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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier, REALTORS is a full-service real estate company that makes it a tradition to extend our hands to our customers in a manner of quality and honesty. We provide a complete and experienced team effort to bring your transaction to your desired outcome when you buy or sell real estate of any kind.  We proudly provide our services to our community, who has trusted us now for for over a quarter of a century.

 

Real Estate News

Existing-Home Sales Begin 2017 with a Bang

Existing-home sales began 2017 with a bang, growing 3.3 percent and hitting a 10-year high in January, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). With the exception of the Midwest, every region saw gains, with total sales reaching 5.69 million—the fastest pace since February 2007.

“Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “Market challenges remain, but the housing market is off to a prosperous start as homebuyers staved off inventory levels that are far from adequate and deteriorating affordability conditions.”

The median existing-home price also rose again in January, up 7.1 percent to $228,900 from $213,700 one year prior, according to the report. The median existing condominium and single-family home prices grew, as well: 6.2 percent to $217,400 and 7.3 percent to $230,400, respectively.

The report shows that though existing-home inventory expanded 2.4 percent to 1.69 million, supply is still 7.1 percent lower than one year prior. Months supply of inventory is currently 3.6. Existing homes averaged 50 days on the market, down from 64 days one year prior—38 percent of homes sold, however, were on the market for less than a month. Realtor.com® data show the markets with the shortest days on market were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. (43 days), San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. (47 days), San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif. (55 days), Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash. (57 days) and Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., and Greeley, Colo. (58 days).

Existing-home sales in the West, according to the report, soared 6.6 percent in January, while sales in the Northeast jumped 5.3 percent and sales in the South rose 3.6 percent. Sales in the Midwest fell 1.5 percent. The median price in the West was $332,300 (a 6.8 percent annual increase); the median price in the Northeast was $253,800 (2.5 percent); the median price in the South was $201,400 (9.2 percent); and the median price in the Midwest was $174,900 (6.5 percent).

First-time homebuyers comprised 33 percent of existing-home sales in January—an uptick from 32 percent in December and one year prior. All-cash sales comprised 23 percent, while distressed sales comprised 7 percent—both dips from one year prior.

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range,” Yun says. “NAR and realtor.com’s new ongoing research—the REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score—revealed that the combination of higher rates and prices led to households in over half of all states last month being able to afford less of all active inventory on the market based on their income.”

For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Existing-Home Sales Begin 2017 with a Bang appeared first on RISMedia.

Priced Out: Gender Pay Gap Spills over to Housing

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now on blog.rismedia.com:

Single homebuyers have a tougher time than most affording a house—and a new report shows single women have it harder than single men.

A joint report by PropertyShark and RENTCafé reveals housing in 23 of the nation’s top 50 metropolitan areas is out of reach for single women, while housing in 14 areas is out of reach for single men. Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; New York, N.Y.; Philadelphia, Pa.; and Washington, D.C. are unaffordable to singles regardless of gender—but Chicago, Ill.; Denver, Colo.; Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Memphis and Nashville, Tenn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash. are, in addition, unaffordable to single women. The starkest pay gap of the nine areas unaffordable to single women—but affordable to single men—is in Fort Worth, Houston and Seattle, spanning 70-73 cents on the dollar.

Gender_Pay_Gap_Infographic

The areas where single women face the lowest housing affordability are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston and Miami, according to the report. In New York, monthly housing costs take up 119 percent of the average single woman’s income, while in Los Angeles, monthly housing costs take up 104 percent—a full-on shut-out. Monthly housing costs for single men in these areas take up just shy of 100 percent.

There are areas where single women can afford to buy a home: Detroit, Mich.; Wichita, Kan.; Indianapolis, Ind.; and Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla., according to the report. The monthly housing cost in Detroit takes up just 4 percent of the average single woman’s income, while monthly housing costs in Wichita and Indianapolis take up 10 percent.

View more from the report here.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Priced Out: Gender Pay Gap Spills over to Housing appeared first on RISMedia.

CFPB Explores Alternative Routes for ‘Credit Invisibles’

Twenty-six million Americans are “credit invisible,” or lacking enough credit history to generate a credit score—a factor most lenders use to evaluate loan applications. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has begun exploring alternative routes to determine creditworthiness, including cell phone bill and rent payment history, seeking feedback from the public on these and other assessment methods.

“Alternative data from unconventional sources may help consumers who are stuck outside the system build a credit history to access mainstream credit sources,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “We want to learn more about whether this non-traditional approach can offer opportunities to millions of Americans who are credit invisible and how to minimize any risks in how this information is used.”

Specifically, the CFPB has issued a Request for Information on whether alternative data would boost credit accessibility and/or make credit decisions more complicated, as well as its impact on borrowers and lenders and privacy and security issues.

View the Request for Information here.

Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB)

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The post CFPB Explores Alternative Routes for ‘Credit Invisibles’ appeared first on RISMedia.

Policy Unknowns Curb Housing Growth Expectations

All-out growth in the housing market this year is hinging on the Trump Administration’s policies, with the Fannie Mae Economic & Strategic Research Group expecting standstill wages to cripple affordability unless incomes improve.

“We expect the housing expansion to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace than last year given continued pressure on affordability,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae chief economist. “Depressed inventory, particularly in the more affordable segments, will likely constrain sales and push home price gains that outpace income growth. A faster pace of monetary tightening, unless accompanied by a stronger increase in household income, also poses downside risk to housing.”

A recent affordability measure by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and realtor.com® confirms a gap, especially for those with lower incomes.

The Fannie Mae Group’s recent Economic and Housing Outlook for February forecasts the economy to grow 2.0 percent in 2017, a minor gain from 1.9 percent in 2016.

“Last month we revealed our theme for the year, ‘Will Policy Changes Extend the Expansion?’ That question still hovers as the month-old administration begins enacting its agenda,” Duncan says. “Timing effects make it unlikely that we’ll see materially positive impacts stemming from any fiscal stimulus or deregulation this year, while immigration and trade policy pose downside risk. Any upside risk is likely to come from increased business investment based on expectations of policy change, enhancing prospects for after-tax profits.”

The Outlook projects existing-home sales will reach 5.646 million by the end of the year, while single-family starts will expand to 880,000. The median existing-home price is projected to be $245,000, while the median new-home price is projected to be $327,000.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which soared higher than 4 percent following the election, is projected to end 2017 at an average 4.3 percent.

Source: Fannie Mae

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Policy Unknowns Curb Housing Growth Expectations appeared first on RISMedia.

REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards Seek Candidates for $10,000 Grants

Good_Neighbor_Logo_NARNAR PULSE—REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 18th Annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognize REALTORS® who impact their communities through volunteer work. Five winners will be announced in the Nov./Dec. issue of REALTOR® Magazine, recognized at the 2017 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Chicago, and receive a $10,000 grant for his or her charity. Volunteer work might include affordable housing initiatives, youth mentoring, homelessness prevention, or anything else that makes a community a better place to live. Entries must be received by May 12. For more information and an entry form, click here.

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For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post REALTOR® Magazine’s Good Neighbor Awards Seek Candidates for $10,000 Grants appeared first on RISMedia.

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©2015 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.®  Equal Housing Opportunity.  Licensed in Virginia.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier, REALTORS
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