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      Blog :: 05-2020

      COMPASS Contemplations for Thursday

      DID YOU KNOW? Manhattan markets are picking up: There were 47 in-contract deals from May 11 to 17th, up from 31 the week prior. That increase follows six consecutive weeks of declines.

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Besides DOW 25,000, what SIX METRICS could define the real estate recovery?

      1. The flattening of the curve. (This is a health-fueled crisis, not an economic fundamentals-fueled crisis). CHECK, for most areas.

      2. The end of stay-at-home orders. Once society moves around more freely, so too can commerce flow. CHECK for many areas, not all.

      3. The 10-year yield rises above 1%.  IMPROVING. Not there yet.

      4. Credit Stress. IMPROVING notably.

      5. JOBLESS CLAIMS. STILL BAD, yet most jobs lost were in sectors that are now re-opening. Re-hiring could improve dramatically. (eg: Amazon has offered 125,000 of the 175,000 part-time employees it hired for the pandemic a fulltime job)

      6. Hardest hit sectors improve. STARTING NOW.

      DID YOU KNOW? In Miami, April saw a 20.7% year-over-year drop in closed sales of single-family homes and a 36.5% plummet in condo-townhome sales during the same period. New listings in April were down over 27.2% year-over-year in the single-family category and were down 38.5% for the condo-townhouse sector. New pending sales for April took a 35.1% drop in the single-family category from a year earlier and pending sales in the condo-townhouse category sank by 56.6% from April 2019. April should prove to be the 'bottom' of this decline. May, however, is already showing a sharp improvement with pending sales up around 80%! $1m+ pending sales are up over 30% already.

      DID YOU KNOW? Dozens of U.S. cities have inadequate flood insurance coverage. In Boise, Idaho ValuePenguin found that there was only one active flood insurance policy despite there being more than 8,700 homes ....in a 100-year flood plain. Riverside, California, was the second-worst city for flood insurance coverage ratios, with only 344 active policies despite more than 40,000 homes in a 100-year flood plain. Across the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S., there are only 4 active policies for every 100 homes in active flood zones. Maybe a good time to check in with your clientele to see if their home is located in a flood zone and to make sure they have adequate insurance?

      DID YOU KNOW? In the week ending May 10, newly pending sales nationwide were up almost 50% from the same period in April. And in four large metros — Cleveland, Cincinnati, Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth, newly pending sales were up from the same time last year. New for-sale listings are up 12.5% month over month after the seven days ending on May 10, but year over year they were still down 27.6%. Overall, while home listings continue to bounce back, inventory still remains about 20% below last year’s already low levels. (Housingwire)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Summer is almost here and it may be a good time to message to your clients how to deal with ticks, a common problem with pets and kids....and adults! After safely removing the tick, one of the most important steps is to test the tick. Knowing the species and what disease(s) the tick is carrying will help with your diagnosis. Click here for a list of tick testing labs in the U.S. Click here for complete Be Tick AWARE resources.

       

      COMPASS Contemplations for Tuesday

      DID YOU KNOW? American biotech company Novavax has started the first human study of its experimental Coronavirus vaccine and expects initial results on safety and immune responses in July. Last week, Moderna reported positive development on its vaccine trial: all 45 participants had developed coronavirus antibodies. Merck plans to work alongside IAVI, a non-profit scientific research organization, to develop a potential vaccine against the Coronavirus. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Lumber prices for July delivery are up 46% from a low on April 1 and 15% higher than a year ago, indicating a rebound in construction demand. With trade tensions with China worsening, don't expect construction costs to go down: the exact opposite is possible. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Current cash levels are above a historical average dating back to 2005. Cash allocations have risen to nearly 14% for Bank of America clients. Over $1 Trillion could enter the markets soon..... the S&P 500 is up more than 35% since March 23. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? French GDP fell 5.8% in the three months to March, while Italy’s GDP contracted by 4.7%. In the previous quarter, their GDP fell by 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. GDP in Germany and the U.K. was down by around 2%, with GDP for the entire European Union shrinking by 3.3%. U.S. GDP fell by 1.2% in the first quarter, compared to 0.5% in the previous quarter. The second quarter could be as bad, if not worse as shutdowns extended. The World Bank has forecast a worldwide GDP contraction of 5% this year.....although I think we should always judge a year at the END of the year! After a big fall.....expect big rises!  I am optimistic!  (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? Mortgage availability has tightened sharply as lenders impose tougher income, credit-score and down-payment conditions and drop some loan types altogether, such as home-equity lines of credit. If you have any clients seeking to buy now or over the next few months, be certain to evaluate their credit scores early and connect them with a 'credit clean-up' consultant ASAP to improve their score.but a strong credit score alone may not be enough, so pre-approving buyers early may be more important now than ever. JP Morgan Chase said it wouldn’t make loans without a 20% down payment or a credit score of 700 or above. Wells Fargo stopped allowing cash-out refinancing loans. (WSJ)

      6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake

      6 Reasons Why Selling Your House on Your Own Is a Mistake | MyKCM

      There are many benefits to working with a real estate professional when selling your house. During challenging times like the one we face today, it becomes even more important to have an expert help guide you through the process. If you’re considering selling on your own, known in the industry as a For Sale By Owner or FSBO, please consider the following:

      1. Your Safety Is a Priority

      During this pandemic, your family’s safety comes first. When you FSBO, it is incredibly difficult to control entry into your home. A real estate professional will have the proper protocols in place to protect not only your belongings, but your family’s health and well-being too. From regulating the number of people in your home at one time to ensuring proper sanitization during and after a showing, and even facilitating virtual tours for buyers, agents are equipped to follow the latest industry standards recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to help protect you and your family.

      2. A Powerful Online Strategy Is a Must to Attract a Buyer

      Recent studies have shown that, even before COVID-19, the first step 44% of all buyers took when looking for a home was to search online. Throughout the process, that number jumped to 93%. Today, those numbers have grown exponentially. Most real estate agents have developed a strong Internet and social media strategy to promote the sale of your house. Have you?

      3. There Are Too Many Negotiations

      Here are just a few of the people you’ll need to negotiate with if you decide to FSBO:

      • The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
      • The buyer’s agent, who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
      • The inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find challenges with the house
      • The appraiser, if there is a question of value

      As part of their training, agents are taught how to negotiate every aspect of the real estate transaction and how to mediate the emotions felt by buyers looking to make what is probably the largest purchase of their lives.

      4. You Won’t Know if Your Purchaser Is Qualified for a Mortgage

      Having a buyer who wants to purchase your house is the first step. Making sure they can afford to buy it is just as important. As a FSBO, it’s almost impossible to be involved in the mortgage process of your buyer. A real estate professional is trained to ask the appropriate questions and, in most cases, will be intimately aware of the progress that’s being made toward a purchaser’s mortgage commitment. Further complicating the situation is how the current mortgage market is rapidly evolving because of the number of families out of work and in mortgage forbearance. A loan program that was there yesterday could be gone tomorrow. You need someone who is working with lenders every day to guarantee your buyer makes it to the closing table.

      5. FSBOing Has Become More Difficult from a Legal Standpoint

      The documentation involved in the selling process has increased dramatically as more and more disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. In an increasingly litigious society, the agent acts as a third-party to help the seller avoid legal jeopardy. This is one of the major reasons why the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

      6. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

      Many homeowners believe they’ll save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission. A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything by forgoing the help of an agent. In some cases, the seller may even net less money from the sale. The study found the difference in price between a FSBO and an agent-listed home was an average of 6%. One of the main reasons for the price difference is effective exposure:

      “Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”

      The more buyers that view a home, the greater the chance a bidding war will take place.

      Bottom Line

      Listing on your own leaves you to manage the entire transaction yourself. Why do that when you can hire an agent and still net the same amount of money? Before you decide to take on the challenge of selling your house alone, let’s connect to discuss your options.

      #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership: Family Wealth

       

      #1 Financial Benefit of Homeownership: Family Wealth | MyKCM

      While growing up, we were taught by our parents and grandparents that owning a home is a financially savvy move. They explained how a mortgage is like a “forced savings plan.” When you pay rent, that money is lost forever. When you make a mortgage payment, much of that money accumulates as equity in the home. So, what exactly is equity? The equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on the mortgage. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe. That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. A recent study by CoreLogic explained that homeowners gained substantial equity over the last twelve months, and are essentially sitting on large sums of cash in their homes. In the study, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic explained:
      “The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a quickening of home price gains during the fourth quarter of 2019, helping to boost home equity wealth. The average family with a mortgage had a $7,300 gain in home equity during the past year, and a total of $177,000 in home equity wealth.”
      For most families, their home is their largest financial asset. This increase in equity drives the net worth, or family wealth, of the homeowner. Renters are not earning that benefit. Instead, they’re building the net worth of their landlord.

      Bottom Line

      Home price growth will moderate during the pandemic. But once a cure is available, most experts agree that home values will again begin to appreciate at levels similar to what we’ve seen over the last several years. In the long run, our family elders will be proven correct: owning a home is a savvy financial move.

      Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year?

       

      Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year? | MyKCM
       

      Today, many people are asking themselves if they should buy or sell a home in 2020. Some have shifted their plans or put them on hold over the past couple of months, and understandably so. Everyone seems to be wondering if the market is going to change and when the economy will turn around. If you’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen and how to play your cards this year, you’re not alone.

      This spring in the 2020 NAR Flash Survey: Economic Pulse, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has been tracking the behavior changes of homebuyers and sellers. In a reaction to their most recent survey, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, noted the beginnings of a turn in the market:

      “After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy…Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.”

      What does the survey indicate about sellers?

      Sellers are positioning themselves to make moves this year. More than 3 in 4 potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders are lifted and they feel more confident, which means more homes will start to be available for interested buyers.Will the Housing Market Turn Around This Year? | MyKCM

      Just this week, Zillow also reported an uptick in listings, which is great news for the health of the market:

      “The number of new for-sale listings overall has shown improvement, up 5.9% last week from the previous week. New listings of the most-expensive homes…are now seeing the biggest resurgence, up 8%. The uptick is likely a sign sellers are feeling more confident because of improving buyer demand, as newly pending sales have also jumped up during the same period.”

      What does the survey note about buyers?

      The recent pandemic has clearly impacted buyer preferences, showing:

      • 5% of the respondents said buyers are shifting their focus from urban to suburban areas.
      • 1 in 8 Realtors report changes in desired home features, with home offices, bigger yards, and more space for their families becoming increasingly important.
      • Only 17% said buyers stopped looking due to concerns about their employment or loss of a job.

      As we’ve mentioned before, buyer demand is strong right now, and many are simply waiting for more inventory to become available so they can make a move, especially as the country begins to reopen.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, let’s connect today. There’s a good chance an eager buyer is looking for a home just like yours.

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