2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

Many homeowners believe that rising interest rates and home prices have scared away buyers and therefore have not listed their houses for sale. However, the truth is that buyers who were unable to find a home last year are out in force, and there are even more coming!

NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report revealed that:

“Approximately one-third (32%) of Americans plan to purchase a home in the next five years. Millennials are most likely to have such a purchase in their five-year plan (49%), versus 35% of Generation X and 17% of baby boomers.”

As we can see, buyers are optimistic! According to the report, here are the top reasons Americans plan to buy:

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers | Simplifying The Market

The most common reason Americans prioritize buying is that they believe it’s a good investment!

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, 2019 is the perfect year to put your house on the market. But why?

  1. Buyers want to buy
  2. No competition!

At least 3 of the renowned organizations that report on real estate market trends predict that homeowners are going to wait until 2020 to list their homes, leading to a nice increase in sales (as shown in the graph below).

ENG-2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers | Simplifying The Market

Don’t wait for a competitive market; be ahead of the curve and sell your house at the best possible price!

Bottom Line

There are plenty of buyers entering the market! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner looking to move-up to your next home, let’s get together to discuss your real estate needs!

 

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February 2019 Housing Market Update

February 2019 Housing Market Update

Green Team Realty’s February 2019 Housing Market Update went live on Facebook February 12 at 2 p.m.  If you were unable to view the webinar live, you can watch it at your convenience by clicking here.  Sign up for future updates here.

Meet this month’s panelists…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderating the Market Update is Geoffrey Green, President of Green Team Realty. In addition, Geoff presents national statistics as well as local updates for Orange County, NY and Sussex County, NJ.  This month he is joined by Jennifer DiCostanzo of Green Team New York Realty, Michael Giannetto of Residential Home Funding, and Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty.

The National Perspective

According to Geoff, this time last year no one was really talking about a slowdown in the housing market. The conversation was more about how fast and how far everything would go. A few months later some chinks in the armor appeared.  And now we’re looking at national numbers, comparing 2018 to 2017, Sept – Dec, all below the year over year numbers from 2017.  The year over year drop by each region, 10.3% overall, 6.8 in the northeast, 15% in the west, etc., is also of interest.

A quote by Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, is relevant:  “The spring home buying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”  In Geoff’s experience,  this just seems to be a very slow moving market pace; unlike the fast paced ups and downs of the stock market.  From the perspective of number of units sold, we’re clearly trending down.  It seems that every region in the U.S. is on that same path.

Over the last 12 months, housing supply was in the red, meaning there was a lack of it. In June there was a turnaround, with more supply.  Some people are saying that transactions are going to catch up again, with more supply becoming available. However, Geoff is not entirely sure that is going to happen at this time. While he does believe there will be a strong market in 2019, the real debate is what is going to happen in 2020, 2021, 2022.

There was a period of time when rates were climbing, but now they are almost 1/2 a point lower than they were in October, November. The Fed is pledging to be patient with raising short term rates, as they’re seeing indicators of a potential recession on the horizon. They’re slowing down anticipated rate hikes which had been slated at the end of last year.

The Local Perspective – Orange and Sussex Counties

Units Sold

There is a lot to glean from the local stats, even as they play out on the national stage. In January, while the same as in 2018, it’s still higher than the previous four years. This is a good indicator.

In Sussex County, we’re just above 2016, but below 2017 and 2018, for the month of January.

 

Days on Market

This stat is an indicator of how fast things are moving.  In Orange County, January 2019 is the lowest it’s been for this month in five years.

In Sussex County,  the number of days on the market is tied for the lowest it’s been in five years.

Average Sales Price

As Geoff has mentioned in the monthly housing market updates, price lags activity.  Price appreciation should be seen throughout the first half of 2019, but he believes in the second half of the year, prices will start to come down.

 

The highest peak was in 2018.  January 2019 has the highest price for that month in the last five years.  In general, higher prices should bring out more sellers, which should create more inventory and allow more units to sell.

Asking to Sold Ratio

This is the ratio of  the last asking price versus where are homes selling. This shows on average how much sellers are having to negotiate off the price of their property.  This is the highest ratio for this month since 2014.

This number is strong in Sussex County as well as in Orange. The numbers are still showing a strong market.

And thanks to our Sponsor…

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Panel Discussion:

Geoff introduced Jennifer DiCostanzo of Green Team New York Realty, the top producer in the company. According to Jen, supply and demand are a real challenge. On the Orange County side, sellers are afraid to list because they have nowhere to go if they’re shopping in the same market.  If sellers are relocating, it’s easier for them to let go as they don’t have the same issues and can secure housing.  She is welcoming this market because she finds buyers to be more educated and sellers more realistic. Jen is hoping to see the market open up.

Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey is a regular panelist on the Housing Market Update. Her thoughts on the January sales numbers were that the totals were a reflection of inventory not being available. Sales were higher last year as there was more inventory to sell. It still is a seller’s market due to lack of inventory.  And there are several sellers on the fence, waiting to see what will happen in the near future. There is hope that these sellers will soon be listing.

According to Geoff, the lack of inventory is a real problem. Nationally and locally, seeing the numbers going down, it seems like less people are buying homes. There has been a lot of frustration for some trying to buy a home, and some may have rented when they couldn’t find anything. Some may now be locked into leases.

What will the market look like over the next few years?

Geoff asked Jen what she thinks the market will look like in 2020, 2021,2022 as far as pricing, activity…  She feels that we’re at a more stable point now; that it will not be quite as erratic.  After the last downturn, when prices finally started going up in 2016, 2017, it was a very poignant time. If you bought at the height of the market, you could actually sell and recoup equity. That is the silver lining in helping sellers make that decision when they need to sell. And now is that time. If job growth is good and stable and interest rates make home buying and financing affordable, the market should stay at a steady pace. Real estate is fueled by circumstance, regardless of the market. People will always need to buy and sell. If we can give leverage to the market by educating our buyers and sellers and strategically strategizing, you put them ahead of the game.

Geoff asked if Jen had been referring to those buying homes in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when she talked about recouping equity. Jen replied that basically, it would go short. Jen purchased her own home in 2007, and almost immediately she would have been unable to sell her home for what she bought it for. Where we are now is a good time to step back and walk away with equity. Whether you’ve been in  your house for 10 years or 50 years, you’re going to recoup on your investment. Geoff recalled the downturn. There was a huge loss, almost 50% of the number of transactions from 2006 to 2008 disappeared, and it was a very difficult time.  He found Jen’s point valid; that people should finally be able to move on and move into something else should they want to.

Geoff then asked for Keren’s 2-3 year view.  She hopes that we remain in a strong market. With rates coming down, she sees more people who had been renting once again looking to buy. However, the issue remains inventory. Keren sees growth in the area, with people moving to Sussex from other counties in New Jersey and some from New York, attracted to lower taxes, etc.  Buyers are more educated, but so are the sellers.  Therefore you see homes that are priced correctly. She believes the market will remain good for at least a couple of years.

Mortgage trends

Mike Giannetto of Residential Home Funding was asked if he sees the trend of lowering interest rates continuing. Mike replied he hopes so. There has been a decrease in interest rates. There is a global slow down. The economies in China and Europe are getting weaker. We’ve had a downturn in our rates because we are the safest investment at this point. This definitely had an affect on mortgage backed securities and hopefully the stronger US market will continue.

Geoff recapped. The more risky other assets are, the more money wants to seek a haven in bonds, which drives down the rate that people need to give to attract people to buy those bonds, which ultimately lowers interest rates on mortgages. Instability and uncertainty around the globe actually can be good for mortgage rates to come down.

We know a recession will be coming; just don’t know when.  Those that went through the last downturn in the housing market are waiting “for the other shoe to drop.”  As long as there is no global meltdown economically, we should be okay.  The market is pretty healthy. Geoff has heard of some subprime lending happening; he asked Mike if he’s seen it occurring at levels similar to 2005-2007.  Mike replied that there are safeguards in place, even as some new products are being introduced. Some of the products are necessary in order for some people, such as self-employed, to purchase a home. The money behind these products is portfolio money or hedge fund money, which is why the loans are scrutinized. The banks are lending their own money, so are therefore quite careful.

To reach the panelists:

Michael Giannetto, Residential Home Funding:   845-496-0836, rhfunding.com/michaelgiannetto

Jennifer DiCostanzo, Green Team New York Realty: 917-916-9995

Keren Gonen, Green Team New Jersey Realty: 551-262-4062

The next Housing Market Update will be held  on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 pm.  Stay informed and sign up for updates at GreenTeamHQ.com/HMU.

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

How to Get a Better Perspective on Affordability

Headlines spotlight the fact that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in more than a decade. Those headlines are accurate.

Understandably, buying a home is more expensive now than immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history. Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many that this lowered the prices of non-distressed homes in the same neighborhoods. As a result, mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.

Prices have since recovered. Mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has impacted housing affordability. However, it’s necessary to give historical context to the subject of affordability.

Two weeks ago, CoreLogic reported on what they call the “typical mortgage payment”. As they explain:

“One way to measure the impact of inflation, mortgage rates and home prices on affordability over time is to use what we call the ‘typical mortgage payment.’ It’s a mortgage-rate-adjusted monthly payment based on each month’s U.S. median home sale price. It is calculated using Freddie Mac’s average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a 20 percent down payment…

The typical mortgage payment is a good proxy for affordability because it shows the monthly amount that a borrower would have to qualify for to get a mortgage to buy the median-priced U.S. home…

When adjusted for inflation, the typical mortgage payment puts homebuyers’ current costs in the proper historical context.”

Here is a graph showing the results of CoreLogic’s research:

As the graph indicates, the most recent calculation remained 28% below the all-time peak of $1,275 in June 2006. That’s because the average mortgage rate at that time was 6.68%. As seen in the graph, both today’s typical payment and CoreLogic’s projection for the end of the year are less than it was in January 2000.

Bottom Line

Even though home prices are appreciating at a slower rate, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is an unattainable goal in most markets. It is still less expensive today than it was prior to the housing bubble and crash.

Get local housing market updates – sign up to receive the Green Team’s Housing Market Update Report.

January 2019 Housing Market Update

January 2019 Housing Market Update

The Green Team’s January 2019 Housing Market Update was held on Facebook Live Tuesday, January 15 at 2 p.m.  If were unable to view the webinar live, you can watch it at your convenience here. You can also sign up for future updates at GreenTeamHQ.com/hmu.

This month’s panelists…

          

Geoffrey Green, President/Broker of Green Team Realty, moderates the monthly webinars.  He also presents national statistics, together with local updates for Orange County, NY and Sussex County, NJ. This month he is joined by Carol Buchanan of Green Team New York Realty, Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty and Patrick “PJ” Keelin of Family First Funding.

 

The National Outlook

 

The above charts are raw numbers – the number of homes that were sold from 2014-2018.  It appears that things are softening a bit, but it doesn’t appear that it will be drastic.

The analytic showing inventory levels is important.  It has been difficult to find homes for buyers over the last few years. However, it appears that inventory levels may be coming back a bit. Lower demand should yield more inventory, but hopefully what some inventory may do is bring some people back into the game who may have been been frustrated previously.

 

 

This survey of experts, market analysts, etc. addressed the question, “What Will Home Prices Do in 2019?”  100 people were surveyed and 94% projected that housing prices on a national basis will continue to appreciate. Geoff aligns himself with that 94%.  He believes that in 2019 prices will come up again in spite of the fact that activity went down.  Price always lags activity.

According to Geoff, this quote from Goldman Sachs is a good one.  “Despite the headwinds facing the housing market going into 2019, we expect U.S. house prices to generally achieve a soft landing. We expect national average price appreciation to remain positive.”  If this comes true, it’s music to Geoff’s ears.  He lived and worked through the last downturn, where 50% of the number of homes that sold went away within a 2-year period of time once the market starting declining. It was a difficult time

 

 

The percentage of Americans who believe home ownership is a good investment continues to increase.  The market is at a peak and confidence continues to increase.  However, Geoff finds that people tend to buy high and sell low. They should be buying low and selling high.  The bottom of the market, 2011, 2012 and 2013 would have been a good time for investment.

However, people are confident that it’s a good time to buy now. And one thing that will never change is that home ownership is a good thing.

January 2019 Local Housing Market Update for Orange and Sussex Counties

Units Sold

 

Five year look back.  The thick green line is 2018 and while it’s been a mixed bag throughout the year, we ended up just a tad bit lower than the past two years.

 

In Sussex County, Units Sold was also a mixed bag, with one of the lowest totals in almost 4 years.

 

Average Price

In Orange County, prices were up substantially for a good part of the year.  However, there was a cooling-off period towards the end of the year.

 

Sussex County never saw as much of an appreciation as Orange County did.  However, 2018 was still a leading year over the past 5 years.

 

 

Asking to Sold Ratio

 

 

What price do homes on average sell for versus the last asking price?  The higher towards 100% the hotter the market. The numbers have been strong for Orange County throughout the year.

 

 

Sussex County was strong in this category throughout the year.  However, it hit its highest point in December 2018 with a ratio of 98.50%.

 

 

Panel Discussion

Geoff asked Carol Buchanan and Keren Gonen what they think of the market, as it appears a softening is underway.  Carol stated that inventory is still low, and January and February are common months for the market to slow down.  Carol does believe that 2019 is going to be a very good year. People seem undaunted by higher interest rates.  Still a lot of buyers; just not enough homes.

Keren also agrees that 2019 will be a very good year.  She thinks that people will start listing homes for sale within the next few months.  Right now buyers are looking but there is still not enough inventory. She feels there are sellers sitting on the fence, not sure what to do and just holding out for a few more weeks or months.  Geoff commented that the bread and butter of the season is March through August.  So it’s natural for many homeowners to wait until March to list their homes.

Talking with Keren regarding foreclosure activity, Geoff asked if she see a decline?  Banks are fixing up houses and putting them up at market prices.  If the quality of work was good, that would be fine.  However banks are bidding jobs out and the resulting work is not necessarily good work. Buyers expect to see good quality and are disappointed with what they’re finding. They often would prefer to pay more for a house that is in good shape. Therefore, many of these homes being sold by the banks are just sitting on the market. Banks are now competing with flippers who, generally speaking, do a better job at fixing up homes than the contractors. Buyers most often prefer paying full price for a home that was  “flipped” well than on an REO that was not done well.

Geoff mentioned that this was not the trend in the past.  Banks would not fix up their properties and try to sell them for more money.  They’d just try to unload them at lower prices and buyers could get a good deal.  Over the course of time we’ll see if banks decide to go back to the way they used to handle foreclosures.

Regarding the financing environment,  Geoff asked Patrick “PJ” Keelin what we’re looking at for 2019.  As Geoff put it, at the end of the day we’re really in the land of the banks, dependent on what they’re willing to do. And how many times the Federal government is willing to let banks leverage their money.  PJ indicated that on a global scale, at the end of the year there was talk of the Feds raising the interest rate. That usually indicates a stronger economy; stronger aspects coming from the financing angle and mortgage-backed securities, etc.  Unfortunately, at the end of the year there was a huge difference and the Dow dropped significantly. The drop in the Dow affected reports of things they were coming out with. So trends and thoughts of increased interest rates by the end of the year through that New Year boom fizzled out.  There are reports that there is potentially going to be a decrease in interest rate for the year 2019. PJ believes that is something being put out there for a little bit of hope.

However, the biggest thing we’re competing with is the lack of inventory and what people will be able to purchase.  Looking at an average household income of $60,000 to $70,000, that probably puts a person on average of what they can afford in terms of a property at $1,500 to $1,600 range. That gives them a certain price point that they have to stay in, and with increases in interest rates that is going to affect their eligibility to  be able to purchase properties within a certain price range.

Geoff stated that all signs point to Fed raising interest rates. He asked PJ if  he thinks that won’t be the case in 2019. PJ replied that there will be a lot less than they were expecting in 2018. They may skip the first interest rate rise. Hopes on the industry side are that there will be a potential interest rate drop. That may push that boom for people who are still sitting on the edge.  He sees a stronger trend with the amount of people who are actually motivated in purchasing. They may finally be believing the reports that interest rates are not going to stay historically low and will go up. So many reports are going in different directions that it’s unsure what to make of it. Industry leaders are saying the market is staying relatively steady, but be prepared.   There could be a drastic change.

Right the now trend is slow and steady. PJ commented that Geoff is proactive in all that he does; communicating with his sales associates and with the lenders they work with. Because ultimately these transactions need to happen quickly in order for them happen.  When they remain open, bigger changes are coming.

Geoff wrapped up, saying that at the end of the day, interest rates are impacted by bond markets.   As long as there is no major economic collapse, the housing market should be fine. He predicts a good 2019. PJ agrees, that it will be a good, strong year. People are getting more motivated.

Join us for the next Market Update

The next Housing Market Update will be held on Tuesday, February 12 at 2 p.m., when the Green Team will again be going live on Facebook. Sign up for updates at Greenteamhq.com/hmu.

 

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

Why It Makes No Sense to Wait for Spring to Sell

The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by the theory of ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

The supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2018:

Putting your home on the market now, rather than waiting for increased competition in the spring, might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line

Buyers in the market during the winter are truly motivated purchasers and they want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

Thinking about selling your home?

Find out what your home is worth, use our free and easy Home Value Estimator.

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, as well as the market’s demand for it. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey showed that in 38 out of 50 states buyer demand was slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong. Only six states had a ‘stable’ demand level.

Seller Supply 

The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As you can see from the map below, 23 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 22 states and Washington D.C. reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 5 states reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for homes.

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together so I can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!

Stay current with your local Housing Market New by signing up for our Housing Market Update Monthly Report.

 

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