Monday, December 29, 2014

Freddie Mac: 2015 Home Sales to Hit 2007 Levels

According to Freddie Mac’s latest U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, U.S. home sales in 2015 will show increase to the numbers associated with a normal real estate market. Here is their projection:
“We are projecting a 4 percent rise in sales to 5.6 million, which would mark the highest level of annual sales since 2007.”

And their optimism was seconded by both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).Freddie Mac: 2015 Home Sales to Hit 2007 Levels | Keeping Current Matters It seems that an improving economy and jobs market will mean a very healthy housing market.



Monday, December 22, 2014

Do you fit the description of a first time home buyer?



There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage. We want to share what the typical first time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:First Time Homebuyers Profile | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home.

From the KCM Blog

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Buyers Look West to Canyon County

Home sales fell nearly twice as much as normal from October to November in Ada and Canyon counties, according to the latest report from the Intermountain Multiple Listings Service. But Jere Webb, associate broker at Downs Realty in Eagle, says he doesn't take much stock in month-to-month swings. More revealing, Webb says, are the year-to-date totals, which show Ada County will fall short of its 2013 sales while Canyon County will top its 2013 numbers.

"People are looking for the lower price point," Webb says. "Prices have gone up enough in Ada County that people are heading west for cheaper houses."

Webb says that the Treasure Valley's price growth, which is modest compared with 2012 and 2013 gains, shows the market is settling into a healthy growth period rather than a boom that could lead to another real estate bubble.


Thanks to the Idaho Statesman

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Rents are Rising, time to buy!



Finding apartments and rental homes has been tough in the Treasure Valley since late 2010, when vacancy rates fell below their historical averages of 5 or 6 percent. The Valley's total vacancy rate fell to 2.6 percent in September, according to the Southwest Idaho Chapter of the National Association of Residential Property Managers. The average monthly rental price for apartments in Canyon County jumped 23.4 percent from one year earlier, to $691, thanks to increased demand, according to the chapter's analysis of its third-quarter survey of rental management companies. The average cost of Canyon County single-family homes rose 13.2 percent to $960. Ada County increases were smaller. Average apartment prices increased 5.3 percent to $679, and single-family homes stayed flat at $960.

Courtesy the Idaho Statesman

Monday, December 15, 2014

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth

Posted: 15 Dec 2014 04:00 AM PST
New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth | Keeping Current Matters The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creation.” The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. The article explains:
“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances. The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:
“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.” “Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Boise #2 in nation for Baby Boomer Sales

NAR Identifies Top Metro Areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Home Sales


WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Dec 10, 2014) -  Metro areas with a lower cost of living and sunnier weather are poised to see an increased number of baby boomers moving in and buying a home as some delay retirement and remain participants in the labor market, according to new research by the National Association of Realtors®.

NAR analyzed current population trends, housing affordability and local economic conditions in metropolitan statistical areas1 across the U.S. to determine housing markets most likely to see a boost in sales from leading-edge baby boomers2. Boise, Idaho and Raleigh, North Carolina were identified as top standouts for baby boomers for their solid job growth, share of self-employed workers and affordable home prices.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says Florida and Arizona cities attract many baby boomers. In addition, the share of men and women working after their 65th birthday has increased3, setting the stage for elevated baby boomer buying activity in metro areas with a dynamic local economy, adequate housing supply and a lower cost of living.

"A broadly improving economy and rebounding home prices are giving baby boomers the opportunity to sell and move to support their retirement lifestyle. Furthermore, our research identified cities movers are gravitating to while still remaining in the workforce as a business owner," Yun said.

NAR's research reviewed 100 metro areas that have lower state taxes, solid job market conditions, and strong migration patterns (on a percentage basis) of baby boomers moving to that particular area to determine which housing markets are likely to see a boost from this generation. Cost of living, housing affordability and inventory availability were also considered.

The top markets positioned to see an influx of baby boomer homebuyers are (listed alphabetically):

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Boise, Idaho

  • Denver

  • Fort Myers, Florida

  • Greenville, South Carolina

  • Orlando, Florida

  • Phoenix

  • Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Sarasota, Florida

  • Tucson, Arizona

Other markets with strong potential for attracting baby boomer homebuyers include:

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Dallas

  • McAllen, Texas

  • Riverside, California

  • Tampa, Florida

"These metro areas are attractive to baby boomers because of their housing affordability, lower tax rates and welcoming business environment," says Yun. "With baby boomers working later in life, these factors will likely play as much of a deciding role of where boomers eventually retire as will areas with a warm climate or variety of outdoor activities."

According to a NAR generational study of homebuyers and sellers released earlier this year, baby boomers represented 30 percent of all buyers, had a median household income of $92,400 and bought a home that cost $210,0004.

NAR also recently analyzed current housing conditions, job creation and population trends to determine the best markets for aspiring, leading edge millennial homebuyers. Visit www.realtor.org/millennials to find out more about millennials and homebuying.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

1Areas are generally metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. NAR adheres to the OMB definitions, although in some areas an exact match is not possible from the available data. A list of counties included in MSA definitions is available at: http://www.census.gov/population/estimates/metro-city/List4.txt.

Regional median home prices are from a separate sampling that includes rural areas and portions of some smaller metros that are not included in this report; the regional percentage changes do not necessarily parallel changes in the larger metro areas. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Quarter-to-quarter comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns.

Median price measurement reflects the types of homes that are selling during the quarter and can be skewed at times by changes in the sales mix. For example, changes in the level of distressed sales, which are heavily discounted, can vary notably in given markets and may affect percentage comparisons. Annual price measures generally smooth out any quarterly swings.

NAR began tracking of metropolitan area median single-family home prices in 1979; the metro area condo price series dates back to 1989.

Because there is a concentration of condos in high-cost metro areas, the national median condo price often is higher than the median single-family price. In a given market area, condos typically cost less than single-family homes. As the reporting sample expands in the future, additional areas will be included in the condo price report.

2Baby boomers are generally categorized as those born in the U.S. between 1946 and 1964. NAR's research analyzed leading-edge baby boomers (ages 60-69).

3 According to the U.S. Department of Labor's civilian labor force participation rates by age, sex, race, and ethnicity, 1992, 2002, 2012, and projected 2022 (Table 3.3)

4 According to NAR's Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. The study breaks baby boomers into two generations: Younger (ages 49-58) and Older Boomers (ages 59-67). All information is characteristic of the 12-month period ending in June 2013 with the exception of income data, which are for 2012.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

November Market Report for Ada County

November Market Report – I’m giving thanks and hoping for a nice Christmas present

by marclebowitz

by Marc Lebowitz, RCE, CAE

Executive Director, Ada County Association of REaltors

Single family home sales in November 2014 were 528 in Ada County, an decrease of 5% compared to November 2013.  YTD total sales are down 3% compared to this time last year; 7,155 homes sold compared to 7,387. Reluctantly, I’m going to have to recognize that total homes sold in 2014 will not exceed the number of homes sold in 2013.

On the other hand, total dollar volume for November was $139M (up 4% over November 2013). Year-to-date dollar volume is $1.75B compared to $1.72B in 2013.

Consistent with the rest of 2014, sales of homes in November priced above $160,000 showed increases in nearly every price category.

Average Days on Market in November were 57; two fewer days than last month. In November 2013, Days on Market was 52.

New homes sold in November totaled 103; down 3% from last year.

Existing home sales were 425; down 6% from November 2013.

Historically November sales decrease from October levels by an average of 9%.   This year there was an decrease of 19%; which is more consistent with the last three years.

Pending sales at the end of November were 827; even to November 2013. Pending sales are our best “forward looking” indicator. The last three months have shown a stronger “Pending Sales” picture.

November median home price was $215,319; up 5% from November 2013. Our YTD median price is $209,990; up 6% over last year.

New Homes median price for September was $295,095; up 7% from November 2013. For Existing homes the increase is 7% to $197,000.

The number of houses available for sale at the end of November decreased 13% from October 2014 to 2,591. This is even to last year.

As is typical this time of year, inventory contracted in all price categories for November.

Consistent what we’ve been observing regarding inventory, homes in the $120,000 - $160,000 shrank more than any other price point.

In Ada County we now have 3.8 months of inventory on hand, essentially unchanged from the end of July.

The price categories in shortest supply are $100,000 to $119,000 which has 1.4 months; and $120,000 – $159,000 which has 1.9 months.

From $200,000 to $400,000 we have 2 - 4 months available.

Of sales in November, the price point that held on to it’s summer pace was $300,000 – $400,000..downs 11%.

As it looks now, in Boise and the nation, sales in 2014 will not exceed 2013 in number of homes sold. Because of the solid median price appreciation, dollar volume will be well ahead of last year.

You will start to hear the media asking: “Is the recovery over?”

The answer to that is a resounding “No.”

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR give his reason for why 2015 will be another very solid year for real estate in Ada County.

One reason for his optimism was released in a report yesterday: “NAR Identifies Top Metro areas Poised for Uptick in Baby Boomer Sales”. (Which I will repost in tomorrow's blog post. Roger)

There we are…#2!




Saturday, December 6, 2014


The Real Estate Market Has Turned The Corner

The Real Estate Martket Has Turned The Corner | Keeping Current Matters As we finish 2014, it appears the real estate market is once again on solid footing and ready to advance forward over the next few years. The strength of the market can be viewed using two metrics: projected home values and projected house sales. We recently reported that the Home Price Expectation Survey revealed future home values will continue to appreciate nicely. Today we want to look at projections on the number of home sales (existing and new construction) we will see over the next two years. We researched what the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers’ Association(MBA) are projecting for the housing industry going forward. Here is what we found:The Real Estate Market Has Turned The Corner | Keeping Current Matters All three entities see the number of home sales increasing in both 2015 and 2016. This is further proof the housing market is back.