Nationally: Why Sales Fell Short at Year’s End

Nationally: Why Sales Fell Short at Year’s End
National Association of REALTORS®   article by Daily Real Estate News | January 24, 2018

Existing-home sales in 2017 surged to the best year for sales in 11 years, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

Total existing-home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 1.1 percent in 2017 to a 5.51 million sales pace. The sales pace surpassed 2016’s 5.45 million, which had been the highest pace since 2006.

However, the end-of-the-year sales numbers were overcast somewhat by a slower sales pace in December. Existing-home sales decreased 3.6 percent in December month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million.

“Existing sales concluded the year on a softer note, but they were guided higher these last 12 months by a multistreak of exceptional job growth, which ignited buyer demand,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “At the same time, market conditions were far from perfect. New listings struggled to keep up with what was sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the country. These two factors ultimately muted what should have been a stronger sales pace.”

Closings scaled back in most areas of the country in December due to affordability and inventory woes, Yun adds. “Affordability pressures persisted, and the pool of interested buyers at the end of the year significantly outweighed what was available for sale,” Yun says.

Market Snapshot for December

Here are some key highlights from NAR’s latest housing report:

  • Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $246,800, which is 5.8 percent higher than a year ago.
  • First-time buyers: First-time home purchasers comprised 32 percent of sales in December, up from 29 percent in November.
  • Days on the market: Forty-four percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month. Properties typically stayed on the market for 40 days in December, down from 52 days a year ago.
  • All-cash transactions: All-cash sales comprised 20 percent of transactions in December, which is down slightly from 21 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who make up the bulk of cash sales, accounted for 16 percent of the homes sold in December, up from 14 percent a year ago.
  • Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 5 percent of sales in December, down from 7 percent a year ago. Broken out, 4 percent of December’s sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.
  • Inventory: Total housing inventory fell 11.4 percent in December to 1.48 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory is now 10.3 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, which is the lowest level since NAR began tracking such data in 1999.

“The lack of supply over the past year has been eye-opening and is why, even with strong job creation pushing wages higher, home price gains—at 5.8 percent nationally in 2017—doubled the pace of income growth and were even swifter in several markets,” Yun explains.

180124EHS1

180124EHS2

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 012418

2017 Best Year on Record for Middle Tennessee Housing

2017 Best Year on Record for Middle Tennessee Housing
Greater Nashville REALTORS® Press Release, January 8, 2018

Nashville Houses 1000NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 8, 2018) – There were 3,246 closings during the month of December, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This is a 1 percent decrease from the 3,280 closings reported for the same period in 2016.

Fourth quarter closings were 9,690 for the Middle Tennessee area. That total is a 1.1 percent increase from the 9,582 closings during the fourth quarter of 2016.

Final numbers for 2017 indicate there were 40,482 homes sold in the region, breaking the 2006 record of 40,056 closings. Compared to the 38,954 closings in 2016, the total sales for 2017 were up 3.9 percent.

“2017 was a record-setting year in many ways for Middle Tennessee’s housing market,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Sher Powers. “From single month sales records to new highs in median price, buyers and sellers worked together to boost our market. All of this activity resulted in our region experiencing the best year on record for home sales.”

“Until now, 2006 had been the strongest year for real estate with 40,056 closings,” said Powers. “Despite uncertainty regarding tax reform and low inventory, buyers and sellers were determined to reach their real estate goals, whether that was through home ownership, real estate investment or any of the other avenues of real estate.”

There were 2,471 sales pending at the end of December, compared with 2,209 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 30 days.

The median price for a residential single-family home was $294,000, and for a condominium it was $209,450. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $266,408 and $180,000, respectively.

Inventory at the end of December was 9,011 down from 9,330 in December 2016.

“Though we know there will be challenges in the market this year, our market has a solid foundation,” said Powers. “For anyone looking to take action – buying, selling or leasing – options will be available. Making the choice to work with a REALTOR®, a real estate professional with market expertise, will be a competitive advantage for consumers.”

### 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 010818

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly This Week

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 22, 2017

rates122217

Average mortgage rates inched up, but the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remains below 4 percent and continues to offer home buyers and refinancers historically low rates.

“Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates have been bouncing around in a narrow 10 basis points range since October,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The U.S. average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased 1 basis point to 3.94 percent in this week’s survey. The majority of our survey was completed prior to the surge in long-term interest rates that followed the passage of the tax bill. If those rate increases stick, we’ll likely see higher mortgage rates in next week’s survey. But even with yesterday’s increase, the 10-year Treasury yield is down from a year ago, and 30-year fixed mortgage rates are 36 basis points below the level we saw in our survey last year at this time. Mortgage rates are low.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 21:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.93 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year-rates averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.38 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.36 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.52 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.39 percent, with an average 0.3 point, increasing from last week’s 3.36 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.32 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122217

NAR: Homes Selling Faster Than Ever

NAR: Homes Selling Faster Than Ever
National Association of REALTORS®   article by Daily Real Estate News | December 22, 2017

The time homes spent on the market hit an all-time low in 2017 at just three weeks, the National Association of REALTORS® reports. A low inventory of homes for sale mixed with strong buyer demand has helped to keep market times low from 2014 to 2017.

During the height of the housing boom from 2001 to 2005, homes sold within a month of being listed. But as the housing market began to slow in 2006, the median time jumped to six weeks, and then to 10 weeks by 2009.

Tight inventories and a lack of construction of homes has helped to keep homes selling faster in recent years, NAR notes.

NARgraphic

Source: “Drop in Time on Market to Sell a Home,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Dec. 21, 2017); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122217

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

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.

rates120717

“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