Archive for the ‘Selling’ Category

Existing home sales explode as spring homebuying season officially arrives

Spring House

Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.
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Existing-homes sales surged to their highest annual rate in 18 months, showing a promising beginning to the spring homebuying season, the latest report from the National Association of Relators said.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 6.1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.19 million in March from 4.89 million in February—the highest annual rate since September 2013 (also 5.19 million).

This is positive news for the industry after existing-home sales collapsed 4.9% in January to the lowest rate in nine months, falling well below analyst expectations. And while they did pick up in February and edged up by 1.2%, there was still some stagnation in the market.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the housing market appears to be off to an encouraging start this spring.

“After a quiet start to the year, sales activity picked up greatly throughout the country in March,” he continued. “The combination of low interest rates and the ongoing stability in the job market is improving buyer confidence and finally releasing some of the sizable pent-up demand that accumulated in recent years.”

Furthermore, sales have increased year-over-year for six consecutive months and are now 10.4% above a year ago, the highest annual increase since August 2013 (10.7%). March’s sales increase was the largest monthly increase since December 2010 (6.2%).

Total housing inventory at the end of March grew 5.3% to 2 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 2% above a year ago (1.96 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 4.7 months in February.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $212,100, which is 7.8% above March 2014, marking the 37th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the largest since February 2014 (8.8%).

“The modest rise in housing supply at the end of the month despite the strong growth in sales is a welcoming sign,” adds Yun. “For sales to build upon their current pace, homeowners will increasingly need to be confident in their ability to sell their home while having enough time and choices to upgrade or downsize. More listings and new home construction are still needed to tame price growth and provide more opportunity for first-time buyers to enter the market.”

The percent share of first-time buyers was 30% in March. This marks the third time since last March that the first-time buyer share was at or above 30%. First-time buyers represented 29% of all buyers last month; they were 30% in March 2014.

“The jump in March’s existing sales beat expectations and is welcome news for those who have been waiting for the spring housing market to kick into gear,” said Quicken Loans Vice President Bill Banfield. “Purchase applications have been steadily increasing over the last month and rates remain low (for now) – both of which could be signals of continued momentum in the coming months.”

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 6.9% to an annual rate of 620,000, and are 1.6% above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $240,500, which is 1.6% below a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales escalated 10.1% to an annual rate of 1.20 million in March, and are now 12.1% above March 2014. The median price in the Midwest was $163,600, up 9.7% from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South climbed 3.8% to an annual rate of 2.19 million in March, and are now 11.7% above March 2014. The median price in the South was $187,900, up 9.3% from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 6.3% to an annual rate of 1.18 million in March, and are now 11.3% above a year ago. The median price in the West was $305,000, which is 8.3% above March 2014.

Surges to highest level in 18 months

Producer Prices in February – Falling Prices, Except for Gypsum

Softwood lumber prices declined 1.6% in February. The Random Lengths Framing Lumber Composite Index points to further declines in March. Analysts point to softer than expected US single family construction in 2014, inventory management on the part of distributors, and softening overseas markets as factors. Additional declines will be tempered going forward by possible log shortages and continuing transportation bottlenecks.

Prices for OSB declined 2.9% after modest upticks in the prior three months. The return of mothballed capacity since 2013 has supply outpacing demand. Random Lengths indicates additional declines in March. The PPI for OSB indicates a 46% decline from the price peak in March 2013.

Prices for gypsum jumped 3.9% in February after a 4.3% increase in January reaching an all-time high. Gypsum prices are now 5.4% higher than their 2006 housing boom peak while single family housing starts remain depressed at roughly half the normal level of production.

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Come back tomorrow to http://www.AshfordCP.com/blog  where Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

 

blog ppi 2015_03

President Increases HUD Budget By $4 Billion for FY 2016

HUD Budget FY 2016As analysts and critics pore over the details of the White House’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016, the executive department in charge of housing says it hopes to use its share to restore cuts made after 2013’s budget sequester.

Included in President Barack Obama’s newest budget is $49.3 billion set aside for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), a $4 billion increase over last year.

In a statement, HUD Secretary Julián Castro said the proposed funding provides a “blueprint for greater opportunity for all Americans.”

“By increasing our Department’s funding level by nearly $4 billion over current levels, the President’s Budget helps us continue our progress toward achieving our mission to promote homeownership, support community development—including making neighborhoods more resilient from natural disasters—and expand to affordable housing for all,” Castro said.

In a call with reporters, HUD Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti explained that much of the budget will be used to undo some of the cuts made as the department experienced budget restraints as a result of sequestration. Included in that category is the planned restoration of 67,000 Housing Choice Vouchers used to help fund rental housing assistance for low-income families.

Also on HUD’s agenda for fiscal year 2016 is a $2.5 billion investment for Homeless Assistance Grants, which the department hopes to use for housing counseling, transitional programs, and other initiatives to meet the administration’s goals of ending homelessness.

Based on current projections, HUD says it is on track to end veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 and chronic homeless by the end of 2017.

The budget also includes $250 million to assist neighborhoods with distressed HUD-assisted housing, $748 million to promote housing and community development for Native American tribes, and $50 million to convert public housing units to project-based rental assistance contracts.

A more complete rundown of HUD’s planned budget can be found at the department’s website.

While the administration may have big plans for the next year, analysts anticipate a fight with Republicans over the full scope of the budget, which comes to nearly $4 trillion.

“Of course we hope the entire budget will get through Congress,” Coloretti said in a conference call with reporters. “… I know that some of our proposals remain both popular and supported by Congress because we accept every community,” she said.

Author: Tory Barringer February 3, 2015 – http://dsnews.com/news/02-03-2015/president-increases-hud-budget-4-billion-fy-2016?utm_source=DSNews.com&utm_campaign=9b9614a3b9-Your_Daily_Dose1_28_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1924082bfe-9b9614a3b9-175200045

Come back tomorrow to http://www.AshfordCP.com/blog  where Kennesaw’s Ashford Capital Partners’ Managing Partners Matt Riedemann brings you news you can use.

Home Builders Are Hiring 300 New Construction Workers a Day

The number of open, unfilled construction sector jobs continued to decline as the unseasonably cold winter ended.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), the number of open construction sector jobs declined on a seasonally adjusted basis from 127,000 in February to 104,000 in March. While still high relative to the post-recession period, the March level was the lowest since July of last year but the 11th consecutive month above 100,000. Winter conditions slowed the growth of home construction in recent months, and this factor could have slowed the number of jobs offered by builders and remodelers.

On a three-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector fell to 1.93% for the month of March, continuing a decline begun in December. While the open rate has declined somewhat in recent months, the rate of open jobs in construction remains above any rate witnessed after the recession and prior to 2013.

Jolts_March data_construction

Monthly gross hiring in construction declined somewhat, falling on a seasonally adjusted basis from 289,000 to 260,000 from February to March. Over the same period, the hiring rate, as measured on a 3-month moving average basis, was effectively unchanged at 4.67% for March.

Two trends in the construction sector are worth noting. First, the layoff rate for the sector (graphed above as a 12-month moving average) has continued to fall. Second, the sector hiring rate has fallen noticeably since the fall of 2013. The trend lines over the last two years – a falling hiring rate, an increasing opening rate trend, and a declining layoff rate – are consistent with some construction firms having trouble contracting with workers for specific projects. However, future employment reports will indicate whether recent hiring weakness is mostly due to weather effects or reflects new baselines for construction activity.

Monthly employment data for April 2014 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that total employment in home building stands at 2.257 million, broken down as 659,000 builders and 1.598 million residential specialty trade contractors.

Res construction employment_Apr

Over the last year the home building sector has added 108,000 jobs. Since the point of peak decline of home building employment, when total job losses for the industry stood at 1.466 million, 273,600 positions have been added to the residential construction sector. As of March, over the last six months the home building and remodeling industry has added on average more than 11,000 jobs per month.

For the economy as a whole, the March JOLTS data indicate that the hiring rate was constant at 3.4% of total employment. The hiring rate has been in the 3.1% to 3.4% range since January 2011. The current overall job openings rate (2.8%) has been in the 2.7% to 2.9% range since the start of 2013.

 

Source:  Builder Online – May 14, 2014

Twice as Many Consumers Prefer New Homes to Existing

Larger closets, open floor plans, and roomy kitchen islands seen as big draws of new homes.

 

While twice as many American consumers prefer a newly built home compared to an existing dwelling, many are reluctant to pay extra for new, according to the results of a new survey from Trulia.

Forty-one percent of respondents said they prefer to buy a new home over a previously lived in one, compared to 21 percent who said they would prefer an existing home at the same price. But of those buyers interested in new homes, only 46% were willing to pay the 20% premium that new homes typically require. In fact, only 17% of respondents said they would pay at least 20% more for a new home.

Trulia compared median prices for a new home adjusted for property features and location and found that new homes are typically priced 20% higher than older homes with similar attributes such as square footage and number of bedrooms in the same zip code.

The survey explored consumer preferences for each type of home. The top reasons respondents prefer a new home are for modern features such as bigger closets, a kitchen island, open floor plan, walls pre-wired for flat screen TVs, radiant floor heating, to be able to customize the home before construction is completed, and to spend less on maintenance and repairs.

Fans of existing homes have their reasons, too. The most compelling reason to buy an existing home is to pay less. However, among respondents who strongly prefer an existing home, the top reasons to buy an existing home are for one-of-a-kind finishes such as original wood floors, woodwork, ornate details, or stained/leaded glass windows, and to live in a more established neighborhood.

Interestingly, respondents are much more likely to mention the neighborhood as a reason to prefer an existing home than as a reason to prefer a new home. This suggests that for many Americans, the ideal home might be a new home in an established neighborhood, the survey concludes.

By  – Builder Online – May 5, 2014

Selling in May…

You’ve probably heard the old Wall Street axiom: “Sell in May and go away.”

 

From an investment perspective, this is a warning of difficult times ahead. Summer can be a challenging period in the stock market because so many managers are off the desks, vacationing at the beach, or on the golf course. Statistically, individual investors are better off cashing out of their positions and coming back to the market once the summer is over

 

For the real estate market, the saying “Sell in May…” has an entirely different meaning. This is because the summer months are actually the most profitable months for real estate transactions!

 

A Window of Opportunity

 

From a logistical perspective, summer is the absolute best time to consider a move.

 

For families with children in school, the summer makes for a perfect time to relocate to a new district, and give the kids time to make new friends before the next school year.

 

Employees and small business owners typically have much more freedom to take a week off for a move during the summer – making it much easier to consider purchasing a house and moving across town (or across the country) before the workload picks back up again in the fall.

 

So for homeowners who have been considering putting their house on the market, the term “Sell in May…” is one of opportunity as real estate activity picks up.

 

This Year Is Different…

 

Over the past few months, I’ve spoken with a number of homeowners who feel “trapped” in a home because of lower prices, mortgage issues, or the lack of real-estate activity. Last summer, these challenges weighed on the market, keeping would-be home sellers from being able to sell attractive houses.

 

But this year, the environment is completely different! Real estate transactions have been picking up significantly, due in part to the fact that private equity companies have been buying up millions of dollars of properties in the Atlanta area.

 

If you missed the headlines, let me fill you in…

 

Companies like Blackstone Group have been investing in a few key cities like Atlanta, purchasing thousands of properties and putting the homes up for rent. There are two key consequences from this activity:

 

1) Home prices have been increasing dramatically. 

 

2) The number of available homes for sale has decreased.

 

It’s a natural result of the supply and demand curve. If there is significant demand (for example, the Blackstone purchases), prices will naturally rise. And of course as Blackstone takes houses off the market, a natural shortage of supply results.

 

This puts you as a seller in the driver’s seat – with much more control and negotiating power than you might have had last year.

 

Let Me Help You Get Top Dollar For Your Home

 

If you’re in the market to sell a home (your primary residence, or even an investment property), let me help you get the maximum value for your property.

 

This year, the “Sell in May” mantra could net you thousands of dollars more than you could have made during the winter months. And it’s my job to help you list and negotiate your sale so that you’re able to capture the largest profit possible for this transaction.

 

As you can tell, I’m excited about the opportunity in today’s market. We’ve got a defined window of time, and you owe it to yourself to make money in this healthy environment.

 

Please give my office a call this week. We’ll set up an appointment to chat, and figure out the best plan of attack for your real estate transaction.

 

Don’t let this summer go by without exploring the opportunity to lock in an attractive price on your home or investment property.

 

Wishing you every success,
Matt

Matthew J. Riedemann
Founder, President, & Managing Director
Ashford Capital Partners, Ashford Advisors

678-231-4579
Matt@AshfordCP.com