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: 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: 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
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Real Estate This Spring: The Early Bird Wins

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

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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KENNETH BARGERS REALTOR® License 318311 | Pilkerton Realtors License 257352
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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
bargers-solutions.com webkennethbargers.com blogSearch Properties
(615) 371-2474 office • (615) 371-2475 facsimile • 2 Cadillac Drive, Brentwood TN 37027 address