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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
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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
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

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
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(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address

Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High

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Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High
Article by Daily Real Estate News | February 22, 2017

homeforsale-500wExisting-home sales in January reached their fastest pace in nearly a decade, with all major regions except the Midwest posting gains last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January. That’s 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and marks the strongest month since February 2007, according to NAR.

“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as home buyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market in January

jan17existhomesalesHome prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in January was $228,900—a 7.1 percent increase from a year ago.

Inventories: Total housing inventories at the end of the month increased 2.4 percent to 1.69 million existing homes available for sale. That is still 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (with a 1.82 million supply). Unsold inventory is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 7 percent of all sales last month, down from 9 percent a year ago. In January, 5 percent of sales were foreclosures and 2 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold at an average discount of 14 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted 10 percent.

All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 23 percent of transactions in January, down from 26 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the bulk of all-cash sales. They purchased 15 percent of homes in January, down from 17 percent a year ago.

Days on the market: Thirty-eight percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month. On average, sold properties spent 50 days on the market, down from 64 days a year ago. Short sales lingered on the market the longest, at a median of 108 days, while foreclosures sold in 51 days. Non-distressed homes spent a median of 49 days on the market.

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range,” Yun says. The REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score, a new measurement of homebuying activity created by NAR and realtor.com®, revealed that the combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices made active listings less affordable for households in more than half of all states last month.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 022217

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

Housing Starts Cool Off in January

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Housing Starts Cool Off in January
Article by Daily Real Estate News | February 17, 2017

Construction of New Home

Overall housing production declined in January after an unusually robust reading in the multifamily sector in December, but economists were unfazed. “As we move forward in 2017, we can expect the multifamily sector to continue to stabilize and single-family production to move forward at a gradual but consistent pace,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

Housing starts dropped 2.6 percent on a month-over-month basis in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.246 million units, primarily due to a 10.2 percent plunge in the multifamily sector, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Single-family starts, on the other hand, rose 1.9 percent month-over-month to 823,000 units.

“A settling of housing production is in line with what we are hearing from builders — that they are largely optimistic about current market conditions but still face supply-side headwinds and regulatory hurdles,” says Granger MacDonald, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.

Combined single- and multifamily housing production was on the rise in the Northeast and South in January. In the Northeast, housing production surged 55.4 percent last month and by 20 percent in the South. On the other hand, starts dropped by 41.3 percent in the West and by 17.9 percent in the Midwest, the Commerce Department reported.

Housing production is likely to pick up in the coming months. Issuance of construction permits — a gauge of future construction activity — increased 4.6 percent in January to 1.285 million units. But the bulk of that increase was due to a nearly 20 percent increase in multifamily permits to 477,000 units, the Commerce Department reported. Single-family permits, meanwhile, dropped 2.7 percent in January to 808,000 units.

The Northeast likely will continue to see some of the biggest increases in housing production. Regionally, housing permits increased by the highest amount in the Northeast, rising 29.6 percent in January, followed by a 9.9 percent gain in the South, and a 5.3 percent increase in the Midwest. The West was the only major region to see a decline, dropping 13.2 percent in January.

Source: National Association of Home Builders; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 021717

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

Home Prices Are Soaring to New Highs

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Home Prices Are Soaring to New Highs
Article by Daily Real Estate News | February 10, 2017

Home price appreciation picked up speed in the final three months of 2016, prompting the majority of metro areas to soar to new record highs with home prices, the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest quarterly report reveals. Of the 150 markets NAR has tracked since 2005, 52 percent – or 78 – now have a median sales price that is at or above its previous all-time high.

The fourth quarter of 2016 proved to be a strong one for home price appreciation. The median existing single-family home price rose in 89 percent of the measured markets. Thirty-one metro areas out of 178 saw double-digit gains.

“Buyer interest stayed elevated in most areas thanks to mortgage rates under 4 percent for most of the year and the creation of 1.7 million new jobs edging the job market closer to full employment,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “At the same time, the inability for supply to catch up with this demand drove prices higher and continued to put a tight affordability squeeze on those trying to reach the market.”

5priciestleastmarketsIn the fourth quarter, the national median existing single-family home price was $235,000 – up 5.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015 ($222,3000).

Inventories of homes for-sale remain tight. At the end of the fourth quarter, 1.65 million existing homes were available for sale, which is 6.3 percent below year ago levels and the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999.

“Depressed new and existing inventory conditions led to several of the largest metro areas seeing near or above double-digit appreciation, which has pushed home values to record highs in a slight majority of markets,” Yun says. “The exception for the most part is in the Northeast, where price growth is flatter because of healthier supply conditions.”

Nationwide, a boost in home prices and mortgage rates at the end of the year slightly weakened affordability compared to a year ago. That came despite a solid uptick in the national family median income.

To buy a single-family home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $51,017; they would need an income of $48,332 for a 10 percent down payment; and they would need an income of $42,962 for a 20 percent down payment, according to NAR.

“Even a pick-up in wage growth may be insufficient to compensate the impact of higher mortgage rates and home prices,” Yun says. “Increased homebuilding will be crucial to alleviate supply shortages and stave off the affordability hit.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 021017

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

20 Markets with Strongest Kickoff to 2017

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20 Markets with Strongest Kickoff to 2017
realtor.com | January 26, 2017

nashvillesky175x200The time it has taken for homes to sell nationwide in January has decreased at a rate of 4 percent compared to a year ago, despite record-high housing prices, according to realtor.com®’s latest housing report.

“We saw evidence of a stronger-than-normal off season starting last September and October due to pent-up demand and surging interest from first-time buyers,” says realtor.com® chief economist Jonathan Smoke. “The downside to this strong off season is that we have started 2017 with a new low volume of available homes for sale and a new high for prices.”

Listing inventories are down 11 percent in January compared to a year ago. Also, the median list price for the month is an estimated $250,000 — 10 percent higher than January 2015, realtor.com® notes. Nevertheless, “the threat of rates approaching multiyear highs in the months ahead is creating a sense of urgency [among buyers],” Smoke says.

The following are the top-performing markets this month:

  1. San Francisco
  2. San Jose
  3. Vallejo
  4. Dallas
  5. San Diego
  6. Sacramento
  7. Yuba City
  8. Denver
  9. Stockton
  10. Fresno
  11. Oxnard
  12. Columbus
  13. Colorado Springs
  14. Nashville
  15. Detroit
  16. Modesto
  17. Los Angeles
  18. Tampa
  19. Santa Rosa
  20. Fort Wayne

Source: “The 20 Hottest Markets for U.S. Real Estate in January 2017,” realtor.com® (Jan. 26, 2017); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 012617

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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