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January 2019 Existing-Home Sales

  • NAR released a summary of existing-home sales data showing that housing market activity this January, fell for the third straight month and was down 1.2 percent from December 2018. Sales of existing homes dropped 8.5 percent from January 2018. January’s existing home sales reached a 4.94 million seasonally adjusted annual rate, the lowest since November 2015.

  • The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $247,500 in January, up 2.8 percent from a year ago. This marks the 83rd consecutive month of year-over-year gains. Despite the gains in prices, this January marks the slowest price growth since February 2012.

  • Regionally, all four regions showed growth in prices from a year ago. The West had largest gain of 2.9 percent followed by the South with a gain of 2.5 percent. The Midwest had an increase of 1.4 percent followed by the Northeast with a modest incline of 0.4 from January 2018.
  • January’s inventory figures are up from last month 3.9 percent to 1.59 million homes for sale. Compared with January of 2018, there was a 4.6 percent increase in inventory levels. It will take 3.9 months to move the current level of inventory at the current sales pace. It takes approximately 49 days for a home to go from listing to a contract in the current housing market, up from 42 days a year ago.

  • From December 2018, the Northeast was the only region to have an incline in sales of 2.9 percent. The West had the biggest decline of 2.9 percent followed by the Midwest with a dip of 2.5 percent. The South had the smallest decline of 1.0 percent.
  • All four regions showed declines in sales from a year ago. The West had the biggest drop in sales of 13.8 percent. The South had a decline of 8.4 percent followed by the Midwest with a drop of 7.9 percent. The Northeast had the smallest drop in sales of 1.4 percent. The South led all regions in percentage of national sales, accounting for 42.1 percent of the total, while the Northeast had the smallest share at 14.2 percent.

  • In January, single-family sales were down 1.8 percent and condominiums sales were down 3.6 percent compared to last month. Single-family home sales fell 8.4 percent and condominium sales were down 9.5 compared to a year ago. Single-family homes had an increase in price up 3.1 percent at $249,400 and condominiums modestly rose 0.1 percent at $233,000 from January 2018.

 

Home Buying Conditions by State in January 2019

Homebuying activity was essentially unchanged in January 2019 compared to one year ago, according to NAR’s January 2019 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1] The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered 52 in January 2019, just slightly above 50, a level that indicates no change in the overall direction of buyer traffic activity, One year ago, the REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index was at 69, a level that indicates homebuying traffic was broadly stronger compared to conditions one year ago. A lower index in one month compared to the level in another month slower activity during that former month, so the steep decline in the value of the index from 69 to 52 indicates homebuying conditions have slowed significantly from conditions one year ago.[2] The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index has fallen below leads existing home sales by one to two months, so the January reading is an indicator of sales in the next one to two months.

Buyer traffic was broadly weaker during November and December 2018 and January 2019 compared to conditions one year ago in the District of Columbia and in states 16 states that included Oregon, California, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. However, buyer traffic conditions were broadly stronger during November and December 2018 and January 2019 compared to conditions one year ago in Idaho, Utah, Wisconsin, Indiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.


The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index has hovered at near 50 since August 2018 when the index fell to 51 and remained at below 50 through December 2018. The January reading of 52 indicates a slight upturn in homebuyer traffic as mortgage rates started falling in January 2019.  As of the week of February 14, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 4.37 percent, from a high of 4.94 in the weeks of November 8 and 15.[3]

REALTOR® Comments

Higher mortgage rates compared to one year ago, the negative effect on confidence of the government shutdown, the cap on deductions for property, state, and local income taxes, and the very cold weather were some factors cited by the respondents for the slowdown in buyer activity in their markets.

  • Respondents from some Midwest states— Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana— reported that the extremely cold weather held homebuying activity.
  • Some respondents from California, New York, and New Jersey reported the cap on deductions for property, state and local income taxes is negatively affecting sales.
  • A respondent from California also noted that the widespread wildfires in 2018 are still impacting home sales[4].
  • Respondents from Alabama, California, Nevada, Florida, Texas, and Virginia reported that the government shutdown appeared to have had an impact in homebuying activity.
  • Lack of supply, especially of affordable homes, continues to frustrate would-be homebuyers.
  • REALTORS® reported that higher mortgage rates (during October, November and December) discouraged buyers

 

To note, mortgage rates have started falling again since January 2019.[5] As of February 14, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has fallen to 4.37 percent from 4.8 percent during the weeks of November 8 and 15. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is still slightly higher compared to the 3.95 percent in January 2018. The monthly increase in mortgage payment arising from a 0.5 percent increase in mortgage rates on a loan of $250,000 is about $73 per month.


 

[1]In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, NAR asks respondents “Compared to the same month (January) last year, how would you rate the past month’s traffic in neighborhood(s) or area(s) where you make most of your sales?” NAR compiles the responses into an index, where an index above 50 indicates that more respondents reported “stronger” traffic than “weaker” traffic.  In generating the buyer traffic index at the state level, NAR uses data for the last three surveys to have close to 30 observations. Small states such as AK, ND, SD, MT, VT, WY, WV, DE, and D.C., may have fewer than 30 observations. The index is not seasonally adjusted, so a year-over-year comparison is appropriate.

[2] The index is not seasonally adjusted, so a year-over-year comparison is appropriate compared to a month-to-month comparison in evaluating whether market conditions are improving or deteriorating.

[3] Freddie Mac’s survey of 30-year fixed rate mortgages

[4] Bloomberg reported that 876,000 acres were burned in California due to wildfires, citing data form the California Department of Forestry and Fire and Protection in Now California Wildfires Burn All Year; see https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-17/california-fires-burn-all-year-as-drought-left-state-a-tinderbox

[5] Rates started falling after Chairman Powell of the Federal Reserve Board announced in December 2018 that it was looking at one rate hike in 2019.

President’s Day 2019: How Does the White House Compare to the Average Home?

In the spirit of President’s Day we can use data from the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers to see how the typical home differs from the White House.

Typical Home Purchased in the U.S.

  • 86% of buyers purchased a previously owned home, with 82% of buyers choosing a detached single-family home.
  • Looking by first-time and repeat buyers, both also purchased detached single-family homes more often with 80% of first-time buyers and 83% of repeat buyers.
  • 51% of all buyers purchased their home in a suburb/subdivision.
  • The typical detached single-family home purchased was 1,980 square feet.
  • Recent homes purchased also had a median of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and were built in 1991.
  • Among all buyers, the expected length of tenure in the home purchased was 15 years.

The White House

  • The White House was built in 1792, and in comparison is located in an urban or central area.
  • The White House contains 6 levels, has 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms.
  • It also includes features such as: a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, billiard room, movie theatre, and bowling alley.
  • While the median expected tenure in a home lasts around 15 years, in the White House the expected tenure is between 4 and 8 years.

 

For more information on this data check out the President’s Day Infographic and the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

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David L. Britt, MBA
9393 W 110th St Suite 170
Overland Park, KS 66210
Phone: 913-226-5830
Email: dbritt@heritage.net

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We have only the highest praise and recommendation for David. In all transactions David was organized, thorough, and personable. He offered us an objective viewpoint on each house we toured, thereby helping us with our decisions. We found him to be knowledgeable about aspects of realty that surpassed just the legalities of buying and selling properties, and furthermore we were consistently impressed by his willingness to research questions he couldn't answer right away. His vast knowledge of market analysis, contractors, financial options, legal issues, etc. showcases that he is best in the industry. Through our journey, we watched David educate the other realtors while they provided misinformation or demonstrated a lack of experience. He was always expedient in returning our calls, searching for properties, and setting up tours. We looked at many houses and David always had appointments scheduled, maximizing the number of houses to view by the next day. Then, when we ran into some trouble with our mortgage lender and final inspections, David was instrumental at helping us navigate through the mess so that we could close on our home. His patience with us and our lack of understanding was beyond that of realtor, but more resembling a friend. In summary, we had a great experience utilizing David for the purchase of our new home. In today's world, customer service is very important and we feel David is the epitome of delivering customer service that would exceed your expectations. We recommend you find out for yourself. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend David Britt to any person who is looking to buy or sell a home, as well as seek his service in any of our future real estate transactions. B and S Coffman - Olathe, KS
David Britt is a man of his word; honorable, kind, and very professional. When I called him to ask his help and advice on the purchase of a new home, he made himself available in a moment's notice. As we went through the process of finding it, making an offer, closing the deal, and finally signing all the paperwork, David was a very helpful "partner." He made it look easy and feel comfortable. My daughter and her husband needed a real estate agent too. I recommended they call David. I am very protective of her--and not many sales people would have my stamp of approval--a prerequisite for working with "my baby." David earned that stamp and represented them in the purchase of their new home too! J Cutler - Olathe, KS
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