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Archive for March 2017

Contract Signings Jump to Near Decade High

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Contract Signings Jump to Near Decade High
National Association of REALTORS® | March 29, 2017

HomeSale500wPending home sales posted a strong rebound in February, soaring to the highest level in nearly a year and the second highest level in more than a decade, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday. All major regions saw an uptick in sales contracts last month.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 5.5 percent month over month to an 112.3 reading in February. The Publication1index is now 2.6 percent higher than a year ago and is at the highest level since last April (113.6) and the second highest since May 2006 (112.5).

“Buyers came back in force last month as a modest, seasonal uptick in listings were enough to fuel an increase in contract signings throughout the country,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The stock market’s continued rise and steady hiring in most markets is spurring significant interest in buying, as well as the expectation from some households that delaying their home search may mean paying higher interest rates later this year.”

Further, the warmer-than-usual weather across the country may have helped give an earlier start to the spring buying season. Yun notes that last month was the warmest February in decades, which may have also “played a role in kick-starting prospective buyers’ house hunt.”

Yun expects activity to fluctuate over the spring season, however, as the lack of supply continues to limit the number of homes sold, particularly in the lower and mid-market price ranges.

“The homes most buyers are in the market for are unfortunately the most difficult to find and ultimately buy,” Yun says. “The country’s healthy labor market is translating to greater job security, but affordability is not improving because home prices in some areas are still outpacing incomes by three times or more because of tight supply. How much new and existing inventory there is on the market this spring will determine if sales can reach their full potential and finally start reversing the nation’s low homeownership rate.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032917

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

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New-Home Sales Jump 6%

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New-Home Sales Jump 6%
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 24, 2017

HouseConstruct500wSales of newly built single-family homes posted a robust month in February. New-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000 units, up 6.1 percent month over month and 12.8 percent ahead of last year, the Commerce Department reported this week.

“February’s increase in new home sales is consistent with builders’ growing confidence in the housing market,” says Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “Builders are encouraged by heightened consumer activity and by the expectation that regulatory costs will decline in the year ahead.”

The inventory of new homes for sale in February was 266,000, a 5.4-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price was $296,200.

New-home sales posted the strongest uptick in the Midwest in February, rising 30.9 percent month over month, followed by a 7.5 percent gain in the West and a 3.6 percent increase in the South. The Northeast was the only major region of the U.S. to see a decrease last month, with new-home sales falling 21.4 percent there.

“The uptick in mortgage interest rates is having a minimal effect on new-home sales thus far,” says Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist. “Ongoing job creation, rising household formations, and affordable home prices should keep the market on an upward trajectory in 2017.”

Source: National Association of Home Builders; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032417

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Real Estate This Spring: The Early Bird Wins

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Real Estate This Spring: The Early Bird Wins
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 14, 2017

Luxury Home Exterior 33

Entering real estate’s traditionally busiest time of year, the housing market is being buoyed by a stronger economy and consumer confidence. Job creation is 30 percent stronger this year compared to a year ago, unemployment is near a 9-year low, and wages and incomes are growing at the largest levels in about eight years, notes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist.

Some buyers are in more of a hurry this season too. In the last two weeks, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose by nearly a quarter of a point. The Federal Reserve also has given strong indication that it plans to raise short-term rates later this week (even though mortgage rates aren’t directly tied to short-term rates, they do tend to have an influence). Smoke predicts three to four major increases in mortgage rates this year. He expects rates to rise by from 10 to 25 basis points in one- to two-week spurts, followed by some holding patterns.

“The upside of higher rates is that it is getting easier to get a mortgage,” Smoke says. Mortgage credit access has increased 6.5 percent since September, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

“Arguably the biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy and getting it successfully under contract,” Smoke says. “That’s because the supply of homes for sale is at an all-time low, and yet demand is strong and getting stronger.”

In January, the nation saw the lowest inventory of homes available for sale ever at realtor.com®. Inventory did manage a 2 percent increase in February, but it’s still down 11 percent compared to last year.

With lower inventories and higher demand, homes are selling faster. Twenty-seven percent of listings sold in less than 30 days in February, according to realtor.com®’s data.

“The early birds who decided to buy in the winter faced less competition and enjoyed lower rates than we are seeing now,” Smoke says. “It gets more expensive and more competitive going forward, but the early-ish buyer, at this point, is still likely to come out on top, when you consider that prices and rates are likely to be much higher later in the year.”

Source: “Forget the Snow: Spring Has Sprung in the Nation’s Housing Markets,” realtor.com® (March 13, 2017); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 031417

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Consumers Are Super Confident About Housing

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Consumers Are Super Confident About Housing
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 8, 2017

HomeKeys 525wConsumer confidence in the housing market has hit a new all-time high, according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index. The index rose 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a record reading. Five of the six components measured by the survey hit record highs as well, including the share of Americans who say now is a good time to buy and those who are feeling more secure about their job.

Fannie Mae’s survey of 1,000 Americans showed a rosy backdrop for the housing market as it heads into the spring buying season.

“The latest post-election surge in optimism puts the HPSI at its highest level since its starting point in 2011,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Millennials showed especially strong increases in job confidence and income gains, a necessary precursor for increased housing demand from first-time home buyers. Preliminary research results from our team find that millennials are accelerating the rate at which they move out of their parents’ homes and form new households. However, continued slow supply growth implies continued strong price appreciation and affordability constraints facing millennials and first-time buyers in many markets.”

Here is a closer look at findings from Fannie Mae’s latest reading from its Home Purchase Sentiment Index:

  • The share of Americans who say now is a good time to purchase a home increased 11 percentage points to 40 percent, marking a strong rebound from last month’s survey low.
  • Twenty-two percent say now is a good time to sell, up 7 percentage points from last month, and a new survey high.
  • Forty-five percent of Americans believe that home prices will go up, increasing by 3 percentage points.
  • Seventy-eight percent of Americans say they are not concerned about losing their job, a 9 percentage point month-over-month increase, and a new a new survey high.
  • Nineteen percent of Americans say their household income is significantly higher than it was 12 months ago, also a new survey high.

Source: Fannie Mae; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 030817

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
bargers-solutions.com webkennethbargers.com blogSearch Properties
(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Just Listed: a Normandy Lake Southern Gem!

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Just Listed: a Southern Gem!… This 7,267 southern living gem is a true custom-home including custom millwork and cabinetry, solid cherry floors, murals, stained glass, custom paint, Swarovski crystal chandeliers throughout. The outdoor living includes 25-acres surrounded by 250-acres of corp property, two logging trails to the lakeshore, year-round stream, well, spa, fire pit, and outdoor kitchen. Please visit www.207ThomaLane.com to view details

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Written by Kenneth Bargers

March 7, 2017 at 9:15 pm

Warmer Temperatures Contribute to Early Spring for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Market

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Warmer Temperatures Contribute to Early Spring for Middle Tennessee Real Estate Market
Press Release by Greater Nashville REALTORS® | March 7, 2017

HomeforSale 550wNASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 7, 2017) – There were 2,507 home closings reported for the month of February, according to data provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®.

This represents an increase of 9.3 percent from the 2,293 closings reported in February 2016. Year-to-date closings through February 2017 are 4,918, a 10.3 percent increase from the 4,460 closings reported through February 2016.

“Spring is in the air and in the real estate market,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS President Scott Troxel. “A few days of warmer temperatures helped our region finish strong in February, closing over 2,500 units. We saw year-over-year increase in all categories, with the largest coming in the multi-family sector.

“Recent announcements regarding economic growth from companies like Mars Petcare, LG and SmileDirect will only to continue to drive our market upward,” said Troxel.

There were 2,899 sales pending at the end of the month, compared with 2,735 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 54 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during February was $258,950, and for a condominium it was $192,400. This compares with median residential and condominium prices of $235,000 and $174,380, respectively, at this time last year.

Inventory at the end of February was 10,372, down from 11,677 in February 2016.

“We typically compare statistics year-over-year, and our inventory is down from 2016. However, the single-family market did pick up in inventory between this past January and February,” said Troxel. “While we still have a way to go to restock our inventory levels, any gain in inventory is good news. This gives buyers more options and alleviates some of the pressure on home prices.”

### Greater Nashville 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: Greater Nashville REALTORS® 030717

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
bargers-solutions.com webkennethbargers.com blogSearch Properties
(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Written by Kenneth Bargers

March 7, 2017 at 8:59 pm

Why New Homes Are About to Get Pricier

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Why New Homes Are About to Get Pricier
Article by Daily Real Estate News | March 1, 2017

newhomeblueprintsWith the cost of building materials jumping 25 percent year over year, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, builders are increasingly concerned about how this will affect home buyers in the new-construction market. In 2016, builders ranked the cost of building materials low on their list of concerns—but now it’s one of their top five.

The increased cost of lumber is a chief catalyst. “Negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement between the United States and Canada ground to a halt at the end of 2016 and likely are stalled pending the results of an investigation into unfair import practices requested by the U.S. Lumber Coalition,” the NAHB reports.

Because of this, home buyers likely will face price hikes. According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, builders cited the following as the 10 most significant problems they expect to face in 2017:

  1. Cost/availability of labor: 82%
  2. Cost/availability of developed lots: 67%
  3. Impact/hook-up/inspection or other fees: 61%
  4. Building material prices: 60%
  5. Federal environmental regulations and policies: 52%
  6. Local/state environmental regulations and policies: 52%
  7. Regulation of banking/financial institutions: 48%
  8. Development standards (parking, setbacks, etc.): 47%
  9. Inaccurate appraisals: 46%
  10. Health insurance: 40%

Source: “Material Costs Spike as a Menacing Builder Worry,” BUILDER (Feb. 28, 2017); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 030117

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular • (615) 915-5901 facsimilekb@bargers-solutions.com email
bargers-solutions.com webkennethbargers.com blogSearch Properties
(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

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