Discussing the latest Existing Home Sales report from NAR, why listing your home now could be a good strategy and much more!
US Existing-Home Sales Slowed in December
NAR just reported that US existing-home sales decreased from the previous month. The good news is that existing home sales in 2017 increased 1.1% and last year was the best year for existing home sales since 2006.
While the decrease from the previous month isn’t good, I must point out that sales were 1.0% above the pace back in December 2016.
Home prices are also still increasing according to NAR’s report. They said that the median existing-home price was up 5.8% from December 2016. This is the 70th straight month of year-over-year gains.
The bad news is that inventory continues to decline. Total housing inventory at the end of December was 10.3% lower than a year ago. The national inventory of existing homes for sale has decreased year-over-year for 31 consecutive months. The number of homes for sale is at the lowest level since NAR began tracking in 1999.
Check out the chart:
Existing Home Sales Seasonally Adjusted
Remember this is a national report and will not tell you what is happening in your local market. If we look at the numbers for Anderson County SC, there were about 4% more sales in December 2017 than in December 2016.
Also, the median price for all homes sold in Anderson County during December 2017 was about 14% higher than December 2016. This does NOT mean that all homes in Anderson County magically increased in value but it is a pretty good indication that most home values did increase some…
If you have any questions about real estate in Anderson County, please contact me!
Why Home Owners Aren’t Selling
From Contra Corner:
Intriguing but there are many other reasons besides jobs. However, now could be a really good time to sell for some home owners…
Thinking About Selling? Why You Should List Your Home Now!
Everyone knows that Spring and Summer are when a boatload of homes are sold. And this makes lots of people think they should wait until Spring to list their home…
But is this still the best strategy for selling a home?
Well if most people are waiting to list in the Spring, that means there will be more homes for sale. Which means more competition…
How much more competition?
NAR recently reported how many homes were listed by month during 2017. The 2nd quarter is consistently the most popular time for sellers to list their home.
Last January, there were 1,680,000 homes for sale in the US. By May, that number had increased to 1,970,000!
That is roughly 17% more competition! Buyers are NOT waiting until Spring this year. With mortgage rates rising, they are out looking TODAY!
NAR recently reported that home buyer traffic is stronger this winter than it was during the spring buying season last year! Buyers are not waiting for the traditional home buying season of the past!
Consider these statistics for housing in 2017:
- New home sales were at the highest level in a decade
- Existing home sales were at the highest level in OVER a decade
- Single family starts (number of new homes being built) were at the highest level in a decade
- Building permits to build single family homes was at the highest level since 2007
Let that sink in for a moment. Home are selling like hot cakes! The number of new homes hitting the market is increasing and going to keep increasing…
Demand is strong NOW and the competition will grow if you wait. Because inventory is tight in many areas/price ranges, it is a seller’s market today!
Waiting for more competition may not be the best home selling strategy in 2018!
Bank of America Gets Ripped For Killing Free Accounts
From Charlotte Observer:
Bank of America’s decision to eliminate a free-checking account continues to anger many customers and others – and they’re taking to social media to give the bank an earful.
The Charlotte-based bank this month completes a years-long phaseout of its eBanking account, which didn’t charge monthly maintenance fees if customers received paperless statements and didn’t use bank tellers for routine transactions. Bank of America has converted such customers to another checking account that requires them to keep more money at the bank to avoid fees that are higher.
Critics have lashed out on Facebook and Twitter, with many saying the move hurts low-income people and that they planned to stop doing business with the bank in protest.
We moved our banking from BofA to a local credit union years ago. I can’t and won’t go into details but I hated doing business with BofA.
Rails Traffic Slips
AAR just reported that for the week ending January 20, 2018, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was down 2.9% compared with the same week last year. Total combined U.S. traffic for the first three weeks of 2018 was down 2.2% compared to last year.
Not good but remain calm. We will have to keep watching to see if this continues…
More GSE Reform Talk
Supporters of an unreleased Senate bill to revamp the housing finance system are fighting back against suggestions that the latest revision has become more conservative, arguing that it’s a centrist plan that should have wide bipartisan appeal.
To some progressive groups, the Senate plan is tracking to the right, with Fannie and Freddie reincarnated as new entities that leave behind key elements of the GSEs’ role. But mortgage industry representatives and other consultants who are close to the negotiations insist that’s not the case.
Talk talk and more talk…
We have to wonder who will benefit from GSE reform, consumers or the big banks and Wall Street?
Architecture Billings Index Ends 2017 on a Positive Note
The Architecture Billings Index (ABI) concluded the year in positive terrain, with the December reading capping off three straight months of growth in design billings. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the December ABI score was 52.9, down from a score of 55.0 in the previous month. This score still reflects an increase in design services provided by U.S. architecture firms (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 61.9, up from a reading of 61.1 the previous month, while the new design contracts index decreased slightly from 53.2 to 52.7.
Kermit Baker, AIA Chief Economist, said:
Overall, 2017 turned out to be a strong year for architecture firms. All but two months saw ABI scores in positive territory. Additionally, the overall strength of the fourth quarter lays a good foundation for healthy growth in construction activity in 2018.
While this is more of an indicator for commercial real estate, it is a pretty important economic indicator. And we must have a healthy economy to have a healthy housing market…
FHFA Home Price Index Increases
The FHFA just reported that from November 2016 to November 2017, US house prices increased 6.5%. While national and a little dated compared to other reports, it is still interesting stuff!
Check out the chart:
The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem
From NY Times:
You might think that the kind of extreme poverty that would concern a global organization like the United Nations has long vanished in this country. Yet the special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, recently made and reported on an investigative tour of the United States.
Surely no one in the United States today is as poor as a poor person in Ethiopia or Nepal? As it happens, making such comparisons has recently become much easier. The World Bank decided in October to include high-income countries in its global estimates of people living in poverty. We can now make direct comparisons between the United States and poor countries.
Properly interpreted, the numbers suggest that the United Nations has a point — and the United States has an urgent problem. They also suggest that we might rethink how we assist the poor through our own giving.
A must read without a doubt but it does make me wonder how can we help those that truly deserve help? And how can we decide who deserves help and who does not?
With all the talk about making America great again, shouldn’t it include helping our fellow Americans?
I don’t think handouts are the answer but a helping hand could mean so much to those in need. How to pay for doing something about poverty is another question that would need to be answered…
Is Economic Insecurity Behind the Specter of Populism?
From Pro Market:
A new study examines the role of the 2007–9 global financial crisis and its metastasis in Europe on voting and political beliefs, showing that crisis-driven economic insecurity is a substantial driver of populism and political distrust.
Another must read…
Apartment Rent Growth Weakens
The long-term forecast shows that after years of booming growth, the multifamily sector is beginning to hit its inflection point with national rent growth decelerating and vacancies creeping upward.
Rent growth will remain at three percent in 2018 before slowing, yet remain positive during the modelled recessionary years. Ten-X sees this down cycle as more benign for the apartment sector than previous downturns when rents actually declined.
U.S. apartment rents rose 3.3 percent over the past year — a fairly healthy pace, but a clear deceleration from the nearly 6-percent growth rate enjoyed in late 2015 and early 2016.
While they are saying apartment rent growth will slow, notice that they are NOT saying it will decrease. Renters should expect to pay more every time they renew a lease.
A home owner with a fixed rate mortgage does not have to worry about their monthly mortgage payment increasing…
U.S. Housing Market Has Gained Back All $9 Trillion in Value Lost During Recession
Home values are higher than ever in more than half of the largest U.S. metros. The typical U.S. home has gained 36.5 percent in value since the market hit bottom in 2011, and is now 5 percent more valuable than at the height of the housing bubble.
The U.S. housing market has gained back all $9 trillion in value it lost when the market collapsed, but the uneven nature of the crisis and subsequent recovery has left many housing markets trailing behind, while others surge further ahead.
When the housing bubble burst in 2007, home values plummeted, and the typical American home lost 23 percent of its value. Since then, national home values have returned to their previous level, but the recovery has not been the same in all regions of the country.
While it is great news that the housing market has recovered, please do not miss the point that not all areas have seen the same recovery.
Buyers and sellers must rely upon the local expertise of a Realtor to make informed decisions…
Again, if you have any questions about buying or selling real estate in the Anderson SC area, please contact me!