Monday, January 8, 2018

Month-Over-Month Home Sales Increase Despite Low Supply

Unemployment levels are down and wages are slowly starting to rise, which is making home ownership an affordable reality for more potential buyers. But the ongoing housing inventory shortage is leading to higher home prices, making it difficult for those potential buyers to afford their dream homes.

Low inventory isn’t just leading to an increase in home prices, though, it’s also putting downward pressure on existing-home sales. Supply shortages resulted in a decline in year-over-year closings for the second straight month.

Existing-home sales reached 5.51 million in October, down 0.9 percent from a year ago. However, this is the strongest month-over-month sales pace since June. What’s more, all four regions of the country recorded increases in sales activity in October.

Fewer For Sale Signs
By the end of October, therewere 1.8 million existing homes on the market; this is a drop of 3.2 percent from a month ago and a staggering 10.4 percent from a year ago. For 29 months in a row, inventory levels have fallen year over year. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory would supply the housing market for a meager 3.9 months. In comparison, a year ago, unsold inventory represented a 4.4-month supply.

Fast Sales
An average property spent 34 days on the market in October. This time is unchanged from a month ago and seven days less than October 2016. Of all the homes sold in October, 47 percent were sold in less than a month. In areas with a healthy job market, homes were being sold at an even quicker pace. And all listings, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for National Association of Realtors, “continue to go under contract typically a week faster than a year ago. With the seasonal decline in inventory beginning to occur in most markets, prospective buyers will likely continue to see competitive conditions throughout the winter.”

Regional Home Sales

Northeast - Existing-home sales annual rate of 740,000; an increase of 4.2 percent from September 2017 and unchanged from October 2016.

Midwest - Existing-home sales annual rate of 1.31 million; a slight increase of 0.8 percent from September 2017 and a decrease of 1.5 percent from October 2016.

South - Existing-home sales annual rate of 2.16 million; an increase of 1.9 percent from September 2017 and a decrease of 1.8 percent from October 2016.

West - Existing-home sales annual rate of 1.27 million; an increase of 2.4 percent from September 2017 and 0.8 percent from October 2016.
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Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.
We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty

Mary Platt
Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Debunking Down-Payment Myths

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) describes difficulties with down payments as “what many consider the greatest barrier to homeownership.” And according to the NAR, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding down payments. Perhaps the misconceptions shouldn’t be all that surprising, though. Following the market crash of a decade ago, no down-payment home loans disappeared. Potential home buyers began accepting that they’d have to put 20 percent down. As the economy and housing market rebounded, lenders weren’t as tightfisted. Minimum credit scores to qualify for a mortgage began dropping. And so did down-payment requirements. Many people don’t have to put 20 percent down to buy a home. In fact, statistics show that the majority of home buyers don’t do this. The NAR lists the 20-percent fallacy among its four biggest myths surrounding down payments. Here are the other three DOWN-PAYMENT MYTHS:

1. Low down-payment programs are only for first-time buyers. There are first-time buyer incentives that offer help in several areas, including down payments. And all the promotion and pushing of first-time buyer programs may lead some to believe that buyers of their second or third homes don’t qualify for down-payment assistance when, in fact, they do.

2. It’s difficult to qualify for down-payment assistance. Again, there are programs for lower-income home buyers that help them with a home purchase. But there are down-payment assistance programs for even those who make over the local median income.

3. You can’t use grants, gifts, or loans. Some of these rules vary from lender to lender, but plenty of lenders allow home buyers to use gifts from family members and grants toward a down payment. Also starting to become more popular are no-interest loans that help toward down-payment funds and aren’t due until the house is sold. There are also online resources that help explain down-payment assistance. The housing department in each state shares information online about loan and grant programs that are available. The Federal Housing Administration and Department of Housing and Urban Development sites are also worth checking out.
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Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you with all your real estate needs.
We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty

Mary Platt
Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Perks of Selling or Buying a House over the Holiday Season

Spring is often considered the best time of year to sell. Families can find their dream house, make their purchase, and move in all before the new school year starts. But there are perks for home buyers and sellers who decide to list at the end of the year.

Perks for Sellers

Since most sellers wait until spring to list their home, there are typically fewer homes available for sale over the winter holidays, which means less competition. If sellers price their home competitively and stage it right, they can make their house stand out from the sparse crowd, catching the attention of more buyers.

When You’re Selling . . .

You can still celebrate the holidays but keep it simple. Instead of hosting a large party, invite a few family members and friends for a quiet dinner in, or head to a restaurant to keep your kitchen tidy and open-house ready. When decorating, remember that not everyone celebrates the same holidays in the same way. Stick to more neutral decorations that transcend any religious event like candles and winter flowers such as paper whites and poinsettias. Whatever decorations you use, keep them to a minimum so your house remains the center of attention.

Perks for Buyers

Despite the limited selection, buyers can also benefit from purchasing over the winter holiday season. Often a homeowner will put their house on the market in winter because they can’t or won’t wait until spring―that is, they need an immediate sale. Buyers who purchase during the winter holidays might find sellers more willing to negotiate on price or contract terms.

When You’re Buying . . .

Buying a house is stressful enough without the added pressure of celebrating a family holiday at the same time. To enjoy the season, prepare for your purchase in advance. Before you start your home search, figure out what type of home you want and where it should be located. Decide on a budget and get pre-approved for a mortgage. And don’t RSVP “yes” to every party invitation you receive; you will need to keep some time available for viewing homes with your agent. 
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Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you through all your real estate questions and concerns.  We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty

Mary Platt
Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Buyer Demand Still High, but Supply Running Out

Many Americans mistakenly believe that owning a home is beyond their means. Both homeowners and renters have the misconception that buyers need a down payment of at least 20 percent before they can qualify for a mortgage and purchase a home. But this is a home-buying myth, according to William E. Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), who said, “Every month this year, roughly 60 percent of buyers who financed their purchase with a mortgage made a down payment that was 6 percent or less.” Buyers with steady jobs and reasonable debt loads can find mortgage options that suit their current level of savings.

Homes Selling Quickly

Those who qualify for a mortgage may have a difficult time finding a property to purchase, though. In July, an average property remained on the market for 30 days; this is two days longer than June’s pace but an impressive six days shorter than July 2016. Of all the homes on the market in July, 51 percent of them sold in less than one month. What’s more, for the past four months the average listing went under contract in under a month.

First-Time Buyers

The lack of supply will lead to more competition in the market this fall. This is not welcome news to first-time buyers; this group accounted for 33 percent of all housing market activity in July. This is up 1 percent from both a month ago and a year ago. For all of 2016, first-time buyers represented 35 percent of the market.

Some Gains, Some Losses

Although the demand for homes is high among first- time and veteran buyers alike, the lack of inventory is putting pressure on the sales pace. Existing-home sales increased in the South and West in July, but these gains were tempered by drops in the Northeast and Midwest. Overall, home sales fell 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million, the lowest rate of the year to date; however, the sales pace is still 2.1 percent higher than July 2016. 
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Silver Alliance Realty is here to help you through all your real estate questions and concerns.  We make buying and selling your home SIMPLE!

Contact Silver Alliance Realty

Mary Platt
Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Check These Fall Maintenance Items Off Your To-Do List

Now that summer is gone and fall is here, it’s time to start your autumn to-do list. Here are some great fall projects:

Plant Beautiful Fall Blooms
Late summer and early autumn are perfect times to plant late-blooming flowers. Whether you accent
your front porch with hanging baskets or line your front walkway with colorful blooms, you can
enjoy gardening well into the fall season. 

Improve Your Outdoor Lighting
Autumn means longer nights and shorter days and is an ideal time for a lighting upgrade. If you have been meaning to add a spotlight above the front door, or if you long for a stone pathway lined with low-maintenance solar lights, fall is the perfect time to complete these projects.

Touch Up Your Exterior Paint
You do not have to repaint your home’s exterior to give your property the protection it needs. Just check for peeling and chipping paint and do your own small touch-ups. A few timely touch-ups now will protect your home and extend the life of the original paint job.

Clean Out Your Gutters
Debris can collect in gutters, which keeps rainwater from drain- ing properly. Once the water backs up, it can run onto the roof and down the siding, causing damage to the home. Clearing the gutters and redirecting water downspout extensions so water drains at least three to four feet away from the foundation can keep these things from happening. If you don’t feel comfortable on a tall ladder, you can hire a professional to clean and check the gutters.

Turn Your Ceiling Fans to Run Clockwise
In the summer, your ceiling fans are such a wonderful way to help keep your home cool. But did you know ceiling fans are also a great way to enjoy warmer air when the days get cooler? Run- ning your ceiling fans clockwise creates an updraft while simultaneously pushing down warm air from the ceiling.

Swap Out Your Furnace Filter
Fall is the perfect time to give your heating system a tune-up, and changing out the filters is a good place to start. You may also want to schedule a professional inspection and cleaning to keep your furnace running at peak efficiency all season long.

Clues in the Attic: Fall Roof Checkups Made Easy

"Roofs actually create an insulated barrier that helps trap heat inside, and most attic spaces are located right below them,” says Jason Joplin, program manager of the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence, “That makes them perfect for spotting potential problem areas and damage without worrying about falling off a ladder."

Here’s What to Look for While up in the Attic:
• Water Leaks: After a rainstorm, shine a flashlight into the attic to check not only for dripping water and condensation but also for water stains on the ceiling, walls, and floors. All signal that H2O is finding its way beneath your roof’s shingles or behind its flashings.

• Ventilation: “Think of the attic as the lungs of the house,” advises Joplin. “It has to be able to breathe in order to function properly.” Which is to say, vents stuffed with debris need to be cleared.

• Animal Damage: Call a pest-control pro if you spot any of these telltale signs: nests, droppings, and gnawed wood, wires, or insulations. 
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Contact Silver Alliance Realty

Mary Platt
Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How to Know If a House Is a Good Investment

You want to find a house that is not only a comfortable fit for your family, lifestyle, and budget but also, ideally, a solid invest- ment. When you purchase an investment-worthy home, you’ll have the option to rent it out, draw on your equity, or sell it for a profit when your family is ready to move on to a different house. Here are some tips for determining if a specific house is a good financial investment:

Average Days on Market (DOM) Is Low
Keep an eye on the average DOM for your area. If the average is steadily decreasing over time, with buyers snapping up houses more and more quickly, then it is more likely that a house in that area will be a sound investment. If, on the other hand, most houses seem to be lingering until listings become stagnant because supply outstrips demand, you may want to consider a different neigh- borhood or even a nearby town for your home purchase. You may get a good deal under these circumstances, but your home value is unlikely to increase anytime soon, and if you need to sell in the near future you may end up taking a loss.

Located in an Up-and-Coming Neighborhood or Growing Market
Sometimes the ideal home investment is in a neighborhood that used to be a little rough around the edges but has recently become more popular. This scenario often leads to getting a good deal now and a quickly appreciating home value in the near future, a true win-win situation. Your home will be safe and comfortable for your family and you won’t have to spend a fortune. Neighborhood features to look for that show your home will only become more desirable to prospective renters or buyers in upcoming years include the following:

 Gourmet grocery stores, trendy coffee shops, farm-to-table restaurants, and boutiques
• Good public and private schools
• High degree of walkability and cycling trails

Growing markets are also a sign of a good investment. Is the home in an area with low unemployment and great job opportunities? Are more businesses moving to your city? This is not only great news for your family in the short term (since it means excellent job prospects if you decide to switch companies or careers) but also bodes well for your home’s value increasing. 
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Three Reasons Now Is a Great Time to List Your Home for Sale

Housing market conditions are challenging for buyers in many parts of the country; sellers, meanwhile, are finding the market favorable. Inventory levels are low and sales prices are high. In some markets, multiple offers have become prevalent. And in a blow to first-time buyers everywhere, fewer affordable homes are coming onto the market. Despite all this, existing-home sales climbed in the month of May; every region except the Midwest posted month-over-month and year-over-year sales increases.

1. Low Inventory

According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), “Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.” In May, 1.96 million existing homes were available for sale, an inventory increase of 2.1 percent from a month earlier. However, for the past 24 months, inventory has fallen year over year, and May was no exception: inventory was 8.4 percent lower than last year. At the current sales pace, the current housing stock could last only 4.2 months, down from 4.7 months a year ago.

2. Selling Quickly

Due to the inventory shortages, homes are not sitting on the market for long. In May, the time it took for a home to go from listed to sold was on average 27 days. This is the shortest time frame recorded since NAR began tracking the number of days on the market in May 2011. Of all the homes sold in May, 55 percent were on the market for less than 30 days, another all-time-high record.

3. Prices Up

With high demand and low inventory, home prices climbed to a record-breaking high. In May, the median existing-home price reached $252,800, a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago. This is the highest recorded median sales price, overtaking June 2016’s peak of $247,600. What’s more, this is the 63rd month in a row of year-over-year sales gains. According to Yun, “Home prices keep chugging along at a pace that is not sustainable in the long run.” Unless the market sees an increase in the number of listings in the affordable price range, housing affordability may be affected. 
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If you are interested in selling your home in Arizona, contact Silver Alliance Realty!

Mary Platt • Designated Broker
(602) 618-6764 •