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April 24, 2019

New Home Sales Improve For The 3rd Straight Month

New home sales increased 4.5 percent in March, beating economists' expectations and hitting a 16-month high. The data, from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is more evidence that home buying conditions are becoming more favorable just as buyer demand heats up for the season. The combination of a strong job market and low mortgage rates is encouraging buyers and helping steady a housing market that went through its ups-and-downs last year. And, since new-home sales gains build confidence in the market, three consecutive months of improvement may help spur builders to build even more new homes. As it is, growing inventory has led to a 9.7 percent drop in the median sales price of a new house, according to the March report. Overall, the latest new home sales data is encouraging, as the market for newly built homes plays a vital role in balancing supply and demand and keeping affordability conditions manageable for buyers.

The home inventory in Eastern, NC has continued to be very good, offering many homes in different price ranges, helping to make it easier for more buyers to be able to get into the housing market. This area also has a strong job market and this is helping to boost sales. To see some of the homes available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

New Home Sales Improve For The 3rd Straight Month

Posted in Buying
April 23, 2019

Half Of Homes Sold In Under A Month In March

The spring home sales season is underway and there's no better proof than new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. According to their most recent existing home sales report, 47 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month. Additionally, the average number of days properties remained on the market was 36 days, down from 44 days the month before. That's a significant drop and evidence that buyer demand is heating up and homes are selling more quickly. But, despite the fact that homes are selling faster, the overall sales numbers were down from February. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says that's to be expected after the previous month's sales surge. “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful sales surge in the prior month,” Yun said. “Still, current sales activity is underperforming in relation to the strength in the job market. The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.” In other words, though buyer demand may be increasing and homes are selling quickly, the market should be doing even better. One reason it's not is low inventory. However, that may be changing. In fact, the number of homes available for sale in March was up 2.4 percent from last year.

One area that is not experiencing many ups and downs with the housing market is in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes in different sizes, styles and price ranges, giving most anyone that is looking a home, one to buy and one that meets most of the features they are looking for in a home. To see some of the homes available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/

or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

 

Half Of Homes Sold In Under A Month In March

Posted in Report
April 22, 2019

Realtors Say Buyers Want Green Homes

When it comes time to decide what type of home you want to buy, there's a lot to go over. Beyond even the financial considerations, prospective home buyers have to make choices about the style of house, the size, number of rooms, the yard, storage, etc. Then they have to prioritize their wants and needs based on just how important they are and whether any of them are dealbreakers. Because there are so many factors, it's no small thing when a sizable share of home buyers express an interest in the same feature. That's why it's significant that a recent survey of Realtors conducted by the National Association of Realtors found that 70 percent of participants said promoting energy efficiency in a home's listing was somewhat or very valuable. In short, it means a lot of buyers agree that green and energy-efficient features are important to them. It's no surprise why. Beyond the benefits to the environment or sustainability, energy efficiency means lower utility bills. And there are few home buyers who won't like the sound of that.

For the most part, many, if not most, of the homes being built in Eastern, NC are “green homes”, offering many of the green features. This has made this a very popular area to have a home in and has brought buyers out. These homes are being built in many different sizes and styles as well as different price ranges giving something for almost everyone. To see some of the homes available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

Realtors Say Buyers Want Green Homes

Posted in Survey
April 19, 2019

Market Outlook Sees Stability Ahead For Housing

Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group releases a monthly forecast detailing what lies ahead for the economy and housing market. And though their most recent release says the overall economy will slow this year, their outlook for the housing market is encouraging for potential home buyers and sellers. That's because the group sees stability ahead. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist, says there are a number of factors that should make market conditions more favorable this year. “On housing, the recent dip in mortgage rates to their lowest level in over a year – combined with wage gains and home price deceleration – supports our contention that home sales will stabilize in 2019,” Duncan said. “The greatest impediment to both sales and affordability continues to be on the supply side, as new inventory, particularly among existing homes, is being met quickly by strong demand – as evidenced by the already thin months' supply hitting a new one-year low.” In other words, conditions will be less volatile than they were last year but ultimately depend on how many homes are available for sale. If new home construction and listings can keep up with demand, it'll help keep prices steady and the market manageable for buyers.

For buyers in Eastern, NC, there is a good inventory with many new homes being built. There are also existing homes on the market which is helping with the inventory and with home prices. To see what is available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

Market Outlook Sees Stability Ahead For Housing

 

 

 

Posted in Report
April 18, 2019

Mortgage Rate Increase Doesn't Deter Home Buyers

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates rose last week but the increase didn't stop home buyers. In fact, demand for purchase loan applications rose 1 percent and reached their highest level in 9 years. Requests for loans to buy homes are now 7 percent higher than at the same time last year. Despite the improvement, however, overall mortgage application demand was down from the week before, as refinance activity was slowed by higher rates. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said the decline is no surprise. “With mortgage rates up for the second week in a row, it's no surprise that refinancings slid 8 percent, and average loan sizes dropped back closer to normal levels,” Kan said. “Purchase activity remained strong and increased slightly, reaching its highest level since 2010. The spring buying season continues to be robust.”

Another area that is seeing a lot of activity is in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes, keeping prices moderate and within reach for a lot of people. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock?notif_t=page_admin.  The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.

 

Mortgage Rate Increase Doesn't Deter Home Buyers

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Posted in Survey
April 17, 2019

Builders Say Demand Is High But Costs Are Rising

Home builders are on the frontline of the housing market. Their business depends on knowing what buyers want and when they want it. That's why the National Association of Home Builders tracks builder confidence in the market for newly built homes. When builders are optimistic about buyer demand, they build more homes, which helps balance the market and makes conditions better for all home buyers. The results of the NAHB's most recent survey shows builders are confident in the market and reporting solid demand. In fact, on a scale where any number above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor, April's Housing Market Index scored a 63. But, despite the strong showing, Robert Dietz, NAHB's chief economist, says a shortage of construction workers and buildable lots is causing housing costs to rise. “Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics, and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term,” Dietz said. “However, supply-side headwinds that are putting upward pressure on housing costs will limit more robust growth in the housing market.”

For buyers in Eastern, NC, they are finding that the supply of homes is very good with many new homes being built and there also existing homes on the market to help ease the pain of not enough homes. With a good inventory like there is, home prices are staying moderate and many people are out and buying homes. To see some of the homes available in Eastern, NC go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

Builders Say Demand Is High But Costs Are Rising

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Posted in Survey
April 16, 2019

Home Shoppers Are Ready For Renovations

In a perfect world, we'd all be able to buy a home that fulfills our wish list, is in great condition, and already has our preferred fixtures, features, and finishes. Of course, that isn't the way things work. Buying a house requires compromise and, in some cases, a good strategy for how to fix the things you don't like about a home you're otherwise crazy about. Fortunately, if recent data is any indication, today's home shoppers understand this and are realistic about their chances of finding the perfect home. For example, according to a new survey, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they'd consider a home that needs renovating and would be willing to spend more than $20,000 to get the job done. There are a number of reasons for the increasing number of home shoppers looking for a fixer-upper. For one, the limited number of entry-level homes for sale means buyers have to consider homes they may not have if they had more options. But beyond that, the popularity of home renovation TV shows and the fact that those who are considering a fixer-upper believe they'll see a return on their investment also contribute to buyers' willingness to take on a project.

One area that is seeing buyers looking to buy an older home and do repairs or buy a home that is perfect except for a few minor repairs is in Eastern, NC. Buyers in this area have a very good selection of new and existing homes to choose from, with moderate pricing and many styles and sizes so whatever they find that fits most of their needs is usually an easy fix to make it almost a perfect home. To see some of the homes available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

Home Shoppers Are Ready For Renovations

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Posted in Report
April 15, 2019

Millennial Borrowers Close Loans In 44 Days

After finding a house to buy and having your offer accepted, the home buying process really kicks into gear. There are several steps that have to be cleared before a pending sale is completed and your loan has closed. For example, this is the time when the home will be inspected and appraised. It is also the period during which the financial side of the transaction will be finalized. This takes time, as anyone who's been through the process before knows. But what about first-time home buyers? How long should they expect between making an offer and getting their keys? Well, according to Ellie Mae's Millennial Tracker, the average time it took millennial borrowers to close conventional purchase loans in February was 44 days, which was slightly higher than the previous month. Joe Tyrrell, executive vice president of strategy and technology for Ellie Mae, says time to close is increasing as the share of home purchase loans grows. “The percentage of purchase loans is on the rise with millennials continuing to enter the home buying market for their first or maybe even second purchase,” Tyrrell said. “The increase in days-to-close we saw in February is relative to the percentage increase in purchases versus refinances, as purchases typically take longer to close.” This is being seen in Eastern, NC also, but buyers are finding that their agents from First Carolina Realtors are able to handle all the necessary appointments and paperwork that has to be done during the closing time and things go much easier and faster because of having someone with the knowledge to handle these things. To see some of the homes that are available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

Millennial Borrowers Close Loans In 44 Days

 

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Posted in Report
April 10, 2019

How Much Do Sellers Spend On Home Improvement?

The typical home seller lives in their house for more than a decade before they put it up for sale. And during that 10 years, there are probably a few things they let go. So it's no surprise that the vast majority of them feel the need to fix their place up before putting in on the market. In fact, according to one recent analysis, nearly 80 percent of home sellers complete one home improvement project before they invite potential buyers to have a look. This can include anything from a fresh coat of paint to a bathroom remodel. Fortunately, the money sellers spend sprucing up their home often helps them sell it for more than their asking price. So, if you're thinking about selling, how much should you expect to spend on home improvement projects? Well, the national average is $6,570, though it does depend a lot on where you are. For example, in San Francisco, sellers usually spend closer to $8,000, while in St. Louis the cost is under $4,000. Wherever you are, though, it's good to consider not only what needs to be repaired and refreshed but also which projects are most likely to provide some return on your investment. This is when a good agent can be a big help. Buyers in Eastern, NC have found that when they turn to the agents at First Carolina Realtors, they get a lot of the help they need. Agents are familiar with what helps to sell a home and what needs to be done. This can save a lot on unnecessary spending and with making sure the right things are addressed. To see some of the homes available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

 

 How Much Do Sellers Spend On Home Improvement?

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Posted in Report
April 9, 2019

More Americans Say Now's A Good Time To Buy

Spring is typically the season when housing market activity picks up. And this year – after a slow fall and winter that saw mortgage rates rising and affordability concerns increasing – the spring sales forecast has been a question mark. Will home buyers stay on the sidelines convinced that there are better conditions ahead or will they see declining rates and an increasing number of homes for sale as a sign that it's a good time to buy? Well, according to Fannie Mae's most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index, Americans are feeling more optimistic and just in time for the market to heat up. Results show a 7 percent increase in the number of respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home and a 13 percent increase in the number who think it's a good time to sell. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says things are trending in the right direction. “A brighter housing market outlook drove this month's increase in the HPSI – a welcome sign from consumers as we enter the spring and summer home buying seasons,” Duncan said. “The results further corroborate the positive effect of falling mortgage rates on affordability, which we expect will help support a rebound in home sales.”

This is what buyers in Eastern, NC are seeing. There is a good inventory of homes in this area and this is helping to keep prices moderate. It is also giving more buyers the choices they need in the areas they are wanting to be in. To see some of the inventory for this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

 

More Americans Say Now's A Good Time To Buy

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Posted in Buying, Selling