KENNETH BARGERS BLOG

Realtor, Tennis Player, Titans & Vols Fan, Nashvillan

MarketGraphics Research Group Announces the Greater Nashville Area Top 10 Builders for 2014

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MarketGraphics Research Group Announces the Greater Nashville Area Top 10 Builders for 2014
Article by MarketGraphics Research Group | March 25, 2015

MarketGraphics-LogoMarketGraphics Research Group of Franklin, Tennessee released the Greater Nashville Area Top 10 Builders for 2014. Along with the Top 10 Builders announcement you can view the full report for 2014 (permits pulled) here… CLICK LINK for report

The Greater Nashville Area Top 10 Builders of 2014

  1. Ole South Properties (619)
  2. Goodall Homes (343)
  3. Regent Homes (276)
  4. NVR, Inc / Fox Ridge / Ryan Homes (271)
  5. Centex Homes / Del Webb / Pulte Group, Inc (251)
  6. Beazer Homes (208)
  7. The Jones Company of Tennessee LLC (192)
  8. Phillips Builders, a Meritage Homes Company (168)
  9. Parkside Builders LLC / Cute Cottage Company LLC (126)
  10. Celebration Homes (124)

Source: MarketGraphics Research Group (032515)
For additional reports & in-depth market analysis, please contact:
Paula Charles, MarketGraphics Research Group, Inc.
615-371-2282 | paula@mgresearch.net | http://www.mgresearch.net

Home Prices Surge to Fastest Pace in Year

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Home Prices Surge to Fastest Pace in Year
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 24, 2015

NAR LogoExisting-home sales showed some improvement in February, but remain constrained by low inventories of homes for-sale that are pushing price growth to the fastest pace in a year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The median existing-home price for all housing types was $202,600 in February – 7.5 percent higher than a year ago.

“Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsustainable levels,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Stronger price growth is a boon for home owners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before [mortgage] rates rise.”

Mortgage rates, for now, continue to hover near historical lows. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.71 percent in February, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.

“With all indications pointing to a rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year – perhaps as early as this summer – affordability concerns could heighten as home prices and rents both continue to exceed wages,” says Yun. Indeed, an NAR study earlier this month found a widening gap between rent and income growth across the country, which is making it more difficult for renters to become home owners.

4 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here are some more findings from NAR’s latest housing report:

  1. Existing-home sales: Existing-home sales rose 1.2 percent month-over-month, reaching a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February. Sales are 4.7 percent higher than a year ago.
  2. Housing inventory: Housing inventories rose 1.6 percent to 1.89 million existing-homes for-sale in February, but remain 0.5 percent below a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace. Most economists consider a 6-month supply healthy for the market.
  3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in February, down from 16 percent a year ago. In February, 8 percent of sales were foreclosures, and 3 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 17 percent below market value (in January, it was 15 percent) and short sales were discounted by 15 percent on average (from 12 percent in January).
  4. Days on the market: Properties were on the market for 62 days, on average, in February, down from 69 days in January. Short sales were on the market for the longest – 120 days. Foreclosures tended to sell in 58 days and non-distressed homes took 61 days. Thirty-four percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month, according to NAR’s report.

By Region

The following is an overview of how sales fared in February across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales plunged 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 580,000, but are 3.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $241,800, up 3.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Midwest: existing-home sales were mostly unchanged from January at an annual level of 1.08 million, but are 4.9 percent higher than February 2014 levels. Median price: $152,900, up 8.8 percent from a year ago.
  • South: existing-home sales rose 1.9 percent to an annual rate of 2.11 million last month, and are 6 percent higher than year ago levels. Median price: $177,900, up 8.5 percent from a year ago.
  • West: existing-home sales increased 5.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.11 million in February, and are 2.8 percent above a year ago. Median price: $290,100 — 4.2 percent above February 2014.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032415

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The New Night-Light

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The New Night-Light
Article by John Swygert, Home Inspectors of Middle Tennessee
eblast March 2015, Home Tip of the Month

SnapRays-Image-3Who says all the good ideas have already been invented? One bright winner at the 2015 International Builders Show has developed a night-light within and electrical outlet cover plate.

The SnapRays Guidelight is an energy-efficient night-light and serves double-duty as a night-light replacement as well as a standard electrical outlet cover plate. The Guidelight is equipped with LEDs (light emitting diodes) to provide illumination in the dark, without taking up either outlet space. The diodes illuminate the area directly under the outlet. A light sensor automatically turns the LEDs on and off according to the available light in the area.

SnapRays-Image-2The SnapRays work, according to the company’s website, by snapping into place directly over a standard electrical outlet and attaching the plate cover to the outlet with a screw. Two projecting tabs on the back of the SnapRays contact the electrical terminals on the outlet and draw power from it to light the LEDs, so there’s no need for any wiring or batteries, and it leaves both outlets free for other uses.

The SnapRays Guidelight looks like any other wall outlet and comes in several different colors and styles. The company is currently taking orders via their website, snappower.com, but the product may soon appear at retail stores across the country.

SnapRays-Image-1A few of the advantages of the product include the use of hidden LED technology instead of conventional night-lights – making the product safer for children and adults (there is nothing projecting into the room to be played with, knocked out or removed). Because it only draws five milliamps of power and turns on only when light levels are low, the Guidelights cost only pennies a year to operate and should last for 25+ years before the LEDs begin to dim.

To install a Guidelight, the power must first be turned off to the electrical outlet. The existing cover-plate needs to be removed and the SnapRays Guidelight needs to be snapped on and screwed in. The power to the electrical outlet can be turned back on and the night-lights will illuminate the area.

The Guidelight is not compatible with GFCI outlets. At this time, the SnapRays Guidelight is not compatible with light switches, but that design may be introduced in the future.

Source: John Swygert, Home Inspectors of Middle Tennessee, Home Tip of the Month, March 2015; Photos courtesy of SnapPower.com

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Freddie: 2015 to Mark Best Year for Home Sales

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Freddie: 2015 to Mark Best Year for Home Sales
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 13, 2015

FreddieMac-LogoFreddie Mac economists are bullish on housing.

“This month kicks off spring home buying season,” says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Between now and the end of June, we’ll see about 40 percent of all home sales for the year.”

It’s that optimism that has Freddie Mac forecasters expecting 2015 “to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007, when total home sales were about 5.8 million for the year,” according to their U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for March.

An improving job market is driving young professionals, ages 25 to 34, back to the labor force. The millennial age group now has 76.8 percent of its generation employed, as of last month, up from 75.9 percent last year.

Freddie Mac economists predict that rents will continue to rise at or above inflation this year, which will likely push more prospective buyers into home ownership. Rents rose 3.6 percent, on average, in 2014, and are up nearly 11 percent over the last three years, according to Freddie Mac’s report.

Meanwhile, Freddie Mac economists expect that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to rise slightly this year to a 4 percent average. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.86 percent this week.

Source: “Freddie Mac March 2015 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook,” Freddie Mac (March 11, 2015); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 031515

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Greater Nashville: Home Sales Continue Upward Trend in February

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HOME SALES CONTINUE UPWARD TREND IN FEBRUARY
Press Release by Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® | March 9, 2015

GNAR-225x100NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 9, 2015) – There were 2,091 home closings reported for the month of February, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®.

This represents an increase of 12.6 percent from the 1,857 closings reported in February 2014. Year-to-date closings through February 2015 are 4,067, a 12.7 percent increase from the 3,636 closings reported through February 2014.

“The home sales data for February shows just how strong the Middle Tennessee market has become,” said GNAR President Cindy Stone. “While we have seen many months of positive increases, with the extreme winter weather our area faced last month, we were uncertain of the effect it might have on property sales.

“Remarkably, the market was essentially not phased. As January did before it, this February saw it’s best monthly sales numbers since 2007.”

There were 2,458 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 2,221 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 76 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during February was $206,000, and for a condominium it was $163,125. This compares with median residential and condominium prices of $189,000 and $165,000, respectively, at this time last year.

Inventory at the end of February was 12,445, down from 14,129 in February 2014.

“Inventory remains the main challenge in the market, though we will see it uptick as spring nears. The hardest hit market, in regard to inventory, is the first-time buyer range. The inventory supply there is very low. For example, the absorption rate for single-family homes below the January median price of $215,000 just in Davidson County is 2.2 months. Using the same criteria, the absorption rate above the median was 4.8 months. By the time you get to the $600,000 and above range, inventory is plenty at an 8.9 month supply.”

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 030915

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Considering a Fence? Due Diligence is Key…

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Considering a Fence?  Due Diligence is Key…

It starts with an idea. Whether decorative, functional or both, a fence can enhance and define space on a homeowner’s property. A fence is also very desirable to many potential buyers during their search as a valued feature.

Whatever your goal, as a homeowner, do your due-diligence to avoid additional expense, conflicts with neighbors, or even the possibility of fines and legal action.  Read complete article…  CLICK LINK

InTheNewsMarch2015

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Written by Kenneth Bargers

March 9, 2015 at 2:15 pm

Mortgage Rates Move Lower

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Mortgage Rates Move Lower
Article by Freddie Mac | March 5, 2015

FreddieMac-LogoMCLEAN, VA–(Marketwired – Mar 5, 2015) – Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving lower for the first time in four weeks and remaining near late May, 2013 lows.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending March 5, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.80 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.28 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.03 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.07 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.32 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.96 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.03 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.44 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.52 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes Attributed to Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“Mortgage rates fell across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage reading 3.75 percent this week. Real GDP growth for the fourth quarter was revised down to 2.2 percent. Consumer prices fell more than expected in January, tumbling 0.7 percent.”

Freddie Mac was established by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s residential mortgage markets. Freddie Mac supports communities across the nation by providing mortgage capital to lenders. Today Freddie Mac is making home possible for one in four home borrowers and is one of the largest sources of financing for multifamily housing. Additional information is available at FreddieMac.com, Twitter @FreddieMac and Freddie Mac’s blog FreddieMac.com/blog.

Source: Freddie Mac 030515

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