Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point

Fast-Paced Luxury Sales Raise Entry-Level Price Point
realtor.com | August 10, 2018

House 1058It’s a good time to be selling high-end real estate: The luxury market is posting a record number of sales, and 19 major areas also saw double-digit gains in July, according to realtor.com®’s 2018 Luxury Home Index. The index measures the entry-level luxury price tier, which is the top 5 percent of residential sales among 91 U.S. counties.

In 49 of the 91 markets analyzed by realtor.com®, the luxury tier had an entry point of at least $1 million. The number of sales at or above $1 million climbed 12 percent over the last year, realtor.com® reports.

“The strong economy is bolstering demand for luxury homes,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “They are selling fast and demand for these homes has pushed the entry-level price point to more than $1 million in half of the markets studied. Although there are some pockets of weaker performance, we’ve seen double-digit price growth in 19 markets for the first time in four years.”

Luxury homes are selling faster, too. The median age of inventory in the 91 luxury markets tracked was 108 days in July, down 11 days or by 9.3 percent year over year, realtor.com® reports.

The fastest-growing luxury market in July: Sarasota, Fla., which continued to hold onto its top spot on realtor.com®’s list. Luxury sales prices in Sarasota have risen 21.2 percent since last May. Half of all luxury homes there have also sold within 157 days, which is 21 days faster than a year ago. Rounding out realtor.com®’s list of the top five fastest-growing luxury markets in July were Queens, N.Y.; Maui, Hawaii; Santa Clara, Calif.; and Boulder, Colo. Each of the cities posted a yearly growth of between 13 to 16 percent.

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Source: “Luxury Housing Sets New Records,” realtor.com® (Aug. 9, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online 081018

Dip in Rates Provides ‘Stability’ for Home Sales

Dip in Rates Provides ‘Stability’ for Home Sales
Freddie Mac | August 10, 2018

Borrowers saw a little relief from recent increases. Mortgage rates dropped slightly this week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.59 percent, Freddie Mac reports.

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“This stability is much needed for home sales, which have crested because of the multiyear run up in prices, tight affordable inventory, and this year’s higher rates,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Going forward, the strong economy will support the housing market, but with affordability pressures mounting, further spikes in mortgage rates will lead to continued softening in home price growth.”

Home prices are still climbing and rates are up from 3.90 percent a year ago. “Some prospective buyers are definitely feeling an affordability crunch,” Khater says.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Aug. 9:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.59 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.60 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.90 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.05 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 4.08 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.3 point, falling from last week’s 3.93 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.14 percent.

Source: “Mortgage Rates Inch Backward,” Freddie Mac (Aug. 9, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online 081018

August – It’s Football Time in Tennessee!

August – It’s Football Time in Tennessee!

It’s Football Time in Tennessee! Are you ready? Do you have the fever yet?

August2018 Football Image 1The traditions and passions run deep in the South when it comes to football and the state of Tennessee has produced some of the most successful and memorable champions, athletes and coaches throughout the years. August – a time for high school jamborees, college practices, NFL preseason games – all gearing up for the launch of a new football season at the end of the month.

Good luck to the Titans, Governors, Bulldogs, Blue Raiders, Volunteers, Tigers, Golden Eagles and Commodores on the upcoming season. Here’s hoping each team exceeds their goals for this year’s football campaign!   view 2018 Middle Tennessee area Pro/College football schedules

University of the South: Sewanee 1899 Football Team

August2018 Football Image 3The Iron Men of 1899
One of Tennessee’s most impressive football campaigns was produced by the University of the South’s 1899 football squad which many consider one of the greatest football teams of all time!

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the Sewanee Tigers were a football powerhouse that would welcome all comers in gridiron play. 

Coming off an undefeated 1898 season the 1899 team expected to have success but had some obstacles that would challenge the upcoming campaign. The small school depended heavily on gate receipts to support the football program but a couple of disputes with competition about the distribution of receipts, including Vanderbilt, required a scheduling adjustment and creative idea to acquire revenue. With a strong national reputation, the small school decided to schedule five away games in six days to build interest in attendance and support.

The 13 players on the squad (seven returning players), The Iron Men of 1899 took on this challenge and became one of the greatest teams in the history of football. The 1899 Sewanee Tigers were undefeated with a 12-0 record outscoring the opponents 322-10. The victories were against Georgia (12-0), Georgia Tech (32-0), Tennessee (46-0), Southwestern Presbyterian (54-0), Texas (12-0), Texas A&M (10-0), Tulane (23-0), LSU (34-0), Ole Miss (12-0), Cumberland (71-0), Auburn (11-10), North Carolina (5-0).

The next time you travel over Monteagle Mountain remember the majestic Sewanee University of the South and the Tigers as one of the great historic football programs.

August2018 Football Image 5John Ward (1930-June 20, 2018)  – “Voice of the Vols”

The legendary Voice of the Vols, John Ward, past away earlier this year. He was the eyes and ears for generations of the Big Orange Nation.

Article Tribute: Chris Lowe, ESPN; ‘Tennessee honors late radio announcer: ‘John Ward was UT’
Video Tribute: Kenny Chesney; Touchdown Tennessee

August2018 Football Image 4Tailgate Recipe

Jello Shots Anyone?
Tennessee Titans Jell-O Shots

 

 

 

Courtesy of Kenneth Bargers, Greater Nashville REALTOR® – kb@bargers-solutions.com 

Hike in Mortgage Rates Erases Affordability Relief

Hike in Mortgage Rates Erases Affordability Relief
Freddie Mac | August 3, 2018

Borrowers got stuck with higher mortgage rates again this week. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed for the second consecutive week, averaging 4.6 percent. Mortgage rates are now at their fourth highest level of the year, Freddie Mac reports.

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“The higher rate environment, coupled with the ongoing lack of affordable inventory, has led to a drag on existing-home sales in the last few months,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

The Federal Reserve this week voted to hold off on raising its short-term rate, “but the embers of a strong economy potentially stoking higher inflation, borrowing costs will likely modestly rise in the coming months,” Khater adds.

Even with home price growth easing slightly in some markets, Khater notes that mortgage rates hovering near a seven-year high will certainly create affordability challenges for prospective buyers looking to close on a home purchase.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Aug. 2:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.60 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 4.54 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 4.02 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.

5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.93 percent, with an average 0.2 point, rising from last week’s 3.87 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.15 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine 080318