Are Home Values REALLY at Record Levels?

The report announced that the median existing-home price in June was $236,400. That value surpasses the peak median sales price set in July 2006 ($230,400). This revelation created many headlines exclaiming that home prices had hit a “new record”:

Wall Street Journal: Existing-Home Prices Hit Record

USA Today: Existing home sales surge, prices hit record

Virginia Beach homes

Though the headlines are accurate, we want to take a closer look at the story. We do not want people to believe that this information is evidence that a new “price bubble” is forming in housing.

NAR reports the median home price. That means that 50% of the homes sold above that number and 50% sold below that number. With fewer distressed properties (lower valued) now selling, the median price will rise. The median value does not reflect that each individual property is increasing in value.

Below are the comments from Bill McBride, the author of the esteemed economic blog Calculated Risk. McBride talks about the challenges with using the median price and also explains that in “real” prices (taking into consideration inflation) we are nowhere close to a record.

“In general I’d ignore the median sales price because it is impacted by the mix of homes sold (more useful are the repeat sales indexes like Case-Shiller or CoreLogic). NAR reported the median sales price was $236,400 in June, above the median peak of $230,400 in July 2006. That is 9 years ago, so in real terms, median prices are close to 20% below the previous peak. Not close.”

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal covered this issue in detail. In this story, Nick Timiraos explained that this rise in median prices is nothing to be concerned about:

“Does this mean we have another problem on our hands? Not really…There may be other reasons to worry about housing affordability by comparing prices with incomes or prices with rents for a given market. But crude comparisons of nominal home prices with their 2006 and 2007 levels shouldn’t be used to make cavalier claims about a new bubble.”

Bottom Line

Home values are appreciating. However, they are not increasing at a rate that we should have fears of a new housing bubble around the corner.


Hampton Roads Homes

Weekly Marketing Tip

Target Your Market

  • A survey revealed that 61% of moves are for life-stage reasons.
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Virginia Beach Home Sales Will Remain Hot This Summer

People always talk about the “Virginia Beach spring buying season” when they talk real estate. However, this year it appears as though the summer real estate market will be just as hot.

The most recent Foot Traffic Report released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there are more buyers out looking at homes right now in Virginia Beach than at any other time in the last two years including the past two springs (in orange below).

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The Foot Traffic Report is compiled from data on the number of properties shown by Realtors. NAR further explains:

“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.”

We can see that the number of prospective Hampton Roads purchasers out looking at homes has been greater each month this year compared to the same month in 2014. And, though foot traffic fell off last June as compared to May, this year it has increased nicely.

virginia beach townhomes


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Weekly Marketing Tip

Think Local

  • Buying or selling a home includes so much more than the house itself. People are interested in local attractions, parks, restaurants, school districts, etc.
  • Including posts on these topics will go a long way in setting yourself apart from the competition.
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The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy…

Virginia Beach Real Estate

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents.

However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years.

Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report:

VA Beach Real Estate


Virginia Beach Homes

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Improve Brand Awareness with Instagram

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Top 30 Things to Do in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach has a lot to offer all year round.  There are museums, beaches, parks, and so much more for everyone to enjoy.  Whether you want to be active and jet ski off the Shore, or enjoy a cold one at a local brewery, we have a lot to explore.

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Click here to see a list of the Top 30 Things to Do In Virginia Beach

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