Lack Of Listings Slowing Down The Market

As the real estate market continues to move down the road to a complete recovery, we see home values and home sales increasing while distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) continue to fall to their lowest points in years. There is no doubt that the housing market will continue to strengthen throughout 2018.

However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory!

Here’s what a few industry experts have to say about the current inventory crisis:

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors

“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season…was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand, that is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”

Sam Khater, Chief Economist for Freddie Mac

“While this spring’s sudden rise in mortgage rates [took] up a good chunk of the conversation, it’s the stubbornly low inventory levels in much of the country that are preventing sales from really taking off like they should… Most markets simply need a lot more new and existing supply to cool price growth and give buyers enough choices.”

Alexandra Lee, Housing Data Analyst for Trulia

This seasonal inventory jump wasn’t enough to offset the historical year-over-year downward trend that has continued over 14 consecutive quarters…Despite the second-quarter gain, inventory was down 5.3% from a year ago. Still, this represents an easing of the double-digit drops we’ve been seeing since the second quarter of 2017.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strongest while there is still very little competition which could lead to a quick sale for a great price.

Source: Keeping Current Matters, 7-23-18


Posted on July 23, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Homes More Affordable Today Than 1985-2000

Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.

However, it is not just the price of a home that determines its affordability. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest rates stand at about 4.5%. The average annual mortgage interest rate from 1985 to 2000 was almost double that number, at 8.92%. When comparing affordability of homeownership over the decades, we must also realize that incomes have increased.

This is why most indexes use the percentage of median income required to make monthly mortgage payments on a typical home as the point of comparison.

Zillow recently released a report comparing home affordability over the decades using this formula. The report revealed that, though homes are less affordable this year than last year, they are more affordable today (17.1%) than they were between 1985-2000 (21%). Additionally, homes are more affordable now than at the peak of the housing bubble in 2006 (25.4%). Here is a chart of these findings:

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000 | Keeping Current Matters

What will happen when mortgage interest rates rise?

Most experts think that the mortgage interest rate will increase to about 5% by year’s end. How will that impact affordability? Zillow also covered this in their report:

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000 | Keeping Current Matters

Rates would need to approach 6% before homes became less affordable than they had been historically.

Bottom Line

Though homes are less affordable today than they were last year, they are still a great purchase while interest rates are below the 6% mark.

Source: Keeping Current Matters, 7-5-18


Posted on July 10, 2018 at 7:46 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Portland Business Journal’s Ranking of Residential Real Estate Firms


Posted on June 14, 2018 at 11:50 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Moving Up To Your Dream Home? Don’t Wait!

Mortgage interest rates have risen by more than half of a point since the beginning of the year, and many assume that if mortgage rates rise, home values will fall. History, however, has shown this not to be true.

Where are home values today compared to the beginning of the year?

While rates have been rising, so have home values. Here are the most recent monthly price increases reported in the Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic:

  • January: Prices were up 0.5% over the month before.
  • February: Prices were up 1% over the month before.
  • March: Prices were up 1.4% over the month before.

Not only did prices continue to appreciate, the level of appreciation accelerated over the first quarter. CoreLogic believes that home prices will increase by 5.2% over the next twelve months.

How can prices rise while mortgage rates increase?

Freddie Mac explained in a recent Insight Report:

“In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

Bottom Line

If you are thinking about moving up to your dream home, waiting until later this year and hoping for prices to fall may not be a good strategy.

Source: Keeping Current Matters, 5-17-18


Posted on May 17, 2018 at 5:54 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

What If I Wait Until Next Year To Buy A Home?

We recently shared that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae all project that mortgage interest rates will increase by this time next year. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Reporthome prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

If home prices appreciate by 5.2% over the next twelve months as predicted by CoreLogic, here is a simple demonstration of the impact that an increase in interest rate would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If buying a home is in your plan for this year, doing it sooner rather than later could save you thousands of dollars over the terms of your loan.

Source: Keeping Current Matters, 5-7-18


Posted on May 15, 2018 at 4:23 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Market Action for April 2018


Posted on May 14, 2018 at 6:42 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted The 2018 Housing Market

Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.

Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual that impact tax reform has had on the real estate market.

1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.”

According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis” and is a “highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends,”buyer demand has increased each month over the last three months and is HIGHER than it was for the same months last year. Buyer demand is not down. It is up.

2. Have the tax changes affected America’s belief in real estate as a long-term investment? The answer is “NO.”

Two weeks ago, Gallup released its annual survey which asks Americans which asset they believed to be the best long-term investment. The survey revealed:

“More Americans name real estate over several other vehicles for growing wealth as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. Just over a third cite real estate for this, while roughly a quarter name stocks or mutual funds.” 

The survey also showed that the percentage of Americans who believe real estate is the best long-term investment was unchanged from a year ago.

3. Has the homeownership rate been negatively impacted by the tax changes? The answer is “NO.”

Not only did the homeownership rate not crash, it increased when compared to the first quarter of last year according to data released by the Census Bureau.

In her latest Z Report,” Ivy Zelman explains that tax reform didn’t hurt the homeownership rate, but instead, enhanced it:

“We have been of the opinion that homeownership is most highly correlated with income and the net effect of tax reform would be a positive, rather than negative catalyst for the homeownership rate. While still in the early innings of tax changes, this has proven to be the case.”

4. Has the upper-end market been crushed by new State and Local Taxes (SALT) limitations? The answer is “NO.”

In the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report it was revealed that:

  • Sales between $500,000 and $750,000 were up 4.5% year-over-year
  • Sales between $750,000 and $1M were up 15.1% year-over-year
  • Sales over $1M were up 17.3% year-over-year

5. Will the reforms in the tax code cause home prices to tumble over the next twelve months? The answer is “NO.”

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, home prices will appreciate in each of the 50 states over the next twelve months. Appreciation is projected to be anywhere from 1.9% to 10.3% with the national average being 4.7%.

Bottom Line

The doomsday scenarios that some predicted based on tax reform fears seem to have already blown over based on the early housing industry numbers being reported.

Source: Keeping Current Matters, 5-10-18


Posted on May 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Homeowner vacancy rates plunge to near 2-decade lows

The U.S. homeowner vacancy rate dropped to 1.5 percent in the first quarter, the lowest level since 2001, a sign that houses aren’t going to waste amid a residential supply crunch.

The rate was down from 1.7 percent a year earlier and 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report Thursday. The vacancy rate is the proportion of the non-vacation-home inventory that is vacant and for sale.

The declining vacancy rate only adds to concerns about record low housing supplies, Genworth Mortgage Insurance Chief Economist Tian Liu said. There were 1.67 million U.S. homes for sale in March, down 7.2 percent from a year earlier and the lowest for that month in data going back to 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“The decline in vacancy rate has been an important, though silent, addition to the housing supply,” Liu said in a statement. “Home prices will likely rise further, and the need for more affordable new homes is also greater.”

Source: Bloomberg, 4-26-18


Posted on April 26, 2018 at 11:08 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Market Action for March 2018


Posted on April 20, 2018 at 9:05 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

Trend Alert: Big, Bold Floral Walls

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that some type of floral pattern will always be in style. And they’re even more prevalent in spring – especially this year. “We can hear Miranda Priestley’s dripping sarcasm now: Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking,” mused Country Living.

But today’s floral trends are a far cry from your grandmother’s busy, tightly patterned situation. Instead, it’s all about big and bold, and the trend is hitting hard for those who want to make a statement on one wall, or more.

This Ellie Cashman Design “dramatic, large-scale floral wallpaper is inspired by the still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age,” they said. “Majestic, ethereal blooms cascade down a dark, shadowy background.” The wallpaper appears as part of Elle Décor’s April Edit: Large-Print Florals (Their edit also includes dinnerware, placemats, and pillows, along with several fashion pieces.). “The April Edit is devoted to all petals, pistils, and stems,” they said. “A fresh bouquet, literal or figurative, marks the start of spring like no other. But beyond adding a fresh spray wherever counter space allows, plant a seed in your wardrobe and on your wall, too.”


Elle Decor
It’s just one of the large-print florals that are breaking the light and airy mold this season. Expect to see lots of these dark, dramatic looks, many with black backgrounds and others that continue with the jewel tone theme we’ve been seeing in fashionable interiors.

This black-backed print helps an entry come to life.


houselust
You don’t need a flat wall to create a statement wall – and your large floral print doesn’t have to be the only print in the space, etiher.


mydomaine.com
Think you can’t go bold in a small space? Think again!


hgtv.com – Mike Schwartz
Maybe it’s the fifth wall you have your eye on.


hgtv.com – Twist Tours
“Floral prints are always ‘in’ if you ask Anthropologie,” said Country Living. “Rather than a traditionally feminine look in 2018 they feel especially fresh and more interesting styled in a casual bohemian way. Juxtaposing florals with organic textures and neutral palettes evokes a new kind of elegance that is appealing.”

We also love that you can incorporate this trend into your home even if you don’t want to make such a semi-permanent commitment. There are numerous peel-and-stick options that will give you the look in an easily removable material, like this one from Etsy.


etsy.com
Or this fun and unique pattern from Walls Need Love that adds peacocks to the mix.


wallsneedlove.com
If the thought of covering a wall in something so bold is still too much, even in a removable application, think about smaller bursts of flower power, like these drapes.


theeverygirl.com – SF Girl By Bay
Or some show-stopping recovered dining chairs.


pinterest.com
 Source: Jaymi Naciri, Realty Times, 4-15-18

Posted on April 16, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Beverly & Doug Moser | Posted in Uncategorized |

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