Home Sales Rebound in Kickoff to Spring

Home Sales Rebound in Kickoff to Spring
National Association of REALTORS®
article by Daily Real Estate News | March 21, 2018

Feb-EHSLow inventory levels and accelerating home prices couldn’t put a lid on existing-home sales in February. Following two consecutive months of declines, existing-home sales rebounded 3 percent in February month over month and reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday. Sales of existing homes, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, are now 1.1 percent higher than a year ago.

“A big jump in existing-home sales in the South and West last month helped the housing market recover from a two-month sales slump,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The very healthy U.S. economy and labor market are creating a sizable interest in buying a home in early 2018. However, even as seasonal inventory gains helped boost sales last month, home prices—especially in the West—shot up considerably. Affordability continues to be a pressing issue because new and existing housing supply is still severely subpar.”

5 Housing Indicators to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at findings from NAR’s latest housing report.

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $241,700 in February, up 5.9 percent from a year ago.

Inventories: The number of homes for sale at the end of February increased 4.6 percent to 1.59 million. That is still 8.1 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

All-cash sales: All-cash sales comprised 24 percent of transactions in February, the highest since last February (27 percent). Individual investors tend to account for the biggest bulk of all-cash sales. They purchased 15 percent of homes in February, unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales in February, down from 7 percent a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of February sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

Days on the market: Forty-six percent of homes sold last month were on the market for less than a month. Overall, properties stayed on the market for an average of 37 days in February, down from 45 days a year ago. “Homes for sale are going under contract a week faster than a year ago, which is quite remarkable given weakening affordability conditions and extremely tight supply,” says Yun. “To fully satisfy demand, most markets right now need a substantial increase in new listings.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032118

NAR’s Yun: Housing Starts Are ‘Vastly Inadequate’

NAR’s Yun: Housing Starts Are ‘Vastly Inadequate’
National Association of REALTORS®
article by Daily Real Estate News | March 19, 2018

House 1035Fewer new homes were in the pipeline in February, as housing starts for combined multifamily and single-family homes plunged 7 percent month over month, the U.S. Commerce Department reports. Housing production for the month was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.24 million units.

“The fall in housing starts in February is a movement in the wrong direction,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®. “The key to economic prosperity at this juncture of economic expansion is to produce more new homes. That will help with job creation and reduce the swift price appreciation in several markets.”

A total of 1.2 million homes were constructed last year, which Yun calls “vastly inadequate.” February’s figure is just barely above year-ago levels, he adds. “It’s not enough,” Yun says. “While relaxing regulations on small-sized community banks may spur more construction loans for building, labor shortages in the industry continue to stunt overall activity.”

Multifamily production plunged 26.1 percent in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 334,000 units, while single-family starts eked out a 2.9 percent gain to 902,000 units. Still, rising buyer demand, along with record-low inventory, has prompted calls from many in the real estate industry for builders to add more new homes.

Randy Noel, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, says developers are trying to manage rising construction costs to keep home prices competitive. NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz says the uptick in single-family production in February follows the organization’s 2018 forecast for gradual, modest strengthening in the new-construction market.

Combined single-family and multifamily home production rose by the highest amount in the Midwest last month, up 7.6 percent month over month. However, housing starts dropped 12.9 percent in the West, 7.3 percent in the South, and 3.5 percent in the Northeast.

Source: National Association of REALTORS® and National Association of Home Builders; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 031918

Builders Reveal Top 10 Biggest Concerns

Builders Reveal Top 10 Biggest Concerns
National Association of Home Builders   article by Daily Real Estate News | January 17, 2018

House Construction 103Homebuilding is still falling short in many markets in alleviating the shrinking inventories of homes for sale. But builders are blaming the construction shortfall on several factors.

Builders revealed the following top 10 “significant” problems they expect to face in 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index:

  1. Cost/availability of labor: 84%
  2. Building material prices: 84%
  3. Cost/availability of developed lots: 62%
  4. Impact/hook up/inspection or other fees: 60%
  5. Local/state environment regulations and policies: 45%
  6. Inaccurate appraisals: 42%
  7. Federal environment regulations and policies: 42%
  8. Difficulty obtaining zoning/permit approval: 42%
  9. Gridlock/uncertainty in Washington making buyers cautious: 42%
  10. Development standards (parling, setbacks, etc.): 38%

Once again for 2018, builders said the cost and availability of labor is their chief concern. The number of builders who are reporting this as a problem is growing. In 2017, 82 percent of builders said cost and availability of labor was their top concern; the percentage has grown to 84 percent of builders heading in 2018.

The availability of labor started growing as a problem among builders since 2011. In 2011, just 13 percent of builders rated labor as a significant problem, but by 2012, the percentage jumped to 30 percent and has ever since continued to increase each year.

“Both the availability of labor and lots highlight the expected constraints of a recovering housing market,” the NAHB reports.

Source: “Building Materials Prices and Labor Access Top Challenges for 2018,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Jan. 16, 2018); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 011718

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

Nationally: Meager Sales Rebound Underscores Tough Market

Nationally: Meager Sales Rebound Underscores Tough Market
National Association of REALTORS® article by Daily Real Estate News | October 20, 2017

House 1028Following three consecutive months of declines, existing-home sales ticked up in September from the previous month—but ongoing inventory shortages, coupled with recent hurricanes, muted any annual gains, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Friday.

Total existing-home sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, increased 0.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in September, 1.5 percent below a year ago. September also marks the second slowest month for sales in more than a year, behind August, NAR notes.

September EHS Infographic #1“Home sales in recent months remain at their lowest level of the year and are unable to break through, despite considerable buyer interest in most parts of the country,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “REALTORS® this fall continue to say the primary impediments stifling sales growth are the same as they have been all year: not enough listings—especially at the lower end of the market—and fast-rising prices that are straining budgets of prospective buyers.”

Sales activity likely would have been stronger if not for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck Texas and South Florida in late August and early September, Yun says, adding that both areas saw “temporary but notable declines.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market
Key indicators from NAR’s September existing-home sales report:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $245,100, up 4.2 percent from a year ago. “A continuation of last month’s alleviating price growth, which was the slowest since last December, would improve affordability conditions and be good news for the would-be buyers who have been held back by higher prices this year,” Yun says.

Days on the market: Forty-eight percent of homes sold were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically stayed on the market for 34 days, down from 39 days a year ago.

All-cash sales: These transactions comprised 20 percent of sales, down from 21 percent a year ago. Individual investors accounted for the biggest bulk of cash sales; they purchased 15 percent of homes, which was the same level as a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 4 percent of sales, unchanged from a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of sales were foreclosures, and 1 percent were short sales.

Inventory: Housing inventory at the end of the month increased 1.6 percent to 1.9 million existing homes available for sale, but it still remains 6.4 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.5 months a year ago.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 102017


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

Nationally: Housing Shortages Constrain Existing-Home Sales

Nationally: Housing Shortages Constrain Existing-Home Sales
National Association of REALTORS®    article by Daily Real Estate News | September 20, 2017

For the fourth time in five months, existing-home sales dropped as a shortage of homes for sale continues to plague the housing market. Strained supply levels of homes are making it that sales are unable “to break out,” according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report, released Wednesday.

Existing-home sales did see an increase in the Northeast and Midwest in August but were outpaced by sales declines in the South and West, according to NAR’s report.

August EHS Infographic #1Total existing-home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—eased 1.7 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. Last month’s sales are at the lowest levels in nearly a year.

Nevertheless, demand among potential buyers remains high. However, not enough homeowners are selling, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Steady employment gains, slowly rising incomes, and lower mortgage rates generated sustained buyer interest all summer long, but unfortunately, not more home sales,” Yun says. “What’s ailing the housing market and continues to weigh on overall sales is the inadequate levels of available inventory and the upward pressure it’s putting on prices in several parts of the country.”

The South saw a decline in closings last month that was largely attributed to the after-effects from Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. Home sales likely will be impacted for the rest of the year in Houston and in the most severely affected areas in Florida after Hurricane Irma. “Nearly all of the lost activity will likely show up in 2018,” Yun says.

The following are some key housing indicators from NAR’s latest report:

  • Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in August was $253,500, up 5.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of August dropped 2.1 percent to 1.88 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 6.5 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.5 months a year ago.
  • Days on the market: Fifty-one percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically stayed on the market for 30 days in August, down from 36 days a year ago.
  • All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 20 percent of transactions in August, down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of cash sales. Investors purchased 15 percent of homes in August, up from 12 percent a year ago.
  • Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 4 percent of sales in August, slipping from 5 percent a year ago. Broken out, 3 percent of sales in August were foreclosures, and 1 percent were short sales.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online; Daily Real Estate News 092017

Greater Nashville August Home Sales Strengthen; Condominiums Set Record Median Price

Greater Nashville August Home Sales Strengthen; Condominiums Set Record Median Price
Press Release by the Greater Nashville REALTORS® | September 7, 2017

House 1018NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2017) – There were 3,883 closings reported for the month of August, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This represents an increase of 3.8 percent over the 3,741 closings reported for August 2016.

Year-to-date closings total 27,248. That is a 5.2 percent increase compared to the 25,898 closings reported through August 2016.

“2017 has proven to be a remarkable and record-setting year in the real estate industry,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Scott Troxel. “August continued the trend of rising sales, being up three percent over last August. In fact, this is the best month of August we have had in this region in over a decade.

“August was a particularly notable month for condominiums. The condo market experienced its highest median price on record at $207,061. As a whole, the first-time buyer price range, which includes many condominiums, is particularly sparse in terms of inventory, so the rise in median price is understandable. We look expectantly to the building of new units and current owners listing their properties as a way to alleviate some of the strain many first-time buyers are experiencing in the market.”

There were 3,939 properties under contract at the end of the month, compared to the 3,447 properties under contract at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 25 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during August was $285,000 and for a condominium, it was $207,061. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $253,000 and $189,900, respectively.

Active inventory at the end of August was 9,208, down from 10,270 in 2016.

“Renewing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is one of the highest priorities for the National Association of REALTORS®. Middle Tennessee is all too familiar with what flooding can do to an area, and Hurricane Harvey certainly shifted the country’s focus to the impact and devastation a water and weather event can cause,” said Troxel. “This type of natural disaster is another blow to a national market already struggling to provide housing for all those who want it. Greater Nashville REALTORS® proudly financially supported both NAR’s REALTORS® Relief Foundation and the Texas REALTORS® Relief Fund who are helping to provide shelter for the many who have lost it.”

### 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 090717

Kenneth Bargers REALTOR® License 318311  |  Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular  •  (615) 915-5901 facsimile  •  kb@bargers-solutions.com email
bargers-solutions.com web  •  kennethbargers.com blog  •  Search Properties
(615) 371-2474 office  •  (615) 371-2475 facsimile  •  2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address
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