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The Louisville Real Estate Blog

Louisville Kentucky Real Estate Blog

Pending Home Sales Reach Highest Mark In 9 Years!

Pending Home Sales Reach Highest Mark In 9 Years! | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their Pending Home Sales Index Report and revealed that it is at its highest level since April 2006.

The Pending Home Sales Index is “a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings”. The higher the Pending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales.

Every region of the country has experienced year-over-year gains in pending sales as seen below:

Pending Home Sales by Region | Keeping Current Matters

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun cites job creation as a major reason that the housing market has boomed this spring, going on to say,

"It's very encouraging to now see a broad based recovery with all four major regions showing solid gains from a year ago and new home sales also coming alive."

Yun went on to caution that,

"Housing affordability remains a pressing issue with home-price growth increasing around four times the pace of wages. Without meaningful gains in new and existing supply, there's no question the goalpost will move further...

Two Graphs That Scream List Your House Today

Two Graphs That Scream You Should List Your House Today! | Keeping Current Matters

The spring and summer months have always been known as a very popular time for homebuyers to start the search for their dream home. This year is no different!

We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand.

If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now. Here is why…

DEMAND

According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity this year has far outpaced the same months in 2014. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market at great numbers.

Foot Traffic | Keeping Current Matters

According to NAR, “Foot Traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

SUPPLY

The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed...

Equity Report [INFOGRAPHIC] June 2015

Equity Report [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • 85% of homes valued under $200,000 have equity
  • 94% of homes valued over $200,000 have equity
  • 10.2% of homes with a mortgage are currently underwater
...

Sellers Dilemma: OTM, FSBO or List Again?

Sellers Dilemma: OTM, FSBO or List Again? | Keeping Current Matters

At the end of June, in every region of the country, hundreds of homeowners have a tough decision to make. The ‘listing for sale agreement’ on their house is about to expire and they now must decide to either take their house off the market (OTM), For Sale by Owner (FSBO) or list it again with the same agent or a different agent.

Let’s assume you or someone you know is in this situation and take a closer look at each possibility:

Taking Your Home off the Market

In all probability, after putting your house on the market and seeing it not sell, you’re going to be upset. You may be thinking that no one in the marketplace thought the house was worthy of the sales price.

Because you are upset, you may start to rationalize that selling wasn’t that important after all and say,

“Well, we didn’t really want to sell the house anyway. This idea of making a move right now probably doesn’t make sense.”

Don’t rationalize your dreams away. Instead, consider the reasons you decided to sell in the first place. Ask your family this simple question:

“What made us originally...

First-Time Homebuyers Lead the Way in May

First-Time Homebuyers Lead the Way in May | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report revealed that first time homebuyers made up 32% of all sales in the month of May; marking the highest share since September 2012 and up from 27% the same time last year.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, cited “strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs,” as contributing factors to the increase in first-time buyers.

Existing-home sales rose 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million. Total housing inventory for sale remains under the 6.0 months needed for a historically normal market at a 5.1 month supply.

Homes sold quickly in May, as 45% of homes sold in less than a month. May also marked the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median existing home price rose 7.9% above May 2014 to $228,700.

Below is a chart showing the breakdown of price increases by region:

Existing Home Prices by Region | Keeping Current Matters...

4 Reasons to Buy NOW!

4 Reasons to Buy NOW! | Keeping Current Matters

Summer is here! The temperature isn't the only thing heating up right now, so too is the housing market! Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 11.8% (most pessimistic) and 26.7% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have started to inch up, most experts predict that they will begin to rise even more over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up approximately three quarters of a percentage point over the next 12 months.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether...

Do I Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Do I Need Perfect Credit To Buy A Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average FICO score of Approved Conventional Loans was 757 in May
  • The average FICO score of Approved FHA Loans was 688 in May
  • Since April 2013, the ability of Americans to obtain a mortgage has increased substantially!
...

How Will Mortgage Rate Hikes Impact Home Sales?

How Will Mortgage Rate Hikes Impact Home Sales? | Keeping Current Matters

When mortgage interest rates begin to climb, experts immediately begin to discuss home affordability indexes. They calculate how an increase in rates will slow home purchases as more and more potential buyers are priced out of the market. Today, with home prices also increasing, many believe that home sales may slow down rather dramatically.

This may prove to be true in the long term. However, in the short term, increasing mortgage rates may have the opposite effect. Many buyers who have been sitting on the fence may realize that delaying their purchase no longer makes sense.

Last week, in a CNBC article, Matt Weaver of Florida-based PMAC Lending explained the impact an increase in rates will have:

"These increases really help the home-buying market. It really gets buyers to really understand that 'wait a minute, rates are at an all-time low, let's react now, let's react before they go higher’.”

As an example, we can look to 2013 when interest rates spiked up by a full percentage point over a two month period. The result is that many buyers rushed to the market on the fear that rates would continue to climb. It didn’t necessarily increase the number of sales that year dramatically.

However, it did seem to move some sales up in the year as evidenced by the chart below:

Home Sales & Impact of Mortgage Rate Spike | Keeping Current Matters...

5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent

5 Demands You Should Make on Your Listing Agent | Keeping Current Matters

Are you thinking of selling your house? Are you dreading having to deal with strangers walking through the house? Are you concerned about getting the paperwork correct?

Hiring a professional real estate agent can take away most of the challenges of selling. A great agent is always worth more than the commission they charge; just like a great doctor or great accountant.

You want to deal with one of the best agents in your marketplace. To do this, you must be able to distinguish the average agent from the great one.

Here are the top 5 demands to make of your Real Estate Agent when selling your house:

1. Tell the truth about the price

Too many agents just take the listing at any price and then try to the ‘work the seller’ for a price correction later. Demand that the agent prove to you that they have a belief in the price they are suggesting. Make them show you their plan to sell the house at that price – TWICE! Every house in today’s market must be sold two times – first to a buyer and then to the bank.

The second sale may be more difficult than the first. The residential...

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range/ June 2015

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range

Sales Up In Almost Every Price Range | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-10.1%). The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.

Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 9%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 21.2%!

Here is the breakdown:...

Should You FSBO? Think Again!

Think You Should FSBO? Think Again! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Think You Should FSBO? Think Again!! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters...

Home Values Compared to the Peak… Is Another Bubble Forming?

Home Values Compared to the Peak… Is Another Bubble Forming? | Keeping Current Matters

After the housing market bust we experienced across the country in 2008, many experts have been quick to warn that a new bubble may be forming in some areas of the country.

The quickest and easiest way to show how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go in regards to the ‘Peak’ is to share CoreLogic’s Price & Time Since Peak figures, used to create the map below.

Price & Time Since Peak | Keeping Current Matters

Many areas of the country still have a long way to go to be anywhere near the peaks experienced in 2005-2007. Seven states (seen in the darker blue) are currently at their peak.

The biggest challenge facing the housing market’s recovery right now is the lack of inventory available for sale. Prices are determined by supply and demand. Right now buyer demand is out-pacing seller...

2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Stopping Them?

2 Out of 3 Renters Want to Own. What’s Stopping Them? | Keeping Current Matters

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York recently released the 2015 SCE Housing Survey. The survey revealed that most current renters would prefer owning and that 61.9% of them plan to buy a home within the next five years.

68.3% stated they would prefer owning (with 45.6% saying they ‘strongly’ prefer owning). When asked at what point in the future do they think they will own a primary residence:

  • 8.2% said within a year
  • 15.3% said in 1 to 2 years
  • 38.4% said between 3 to 5 years

What’s Holding Them Back?

Of the 68.3% who would prefer to own, 2 out of 3 cited difficulty in getting a mortgage for the reason they do not own. However, many believe that the reason so many think that it would be difficult to get a mortgage is not fully based on current market realities.

For example, studies have shown that there is confusion over the amount of money needed for a down payment. Research has shown that 40 to 50% of Americans believe that between 15-20% is the minimum required for a down payment. In reality, there are many programs available at 5% and ...

Where Will Mortgage Rates Be in 12 Months?

mortgagerates12

One of the biggest questions plaguing the current housing market is where mortgage interest rates will be at this time next year. Over the last two months, rates have begun to creep up (see chart).Interest Rates.1

Though we don’t like to project rates moving forward, we do want you and your family to have the information you need in order to decide whether to wait before buying your first house or moving up to your ultimate dream home.

Here are the most current mortgage rate projections from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association and the National Association of Realtors.

Interest Rates.2

Projecting interest rates is not easy. So what should you do – do it now or wait? We like the advice Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae, recently gave:

“The rule for when is it time to buy is always the same: given your household budget and where current interest rates are, if it makes good financial sense to take out a home loan today, then today is the day to do it.”

Bottom Line

If you are ready, willing and able and are thinking of buying...

Mortgage Rates Over The Last 40 Years

Mortgage Rates Over The Last 40 Years [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • 30-year mortgage rates are projected to increase by a full percentage point in 2016
  • Rates are still well below the past four decade averages
  • The interest rate at which you borrow the funds to purchase your dream home makes a huge difference on your monthly payment
...

The #1 Reason to Buy Right Now – THE MONEY!!

The #1 Reason to Buy Right Now – THE MONEY!! | Keeping Current Matters

People often ask whether they should buy a home now or wait. Recently released data suggests that waiting may not make sense as prices seem to again be on the rise. Let’s take a look at some of the data and commentary on the subject:

Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics:

“The current tightness of supply conditions would normally be consistent with much faster price growth. The continued steady growth in home sales that we expect this year will only add to this upward pressure on prices.”

Case Shiller Home Price Index

“The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a 4.1% annual gain in March 2015 … with a 0.8% increase for the month.”

Anand Nallathambi, CEO of CoreLogic

“All signs are pointing toward continued price appreciation throughout 2015… Tight inventories, job growth and the impact of demographics and...

Five Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t For Sale By Owner

5 Reasons You Shouldn't For Sale By Owner | Keeping Current Matters

In today's market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers....

Today Kicks Off National Homeownership Month!

Today Kicks Off National Homeownership Month!

Today Kicks Off National Homeownership Month! | Keeping Current Matters

National Homeownership Month actually started as a week-long celebration of homeownership during the Clinton administration in 1995. In 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed June as the National Homeownership Month. Here is an excerpt from his...