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
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Nationally: Home Sales Dip as Buyers Get ‘Tripped Up’

Nationally: Home Sales Dip as Buyers Get ‘Tripped Up’
National Association of REALTORS®    article by Daily Real Estate News | July 24, 2017

Low inventory slowed down home sales last month, as buyers faced fewer options and record-high real estate prices, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Monday.

Regional Snapshot  Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared across the country in June:
Northeast: Dropped 2.6 percent to an annual rate of 760,000 but are still 1.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $296,300, up 4.1 percent from a year ago.
Midwest: Increased 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.32 million. Median price: $213,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.
South: Fell 4.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.23 million. Median price: $231,300, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
West: Dropped 0.8 percent to an annual rate of 1.21 million but are still 2.5 percent above a year ago. Median price: $378,100, up 7.4 percent from a year ago.

Total existing-home sales, which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, fell 1.8 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million. Nevertheless, the pace of sales rose a modest 0.7 percent compared to a year ago.

“Closings were down in most of the country last month because interested buyers are being tripped up by supply that remains stuck at a meager level and price growth that’s straining their budget,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “The demand for buying a home is as strong as it has been since before the Great Recession. Listings in affordable price ranges continue to be scooped up rapidly, but the severe housing shortages inflicting many markets are keeping a large segment of would-be buyers on the sidelines.”

June2017 national stats

Here’s a closer look at some of the top housing indicators in June from NAR’s latest report:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $263,800, up 6.5 percent from a year ago. It’s now the highest median price on record.

Inventories: The supply of existing homes available for sale dropped 0.5 percent to 1.96 million units. That’s 7.1 percent lower than a year ago; unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace.

Days on the market: Fifty-four percent of sold homes were on the market less than a month. Properties took an average of 28 days to sell, down from a timeline of 34 days a year ago. Short sales spent the longest amount of time on the market at 102 days, foreclosures sold in 57 days, and nondistressed homes took a median of 27 days to sell.

All-cash sales: Cash transactions made up 18 percent of home sales, the lowest figure since 2009. Individual investors accounted for the biggest bulk of cash sales—13 percent—unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 4 percent of sales, which matches the lowest share recorded last September since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. Foreclosures comprised 3 percent of sales, while short sales made up 1 percent.

First-time buyers: First-timers accounted for 32 percent of sales, down from 33 percent a year ago. “It’s shaping up to be another year of below-average sales to first-time buyers despite a healthy economy that continues to create jobs,” Yun says. “Worsening supply and affordability conditions in many markets have unfortunately put a temporary hold on many aspiring buyers’ dreams of owning a home this year.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; Daily Real Estate News 072417

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Home Sales Zoom to Highest Pace in Decade

Home Sales Zoom to Highest Pace in Decade
Article by Daily Real Estate News | April 21, 2017

This spring’s housing mantra: Going, going, gone! “Severe” housing shortages are prompting existing homes to sell significantly faster this year, propelling home sales to the highest pace in more than a decade, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Friday.

Publication1Strong sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were behind most of the nationwide 4.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in March. The West was the only major region of the U.S. to see a modest decline in sales activity last month.

“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

Total existing-home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March. The sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago. Further, existing-home sales are now the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Here’s a closer look at some of the key indicators from NAR’s latest housing report, reflecting March housing numbers:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from a year ago when it averaged $221,400.

Days on the market: Properties stayed on the market for an average of 34 days in March, down significantly from 47 days a year ago. Short sales took the longest to sell at a median of 90 days in March; foreclosures sold in 52 days; and non-distressed homes took a median of 32 days—which is the shortest length of time since NAR began tracking such data in May 2011. Forty-eight percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 23 percent of sales in March, down from 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the biggest bulk of cash sales. They purchased 15 percent of homes in March, up from 14 percent a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 6 percent of existing-home sales in March, down from 8 percent a year ago. Broken out, 5 percent of sales in March were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 16 percent below market value; short sales were discounted an average of 14 percent.

Inventories: Housing inventory at the end of March rose 5.8 percent to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory is 6.6 percent lower than a year ago (1.96 million). Unsold inventory is now at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year,” Yun says.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 042117

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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Where Homes Sold the Fastest This Winter

Where Homes Sold the Fastest This Winter
National Association of REALTORS® | January 25, 2017

nashvilleskyline175x233Homes across the country are selling faster than they were a year ago. Nationwide, properties stayed on the market for an average of 52 days in December, down from a 58-day average a year ago, the National Association of REALTORS® reported in its latest housing report Tuesday. Thirty-seven percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month.

The following five metro areas had listings that stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in December, according to inventory data from realtor.com®:

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California: 49 days
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California: 50 days
  3. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee: 50 days
  4. Billings, Montana: 51 days
  5. Hanford-Corcoran, California: 51 days

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 012517

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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2016 Marked Best Year for Sales in a Decade

2016 Marked Best Year for Sales in a Decade
Article by Daily Real Estate News | January 24, 2017

Existing-home sales finished out 2016 as the best year since the housing boom days, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday.

Total existing-home sales – which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – closed 2016 at 5.45 million sales, surpassing 2015 (5.25 million). It was the highest total for existing-home sales since 2006 (6.48 million), NAR reported.

“Solid job creation throughout 2016 and exceptionally low mortgage rates translated into a good year for the housing market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, higher mortgage rates and home prices combined with record low inventory levels stunted sales in much of the country in December.

The final month of 2016 saw existing-home sales drop 2.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million, NAR reported. Sales in December were now only 0.7 percent higher than a year ago. Low housing supplies continue to press on the market.

“While a lack of listings and fast rising home prices was a headwind all year, the surge in rates since early November ultimately caught some prospective buyers off guard and dimmed their appetite or ability to buy a home as 2016 came to an end,” Yun says.

5 Key Stats From December’s Housing Report

Here’s a closer look at some key indicators from NAR’s December existing-home sales report.

byregiondec2016Home prices: Median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $232,200, up 4 percent from a year ago ($223,200).

Days on the market: Thirty-seven percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month. Properties, on average, stayed on the market for 52 days in December, up from 43 days in November but down from a year ago (58 days). Non-distressed homes took an average of 50 days to sell while short sales sales took the longest at a median of 97 days on the market in December. Foreclosures sold in 53 days, on average.

Cash sales: All-cash sales comprised 21 percent of transactions in December, down from 24 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the bulk of cash sales. They accounted for 15 percent of homes purchased in December, unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales ticked up to 7 percent in December, up from 6 percent in November. Still, distressed sales are down from 8 percent a year ago. Foreclosures made up 5 percent of sales in December while short sales comprised 2 percent of sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 20 percent below market value in December while short sales were discounted 10 percent.

Inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 10.8 percent to 1.65 million existing homes available for sale — the lowest level since NAR began tracking the supply of all housing types in 1999. Inventory is now 6.3 percent lower than a year ago. It is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Housing affordability for both buying and renting remains a pressing concern because of another year of insufficient home construction,” says Yun. “Given current population and economic growth trends, housing starts should be in the range of 1.5 million to 1.6 million completions and not stuck at recessionary levels. More needs to be done to address the regulatory and cost burdens preventing builders from ramping up production.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 012417

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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Home Sales Soften on Inventory, Pricing Woes

Home Sales Soften on Inventory, Pricing Woes
Article by Daily Real Estate News | September 22, 2016

6741 Christiansted 1Existing-home sales softened in August, the second consecutive month of declines despite mortgage rates hovering near record lows. Not enough homes for sale and higher home prices are curtailing sales, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Thursday. The Northeast – where inventory levels are more balanced – was the only region in the U.S. to see a bump up in closings in August.

“Hopes of a meaningful sales breakthrough as a result of this summer’s historically low mortgage rates failed to materialize because supply and affordability restrictions continue to keep too many would-be buyers on the sidelines,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.44 percent in August, remaining at its lowest rate since January 2013, according to Freddie Mac.

Existing-home sales – which are completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops – dropped 0.9 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.33 million, according to NAR’s report. Sales are now at the second lowest pace of the year. Still, sales are 0.8 percent higher than a year ago, (when sales stood at 5.29 million).

“Healthy labor markets in most of the country should be creating a sustained demand for home purchases,” Yun says. “However, there’s no question that after peaking in June, sales in a majority of the country have inched backwards because inventory isn’t picking up to tame price growth and replace what’s being quickly sold.”

regionalaugust20165 Key Indicators From August’s Report

Here are a few key housing numbers from NAR’s latest housing report:

  1. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $240,200 in August, up 5.1 percent from a year ago.
  2. Days on the market: Forty-six percent of homes sold in less than a month in August. Properties stayed on the market for a median of 36 days last month, down from 47 days a year ago. Short sales tended to stay on the market the longest at a median of 144 days; foreclosures sold in 42 days; and non-distressed homes averaged 35 days.
  3. All-cash sales: Twenty-two percent of all transactions were from all-cash sales in August, unchanged from a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of cash sales. Individual investors purchased 13 percent of homes in August, up from 12 percent a year ago.
  4. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 5 percent of sales in August, the lowest since NAR began tracking such data in October 2008. A year ago, distressed sales made up 7 percent of sales. In August, 4 percent of sales were from foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures tended to sell for an average discount of 12 percent below market value in August, while short sales were discounted 14 percent.
  5. Inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of last month dropped 3.3 percent to 2.04 million existing homes available for sale. That represents a 10.1 percent decrease from a year ago, in which 2.27 million homes were available for sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.

“It’s very concerning to see that inventory conditions not only show no signs of improving but have actually worsened in recent months from their already suppressed levels a year ago,” Yun says. “While recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that household incomes rose strongly last year, home prices are still outpacing incomes in many metro areas because of the persistent shortage of new and existing homes for sale. Without more supply, the U.S. home ownership rate will remain near 50-year lows.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 092216

KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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