The Gift that Keeps Giving

If you’re thinking about making a major real estate purchase in the New Year consider the benefits of having your own Buyer Representative lined up to help in your search. It’s a great feeling to know that you have a real estate expert who is legally

If you’re thinking about making a major real estate purchase in the New Year consider the benefits of having your own Buyer Representative lined up to help in your search. It’s a great feeling to know that you have a real estate expert who is legally obligated to you, who has your best financial interests at heart and who takes the client relationship very seriously. Formalizing an agent/client relationship through your Buyers Representation Agreement means that you have created a team approach to your transaction. Having the details of your relationship in writing in the Buyers Representation Agreement helps you understand what each of you can expect from each other. As a client you can expect superior service from your agent. Experienced real estate agents have handled hundreds of transactions over the years and acquire invaluable knowledge in every facet of the purchase process. Where most home sellers provide a portion of the real estate commission to be paid to the ‘selling agency’ your buyer representative fee will be paid by the seller. Sometimes when your Rep finds for you a property that is not currently on the market know that you will need to factor their fee into your purchase and sales agreement with that unrepresented seller. Working with your “Rep” with a buyer representation relationship gives you a team approach to your real estate acquisition helping insure you achieve the best possible home buying experience, what better gift!

Advertisements

Short Sales – Important to Housing Recovery

In 2007, as home sales began to decline, Congress passed the Mortgage Debt Relief Act which eliminated income tax on forgiven debt. Typical in a “short sale” where a seller owes more to their bank than their property is worth, lenders cut the homeown

In 2007, as home sales began to decline, Congress passed the Mortgage Debt Relief Act which eliminated income tax on forgiven debt.  Typical in a “short sale” where a seller owes more to their bank than their property is worth, lenders cut the homeowners principal balance to facilitate a sale rather than gaining title to the property through the foreclosure process.

 

The law has been critical to helping the housing industry begin and sustain its recovery.  The Act which was extended in 2010 is due to expire at the end of this year unless Congress acts between now and then.  Separate bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to extend the mortgage relief tax break for another year.

 

Where “short sales” equal nearly a quarter of all home sales, the elimination of these tax provisions would force millions more homeowners into foreclosure which would negatively impact the lender as well.  According to a spokes person from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average price of a bank-owned home acquired by foreclosure in about $30,000 lower than a comparable home transferred in a short sale.

Housing Starts Soar

The National Association of Realtors recently released housing data indicates housing starts reached an 894,000 annualized pace in October, which is the highest in over 4 years and up 42 percent from one year ago.

The National Association of Realtors recently released housing data indicates housing starts reached an 894,000 annualized pace in October, which is the highest in over 4 years and up 42 percent from one year ago.

Even with this huge gain, further increases are needed. The 50-year historical average is 1.5 million per year. Now that household formations are increasing housing starts need to be at least 1.3 million just to keep the overall vacancy rates stable.

Multifamily starts made a larger gain of 57 percent compared to single-family starts, which increased 35 percent. Falling vacancy rates and solid rent gains have tipped developers to focus more heavily on new apartments.

The West region showed the biggest increase with a 73 percent gain. The northeast experienced a slight downturn over the month and only an 11 percent gain from one year ago. Since Hurricane Sandy was at the very end of October, the lower starts are attributed to market forces in the region and not yet related to the storm. A large overhang of shadow inventory still looms in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.

Housing starts are likely to reach 1.1 million in 2013 and then rise to 1.4 million in 2014. These levels will still be not enough to meet the rising housing demand. Shortage conditions are expected to continue for several years.

New Home Sales Jump to New High in September

Home builders received more good news Wednesday morning as sales of new single-family homes in September surged to their highest level in 2 1/2 years, the Census Bureau said.

Home builders received more good news Wednesday morning as sales of new single-family homes in September surged to their highest level in 2 1/2 years, the Census Bureau said.

New home sales grew 5.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 389,000 last month. The growth was a significant rebound after new home sales fell off in August to a revised rate of 368,000. That followed a two-year high of 374,000 in July — more indications that the new home market is recovering in fits and starts.

Sales were up 27.1 percent from September 2011.

The median sales price of a new home sold in September was $242,000, down from $256,900 in August. There were 145,000 new homes for sale at the end of September, up from 141,000 in August.

Earlier this month, the Census Bureau said that national housing starts rose 15% in September, while building permits soared 11.6 percent.

HOME PRICES RISING

Median existing single-family home prices are rising in more metropolitan areas, but a lack of inventory – notably in lower price ranges – is limiting buyer choices in an increasing number of markets around the country, according to the latest quarter

Median existing single-family home prices are rising in more metropolitan areas, but a lack of inventory – notably in lower price ranges – is limiting buyer choices in an increasing number of markets around the country, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®.

The median existing single-family home price rose in 110 out of 147 metropolitan statistical areas 1 (MSAs) based on closings in the second quarter in comparison with same quarter in 2011; three areas were unchanged and 34 had price declines. In the first quarter of 2012 there were 74 areas showing price gains from a year earlier, while in the second quarter of 2011 only 41 metros were up.

A separate breakout of income requirements to buy a home on a metro basis shows a wide range of conditions, but most buyers had ample income in the second quarter assuming they could meet mortgage credit standards.

Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist, said home prices are set to rise in even more markets during upcoming quarters. The national median existing single-family home price was $181,500 in the second quarter, up 7.3 percent from $169,100 in the second quarter of 2011. This is the strongest year-over-year increase since the first quarter of 2006.

July Real Estate Recovery Continues

Single family home sales, including condos, increased statewide in July 6.6% over July of last year. Last July 1112 homes sold statewide with an average sale price of $215,900, this July 1188 homes sold with an average sale price of $215,500.

Single family home sales, including condos, increased statewide in July 6.6% over July of last year. Last July 1112 homes sold statewide with an average sale price of $215,900, this July 1188 homes sold with an average sale price of $215,500.

Penobscot County unit sales were up by 3.4% for July of this year with dollar volume up 6.2% compared with the same month last year. Sales year to date for the County increased 5.9% compared with the same period last year with the average sale price increasing 3% tot $148,200.

State wide, year to date average home sales prices decreased to $210,900 but the number of homes sold increased 16% compared to the same period last year.

Record low mortgage interest rates continue to attract the attention of many buyers who find buying more affordable than renting.

How Much is Your Home Worth?

The value of your home depends on several factors. Housing prices varying depending on local market conditions that include: the number of homes currently on the market, prices of recently sold homes, number of foreclosed homes on the market, and many

The value of your home depends on several factors. Housing prices varying depending on local market conditions that include: the number of homes currently on the market, prices of recently sold homes, number of foreclosed homes on the market, and many other factors. The bottom line is your home will be compared to other homes currently for sale in the market.
To properly understand the value of your home and a potential price for a home sale, you will want to examine the record of home sales in your neighborhood over the past several months. It may sound daunting but your ERA Real Estate agent is here to help and can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).

The CMA will provide data regarding recent home sales (size, price and number of days on the market) as well as information about homes that have not yet sold. It allows you to view trends and other critical information that can be beneficial as you determine the value of your home and set a competitive price.

While the home is on the market your Agent will let you know about “market reaction” to your home from other real estate agents who show your home and from the general public who might attend an OPEN HOUSE… In addition, your Agent will keep you abreast of values of similar homes that have gone “under contract” during the time your home is for sale.