Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing-home price at 7.1%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Insights Report, reveals that national home prices have increased by 6.9% year-over-year.
The CoreLogic report broke down appreciation even further into four different price categories:
Lower Priced Homes: priced at 75% or less of the median
Low-to-Middle Priced Homes: priced between 75-100% of the median
Middle-to-Moderate Priced Homes: priced between 100-125% of the median
High Price Homes: priced greater than 125% of the median
Here is how each category did in 2016:
The lower priced homes (which are more in demand) appreciated at greater rates than the homes at the upper ends of the spectrum.
The inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market was recently reported to be at a 3.6-month supply according to the National Association of RealtorslatestExisting Home Sales Report. Inventory is now 7.1% lower than this time last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year drops.
Historically, inventory must reach a 6-month supply for a normal market where home prices appreciate with inflation. Anything less than a 6-month supply is a sellers’ market, where the demand for houses outpaces supply and prices go up.
As you can see from the chart below, the United States has been in a sellers’ market since August 2012, but last month’s numbers reached a new low.
Recently Truliarevealed that not only is there a shortage of homes on the market in general, but the homes that are available for sale are not meeting the needs of the buyers that are searching.
Homes are generally bucketed into three groups by price range: starter, trade-up, and premium.
Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”
The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.
Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories. Ninety-two of the top 100 metros have a shortage in trade-up inventory.
Premium homebuyers have the best chance of less competition and a surplus of listings in their price range with an 11-point surplus, leading to more of a buyer’s market.
“It leaves Americans who are in the market for a home increasingly chasing too fewer options in lower price ranges, and sellers of premium homes more likely to be left waiting longer for a buyer.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist doesn’t see an end to this coming any time soon:
“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.”
Real estate is local. If you are thinking about buying OR selling this spring, let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in your area.
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.
This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.
Though you may have missed getting the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.
Every homeowner wants to make sure they get the best price when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In reality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for their house (see chart below).
Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
Realtor.com gives this advice:
“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This, too, may seem counterintuitive, as the seller likely believes that he or she will net more money if they don’t have to pay a real estate commission. With that being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
Research posted by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:
“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $185,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $163,800. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $245,000 – nearly $60,000 more for the typical home sale.”
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the price you get for your house.
In many areas of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers looking to purchase their dream homes. Experts have long proposed that a ramp-up in new, single-family home construction would be one of the many ways to overcome this inventory shortage.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo, housing market confidence amongst builders reached an 11-year high last month.
What Does High Confidence Mean for the Housing Market?
In a recent interview, Rob Dietz, Chief Economist and SVP for NAHB, put it this way:
“Higher market confidence will translate into more building and more inventory in 2017. We expect single-family construction to grow 10 percent next year.”
With 2016 marking the best year in real estate sales in over a decade, a 10 percent ramp-up in single-family construction will only aid in making 2017 an even greater year.
According to the latest US Census data, sales of newly constructed homes were up 3.7% over January 2016 as they reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. Dietz went on to comment:
“We can expect further growth in new home sales throughout the year, spurred on by employment gains and a rise in household formations. As the supply of existing homes remains tight, more consumers will turn to new construction.”
With the weather and the real estate market heating up this spring, there will be a surge of new construction coming to the market soon.
Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.
Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.
Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.
That hasn’t happened this year.
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2016 all fell in April, May or June.
Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.
If you are planning on selling your home in 2017, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market.
That headline might be a little aggressive. However, as the data on the 2017 housing market begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!
The February numbers are not in yet, but the January numbers were sensational. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“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. Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate…”
And CNBC says consumer confidence in the economy is fueling the market:
“U.S. home resales surged to a 10-year high in January as buyers shrugged off higher prices and mortgage rates, a sign of growing confidence in the economy.”
The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 7.1% from the same time last year.
With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together and discuss the inventory levels in your neighborhood to determine your next steps.