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      Today is ELECTION DAY:  Don't forget to GO OUT AND VOTE!

      DID YOU KNOW? Since 1946, there have been 18 midterm elections. Stocks were higher 12 months after every single one. Every single one. That’s 18 for 18. Even though we’ve had every possible political combination in the past 72 years. Republican president years with Democratic Congress. A democratic president with Republican Congress. A Republican president and Congress. Democratic president and Congress. Since 1946, stocks have risen an average of 17% in the year after a midterm. (Marketwatch)


      "You're gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week." - Elon Musk

      DID YOU KNOW?  It is now rumored that Amazon will split its 'second headquarters' into TWO centers creating 25,000 jobs in each.....stay tuned. What is Amazon looking for? Skilled labor, housing, public transportation and infrastructure......and a few tax break perhaps? Amazon employs 45,000 people in Seattle alone. (WSJ)

      DID YOU KNOW? Digital Real Estate is News Corp’s fastest-growing segment, contributing 44% of the total company (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, & Amortization) EBITDA, almost 4X those of the company’s other segments individually largely due to the relatively low-cost nature of the business. Digital Real Estate accounts for around 45% of the company’s value, especially notable since the segment only accounts for about 14% of its total revenues. News Corp owns a 61.6% interest in the REA Group (Australia and Asia) and an 80% interest in Move Inc. (realtor.com in the U.S.). (Forbes)

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Here is Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner

      Thinking of Selling Your Home? Heres Why You Need A Pro in Your Corner | MyKCM

      With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional.

      Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.

      Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):

      • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
      • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests of the buyer
      • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
      • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
      • The termite company if there are challenges
      • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
      • The appraiser if there is a question of value
      • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
      • The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
      • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling

      Bottom Line

      The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process easier for you.

      Upgrade Utopia...A Great Time to Act!

       

      While many buyers in the luxury real estate markets can freeze into a 'wait-and-see' mode when pricing and sales volume drop, those willing to upgrade could experience the ultimate buying opportunity. Here is why:


      1.  Imagine you live in a $4 million home, and the market is down 20%. You'd have to sell that home for around $3,2 million, a loss of around $800,000.  Assuming you are buying a $10 million home that is also down 20%, that home should cost $2 million less, a substantive savings of around $1.2 million net.

      2.  Assume you live in a $4 million home and the markets rise 20% allowing you to sell your home for $4.8 million. Unfortunately, if the market is up 20% across the board, that $10 million home you wish to upgrade to will now cost $12 million.....it will cost you $1.2 million MORE.

      Applying BALANCE SHEET MENTALITY to your real estate needs is always wisest. Your lifetime real estate is mostly not about a single transaction. While we await election results, equity market and rising interest rates clarification, trade-war results, price-cuts, equity market roller-coasters, extreme media sensationalism 24-7 and the true results of the tax bill, opportunity always exists. Always!

       

      Happy Halloween! I hope you have a fun day today.

      DID YOU KNOW? Year-over-year gains in home prices fell below 6%, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price NSA Index. The index rose 5.8% from August 2017 to August 2018, down from last month’s annual gain of 6%. Yet home-price gains remain WELL above wage gains. (CNBC)

      DID YOU KNOW? The number of new and existing houses and condominiums sold in Southern California during September dropped nearly 18% compared with 2017, the slowest September pace since 2007, mostly attributed to rising prices and interest rates. Sales fell 22% in September compared with August. (Sales usually fall about 10% from August to September.) Sales of newly built (Higher priced)homes were 47% below the September average dating back to 1988, while sales of existing homes were 22% below their long-term average. While the median sale price was up 3.6% year over year in September, the principal and interest mortgage payment on the median-priced home was up 14.2% because mortgage rates increased about 0.8 percentage point over that period. (CNBC)

      "I don't expect a sharp turn in the housing market at this point." - Robert Shiller, Case-Shiller Index

      DID YOU KNOW? Apple product prices are going up. Airlines are paying about 40% more for fuel than a year ago and raising fares. Trucking costs are up 7% annually. U.S. manufacturers are paying roughly 8% more for aluminum, 38% more for steel. 15% more for Chinese-made quartz countertops, 10% more for imported cabinets because of tariffs, than a year ago. Paint supplier Sherwin-Williams raised prices in its own stores up to 6% in October. A Big Mac costs 4.7% more and a Domino's Pizza 5.9%more. "They" say inflation is around 2%. Hmmmmm...... (WSJ)

      "There are only 3 times you should rent a home instead of buy: 1) If you plan to move in 3 years or less  2) If you're not sure about your job  3) You plan to have kids or will need more space." - David Bach, AE Wealth Managment

      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.

      Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019?

      Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

      The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; the higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

      Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.

      Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed In 2019? | MyKCM

      How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

      Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

      According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.

      If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.

      Bottom Line

      Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth, so don’t wait until next year! Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.

      What's Going On With Home Prices?

      Whats Going On With Home Prices? | MyKCM

      According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, national home prices in August were up 5.5% from August 2017. This marks the first time since June 2016 that home prices did not appreciate by at least 6.0% year-over-year.

      CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft gave some insight into this change,

      “The rise in mortgage rates this summer to their highest level in seven years has made it more difficult for potential buyers to afford a home. The slackening in demand is reflected in the slowing of national appreciation, as illustrated in the CoreLogic Home Price Index.  

      National appreciation in August was the slowest in nearly two years, and we expect appreciation to slow further in the coming year.”

      One of the major factors that has driven prices to accelerate at a pace of between 6-7% over the past two years was the lack of inventory available for sale in many areas of the country. This made houses a prized commodity which forced many buyers into bidding wars and drove prices even higher.

      According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report, we are starting to see more inventorycome to market over the last few months. This, paired with patient buyers who are willing to wait to find the right homes, is creating a natural environment for price growth to slow.

      Historically, prices appreciated at a rate of 3.7% (from 1987-1999). CoreLogic predicts that prices will continue to rise over the next year at a rate of 4.7%.

      Bottom Line

      As the housing market moves closer to a ‘normal market’ with more inventory for buyers to choose from, home prices will start to appreciate at a more ‘normal’ level, and that’s ok! If you are curious about home prices in your area, let’s get together to chat about what’s going on!

      2 Factors to Watch in Today's Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling

      2 Factors to Watch in Todays Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

      When it comes to buying or selling a home there are many factors you should consider. Where you want to live, why you want to buy or sell, and who will help you along your journey are just some of those factors. When it comes to today’s real estate market, though, the top two factors to consider are what’s happening with interest rates & inventory.

      Interest Rates

      Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and are now over three-quarters of a percentage point higher than they were at the beginning of the year. According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.72% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week.

      The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

      Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

      The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.

      2 Factors to Watch in Todays Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

      With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be over 5% by this time next year.

      Inventory

      A ‘normal’ real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 4.3-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 78 straight months.

      The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last three months.

      The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, in June, July, and August, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.

      2 Factors to Watch in Todays Real Estate Market Whether Buying or Selling | MyKCM

      This is a trend to watch as we move further into the fall and winter months. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller’s market and moving closer to a normal market.

      Bottom Line

      If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, let’s get together to discuss the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory and what they could mean for you. 617-901-4500.

      Are Home Prices Softening or Are They Falling?

      Are Home Prices Softening or Are They Falling? | MyKCM

      We are beginning to see reports that more housing inventory is coming to the market and that buyer demand may not be increasing at the same pace it did earlier this year. The result will be many headlines written to address the impact that these two situations will have on home values.

      Many of these headline writers will confuse “softening home prices” with “falling home prices,” but there is a major difference between the two.

      The data will begin to show that home values are not appreciating at the same levels as they had over the last several years (softening prices). This does NOT mean that prices are depreciating (falling prices).

      Here is an example: Over the last several years, national home values increased by more than 6% annually. If you had a home worth $300,000 at the beginning of the year, it would be worth $318,000 by year’s end. If the appreciation rate “falls” to 4%, that $300,000 house would be worth $312,000 at the end of next year – a $6,000 difference.

      The price of the home did not fall. It just didn’t increase at the level it had the previous year.

      Appreciation rates are projected to end this year at approximately 5%, and then drop to somewhere between 4-5% next year. This drop in appreciation rate will cause home price increases to soften.

      Again, this does not mean that home prices will depreciate, but instead that they will appreciate more slowly.

      Bottom Line

      Be careful when reading headlines that discuss home values. Some headline writers will be legitimately confused and will use the word falling in place of softening. Others will realize that the headline “Home Prices are Falling!” will get more clicks than “Home Prices are Softening” and will intentionally write the more compelling headline. Read the article. If the word depreciation is not mentioned, home values are not falling.

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