Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Monday, 18 March 2024 10:10

Housing supply is finally rebounding as sellers get used to elevated mortgage rates, but it’s not rebounding enough to curb home price growth. High housing costs mean many house hunters remain hesitant to commit.

New listings jumped 3.8% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis in February to the highest level since September 2022, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. They were up 14.8% year over year, the largest annual gain since May 2021.

Active listings, or the total supply of homes for sale, hit the highest level in a year. They climbed 0.8% from a month earlier on a seasonally adjusted basis, and were little changed (-0.1%) from a year earlier–the smallest annual decline in months.

New listings rose fastest from a year earlier in Texas and active listings rose fastest in Florida–the two states that have been building the most homes. In Florida, condo listings in particular are contributing to the jump in supply amid a surge in HOA and insurance fees.

“The housing market is nothing like it was two years ago during the pandemic homebuying frenzy, but it’s better than it was last year. It’s coming back,” said David Palmer, a Redfin Premier real estate agent in Seattle. “Sellers who were on the fence in 2023 are now listing. They’re more used to elevated rates now. There still aren’t enough listings to quench pent-up buyer demand, but it’s getting better.”

Nationwide, housing supply is on the rise because the “lock-in effect” is easing; eventually, homeowners who have been holding on to their ultra-low mortgage rates simply have to move.

“February was a mixed bag for the housing market and the economy,” said Redfin Economics Research Lead Chen Zhao. “Housing supply is finally starting to recover in a meaningful way, which is great news for buyers who for months have been competing for a tiny pool of homes for sale. Still, many house hunters are hesitant to pull the trigger because mortgage rates and home prices remain elevated.”

Mortgage-purchase applications slid in February as mortgage rates ticked back up after dropping in December. The average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate was 6.78% last month, up from 6.64% in January. Mortgage rates will likely remain elevated a bit longer than expected after this week’s inflation report came in hotter than anticipated.

Home sales rose 0.5% month over month on a seasonally adjusted basis in February, and fell 3.5% year over year.

Home Prices Post Biggest Increase in Nearly a Year and a Half

The median U.S. home sale price climbed 6.6% year over year–the biggest uptick since September 2022–to $412,778. Please note that home price data is not seasonally adjusted, which is why Redfin focuses on year-over-year changes for this metric.

Prices continue to rise because despite the recent uptick in listings, there’s still not enough supply to meet demand. Both new listings and active listings remained far below pre-pandemic levels in February.

“If you price your home reasonably, buyers will show up. If you don’t, buyers will wait for you to drop the price,” Palmer said. “I recently listed an estate sale fixer upper for $550,000 and it got 14 offers, sold for $75,000 over the asking price and the buyer waived every contingency.”

In Seattle, 77.4% of homes that went under contract did so within two weeks–the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. It took the top spot from Rochester, which has held that title for months. The typical home that went under contract in Seattle did so in 11 days (versus a national median of 48 days).

February 2024 Highlights: United States

 

February 2024

Month-Over-Month

Change

Year-Over-Year

Change

Median sale price

$412,778

2.7%

6.6%

Homes sold, seasonally adjusted

422,203

0.5%

-3.5%

New listings, seasonally adjusted

548,285

3.8%

14.8%

All homes for sale, seasonally adjusted (active listings)

1,601,260

0.8%

-0.1%

Months of supply

2.7

-0.5

0

Median days on market

48

-2

-5

Share of for-sale homes with a price drop

16.1%

-0.1 ppts

2.9 ppts

Share of homes sold above final list price

26.1%

2 ppts

2.6 ppts

Average sale-to-final-list-price ratio

98.7%

0.4 ppts

0.5 ppts

Average 30-year fixed mortgage rate

6.78%

0.13 ppts

0.52 ppts

Metro-Level Highlights: February 2024

  • New listings: New listings rose most from a year earlier in Austin, TX (44.6%), Dallas (38.1%) and Charleston, SC (36.8%). They fell in two metros–Albany, NY (-2.9%) and Buffalo, NY (-0.7%) –and were flat in Fresno, CA (0%).
  • Active listings (total supply): Active listings increased fastest in Cape Coral, FL (60.6%), North Port, FL (52.5%) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (25.5%). They decreased fastest in Raleigh, NC (-24.4%), New Brunswick, NJ (-19%) and Nassau County, NY (-18.5%).
  • Prices: Median sale prices rose most from a year earlier in Newark, NJ (16.5%), Anaheim, CA (15.8%) and Grand Rapids, MI (15.8%). They fell in three metros: San Antonio (-4.2%), Memphis, TN (-3.5%) and North Port (-2.2%).
  • Closed home sales: Closed sales rose most in San Jose, CA (24.9%), San Francisco (21.1%) and Dayton, OH (15.1%). They fell most in Frederick, MD (-14.8%), New Orleans (-14.2%) and Tulsa, OK (-14%).
  • Sold above list price: In San Jose, 65.3% of homes sold above their final list price, the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester, NY (62.8%) and Oakland, CA (62.3%). The shares were lowest in North Port (6.6%), Cape Coral (8.3%) and West Palm Beach, FL (8.7%).
  • Off market in two weeks: In Seattle, 77.4% of homes that went under contract did so within two weeks—the highest share among the metros Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester (75%) and San Jose (70.9%). The lowest shares were in Honolulu (8.4%), Greensboro, NC (19%) and McAllen, TX (20.8%).
  • Days on market: The typical home that went under contract in Seattle did so in 11 days, making the fastest market among those Redfin analyzed. Next came Rochester (12) and San Jose (12). The slowest markets were New Orleans (97), Austin (82) and Honolulu (77).

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-tracker-february-2024

Posted On Sunday, 17 March 2024 06:55 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 21 March 2024 00:00 Written by

-- Freddie Mac  today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.74 percent.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased again this week, with declines totaling almost a quarter of a percent in two weeks’ time,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Despite the recent dip, mortgage rates remain high as the market contends with the pressure of sticky inflation. In this environment, there is a good possibility that rates will stay higher for a longer period of time.”

News Facts

  • The 30-year FRM averaged 6.74 percent as of March 14, 2024, down from last week when it averaged 6.88 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.60 percent.
  • The 15-year FRM averaged 6.16 percent, down from last week when it averaged 6.22 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.90 percent.

The PMMS® is focused on conventional, conforming, fully amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. For more information, view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Freddie Mac’s mission is to make home possible for families across the nation. We promote liquidity, stability, affordability and equity in the housing market throughout all economic cycles. Since 1970, we have helped tens of millions of families buy, rent or keep their home. Learn More: Website

Posted On Friday, 15 March 2024 10:24 Written by

It cannot be disputed that your cash cow may have brought your organization success in the realm of profit for years. But does that mean it will be the best business strategy to stick with throughout 2024? Truthfully, the answer here has always been “yes and no” because the reality is not rooted in Either/Or — It is Both/And world!

As new companies emerge and your well-established competition pursue new innovations, they are bound to bring new solutions to the table. You cannot afford to try to push the same old product or service alone when both your competition and the world is transforming around you!

If you have become one of those business owners who say to yourself, “I can either rely on what has worked in the past and count on it to continue to perform or I can abandon that success to pursue something completely new”, this is where your thought process changes.

The beauty of business is that many things can exist in complete unity, both to the benefit of your organization! The Both/And Principle allows you to better see the benefits of both situations and allows you to choose to pursue both in critically thought out ways. I want to give you some actionable ways to utilize this bountiful strategy in the new year and experience the results you have been aiming for.

Afraid to Abandon Old Ideas? Reinventing Them is the Better Option

I find that when trying to implement the Both/And Principle, several business leaders struggle with compartmentalizing products or services. For them, choosing either the old or the new allows for a clean break from the past by simply pulling the plug on the old to become a new organization.

Conversely, those that avoid anything new for fear of losing their cash cow are often even harder to help harness the Both/And Principle. Moving into a new arena sounds like stress to them, and because the tried-and-true methods have worked for them for so long, the concept of integrating something new into their workflow seems overly complicated.

Wherever either of these behaviors stem from aside, one thing is for sure: Each of those types wants to progress in their industry without question, they just feel choosing between two ideas is the only option. But instead, I implore business leaders to try the concept of reinventing a product or service that is old and trusted.

In doing so, you are heeding the Both/And Principle and in a way, giving your customers a choice. “Here is our old product that you are used to, but if you would like, you can try the new, reinvented model that is more up-to-date on industry standards and evolving needs we know you have.” This is how you develop an Anticipatory approach is how you develop an Anticipatory approach to serving your industry — Opening new doors to show that your organization believes in the future!

An Either/Or Mindset Can Be Dangerous

Without having to tell you, I am sure that you understand that approaching business with an Either/Or Mindset can be downright detrimental to your longevity in your industry. This is more or less the case when you choose the old over the new.

Will a competitor replace your cash cow with an updated model? Absolutely — This is as much of a Hard Trend future certainty as the technology involved in said product or service evolving as well! But also consider the aspects behind legacy products, services, or systems. They may not be up-to-date on proper functionality, industry legalities, or customer safety and security.

For instance, an older version of a web application for customers may be user friendly, but by choosing to not implement a newer, fresher option solely because of trusting the old could ultimately cost you your business if said application were to be hacked. Sensitive customer data could be released, trust in your business broken, and soon the least of your worries would be how to sustain the status quo!

In this case, a Both/And Mindset prepares your organization for change that you will have to face, stopping any fully preventable disasters from happening and paving the way for a prosperous future.

Only You Have the Power to Prevent Limiting Yourself

Imagine having multiple roads and various speed limit highways to get from one end of the United States to the other, but only allowing yourself to take one route with several stops, delays, and rough roads that can damage your vehicle.

A silly thought, as we know there are multiple routes to expedite the process and even make it a more pleasant trip and have the ability to choose the best path forward.

In a nutshell, this is what limiting yourself to an Either/Or mindset is like. Willingly approaching business decisions with an Either/Or mindset is incredibly limiting, both to your organization’s ability to cement your place as a significant organization and in terms of profits. You are limiting yourself to just one path when the reality is there are several at your disposal.

Giving your customers multiple options and improving on older methods with newer technology and insights allows you to be a transformative organization, along with being an Anticipatory one. I will read eBooks on a Kindle when I am traveling or during a commute via public transportation, but I personally love the weight and the feel of a paperback or hardcover book in my hands, as do so many others. If any bookstore today chose to just sell eBooks and completely rid their catalog of printed books, imagine the loss they would experience!

Think of your own organization and analyze the choices you have to make in this new year. It is not “out with the old, in with the new”, it is “redefine the old, reinvent with the new!” Take new roads, unlock new doors, and open the possibility for 2024 to be the year of profound growth for you and your organization.

Posted On Tuesday, 19 March 2024 00:00 Written by

Are we there yet? No, not just yet!

For months now we have seen social media and the “experts” share their thoughts on why rates would be going down significantly. This has caused many in our industry to predict lower rates and talk about 5%, even 4% or lower rates to come. The issue with that is that while lower rates may be in the future, many have hung their hats on this and are now suffering the fact that mortgage rates have yet to make that move as they had expected. While rates are certainly lower than they were last fall, far too may people are thinking about rates that are still far below where we can actually deliver today, and this is causing some people to miss out on opportunities to have bought a home and locked in a PRICE, while maintaining the ability to refinance later if rates do go lower and lower their PAYMENT!

The real issue is, while people have been putting off buying a house until the rates go lower, they have watched the cost of the homes they want to purchase increase by thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars! Even with a lower rate, it may still cause a higher monthly payment because people will be forced to borrow more money because they waited for a lower rate. Buy when you want to buy, not when rates are low. When rates go lower, you will see more competition for houses, which can lead to further higher prices, meaning you have to borrow even more money…

When you are ready to buy, buy. You have locked in your price and your payment. If rates go lower, you can always refinance. In fact, many companies are offering a low cost or no cost refinance for their existing customers so they can take advantage if rates go lower. If rates don’t go lower, you have your home at a good price and with payments you are already comfortable with; and if rates go higher, you have secured your home and your payments!

The markets are digesting a less than favorable CPI report and we are facing initial jobless/continuing claims and the PPI numbers this morning, could be a market moving event so be watching. Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 18 March 2024 00:00 Written by
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