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Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

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Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

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by Erika Kauzlarich-Bird

July 29, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
The current housing landscape presents greater home values, low interest rates, and high buyer demand. All of these factors point to the strong market forecasted to continue throughout the rest of the year.There is, however, one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: an overall lack of housing inventory. Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but the current supply is not keeping up.Here is a look at what a few industry experts have to say:Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors“Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices.”Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First American“Market conditions are ripe for increasing home sales with one glaring exception. . . .

July 23, 2019


by Keeping Current MattersWe’re halfway through the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the experts predict for the second half of 2019.Here’s what some have to say: Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com“Lower mortgage rates, higher wages and more homes for sale have helped counteract rising home prices, and ultimately, made it so that buyers are able to afford more than last year.” “Our outlook implies 4% growth for the remaining months of the year, predicated on…more supply than last year, the decline in mortgage rates, moderating home price appreciation and improving affordability.”Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR“Rates of 4% and, in some cases even lower, create extremely attractive conditions for consumers. Buyers, for good reason, are anxious to purchase and . . .

July 17, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Over the last few years, many sellers have been hesitant to put their houses on the market because they feared not being able to find another home to buy.We’ve reported on inventory shortages in the past, and it’s been a constant concern for potential buyers throughout recent years. New research shows the inventory concern is starting to decrease among potential buyers.According to First American, the two leading obstacles to homeownership that buyers feel today are Affordability and Limited Inventory. This means the feeling that homes are less affordable has risen, while the fear of limited inventory has decreased, delivering a wealth of good news for sellers.At the same time, over the past 12 months, we’ve seen a steady month-over-month increase in the number of homes coming to market for purchase. In the past, the lack of listings and . . .

July 08, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Homes priced at the top 25% of the price range for a particular area of the country are considered “premium homes.” In today’s real estate market, there are deals to be had at the higher end! This is great news for homeowners wanting to upgrade from their current house.Much of the demand for housing over the past couple of years has come from first-time buyers looking for their starter home. Many of the more expensive homes listed for sale have not seen as much interest.According to ILHM’s Luxury Report, this mismatch in demand and inventory of luxury and premium homes has created a Buyer’s Market. For the purpose of the report, a luxury home was defined as one that costs $1 million or more.“A Buyer’s Market indicates that buyers have greater control over the price point. This market type is demonstrated by a substantial number of . . .

July 01, 2019


by Keeping Current MattersRising home prices coupled with a lack of inventory in today’s market may cause some homeowners to consider selling their home on their own (known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner). However, a FSBO might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.The top 5 reasons are listed below:1. Online Strategy for Prospective PurchasersRecent studies have shown that 95% of buyers search online for a home. In comparison, only 13% use print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an Internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?2. Results Come from the InternetWhere did buyers find the home they actually purchased?50% on the Internet28% from a Real Estate Agent7% from a yard sign1% from newspapersThe days of selling your house by putting up a sign and listing it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong Internet strategy is . . .

June 24, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.1. Interest RatesOne of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. In our recent post we posed the question, “Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.2. Building MaterialsTalk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as . . .

June 18, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Here are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.1. Demand Is StrongThe latest Buyer Traffic Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other for the same home.Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.2. There Is Less Competition NowHousing inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in most of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in his or her home was six, but that number has hovered between . . .

June 10, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Freddie Mac recently released a report entitled, “Perceptions of Down Payment Consumer Research.” Their research revealed that,“For many prospective homebuyers, saving for a down payment is the largest barrier to achieving the goal of homeownership. Part of the challenge for those planning to purchase a home is their perception of how much they will need to save for the down payment… …Based on our recent survey of individuals planning to purchase a home in the next three years, nearly a third think they need to put more than 20% down.”Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”Buyers often overestimate the funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:22% of renters and 31% of homeowners believe lenders require 20% or more of a home’s sale price as a down payment for a typical mortgage today. . . .

June 03, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.1. Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 3.7% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.Home values will continue to appreciate. Waiting may no longer makes sense.2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have started to level off around 4.3%. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.An increase in rates will impact . . .

May 28, 2019


by Keeping Current Matters
In today’s housing market, home prices are increasing at a slower pace (3.7%) than they have over the last eight years (6-7%). However, they are still are above historical norms. Low supply of listed homes and high demand from buyers has pushed prices to rise rapidly.In the mind of the homeowner, annual home price appreciation over 6% has become the new normal. This becomes a challenge when a homeowner looks to refinance or sell their home, as the expectation of what the homeowner believes the home should be worth does not always line up with the bank’s appraisal.Every month, the Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) measures the disparity between what a homeowner seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.Over the last five months, the gap between the . . .
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