Our mobile site is optimized for smaller screens.

TRY IT NO THANKS
  • Boston Condos
+ Advanced Search

      buy

      The Truth About Today's Buyer Demand

      The Truth About Todays Buyer Demand | MyKCM
       

      When it comes to the latest news in real estate, there are a lot of sensational headlines in the media. In times like this, when it can be hard to know what to believe, put your trust in the experts. Those of us in the housing market respect that buying or selling a home is a major life decision, and we offer advice based on what the data shows.

      Despite what you may have read, the housing market is still undeniably strong. Here’s a look at what leading experts have to say about buyer demand today and how it continues to shape the industry:

      Michael Lane, President at ShowingTime:

      “In general, there are definite signs of cooling demand. However, buyer traffic is still at historically high levels compared to pre-pandemic showings.”

      Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American:

      “Seasonally adjusted purchase applications tick up slightly to the highest level since July. Demand for homes remains strong and steady. Excluding 2020 (not a good benchmark) purchase applications are the strongest in a decade.” 

      Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic:

      Home buyer demand pushed price growth to a new record high in June, with S&P CoreLogic national Case-Shiller Index clocking in an 18.6% year-over-year growth rate. The month-to-month index jumped 2.18%, making it another strong monthly growth, and the fastest May-to-June increase since the data series began.”

      What It Means for You

      As a seller, buyer demand is an important factor that helps influence how fast your house will sell and how many buyers may be competing for it. When buyers have to compete against each other for a limited supply of available homes, bidding wars can drive prices up. While things have cooled slightly since the peak of the pandemic housing rush, buyer demand is still far surpassing historical norms. That’s why we’re still in a sellers’ market.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re torn on whether or not you want to sell your home this year, rest assured it’s still a great time to make a move. Let’s connect to discuss how you can sell now and do it on your best terms thanks to today’s buyer demand.

      What Do Experts Say About Today's Mortgage Rates?

      Mortgage rates are hovering near record lows, and that’s good news for today’s homebuyers. The graph below shows mortgage rates dating back to 2016 and where today falls by comparison.

      What Do Experts Say About Todays Mortgage Rates? | MyKCM 

      Generally speaking, when rates are low, you can afford more home for your money. That’s why experts across the industry agree – today’s low rates present buyers with an incredible opportunity. Here’s what they have to say:

      Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Macpoints out the historic nature of today’s rates:

      “As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, and the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time.”

      Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americantalks about how rates impact a buyer’s bottom line:

      “Mortgage rates are generally the same across the country, so a decline in mortgage rates boosts affordability equally in each market.”

      Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, also notes the significance of today’s low rates and urges buyers to carefully consider their timing:

      Those who haven’t yet taken advantage of low rates to buy a home or refinance still have the opportunity to do so this summer.”

      Hale goes on to say that buyers who don’t act soon could see higher rates in the coming months, negatively impacting their purchasing power:

      “We expect mortgage rates to fluctuate near historic lows through the summer before beginning to climb this fall.”

      And while mortgage rates are still low today, the data from Freddie Mac indicates rates are fluctuating ever so slightly right now, as they moved up one week before inching slightly back down in their latest release. It’s important to keep in mind the influence rates have on your monthly mortgage payment.

      Even small increases can have a big impact on what you pay each month. Trust the experts. Today’s rates give you opportunity and flexibility in what you can afford. Don’t wait on the sidelines and hope for a better rate to come along; the rates we’re seeing today are worth capitalizing on.

      Bottom Line

      Mortgage rates hover near record lows today, but experts forecast they’ll rise in the coming months. Waiting could prove costly when that happens. Let’s connect today to discuss today’s rates and determine if now’s the time for you to buy.

      The Community and Economic Impacts of a Home Sale

      The Community and Economic Impacts of a Home Sale | MyKCM
       

      If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, chances are you’re focusing on the many extraordinary ways it’ll change your life. What you may not realize is that decision impacts people’s lives far beyond your own. Home purchases and sales are significant drivers of economic activity. They have a major impact on your community and the entire U.S. economy via the multiple industries and professionals that take part in the process.

      The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a report each year that highlights just how much economic activity a home sale generates. The chart below shows how the sale of both a newly built home and an existing home impact the economy:

      The Community and Economic Impacts of a Home Sale | MyKCM 

      To dive a level deeper, NAR also provides a detailed look at how that varies state-by-state for newly-built homes (see map below):

      The Community and Economic Impacts of a Home Sale | MyKCM 

      As you can see, a single home sale can have a massive effect on the overall economy. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist for Zonda, talks about this in a recent article, noting there’s a significant impact at each distinct phase of the transaction:

      The housing market contributes to the economy in four main stages: during planning and land development, throughout the actual construction of the home, at the point of sale, and upon moving in.

      When you buy or sell a home, you’re leaving a lasting impression on the community at large in addition to fulfilling your own needs. That’s because each stage of the process involves numerous contractors, specialists, lawyers, town and city officials, and so many other professionals. Every individual you work with, from your trusted real estate advisor to the architects who design new homes, has their own team of professionals involved behind the scenes.

      Bottom Line

      Homebuyers and sellers are economic drivers in their community and beyond. If you’re thinking of buying or selling, let’s connect today to start the process. It won’t just change your life; it’ll make a powerful impact on our entire community.

      Ready To Sell, but Don't Know Where You'll Go?

      Ready To Sell, but Dont Know Where Youll Go? [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM
       

      Some Highlights

      • If you’re thinking of selling your house but don’t know what you should buy, you have options.
      • Existing homes offer a wide variety of home styles, an established neighborhood, and lived-in charm. Meanwhile, new home construction lets you create your perfect home, cash in on energy efficiency, and minimize repairs.
      • Whether you’re looking for newly built or existing homes, both have their perks. If you’re ready to sell your house, let’s connect today to go over the perks of both existing and newly built homes to find out what’s right for you.

      Today's Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

      Todays Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM
       

      As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.

      A Shortage of Homes for Sale

      Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:

      “In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.”

      This is good news for buyers who crave more options. But even though we’re experiencing small gains in the number of available homes for sale, inventory remains a challenge in most states. That’s why it’s still a sellers’ market, giving homeowners immense leverage when they decide to make a move.

      Buyer Competition and Bidding Wars

      Today’s ongoing low supply, coupled with high demand, creates a market characterized by high buyer competition and bidding wars. Buyers are going above and beyond to make sure their offer stands out from the crowd by offering over the asking price, all cash, or waiving some contingencies. The number of offers on the average house for sale broke records this year – and that’s great news for sellers.The latest Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says the average home for sale receives five offers (seTodays Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends | MyKCM 

      For buyers, the best way to put a compelling offer together is by working with a local real estate professional. That agent can act as your trusted advisor on what terms are best for you and what’s most appealing to the seller.

      Home Price Appreciation

      The competition among buyers is driving prices up. Over the past year, we’ve seen home price appreciation rise across the country. According to the most recent Home Price Index (HPI) from CoreLogic, national home prices increased 15.4% year-over-year in May:

      “The May 2021 HPI gain was up from the May 2020 gain of 4.2% and was the highest year-over-year gain since November 2005. Low mortgage rates and low for-sale inventory drove the increase in home prices.”

      Rising home values are a big part of why real estate remains one of the top sought-after investments for Americans. For potential sellers, it also means it’s a great time to list your house to maximize the return on your investment.

      A Rise in Home Values and Equity

      The equity in a home doesn’t just grow when a homeowner pays their mortgage – it also grows as the home’s value appreciates. Thanks to the jump in price appreciation, homeowners across the country are seeing record-breaking gains in home equity. CoreLogic recently reported:

      “…homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.”

      That’s a major perk for households to leverage. Homeowners can use that equity to accomplish major life goals or move into their dream homes.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking about buying or selling, there’s no time like the present. Let’s connect to talk about how you can take advantage of the conditions we’re seeing today to meet your homeownership goals.

      3 Charts That Show That This Isn't a Housing Bubble

       

      3 Charts That Show This Isnt a Housing Bubble | MyKCM
       

      With home prices continuing to deliver double-digit increases, some are concerned we’re in a housing bubble like the one in 2006. However, a closer look at the market data indicates this is nothing like 2006 for three major reasons.

      1. The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

      Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130. As an example of the difference between today and 2006, let’s look at the volume of mortgages that originated when a buyer had less than a 620 credit score.

      3 Charts That Show This Isnt a Housing Bubble | MyKCM 

      Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, reiterates this point:

      “There are marked differences in today’s run up in prices compared to 2005, which was a bubble fueled by risky loans and lenient underwriting. Today, loans with high-risk features are absent and mortgage underwriting is prudent.”

      2. Homeowners aren’t using their homes as ATMs this time.

      During the housing bubble, as prices skyrocketed, people were refinancing their homes and pulling out large sums of cash. As prices began to fall, that caused many to spiral into a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of the house).

      Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

      Yet, the percentage of cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006.

       

      .3 Charts That Show This Isnt a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

      3. This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

      FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 housing bubble and drove up buyer demand. Back then, housing supply more than kept up as many homeowners put their houses on the market, as evidenced by the over seven months’ supply of existing housing inventory available for sale in 2006. Today, that number is barely two months.

      Builders also overbuilt during the bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade. Sam Khater, VP and Chief Economist, Economic & Housing Research at Freddie Macexplains that pullback is the major factor in the lack of available inventory today:

      “The main driver of the housing shortfall has been the long-term decline in the construction of single-family homes.”

      Here’s a chart that quantifies Khater’s remarks:3 Charts That Show This Isnt a Housing Bubble | MyKCM 

      Today, there are simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand.

      Bottom Line

      This market is nothing like the run-up to 2006. Bill McBride, the author of the prestigious Calculated Risk blog, predicted the last housing bubble and crash. This is what he has to say about today’s housing market:

      “It’s not clear at all to me that things are going to slow down significantly in the near future. In 2005, I had a strong sense that the hot market would turn and that, when it turned, things would get very ugly. Today, I don’t have that sense at all, because all of the fundamentals are there. Demand will be high for a while because Millennials need houses. Prices will keep rising for a while because inventory is so low.”

      The Right Expert Will Guide You Through This Unprecendented Market

       

      The Right Expert Will Guide You Through This Unprecedented Market | MyKCM

      In a normal market, it’s good to have an experienced guide coaching you through the process of buying or selling a home. That person can advise you on important things like pricing your home correctly or the first steps to take when you’re ready to buy. However, the market we’re in today is far from normal. As a result, an expert isn’t just good to have by your side – an expert is essential.

      Today’s housing market is full of extremes. Mortgage rates hovering near record-lows are driving high buyer demand. On the other hand, an absence of sellers is creating record-low housing inventory. This imbalance in supply and demand is leading to a skyrocketing rate of bidding wars and more houses selling over their asking price. This is driving home price appreciation and gains in home equity. These market conditions aren’t just extreme – they can be overwhelming. Having a trusted expert to coach you through the process of buying and selling a home gives you clarity, confidence, and success through each step.

      Here are just a few of the ways a real estate expert is invaluable:

      • Contracts – We help with the disclosures and contracts necessary in today’s heavily regulated environment.
      • Experience – We’re well-versed in real estate and experienced with the entire sales process, including how it’s changed over the past year.
      • Negotiations – We act as a buffer in negotiations with all parties throughout the entire transaction while advocating for your best interests.
      • Education – We simply and effectively explain today’s market conditions and decipher what they mean for your individual goals.
      • Pricing – We help you understand today’s real estate values when setting the price of your home or making an offer to purchase one.

      A real estate agent can be your essential guide through this unprecedented market, but truth be told, not all agents are created equal. A true expert can carefully walk you through the whole real estate process, look out for your unique needs, and advise you on the best ways to achieve success. Finding the right agent should be your top priority when you’re ready to buy or sell a home.

      So, how do you choose the right expert?

      It starts with trust. You’ll have to be able to trust the advice your agent is going to give you, so make sure you’re connected to a true professional. An agent can’t give you perfect advice because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen at every turn – especially in this unique market. A true professional expert can, however, give you the best possible advice based on the information and situation at hand, helping you make the necessary adjustments and best decisions along the way. The right agent – the professional – will help you plan the steps to take for success, advocate for you throughout the process, and coach you on the essential knowledge you need to make confident decisions toward your goals. That’s exactly what you want and deserve.

      Bottom Line

      It’s crucial right now to work with a real estate expert who understands how the market is changing and what that means for home buyers and sellers. If you’re planning to make a move this year, let’s connect so you have someone who can answer your questions, give you the best advice, and guide you along the way.

       

      How to Buy a Home Even Though Your Credit Stinks

      If you’ve always imagined owning a home but don’t think you have the necessary credit history to pull it off, you’re not alone. Owning a home has long been a part of the fabled American dream, but in recent years, the prospect of homeownership has become increasingly out of reach for many Americans. Between problems with the housing market and the nation’s overall economy, financial struggles have resulted in low credit scores and little savings. Fortunately, there are ways to buy a home even if your credit isn’t the greatest.

      Person Holding Black Ceramic Teapot  Image source: Pexels

      Face Your Credit Demons 

      When you don’t have an excellent financial history, checking your credit report is often the last thing you want to do. Reviewing one negative item after another can make anyone feel depressed, overwhelmed, and hopeless. However, your best bet is to just take a deep breath and jump in — you’ll feel proud of yourself once you do! Carefully review your report to find out what’s dragging your score down. If it’s been a while, you may be surprised that some things have dropped off your report due to the seven-year reporting limit. Doing what you can to start repairing your credit now will pay off in the future. 

      Get To Know Your Local Market

      The first step in any housing search is getting familiar with your local housing market. Do some online searches and check out some real estate sites to get an idea of what housing prices are like in your area and understand what you can afford. Consider a variety of neighborhoods and be honest with yourself about your wants versus needs in a future home.

      Understand Your Mortgage Options

      Specific mortgage terms vary from lender to lender, but there are a few major types of mortgage loans that you should be aware of. Conventional mortgages, which are not backed by the government, tend to require the highest credit scores and down payment amounts of all the mortgage types. Government-insured loans, such as FHA and VA loans, typically have a lower credit threshold and require a much lower down payment. Depending on your circumstances,
      you may also qualify for a first-time buyer program or down payment assistance resources.

      Lock-In a Low-Interest Rate

      Whichever type of mortgage you choose, it’s important to secure the lowest possible interest rate to keep your monthly payments — and overall amount due —as low as you can. Unfortunately, the lower your credit score, the higher risk you pose to a lender, which usually means a higher interest rate.

      To reduce your interest rate despite your credit history, you could offer larger cash down payment, or ask a relative with good credit to co-sign the loan with you. If those aren’t options, you may consider paying for mortgage points. When you buy mortgage points, you pay the mortgage lender a certain amount upfront in exchange for a lower interest rate. Many factors go into determining whether mortgage points are worth the cost. A mortgage points calculator may
      help you figure out if buying mortgage points is a wise choice in your particular circumstances. Be prepared for your journey to homeownership to take some time. Continue improving your credit score and saving what you can, and don’t rush into a bad deal that will only hurt your credit further. With patience, research, and planning, you can realize your dream of buying a home.

      If you’re ready to take the first steps towards purchasing a home, the Lyons Group can help you navigate the process. Contact one of our experienced agents at 617-901-4500 or lyonsgroup@compass.com today.

      What It Means To Be in a Sellers' Market

      What It Means To Be in a Sellers Market | MyKCM

      If you’ve given even a casual thought to selling your house in the near future, this is the time to really think seriously about making a move. Here’s why this season is the ultimate sellers’ market and the optimal time to make sure your house is available for buyers who are looking for homes to purchase.

      The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows the inventory of houses for sale is still astonishingly low, sitting at just a 2-month supply at the current sales pace.

      Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal or ‘neutral’ market in which there are enough homes available for active buyers.

      :What It Means To Be in a Sellers Market | MyKCM

      When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. As a result, competition among purchasers rises and more bidding wars take place, making it essential for buyers to submit very attractive offers.

      As this happens, home prices rise and sellers are in the best position to negotiate deals that meet their ideal terms. If you put your house on the market while so few homes are available to buy, it will likely get a lot of attention from hopeful buyers.

      Today, there are many buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. Low mortgage rates and a year filled with unique changes have prompted buyers to think differently about where they live – and they’re taking action. The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with this high demand, making now the optimal time to sell your house.

      Bottom Line

      Home prices are appreciating in today’s sellers’ market. Making your home available over the coming weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will actively compete against each other to purchase it.

      Are There Going To Be More Homes To Buy This Year?

      Are There Going to Be More Homes to Buy This Year? | MyKCM

      If you’re looking for a home to purchase right now and having trouble finding one, you’re not alone. At a time like this when there are so few houses for sale, it’s normal to wonder if you’ll actually find one to buy. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), across the country, inventory of available homes for sale is at an all-time low – the lowest point recorded since NAR began tracking this metric in 1982. There are, however, more homes expected to hit the market later this year. Let’s break down the three key places they’ll likely come from as 2021 continues on.

      1. Homeowners Who Didn’t Sell Last Year

      In 2020, many sellers decided to pause their moving plans for a number of different reasons. From health concerns about the pandemic to financial uncertainty, plenty of homeowners decided not to move last year.

      Now that vaccines are being distributed and there’s a light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, it should bring some peace of mind to many potential sellers. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:

      “Fortunately for would-be homebuyers, we expect sellers to return to the market as we see improvement in the economy and progress against the coronavirus.”

      Many of the homeowners who decided not to sell in 2020 will enter the market later this year as they begin to feel more comfortable showing their house in person, understanding their financial situation, and simply having more security in life.

      2. More New Homes Will Be Built

      Last year was a strong year for home builders, and according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 2021 is expected to be even better:

      “For 2021, NAHB expects ongoing growth for single-family construction. It will be the first year for which total single-family construction will exceed 1 million starts since the Great Recession.”

      With more houses being built in many markets around the country, homeowners looking for new houses that meet their changing needs will be able to move into their dream homes. When they sell their current houses, this will create opportunities for those looking to find a home that’s already built to do so. It sets a simple chain reaction in motion for hopeful buyers.

      3. Those Impacted Financially by the Economic Crisis

      Many experts don’t anticipate a large wave of foreclosures coming to the market, given the forbearance options afforded to current homeowners throughout the pandemic. Some homeowners who have been impacted economically will, however, need to move this year. There are also homeowners who didn’t take advantage of the forbearance option or were already in a foreclosure situation before the pandemic began. In those cases, homeowners may decide to sell their houses instead of going into the foreclosure process, especially given the equity in homes today. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains:

      “Given the huge price gains recently, I don’t think many homes will have to go to foreclosure…I think homes will just be sold, and there will be cash left over for the seller, even in a distressed situation. So that’s a bit of a silver lining in that we don’t expect a massive sale of distressed properties.”

      As we can see, it looks like we’re going to have an increase in the number of homes for sale in 2021. With fears of the pandemic starting to ease, new homes being built, and more listings coming to the market prior to foreclosure, there’s hope if you’re planning to buy this year. And if you’re thinking of selling and making a move, doing so while demand for your house is high might create an outstanding move-up option for you.

      Bottom Line

      Housing demand is high and supply is low, so if you’re thinking of moving, it’s a great time to do so. There are likely many buyers who are looking for a home just like yours, and there are options coming for you to find a new house too. Let’s connect today to see how you can benefit from the opportunities available in our local market. 

      sign up RECEIVE THE LATEST LISTINGS & SAVE SEARCHES Already a member? Sign in here