Home Prices Highest Year-Over-Year Increase Since 2005

Home prices increasingTwo major indicators of home price trends showed a slowing momentum for home prices in December. The S&P Case Shiller 10 and 20 city indices reported that of 20 cities tracked, home prices were lower in December than for November.

Case-Shiller’s seasonally adjusted month-to month reading showed that home prices rose by 0.8 percent as compared to 0.90 percent in November.

David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that “Gains are slowing from month-to-month and the strongest part of home price recovery may be over.” He also noted that seasonally adjusted data was showing a loss of momentum for home prices.

December home prices posted a year-over-year gain of 13.40 percent, down from November’s year-over-year reading of 13.70 percent. December’s reading reflected the highest year-over-year increase in home prices since 2005.

Analysts note that a slower pace of increasing home prices may allow more buyers to enter the market, and may also encourage more buyers to list their properties for sale.

This would increase inventories of available homes and relieve pent-up demand for homes. Although home price growth is cooling off, average home prices remain 20 percent below their pre-recession peak in 2006.

Home Prices Face Challenges In 2014

Another factor in slower growth of home prices is regional differences in the rate of economic recovery. Cities including Dallas, Texas and Denver, Colorado recently set records for escalating home prices.

Five states including Florida and Michigan accounted for almost half of foreclosures completed during 2013. Slow job growth and poor winter weather were also blamed for slower gains in home prices.

New mortgage rules and relatively strict mortgage lending standards may continue to dampen housing markets, but there is some good news as some lenders are easing credit standards.

Home Prices Higher For 10th Consecutive Quarter

The Federal Housing Finance Administration reported similar trends in December home price data for properties either financed or owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Home prices rose by a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.80 percent in December as compared to November’s reading.

Home prices were 7.70 percent higher for the fourth quarter of 2013 than for the same period in 2012. Adjusted for inflation, this reading indicates an approximate year-over-year increase of 7 percent.

FHFA reported higher readings for 38 states in its fourth quarter 2013 Home Price Index, as compared with 48 states in in the third quarter of 2013.  In order of home price appreciation, the top five states with highest growth in home prices were Nevada, California, Arizona, Oregon and Florida.

These calculations were seasonally adjusted and based on home purchases only.

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

4 Keys For a Full Housing Recovery

Housing RecoveryAs we head into the new year and the Spring Selling Season,   economist take a look at what is needed for a full housing recovery.

In order to have a full housing recovery market and economic recovery, economists point to the need for four positive indicators:

  1. A healthy job market with low stable unemployment;
  2. Mortgage delinquencies that have returned to historical averages;
  3. Home prices consistent with an affordable mortgage payment–to–income ratio; and
  4. Home sales that are in the range of historical norms.

So, is the housing market inching closer to a full housing recovery?

Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January takes a look at how the housing market is performing among these four indicators. Economists note that the unemployment rate – while inching down – still remains high at 6.7 percent. Meanwhile, mortgage delinquencies have fallen to 5.88 percent – nearly half of their peak rate but still higher than the national average of about 2 percent, Freddie notes.

Home prices still have some room to grow without outpacing income growth, economists say.

“From 1999–2006, mortgage payments on a hypothetical 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would have increased by 50 percent more than income growth,” Freddie Mac notes in the report. “Currently, payment-to-income ratios are only 60 percent of the level we had in 1999, suggesting room for continued housing growth.”

Finally, home sales have risen over the past two years but remain below levels from a nearly a decade ago. Home sales, historically, average a rate of about 6 percent of the housing stock every year. They dropped to 4 percent during the housing crisis. Economists are predicting a 5.7 percent pace in 2014.

“As we start 2014, the housing recovery continues its steady pace,” Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “House-price gains will likely moderate from last year’s pace but rise about 5 percent in national indexes. Home sales, as well as other key indicators, continue to trend in the right direction, although in some markets we are seeing the sales recovery strengthen while many others remain weak.”

If you’re ready to sell your home with a professional who understands how to keep the Days on Market to a minimum, Call Debra Obrock at: 480 688-2000

Fixed Mortgage Rates Fall

Mortgage RatesIn Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, average fixed mortgage rates fell again this week following the release of weaker housing data.

Current Fixed Mortgage Rates
  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending January 30, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.39 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.53 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.40 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.44 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.12 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.55 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.54 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.59 percent.

Thinking of buying a home?
I can help you evaluate the emotional and monetary worth of homes
and find a home that fits your values and lifestyle.
Give me a call today:480 688-2000.

How To Measure Your Home’s Real Value

Home ValueAs a society, it seems like we’ve gotten away from appreciating our homes for their emotional and sentimental worth. Instead, we focus solely on their monetary value.

An Appraiser Can Estimate A Home’s Monetary Value, But To Gain A True Concept Of Your Home’s Worth, You Must Also Take Into Consideration:

  1. Pride Of Ownership. You don’t buy a pair of Prada shoes because you’re going to be able to resell them and make a profit. You buy them because they make you look good and feel good.
  2. Security And Stability.Your home provides a roof over your head that’s in your control. You can decorate it how you want. You don’t have to worry about a landlord selling the property or asking you to move out. In the “olden days” (or should I say “golden days”), we called our homes our castles because, as owners, we felt like the kings and queens of our homes. You can still feel that way! Claim your castle and crown yourself king or queen today.
  3. A Safe Haven.After a tough day at work or a day of disappointments, where’s the first place you think of going?  Home! As Dorothy says, “There’s no place like home.”
  4. A Place To Make Memories.  Your son’s tree house and daughter’s playhouse. The markings on the wall that tracked your children’s growth. The porch swing where you start and end every anniversary celebration.
  5. A Neighborhood Full Of Friends. In the event of an emergency, your neighbors are your first line of defense. They’re also the simplest, best and least expensive form of security. Additionally, they may have the exact tool you need for a project; the extra pair of hands you need to complete a project or children to become playmates with yours. Neighbors also give you that much needed in-person, up-close social network.

Even if your home’s economic value has dropped, you continue to benefit from its emotional values of community, stability, security and success.

Thinking of buying a home? I can help you evaluate the emotional and monetary worth of homes and find a home that fits your values and lifestyle. Give me a call today:480 688-2000.

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Level In 7 Years

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Level In 7 Years Existing home sales in December pushed 2013 sales of existing homes to a 7 year high, according to the NAR. December’s reading of 4.86 sales of pre-owned homes came in at 4.87 million on a seasonally adjusted annual basis.

Although projections had been for 4.89 million sales, the December reading topped November’s revised sales of 4.82 million pre-owned homes.

December’s reading showed the first gain in existing home sales in three months. NAR reported that existing home sales for 2013 reached 5.09 million, which represented a 9.10 percent increase over 2012.

More Good News: Median Price Of Existing Homes Rises

NAR reported that the national median price for pre-owned homes increased to $198,000, a year-over-year increase of 9.90 percent. The average price of an existing home for all of 2013 was $197,100. This was the strongest growth in existing home prices since 2005 and represented an increase of 11.50 percent.

There were 1.86 million pre-owned homes for sale in December. At current sales rates, this represents a 4.60 month inventory. Real estate pros like to see a minimum of a six-month supply of available homes, so existing homes remain in short supply.

Analysts attributed rising home prices to improving economic conditions and a persistent shortage of homes for sale.

FHFA: Slower Gain for Home Prices In November

FHFA, the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, reported that November prices of homes financed with mortgages owned or guaranteed by the two agencies rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.10 percent as compared to October’s increase of 0.50 percent and an expected growth rate of 0.40 percent.

November’s reading brought year-over-year home sales to an increase of 7.60 percent, but is still 8.90 percent below their April 2007 peak.

Analysts noted that recent reports of increasing new home construction and rising new home sales as reasons why prices of existing homes are seeing slower growth.

As your agent, Debra Obrock will make sure your home is ready to sell fast and t top dollar.
Call Debra today: 480 688-2000

Round up of December Housing Market

Housing-MarketFixed Rates Show Little Change at Year-End

 
In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey, average fixed mortgage rates showed little change as we head into the final days of the year.
 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.48 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending December 26, 2013, up from last week when it averaged 4.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.35 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.52 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.65 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.00 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.70 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.57 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56 percent. According to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac:”Mortgage rates were little changed this week following mixed economic reports. Real GDP was revised upwards to 4.1 percent growth in the third quarter of this year. However, existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4,900,000 in November. Also, new home sales fell 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 464,000.”

If you are buying or selling a home in the greater Phoenix area, please get in touch with me.
I’m happy to tell you about my listing services or help you shop for a new home! 480 688-2000

 

Home Builder Confidence is Rising

New ConstructionHome Builder confidence is rising with news form the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Home builders Market Index with a reading of 58 for December. This surpassed both expectations of 56 and last month’s reading of 54. Any reading above 50 indicates that more builders are confident about overall housing market conditions than not.

Analysts noted that builder confidence has steadied after the government shutdown. December’s reading was the highest in four months. Dave Crowe, NAHB chief economist, said that his organization was expecting a “gradual improvement in the housing recovery” in 2014.

Home Builder Confidence – Highest Reading Since 2005

Pent-up demand for housing is driving housing markets in spite of higher mortgage rates. Three components of builder confidence used to calculate the overall reading also rose in December. Builder confidence in current home sales rose to 64 from a reading of 58 in November; this is the highest reading since 2005.

Confidence levels in housing markets over the next six months rose to 62 from last month’s reading of 60. Builder confidence also grew in the area of buyer foot traffic in new developments and gained three points to a reading of 44.

All of this is good news, but the NAHB said that a gap remains between higher home builder confidence and the rate of new home construction. A seasonal lull in home construction is not unusual especially in areas experiencing harsh weather.

Data on November Housing Starts and Building Permits will also offer clues as to how housing markets and the general economy are doing.

Move-Up Buyers Returning to Housing Market

Move Up BuyersThe move-up buyer is back on the market as home equity levels improve.  More move-up buyers are selling their current properties to replace them with pricier homes, according to the latest report from FNC, a real estate data firm.

The move-up buyers are coming with larger down payments on new homes as recent improvements in home equity levels have allowed them to move.

“An important sign of a healthy and sustainable recovery is increased housing turnover driven by trade-up buying, which is more or less discretionary spending,” says Yanling Mayer, FNC’s director of research. “These buyers are typically more responsive to market conditions and financial incentives.”

What is Bringing Move-Up Buyers Back?

 
Rising mortgage rates are driving the higher demand because move-up buyers are wanting to take advantage before mortgage rates rise any more, brokers say.

Plus, more move-up buyers are in a better position to move. Forty percent of all home owners now have at least 20 percent or more of equity in their homes now, according to RealtyTrac data.

Also, 8.3 million additional home owners are expected to have at least 20 percent equity within the next 15 months if home prices continue to appreciate at the same pace, says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. Blomquist adds that if 5 percent of these home owners decide to sell their homes, that would amount to an additional 415,000 homes for sale in the coming months.

 If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees EVERY portion of your real estate transaction
give Debra Obrock a call: (480) 688-2000 or send her an Email

Sellers Save Money with Pre-Listing Inspections

Home InspectionPre-listing inspections have the power to send all parties back to the negotiation table. As such, some sellers are taking the precautionary step of having an inspection done before listing the home for sale.  Some real estate professionals say that having a home inspection prior to listing can offer several benefits to the seller.

“The buyer has the upper hand when they have an inspection,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker consumer specialist and real estate professional. “If you are willing to do it ahead of time, you give the control back to the seller.”

Sellers who have a home inspection upfront also can identify any major problems that could potentially derail a sale later on at the closing table. Any major repairs can be addressed beforehand. Doing repairs ahead of time might also be more cost-effective than having to pay a buyer’s own licensed contractor do the work.

“If you have the items repaired or replaced ahead of time and it doesn’t come up with the buyer, it’s a non-issue,” says Edwards. Edwards says having a home inspection beforehand can also help sellers adjust their asking price if they aren’t willing to do certain repairs.

Leslie Piper, consumer housing specialist for realtor.com, suggests sellers consider a pest and roof inspection before listing.

“The costs of repairs or the replacement of a roof can vary and could be a big-ticket item a seller may want to be aware of before they choose the price they are hoping to get for their home,” Piper says. “Having these inspections can be beneficial for a successful home sale, and also beneficial for a seller’s future budgeting plans.”

 If you’d like to work with a Realtor who oversees EVERY portion of the real estate transaction
give Debra Obrock a call: (480) 688-2000 or send her an Email

The Housing Recovery Is Progressing

Housing Recovery  The Housing Recovery is progressing even if the pending sales of existing homes fell by 1.30 percent in July according to The National Association of REALTORS.  According to the organization’s Pending Home Sales Index, this was the second straight month that pending home sales dropped. July’s Pending Home Sales Index reading was 109.50.

Housing Recovery in Your Region

Signed Purchase Contracts For Existing Homes Tracked In The U.S.

  • Northeast:  – 6.60 percent
  • Midwest:    – 1.00 percent
  • West:        – 4.90 percent
  • South:       + 2.60 percent

What Impacts Housing Recovery?

  • Pending home sales were 6.70 percent higher year-over-year on a national basis. This indicates that the housing recovery is progressing, but at a slower pace.
  • Short supplies of available homes have also impacted sales. In some areas homebuyers are facing competition from multiple buyers for individual homes.
  • Another report released earlier in the week showed that the pace of rising home prices also slowed. This connects with fewer pending home sales, as when demand for homes cools, prices are likely to fall as well.
  • Pending home sales serve as an indicator for future home sales, as purchase contracts typically lead to completed home sales within two to three months.

Housing Market Developments Could Delay Fed Stimulus Decision

The Federal Reserve has indicated that it may begin reducing its stimulus program of buying $85 billion per month in U.S. Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

The Fed has repeatedly stated that continued monitoring of economic trends would weigh heavily on its decision if and when to modify its current stimulus program.

Mortgage rates have risen more than a percentage point since May when the Fed began discussing potentially “tapering” its monthly bond purchases.

The Fed may interpret the slower pace of rising home prices and pending home sales as a sign that it’s not yet time to reduce its stimulus program. This could help with lowering mortgage rates, which are expected to rise when the Fed reduces its monthly securities purchases and eventually ends its stimulus plan.

The housing recovery has led the economic recovery; faltering indicators in the housing sector suggest that the overall recovery is a fragile process.

 Be my Guest, Search the Arizona MLS in Real Time