Greater Nashville Home Sales Continue to Increase
Press Release by GNAR; March 6, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 6, 2014) – There were 1,857 home closings reported for the month of February, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®.
This represents an increase of 4 percent from the 1,784 closings reported in February 2013. Year-to-date closings through February 2014 are 3,636, a 6.8 percent increase from the 3,418 closings reported through February 2013.
“The home sales data for February indicates the market is remaining stable, both in growth and in sales price compared to last year,” said GNAR President Hagan Stone. “As the weather turns warmer and we enter the official spring buying and selling season, we hope to see the same sustainability we’ve experienced over the past few months.
“However, while the current trends remain positive, it is important that we begin to focus on keeping our city and region vibrant and attractive to businesses by implementing some long-term planning.”
There were 2,221 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 2,269 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 78 days.
The median residential price for a single-family home during February was $189,000, and for a condominium it was $165,000. This compares with median residential and condominium prices of $175,000 and $138,473, respectively, at this time last year.
Inventory at the end of February was 14,129, down from 15,651 in February 2013.
“Though still down from a year ago, inventory is increasing,” added Stone. “And with more people considering putting their homes on the market, it is important for sellers to understand that buyers are expecting homes to be market ready and priced correctly in order to seriously consider a purchase. If you plan to buy a home or put yours on the market, working with a Realtor is the first step in the right direction.”
The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.
Source: GNAR Press Release 030514; Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
March 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm
Tagged with tennessee, Nashville, kenneth bargers, GNAR, home sales, bargers solutions, middle tennessee, home buying, home selling, realtor, in the news, greater nashville association of realtors, blog, real estate agent, current economic conditions, pilkerton realtors, current housing conditions, pending sales, nashville real estate, march 2014, february 2014 housing data for nashville, nashville housing inventory
INDOOR HERB GARDEN
A small investment for the family home…
Do you or someone in your family love to cook? Clipping your own culinary herbs can be the family chef’s best friend. There are many advantages to growing herbs throughout the year including convenience, a fun project or hobby for household members, and it can be extremely cost-effective compared to the added expense of frequent purchases at the grocery store.
KEY: PREMIUM LIGHTWEIGHT POTTING MIX
Drainage is important for indoor planters and an organic potting soil or premium lightweight multipurpose potting mix are the best options for indoor gardening. Many packages will specify if the product is best used for outdoor gardening or indoor use (or both).
- Peat is an option to be included in the soil mix but a “peat-base” product loses moisture very quickly and harder to maintain a successful watering if allowed to dry out completely
- Herb plants sitting in water is not good for the production and survival of the plant as the roots can be introduced to rot
- Suggested lightweight premium mix ingredients may include vermiculite and perlite to aerate the soil mix
KEY: AVOID CONTAINERS THAT PREVIOUSLY CONTAINED TOXINS; CONTAINERS SHOULD HAVE PLENTY OF DRAINAGE HOLES
- All containers are acceptable – unglazed terra cotta is better for moisture and air to pass through
- Be creative and use your personal touch when selecting a container for your home based on your personality and home décor; chalk paint is a terrific option for decorating repurposed containers
- If repurposing a container be sure the previous contents were not toxic to plants or people
- Minimum of 6” pots should be considered for herb plants – choose a container that will be large enough for the full growth of the herb plant and room for the roots
- Generous drainage holes are important for the success of your herb plants
KEY: PLANT HERBS IN INDIVIDUAL CONTAINERS
- Some herb plants are invasive species so plant each type of herb in a separate container
- Plant in a container to accommodate full size of adult growth
- Always use quality lightweight potting soil
- Herbs are susceptible to fungus and rot so plant in container with ample drainage holes
- Ventilation of the container is suggested so you may consider placing small pebbles in the bottom of the container in an attempt to avoid water to pool at the roots
KEY: WATER HERBS WHEN THE SOIL BECOMES DRY TO THE TOUCH
- Some herbs value moister soil than others but as a general rule water the plant when the soil becomes dry to the touch – use the finger and press fingernail deep into the soil to evaluate depth of moisture
- Always use tepid room temperature water; never use cold water that will shock the herb plant
- The type of container used will determine the frequency of watering; for example, terra cotta pots will require more frequent watering than a plastic container (this will be a trial and error for a few weeks and will require daily inspection)
- Water less often if your home is cool
- Water less often if your herb plant is ailing
- The herb plant should never sit in a saucer of water
- Always remember that a common mistake is over-watering the plant
KEY: PLACE HERB PLANTS IN A SUNNY SPOT WITH AT LEAST 5 HOURS OF DAILY SUN
- Herb plants require various amounts of sun each day but as a general rule place in a sunny location near a window that provides 5-6 hours of sun each day
- Suggested locations for your indoor herb garden includes the kitchen, sunroom, morning room, a location with skylights present, or a screened front or back porch
- Windows that face south, southwest are the better locations; however, east and west facing windows will also provide at some point during the day
- Position the herbs that require more sun in the middle and arrange the less demanding herbs on the sides
- Indoor areas with temperatures of 55-75 degrees offer better results
KEY: HERE ARE SOME OF THE MORE COMMON HERBS ADAPTABLE TO INDOOR GARDENING
Basil, Bay, Chives, Cilantro, Dill, Oregano, Mint(s), Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Tarragon, Thyme
When buying herb plants for your indoor garden it is best to purchase plants from green house nurseries to avoid shock, trauma and reduced production of transferring from the outdoors to an indoor environment.
Source: Article by Kenneth Bargers; March 2014 Monthly Newsletter, In The News (030514)
Written by kbargers
March 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm
Tagged with tennessee, Nashville, kenneth bargers, monthly newsletter, in the news, indoor herb garden, creating an herb garden, culinary herbs, planting herbs, watering herbs, herb soil, herb containers, best location growing indoor herbs, home cook, home chef, march 2014
Average Home Upsized Post-Recession
Article by Daily Real Estate News; February 26, 2014
The average new-home size has increased more than 300 square feet since 2009, growing from 2,362 square feet in 2009 to 2,679 square feet in 2013, according to recently released Census Bureau data.
With that added square footage, new homes are adding more bedrooms, bathrooms, and amenities than they had in 2009.
Forty-eight percent of homes built in 2013 had four bedrooms compared to 34 percent with that number in 2009.
Thirty-five percent of homes in 2013 had three or more full baths compared to 23 percent in 2010.
Also, homes today are also accommodating more garage space. Twenty-two percent of homes built in 2013 had garage space to fit three cars or more compared to 16 percent in 2010.
The amenities that builders say they are most likely to include in new homes are a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, low-e windows, a laundry room, and a great room, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Amenities favored by many builders are granite countertops, double sinks, and a central island in kitchens, as well as nine-foot or higher ceilings, a front porch, exterior lighting, and a patio.
Bigger homes are also meaning higher prices. The average sales price rose from $248,000 in 2009 to $318,000 in 2013.
At the bottom of the list of features that builders will include in new homes in 2014, according to NAHB: laminate kitchen countertops, an outdoor kitchen, an outdoor fireplace, a sunroom, a two-story foyer, and a whirlpool in the master bathroom.
Source: National Association of Home Builders; Daily Real Estate News (022614) | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
February 26, 2014 at 12:17 pm
Tagged with 2013 housing data, average home sales price, Average Home Upsized Post-Recession, average square feet, bargers solutions, blog, current housing conditions, daily real estate news, february 2014, home buying, home selling, in the news, kenneth bargers, nahb, Nashville, national association of homebuilders, pilkerton realtors, post-recession home buying, real estate agent, realtor, realtor magazine, tennessee
Clean Vents for Safe Drying
Article by Nashville Home Inspection, February Tips E-Blast
Most fire departments have answered a call to a home fire started in the dryer. Approximately 3,000 of these fires occur each year in the U.S., resulting in millions of dollars in property damage. While 50 percent of the fires are contained within the dryer, too many others travel beyond the laundry room, causing damage and injury.
The peak month for dryer fires is January, and the peak season in fall/winter. One theory for the higher number of fires during winter is the quantity and type of clothing worn in cooler months. A dryer fire will occur typically between 8 a.m. and midnight, with most fires reported between 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., or just after dinner.
While much of the lint is trapped by the dryer’s filter, lint is also carried through the vent system along with the moist air. Lint is highly combustible material and can ignite when trapped in a vent.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize a fire occurrence. First, clothes dryers should always be vented directly to the outside. Some homeowners have experimented with venting a dryer indoors during winter months to capture heat. Rather than heating the house, the humid air causes concentrated humidity, increased condensation, increased mold and mildew and diminished air quality.
Most building codes stipulate that dryer vents must be made of metal with smooth interiors and that the total length of the vent duct does not exceed 35 feet (shorter if there are turns or bends). If a clothes dryer vent is too long or has many bends and twists, moisture in the warm air passing through it condenses on the vent surfaces,, attracting lint. A lint build-up will block hot air and may combust if the line becomes over-heated.
All manufacturer’s manuals currently state that plastic dryer ducts are unsafe to use because the plastic itself can provide additional fuel for a fire. Even flexible foil vents are not the best choice for venting clothes dryers because they can twist, providing space for lint to accumulate. Only flexible ducts listed by UL or another approved product safety testing agency should be used to vent dryers.
There are warning signs that a dryer operation may be compromised. If heavy clothes such as blue jeans or towels are taking a long time to dry, for example, or clothes feel hotter than usual at the end of the cycle, a clogged vent exhaust is likely the cause.
Since failure to clean the lint traps and vents are the primary cause of clothes dryer fires, cleaning the lint filter after every dryer load in critical. Miniature vacuum attachments are also available to help remove lint from hard-to-reach areas. Home improvement and big-box stores carry lint-removal kits that work with a drill, a shop vacuum or electric blower to clean lint out of the exhaust vent. There are also professionals who will come out to your home and remove lint from the dryer components and the exhaust vent.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions when using the dryer. These include never overload a dryer and never leaving a dryer running when no one is home. Every model also has specific inspection and maintenance instructions. If the manual is unavailable, visit the manufacturer’s website to access or download a copy.
Source: John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection (February tips eblast) | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
February 24, 2014 at 1:54 pm
Existing-Home Sales Drop in January While Prices Continue to Grow
Article by REALTOR® Mag Online (Daily Real Estate News); February 21, 2014
Existing-home sales fell in January to the lowest level in a year-and-a-half, but ongoing inventory shortages continue to lift prices in much of the U.S., according to the National Association of REALTORS®.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, dropped 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million in January from 4.87 million in December, and are also 5.1 percent below the 4.87 million-unit pace in January 2013. Last month’s level of activity was the slowest since July 2012, when it stood at 4.59 million.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said unusual weather is playing a role. “Disruptive and prolonged winter weather patterns across the country are impacting a wide range of economic activity, and housing is no exception,” he said. “Some housing activity will be delayed until spring. At the same time, we can’t ignore the ongoing headwinds of tight credit, limited inventory, higher prices and higher mortgage interest rates. These issues will hinder home sales activity until the positive factors of job growth and new supply from higher housing starts begin to make an impact.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $188,900, up 10.7 percent from January 2013. Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 15 percent of January sales, compared with 14 percent in December and 24 percent in January 2013.
Eleven percent of January sales were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in January, while short sales were discounted 13 percent.
Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 2.2 percent year-over-year to 1.90 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.9-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.6 months in December. Unsold inventory is 7.3 percent above a year ago, when there was a 4.4-month supply. A supply of 6.0 to 6.5 months represents a rough balance between buyers and sellers.
According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 4.43 percent in January from 4.46 percent in December; the rate was 3.41 percent in January 2013.
NAR President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., REALTORS® in Dayton, Ohio, said that in addition to disruptive weather, higher flood insurance rates are impacting the market in areas designated as flood zones, which account for roughly 8 to 9 percent of sales. “Thirty percent of transactions in flood zones were cancelled or delayed in January as a result of sharply higher flood insurance rates,” he said. “Since going into effect on October 1, 2013, about 40,000 home sales were either delayed or canceled because of increases and confusion over significantly higher flood insurance rates. The volume could accelerate as the market picks up this spring.”
Congress is considering legislation to halt new flood insurance rates so the Federal Emergency Management Agency can complete an affordability study and determine the full impact of the law.
The median time on market for all homes was 67 days in January, down from 72 days in December and 71 days on market in December 2013. Short sales were on the market for a median of 150 days in January, while foreclosures typically sold in 58 days and non-distressed homes took 66 days. Thirty-one percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers accounted for 26 percent of purchases in January, down from 27 percent in December and 30 percent in January 2013. This is the lowest market share for first-time buyers since NAR began monthly measurement in October 2008; normally, they should be closer to 40 percent.
All-cash sales comprised 33 percent of transactions in January, up from 32 percent in December and 28 percent in January 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 20 percent of homes in January, compared with 21 percent in December and 19 percent in January 2013. Seven out of 10 investors paid cash in January.
Single-family home sales fell 5.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.05 million in January from 4.30 million in December, and are 6.0 percent below the 4.31 million-unit pace in January 2013. The median existing single-family home price was $188,900 in January, up 10.4 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were unchanged at an annual rate of 570,000 units in January, and are 1.8 percent above a year ago. The median existing condo price was $188,700 in January, which is 13.0 percent above January 2013.
Existing-home sales by region:
- Northeast: Declined 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 620,000 in January, and are also 3.1 percent below January 2013. The median price in the Northeast was $241,100, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.
- Midwest: Dropped 7.1 percent in January to a pace of 1.04 million, and are 8.8 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $140,300, which is 7.6 percent higher than January 2013.
- South: Declined 3.5 percent to an annual level of 1.95 million in January, but are 1.6 percent higher than January 2013. The median price in the South was $161,500, up 9.4 percent from a year ago.
- West: Dropped 7.3 percent to a pace of 1.01 million in January, and are 13.7 percent below a year ago. Sales in the West are attenuated by tight inventory in many areas, pushing the median price to $273,500, up 14.6 percent from January 2013.
Source: REALTOR® Magazine Online; Daily Real Estate News (022114) | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
February 21, 2014 at 6:27 pm
Tagged with bargers solutions, blog, current housing conditions, daily real estate news, Existing-Home Sales Drop in January While Prices Continue to Grow, february 2014, freddie mac, home buying, home sales, home selling, housing inventory, in the news, january 2014, kenneth bargers, nar, Nashville, national association of realtors, pending home sales, pilkerton realtors, real estate agent, realtor, realtor magazine, tennessee
Weather Blamed for Freeze on Housing Starts
Article by Daily Real Estate News; February 20, 2014
Construction on new single-family homes and apartments dropped 16 percent, to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 880,000 in January, the Commerce Department reports. This marks the second consecutive monthly drop in housing starts, as frigid winter weather puts a chill on the new-home recovery, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Single-family housing starts posted a 15.9 percent decline in January, while the often volatile multifamily sector dropped 16.3 percent, according to the Commerce Department.
Housing starts dropped by the largest amount—70 percent—in the Midwest, which has been facing the brunt of the cold zap recently. The West, facing less severe weather conditions, still saw a 17 percent decline in housing starts, the Commerce Department reports. New-home permits for single-family homes – a gauge of future housing activity – fell slightly by 1.3 percent in January.
“Cold weather clearly put a chill on new-home construction last month, and this is also reflected in our latest builder confidence survey,” says Kevin Kelly, NAHB chairman. “Further, builders continue to face other obstacles, including rising materials prices and a lack of buildable lots and labor.”
The report follows on the heels of NAHB’s builder sentiment index that showed industry confidence plunged at its fastest rate in the 30-year history of the index. In the index, severe winter weather conditions were blamed again for changing builders’ outlook on the new-home market from “good” to “poor.”
While 2014 has been off to a chilly start in most parts of the country, the builders’ trade group still expects housing starts to total more than 1.1 million this year, up from 923,000 in 2013.
“Though the decline in starts is largely weather-related, it is worth noting that on the upside housing production for the fourth quarter was above 1 million for the first time since 2008 while single-family permits held relatively steady,” says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “The less weather-sensitive permits data suggests that our forecast for solid growth in single-family housing production in 2014 remains on track, as pent-up housing demand is unleashed.”
The lack of inventory remains a major bottleneck to the housing recovery, notes Lawrence Yun, National Association of REALTORS®’ chief economist, on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog.
Existing-home inventory has been at a 13-year low, while new-home inventory sits near a 50-year low, he says. Yun notes that housing starts are far short of what they should be—at least 1.5 million annually, based on historical trends.
Yun says that inventory constraints can be relieved from an increase in new-home construction. But until then, he says home prices will likely be moving higher as a result of the shortage.
Source: National Association of Home Builders; Daily Real Estate News (022014) | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
February 20, 2014 at 5:56 pm
Posted in real estate
Tagged with bargers solutions, blog, current housing conditions, daily real estate news, february 2014, home buying, home selling, housing starts, in the news, january 2014, kenneth bargers, nahb, Nashville, National Association of Home Builders, new construction, pilkerton realtors, real estate agent, realtor, tennessee, united states department of commerce, Weather Blamed for Freeze on Housing Starts
Survey: Most Americans Say Getting a Mortgage is Easier
Article by Daily Real Estate News; February 11, 2014
More Americans say it’s easier for them to get a mortgage, according to Fannie Mae’s January 2014 National Housing Survey. Fifty-two percent of the more than 1,000 consumers surveyed say they believe it would be easy for them to get a mortgage — an all-time high for the survey and the first time it’s passed the 50 percent mark. Meanwhile, 45 percent of consumers say they believe it would be difficult to get a mortgage.
Though consumers’ expectations for home-price gains within the next 12 months are softening, the impression that mortgage credit is more available should help propel the housing recovery, according to Fannie Mae’s report.
“A majority of consumers now believe that it is getting easier to get a mortgage,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “The gradual upward trend in this indicator during the last few months bodes well for the housing recovery and may be contributing to this month’s increase in consumers’ intention to buy rather than rent their next home. The dip in overall home-price expectations, though notable, is consistent with our view of moderating home-price gains this year from a robust pace last year, while positive trends in perceptions about the economy and personal finances over the next year support our view of stronger growth in the broader economy.”
Among other findings from the survey:
- 45 percent of consumers say home prices will stay the same in the next 12 months. That’s a 7 percentage-point increase over last month’s survey. Forty-three percent say home prices will rise in the next 12 months, a 6 percentage-point decrease.
- 55 percent of consumers say mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months.
- 65 percent say it’s a good time to buy a home, a 2 percentage-point decrease over last month.
- 38 percent say it’s a good time to sell a home, a 5 percentage-point increase over last month.
- 48 percent believe rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, a 5 percentage-point decrease.
- 70 percent say they would buy if they were going to move, an all-time high for the survey. Twenty-six percent say they’d rent, an all-time low.
- 44 percent say they expect their personal financial situation to improve in the next 12 months.
- 22 percent say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago.
Source: Fannie Mae News Release 021014; Daily Real Estate News 021114 | Blog, In The News, distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Written by kbargers
February 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Tagged with bargers solutions, blog, current economic conditions, current housing conditions, daily real estate news, fannie mae, february 2014, home buying, home lending, home loan, home selling, in the news, january 2014, kenneth bargers, mortgage applications, Nashville, pilkerton realtors, real estate agent, realtor, Survey Shows Most Americans Say Getting a Mortgage is Easier, tennessee