News

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time.

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time. | Simplifying The Market

The housing market has started off much stronger this year than it did last year. Lower mortgage interest rates have been a driving factor in that change. The average 30-year rate in 2019, according to Freddie Mac, was 3.94%. Today that rate is closer to 3.5%.

The Census Bureau also just reported the highest homeownership rate since 2014 for people under 35. This is evidence that owning their own home is becoming more important to Millennials as they reach the age where marriage and children are part of their lives.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is strong. That’s not the case, however, with seller demand, which remains weak throughout most of the nation. Here’s a breakdown by state:Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time. | Simplifying The MarketDemand for housing is high, but supply is extremely low. NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.42 million, which is one of the lowest totals in almost three decades. Additionally, the ratio of homes for sale to the number purchased currently stands at 3.1 months of inventory. In a normal market, that number would be nearly double that at 6.0 months of inventory.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, buyers must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market. With demand so high and supply so low, now is the perfect time to sell your house for the greatest dollar value and the least hassle.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is entering the year like a lion. There’s no indication it will lose that roar, assuming inventory continues to come to market.

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat

Entry-Level Homeowners Are in the Driver’s Seat | Simplifying The Market

One thing helping homeowners right now is price appreciation, especially in the entry-level market. In the latest Home Price Insights report, CoreLogic reveals how home prices increased by 4% year-over-year and projects prices will rise 5.2% by December 2020.

Why is this good news for the homeowners?

When prices appreciate, homeowners gain equity. In addition, those planning to sell this year, especially in the entry-level market, can potentially earn a substantial profit.

Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, says:

“Moderately priced homes are in high demand and short supply, pushing up values…Homes that sold for 25% or more below the local median price experienced a 5.9% price gain in 2019, compared with a 3.7% gain for homes that sold for 25% or more above the median.”

As Dr. Nothaft indicates, the lack of inventory continues to drive home price growth. This means there’s a high demand for homes in this tier of the market, making it a great time to consider using your equity to move up to a bigger or more premium home.

When you upgrade your home, you may be able to find the amenities or features you’ve dreamed of – such as a yard to plant or garden in with your family this spring, or more outdoor space for entertaining this summer. Maybe it’s the master bath you’ve always hoped for, or a garage to finally park your car inside.

Whatever you choose, if you’re moving out of an entry-level house, you’re likely going to be in the driver’s seat as a seller.

Bottom Line

If you’d like to own a bigger home, let’s get together to discuss your situation. You may be surprised by the current value of your home and the equity you’ve gained.

Weekly Market Report


For Week Ending February 15, 2020

According to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey of more than 8,000 real estate respondents, one in four home sales faced a settlement delay in December 2019. Seventy-one percent closed on time and four percent were canceled altogether. The biggest reasons cited for a delayed closing were issues related to financing (37%), appraisal issues (19%), and home inspection/environmental issues (17%).

In the Twin Cities region, for the week ending February 15:

  • New Listings increased 9.6% to 1,156
  • Pending Sales increased 13.9% to 967
  • Inventory decreased 14.8% to 7,692

For the month of January:

  • Median Sales Price increased 4.2% to $270,000
  • Days on Market increased 3.1% to 67
  • Percent of Original List Price Received decreased 0.1% to 97.0%
  • Months Supply of Homes For Sale decreased 11.1% to 1.6

All comparisons are to 2019
Click here for the full Weekly Market Activity Report. From MAAR Market Data News.

Favorable rates and weather spur home buying in Twin Cities

February 22, 2020

Latest housing report also shows falling inventory and rising prices

According to the latest housing report from the Minneapolis Area REALTORS® and the Saint Paul Association of REALTORS®, Twin Cities residential real estate started 2020 on solid but still uneven footing. Buyers were eager to ignite the spring market early, spurred by incredibly low mortgage rates and favorable weather, especially compared to last year. Tempering the market are falling inventory and rising prices.

“Buyers were again spoiled by rates that no one expected would be this low,” said Linda Rogers, President of Minneapolis Area REALTORS®. “That’s fueled more sales activity but we’re still missing the inventory piece.”

Sellers listed fewer homes for sale while buyers signed more purchase agreements and closed more deals. As a result, the number of homes for sale was almost 15 percent lower than last January. The supply squeeze wasn’t felt evenly across price points, though. While inventory of homes priced below $250,000 fell, the number of listings priced between $250,000 and $500,000 as well as $500,000 to $1,000,000 increased last month.

“The year is off to a solid start and metro area communities each have a unique story to tell when it comes to housing availability and price,” said Patrick Ruble, President of St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS®.

Some of the most competitive markets experiencing strong price growth are those with relatively higher levels of affordable or entry-level homes, such as Fridley, Vadnais Heights, Richfield, Brooklyn Center and Bloomington. That’s where multiple offers and homes selling for over list price are more common. Both millennial first-time buyers and downsizing empty nesters are competing over this limited supply of affordable homes close to the core cities. The move-up and upper-bracket home price segments are more balanced and better supplied.

January 2020 by the numbers (compared to a year ago)

  • Sellers listed 4,330 properties on the market, a 1.8 percent decrease from last January
  • Buyers closed on 2,870 homes, a 5.4 percent increase
  • Inventory levels declined 14.9 percent to 7,595 units
  • Months Supply of Inventory was down 16.7 percent to 5 months (5-6 months is balanced)
  • The Median Sales Price rose 4.2 percent to $270,000
  • Cumulative Days on Market increased 1.5 percent to 66 days, on average (median of 43)
  • Changes in Sales activity varied by market segment
    • Single family sales rose 5.5 percent; condo sales fell 3.5 percent; townhome sales rose 11.7 percent
    • Traditional sales increased 7.1 percent; foreclosure sales dropped 26.0 percent; short sales fell 52.6 percent
    • Previously owned sales were up 5.5 percent; new construction sales climbed 11.1 percent

From The Skinny Blog.

Opportunity in the Luxury Market This Year

Opportunity in the Luxury Market This Year | Simplifying The Market

Homes priced in the top 25% of a price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” At the start of last year, many of the more expensive homes listed for sale hadn’t seen as much interest, since much of the demand for housing over the past few years has come from first-time buyers looking for starter homes. It looks like buyer activity, however, is starting to show a shift in this segment.

According to the January Luxury Report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM):

“In a snapshot of 2019, despite pessimism at the start of the year, the last quarter showcased a strengthening, with an upswing in the luxury market for sales in both the single family and condo markets.”

Momentum is growing, and those looking to enter the luxury market are poised for success in 2020 as well. With more inventory available at the upper-end, historically low interest rates, and increasing average wages, the stage is set for buyers with an interest in this tier to embrace the perfect move-up opportunity.

The report highlights the increase in buyer activity in this segment, resulting in growing sales toward the end of 2019:

“According to reports from many luxury real estate professionals, the significant increase in number of properties bought at the end of 2019 versus 2018 is reflective of an early 2019 holding pattern.

Many of early 2019’s prospective luxury buyers held off while waiting to see how prices would react to new tax regulations and other policy changes. Buyer confidence returned in late spring and compared to 2018, above average sales were reported in the final quarter of 2019.”

With evidence of strong buyer confidence, this is great news, as more homeowners are building equity and growing their net worth throughout the country:

“Many homeowners are now diversifying their wealth, owning several properties rather than a single mega mansion. In addition, there have been an increase number of home purchases taking place in smaller cities, reflecting the rising number of people relocating from major metropolises. Their property equity wealth or ability to pay high rental costs have afforded them the opportunity to purchase luxury properties in…secondary cities throughout North America.”

With a strong economy and a backdrop set for moving up this year, it’s a great time to explore the luxury market. Keep in mind, luxury can mean different things to different people, too. To one person, luxury is a secluded home with plenty of property and privacy. To another, it is a penthouse at the center of a bustling city. Knowing what characteristics mean luxury to you will help your agent understand what you’re after as you define the scope and location for the home of your dreams.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about upgrading your current house to a luxury home, or adding an additional property to your portfolio, let’s get together to determine if you’re ready to make your move.

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time.
  • According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five-decade low.
  • The impact your interest rate has on your monthly mortgage payment is significant. An increase of just $20 dollars in your monthly payment can add up to $240 per year or $7,200 over the life of your loan. Maybe it’s time to lock in now while rates are still low.