Listings typically flew off the market in under a month – and even quicker in the affordable price range – in several parts of the country. With new supply not even coming close to keeping pace, price appreciation remained swift in most markets.”

ByAdmin

Home sales outpacing 2016 rate

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.

Meanwhile, interest rates after declining from a sharp increase a few weeks ago.

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.

ByAdmin

Real Estate Today radio – Second Homes

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.

Here’s the latest show, Second Homes. Among the topics, Keep it or Rent it?

It’s is a big question. Because what you decide will have a big impact on your money, your taxes, and your lifestyle, at that second home.

Now first of all, yes. Renting it out can bring you income. That can help pay the mortgage. Or, maybe the whole mortgage. So there you are, with your very own vacation home, and other people are paying the monthly mortgage. That’s pretty great.

Having a place at the beach, or in the mountains, or on a lake – or even a condo in the big city….anywhere people would come for a vacation….you’ll probably be able to rent it out, for good money. Talk to your REALTOR® about that – they’ll know the rental market, in the location you’re interested in.

ByAdmin

Real Estate Today radio – Get Outside

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.

Here’s the latest show, Get Outside.

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ByAdmin

Local real estate market growth continued in 1st quarter

Local real estate sales continue to increase, with first quarter activity this year almost surpassing $100 million.

Individual sales remained strong, a longstanding trend as year-over-year sales activity continued to spike. Interest rates, meanwhile, are trending down.

March 2017 sales graphicIn the first three months of 2017, Realtors in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery and Watauga counties sold 394 homes worth $99.82 million. That’s a 12 percent increase in sales compared to the first quarter of 2016 (351), and 30 percent greater than 2015 (302).

The median sold price so far this year is also higher than last, with the mid-point price of all homes sold since January $206,000, according to the High Country Multiple Listing Service. The median price through the first three months of 2016 was $195,000.

Inventory is slowly growing. As of April 19, there were 2,044 active listings within the MLS. There were 2,388 a year ago, and almost 2,500 at this point in early April 2015.

The limited supply is due to an unrelenting demand, as monthly sales figures continue outpacing previous years. In March, local Realtors sold 172 listings. That’s 26 percent higher than March 2016 (136) and 51 percent higher than March 2015 (114).

The total sales value for the month was $41.58 million, with a median sold price of $212,500. It was the fourth time in the past six months the median sold price surpassed $200,000.

Buyers last month encountered interest rates which have yet to stabilize since year’s start. March opened with the average rate on a 30-year mortgage at 4.1 percent. It went to 4.3 percent by mid-month, and has fallen since.

As of April 13, the average 30-year fixed rate was 4.08 percent, the lowest recorded since January 19. A year ago the rate averaged 3.58 percent, according to loan giant Freddie Mac.

The average 15-year fixed rate was 3.34 percent.

Nationally, sales are on the upswing, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“Being the warmest February in decades also played a role in kick-starting prospective buyers’ house hunt,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.