Nationally: More Markets Hitting Record-High Home Prices

Nationally: More Markets Hitting Record-High Home Prices
article by Daily Real Estate News

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It’s a good time to be a homeowner: Nearly two-thirds of housing markets across the country saw home prices at all-time highs in the fourth quarter of 2017, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday.

The national median existing single-family home price in the fourth quarter was $247,800, up 5.3 percent from a year ago. Ninety-two percent of the markets measured by NAR saw an uptick in single-family home prices. Twenty-six metros—or 15 percent—saw double-digit increases. Home prices are now at their all-time high in 64 percent of the markets NAR tracked.

“A majority of the country saw an upswing in buyer interest at the end of last year, which ultimately ended up putting even more strain on inventory levels and prices,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Remarkably, home prices have risen a cumulative 48 percent since 2011, yet during this same time frame, incomes are up only 15 percent. In the West region, where very healthy labor markets are driving demand, the gap is even wider.”

By Region Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales fared in the fourth quarter of 2017:

Northeast: Existing-home sales increased 10.1 percent in the fourth quarter but are 0.4 percent below levels a year ago. Median single-family home price: $268,100, a 4.2 percent increase from a year ago.

Midwest: Existing-home sales rose 6 percent in the fourth quarter and are 2.3 percent higher than a year ago. Median single-family home price: $193,800, up from 7.2 percent a year ago.

South: Existing-home sales increased 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter and are 1.8 percent higher than the fourth quarter of 2016. Median single-family home price: $221,600, up 5 percent from a year ago.

West: Existing-home sales reached an annualized rate of 1.23 million, which is unchanged from the third quarter. Sales were up just 0.3 percent from a year ago. Median single-family home price: $374,400, up 7.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2016.

The increase in home prices is “certainly great news for homeowners, and especially for those who were at one time in a negative equity situation,” Yun adds. “However, the shortage of new homes being built over the past decade is really burdening local markets and making homebuying less affordable.”

At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.48 million existing homes available for sale, which is 10.3 percent lower than a year ago.

“While tight supply is expected to keep home prices on an upward trajectory in most metro areas in 2018, both the uptick in mortgage rates and the impact of the new tax law on some high-cost markets could cause price growth to moderate nationally,” says Yun. “In areas where homebuilding has severely lagged job creation in recent years, it’s going to be a slow slog before there’s enough new construction to cool price appreciation to a pace that aligns more closely with incomes.”

The national family median income increased to $74,492 in the fourth quarter. To purchase a single-family home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $55,585; a 10 percent down payment would require an income of $52,659; and a 20 percent down payment would require a $46,808 income, NAR reports.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 021318

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.

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

Nationally: Contract Signings Post First Gains Since June

Nationally: Contract Signings Post First Gains Since June
National Association of REALTORS® | December 27, 2017

Pending home sales eked out a small increase in November on both a monthly and annualized basis. The increase was enough to make it the highest gain in contract signings since June as well, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

But will it last? Existing-home sales and price growth are expected to slow heading in 2018 due to the impact from altered tax benefits of homeownership affecting some high-cost areas, according to NAR.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings—inched up 0.2 percent month over month. NAR’s index reached a reading of 109.5 in November and is at its highest reading since June (110). The index is 0.8 percent higher than a year ago.

“The housing market is closing the year on a stronger note than earlier this summer, backed by solid job creation and an economy that has kicked into a higher gear,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However, new buyers coming into the market are finding out quickly that their options are limited and competition is robust. REALTORS® say many would-be buyers from earlier this year, stifled by tight supply and higher prices, are still trying to buy a home.”

Existing-home sales are up 5.8 percent—more than double wage growth. Inventories remain tight at a 3.4-month supply of homes on the market, which is the lowest since NAR began tracking in 1999.

“The strengthening economy, and expectation that more millennials will want to buy, serve as promising signs for solid homebuying demand next year, while also putting additional pressure on inventory levels and affordability,” Yun says. “Sales do have room for growth in most areas, but nationally, overall activity could be slightly negative. Markets with high home prices and property taxes will likely feel some impact from the reduced tax benefits of owning a home.”

Yun forecasts that existing-home sales will finish 2017 at around 5.54 million, which is an increase of 1.7 percent from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price for 2017 is expected to increase to around 6 percent.

Yun projects that in 2018, existing-home sales will see little change, declining just 0.4 percent to 5.52 million. He also forecasts that price growth will moderate to around 2 percent.

November PHS Infographic

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 122717

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: Home Sales Are Rising Despite Supply Woes

Nationally: Home Sales Are Rising Despite Supply Woes
National Association of REALTORS® article by Daily Real Estate News | November 21, 2017

October EHS InfographicExisting-home sales in October rose to the strongest pace since earlier this summer, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Tuesday.

Total existing-home sales—which comprise completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 2 percent month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million. Sales are now at the strongest pace since June’s 5.51 million.

However, sales remain 0.9 percent below a year ago, NAR reports. Continual supply shortages have led to fewer closings on an annual basis for the second consecutive month.

“Job growth in most of the country continues to carry on at a robust level and is starting to slowly push up wages, which is in turn giving households added assurance that now is a good time to buy a home,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year-ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.”

Lower sales are still evident in parts of Texas and Florida from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Yun notes. He predicts that sales will rebound to their pre-storm levels by the end of the year “as demand for buying in these areas was very strong before the storms.”

October Snapshot

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in October, according to NAR’s report:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $247,000, up 5.5 percent from a year ago.

Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of October dropped 3.2 percent to 1.80 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory is now 10.4 percent lower than a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.4 months a year ago.

All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 20 percent of sales in October, down from 22 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the biggest bulk of cash sales. They accounted for 13 percent of sales in October, unchanged from a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales accounted for 4 percent of sales in October, down from 5 percent a year ago. Broken out, foreclosures comprised 3 percent of sales and short sales made up 1 percent.

Days on the market: Forty-seven percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month. Properties, on average, stayed on the market for 34 days in October, down from 41 days a year ago.

“Listings—especially those in the affordable price range—continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago, and even quicker in many areas where healthy job markets are driving sustained demand for buying,” Yun says. “With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions through the winter.”

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 112117


Kenneth Bargers, REALTOR® License 318311 ♦ Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
(615) 512-9836 cellular ♦ (615) 371-2474 office
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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

Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High

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