Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home Prices Up 10.6% This Year

housing-price1Compared to cities tracked in a national index, Seattle home prices rose  faster between February and March than 18 of the 19 other cities that were tracked. The 12 month rise was still within the national average. According the Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller home price index, Seattle prices rose 3.0 percent for the month and 10.6 percent for the year.
Compared to a year ago, U.S. home prices jumped 10.9 percent in March which was the most since April 2006. More buyers are bidding on a small supply which is driving prices higher, making the market more competitive as well as improving the housing market. Phoenix had the highest annual gain with 22.5 percent followed by San Francisco with 22.2 percent and Las Vegas with 20.6 percent. New York had the smallest annual increase with only 2.6 percent.
Although the market is seeing higher gains, many home owners are not putting their homes on the market which is contributing to home prices rising and encouraging builders to heighten construction. Applications for building permits rose in April making it the highest level in close to 5 years. If you're looking to buy or sell your home, contact your local real estate agent today.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Annual U.S. Home Value Appreciation Up for 6th Straight Month

According to the April Zillow Real Estate Market Reports, U.S. home value continues to climb. April was the sixth consecutive month that home values exceeded a 5 percent climb. This is the largest streak since 2006. The streak should not be expected to last. As more inventory is offered in the market some home prices will have to fall to level out with the rest. The Zillow Home Value Forecast predicts a 4 percent climb in the next year although most markets have already hit bottom.

National rents declined 2 percent in April compared to March. Demand for rental properties is still strong. Many investors are buying homes, fixing them up and turning them into rental units. Because of this, many markets are seeing less inventory and sharp home value appreciation brought on by the investors. Over the past month there has been a slight increase in inventory in some markets as more housing is constructed as well as more sellers enter the market. If you're interested in selling or buying a home, please contact your local real estate expert today.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Housing Market is Heating Up and Many Homebuyers are Clueless

homesAccording to a study conducted by Zillow, when it comes to understanding mortgages, buyers answered basic questions about terms, lenders and financing wrong one third of the time. The study of over 1,000 prospective and current buyers, which was conducted in April found that 34% didn’t know the meaning of the term “annual percentage rate,” 31% of buyers didn’t think that they could get a mortgage for less than 5% down, and 1 in 4 were under the impression you should close with the lender who per-approves your mortgage. It’s important for buyers to shop around and compare rates  and reviews before finding the best loan for them. The results also showed that 34% of surveyors thought that lenders were required by law to charge the same fees to all clients for credit checks appraisals, etc, which is a false assumption. Fees will vary between bank to bank, and sometimes can be negotiated.
It can be difficult to choose which is the best deal for you, if you don’t understand what the various mortgage terms mean. The APR, or Annual Percentage Rate factors include fees, origination and underwriting fees, and other costs borrowers use to calculate the actual cost of loans. This lack of knowledge can really hurt your overall savings. Many buyers believe they need a down payment of 5% bare minimum, but loans given by the Federal Housing Administration can actually only require 3.5%. Many buyers also begin shopping around with financing in place so they’re able to move quickly on a home they really want, and according to the study, 26% of buyers believe once they’re pre-approved, they must honor that loan in closing, but that is far from the truth; there is really no obligation. If buyers see better loan terms available, they should take them! For more information for buyers and sellers, visit CNN Money.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Ways to Avoid Sabotaging Your Home Sale

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According to the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of all new listings take 90 days or more to sell, 22 percent take 6 to 12 months, and 9 percent take more than a year. It’s a seller’s market, so why are so many homes sitting on the market for so long? Jeff Dowler, an agent with Solution Real Estate in Carlsbad, California believes it most likely is because of the home owner.

Asking an unreasonably high price for the home is not going to  attract buyers. Limiting the hours and time on weekends or any day to allow the home to be shown also limits the number of potential buyers. It is best to have the house as available as possible to allow it to be viewed.

Other things that may sabotage selling your home and cause it to be kept on the market longer are:
  • Not having the home ready to be viewed at any time. An agent might call wanting to show the house to a potential buyer in an hour. If the house is dirty or messy, that can turn off anyone who might have been interested.
  • Smells in the house can be a turn-off as well. Musty, dirty smells will not give the house a “clean” feeling. Artificial smells from candles and deodorizers might make the interested buyer wonder what the owner is trying to cover up with the scent. If it is a nice day out, opening windows can help naturally freshen the air inside the home.
  • Not keeping the home maintained and fixing things. Most buyers may not be looking for a “fixer-upper” and may notice the little things that need to be replaced. They may see that as more work for them to have to do as well as more money they will need to spend and give the home a run down feel.
Sellers who do not want to sabotage selling your home, should be flexible with allowing your agent to have time for showings, while keeping the home clean and maintained, and working with your agent to come up with a reasonable asking price. For more information on Residential Sales, contact your local real estate agent today.