Housing: Year End Reports Reveal Market Coming Back


Housing Market Stats

My good friends at KCM have assembled some meaningful year end stats for teh housing industry. Bottom Line: residential real estate is coming back!

Here are some highlights:

1) Existing home sales rose 5.9% in November over October 2012.

2) November 2012 sales were the highest monthly sales since November 2009.

3) The National median existing-home price in November 2012 was 10.1% higher than November 2011.

4) Pending home sales for November 2012 were the 3rd straight month to increase and now are at the highest level in 30 months!

5) New home sales rose 4.4%

6) According to the Case Shiller Home Price Index, home prices are 4.3% higher in the 12 months ending October 2012.

As always, if you do have any real estate questions, please do ask!


Housing Market Year-Over-Year Infographic

I am always asked, “How is the market?” It is nice to see graphics like the above from The National Association of Realtors (NAR), however this is a National statistic. Please remember that real estate has many local drivers and will vary based on local facts. That said, if Nationally the trends are as NAR indicates, then it is very likely that your neighborhood and community are seeing similar results.

As always, if you have any questions, please do reach out in the comments or via email.



Some Points About Points

Loans and Mortgages can get very confusing for the home buyer. Add into the equation “points” and now you may have just added the hairdryer to the bathtub of  uncertainty. My good friends at Keep Current Matters have recently written a nice quick blog post with some good value “points” about Points.

I think this read is certainly worth your 3 minutes. Check it out here:  Some Points About Points.

Rents On the Rise in U.S.A.

According to the Wall Street Journal, rents are at an all-time high through out the United States. Couple this with nearly all-time low interest rates and a depressed housing value, maybe it is the best time to buy a home?


Green Mortgages




There are many mortgage products on the market these days, but which one is right for you? Obviously there are a lot of factors which play into that decision. However there is one product that has been on the market for a few years that many don’t talk about, or even know exists: The Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM). This is an “add on” product meaning that you would have this in addition to your FHA or 203K or VA loan. You can even get this as a re-finance.

As you may have guessed, this loan is specifically set up to help you convert your home into a more efficient or “Green” residence. This loan will allow you to borrow up to 5% of your home price (capped at $8K for FHA and $6K for VA Loans). Additionally, the additional debt you incur from this loan is not included in your qualify ratios as well.

For specific details about the EEM, and if it may be right for you, talk to your mortgage broker.

Home Prices: It’s About Supply

I’ve always believed that Real Estate was the ultimate Supply and Demand economic index. It appears we are starting to see this again depending on where you live. The Spring season has been strong throughout most of the USA. Though certain areas have begun to see multiple offers again, it does not necessarily mean that prices are starting to increase greatly. There still is a good amount of shadow inventory (distressed properties that banks are slowly getting selling) in many states.

Keeping Current Matters has just released an interesting quick read on this very subject. Check out the full article here:  Home Prices: It’s About Supply. There are also some good links to other information (such as State by State shadow inventory). One (I should say two) things I found interesting:

  • Demand has strengthened, showing a 10% national increase over the same month last year.
  • The supply of homes for sale is down 20% from the same time last year.

Some good food for thought as you head out looking to buy this season.

Another Positive Housing Report!

NAR has put together an interesting report again showing the “Perfect Storm” the Real Estate market has entered. This is good news all around – if you have been wanting to sell – there are buyers out in the market looking to buy. If you have been wanting to purchase, interest rates are even lower, and the sellers are motivated to move on.


Where Are House Prices Actually Headed?

One of the most popular questions being asked of Realtors currently is “When will home prices begin to increase?”  Though real estate remains one of the most localized industries recently three national index have announced they believe home prices will begin to appreciate in the next few years. Think of their answer as more tortoise than hare, but remember who won the race!

The three separate reports that have been published in the last 60 days: the Home Price Expectations Survey (HPES), the Urban Land Institute Real Estate Consensus Forecast (ULI) and the Demand Institute’s Report (DIR): The Shifting Nature of U.S. Housing Demand. 

Are You a Buyer Looking to Purchase a Short Sale?

In the market to buy a new home? Want a great deal and think that a Short Sale is the best option or vehicle for your discounted home purchase. A short sale real estate transaction may not be as smooth or as “discounted” as you may believe. If you are going to purchase real estate in a short sale, here are 4 items to consider:

1) On average the approval time for a short sale can take 60 to 90 days.

2) A misconception is that a short sale can sell for a big discount below the listed price (40% – 60%). Remember a bank will conduct its own valuation (BPO) to determine market value of the property. A discount yes, but not “half off.”

3) The entire short sale process can be tedious, make sure you work with both a Realtor and Attorney who are familiar with the short sale process.

4) Most short sale transactions are sold “As Is.”

For a more in depth look at these 4 points, check out my good friends at Keeping Current Matters. Here is a link to their full story:  Are You a Buyer Looking to Purchase a Short Sale?.

Further Proof the Real Estate Market Is Coming Back

Is the Housing Market really bouncing back? The National Association of Realtors certainly believes so. NAR recently released their March 2012 Pending Home Sales Index (a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings) and their numbers do show a strong March. According to this report (you can get their report HERE) March 2012 is shows an increase of sales contract signings of 12.8% above March 2011. The Index’s score of 101.4 is the highest score since April 2010.

The full store from NAR can be seen HERE.