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May Housing Report

 

DENVER – May home sales ticked slightly higher year-over-year, ending a 9-month streak of declines, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. At the same time, inventory grew for the eighth consecutive month, representing the most units for sale since August 2016 in the report’s 54 metro areas.

Homes sold quickly, as evident in the Days on Market average of 47 – the second-fastest May average in the 10-year history of the report. And home sales increased 15.3% from April to May – the second-highest April-May jump in report history.

Home sales were up 0.4% over May 2018 – the first year-over-year gain since July 2018. The number of homes for sale increased 4.9% year-over-year to set a report record for the highest May growth. However, based on the pace of home sales, May’s 2.6 Months of Inventory was down compared to April’s 2.8 months and the 2.9 months of May 2018.

The Median Sales Price of $259,500 was up 3.4% year-over-year, representing the lowest May increase since 2011.

“The spring selling season was in full bloom during the month of May, offering both buyers and sellers something to like,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Buyers are generally finding increased selection along with moderating price increases.  At the same time, in general, sellers are selling their homes quickly while still enjoying some price gains. Bottom line, the market is operating efficiently right now, and homes are selling, on average, at a good clip.”

Closed Transactions 
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in May 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 15.3% compared to April 2019, and up 0.4% compared to May 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales increase were Billings, MT at +64.2%, Burlington, VT at +61.6%, and Minneapolis, MN at +35.8%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In May 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $259,500, up 3.3% from April 2019, and up 3.4% from May 2018. Three metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA at -5.1%, Honolulu, HI at -3.2%, and Billings, MT at  -1.6%. Three metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages: Milwaukee, WI at +14.2%, Boise, ID at +13.6%, and Albuquerque, NM at +10.2%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in May 2019 was 47, down five days from the average in April 2019, and up two days from the May 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 25, and San Francisco, CA and Denver, CO, both at 26. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME at 106, Miami, FL at 87, and Hartford, CT at 84. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in May 2019 was up 4.5% from April 2019 and up 4.9% from May 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in May 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.6 from 2.8 in April 2019 and decreased compared to 2.9 in May 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In May 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL at 6.2 reported a months supply at or over six. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID at 1.2, Omaha, NE at 1.3, and Manchester, NH and San Francisco, CA, both at 1.4.

 

A Plan for First-Time Homebuyers: Go from Prepared to Purchase

 

If you’re a first-time homebuyer who has succeeded in saving enough for a down payment (remember, you don’t necessarily need 20%) on your very first home – congratulations! You’ve tackled one of the hardest parts of the home buying journey with success, but you haven’t crossed the finish line to homeownership just yet. Now it’s time for the follow-up work that can take you from prepared to purchase.

Credit Check

Do you know your credit score? If not, it’s time to request a copy of your credit report from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian to find out your score and what it means to your future financial picture. Start working to resolve any errors or outstanding debts before it’s time to make an offer on a house. It’s important to determine your DTI, or debt-to-income ratio, by reviewing assets and debts. The higher your DTI percentage, the riskier the investment is for lenders – which can lead to higher interest rates.

Prepare the Paperwork

Begin gathering all necessary documents now to make the process run smoothly. Depending on your situation, this may include income documentation, proof of assets, personal documents, pay stubs, tax returns, bank statements, IDs, previous addresses and Social Security numbers. Study the documents as you collect them to familiarize yourself with your financial situation, motivate your home search and keep your debt-to-income ratio low.

Get Pre-Qualified or Pre-Approved

After you find the right agent, the next step is to make an appointment with a loan originator (find one near you). A loan originator can help you with pre-qualification or pre-approval. Keep in mind that many homeowners borrow less than the maximum to account for other expenses and opt into lower monthly payments. Revisit your financials with these new numbers in mind and, if necessary, make any final edits to your budget and payment plan.

Start your first home buying experience off the right way by finding a real estate agent who works for you at remaxallpro.com.

Expert Advice: Staging Your Home for Selling Season

If you own a home, it is likely one of your largest investments. When the time comes to move up or downsize, you want to do everything in your power to protect your equity and get your asking price – or more. One way to ensure your home is listed, and purchased, at the right price point is to work with a real estate agent to boost your home’s buyer appeal. Check out these home-staging tips from experts across the country.

  1. Depersonalize and Neutralize

A home filled with someone else’s personal belongings and clutter can make potential buyers feel as though they are invading private space.

“Neutralizing the atmosphere encourages buyers to envision themselves living there,” says Leslie Cain with RE/MAX Realty Affiliates in Carson City, Nevada. “Think of staging your home as an investment – it typically costs less than a first price reduction [if the home doesn’t sell].”

  1. Focus on Feature Rooms

Your real estate agent can help you see your home from the buyer’s eyes. Focus on the dining and living areas as well as the master bedroom.

“A common mistake is relocating clutter to closets – buyers will look there, too,” said Kathy Henne with RE/MAX Finest in Piqua, Ohio. “It’s best to move all unnecessary belongings out of the house and keep the space as sparsely furnished as possible. Once you have a cleared space, make sure to give it a deep cleaning.”

  1. Go Virtual

You want your home to be clean and decluttered, of course, but not having enough furniture can also be a problem, says Cynthia Fazzini with the Fazzini Group at RE/MAX Realtec Group in Palm Harbor, Florida.

“Since most potential homebuyers begin their home searches online, we often recommend digital staging to our clients with vacant homes,” said Fazzini. “Adding in furniture, artwork and rugs gives the home warmth and helps the buyer envision how the space can look with their belongings and decorations. We recently took on a new construction home that was vacant and had been on the market for six months with multiple price reductions. After digital staging, the house was under contract in seven days.”

Find an experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the home-selling process at remaxallpro.com.

April Housing Report

DENVER – April home sales finished just 1.1% below a year ago as selling times shortened and tight inventory held steady, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. Meanwhile, April’s median home price of $251,000 in the report’s 54 markets was up a mere 2.1% – the smallest year-over-year April increase in eight years.

April’s year-over-year sales decline of 1.1% marked the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year decreases, but April’s sales dip was the smallest during that time. At the same time, inventory increased 4.8% and marked the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year growth in number of homes for sale.

Compared to March, home sales in April sped up by a full week, taking an average of 52 days instead of 59. The average in April 2018 was 51 days. The Months Supply of Inventory in April decreased year-over-year from 3.0 to 2.6.

While the March-over-February increase in home sales of 28.8% was the smallest in five years, the April-over-March increase of 11.2% was an April-over-March record for the 10-year history of the report.

“April’s home sales blossomed, suggesting the typical seasonal jump in spring sales arrived later than usual this year,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “Solid buyer interest and sellers with realistic price expectations advanced the market’s march toward equilibrium last month. That said, inventory remains constricted, and prices continue to climb, albeit at a slower rate. All in all, April’s results were encouraging, and we continue to be cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a healthy spring selling season.”

Closed Transactions 
Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in April 2019, the overall average number of home sales is up 11.2% compared to March 2019, and down 1.1% compared to April 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Augusta, ME, at +30.4%, Des Moines, IA, at +23.6%, and Milwaukee, WI, at +22.9%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 54 metro median prices
In April 2019, the median of all 54 metro Median Sales Prices was $251,000, up 2.1% from March 2019, and up 2.1% from April 2018. Three metro areas saw a year-over-year decrease in Median Sales Price: San Francisco, CA, at -1.4%, Seattle, WA, at -1.0%, and Anchorage, AK, at -0.3%. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest gains in Boise, ID, at +14.8% and Birmingham, AL, at +13.8%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in April 2019 was 52, down seven days from the average in March 2019, and up one day from the April 2018 average. The metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE, at 27, and Denver, CO, and San Francisco, CA, both at 30. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME, at 116, Hartford, CT, at 89, and Miami, FL, at 86. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in April 2019 was up 3.3% from March 2019 and up 4.8% from April 2018. Based on the rate of home sales in April 2019, the Months Supply of Inventory decreased to 2.6 from 2.9 in March 2019, and decreased compared to 3.0 in April 2018. A six months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In April 2019, of the 54 metro areas surveyed, only Miami, FL, at 6.3 reported a months supply at or over six, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory were Boise, ID, Denver, CO, Manchester, NH, and Omaha, NE, all at 1.2.

Millennial Monopoly: 4 Real Estate Trends In 2019

What’s behind the rise in homeownership? Growing interest from millennials. Here are the 2019 millennial real estate trends you need to know about this year.Empowered with Knowledge
First-time, homebuying millennials are much more informed when it comes to renovations, repairs and real estate process than other generations. Growing up during the development of the internet has made them very tech and research savvy and able to find ways to access important information such as listings, neighborhood reports, HGTV home renovation videos and other types of industry information on their own. In 2019, they will rely on real estate agents to share information that they can’t find online such as neighborhood developments, local market forecasts, local housing regulations and more.

Buying homes – despite rising rates
Millennials continue to make up the largest segment of buyers, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages, compared to 17 percent of baby boomers and 37 percent of Generation Xers. While first-time buyers will struggle, older millennial move-up buyers will have more options in the mid-to upper-tier price point and will make up most of the millennials who close in 2019. As their housing needs adjust over time, millennials are on track to make up the largest share of homebuyers for the next decade.

Sweat Equity
Many millennials grew up watching renovations and makeovers on HGTV, which means many of them are ready to invest sweat equity in their new home. Millennial homebuyers, overall, are more aware of the costs, work and implications of renovations than the previous generations. This is good news as interest rates rise and buyers should be prepared to settle for homes in need of TLC.

New Buying Strategies
Social media continues to impact millennial homebuying habits. They rely on online reviews to make purchasing decisions, and a strong online reputation for real estate professionals is a must in catering to this market. In fact, a recent study showed that millennials would prefer to buy a house from a real estate agent influencer over a traditional real estate agent. Showcasing a home on social media, especially on visual-heavy platforms like Instagram, is essential for appealing to millennial buyers.

Research your way to the right real estate agent who can make all the difference. RE/MAX agents are more recommended because they recommend what’s right for you and your future. Find an agent today at remaxallpro.com.

March Housing Report

DENVER – Kicking off the spring homebuying season, March sales climbed almost 29% over February, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report. But this remains the slowest start in five years, with March sales 8.6% lower than March 2018.

March was the eighth consecutive month of year-over-year sales declines and the sixth straight month of year-over-year inventory growth, with a 5.3% gain. Housing activity in the report’s 54 markets nationwide also saw the Median Sales price grow by 3.4% year-over-year – notably smaller than the year-over-year increases in February (5.5%) and January (4.6%).  However, the median sales price has risen by more than 3% year-over-year in 17 of the last 18 months.

Good News for Buyers and Sellers This Spring Selling Season

Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, there’s good news to report as the spring selling season approaches. Slowing sales and growing inventories benefit buyers while record prices benefit sellers, according to data in this February’s RE/MAX National Housing Report.“Trends of five months or more often indicate significant shifts, and the year-over-year trends in declining sales and rising inventory have both reached that length now,” said RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos. “The big picture supports an ongoing return to more balanced conditions, which is beneficial to buyers and sellers.”

Inventory Bounces Back
Inventory grew 5.8 percent over February of 2018, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth following a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. Of the 54 metro areas surveyed in February 2019, the overall average number of home sales is down 4.2 percent compared to last February.

Rising Median Sales Price
Bucking downward trends, the Median Sales Price increased to $240,000, a year-over-year gain of 5.5 percent and a February record in the 10-year history of the report. Four metro areas increased year-over-year by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Boise, Idaho; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Wilmington/Dover, Delaware.

Home Sales Down
Home sales in the 54-market report have declined year-over-year for seven consecutive months, though February’s downturn of 4.2 percent was the smallest since the 1.1 percent drop that started the streak in August 2018. Leading the month-over-month sales percentage increase were Houston, Texas; Birmingham, Alabama; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

“The next few months will determine whether the shift brings a wave of buyers into the market for the spring selling season,” added Contos. “Members of our network are reporting high local demand along with a need for even more inventory. The optimism for a solid spring exists — and a more balanced market certainly contributes to it.”

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, find an experienced, top-producing agent on remaxallpro.com.

February Housing Report

 

DENVER – Riding two trends—declining sales and growing inventory— the U.S. housing market continued to transition from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market in February, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

Home sales in the 54-market report have declined year-over-year for seven consecutive months, through February’s downturn of 4.2% was the smallest since the 1.1% drop that started the streak in August 2018. At the same time, inventory grew 5.8% over February of 2018, marking the fifth consecutive month of growth following a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory. The Months Supply of Inventory also grew in February from 3.1 in 2018 to 3.4 this year.

Find the complete report here

 

 

Tidying Up Tips Hit the Housing Market

 
 

Admit it — over the holiday break you found yourself binge-watching the hit show with superstar organizing consultant Marie Kondo and quickly realized your place is not sparking much joy. Never fear! The KonMari Method is here and the tidying-up trend can give sellers and buyers the gentle nudge needed to organize their personal spaces or clean up their financial houses before showings or placing a bid.

WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
The theme behind the hip, tidying trend is that by making changes in our living space we create a catalyst for change and give ourselves the momentum we need to take charge in other areas of life. A nicely organized and de-cluttered home shows well and knowing your financial story before hunting for a new home sets you up for success.

SPARK TIME SAVINGS
Just like the KonMari method can help organize your home, buyers are encouraged to tidy up their credit to save time too. Buyers who know their credit score, debt to income ratio and come with pre-approved home loans are saving time and headaches in the house hunting process which can mean the difference between deal or no deal. By building a strong financial foundation before you shop, your bid on the house of your dreams will have time on its side.

SHOW STOPPERS
For sellers, once your belongings are scaled back, you can reclaim some of that time you wasted on running around, cleaning up before a scheduled showing. Many sellers say the ultra-approach to simplifying has changed their lives and it helps them with the quick-clean when they are showing their homes to prospective buyers. By staying on top of the little things, like that big stack of papers, mail and books piling up on the dining room table – it’s easier to give your space a quick-clean before a last-minute showing.

SENSE OF SATISFACTION
The tidying-up method can make our brains happy and leave us with a sense of accomplishment. Order matters in avoiding debt and financial stress too. Earn, save and enjoy is key in tackling those finances. Concentrate on being proactive with your finances and stay financially responsible as you try to qualify for a home loan. Having your financial house in order feels as good as organizing that messy hallway closet.

SHOW YOUR BEST SIDE
If you have your home on the market, simplifying a space can help you sell. Agents often tell sellers with big kitchens to clean out the useless items and create that extra space – this allows buyers to get a feel for space and imagine where their own kitchen appliances would be placed or stored.

DECREASE FRUSTRATION
Buying or selling a home is hard, but the simple task of organizing can cut through the daily hassles of life. A well-organized home and a firm understanding of your finances can have wide-reaching effects on our mood, happiness and even relationships during the home buying or selling period.

Looking to simply the hunt for a house or to sell your home? Find an experienced agent at remaxallpro.com

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January Housing Report

A sixth consecutive month of declining home sales in January contributed to the largest year-over-year inventory increase in at least 10 years, according to the RE/MAX National Housing Report.

While year-over-year home sales dropped 11% – extending a streak that began in August – inventory grew year-over-year by an average of 6.4% across the report’s 54 U.S. metro areas. January marked the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year inventory growth – further reversing a decade-long trend of shrinking inventory.

Find the complete report here