housing

August 2016 Housing Market in Louisville

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® reported year to date (“YTD”) sales up 5.9% compared to the same time last year. Sales in August 2016 were up 2.9% vs August 2015, with 1,622 homes and condos sold. The median price was up 3.9% YTD and the average price was 2.3% higher YTD.

In Jefferson County, the average price in August 2016 was $207,520 and the median was $170,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 19.2% lower than at the same time last year. In Jefferson County the inventory of homes and condos for sale was 21.1% lower than August 2015.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “The number of homes placed under contract in August 2016 increased 1.9% vs August 2015, which is above the national statistic of 1.3%.”  He added that, “Our members are continuing to see quick sales of homes under $250k, at the same time that showings of higher end homes have slowed a bit.”

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun commented last week that, “Amidst tight inventory conditions that have lingered the entire summer, contract activity last month was able to pick up at least modestly in a majority of areas. More home shoppers having success is good news for the housing market heading into the fall but, buyers still have few choices and little time before deciding to make an offer on a home available for sale.”

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Ed Brady recently remarked that, “While labor shortages and regulatory burdens remain…lot shortages are preventing our builders from responding to growing demand for housing.” Although Louisville does not have a lot shortage per se, the price of land and rising development costs mean that most new subdivisions will not feature new homes for first time buyers.

August Housing Stat Report 2016

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May Stats Show Home Sales Up 11.5%, Inventory Down

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported May 2016 sales up 4.1% with 1,573 homes and condos sold versus 1,510 last May. Year-to-date, compared with January-May 2015, home sales were up 11.5%. The median price for all areas in January-May 2016 was up 3.3% compared last year, and the average price was up 0.7% versus last year. In Jefferson County, the average price in May 2016 was $208,469 and the median was $169,000. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 23.6% lower than at the same time last year. In Jefferson County, the decreased inventory of homes and condos for sale was even more pronounced at 27.6% lower than May 2015.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “The limited inventory of homes for sale is not just limited to Jefferson County. Bullitt and Oldham County inventory is also down 21% and 25% respectively. Continued low mortgage rates are keeping affordability intact; however, our members are seeing rising prices in neighborhoods that attract first-time buyers due to the low inventory.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that, “Except for the West, where supply shortages and stark price growth are hampering buyers the most, sales are meaningfully higher than a year ago in much of the country.” He continued by saying, “Looking ahead, with demand holding steady and supply levels still far from sufficient, the market for entry-level and mid-priced homes will likely continue to be the most competitive heading into the summer months.”

May 2016 Stat Report

Louisville Home Sales Up 12.9%

The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (GLAR) reported April 2016 sales up 4.9% with 1,437 homes and condos sold versus 1,370 last April. Year-to-date, compared with January-April 2015, home sales were up 12.9%. The median price for all areas in January-April 2016 was up 3.4% compared last year, and the average price was consistent with last year. In Jefferson County, the average price in April 2016 was $186,887 and the median was $151,500. For all MLS areas, the inventory of available properties was 21.8% lower than at the same time last year. In Jefferson County, the decreased inventory of homes and condos for sale was even more pronounced at 25.6% lower than April 2015.

GLAR President Greg Taylor commented that, “The strong sellers’ market is continuing in Louisville with inventory down over 25% in Jefferson county compared to this time last year. Sellers whose homes are in move-in condition typically receive multiple offers. The median price year-to-date has advanced 3-4% with both low inventory and low mortgage rates.”

The national existing homes sales report for April 2016 is not yet available, but Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors® commented that March’s pending sales increase signaled a solid beginning to the spring buying season. “Despite supply deficiencies in plenty of areas, contract activity was fairly strong in a majority of markets in March,” he said. “This spring’s surprisingly low mortgage rates are easing some of the affordability pressures potential buyers are experiencing.”

April 2016 Stat Release

Louisville 2014 Home Prices up 2.7% with Slightly Fewer Homes Sold

With sales up 4.8% in December 2014 compared to December 2013, members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors® (“GLAR”) finished the year selling 14,486 homes compared to 14,775 in 2013 (down 2.0%). The year-to-date average and median prices were $180,200 (up 2.7%) and $147,000 (up 2.8%) respectively. The inventory of homes available for sale remained tight with approximately 11% fewer for sale than December 2013.

GLAR President Paula Colvin commented that, “members were actively helping homebuyers take advantage of low interest rates, which showed in the 25% increase in the number of contract signings in December 2014 versus the same month last year. Early data in January shows a positive trend continuing into the new year.”

At the national level, Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors®, recently remarked that even in the face of tight underwriting standards, today’s low interest rates have contributed to an increase in the share of first-time homebuyers to 31% (up from 28% in 2013). Recently reduced FHA mortgage insurance premiums and a 3% down conventional loan program should facilitate continued first-time buyer activity in 2015. Realtor.com recently spotlighted the return to normal price appreciation and the decline of distressed sales as positive trends in 2014. The same report also highlighted the ongoing challenges of limited inventory and the modest recovery in homebuilding, with new home sales comprising 9% of the national market compared to the longer term trend of a 16% share.

December-2014-Release

Realtors’® Market Predictions for 2015

As we welcome in the New Year, we also welcome more positive predictions for the housing market. After years of slow and steady recovery, in 2014 the U.S economy saw its best year since the 2008 recession. With the economy continuing to show improvement and income levels seeing growth, housing experts and economists have high hopes for 2015. After seeing so much improvement in 2014, the housing market seems poised for a real comeback in 2015. Prospects are looking bright for homeowners and prospective home buyers.

Here are a few trends and predictions the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS expects to see play out in the coming year.

Lending standards will be loosened. In December 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they will be offering 3 percent down payment mortgages, rather than 5 percent. Many potential buyers simply do not have the resources to save for a substantial down payment. This new program will allow first-time, creditworthy buyers, who would otherwise be kept out of the market, to purchase a home.

Mortgage rates will go up. With the economy improving, the Federal Reserve has indicated that they will be increasing the federal funds rate in 2015. This rate has a substantial impact on mortgage rates, which have been at historic lows for the past few years. This means that if you are considering buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, now is the time. The rates will likely increase as the year progresses.

Millennials will enter the market. As the economy continues to make gains and the job market improves, millennials (ages 25-34) will start forming households and entering the housing market. Millennials began to enter the market in 2014, but as the job market continues to improve and rent prices continue to rise millennial’s involvement in the housing market will likely increase. Combining that with opportunities for lower down payments, it’s a prime time for young people to enter the market.

Housing inventory will increase. Builders will begin to ramp up production in 2015. This increase in inventory should help improve choices for consumers, another potential draw for first-time buyers.

For more information about the 2015 housing market contact a Realtor®, whose expertise and local market insights can help make your home or investment dreams happen in the year ahead.

Realtors® Help Buyers Move to New States

dream home

Buying a home can be a complicated process, and being an out-of-state buyer can make the process even more challenging. According to the National Association of Realtors®, while buyers last year moved a median of 12 miles from their previous residence, two in 10 buyers moved more than 100 miles.

Buying a new home and moving is stressful no matter what the situation, but moving to an unfamiliar area or new state adds whole new levels of necessary preparation and expenses. However, with just a bit of planning and a lot of organization, you can make the process substantially easier on yourself.

Here are a few tips from the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS to help streamline your long distance home purchase and move:

Find a Realtor®. Whether you are moving across the street or across the country, hiring a Realtor® is the best move you can make. When you are looking for homes in a new state, having someone familiar with the area, neighborhoods and local market conditions is an invaluable asset. Realtors® have unparalleled knowledge of their communities and can help you navigate the complex, sometimes overwhelming, process of homebuying.

Establish Timelines. Knowing the day you are moving is just one of many dates you will need to figure out. When do you need to sell your current home? When can you take a trip to the new state to view potential homes? Considering those questions and having a breakdown of what needs to be done and by when will help you prioritize tasks and keep you from scrambling at the last minute.

Tour Potential Homes Online. Traveling back and forth between states to look at homes is time consuming and cost preventative for most, but that shouldn’t prevent you from beginning your home search online. Digital real estate listings on sites like realtor.com® often include photos and videos guiding you through the home, the same way a Realtor® would if you were there physically. Though you might eventually have to make a trip out to your new state to purchase your home, touring a few homes online can help you narrow down your choices and save you time and money.

Moving. Long distance moves can be an expensive process, so make sure you ask for estimates from a few moving companies before committing. If you are really hoping to save money a do-it-yourself move might be your best option. Make sure to consider the cost per mile, insurance, gas and taxes when price shopping for a moving truck. And if you have any pets, make sure to research hotels that allow animals or arrange with your airline to have your furry friend travel in the cabin with you.

Homeownership is not only an investment in your financial future, it is an investment in our life in your new home state. Homeowners are more likely to be engaged in local issues and more involved with their neighbors, so work closely with your Realtor® to find a house that is going to make this new place really feel like home.  Click here for more help.

Sell Your Home This Summer

sunshine

Selling your home can be no easy feat, especially during the hot summer months.  However, there are a number of reasons that this summer could be the best time to put your house on the market.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, fifty percent of homes are sold during the summer months. In summer, the frenzy of the spring buying season has ended, so you may have fewer houses to compete with for buyers. Also, potential buyers will have received their tax refund checks by summer and that may be just what they need to pull together a downpayment. Selling in summer also gives families time to settle in before school starts. All of these reasons make summer a perfect time to market your home for sale.

Here are a few tips from the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS (GLAR) to make sure your house is sold for the best price and in plenty of time for fall:

Air Conditioning. During the summer, your house can become hot and stuffy. Keep the air conditioning at a reasonable temperature; not so cold that buyers will be searching for their jackets, but cool enough that they won’t want to go back into the heat outside.

Summer Plans. Plan your annual vacation in advance so that you can list your home accordingly. Timing is everything when it comes to selling a home, so make sure that when offers start coming in that you aren’t out of town.

Landscaping.  Your front yard is the first thing people notice about your house, so make sure your lawn and flower beds aren’t suffering in the summer heat. Keep the grass trimmed by mowing often, plant fresh flowers and remove any debris from the lawn.  Also, clean your deck, porch, patio or outdoor kitchen and repaint or make any necessary repairs. This is your outdoor space’s chance to shine, so keep it in top condition all season.

Provide Refreshments.  Make sure to greet potential buyers the way you would guests and provide drinks or snacks. During the hot summer days, bring out a cold pitcher of lemonade or a cooler full of bottled water for the buyers. Set out some fruit or other light snacks that are seasonally appropriate. Anything you can do to make visitors linger a little longer could help you sell quicker.

Work with a Realtor®. Finally, GLAR reminds sellers that all real estate is local, so it’s important to work with a Realtor® who is familiar with your community. These professionals know the pricing strategies, buyer preferences and marketing approaches that will achieve the best results in your area.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you increase your chances of quickly finding the right buyer for your home this summer.