#1 Answer to the Housing Shortage: New Construction

The biggest challenge to today’s housing market is the shortage of housing inventory for sale. A normal market would see a six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, that number is below four months. This is the major reason home prices have continued to appreciate at higher levels than historic averages.

The good news is that builders are now starting to build more homes in lower price ranges.

Builder Confidence is Up

The Housing Market Index from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)reveals that builder confidence increased last month. HousingWire quoted NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz about the reason for the increase in confidence amongst builders.

“The HMI measure of future sales conditions reached its highest level since June 2005, a sign of growing consumer confidence in the new home market. Especially as existing home inventory remains tight, we can expect increased demand for new construction moving forward.”

Builders are Meeting the Needs of Today’s Purchaser

Builders are not only jumping into the market – they are doing a better job of matching current demand. The Wall Street Journal recently reported:

“In a shift, new households are overwhelmingly choosing to buy rather than rent. Some 854,000 new-owner households were formed during the first three months of the year, more than double the 365,000 new-renter households formed during the period, according to Census Bureau data.”

The WSJ article went on to say:

“Home builders are beginning to shift their focus away from luxury homes and toward homes at lower price points to cater to this burgeoning millennial clientele.”

The graph below compares 2016 to 2017 new construction sales by price point. As we can see, builders are slowly beginning to shift to prices more favorable to the first-time and non-luxury buyer.

New-Home-Sales-KCM-ENG-768x576

Source

Virginia Beach Homes 

 

Buying a Home in Virginia Beach? Do You Know the Lingo?

Buying a Home? Do You Know the Lingo? | Keeping Current Matters

Buying a home can be intimidating if you are not familiar with the terms used during the process. To start you on your path with confidence, we have compiled a list of some of the most common terms used when buying a home.

Freddie Mac has compiled a more exhaustive glossary of terms in their “My Home” section of their website.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is a broader measure of your cost for borrowing money. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. Because these costs are rolled in, the APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Appraisal – A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the property. This includes examples of sales of similar properties. This is a necessary step in getting your financing secured as it validates the home’s worth to you and your lender.

Closing Costs – The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Credit Score – A number ranging from 350-800, that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score, the better, but many buyers believe they need at least a 780 score to qualify when, in actuality, over 55% of approved loans had a score below 750.

Discount Points – A point equals 1% of your loan (1 point on a $200,000 loan = $2,000). You can pay points to buy down your mortgage interest rate. It’s essentially an upfront interest payment to lock in a lower rate for your mortgage.

Down Payment – This is a portion of the cost of your home that you pay upfront to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments are typically 3 to 20% of the purchase price of the home. There are zero-down programs available through VA loans for Veterans, as well as USDA loans for rural areas of the country. Eighty percent of first-time buyers put less than 20% down last month.

Escrow – The holding of money or documents by a neutral third party before closing. It can also be an account held by the lender (or servicer) into which a homeowner pays money for taxes and insurance.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages – A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change for the entire term of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages are typically 15 or 30 years.

Home Inspection – A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. The inspection should include an evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation.

Mortgage Rate – The interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your house. The lower the rate, the better. Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have hovered between 4 and 4.25% for most of 2017.

Pre-Approval Letter – A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer. Having a pre-approval letter in hand while shopping for homes can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.

Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If you make a down payment lower than 20% on your conventional loan, your lender will require PMI, typically at a rate of .51%. PMI serves as an added insurance policy that protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage and can be cancelled from your payment once you reach 20% equity in your home. For more information on how PMI can impact your monthly housing cost, click here.

Real Estate Professional – An individual who provides services in buying and selling homes. Real estate professionals are there to help you through the confusing paperwork, to help you find your dream home, to negotiate any of the details that come up, and to help make sure that you know exactly what’s going on in the housing market. Real estate professionals can refer you to local lenders or mortgage brokers along with other specialists that you will need throughout the home-buying process.

Source

Virginia Beach Homes

Weekly Marketing Tip

Facebook Live Open House

  • Facebook Live is when you post a live streaming video on Facebook where your friends and followers can interact and ask questions while you are recording on your device.
  • Showcase the property in a convenient and fun way by using Facebook Live on your device.  You can walk around the home and give information as you walk.
  • Friends and followers can interact and comment leaving questions or other comments and you can respond in real time.
  • This is also a great way to showcase your personality to prospective clients so they get to know you before working with you.
  • Studies have shown a 403 percent increase in interest when your house has a video attached to it and not just a slide show.

 

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Weekly Marketing Tip

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FREE App of the Week

RE/MAX App – Don’t forget to tell clients to download the RE/MAX App!  It is a great tool for them to search and get information and you can make it branded to you!

Click the link below to get more info on how these branded apps work.  It’s just another tool offered by RE/MAX to keep your name and info top of mind!

http://public.remax.net/public-news/Pages/DownloadUpdatedMobleApp-Agents.aspx

Virginia Beach Homes 

March 2017 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know

1. Inventory has been dropping since 2008

The active inventory of homes for sale across the country dropped 17.9 percent year-over-year in February. It’s the 100th consecutive month of year-over-year declines, dating back to October 2008.

“Inventory, not the rise in interest rates, remains the principal constraint on home sales,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, Chairman of the Board and Co-Founder. “The resale market is driven dramatically by the availability of new homes. Most U.S. markets have a high demand for new home construction, and although it’s good to see housing starts trending upward, we still need more.”

2. Home prices continue to rise

Low inventory drove prices up six percent year-over-year to a median sales price of $212,000 for the 53 metro areas surveyed. Only six metro areas saw year-over-year decreases or remained unchanged. Sixteen areas saw double-digit increases, with prices rising the most in Fargo, North Dakota (+19.9%), Burlington, Vermont (+18.4%) and Tampa, Florida (+15.9%).

3. Homes aren’t lingering on the market

Houses spent fewer days on the market in February than the same time last year, dropping from an average of 75 days on the market in February 2016 to 68 days during February 2017. Where are things moving most rapidly? San Francisco at 32 days, Omaha, Nebraska at 34 and Denver at 38. Homes are sticking around longest in Augusta, Maine at 147 and Chicago at 109.

4. The market still favors sellers in most areas

Based on the rate of home sales in February, the Months Supply of Inventory dropped slightly to 3.6 months from 3.8 in January. A six-month supply indicates the market is equally balanced between buyers and sellers. In February, 45 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, typically considered a seller’s market. The other eight areas reported a months supply of more than 6.0, usually considered a buyer’s market. Inventory continues to be scarcest in the west: Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco each had a months supply close to 1.0.

980xRE/MAX Blog

Virginia Beach Homes

It’s a Seller’s Market! Should I Downsize Now?

A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their houses in the near future are planning to scale down. Let’s look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller’s market.

It's a Seller's Market! Should I Downsize Now? | Keeping Current Matters

In a blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing:

  1. A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
  2. Let’s assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
  3. Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one. Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can’t pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.

Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in an article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

A: “For some folks, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you’ll be able to better narrow down your housing options.”

Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profits from the sales of their current homes and splitting it in order to put down payments on smaller homes in their current locations, as well as on vacation/retirement homes where they plan to live when they retire.

This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today’s values which makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

A: “For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home.”

Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity (> 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that 78.9% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you’ve always dreamt about.

Bottom Line

If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, meet with a real estate professional in your area who can help guide you through the process.

 

Source

Virginia Beach Homes

Weekly Marketing Tip

Weekly Marketing Tip

Develop A Guide

  • Nearly every lead you encounter is going to have lots of questions about buying, selling or renting, which means you’re probably answering similar questions over and over.
  • Create your own downloadable or printable guides you can give to leads that includes lots of information about processes and expectations.
  • Make sure it has your name or brand logo on every page so if it is shared online or printed, your name is in front of them as a reminder.

 

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Virginia Beach Homes