We’re only days away from the Green Team 2019 Summer Social. Many of us have had 2 p.m., August 24, blocked off on our calendars for months now, and with good reason. According to Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty,
“The Green Team Realty Summer Social is a great opportunity for all of us to take a break, reconnect, and have some fun. Bringing our extended Green Team Family together for a day at Spring Brook Farm is always something to look forward to.”
Spring Brook Farm
Spring Brook Farm in Warwick is a 15-acre family-owned and operated event venue. Incredible views surround you. Furthermore, with an in-ground pool and lots of space for games, it’s the perfect place for the Summer Social. Of course, adding to the charm is the authentic barn which was built back in 1850.
Summer Social is a way for the sales associates of Green Team New York Realty and Green Team New Jersey Realty to kick back and enjoy a day that is all about family. It’s a great way to get to know each other, introduce our families to our “work” family, and to network. In this relaxed setting, our sales associates share information and resources that will benefit Green Team clients. And with the weather forecast looking promising, the pool is sounding very inviting!
Thank you to our Sponsors
As the number of sales associates grows, these company social events become even more important And we appreciate the sponsors who are helping to make this summer social possible … and even more fun!
Thanks to Road Trip RV Service, Pillar to Post, Guaranteed Rate Donahue, O”Connell & Riley PLLC, Classic Mortgage and Askin & Hooker, LLDC.
Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo? [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Buying a home can be intimidating if you’re not familiar with the terms used throughout the process.
- To point you in the right direction, here’s a list of some of the most common language you’ll hear when buying a home.
- The best way to ensure your home-buying process is a positive one is to find a real estate professional who will guide you through every aspect of the transaction with ‘the heart of a teacher.’
July 2019 Housing Market Update
Geoffrey Green, President of Green Team Realty, welcomed viewers to the July 2019 Housing Market Update, held on Tuesday, July 16 at 2 p.m. He started off by presenting the most recent numbers.
National Housing Market Statistics
Pricing – Where are things headed?
Looking at year-over-year change in price, only one state, North Dakota, is at a 0% price appreciation change year-over-year. Pretty much we’re seeing gains in price throughout the country. Idaho is leading the charge. The northeast is a little weaker than many other areas of the country.
Corelogic is a substantial company that aggregates a lot of data from many sources. They are a player in regards to legitimate statistics in the real estate industry. Essentially they are predicting the year-over-year price change will round out at about 5.6% which is up from the previous prediction of 3.6%. There is enough economic data to support the higher prediction.
Over 100 economists, real estate experts and market strategists made predictions on cumulative house appreciation by 2023. The Bulls predicted 27.7%, the Bears 6.7%, while all projections indicated 16.8%. It is significant that even the Bears, the most cautious participants, did see some level of appreciation.
Optimism regarding future price appreciation
The most optimism lies within the middle income of the country.. The higher end is also optimistic. However, people at the lower income level are more pessimistic. The graph show historically how optimistic people in these income levels were, compared to where they are now. People in the upper third income group are a little less optimistic than they have been historically. Higher end sales seem to be dragging; there is a lot of inventory available. Perhaps there is a correlation there.
Traffic is up since February, and things are busy. The panelists will speak to this later.
February 2019 June 2019
30 Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Rates
30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at their lowest rate for 3 years, which is important. Mortgage rates have plummeted this year, leading many to anticipate the market will continue to increase as money becomes cheaper. The lower rates make it more affordable to own a home.
Quotes that tell us the second half of 2019 is on a path to be extremely strong
Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s Chief Economist
“Lower mortgage rates, higher wages, and more homes for sale have helped counteract rising home prices, and ultimately, made it so that buyers are able to afford more than last year.”
Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic
“With mortgage rates flat and inventory picking up, we expect more buyers to take advantage of easing housing market headwinds.”
Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac
“The drop in mortgage rates over the last two months is already being felt in the housing market. In the near term, we expect the housing market to continue to improve from both a sales and price perspective.”
Ivy Zelman and the “Z” Report
“Key metrics tracking existing home sales demand have been on an upward trajectory so far in 2019. This portends positively for our forecast for existing home closings to increase by 1% in 2019, despite a 3% decline though the first five months of the year.”
Local Housing Market Statistics
A Quarterly look for the last 5 years of the Combined Counties of Orange, Rochester and Westchester, New York
How many homes are selling is what Geoff calls the “mother’s milk” of the industry. With this bigger data sampling, trends can be more telling. There is no question that the market has been going down The market has been softening when you combine the three counties. In fact, outside of 2015 it is the weakest second quarter we’ve had in four years.
Average Selling Price
Prices are still strong, at or above the last four years per this chart. We should continue to see some appreciation, but Geoff does expect the numbers to get lower, despite predictions to the contrary by some others.
Average List to Sell Price Ratio
Basically this is the last asking price of the home versus what it sold for. The higher the number is to 100%, the hotter the market is. While it’s down a little from last year, the percentage is still good. However, it does indicate a softening of the market.
Days on Market
Here, the lower the number, the hotter the market. Here you can see that this number is softening, too, as it intersects with where it was last year at this time.
A Quarterly look for the last 5 years of the Combined Counties of Sussex, Morris and Passaic, New Jersey
Things are definitely a little bit slower on the New Jersey side. We’re down significantly in the first two quarters of 2019 in these counties. We’re only above 2015 and below the last three years. Again, indications of a softening market.
Price was up first quarter of 2019, but we’re now starting to see prices soften as the average price is near even with 2018 second quarter number.
Average List to Sell Price Ratio
This number is going up, consistent with what is happening in New York.
Days on Market
In New Jersey, there is a marked decline in days on market, as opposed to New York, where that number was inching up. This indicates a more competitive market.
And now a word from our sponsor…
Meet our Panel
Geoffrey Green, Moderator, President, Green Team Realty
Jennifer DiCostanzo, Green Team New York Realty
Keren Gonen, Green Team New Jersey Realty
Jen feels very good about momentum on the Orange County side. She feels it’s a great playing field for both buyers and sellers. Furthermore, having interest rates so low is an incentive for buyers. Some buyers who might have used cash are deciding to finance instead because of the low rates. We are fighting low inventory. But if the house is priced right and is in good condition, it’s sold. However, it still is vital to get inventory up.
Keren finds buyers much more educated than in the past. But they are also hesitant. She thinks some of that stems from deciding if this is where they really want to be. If you’re ready, have done your homework, then find a house, doubt can set it. Perhaps that it shouldn’t be this easy. She’s had situations where she’s told buyers that this is a hot market and if they’re interested they need to put an offer in that same day. Tomorrow the house will be gone. By waiting a week, they lost the house.
High End Market
Geoff asked Jen if she sees a lot of high-end inventory on the Orange County side. Jen replied that she’s seeing more of the $500,000/$600,000 in her own inventory and others. There is definitely an increase in the higher end homes. However she sees that market starting to soften. New construction has an impact on pricing of resales. Therefore, the higher-end homes are feeling that hit from the competition. The new property tax implications also impact the larger, high-end homes. She believes that ultimately we’ll see more downsizing.
Geoff responded that there could be interesting opportunities to buy high-end homes over the next five years for people who are looking for a weekend home or retreat. Jen has definitely seen an increase in purchases of second homes.
Geoff asked Keren about the situation in New Jersey. Keren feels that the stats on homes that haven’t sold more than previous years is more from Passaic and Morris Counties. Keren does business in those counties and in ones further south, but a lot of high-end houses in Bergen are being rented. Keren is also finding buyers looking for a second home in the $400,000-$500,000 range. And while we might consider that high-end, to them it’s just a home.
Geoff stated, “At the end of the day, we’re still there. There are still bidding wars. If something is priced right, it’s in the middle of the market, it’s well located, it’s gone. There are multiple offers immediately.” Keren thinks that homes that are more affordable in Sussex County have had above priced offers. She still sees a hot sellers market.
Geoff asked Jen if she is seeing the same thing in New York, with intense bidding wars. Jen replied that, again, if the product matches condition and pricing, it’s gone. Especially in the median price-points, Especially anything in the $200,000 to mid $400,000’s.
Geoff then asked about appraisals, if they are coming in okay, or if they are not valuing. Jen hasn’t had an issue with appraisals. She is starting to see some sellers’ concessions inching their way back in. Providing a cushion for buyers, that’s some equity there that they haven’t seen in awhile. That’s a good indicator.
Keren also finds that appraisals are coming in okay. She has also seen a lot of sellers’ concessions. According to Keren, 90% of offers she puts in on the buyer’s do get some concession from the seller.
Having done the Housing Market Updates for some time, Geoff finds that appraisals haven’t seemed to be an issue for the past 12-18 months. However, he recalls that it was a problem a few years ago. As the market was really taking off as prices were jumping it was hard for appraisers to justify comps. It seems that that has evened off.
What are banks doing with foreclosures?
Geoff asked Keren about the situation with bank foreclosures, REO’s. Whether they were releasing more inventory or hanging on tand renting them. Keren replied that they are flipping them, flips are not done well because work goes to lowest bidder. In the end it’s the buyer who gets the short end of the stick. They’ve bought a renovated home, they’re happy, and then she gets the call… This broke and this happened, but there is nothing that Keren can do at that point.
The panel turned the discussion towards the importance of trades people. Plumbers, contractors, etc. The more poorly done renovations there are, the more repairs will be required. Keren did point out that unfortunately there seems to be less people going into these trades. It can be challenging to find labor and materials are expensive.
Wrapping it up
Jen’s final words…. “Keep buying!” According to Geoff, rates are declining, inventory is pretty good. Units sold is trending down, prices are softening. So if you’re a buyer, this is an interesting time. And Jen pointed out that even if someone is not interested in selling at this point, it’s a good time to refinance.
To contact the panelists:
Jennifer DiCostanzo – Cell #917-916-9995
Keren Gonen – Cell #551-262-4062
Next Housing Market Update
August 20 at 2 p.m. Stay informed – sign up for our Housing Market Updates at
A lot is happening in the world, and it’s having a direct impact on the housing market. The reality is this: some of it is positive and some of it may be negative. Some we just don’t know yet.
The following three areas of the housing market are critical to understand: interest rates, building materials, and the outlook for an economic slowdown.
1. Interest Rates
One of the most important things to consider when buying a home is the interest rate you will be charged to borrow the money. In our recent post we posed the question, “Are Low Interest Rates Here To Stay?” The latest information from Freddie Mac makes it appear they are. We are currently at a 21-month low in interest rates.
2. Building Materials
Talk of tariffs could also affect the housing market. According to a recent article, the National Association of Home Builders reports that as much as $10 billion in goods imported from China are used in homebuilding. Depending on the outcome of the tariff and trade discussions between several countries, there could be as much as a 25% boost in the cost of building materials.
3. Economic Slowdown
In a prior blog post on this topic, we began the year with many economic leaders thinking we could expect a recession in late 2019 or early 2020. As spring approached, we reported that economists had started to push that projection past 2020. Now, three leading surveys indicate that it may begin in the next eighteen months.
We are in a strong housing market. Wages are increasing, home prices are appreciating, and mortgage rates are the lowest they have been in 21 months. Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, it’s a great time to be in the market.
If you have saved up your down payment and are ready to start your home search, one other piece of the puzzle is to make sure that you have saved enough for your closing costs.
Freddie Mac defines closing costs as:
“Closing costs, also called settlement fees, will need to be paid when you obtain a mortgage. These are fees charged by people representing your purchase, including your lender, real estate agent, and other third parties involved in the transaction. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”
We’ve recently heard from many first-time homebuyers that they wished that someone had let them know that closing costs could be so high. If you think about it, with a low down payment program, your closing costs could equal the amount that you saved for your down payment.
Here is a list of just some of the fees/costs that may be included in your closing costs, depending on where the home you wish to purchase is located:
Government recording costs
Credit report fees
Lender origination fees
Title services (insurance, search fees)
Tax service fees
IS THERE ANY WAY TO AVOID PAYING CLOSING COSTS?
Work with your lender and real estate agent to see if there are any ways to decrease or defer your closing costs. There are no-closing mortgages available, but they end up costing you more in the end with a higher interest rate, or by wrapping the closing costs into the total cost of the mortgage (meaning you’ll end up paying interest on your closing costs).
Home buyers can also negotiate with the seller over who pays these fees. Sometimes the seller will agree to assume the buyer’s closing fees in order to get the deal finalized.
Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing.Finding out you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.
It is feeling more and more like summer every day! The merry month of May is that wonderful blend of summer-like weather, mixed with rain that brings everything green to life! Trees have blossomed, grass is green. And the farms, wooded areas, low lying mountain ranges and country roads beckon us with a beauty that is the backdrop to living in Orange and Sussex Counties. With almost a month to go before the official start of summer, here are ideas for outdoor and indoor living, and events and places to go in Orange and Sussex Counties.
Love spending time outside? Try these ideas for outdoor living…
Homebnc.com has 42 Summer Porch Ideas to inspire you. And the wonderful thing about some of these ideas and projects are their flexibility. Use your imagination to customize them for your porch, deck, lawn, or even inside your home. If you like to garden and want to try raised beds, Homebnc.com as some terrific ideas to get your garden growing. Try one or more of their best DIY raised garden bed ideas.
…And for indoor living!
When the family spends a lot of time outside, eventually they have to come in. And we all know what a day of yard work, gardening, playing, or beach going means. Dirt, sand, mud, etc. into getting tracked in your spring-cleaned home! Again, Homebnc.com has the best mudroom ideas – even if you don’t have an actual mudroom!
Now that you’re back inside, Housebeautiful.com will inspire you with 18 Fresh Summer Paint Colors That Make Every Day Feel Like a Vacation. Further, if you decide you’d like to take on another DIY Project, Housebeautiful.com has 10 Contact Paper Decorations Ideas to Spruce Up Your Home Without Overspending. From creating your own artwork, to updates in kitchens and more, contact paper and removable wallpaper can help beautify your home.
Orange and Sussex Counties – Things to Do, Places to Go
Woodstock’s Golden Anniversary!
It’s hard for some of us to believe that Woodstock was half a century ago! It seems like yesterday that some of the greatest musicians of our time got up on that stage at Bethel Woods and performed for over 400,000 people in a 3-day concert that helped define a generation. AAA Northeast has a good article about Woodstock in Your AAA Magazine. And, of course, visit the website for Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for program updates. While the celebration doesn’t take place until August, you might want to order your tickets for a concert or two now! While not in Orange County, the site of Woodstock is close to both Orange and Sussex Counties.
Support our local farmers and enjoy your own fresh and delicious farm to table meals. Orange County Tourism breaks down the Markets by the days they’re held and gives you opening dates and times of operation. And each market has its own distinct character. So you may want to visit a few of these.
Orange County Farmers Market 2019 Schedule
Sussex County Farmer’s Markets are listed by County in this list from NJMom.com.
And Yelp.com lists reviews of some great places in addition to the above. While the heading reads the Best 10 Farmers Markets in Sussex County, NJ, the list also includes places to go in adjoining Orange County as well.
Vernon Day Food Truck Festival!
This fun event features great food, local vendors and live music. So check it out on Sunday, June 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. 7 Sammis Rd in Vernon. Rain date is June 9. Event is sponsored by Vernon PAL. So, for more information check their website.
We are fortunate to have several local wineries in our area. They provide a relaxing way to enjoy an afternoon or evening. A glass or two of wine. Some offer food. And many offer entertainment during the summer months, so check their websites for schedules.
Yelp.com shares reviews by customers for Orange County Wineries.
Crystal Springs Resorts in Sussex, NJ shares some local wineries on their website. Again, because of the close proximity, some are Orange County wineries and are listed above. They also list Ventimiglia Vineyard in Wantage, NJ.
Memorial Day Events
Sometimes the meaning of Memorial Day gets lost in store sales, and a 3-day weekend for many. Let’s remember the reason for this day and think about those who gave their lives in the service of our nation… There are many events throughout Orange and Sussex Counties and surrounding areas…
New Jersey 101.5 Memorial Day Parades and Ceremonies in New Jersey
News12’s Guide to Memorial Day Parades in the Hudson Valley
Recordonline.com Memorial Day Events and Services, Orange County
In Warwick there will be a Memorial Day Remembrance at the Buckbee Center on Colonial Avenue on Thursday, May 23 from 7-8 p.m. Visit the Warwick Chamber of Commerce website for more details.
Green Team Realty’s Launch is a competition with a purpose. It provides incentives for Sales Associates to learn or improve their use of Green Team’s Customer Relationship Management system (“CRM”). The ultimate goal is providing the best in customer service and appreciation. By inputting and keeping track of the information and activities pertaining to client transactions, agents are better able to refine their client appreciation programs. Further, maintaining relationships with clients past, present and future in today’s challenging real estate market makes everyone a winner. Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, promotes the competition at the beginning of each year. He feels that agents who fully know and use the CRM can provide better services to their clients while also getting better control of their businesses and lives. Besides, a little friendly competition and generous prizes ensure some serious participation.
Thanks to the Team Leaders!
Before announcing the winning teams and individuals, Geoff Green first thanked the team captains for volunteering their time and effort. “These ladies went above and beyond to make this a fruitful competition for all of the Sales Associates. Great job to all team captains!” In the Warwick office, Angela Murphy volunteered to once again serve as a Launch team leader. And Kim Lesley stepped up as team leader of the opposing team. At the Vernon office, Cathie Witte took on last year’s team leader and individual winner, Keren Gonen. All four leaders did their best to inspire their teams to become proficient in using the CRM. And, of course, to score the points given for CRM activities.
Angela Murphy Kim Lesley Cathie Witte Keren Gonen
The Winning Teams are:
In Warwick, Kim Lesley’s Rock’n’Rollers put up a valiant fight, but Angela’s Murphy’s Master Minds came out on top. And in Vernon, Cathie’s Witte’s Wonders came in with the most points, despite a great showing by Keren’s Gonen’s Greenies.
This year Geoff awarded cash prizes for each of the top ten Sales Associates on the winning teams. Each sales associate had to have a minimum of 600 points from February 14 to March 31, the length of the Launch competition.
And the Individual Winners from those Winning Teams are:
Dean Diltz was not a member of the winning team. However, as the highest point earner in the Warwick office, he was awarded a special prize.
Looking forward to Launch 2020!
Will our team leaders step up for the challenge again? Which team will score the most points? And what incentives will Geoff offer to motivate everyone! Stay tuned for February 14, 2020, when Launch 2020 will blast off!
The April 2019 Housing Market Update was held on Facebook Live Tuesday, April 16 at 2 p.m. If you missed the live webinar, you can view it at your convenience by clicking here. You can also sign up for updates at GreenTeamRealty.com/HMU.
Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, began the update with some national statistics. Discussions have been going on for months as to what the 2019 would look like. And, for the most part, it’s roaring. At least that is the case in our area, the northeast.
National Housing Market Statistics
Total Existing Home Sales
This chart shows the total existing home sales for every two months, year over year. There was a dip, with things trending down, from the end of 2017 through 2018 nationally. But there is a bump at the beginning of 2019. And it seems to be busy for everyone right now. The thinking is that this may be another banner year.
Median Price of Existing Home Sales
Prices have very consistently increased over the last 3 to 4 years. And there doesn’t seem to be a reason to anticipate any change in that trajectory any time soon.
Existing Home Prices by Region
Breaking down existing home prices in terms of regions, this shows where we are now versus last year. The Midwest is leading home prices increases, followed by the Northeast.
% Change in Sales
As prices have risen, there are fewer homes across the nation in the $0-$100,000 range. This low inventory has resulted in the change in sales for that price range. However, it is also interesting that on the very high end, transactions of $1 Million+ have faltered and slowed down. When you start to get into those metro areas where $1+ Million is not unusual, people may be starting to find it’s a little out of reach.
Housing Supply at the National Level
The lack of inventory has been seen as a reason for why the number of transactions was softening for the last 12, 14 months; The supply level peaked in 2018 and then came down towards the end of 2018. But it now looks like it may be coming up again. We really need this to happen to keep the transactions going.
Projected Home Price Appreciation
A panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists were interviewed for the most recent Home Price Expectations Survey. These experts have raised the projections they made in the 4th quarter of 2018 for 2019 and 2020. They are anticipating a better year than they first thought.
Mortgage Rate Projections
Despite a zooming market and a very solid economy, rates in Geoff’s view are still remaining low. Someone who was looking for a home a year and a half ago may now see rates up a point and think that they are now “high.” However, Geoff says that rates are still historically low.
Local Housing Market Update
Orange County, NY – Units Sold
We seem to be holding even compared to last year. Perhaps a tick better. This is good news.
Orange County, NY – Average Sales Price
So far this year we’re basically even with last year.
Orange County, NY – Ask to Sold Ratio
Ratio at which a home sells versus the last asking price. The ratio seems to be trending higher which means that demand is still very high. People are willing to pay at or near asking, if not over asking. Bidding wars are still continuing.
Orange County, NY – Days on Market
The days on market continue to drop consistently. Homes are still selling fast, selling quicker each year. All signs point to a continued Seller’s Market.
Sussex County, NJ – Units Sold
Units sold in January and February were lower than in 2018. However, in March the number rose, coming in a tick higher than March 2018.
Sussex County, NJ – Average Price
Sales prices in Sussex have been a bit of a conundrum. Price hasn’t taken hold and there has been a significant one month drop from February to March. This will be an interesting analytic to watch as the year goes on.
Sussex County, NJ – Ask to Sold Ratio
Again, the higher the number, the closer things are selling towards the asking price and the less sellers are having to negotiate off those prices. We’re looking at some very strong numbers here.
Sussex County, NJ – Days on Market
Again, here the lower the number the stronger the market. Here was have a steady pattern of fewer days on the market. Homes are selling faster and faster.
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Meet the Panel
aura Moritz has been with Classic Mortgage for 18 years.
Geoff Green began the panel discussion by asking about the trends they’ve been seeing in the Housing Market Updates and in the market itself. Geoff recalled that the numbers were softening during 2018. Therefore, there was a lot of uncertainty about how the market would be in 2019. However, the numbers seem to be indicating a very good year.
He asked Vikki and Keren what their experiences were in the field. Vikki said that the general market conditions she sees in Orange County, specifically the Warwick, Goshen, Middletown area, indicate a really strong market. There is still a shortage of inventory, which feeds the demand. She has received several new buyers recently coming from outside the area. Plus, many sellers are staying in the area, adding to the number of prospective buyers.
She has noticed more For Sale by Owner signs lately, and has had buyers request to see some of those. Vikki noted that that’s fine; she’s able to show her clients the homes and guide them through the home purchasing process. She then asked if Keren was seeing the same thing in Sussex County and if it’s a new trend. Keren said they are seeing the same thing in New Jersey. With today’s technology, some sellers are thinking they can do it on their own. And as Vikki mentioned, there are no issues approaching a FSBO and arranging a showing for their buyers.
In regard to home prices plummeting in Sussex, Keren said a new wave of REO’s has been released. This hasn’t happened in a while. They’re also being more logical in their pricing. That may be why we’re seeing that drop. In addition, there is that same problem of inventory. Recently Keren had buyer request to see a newly listed home over the weekend. However that home had an accepted offer on it before her clients could see it 4 days later. It’s still a seller’s market.
Geoff agreed that there is clearly an inventory shortage. There is real, organic growth in the market. There are many people who can afford a home, and qualify. Yet there are more prospective buyers like this out there than there are suitable homes. In Warwick, in particular, there is a lot of new construction going on. He wondered if around our local counties there is enough new construction yet. He asked what the panelists were seeing. Had they noticed new subdivisions offering more options for their buyers?
Keren said in Sussex, there was Crystal Springs. A large halted construction site there had just been bought up, and there is new things going up. And there are a lot of people interested in them because there is not that much construction around. They also have those houses that have burnt down and had to be totally gutted. Those houses are getting a lot of activity as well.
Vikki is seeing a lot of new construction in the Warwick area specifically, and also in Goshen, Cornwall. She feels it’s a result of the lack of inventory. Geoff noted that he reads a lot of articles from economists, etc. He received an email from a loan company which urged homeowners to become more reasonable in their pricing. There has also been a lot of talk by economists about the importance of municipalities needing to loosen up their zoning requirements and do what they can to speed up municipalities.
Geoff’s response to these? “Welcome to my world!” Planning boards have gotten tighter and tighter and people are concerned about their communities growing too fast. Regulations have gotten tighter, rather than loosening up. And while Geoff doesn’t believe these things are bad, he’s just saying it’s harder to develop in today’s day and age than it was 50, 60 years ago. There’s just a lot more red tape involved.
Geoff said it will be really interesting to see. America is the place to be. Globally, our economy is far outpacing any other country out there. We’re the “shining city on the hill” again and many people want to be here. Also, many people just don’t want to move.
What’s happening with mortgage financing?
Geoff then asked Laura Moritz where we are with mortgages and where she see rates going, Further, he noted there seems there is a lot of loan of money available, and a lot of loan programs. He doesn’t think that’s the problem. Laura responded that she really doesn’t see a problem at all as far as qualified buyers getting financing. Even a few mortgages were done this month for people with credit scores in the 500’s. Underwriting guidelines have really loosened up. Borrowers may also have what’s called in banking compensating factors = their credit is not so great, but they have other factors, Laura is really not seeing any rejections. She also is not seeing houses not appraising for value. The market has been very steady.
Interest rates are very low now. She has locked in and closed some 30 year loans recently at 4-1/4% with 20% down and good credit. With 15 year loans , you’re looking at high 3’s%.
Geoff mentioned that we’ve talked about the appraisal situation often on the housing market updates. He said it was maybe a year or more that it wasn’t so certain that things would appraise and it was difficult. Now that we have in this steadily increasing medium price market appraisers can buy into the fact that this house is worth more than the one down the street because it’s selling six months later and it’s an increasing market. Where it’s hard on appraisers is on the turn, when the market is on its way up or on its way down.
Laura added that some high end properties with “fluff” amenities may not translate to an appraisal. However, ever her high-end appraisals have been coming in on point because they have the comps.
She doesn’t believe that rates will move in either direction very much over the next 6 to 9 months. However, as we know, one catastrophic event or something in the global economy can shift the bond market and it can change on a dime. It does look like rates will hold steady over the summer months.
Laura closed the discussion by noting that it’s a great time to buy a house. She’s seeing a lot of young people and couples trending towards buying a home before getting married in order to skip the renting stage. She loves hearing from them a few years later that they appreciated $70,000 gain and can now buy their forever home. It’s a great time to buy a home in the Northeast. Geoff added that even speaking to average price we’re still really not back to 2006 levels. As much as it’s a seller’s market now, there is still lots of room for growth in price appreciation in our local markets.
May Housing Market Update
The next Housing Market Update will be held on May 21 at 2 p.m. You can stay informed and sign up for Housing Market Updates. Just click here.
Green Team Realty’s March 2019 Housing Market Update was presented live on Facebook Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m. If you were unable to view the webinar live, you can watch at your convenience by clicking here. Sign up for future updates here.
Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, gave a breakdown of both national and local statistics:
This is a 3-year comparison, 2017-2019. The later the year, the darker the color. January shows a decline in 2018 and 2019. In August, things started to turn in year over year increases.
The Northeast is still chugging along, though usually the northeast market lags. However, on the whole, pending home sales are down, region by region.
As far as pricing goes, this is a composite of the top 20 cities in the US. Over the last 10 months and pricing is steadily decreasing. However, it’s more of a soft landing. There is nothing indicative of a “crash.” Historical norms are around 3.6% and we’re around that mark, with 4.2%.
On the mortgage side, here is an average of four entities making projections of where rates will be in 2019. They are projecting that rates will continue to increase, below 5%. Geoff feels this is historically a very low rate. While some in the mortgage industry are projecting a decline in refinancing, money for the resale and construction markets seem to be in good shape.
Orange County, New York
In the year over year comparisons, we’re at or below the last few years, but still hanging in there. However, we’re not in an increasing market.
Last year we were in the red all year long. While the stats show year over year increases, this was not our highest February.
The asked to sold ratio, the last asking price versus what homes are selling for, took a dip in February but it’s easy to see that year over year we continue to see an increase.
Days in market still indicate a hot market, being lower than any of the previous years shown.
Sussex County, New Jersey
Units sold are down, below 2017 levels.
Average price, however, is increasing. We may actually be seeing further increases in price in Sussex, something we didn’t see much of last year.
Numbers here are similar to those we saw in Orange County, around 96 to 97%.
The numbers indicate this is still a hot market.
Pinellas County, FL
This month we’re also taking a look at the local market in Pinellas County, Florida.
Year over year stats for January 2019 over 2018 show a wide variation. While the number of closed sales decreased by 13%, prices increased by that same percentage.
ARE SENIOR HOUSEHOLDS REALLY CAUSING HOUSING SHORTAGE?
Ali Chamois of Homestead Funding Corp. shared this information with Geoff about the impact of people aging in place. Prior to the Good Times Cohort (those born between 1931 and 1941), people moved out of their houses at a much faster rate.
Exhibit 2 breaks down the number of housing units by age group and shows that 115,200 housing units would have been supplied to the market by respondents aged 68 to 75; 379,200 by respondents aged 76 to 80; and 601,500 by respondents aged 81 to 85.
A similar calculation for the War Babies and Baby Boomers estimate that an additional 550,000 homes were held off the market by these cohorts by 2018, as shown in Exhibit 3.
In total, it’s estimated that there were around 1.6 million housing units held off the market by those three cohorts as of 2018. This amounts to 2.1 percent of total owner-occupied housing units in the United States as of 2018.
Meet this month’s panelists:
Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, is our moderator. Laura Marie of Keller Williams, St. Petersburg, Florida joined the panel as a special guest. Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty, Vikki Garby of Green Team New York Realty and Ali Chamois, Homestead Funding.Corp.who joined the conversation by phone, rounded up the panel.
Geoff opened the discussion by introducing Keren Gonen, who has been a panelist every month. Her feeling has been it’s going to be a strong market in 2019, but that the inventory shortage is still happening; not as many foreclosures, etc. Geoff asked if she is still in this same mindset? Keren replied “Absolutely!” Properties are not being released by banks, who are flipping them themselves. Housing shortage has more to do with number of units going down than buyer demand. Sellers are still sitting on houses, waiting to see how strong the spring market will be.
Vikki Garby joined the conversation, saying much is the same in Orange County. Inventory problem is still out there. Buyers are out there. Properties in good condition, priced right, are going quickly. Investors, experienced flippers and new flippers, are trying to find properties. More REO’s are hitting the market and are going quickly, the ones not being done by the banks. Flippers are out and scooping them out.
Laura Marie saw many similarities with Pinellas County, FL. There were 11 short sales and 31 REOs total for Jan. Ones being sold are not much under market. Still hardcore investors are looking for the right deal. The margins have shrunk… To get ahead of the market you have to get off market. A huge amount of fixer uppers. Investors not wanting to purchase some of these homes because of cost of materials, etc. Pinellas County was developed between 1920 and 1960. Buyers are looking for updated, polished, shiny homes.
Geoff asked Ali if she agreed with the projections for the average 30 year fixed mortgage. Ali brought up that for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rates are based on downpayment and credit scores. These factors impact the rate. Regarding projections, clients ask whether they should lock in rates or hold off… Ali never advises them on that because forecasts and predictions can change due to a variety of causes. Geoff said that Freddie Mac is much tougher now, which may be holding the market steady. There is not a lot of subprime lending. Because not a lot of defaults are happening, credit isn’t tightening up. Ali sees a little loosening up on credit standards.
Regarding Aging in Place, Geoff sees this happening within his own family. Ali stated that overall health is better, support systems are better. People don’t want to leave their homes. The current trend is to provide outpatient services for health care. Per Keren, people are living a lot longer. It seems that we do need more houses. There are also people moving in with other generations.
Parents, adult children and grandchildren, living as extended families. The US is transforming. Laura seeing the same thing in Florida. Downsizing, 55+ communities also allow people to have independence – but less yard care. Vikki said that we have more 2 income families. Grandparents often help with childcare instead of relocating, then kids are taking care of the parents as they age.
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