For the first time since at
least World War II, mortgage rates and the unemployment rate are below
4-percent. As a result, some economists are predicting home prices will
increase at a faster pace over the next 12 months than they have in 2019.
Corelogic says home prices
will likely increase by 5.8% through August 2020. That’s a faster pace than the
3.8% seen in August of this year.
First-time homebuyers, Generation
Z homebuyers and single female homebuyers are taking full advantage of this
46-percent of all loans Freddie
Mac has purchased this year came from first-time homebuyers, while there has
been a 200% and 500% increase in Gen Z and single female homebuyers,
* Labor Costs Likely to Push Home Prices Higher. In an article in CoreLogic’s Insights blog, Nothaft quotes National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) figures that say about 60 percent of a new home’s sales price reflects the construction costs of the home. The major components of building costs are those associated with purchasing and preparing a lot, acquiring permits and inspections, hiring labor and buying materials. There was a significant price run-up in the two major components of framing, lumber and steel. Labor costs are another matter. Much has been written about the shortage of construction labor. Many workers left the trades during the Great Recession and the industry has had trouble luring young people and especially young women into the field. Vacancies as a percent of construction job are now at the highest level in 18 years and compensation has risen accordingly. It is up 3 percent this year, about double the rate of inflation. Worker retention is an issue as well. Nothaft says rising land and labor costs will probably offset any savings builders might realize from lower lumber prices and overall costs for a new home will continue to rise.
* Mortgage Rates Drop Again – And First-Time Homebuyers Take Full Advantage. Mortgage rates dropped again, and according to Freddie Mac, the downward spiral has first-time buyers gaining ground. In fact, of all the loans Freddie Mac has purchased in 2019, 46% came from first-time homebuyers – a two-decade high for the company. According to representatives at online mortgage provider Better.com, the lender has seen a “huge uptick” in first-time homebuyers as well. There’s also been a 200% increase in Generation Z homebuyers (born 1997-2012) and a 500% increase in single female homebuyers aged 30-40. As Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, reported yesterday, “The fifty-year low in the unemployment rate, combined with low mortgage rates, has led to increased homebuyer demand this year. Much of this strength is coming from entry-level buyers.”
* Where Have All the Affordable Homes Gone? Housing affordability has been a growing concern in the housing ecosystem, but why is it such a problem? While home prices have been steadily rising for many years, Nothaft observed, “We find that lower-priced homes have appreciated much, much more than higher-priced homes.” Since May 2018, prices of homes more than 25% above the median have risen 3%, while homes in the lowest tier, those more than 25% below the median, have risen almost 5.5%. As demand rises on affordable homes, the supply has become increasingly constrained. Nothaft noted, “New construction, while picking up gradually over the last few years, is still well below what it was prior to the housing boom.” The current inventory for homes is tightest in the lowest price tiers, particularly in those between 50 and 100 percent of the median home price. On the affordable housing shortage, Nothaft concluded, “I don’t see that changing any time soon unless we find ways to reduce the cost of producing or delivering lower-priced homes into the marketplace and reducing some of the regulatory costs.” In the meantime, with demand rising on an increasingly scarce product, we can expect prices to continue rising on affordable homes for the foreseeable future.
For most of us, our home is the biggest investment we will ever make. When it comes time to sell, treating your home as such will help you get a bigger return on your investment. You want it to look it’s very best when potential buyers come through or view your photos online. First impressions matter, which is where home staging comes in. Home staging emphasizes its strengths and minimizes its weaknesses. This is important for your marketing photos and when potential buyers are trying to visualize a life there.
Here are a few tips to help you get your home ready to sell.
One of the first things you want to do is declutter. Clutter
takes up space and space is what sells. Make your home look bigger and more
desirable by editing down to just the basics.
De-personalizing goes hand-in-hand with decluttering. You want
potential buyers to be able to picture their things in the house. Go
room-to-room and clear off the countertops, desk tops and shelves of all
personal items. This includes your family photos. In this case, less is
Cleaning goes a long way to improve the look and feel of your
investment. A deep clean before you list the home is a good idea, but then set
aside time each week to give the floors and bathrooms a once over.
Spackle and Paint
Now that your home is decluttered, de-personalized and clean, it’s
a good time to spackle and paint. Filling in the holes and applying a fresh
coat of paint will freshen the look of the house. Using lighter colors like
white or beige will make the room feel bigger.
The National Association of REALTORS took a look at the value staging a home brings to the selling process, the return on investment or ROI. Here is what it determined.
83% of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it
easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home.
44% of buyers’ agents say that staging a home
increases the dollar value offered
53% of sellers’ agents say that staging a home
decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market
95% of agents recommend that sellers declutter
their home before putting it on the market.
When it comes to the return on investment, a staged home will sell faster and for more money than a non-staged home. The results of a recent Coldwell Banker survey show staged homes sell for more than 6% above the asking price. For a $200,000 listing, that’s $12,000 extra in the seller’s pockets.
Mortgage Rates May Tumble to Record 3.3% by 2019’s End. Fixed mortgage rates could fall to 3.3% by the end of the year as the nation’s economy slows, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. That would put the rate just a smidge below the 3.31% seen in November of 2012 – the lowest average for a 30-year fixed mortgage in Freddie Mac data going back to 1971. “But lower rates may not help with affordability because home prices are re-accelerating higher, easily above the latest wage growth. Housing inventory has recently stopped rising, putting upward pressure on home prices of moderately priced homes,” Yun said. “But there is still a time to get the economy into a higher gear with increased home building of affordable homes and lessening trade tensions.”
* A Smaller Share of Prospective Buyers is Actively Looking For a Home. A national poll in the second quarter of 2019 revealed that 12% of adults are thinking about buying a home in the next 12 months. Of that group, 41% are already actively engaged in the process of finding a home to purchase, which is a smaller share than a year earlier, when 50% of prospective buyers were engaged in the search process. This finding suggests that the lower mortgage rate environment of 2019 has not had the expected effect of nudging more people to start looking for a home to buy. Across generations, about 40% of Millennials, Gen X’ers, and Boomer buyers have moved beyond just planning and begun the home search, compared to only 21% of Senior buyers. Geographically, prospective buyers in the Northeast are the most likely to be actively looking for a home (47%), followed by those in the West (43%), and those in the Midwest and South (both 39%). How long are buyers who are actively engaged in the search process hunting for a home? In the second quarter of 2019, 45% had been at it for less than 3 months while the other 55% had been trying to find the right home for 3 months or longer. Those shares were essentially unchanged from a year earlier, when they stood at 46% and 54%, respectively.
* Residential Construction Spending Drops Further Off 2018 Pace. Construction spending inched up by 0.1 percent in July, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.289 trillion compared to $1.288 trillion in June. The July figure is 2.7 percent lower than the rate of spending in July 2018. On an unadjusted basis, spending for the month was $119.214 billion and for the year-to-date (YTD) stands at $733.782 billion, down 2.1 percent from the $749.888 billion spent during the first seven months of 2018. Private sector spending on residential spending was at an annual rate of $506.743 billion compared to $503.515 billion in June, an increase of 0.6 percent but down 6.6 percent from the prior July. Single family construction was at a rate of $268.138 billion a 1.4 percent month-over-month gain but a decrease of 8.5 percent on an annual basis. For the YTD, total residential spending has totaled $289.891 billion, $150.219 billion of it on single-family houses. During the same period in 2018 the respective totals were $316.929 billion and $164.529 billion. These represent declines of 8.5 and 8.7 percent.
If a new Federal rule is approved it will have a sizeable impact on the real estate market. Federal regulators are close to approving a proposal to increase the appraisal threshold on residential home sales. What’s that mean for you? It means that certain home sales, of $400,000 and under, may not require an appraisal. Since 1994 the appraisal requirement has been set at $250,000.
The proposal is currently awaiting Fed approval to move forward. It has been approved by both the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.) and the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), so experts believe it’s only a matter of time before the Fed approves the rule, it’s entered into the Federal Register and enacted as the law of the land.
Now, it’s important to mention this does not apply to ALL loans. New rules do NOT apply to loans that are wholly or partially insured or guaranteed by, or eligible for sale to, a government agency or government sponsored agency. That means loans sold to or guaranteed by the FHA, HUD, the VA or Fannie and Freddie Mac would still require an appraisal, per agency rules. However, the new rule would apply to approximately 40% of home sales.
The second quarter of the year marked a healthy springtime market for Eugene and Southern Oregon. New listings and
active listings surged, the average for days on market narrowed in most cities and even if closed transactions inched
downward, pending transactions for the second quarter showed signs of seasonal promise.
DAYS ON MARKET
Average days on market in the second quarter of 2019 was 42 days, a 6.7% decrease from year-ago figures. In Sweet
Home, days on market surged 44% to 46 days, while year-over-year averages fell in Albany, Lebanon and Roseburg.
CLOSED TRANSACTIONS AND PENDING SALES
The number of closed units dropped 6% this quarter from 2018. Pending sales fared better this quarter, jumping 18.4%
from the same time period in 2018. Closed transactions fell year-over-year in Albany, Roseburg Sweet Home and Leb-
anon, with the latter city experiencing a 21% dip in closed sales from year-ago figures. Pending sales fared better this
quarter, jumping 18.4% from the same time period in 2018.
AVERAGE SALES PRICE
Average sales price posted a moderate first quarter, up 2.6% year-over-year in the region to $300,783. Prices for homes in
Corvallis were up 10% this quarter, landing at $408,960, the highest average price in the region.
As with most markets this quarter, Eugene and Southern Oregon saw a boost in both new and active listings. New listings soared year-over-year by 63.5% to end the quarter at 1,442.
It’s simple math… the more people who see your listing, the greater the chances for a fair and timely sale of your property.
At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we have one of the industry’s most comprehensive strategies for ensuring maximum exposure of a property to buyers searching in your area.
We also keep our sellers informed about current market trends by providing them with an overview of the competitive selling landscape. This helps you, the seller, make strategic pricing decisions to quickly sell your home at an agreeable price.
Here is what you get with our Seller Advantage:
Listing Presentation Report
Our Seller Advantage program gives you the information and decision-making tools throughout the home sale process. Here’s how… Our Listing Presentation Report will show you exactly how many potential buyers are searching a specific neighborhood for homes similar to yours.
Listing Activity Report
Then, once you’ve listed with me, a Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices network agent, you will get our Listing Activity Report. This details how many times your home has appeared in potential buyers’ search results and how many times your listing has been viewed.
Market Activity Report
Last, but not least, we offer a market activity report. Perhaps your not ready to sell, but would like a sense of buyer interest in your neighborhood and in homes like yours. The Market Activity Report will show you just how many people are searching in your neighborhood for a home like yours. You’ll gain specific market updates including new listings, price changes and status changes.
Such comprehensive information, combined with the global reach that only Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices can offer, will give you unmatched advantages when you list and sell your home.
Contact me to set up your free home evaluation now. Let me help you get the most money for your investment!