Nationally: Existing-Home Sales Gains Strongest in Decade

Nationally: Existing-Home Sales Gains Strongest in Decade
National Association of REALTORS®   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 20, 2017

For the third consecutive month, existing-home sales were on the rise, with all major regions of the country except the West posting a “significant hike in sales activity” last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

dec16_DN_EHSInfographicTotal existing-home sales—which includes completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—increased 5.6 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million. Sales are now 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and are at the strongest pace since December 2006.

“Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market, and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”

Here’s a closer look at November’s numbers:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in November was $248,000, increasing 5.8 percent from a year ago.

Supply: Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale. Inventories are now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace. “The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist,” Yun says. “Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now. The increase in home builder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.”

Cash purchases: All-cash sales comprised 22 percent of transactions in November, up from 21 percent a year ago. That makes up the highest share of all-cash sales since May. Individual investors are the biggest source of cash sales. They purchased 14 percent of homes in November, unchanged from a year ago. “The elevated presence of investors paying in cash continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing,” Yun says. “The healthy labor market and higher wage gains are expected to further strengthen buyer demand from young adults next year. Their prospects for becoming homeowners will only improve if more lower-priced and smaller-sized homes come onto the market.”

First-time home buyers: This group accounted for 29 percent of sales in November, down from 32 percent a year ago.

Days on market: Properties remained on the market for an average of 40 days in November, down from 43 days a year ago. Forty-four percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

Distressed properties: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales, down from 6 percent a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of sales in November were foreclosures while 1 percent were short sales.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122017

FHA to Increase Loan Limits in 2018

FHA to Increase Loan Limits in 2018
FHA   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 11, 2017

handsFollowing on the heels of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Federal Housing Administration announced that it will increase its loan limits in most areas of the country in 2018. The FHFA had announced new limits for loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Nov. 28.

In high-cost areas of the country, the FHA’s ceiling on loan limits will rise from $636,150 to $679,650, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the national mortgage limit for FHA-insured reverse mortgages—known as home equity conversion mortgages—will rise from $636,150 to $679,650.

The FHFA calculates new limits each year based on median home prices.

The FHA loan limits will rise in 3,011 counties but will remain unchanged in 223. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new conforming loan limits for 2018 will be $453,100 for conforming loans and $679,650 for jumbo loans in some high-cost areas. The new limits for the FHA and the FHFA will take effect on Jan. 1.

Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 121117


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

Happy Holidays from 207 Thoma Lane

207Thoma HappyHolidays2017


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

Mortgage Rates Climb This Week

Mortgage Rates Climb This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 8, 2017

Borrowing costs are increasing, but home buyers can still snag an interest rate that is lower than a year ago.

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“This week’s survey reflects last week’s uptick in long-term interest rates, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate up 4 basis points to 3.94 percent,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The 30-year mortgage rate has been bouncing around in a 10 basis point range since September. While long-term rates have been relatively steady week-to-week, shorter term interest rates have been on the rise. The spread between the 30-year fixed mortgage and the 5/1 Hybrid ARM rate was 59 basis points this week, down 43 basis points from earlier this year. With a narrower spread between fixed and adjustable mortgage rates, more borrowers are opting for a fixed product.”

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported this week that the ARM share of conventional mortgage applications was 16.7 percent, down from more than 20 percent in the spring.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 7:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.90 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.30 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.36 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.32 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.17 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 120817


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

Nashville-Area Home Sales Up 6 Percent in November

Nashville-Area Home Sales Up 6 Percent in November
Article by Greater Nashville REALTORS®, Press Release 120717

House 1022NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 7, 2017) – There were 3,177 home closings reported for the month of November, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This figure is up 6.7 percent from the 2,978 closings reported for the same period last year.

Year-to-date closings for the Greater Nashville area were 37,236 at the end of November. That is an increase of 4.4 percent from the 35,674 closings, reported through November 2016.

“Sales are up 6.7 percent year-over-year. Typically, sales drop in the fall and days-on-market expand. October to November of 2017 saw that same pattern,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Scott Troxel.

“Sellers are more hesitant in putting their homes on the market during the holidays and colder months, and conversely, traffic from buyers also slows during this time. However, those who are in the market during the next few months, whether buying or selling, are serious about making a move in the market.

“Fewer properties on the market means less competition for sellers. When potential buyers are gift shopping more than they are home shopping, that also means less competition for determined buyers. If buying or selling real estate is a priority for you, now is a good time to move forward,” said Troxel.

There were 2,906 properties under contract at the end of the month, compared to the 2,591 properties under contract at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 29 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during November was $285,000 and for a condominium, it was $216,751. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $259,900 and $182,390, respectively.

Active inventory at the end of November was 9,454, down from 9,946 in 2016.

“Middle Tennessee is still on track to end 2017 with a record year for our housing market. The positive trends needed to sustain a healthy market – modest growth in sales and prices – continue to mark our region,” said Troxel.

### 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®, Press Release 120717


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

Mortgage Rates Sink Lower This Week

Mortgage Rates Sink Lower This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 1, 2017

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is averaging lower than it did a year ago, and remains well below the 4 percent threshold this week.

rates113017

“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell two basis points to 3.9 percent in this week’s survey, but we closed our survey prior to a surge in long-term interest rates following an upward revision to third quarter U.S. Real GDP growth and comments by Federal Reserve Chair Yellen touting a broad-based economic expansion,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The market implied probability of a Fed rate hike in December neared 100 percent, helping to drive short term interest rates higher. The 5/1 Hybrid ARM, which is more sensitive to short-term rates than the 30-year fixed mortgage, increased 10 basis points to 3.32 percent in this week’s survey. The spread between the 30-year fixed mortgage and 5/1 Hybrid ARM is just 58 basis points this week, the lowest spread since November of 2012.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Nov. 30:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, decreasing from last week’s 3.92 percent average. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.30 percent, with an average 0.5, down from last week’s 3.32 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.34 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.32 percent, with an average 0.3 point, an increase from last week’s 3.22 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.15 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 120117


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address

5 Housing Trends to Watch for 2018

5 Housing Trends to Watch for 2018
realtor.com   article by Daily Real Estate News | November 29, 2017

Home shoppers may have it easier in 2018. Inventory constraints of for-sale homes and rising home prices may finally start to ease next year, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 National Housing Forecast.

“Next year will set the stage for a significant inflection point in the housing shortage,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. “Inventory increases will be felt in higher priced segments after spring home buying season, which we expect to take hold and begin to provide relief for buyers and drive sales growth in 2019 and beyond.”

But the big wild card for 2018 will be any impact from the proposed tax reform legislation, which is currently being debated by Congress, realtor.com® adds.

realtor 2018forecast

Here’s a closer look at realtor.com®’s five housing prediction trends for 2018:

  1. Inventory to start increasing: Realtor.com® projects positive year-over-year inventory growth by the fall of 2018—which will be the first time since 2015. “Inventory declines are expected to decelerate slowly throughout the year, reaching a 4 percent year-over-year decline in March before increasing in early fall, after the peak home-buying months,” realtor.com® notes in its report. The cities expected to see inventory levels recover first are Boston; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Nashville; and Philadelphia. The majority of this growth will be in the mid- to upper-tier price points (which includes homes priced above $350,000). On the other hand, recovery in the starter home market likely will linger since levels are “significantly depleted by first time buyers,” realtor.com® notes.
  2. Price appreciation to slow: Home buyers likely will see home prices moderate in the new year. Realtor.com® forecasts home prices to slow to a 3.2 percent growth year over year nationwide. For comparison, home prices in 2017 posted a 5.5 percent increase. The majority of the slowing price appreciation will be centered in the higher-priced ranges as more inventory becomes available. Entry-level homes, on the other hand, likely will continue to see price gains due to a larger potential buyer pool as well as a more limited number of homes available for sale in this price range.
  3. Millennials to gain market share: Finally, the long-held predictions may hold true. Millennials may reach 43 percent of home buyers taking out a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40 percent in 2017, realtor.com® projects. The largest cohort of millennials are expected to turn 30 in 2020. “Millennials are a driving force in today’s housing market,” Vivas says. “They already dominate lower price home mortgage and are getting close to overtaking older generations for mid- and upper-tier mortgages. While financially secure in general, their debt to income ratios have started to increase as they compete for higher priced homes.”
  4. The South to lead in sales growth: Realtor.com® forecasts that Southern cities will top national averages in home sales growth in 2018. Markets like Tulsa, Okla.; Little Rock, Ark.; Dallas; and Charlotte, N.C., are expected to be the highest performers. Sales in these markets are predicted to increase by 6 percent or more. Nationally, sales growths are predicted to grow by 2.5 percent. “The majority of this growth can be attributed to healthy building levels combating the housing shortage,” realtor.com® notes in its report. “With inventory growth just around the corner, these areas are primed for sales gains in years to come.”
  5. Tax reform wild card: Tax reform could dampen 2018 sales and price forecasts, realtor.com® reports. The U.S. House has passed a tax bill, and the Senate likely will vote on one soon. “While the ultimate impact of tax reform will depend on the details of the plan that is finally adopted, both versions include provisions that are likely to decrease incentives for mobility and reduce ownership tax benefits,” realtor.com® reports. “On the flip side, some taxpayers, including renters, are likely to see tax cuts. While more disposable income for buyers is positive for housing, the loss of tax benefits for owners could lead to fewer sales and impact prices negatively over time with the largest impact on markets with higher prices and incomes.” Read more: Tax Reform Proposals Threaten Homeowners and REALTORS® Square Up After House Passes Tax Bill

Source: realtor.com®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 112917


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
kb@bargers-solutions.com emailkb@kennethbargers.realtor email
www.bargers-solutions..com webkennethbargers.com blog
2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027 address