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

Tips for Buying a Home with Friends

With housing inventory low and prices going up, some people are making the decision to partner with friends and buy a home together. This scenario allows people who otherwise would not be able to afford a house to share expenses and achieve the dream of becoming homeowners. But how do you know if buying property jointly is the right move for you?

It is important to remember that this is a business transaction, so you and your friends will have to approach it as such. You are going to have to have a very open, very frank conversation with your friends about their finances, their plans for the future, what to do if someone wants to sell, etc.If these are conversations you are uncomfortable having or you are worried about the effect they might have on your friendship, then buying a home with friends is probably not the right choice for you.

However, if you and your friends can come to terms, owning a home while sharing the burden of all the costs can help you build your savings while gaining equity in a home.

Here are some tips on purchasing a home with friends:

Review your friends’ finances. This is most likely the largest financial decision of your life, so now is not the time to hem and haw on questions of finance. You will need to be aware of everyone’s credit scores, income, savings and any other relevant assets. It is important to make sure that you and your friends are financially prepared to become homeowners.

Decide how payments and costs will be split. Questions to consider are how much each person will contribute to the downpayment and if that will affect how you and your friends divide the mortgage payments? Will the utilities be split evenly every month or will you alternate who pays? It is important that these details be worked out and understood by everyone involved before the home is purchased.

Decide on the type of house. Are you planning on buying a single-family home or a multi-family home? Do you see yourself sharing a kitchen and bathroom, or are you looking to buy a place where you will each have your own private residence? You should also decide ahead of time on everyone’s must-haves for the home. Knowing that your friend will only buy a house with a big backyard or that they will not buy a house on a corner lot can save you a lot of time house hunting.

Get everything in writing. It is important that all of the co-purchasers keep written documentation of all of your agreements regarding financial and other responsibilities. So many people think that because they are dealing with friends that there is no need to write up a contract, but it can help you to avoid conflicts and surprises down the road.

Work with a Realtor®. Buying a home is an important decision, and whether you are doing it on your own or with a friend, using a Realtor® is a smart move. A Realtor®, a member of the National Association of Realtors®, can provide counsel, discuss listings, show you homes in person, negotiate on your behalf and help you stay focused on the issues that are most important.

If you enter the arrangement educated and prepared, co-purchasing a home can be a great way to get your foot on the first step of the homeownership ladder.

August Housing Sales up 26%

Louisville Realtors® continue to be encouraged with August closed sales up 26% compared to August 2011. The year ‐to‐date closing figure was also up 15% compared to January‐ August of last year. The number of properties placed into a pending status on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) during August 2012 was up a 17% compared to the same month last year. Both the average and median prices for August were about 1.5%  compared to August 2011, and the year ‐to‐date average and median prices are up about 3‐4%. In Jefferson County the 2012 year‐to‐date average price remained at $167k and the median price is $137.5k. The inventory of homes and condos currently for sale is about the same as this time last year, with about 4500 for sale in Jefferson County and 7300 total for sale in the Louisville Area multiple listing service.

Record low interest rates continued to fuel purchases by owner‐occupant buyers and investors in August. Recent announcements by the Federal Reserve that they will continue purchases of mortgage backed securities, and that they plan to keep the Fed Funds rate low through mid-2015 may actually cause the pace of sales to moderate as purchasers may not feel a sense of urgency to lock in today’s record low interest rates. However, these Fed actions should keep housing affordability at favorable levels for the coming months.