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

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 Ring in New Year With a Dip

Mortgage Rates Ring in New Year With a Dip
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | January 5, 2018

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Borrowers kicked off 2018 with a mortgage rate drop. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now down a quarter of a percentage point from a year ago.

“Treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates down to start the year,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell four basis points from a week ago to 3.95 percent in the year’s first survey. Despite increases in short-term interest rates, long-term interest rates remain subdued.”

The spread between the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage is at the lowest since 2009, Kiefer says.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 4:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.95 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.99 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.20 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.38 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.44 percent average. A year ago, 15-year ARMs averaged 3.44 percent.
  • 5-year ARMs: averaged 3.45 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.47 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.33 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 010518

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

Nashville-Area Home Sales Up 6 Percent in November

Nashville-Area Home Sales Up 6 Percent in November
Article by Greater Nashville REALTORS®, Press Release 120717

House 1022NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 7, 2017) – There were 3,177 home closings reported for the month of November, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This figure is up 6.7 percent from the 2,978 closings reported for the same period last year.

Year-to-date closings for the Greater Nashville area were 37,236 at the end of November. That is an increase of 4.4 percent from the 35,674 closings, reported through November 2016.

“Sales are up 6.7 percent year-over-year. Typically, sales drop in the fall and days-on-market expand. October to November of 2017 saw that same pattern,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Scott Troxel.

“Sellers are more hesitant in putting their homes on the market during the holidays and colder months, and conversely, traffic from buyers also slows during this time. However, those who are in the market during the next few months, whether buying or selling, are serious about making a move in the market.

“Fewer properties on the market means less competition for sellers. When potential buyers are gift shopping more than they are home shopping, that also means less competition for determined buyers. If buying or selling real estate is a priority for you, now is a good time to move forward,” said Troxel.

There were 2,906 properties under contract at the end of the month, compared to the 2,591 properties under contract at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 29 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during November was $285,000 and for a condominium, it was $216,751. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $259,900 and $182,390, respectively.

Active inventory at the end of November was 9,454, down from 9,946 in 2016.

“Middle Tennessee is still on track to end 2017 with a record year for our housing market. The positive trends needed to sustain a healthy market – modest growth in sales and prices – continue to mark our region,” said Troxel.

### 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 120717


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