Louisville Area Home Sales Up 2.8%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported January 2016 sales up 2.8% with 915 homes and condos sold versus 890 last January. The median price for all areas in January 2016 was up 11.3% compared to last January, and the average price was up 12.4%. In Jefferson County, the average price in January 2016 was $188,970 and the median was $152,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 22.6% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “Our Realtor® members saw a continuation of strong sales from December into January. With inventory down over 22% compared to this time last year, the current sellers’ market is expected to follow-through into the spring selling season. Although there was a jump in prices compared to last January, average and median sales prices remained fairly consistent with last month’s figures.”

At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “While the carryover of November’s delayed transactions into December (due to the new TILA RESPA Integrated Documentation required by the CFPB) contributed greatly to the sharp December increase, the overall pace taken together indicates that these two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015.” However, Yun predicts that 2016 will have a hard time matching the 7% increase in sales seen in 2015. “In addition to insufficient supply levels, the overall pace of sales this year will be constrained by tepid economic expansion, rising mortgage rates and decreasing demand for buying (homes) in oil-producing metro areas.”

January 2016 Statistics Release

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2015 Home Sales up 12%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) reported annual sales up 12% with 16,279 homes and condos sold versus 14,540 last year. Sales were also up 12.5% in December 2015 (1,258 units) compared to December 2014 (1,118 units). The median price for all areas in 2015 was up 5.8% compared to 2014, and the average price was up 6.2%. In Jefferson County, the average price in 2015 was $190,764 and the median was $152,500. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 21% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “GLAR members are adapting to the new CFPB rules implemented in October and finished the year with strong December sales results.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “Home prices rising too sharply in several markets, mixed signs of an economy losing momentum and waning supply levels have acted as headwinds in recent months despite low mortgage rates and solid job gains. While feedback from Realtors® continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.”

2015 Home Sales Release

Oct. 2015 Housing in Greater Louisville

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported year-to-date sales up 12.2% with 13,896 homes and condos sold versus 12,383 at the same time last year. Sales were up 5.1% in October 2015 (1,416 units) compared to October 2014 (1,347 units). The median price for all areas in October 2015 was up 6.3% compared to October 2014, and the year-to-date statistics continue to show a 5.8% increase in values. In Jefferson County, the average price was $189,428 and the median was $155,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 17.3% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “Continued low inventory in Louisville means that accurately priced, move-in ready homes are selling quickly.” At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that despite persistently low mortgage rates and a healthier job market, the first-time homebuyer rate remains suppressed. In the recent survey of Home Buyers & Sellers, debt was cited as the primary reason for the delay in home ownership. However, 64% of first time buyers said their primary reason to purchase a home was a “desire to own,” compared to a figure of 53% last year, which could be a positive indicator heading into 2016.

Click here for October 2015 Stats

Today’s Smart Homes

Many people grew up with the idea that one day we would all be living in homes like the Jetsons’, the 1960s cartoon family living in the future, with a closet that showers and dresses you and a robot that makes your breakfast. While homes aren’t yet quite there, smart home technology has advanced leaps and bounds in recent years and has become more popular than ever.

Technology has changed the way we live in and interact with our homes. Smart homes can be programmed to react to their owner and tailored to fit with a person’s lifestyle – homeowners can even design the home to meet their specific needs.

Here are a few ways smart home technology can be utilized:

Security. New products allow homeowners to monitor their homes from a distance—even internationally. Owners can lock doors and windows from their portable computers, or access security camera recordings from a mobile device. It’s not just about keeping the property safe, it’s about keeping you and your family safe too. Fire, carbon monoxide and gas leak alarms that connect to your smartphone can give you peace of mind that everything is all right in your home even when you aren’t physically there.

Energy Savings. Smart thermostats allow homeowners to program their home’s temperature and adjust it even after they’ve left, avoiding any needless heating or cooling of an empty house. Automated lighting programs let people turn the lights on and off in their home from their smartphone or laptop from anywhere in the world. Smart green features have been in high demand for years now. These products not only help the environment but also bring your electricity and water bills down, saving you money.

Convenience. One of the main appeals of smart homes is that they can make the home owner’s life easier. A garage door opener connected to your smartphone and a sprinkler system that syncs with the weather forecast so the lawn is never watered when it’s raining are all features that simplify day-to-day life. Soon, instead of having to check the refrigerator to see if anything is running low, a homeowner will receive a text message from their smart kitchen reminding him or her to buy eggs.

Although the benefits that these technologies provide are numerous, it is important not lose sight of the risks smart homes can pose to the owner’s privacy. As smart technology becomes more established in homes, it becomes even more important that the necessary precautions are taken to protect data and privacy. That’s why the National Association of Realtors® worked with the Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, to create the Smart Home Checklist. The checklist offers guidance to home buyers and sellers about how to stay in control of the privacy and security of their smart home technology.

Sept 2015 Home Sales up 12.7% YTD

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported year-to-date sales up 12.7% with 12,442 homes and condos sold versus 11,035 at the same time last year. Sales were up 17.7% in September 2015 (1,444 units) compared to September 2014 (1,227 units). The median price for all areas in September 2015 was up 1.3% compared to September 2014, and the year-to-date statistics show a 5.8% increase in values. In Jefferson County, the average price was $182,053 and the median was $145,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 18.5% lower than at the same time last year.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “Activity typically slows in the fall months, but we are seeing follow-through from strong summer sales. We are also experiencing continuation of a sellers’ market inside the Watterson Expressway.”

At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) commented that, “Pending homes sales have leveled off since mid-summer; however, contract activity is still higher than a year ago.” He also remarked that adapting to the new CFPB mortgage rules could delay some sales this fall.

CLICK HERE for September 2015 Stats Report

Young Buyers Prefer Walkable Communities, Says REALTOR Survey

Most potential homebuyers are not only looking for the perfect home, they are also looking for the perfect neighborhood. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 National Community and Transportation Preference Survey, when Americans think of their dream neighborhood they often think of a mixed-used, walkable community.

Realtors® are community builders and understand the complexities that go into creating a strong and successful community. “While there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all neighborhood, more and more Americans, especially younger ones, are being drawn to mixed-use communities with a combination of homes and business and walkable areas.

Walkability is defined as a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Can someone go grocery shopping on foot? Are there shops and restaurants within walking distance? Are there plenty of sidewalks, and are they well maintained? These are all factors taken into account when determining an area’s walkability.

According to the survey, millennials, those aged 18 to 34, prefer walking as a method of transportation by 12 percentage points over driving. Millennials are also the generation most likely to make sacrifices to purchase a home in these types of communities, such as buying a smaller home or buying a house without a backyard.

Younger buyers are looking for communities where they can walk to a restaurant and don’t have to drive to pick up their weekly groceries. However, it is not only millennials who are hoping to move into walkable neighborhoods; these preferences are seen across generations.

Based on the survey, women of all generations are more likely than men to show a preference for walkability, with 61 percent saying that the availability of sidewalks in a community with stores and restaurants to walk to is very important to them. And 48 percent of all respondents answered that they would prefer to live in communities containing houses with small yards but within easy walking distance of the community’s amenities rather than living in communities with houses that have large yards but are driving distance to all amenities.

As their preferences shift from the suburbs to urban centers, homebuyers continue to rely on Realtors® to help them find their dream homes and neighborhoods. Realtors® are the most trusted resource for real estate information and have unparalleled knowledge of local markets and conditions, helping their clients to fulfill their real estate goals.

August 2015 Home Sales up 11.6%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) reported year-to-date sales up 11.6% with 10,951 homes and condos sold versus 9,808 at the same time last year. Sales were up 0.9% in August 2015 (1,532 units) compared to August 2014 (1,518 units). Prices in August 2015 were up 3% compared to August 2014, and the year-to-date statistics show a 6.4% increase in values. In Jefferson County, the average price was $200,058 and the median was $158,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 20.5% lower than the same time last year.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “Inventory shortages are still contributing to a strong seller’s market in some areas inside the Watterson Expressway. Properties located further out, and at higher price points, are selling at a more normal pace.

“At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented last week that, “Demand for buying has drastically improved this year and is propelling home sale to a pace not seen since 2007. As local job markets continue to expand, the pool of homebuyers will increase.”

Click here for August 2015 Stats