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      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region

      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCM

      Buyers are out in full force this fall, increasing the demand for homebuying in all four regions of the country.

      According to the latest ShowingTime Showing Index,

      “Home showing activity was up again nationwide with a 4.6 percent rise in traffic, as the traditionally slow fall season began with a marked boost in buyer interest.”

      Buyers clearly have the right idea, as mortgage rates have dropped over a full percentage point since the fall of 2018. They’ve hovered in a historically low range since this summer, making the overall cost of homeownership significantly more attractive and affordable.

      Here’s the breakdown of how ShowingTime reports current buyer traffic patterns across the country:

      “The West Region, which until August had experienced 18 consecutive months of flagging home buyer traffic, lead the four regions in year-over-year improvement with an 8.9 percent increase in buyer activity.

      The South followed with a 6.4 percent increase, the largest such improvement in the region since April 2018, with the Northeast Region’s 5.6 percent increase the next largest among the four regions.

      The Midwest’s more modest 0.8 percent year-over-year growth rounded out the nation’s promising month.”

      Buyer Demand Growing in Every Region | MyKCMWith ShowingTime reporting “nationwide growth for the second consecutive month, a first since December 2017 – January 2018”, it’s one more reason why selling your house this winter is the way to go. List while buyers are on the market before the competition with other sellers pops up in your neighborhood.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re thinking of waiting until spring to sell, think again! Let’s get together to discuss listing your house now while buyer traffic is actively surging throughout the country.

      Millennials: Here's Why the Process is Well Worth It.

      Millennials: Heres Why the Process is Well Worth It. | MyKCM

      Millennials have waited longer than any other generation to become homeowners, but the wait for this cohort is just about over.

      According to National Mortgage News,

       “Millennials, those young adults now aged 23 to 38, are now entering their peak household formation and homebuying years.

      If you’re a Millennial, you’re already well aware that you’re among a generation of those who favor fast-paced, real-time answers – and results. When you’re ready to make a decision, it’s go-time, and you probably want the latest technology at your fingertips to make it happen.

      National Mortgage News agrees, stating,

      “Millennials are different than previous generations—not only in their delayed homebuying but also in how they approach interactions with financial institutions, including mortgage lenders. Taking a picture of a check on their phone and depositing it without visiting a branch is not novel, it’s the way Millennials learned to do banking. They expect real-time access to account and transaction data and are frustrated when it’s not available.”

      Here’s the catch – the overall speed of the homebuying process can take some time, and it might feel like it is slowing you down. When you’re ready to buy, you can make an offer and go under contract quickly, but the rest of the process might take a little longer. The same article explains why:

      “When Millennials apply for a loan, the mortgage lender must qualify the borrower and determine who owns the property, how much the property is worth, and the property’s risk profile. Traditionally, this has been one of the most time-consuming and fragmented parts of the mortgage process…There are many moving pieces, each data point being sourced from a different provider, which can ultimately lead to a lengthy or delayed process.

       What has historically been accepted as the process norm does not align with the expectations of the most prominent generation in the home buying market today. Millennials have come to expect rapid, digital workflows in their daily purchase decisions, and in their mind, the home buying process shouldn’t be any different.”

      So, where do you go from here?

       If you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, that will help speed things up. But the steps it takes and the time to finalize a loan with most traditional lenders may feel like an eternity to you and your generational peers. Don’t worry, though – it’s well worth the wait when you finally get the keys to your new castle!

      The financial benefits of homeownership, like increasing your net worth by building equity, and the non-financial benefits, like being able to customize and improve your space, will ultimately set you on the course to happiness, success, overall satisfaction, and much, much more.

      Bottom Line

      If you’re feeling like it’s go-time, let’s get together and get the process moving to determine if homeownership is your next best step.

       

       

      The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

      Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008

      Everybody Calm Down! This Is NOT 2008 | MyKCM

      Last week realtor.com released the results of a survey that produced three major revelations:

      1. 53% of home purchasers (first-time and repeat buyers) currently in the market believe a recession will occur this year or next.
      2. 57% believe the next recession will be as bad or worse than 2008.
      3. 55% said they would cancel plans to move if a recession occurred.

      Since we are currently experiencing the longest-ever economic expansion in American history, there is reason to believe a recession could occur in the not-too-distant future. And, it does make sense that buyers and sellers remember the horrors of 2008 when they hear the word “recession.”

      Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview:

      “With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.”

      Most experts, however, believe if there is a recession, it will not resemble 2008. This housing market is in no way the same as it was just over a decade ago.

      Zillow Economist, Jeff Tucker, explained the difference in a recent article, Recessions Typically Have Limited Effect on the Housing Market:

      “As we look ahead to the next recession, it’s important to recognize how unusual the conditions were that caused the last one, and what’s different about the housing market today. Rather than abundant homes, we have a shortage of new home supply. Rather than risky borrowers taking on adjustable-rate mortgages, we have buyers with sterling credit scores taking out predictable 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. The housing market is simply much less risky than it was 15 years ago.”

      George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, also weighed in on the subject:

      “This is going to be a much shorter recession than the last one, I don’t think the next recession will be a repeat of 2008…The housing market is in a better position.”

      In the past 23 years, there have been two national recessions – the dot-com crash in 2001 and the Great Recession in 2008. It is true that home values fell 19.7% during the 2008 recession, which was caused by a mortgage meltdown that heavily impacted the housing market. However, while stock prices fell almost 25% in 2001, home values appreciated 6.6%. The triggers of the next recession will more closely mirror those from 2001 – not those from 2008.

      Bottom Line

      No one can accurately predict when the next recession will occur, but expecting one could possibly take place in the next 18-24 months is understandable. It is, however, important to realize that the impact of a recession on the housing market will in no way resemble 2008.

       

       

      5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

      5 Reasons to Sell This Fall | MyKCM

      Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

      1. Demand Is Strong

      The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase…and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

      Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

      2. There Is Less Competition Now

      Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

      Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

      Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple years, for fear that they would not find a home to move to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

      3. The Process Will Be Quicker

      Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time needed to close a loan is 43 days.

      4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

      If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that in the luxury or premium market.

      According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage) if you wait.

      5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

      Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

      Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

      That is what is truly important.

       

      Top Priorities When Moving with Kids

      Top Priorities When Moving with Kids | MyKCM

      According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more.

      Recently, the 2019 Moving with Kids Report from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) studied “the different purchasing habits as well as seller preferences during the home buying and selling process.” This is what they found:

      When Purchasing a Home

      The major difference between the homebuyers who have children and those who do not is the importance of the neighborhood. In fact, 53% said the quality of the school district is an important factor when purchasing a home, and 50% select neighborhoods by the convenience to the schools.

      Buyers with children also purchase larger, detached single-family homes with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms at approximately 2,110 square feet.

      Furthermore, 26% noted how childcare expenses delayed the home-buying process and forced additional compromises: 31% in the size of the home, 24% in the price, and 18% in the distance from work.

      When Selling a Home

      Of those polled, 23% of buyers with children sold their home “very urgently,” and 46% indicated “somewhat urgently, within a reasonable time frame.” Selling with urgency can pressure sellers to accept offers that are not in their favor. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR explains,

      “When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial, but in some cases – such as facing an upcoming school year or the outgrowing of a home – sellers find themselves rushed and forced to accept a less than ideal offer.”

      For sellers with children, 21% want a real estate professional to help them sell the home within a specific time frame, 20% at a competitive price, and 19% to market their home to potential buyers.

      Bottom Line

      Buying or selling a home can be driven by different priorities when you are also raising a family. If you’re a seller with children and looking to relocate, let’s get together to navigate the process in the most reasonable time frame for you and your family.

       

       

      The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Keeping Current Matters, Inc. will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

      Compass Contemplations for Wednesday

      WELCOME, WELCOME to Alain Pinel Realtors who over the past 30 years have become leaders in the Bay Area, known for their luxury offering and strong culture. 

      DID YOU KNOW? More than 50% of the executives recently surveyed by KPMG said Silicon Valley will cease to dominate global tech innovation within the next 4 years, as New York, Boston, Beijing, London and other cities continue their evolution into tech innovation powerhouses, citing factors that include an expansion of tech investing in cities and regions outside of San Jose, Palo Alto and Menlo Park, Calif. Their top pick for the next leading source of technology innovation was New York—up from No. 3 in 2018—followed by Beijing, Tokyo and London. Other U.S. cities that ranked in the top 10 were Boston and Austin, Texas. Washington, D.C., placed 13th. 23% named the U.S. as having the biggest global impact on technology, down from 34% in a similar survey last year. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Speak to any developer or builder and they will let you know how their costs have risen in the past 12 months: American consumers have been saddled with $69 billion in added costs because of the tariffs the U.S. imposed in 2018, including on $250 billion on Chinese imports as well as levies on steel and aluminum, according to a study released by a quartet of economists working on a National Science Foundation grant. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? About 63% of the world’s wealthiest said they grew richer in 2018, thanks in part to stock market gains and global economic growth. These individuals also expect their wealth to increase over the next year. Confidence was highest in the U.S., where 80% of individuals worth $30 million and more expect to be better off over the next year. Over 47,000 people in the USA are worth $30 million plus. (WSJ) 

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  I have personally never witnessed more creative photography angles than those being used to photograph 220 Central Park South - the uber-tower that houses the USA's most expensive penthouse sale:  all are either blocking out - or photo-shopping out - it's next door neighbor that looms several hundred feet taller.....

      Still Think You Need 15-20% Down to Buy a Home? Think Again!

      Still Think You Need 15-20% Down to Buy a Home? Think Again! | MyKCM

      According to a new study from Urban Institute, there are over 19 million millennials in 31 cities who are not only ready and willing to become homeowners, but are able to as well!

      Now that the largest generation since baby boomers has aged into prime homebuying age, there will no doubt be an uptick in the national homeownership rate. The study from Urban Institute revealed that nearly a quarter of this generation has the credit and income needed to purchase a home.

      Surprisingly, the largest share of mortgage-ready millennials lives in expensive coastal cities. These cities often attract highly skilled workers who demand higher salaries for their expertise.

      So, what’s holding these mortgage-ready millennials back from buying?

      Myths About Down Payment Requirements! 

      Most of the millennials surveyed for the study believe that they need at least a 15% down payment in order to buy a home when, in reality, the median down payment in the US in 2017 was just 5%, and many programs are available for even lower down payments!

      The study goes on to point out that:

      “Despite limited awareness, every state has programs that provide grants and loans to make homeownership more attainable, with average assistance in various states ranging from $2,436 to $21,171.”

      Bottom Line

      With so many young families now able to buy a home in today’s market, the demand for housing will continue for years to come. If you are one of the many millennials who have questions about their ability to buy in today’s market, let’s get together so we can assist you along your journey!

      Compass Contemplations for Thursday

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Housing starts fell 5.3% in September from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.201 million, according to the Commerce Department. Residential building permits, which can signal how much construction is in the pipeline, also fell, declining 0.6% from August to an annual pace of 1.241 million last month. Housing-starts data are volatile from month to month and can be subject to large revisions. September’s 5.3% drop for starts came with a margin of error of 11.3 percentage points. (WSJ)


      DID YOU KNOW? U.S. home-builder confidence ticked up in October after pulling back from a multi-decade high in recent months. (WSJ)

       

      DID YOU KNOW?  Household wealth in the U.S. continues to surge. China has replaced Japan in 2nd place. Aggregate global wealth rose by $14 trillion to $317 trillion in the 12 months prior to mid-year 2018, a 4.6% growth rate. Rising wealth was largely due to increases in non-financial assets owned by the middle-class. Total wealth and wealth per adult in the U.S. have grown every year since 2008, even when total global wealth suffered a reversal in 2014 and 2015. The U.S. has accounted for 40% of all increments to world wealth since 2008, and 58% of the rise since 2013. (Global Wealth Report 2018)

       

      DID YOU KNOW? Consumers filed the fewest requests for a mortgage since late 2014 last week as most home borrowing costs reached their highest levels in more than 7 years.

       

      DO YOU WANT PROOF? .....of how every "Compass experience" matters?  This summer, a Compass Agent in LA successfully and smoothly sold the home of their clients. Those clients then asked their agent if perhaps they knew a Compass agent in New York who could help sell their parents apartment on the Upper East Side. It had been on the market for quite some time with a different agent at a different firm and they felt they had such a positive experience with Compass LA they wanted to try a change ......this time with Compass New York. With the introduction to Compass NY and an agent who specializes on the Upper East Side, the home was re-listed, staged, and beautified. After just 13 days on the market, it entered into a contract and closed within 45 days. There is no better public relation for ALL of us if we ALL focus on QUALITY EXPERIENCES AND RESULTS.

      Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home

      Pre-Approval: Your 1st Step in Buying a Home | MyKCM

      In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

      Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

      Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the ‘My Home’ section of their website:

      “It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

      One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you through this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

      Freddie Mac describes the ‘4 Cs’ that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

      1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
      2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
      3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
      4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

      Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

      Bottom Line

      Many potential homebuyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores necessary to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

      Is the Real Estate Market Finally Getting Back to Normal?

      Is the Real Estate Market Finally Getting Back to Normal? | MyKCM

      The housing market has been anything but normal for the last eleven years. In a normal real estate market, home prices appreciate 3.7% annually. Below, however, are the price swings since 2007 according to the latest Home Price Expectation Survey:

      After the bubble burst in June 2007, values depreciated 6.1% annually until February 2012. From March 2012 to today, the market has been recovering with values appreciating 6.2% annually.

      These wild swings in values were caused by abnormal ratios between the available supply of inventory and buyer demand in the market. In a normal market, there would be a 6-month supply of housing inventory.

      When the market hit its peak in 2007, homeowners and builders were trying to take advantage of a market that was fueled by an “irrational exuberance.”

      Inventory levels grew to 7+ months. With that many homes available for sale, there weren’t enough buyers to satisfy the number of homeowners/builders trying to sell, so prices began to fall.

      Then, foreclosures came to market. We eventually hit 11 months inventory which caused prices to crash until early 2012. By that time, inventory levels had fallen to 6.2 months and the market began its recovery.

      Over the last five years, inventory levels have remained well below the 6-month supply needed for prices to continue to level off. As a result, home prices have increased over that time at percentages well above the appreciation levels seen in a more normal market. 

      That was the past. What about the future?

      We currently have about 4.5-months inventory. This means prices should continue to appreciate at above-normal levels which most experts believe will happen for the next year. However, two things have just occurred that are pointing to the fact that we may be returning to a more normal market.

      1. Listing Supply is Increasing

      Both existing and new construction inventory is on the rise. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that inventory has increased over the last two months after thirty-seven consecutive months of declining inventory. At the same time, building permits are also increasing which means more new construction is about to come to market. 

      2. Buyer Demand is Softening

      Ivy Zelman, who is widely respected as an industry expert, reported in her latest ‘Z’ Report:

       “While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets.

      Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0- 100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.”

      With supply increasing and demand waning, we may soon be back to a more normal real estate market. We will no longer be in a buyers’ market (like 2007-February 2012) or a sellers’ market (like March 2012- Today).

      Prices won’t appreciate at the levels we’ve seen recently, nor will they depreciate. It will be a balanced market where prices remain steady, where buyers will be better able to afford a home, and where sellers will more easily be able to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles.

      Bottom Line

      Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange.

      That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.

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