Middle Tennessee Home Sales Begin Taking Shape for Spring

Middle Tennessee Home Sales Begin Taking Shape for Spring
Press Release by Greater Nashville REALTORS® | April 9, 2018

House 1040NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 9, 2018) – There were 3,446 home closings reported for the month of March, according to figures provided by Greater Nashville REALTORS®. This figure represents a .7 percent increase compared to the 3,420 closings in March 2017.

Data for the first quarter of 2018 showed 8,210 closings, down 1.5 percent from the 8,338 closings during the first quarter of 2017.

“March is the early start of the spring home buying and selling season, and it marked a turning point for sales in the region with our first increase in year-over-year sales this year,” said Greater Nashville REALTORS® President Sher Powers. “The data shows what is typical for this time of year, with increases in closings, price and inventory. The strong number of pending home sales indicates a solid season ahead for our market.”

There were 4,076 sales pending at the end of March, compared with 3,739 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 34 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during March was $297,915 and for a condominium it was $218,600. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $273,500 and $199,900, respectively.

Inventory at the end of March was 8,521, down slightly from 8,568 in March 2017.

“April is recognized nationally as Fair Housing Month. This year is even more significant as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. REALTORS® are long-standing proponents of equal opportunity in housing and will continue working to ensure quality housing is available for all,” said Powers.

••• 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 040918

Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly This Week

Mortgage Rates Ease Slightly This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 30, 2018

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 1 basis point to an average 4.44 percent this week, Freddie Mac reports.

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“Treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates modestly lower,” explains Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below 2.8 percent for the first time since early February of this year. The decline in Treasury yields comes as investors move into safer assets amid increased trade tensions. Following Treasury yields, mortgage rates fell slightly.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 29:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.44 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.45 percent average. Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.14 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.91 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.39 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.66 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 3.68 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 033018

Nationally: Contract Signings Start Spring Season on High Note

Nationally: Contract Signings Start Spring Season on High Note
National Association of REALTORS®
article by Daily Real Estate News | March 28, 2018

Pending home sales reversed course in February, increasing in most areas of the country even as a shortage of homes for sale and higher home prices struck many markets, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index—a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings—increased 3.1 percent month over month in February to a reading of 107.5. Despite the uptick, the index remains 4.1 percent below a year ago.

“Contract signings rebounded in most areas in February, but the gains were not targeted enough to keep up with last February’s level, which was the second highest over a decade (at 112.1),” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The expanding economy and healthy job market are generating sizable homebuyer demand, but the minuscule number of listings on the market and its adverse effect on affordability are squeezing buyers and suppressing overall activity.”

February-PHSYun says the top wild cards for the housing market in the coming months will be how both buyers and potential sellers adjust to the increase in mortgage rates and home prices. Besides higher borrowing costs, home prices nationwide also are up 5.9 percent so far in 2018, according to NAR. Some homeowners who currently have a low mortgage rate may grow even more reluctant to sell out of fears of having to buy another home at higher borrowing costs and higher home prices.

“Homeowners are already staying in their homes at an all-time high before selling, and any situation where they remain put even longer only exacerbates the nation’s inventory crunch,” Yun says. “Even if new-home construction starts pick up at a faster pace this year, as expected, existing sales will fail to break out if these record-low supply levels do not recover enough to meet demand.”

Contract signings last month rose by the largest amounts in the Northeast, up 10.3 percent month over month, but still below 5.1 percent a year ago. Yun cautions that the Northeast region will likely see some volatility in contracts at least through March, due to multiple winter storms over the last few weeks that have likely stalled some contract signings there.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032818

Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week

Mortgage Rates Barely Budge This Week
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 23, 2018

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After last week’s first rate drop of the year, mortgage rates showed little change this week—a welcome sign for the week’s kickoff to the spring home shopping season.

But home buyers and borrowers should expect several rate increases over the next few months, economists caution.

“The Federal Reserve raised interest rates [this week]—a much-anticipated move that comes as both U.S. and global economic fundamentals continue to strengthen,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point puts the federal funds rate at its highest level since 2008. The decision, while widely expected, sent the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury soaring.” (Read: Fed Raises Rates: What This Means for Mortgages)

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 1 basis point this week and averaged 4.45 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

“So far, U.S. housing markets remain resilient in the face of higher mortgage rates,” Kiefer notes. The National Association of REALTORS® reported earlier this week that existing-home sales in February increased 3 percent month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis and are up 1.1 percent from a year ago.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 22:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.45 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.44 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.91 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.90 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.44 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.68 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.67 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.24 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 032318

Mortgage Rates Post First Decline of 2018

Mortgage Rates Post First Decline of 2018
Freddie Mac   article by Daily Real Estate News | March 16, 2018

Following nine consecutive weeks of increases, borrowers finally got some relief this week with mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage posted its first week-over-week decrease of 2018.

“Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report indicated inflation may be cooling down; headline consumer price inflation was 2.2 percent year over year in February,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “Following this news, the 10-year Treasury fell slightly. Mortgage rates followed Treasurys and ended a nine-week surge. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell 2 basis points to 4.44 percent in this week’s survey, its first decline this year.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending March 15:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.44 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.46 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.30 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.67 percent, with an average 0.4 point, increasing from last week’s 3.63 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.28 percent.

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Source: Freddie Mac; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 031618

Selling Your Home – Tips and Guidelines for Prepping Closets

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Prepping the Closets
Kenneth Bargers | March 2018 Newsletter

Closet March2018 Image 1The closet — out-of-sight, out-of-mind in our every day living but for the house hunter you can be assured the doors will be opened and reviewed as available space is key to the next homeowner.

If you are selling your home, remember these guidelines to give the appearance of adequate space.

Editing – take this opportunity to remove items that are no longer wearable or in-style. If those bell-bottoms have not come back yet since the ’70’s – it is not going to happen! Consider donating to local charities to help those in need.

Organizing clothing racks – place shirts, pants, dresses/skirts on separate hanging racks.

Seasonal items – place in boxes/baskets and keep on top shelves

Floor – remove all items from the floor

Shoes – if you must have shoes on the floor – consider investing in shoe racks

Lighting – if you have closet lighting make sure the fixture is cleaned inside/out and lights are working properly

Space – the most import guideline is to show additional space for future use – regardless of clothing racks, shoe racks, shelving – give the appearance that the closet,, no matter how big or small, is more than adequate for storage.

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