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28 05, 2013

Existing Home Sales Numbers Highest Since 2009

Existing Home Sales Numbers Highest Since 2009The National Association of REALTORS reported that sales of existing homes in April reached 4.97 million on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.

Although this reading fell short of Wall Street’s expectations of 5.00 million existing homes sold, it surpassed the March 2013 upwardly revised reading of 4.94 million existing home sales. This represents a 0.60 percent increase from March to April, and a 9.70 increase year-over-year.

Low Mortgage Rates Contribute To High Sales Levels 

Low mortgage rates and pent-up demand for homes are driving sales of existing homes, which reached their highest level since November 2009. 

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS, indicated that housing market momentum is overcoming obstacles: “The robust housing market recovery is occurring in spite of tight access to credit and limited inventory. Without these frictions, existing home sales would be well above the five million unit pace.”

Inventories of homes for sale are gradually increasing; at the end of April, the total inventory of existing homes had increased by 11.9 percent to 2.16 million existing homes for sale. This represents a 5.20 month supply of available homes in April as compared to a 4.7 month supply of homes in March 2013. Listed inventory is 13.60 percent below April 2012, when there was a 6.60 month supply of homes available.

Average Home Sales Prices Up 14 Months In A Row

The national average price for all housing types was $192,800, and increase of 11.0 percent over April 2012. This represents the fourteenth consecutive month of rising average home prices; the last time this occurred was between April 2005 and May 2006.

Homes sold through foreclosure or short sales fell by three percent to 18 percent of existing homes sold in April.  Of these sales, 11.0 percent were foreclosure sales and 7.0 percent were short sales. Foreclosure sales averaged 16.0 percent below market value and short sales averaged 14.0 percent below market value.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, provided more positive news for U.S. housing markets as of March 2013. Average home prices for homes mortgaged by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increased by 7.20 percent year-over-year, and were up by 1.20 percent from February 2013. FHFA also reported that home prices had risen by 6.70 percent in the first quarter of 2013 as compared to the same period in 2012.

New Home Sales Show Rising Trend As Well

In related news, the Department of Commerce reports that New Home Sales are up by 2.30 percent from March to 454,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis.  This handily exceeds Wall Street’s consensus of 430,000 new homes sold in April, and is also higher than March’s reading of 444,000 new homes sold.

Buyers are turning to new homes due to pent-up demand in housing markets caused by low inventories of existing homes and low mortgage rates. It’s also likely that with home prices rising, would-be buyers are acting on indications that record low rates and home prices are expected to increase.

Rising home prices suggest that as demand increases, mortgage rates may not be far behind. Buyers in the  market today can still gain the advantage of historically low mortgage rates.

19 04, 2013

Four Ways To Ensure Your House Sells Quickly And For Top Dollar

4 Ways To Ensure Your House Sells For Top DollarSelling a house in the current market can be tricky, but there are certain mistakes an owner can make that will cause a home to sit still without a decent offer and cause the listing to go stale.

In order to prevent that from happening, make sure you are not making one of the following mistakes when putting your property on the market.

Overpricing

While your home may hold sentimental value, many times that value does not translate into dollars.

Be realistic about your asking price and know the details about your current market.

Look at the list price of similar houses on the market to get a rough idea of what you should ask for your property.

Make special note of the actual closing sales price as well as the time on market and listing to sales price ratio.

A licensed real estate agent can provide these details as well as give you their expert opinion based on experience and comparable properties.

Neglecting Repairs

Glaring problems with a property will cause the buyer to think the home was not properly maintained.

While it may cost some money, repairing things like holes in the walls, broken light fixtures or missing tiles can change a buyer’s entire attitude about a property.

Ask for help if you aren’t comfortable doing these things yourself.

A real estate professional will have a whole list of qualified referrals who they trust to help you get things fixed up.

Ignoring Curb Appeal

Overgrown and unweeded yards can cause potential buyers to drive right by.

Also, having junk in the front of your house or peeling paint can deter someone from considering the property.

Step across the street and take an honest look at your house – and then make necessary adjustments.

Fixing these items may be as easy as one weekend day of clean up and a little elbow grease.

And even though it’s not expensive to fix these issues, it can make thousands of dollars difference in the sale of your home.

Creating Or Allowing Foul Odors

Odorous foods, pet dander and the smell of smoke can be extremely distasteful to buyers.

Even if you are used to the smell, others entering your house will not be.

Make sure you air out the house, smoke only outdoors, and put away the litter boxes before an open house or showing.

Also, ask someone who isn’t at your home often to come in and give it a smell test.  

Brutal honesty here might hurt a little bit, but it’s a lot better than allowing this problem to prevent a quicker sale of your home.

Without even realizing they’re sabotaging a potential sale, homeowners can make several mistakes when first trying to sell their home.

To find out what you can do to make your property really stand out to potential buyers, please call a licensed real estate professional.

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