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      Blog :: 03-2016

      Sales Contracts Hit Highest Level in Months

      Sales Contracts Hit Highest Level in Months | Keeping Current Matters

      The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced that the February Pending Home Sales Index reached its highest reading since July 2015.

      What is the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)?

      NAR's PHSI is "a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings". The higher thePending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales. February's Index rose 3.5% month-over-month to 109.1.

      What does this mean for the market?

      Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist explained:

      "After some volatility this winter, the latest data is encouraging in that a decent number of buyers signed contracts last month, lured by mortgage rates dipping to their lowest levels in nearly a year and a modest, seasonal uptick in inventory."

      "Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what's being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau."

      So What Does This Mean For Buyers?

      There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home.

      What Does This Mean For Sellers?

      If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating... don't wait!

      There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, vacation, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

      Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price.

      Bottom Line

      Whether you are planning on buying or selling a house this year, waiting to act no longer makes sense.

       

      91.5% of Homes in th USA Have Positive Equity

      CoreLogic's latest Equity Report revealed that one million borrowers regained equity in their homes in 2015. The outlook for 2016 remains positive as well, as an additional 850,000 properties would regain equity if home prices rose another 5% this year. 

      The study also revealed:

      • 95% of homes valued over $200,000 now have a positive equity position
      • 87% of homes valued under $200,000 have entered a positive position
      • The 11.5% growth in home equity in Q4 marked the 13th consecutive quarter of double digit gains

      Below is a map showing the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, that have positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)

      91.5% of Homes in the US have Positive Equity | Keeping Current Matters

      Significant Equity Is On The Rise

      Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the"long-term health of the U.S. economy." He went on to say:

      "The number of homeowners with more than 20% equity is rising rapidly. Higher prices driven largely by tight supply are certainly a big reason for the rise, but continued population growth, household formation and ultralow interest rates are also factors."

      Of the 91.5% of homeowners with positive equity in the US, 72.6% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that nearly three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home now.

      The map below shows the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, with significant equity.

      91.5% of Homes in the US have Positive Equity | Keeping Current Matters

      Bottom Line

      If you are one of the many homeowners who is unsure of how much equity you have in your home and are curious about your ability to move, meet with a local real estate professional who can help evaluate your situation.

       

      Boston Luxury Home Sales Aided by Market Familiarity

      Luxury home sales often trace a path that differs from the rest of the market. Just as high-end buyers can afford to take their time to find exactly the property they are looking for, Boston luxury homeowners tend to pick and choose when they will market their properties. That's pretty much what happened in the aftermath of the 2008 housing crisis: many luxury home owners in town decided to hold off and wait for the market to rebound before listing. Now, as the housing market continues to recover and home values continue to rise, the potential number of buyers interested in these homes is also on the upswing.

      For those who have been postponing the sale of their own luxury home, this spring is shaping up as a likely time to act. Before you list though, it can't hurt to revisit some basic truths in high-end real estate marketing.

      Selling a luxury home requires a different marketing psychology than does traditional real estate. It simply takes longer to find the buyers for these homes, so it is almost always necessary for their owners to practice extra patience throughout the sales process.

      It is absolutely essential to work with a real estate professional with experience and connections in the luxury market. An experienced agent understands the ins and outs of selling a Boston luxury home. It's not unusual for them to have fostered a network of qualified potential buyers who may be interested in the property.

      Luxury home sales are driven by the desire to attain or maintain a specific lifestyle. It is often necessary to sell the lifestyle as effectively as the home itself. This means staging the home properly, highlighting specific "starring" details, and making sure that everything inside and out is immaculately maintained. It means a little more work for both home owner and agent, but the plus side is the size of the reward at day's end.

      If you have a luxury home in the Boston area and suspect that now is the right time to sell, contact me for the kind of reliable guidance that brings success!

       

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      Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You!

      Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Simplifying The Market

      There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. As we have said before, mortgage interest rates are still near historic lows and rents continue to rise.

      Housing Cost & Net Worth

      Whether you rent or buy, you have a monthly housing cost.

      As a buyer, you are contributing to YOUR net worth.

      Every mortgage payment is a form of what Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies calls“forced savings.”

      “Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

      The principal portion of your mortgage payment helps build your net worth through building the equity you have in your home.

      As a renter, you are contributing to YOUR LANDLORD’S net worth.

      Below is an example of the home equity that would be accrued over the course of the next five years if you had purchased a home in January; based on the results of the Home Price Expectation Survey.

      Put Your Housing Cost To Work For You! | Simplifying The Market

      In this example, simply by paying your mortgage, you would have increased your net worth by over $44,000!

      Bottom Line

      Use your monthly housing cost to your advantage! Let's meet up to discuss the opportunities available in your market.

       
       

       

      How to Make The Most Money When Selling Your House

      Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

      1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

      This may seem counterintuitive. However, let's look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

      How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

      Instead of the seller trying to 'win' the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

      Realtor.com, gives this advice:

      "Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today's buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they're getting a deal, they're likely to bid up a property that's slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory."

      2. Use a Real Estate Professional

      This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn't have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

      Research posted by the Economists' Outlook Blog revealed that:

      "The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 - nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale."

      How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Simplifying The Market

      Bottom Line

      Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

       
       

       

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