Nov. 24, 2020

Winter Will Bring a Flurry of Activity to the Housing Market

In the second half of this year, the housing market surged with activity. Today, real estate experts are looking ahead to the winter season and the forecast is anything but chilly. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes:

“It will be one of the best winter sales years ever.”

The typical winter slowdown in the housing market is simply not on the radar. Here’s why.

While today’s historically low mortgage rates are expected to remain low, they won’t be this low for much longer. This could be the last chance for homebuyers to secure such low rates, and they’re ready to take action. In a recent articleBankrate explained:

“If you’re looking to buy a home…expect mortgage rates to remain low into 2021. However, the possibility of rates falling to 2.5 percent or lower has faded as the U.S. economy has rebounded.”

As long as we continue to see low interest rates, we’ll see hopeful buyers on the hunt for their dream homes. Yun confirmed:

“The demand for home buying remains super strong…And we’re still likely to end the year with more homes sold overall in 2020 than in 2019…With persistent low mortgage rates and some degree of a continuing jobs recovery, more contract signings are expected in the near future.”

The challenge, however, is the lack of homes available for sale. With that in mind, all eyes are on homeowners to see if they’ll sell this winter or wait until spring. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.comsays it’s best for sellers to capitalize on this moment sooner rather than later:

“We currently see buyers sticking around in the housing market much later than we usually do this fall. If that trend continues, we will see more buyers in the market this winter, too. So, this winter is likely to be a good time to sell.”

With buyers ready to stay active this winter, sellers who want to close a deal on the best possible terms shouldn’t wait until spring to put their homes on the market.

Bottom Line

Experts agree the winter housing market could potentially be bigger than ever. Whether you’re ready to buy or sell, let’s connect today so you can be in your dream home by the new year.

Posted in Sellers
Nov. 19, 2020

Homes for Sale Are Rapidly Disappearing

Through all the challenges of 2020, the real estate market has done very well, and purchasers are continuing to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. Realtor Magazine just explained:

“While winter may be typically a slow season in real estate, economists predict it isn’t likely to happen this year…Low inventories combined with high demand due to record-low mortgage rates is sending buyers to the market in a flurry.”

However, one challenge for the housing industry heading into this winter is the dwindling number of homes available for sale. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), recently said:

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

In addition, Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“Fewer new sellers coming to market while a greater than usual number of buyers continue to search for a home causes inventory to continue to evaporate.”

One major indicator the industry uses to measure housing supply is the months’ supply of inventory. According to NAR:

“Months’ supply refers to the number of months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell given the current sales pace.”

Historically, six months of supply is considered a normal real estate market. Going into the pandemic, inventory was already well below this mark. As the year progressed, the supply has was reduced even further. Here is a graph showing this measurement over the last year:Homes for Sale Are Rapidly Disappearing | Simplifying The Market

What does this mean if you’re a buyer?

Be patient during your home search. It may take time to find a home you love. Once you do, be ready to move forward quickly. Get pre-approved for a mortgage, be prepared to make a competitive offer from the start, and understand how the shortage in inventory has led to more bidding wars. Calculate just how far you’re willing to go to secure a home if you truly love it.

What does this mean if you’re a seller?

Realize that, in some ways, you’re in the driver’s seat. When there’s a shortage of an item at the same time there’s a strong demand for it, the seller is in a good position to negotiate. Whether it’s the price, moving date, possible repairs, or anything else, you’ll be able to ask for more from a potential purchaser at a time like this – especially if you have multiple interested buyers. Do not be unreasonable, but understand you probably have the upper hand.

Bottom Line

The housing market will remain strong throughout the winter and heading into the spring. Know what that means for you, whether you’re buying, selling, or doing both.

Posted in Sellers
Nov. 19, 2020

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for October 2020

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for October 2020:
  • Closed Sales are up +39.2% for October 2020 in which the number of units closed was 1,029 compared to 739 in October 2019, with an increase in cash sales of +14.8% compared to October 2019.
  • New Pending Sales are up +18.0% and New Listings are up +4.8%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up +14.2% to $274,150 compared to a year ago, which was $240,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -46.4% to 1.5 months, a decrease from 2.8 months in October 2019.
  • Traditional Sales are up +41.2%, with a median sales price of $274,535.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -61.5%, with 5 sales and a median sales price of $244,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -100.0% with 0 closed sales compared to 1 sale in October 2019
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for October 2020:
  • Closed Sales are up +27.7% for October 2020 in which the number of units closed was 281 compared to 220 in October 2019, with an increase in cash sales of +19.2% compared to October 2019.
  • New Pending Sales are up +9.0% and New Listings are down -10.8%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up +15.1% to $213,000 compared to a year ago, which was $185,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -31.4% to 2.4 months in October 2020 from 3.5 months in October 2019.
  • Traditional Sales are up +28.6%, with a median sales price of $213,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -33.3%, with 2 closed sales compared to 3 closed sale in October 2019.
  • Short Sale Closings are unchanged with 0 closed sales in October 2020 and 0 closed sales in October 2019.

   

Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 17, 2020

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

For years, real estate has been considered the best investment you can make. A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

How do homeowners gain wealth?

Most large purchases, like cars and appliances, depreciate in value as they age, so it’s understandable to question how owning a home can increase wealth over time. In a simple equation, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains how the combination of paying your mortgage and home price appreciation grow overall wealth:

Principal Payments + Price Appreciation Gains = Housing Wealth Gain

As home values increase and you make payments toward your home loan, you’ll gain wealth through equity. The same article from NAR also addresses how wealth gains tend to play out over time:

“Housing wealth accumulation takes time and is built up by paying off the mortgage debt and by price appreciation. And while home prices can fall, home prices tend to recover and go up over the longer term. As of September 2020, the median sales price of existing home sales was $311,800, a 35% gain since July 2006 when prices peaked at $230,000.”

Taking a look at how equity has grown for the typical homeowner, it’s clear to see how real estate is a sound long-term investment. NAR notes:

“Nationally, a person who purchased a typical home 30 years ago would have typically gained about $283,000 as of the second quarter of 2020.” (See graph below):

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a current homeowner planning to put your equity toward a new home or have hopes of buying your first home soon, homeownership will always be a great opportunity to build your net worth and overall wealth. Owning a home is truly an investment in your financial future.

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 15, 2020

Gratitude Gift Guide

“Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” — Randy Pausch.

I hope this season finds you safe and well. Many of us have had to get creative connecting with friends and family. As we move into the holiday season, I feel that connecting and showing gratitude will go further and will mean more this year than ever. Here are a few thoughtful gift ideas that you could send a loved one to show your gratitude. 

When thinking about shopping this season, consider buying local. I sincerely hope you have a wonderful holiday season. If there’s anything that I can do to help you and your family this year, please let us know!

 

Check out our LIVE show with more Gift Giving Ideas!!

Nov. 14, 2020

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for Q3 2020

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for Q3 2020:
  • Closed Sales are up +18.2% for Q3 2020 in which the number of units closed was 3,196 compared to 2,703 in Q3 2019, with an increase in cash sales of +7.6% compared to Q3 2019.
  • New Pending Sales are up +23.0% and New Listings are up +3.3%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up +10.4% to $264,908 compared to a year ago, which was $239,900.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -42.9% to 1.6 months, a decrease from 2.8 months in Q3 2019.
  • Traditional Sales are up +18.8%, with a median sales price of $265,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -13.0%, with 40 sales and a median sales price of $168,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are up +14.3% with 8 closed sales, and a median sales price of $172,250.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for Q3 2020:
  • Closed Sales are up +12.7% for Q3 2020 in which the number of units closed was 867 compared to 769 in Q3 2019, with an increase in cash sales of +17.8% compared to Q3 2019.
  • New Pending Sales are up +16.1% and New Listings are up +10.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up +12.3% to $210,000 compared to a year ago, which was $187,000.
  • Months Supply of Inventory is down -26.5% to 2.5 months in Q3 2020 from 3.4 months in Q3 2019.
  • Traditional Sales are up +13.5%, with a median sales price of $210,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -85.7%, with 1 closed sales compared to 7 closed sale in Q3 2019.
  • Short Sale Closings are up +100.0% with 2 closed sale in Q3 2020 compared to 1 closed sales in Q3 2019.
Posted in Market Reports
Nov. 12, 2020

Is it Safe to Sell My House Right Now?

In today’s real estate market, the buzz is all about how it’s a great time to sell your house. Buyer demand is high, and there simply aren’t enough homes available to buy to meet that growing need. This means now is the time to make a move so you can close the deal on your ideal terms.

Even in today’s strong sellers’ market, there are homeowners who are choosing not to sell due to ongoing concerns around the health crisis, financial uncertainty, and life in general. According to Zillow, here are the top three reasons homeowners who are thinking of selling sometime in the next three years are not putting their houses on the market right now:

  • 34% – Life is too uncertain right now
  • 31% – Financial uncertainty
  • 25% – COVID-19 health concerns

If you identify with any of these, you’re not alone. Whether it’s the future of your employment situation or simply being uncomfortable having guests in your home for showings, life feels a lot different than it did at this time last year. The good news is, real estate professionals have spent the majority of 2020 figuring out how to sell homes safely, and it’s paying off for those who are choosing to move this year.

Real estate agents are doing two things very well to make selling your house possible:

1. Agents Are Implementing Technology in the Process

While abiding by state and local regulations as a top priority, real estate agents are making sales happen safely and effectively by leveraging key pieces of technology. Agents know exactly what today’s buyers and sellers need and how to put the necessary digital steps in place. For example, agents have capitalized on the technology buyers find most helpful when deciding on a new home:

  • Virtual tours
  • Accurate and detailed listing information
  • Detailed neighborhood information
  • High-quality listing photos
  • Agent-led video chats

They’re listening to their audience and leveraging the tools that help buyers get an initial look at a home without having to step inside. This helps reduce the number of people entering your home, so only those who are very seriously interested need to take the next step: in-person showings.

2. Agents Are Facilitating Safe and Effective In-Person Showings

After leveraging technology, if you have serious buyers who still want to see your house in person, agents are following the guidelines set by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and utilizing safe ways to proceed. Here are a few of them, understanding again that the agent’s top priority is always to follow­ state and local restrictions first:

  • Limiting in-person activity
  • R­­­equiring guests to wash their hands or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Removing shoes or covering them with booties
  • Following CDC guidance on social distancing and wearing face coverings

Getting comfortable with your agent – a true trusted advisor – taking these steps under the modern-era safety standards might be your best plan. This is especially important if you’re in a position where you need to sell your house sooner rather than later.

As Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist for Zillow notes:

“Homeowners who feel life is uncertain right now may think they can still get a strong price if they delay selling until they have more clarity. The catch is that waiting to sell may raise the cost of a trade-up. This fall’s record low mortgage rates, which make a trade-up more affordable on a monthly basis, are not guaranteed to last.”

Bottom Line

In this new era in our lives, things are shifting quickly, and virtual strategies for sellers may be your ideal option. Opening your doors up to new approaches could be game-changing when it comes to selling your house while the market is leaning in your favor. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional to help you safely and effectively navigate all that’s new when it comes to making your next move.

Posted in Sellers
Nov. 10, 2020

Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis

As the current forbearance mortgage relief options come to an end, many are wondering if we’ll face a foreclosure crisis next year. This is understandable, especially for those who remember the housing crisis that began in 2008. The reality is, plans have been put in place through forbearance to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself.

This year, homeowners are able to request 180 days of mortgage relief through forbearance. Upon expiration of that timeframe, they’re also entitled to request 180 additional days, bringing the total to 360 days of deferred payment eligibility. As forbearance expires, homeowners should stay in touch with their lender, because creating a plan for the deferred payments is a critical next step to avoiding foreclosure. There are multiple options for homeowners to pursue at this point, and with the right planning and communication with the lender, foreclosure doesn’t have to be one of them.

Many homeowners are concerned that they’ll have to pay the deferred payments back in a lump sum payment at the end of forbearance. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Fannie Mae explains:

You don’t have to repay the forbearance amount all at once upon completion of your forbearance plan…Here’s the important thing to remember: If you receive a forbearance plan, you will have options when it comes to repaying the missed amount. You don’t have to pay the forbearance amount at once unless you are able to do so.”

When looking at the percentage of people in forbearance, we can also see that this number has been decreasing steadily throughout the year. Fewer people than initially expected are still in forbearance, so the number of homeowners who will need to work out alternative payment options is declining (See graph below):Why the 2021 Forecast Doesn’t Call for a Foreclosure Crisis | Simplifying The MarketThis means there are fewer and fewer homeowners at risk of foreclosure, and many who initially applied for forbearance didn’t end up needing it. Mike Fratantoni, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), explains:

Nearly two-thirds of borrowers who exited forbearance remained current on their payments, repaid their forborne payments, or moved into a payment deferral plan. All of these borrowers have been able to resume – or continue – their pre-pandemic monthly payments.”

For those who are still in forbearance and unable to make their payments, foreclosure isn’t the only option left. In their Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic indicates:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity during the past year.”

Many homeowners have enough equity in their homes today to be able to sell their houses instead of foreclosing. Selling and protecting the overall financial investment may be a very solid option for many homeowners. As Ivy Zelman, Founder of Zelman & Associates, mentioned in a recent podcast:

“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”

Bottom Line

If you’re currently in forbearance or think you should be because you’re concerned about being able to make your mortgage payments, reach out to your lender to discuss your options and next steps. Having a trusted and knowledgeable professional on your side to guide you is essential in this process and might be the driving factor that helps you stay in your home.

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 9, 2020

5 Ways to Expand your reach with Value

Focus on face-to-face contacts to build trust. While technology is integral to real estate, having face-to-face meetings builds trust. 

Connect with the community. Cultivate a broader connection to the community by taking on tasks or getting involved in politics or organizations.

Get engaged professionally. Grow your voice in the industry and help shape how your profession is conducted. Fellow agents and clients will see you as a leader.

Seek out guidance. It only makes sense to learn from the best so find another pro who you admire and can learn from.

Leverage your brand in marketing. Build your reputation for selling more homes to gain a leg up from the get-go.

Cultivate partner relationships. New home builders, architects and decorators are a small selection of people who you can help and will help you with business building.

Watch the Monday Morning Wake Up call as Kerry & Heather discuss the 5 ways to expand your reach!

 

Nov. 5, 2020

Three Ways Low Inventory Is a Win for Sellers

The number of houses for sale today is significantly lower than the high buyer activity in the current housing market. According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“There is no shortage of hopeful, potential buyers, but inventory is historically low.”

When the demand for homes is higher than what’s available for sale, it’s a great time for homeowners to sell their house. Here are three ways low inventory can help you win if you’re ready to make a move this fall.

1. Higher Prices

With so many more buyers in the market than homes available for sale, homebuyers are frequently entering into bidding wars for the houses they want to purchase. This buyer competition drives home prices up. As a seller, this can definitely work to your advantage, potentially netting you more for your house when you close the deal.

2. Greater Return on Your Investment

Rising prices mean homes are also gaining value, which drives an increase in the equity you have in your home. In the latest Homeowner Equity Insights ReportCoreLogic explains:

“In the second quarter of 2020, the average homeowner gained approximately $9,800 in equity.”

This year-over-year growth in equity gives you the ability to put that money toward a down payment on your next home or to keep it as extra savings.

3. Better Terms

When we’re in a sellers’ market like we are today, you’re in the driver’s seat if you sell your house. You have the power to sell on your terms, and buyers are more likely to work with you if it means they can finally move into their dream home.

So, is low housing inventory a big deal?

Yes, especially if you want to sell your house at the perfect time. Today’s market gives sellers immense negotiating power. However, it won’t last forever, especially as more sellers return to the housing market next year. If you’re considering selling your house, the best time to do so is now.

Bottom Line

If you’re interested in taking advantage of the current sellers’ market, let’s connect today to determine your best move in our local market.

Posted in Sellers