Geoffrey Green, President of Green Team Realty, invited viewers to the Sept 2019 Housing Market Update. The update took place on Sept 17, 2019, 2 p.m. on Facebook Live.
National Housing Market Statistics
According to Geoff, we’re starting to hear the word recession far more than we did a year ago, far more than six months ago. The big buzz is, are we headed to a recession? If so, when? And how dramatic will it be? The bottom line is most people think we won’t be experiencing anything like we went through from 2008 to around 2016.
“The housing crash during the Great Recession left a lasting impression… But as we look ahead to the next recession, it’s important to recognize how unusual the conditions were that caused the last one, and what is different about the housing market today.” Jeff Tucker, the Zillow Economist
Reasons why housing prices and the real estate market should remain strong
- Many people are in a very strong equity position as far as their home goes. That’s the amount of money that is in the value of the home. If you know the fair market value of your home minus the pay off amount of your mortgage, the difference is the equity. Keren Gonen and our Producer, Melissa Bressette, were discussing that over one-third of US households are free and clear of any mortgage. That is a very strong number. From a balance sheet perspective, we’re doing very well as a nation.
- We’ve had good appreciation over the last few years. It continues and most experts agree that despite the market slowing, appreciation is still going to be something that will continue for the next 12 months at least. The question is really by how much.
- Inventory levels are still relatively low. Days on market are low, bidding wars are still happening.
- Mortgage and interest rates are fantastic. Geoff thinks that if you had asked a lot of mortgage professionals a year ago where rates would be now, they would not have predicted how low rates would be. The low rate environment is continuing to fuel the real estate market.
- There is a level of affordability we haven’t seen in a long time. When you package everything together; earnings, mortgage rates, taxes, prices of homes, etc.you get affordability rates that are historically high. That is, how affordable it is for the average American to buy a home.
Here we’re seeing year over year appreciation growth. It is still very strong. Still where it was a couple of years ago. Percent of negative equity share refers to who is in negative equity situation. That occurs when the mortgage payoff is higher than the fair market value of the home. That has been steadily declining since 2010 and we are now at the lowest level since then. Those are very good signs.
A quick glance at the map of the U.S. on the left side shows nothing is below “0” and everything is still appreciating. Then we review the right side, which examines year-over-year change in price by price range. All price points are in grey. Lower end homes have a bigger market, more demand, which drives up price. However, even the high range homes are experiencing appreciation.
Corelogic,a leading provider of statistical data on the housing market is projecting, per the above map, that over the next 12 months the nation will go up another 5.2%. That is a very healthy rate of appreciation. In addition, some other sources, shown here on the right, are predicting a fairly substantial level of appreciation, even into 2021.
Historically, left to right, we are still at a very low level of inventory, which means that pricing should continue to increase. or stay strong year over year. Year-over-year inventory levels, we’ve had a bump at the end of 2018, beginning of 2019. Now we can see inventory starting to tighten up again a little.
Where are they headed? Where are they now? We can see from January 2018 to today the rates that could not have been predicted a few years ago to be so low. And we recognize that this is a good spot that we’re in.
On the graph to the left, the yellow line represents median home price while the blue represents purchasing power. It’s evident that there is much less of a variance between the two up to 2005, which was the worst period of time. But we’ve stayed strong. During the crash, home prices went down while affordability went up. And it hasn’t really changed. There is still ta good opportunity for people to secure one of the most important assets they ever will own – a home.
Historical Recession Data
Geoff agrees with everyone who believes that this recession will be much shorter than the last one. The housing market is in a better position. We have better fundamentals in place than we did the last time around. There is not nearly as much sub-prime lending as there was. Of the last five recessions, home prices went down in just two. Home prices went up in the other three.
Having gone through the last recession, it can be hard to believe that prices can actually rise. But maybe this one will go that way as well.
Each month we bring you stats, data and quotes from various trusted industry sources. These resources will now be available to you in our monthly Housing Market Update recap blog post, which can be accessed from GreenTeamRealty.com/hmu/ under Housing Market Recap.
Local Housing Market Updates
Orange County, New York
It’s been a mixed bag this year. The green line is 2019. It’s fair to say the number of units sold is consistent with 2018. We’re definitely seeing a slowing in the number of transactions. But, it’s still a very high historical level. And it’s still a very strong market. So, yes, it’s cooling, but it’s still a very high rate.
Average Sales Price
The average sales price took a little dip this month.That doesn’t mean that prices will ultimately continue to go down year-over-year over 2018. However, units sold has been slowing. Geoff believes we’ll see a softening of the market, rather than a crash.
Ask to Sold Ratio
The last asking price versus what the house sold for and the ratio thereof. As you an see, this year it’s been high, meaning sellers haven’t had to negotiate much off of their asking price. However, recently we’re seeing a dip, which is worth noting.
Days on Market
The days on market have consistently been lower than the previous 6 years, remaining a strong factor in the market.
Sussex County, New Jersey
There is a similar situation here in Sussex County; a mixed bag, up and down. However, it’s clear that in the last 18 months or so, the number of units sold has been slowing.
It’s interesting that all through this time period average price in Sussex was kind of languishing. And now we see prices taking off,. almost the highest level of prices in the county in almost 8 years. Only July of 2018 was slightly higher.
Ask to Sold Ratio
The ask to sold ratio is again similar to what we’re seeing in Orange County. at 97, 98%, it’s still a strong market with sellers only having to come down a little bit off their asking price.
Days on Market
Days on market are lowest over last 6 years. The market continues to be strong. Further discussion will take place with our panel.
Thank you to our sponsor
Meet our Panel
Keren Gonen is from Green Team New Jersey Realty and is a regular panelist on our Housing Market Updates.
Geoff asked Keren what’s actually happening in the field; if there are signs of the market taking a downturn.
Keren stated that it’s important to note that there are still people buying. still people selling, and there are still bidding wars due to low inventory. On both sides of the border we’re dealing with a lack of good houses. Now that it’s so easy and affordable to buy a good home, it’s really a question of inventory. Some sellers are on the fence, waiting to hear what will happen in 2020. Agents and Sellers would like more inventory to choose from. However, if agents educate their sellers we’ll see a lot more houses on the market in the coming months.
Geoff asked if Keren has found buyers becoming more picky as time goes on. Keren replied that it’s the opposite; Buyers are rushing to put in offers on the houses that they like. She said we want to make sure that good houses on the market do sell quickly, because that makes everyone look good. Whether it’s the listing agent or selling agent, everyone does better in that type of a market.
From the Seller’s perspective, Geoff asked if Keren agreed that we’re not in a market where they can list at any price and sell. Keren stated that surprisingly all the listings she’s had have either come in on point asking price or a few thousand dollars above asking price due to bidding wars. In addition, they’re going under contract very quickly. Attorneys are moving them along, with attorney review much faster than earlier in the year and last year. She had one listing got out of attorney review in literally 48 hours, which was a first for Keren.
Geoff said he was sure that Keren was choosing comparables carefully to make sure the information is accurate and she’s setting a good asking price. She replied, absolutely. That’s the first thing – Listing Agent 101. You want to make sure you do your comps properly so that you don’t sit on the market. Geoff stated that ‘s the message to all Sellers. The hardest conversation to have as realtors is price reduction. It’s kind of like having mud on your face. We’re the ones who bring in the comps, make recommendations on what we feel the fair market is for their home, Many Sellers don’t listen and just want to list at the price they want. But many people do listen. However, sometimes a price reduction is necessary. However, no matter what market you’re in, you have to price it right.
Keren said one of the things she does with all of her Sellers is ask them what their time line is for selling their home. Meaning, are we okay to sit on the market for 3, 4, 5, 6 months? Or are we looking to get an offer within the next month to 2 months. Then, according to what they tell her that’s where she prices the house. She has had clients that tell her they don’t care when they move, the house is paid off and they’re not in a rush. And they want a specific amount for their house. So Keren tells them that’s okay as long as they understand that according to her market analysis, they won’t sell until we reach this price. As long as they understand that, she’s fine with listing it at that price. Ultimately it’s always the Seller’s decision.
Price it right from the beginning. Price it to sell from the get go. You’re likely to get a higher price. There is never a better time to sell your home than when you first list it. It’s new, there are buyers out there waiting for the next house to come out on the market. They’ve been out there looking and haven’t found what they’re looking for yet. Now your home is new and it’s on the market.
Geoff asked Keren what she is seeing as far as bank-owned inventory. He considers Keren to be a leading expert in Sussex County on the subject. Keren stated that they are not seeing too much being released by the banks. Whatever was out there was sold. She hasn’t seen anything new that’s affordable for an investor or flipper or someone who wants to take on renovations on their own. It has been quite a few weeks since she’s seen those. She has seen some that are borderline, with a few things missing, but those are priced too high. There really isn’t any new release of inventory from them.
Geoff then asked if Keren is still seeing bank-owned properties continue to be rented, an anomaly that we’re seeing over the last 5-6 years. As far as Keren knows, they are, remarking that it seems banks now want to be landlords as well. Geoff mentioned some clients who rented a bank-owned property and once they got in there was problem after problem. It was discovered that there was a lot of substandard that had been done. Caution people buying inventory to make sure that the renovations have been done correctly. The flips that Keren has seen by banks are usually bid out to the lowest bidder and that reflects in the workmanship.People can get caught up in the moment; the price seems right. And they may think they’re getting a better deal because the property is bank-owned.
Wrapping it up
Geoff has been in the real estate industry for going on 15 years. He has worked a lot of hours every week during those years and developed a great appreciation for agents like Keren, working in the field.The housing market in this country would not be what it is without the hardworking agents. They keep data accurate, make sure clients needs are met. Other market places around the world are not nearly as well run as they are here. We are getting into an age where it may be possible to just buy a home from Zillow offers, etc. However, the expertise, knowledge and support offered by real estate agents cannot be duplicated. Geoff’s final word… Find a Realtor!
Keren Gonen can be reached at: 551-262-4062.
When someone is thinking about buying or selling a home, they want to be well-informed. They want to make the right decision for themselves and their family. They scour the internet for any information they can find about the housing market.
Today, there is an abundance of information available. It is often conflicting news. It can easily lead to confusion and concern, perhaps even causing a potential buyer or seller to cancel their plans to move altogether. Instead, the best things to do are sit down and take a deep breath.
In a recent article, Jeff Davidson, a recognized speaker on the subject of productivity, explained:
“The pace at which new information arrives will accelerate every day…Too often, the reflex to take action only exacerbates your time-pressure problems. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and acknowledge that often, the wisest response to too much competition for your time and attention is to simply slow down to assess the best way to proceed.”
To that point, here is an easy five-step process to follow if all of this information seems overwhelming:
Calm Down – Don’t let the confusion lead to concern or panic.
Slow Down – As Davidson suggests, just “slow down to assess.”
Think – Remember the reasons you wanted to move in the first place. Are they still important?
Plan – Determine whether or not the new information should change anything. If you need further clarification on some points, reach out to a real estate professional in your area for a better understanding.
Act – After thorough consideration, feel good about your decision, whether you decide to move or not.
Don’t let the plethora of seemingly conflicting information on the housing market stop you from moving forward with your life. Let’s get together to ensure you get the valuable counsel you need so you can make the right decision for you and your family.
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
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
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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
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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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Paul Simon’s beautiful ode to the changing of the seasons seems like the appropriate theme song for this post. April has arrived, and with her come blooming trees and flowers and lush, green lawns. We’re greeted with the songs of birds in the morning, and the chirping of crickets after dark. And we are more than ready to shake off those winter blues and welcome Spring into our lives.
Clean for Spring…
For many, the arrival of spring is synonymous with deep cleaning. Idreamofclean.net has the ultimate checklist. And, for those who may not dream of clean, check out Popsugar.com’s simpler checklist.
With a clean, fresh canvas, you’re ready to accessorize and make changes that bring the outdoors in. Decoraid.com shares spring decorating trends for 2019. And, while you’re bringing the outdoors in, Housebeautiful.com shares some house plants that can help you get a good night’s sleep.
Take it outside…
As the weather gets warmer, we spend more and more time outdoors. Now is the perfect time to create the outside living space of your dreams. So Housebeautiful.com has ideas to inspire amazing backyard escapes. Furthermore, kids need their own space to escape to. And homebnc.com has some great ideas for play areas. Furthermore, it’s great when adults and kids can work together on projects for the home. These DIY projects will enhance your garden while you have fun!
Celebrate Earth Day…
The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, 49 years ago! To learn more, click here.
An Earth Day Celebration will be held at the Outdoor Discovery Center at Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall on Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities are designed for family fun and learning. They include nature play, storytelling and puppetry, interactive games and activities, music, hay rides, a community art project and more. And the celebration kicks off with a Hike-a-Thon at 9 a.m.!
Vernon Earthfest 2019 will take place on Sunday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heaven Hill Farm and Garden Center. With live music throughout the day, there will also be face painting, gem mining, and a showcase of photography by local high school students and artwork by local elementary students. In addition, presenters include the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, Honeybees and the Environment, Snakes ‘n Scales (and Scary Critters) and Eyes of the Wild (Unusual Animals). Visit the website for details.
Earth Fest Warwick will be held on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5. There will be several events going on at Stanley Deming Park. The 3rd Annual Too Good to Toss community swap celebrates re-use, repair, and re-creating! Treecycle, hosted by local artists and makers, welcomes you to join in hands-on re-purposing and up-cycling, a bike check-up clinic, music, dance, food, information and more!
DIY Projects for Earth Day… and everyday!
Of course everyday is Earth Day, and GoodAirGeeks.com has lots of DIY ideas for projects for adults, kids, schools, community service and more. And if you’d like some more ideas, there is always Pinterest to provide you with lots of earth-friendly projects.