January 2017 Housing Report: 4 Things to Know

Home sales finished strong in December, helping make 2016 the best year for U.S. home sales since the recession, according to the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report, an analysis of MLS data from 53 metro areas. In fact, home sales in 2016 were the highest in the housing report’s eight-year history. Here are key points from January’s report:

1. Homes are still selling fast

In December, homes spent an average of 62 days on the market. That’s the shortest time of any December in the report’s history.

2. Prices are rising

The median sales price of a home sold in December was $216,000. That was nearly 5 percent higher than the median sales price in December 2015.

3. Inventory continues to shrink

The inventory of homes for sale dropped nearly 18 percent between last December and December 2015, continuing a year-long streak of double-digit declines. Given the current pace of home sales, the inventory equals 4.2 months of sales. To put that in context, a supply of six months is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers. In December, 47 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a supply of less than 6.0 months. That’s usually considered a seller’s market.

4. Slightly fewer transactions occurred

The overall average number of home sales fell 1.8 percent compared to December 2015. However, almost half of the 53 metro areas showed an increase in sales year-over-year. Growth in markets across the country was in the double digits. Home sales in the Wilmington/Dover, Delaware market shot up by about 21 percent. Sales in Honolulu, Hawaii grew by 19.7 percent and sales in Augusta, Maine, rose by about 16 percent.

What’s the upshot of all this research? “Much like 2015, we saw a mostly healthy housing market in 2016 that posted steady growth in sales and prices,” said Dave Liniger, RE/MAX CEO, chairman of the board and co-founder. “We’re back to pre-recession levels in many markets, with 2017 forecast to be another solid year. We’ll have to wait and see what impact rising interest rates will have.” In December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for only the second time since 2006.

Dig into the details of the January 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report in the infographic below. You can also read more on the RE/MAX Newsroom.


Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Using an Agent When Selling Your Virginia Beach Home

Virginia Beach Homes


When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots.” This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.


Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now?

There are many people in Virginia Beach sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house in Hampton Roads before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current income would never enable them to qualify for a mortgage in Virginia Beach.

We want to share what the typical first-time homebuyer actually looks like based on the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. Here are some interesting revelations on the first time buyer:

Is Your First Home Within Your Grasp Now? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

You may not be much different than many people who have already purchased their first home. Meet with a local real estate professional today who can help determine if your dream home is within your grasp.

Homes for Sale Virginia Beach


Hampton Roads Home Values: Where Are They Headed Over The Next 5 Years?

hampton roads homes

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 18.1% by 2019.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.4% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.5% by 2019.

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.


Hampton Roads Homes

6 Questions to Ask a Potential Listing Agent

Selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make. It’s important to have a qualified professional by your side to help you navigate the twists and turns. Here are some questions to help determine which listing agent is right for you.

Virginia Beach Realtor

1. “Where’s the best coffee around here?”
Although a perfect caramel macchiato isn’t critical to the sales process (though it certainly can’t hurt), your listing agent should have experience in your neighborhood. He or she should have bought and sold enough homes to know the area’s history, pros, cons and quirks, not to mention where the locals head for a good cup of joe.

2. “How will you market my property?”
Two balloons on a yard sign no longer cut it. Find out exactly how each prospective listing agent plans to reach buyers. A strategy should go beyond holding an open house. If an agent looks baffled when you mention “virtual tour,” it may be time to find someone more experienced in digital outreach.

3. “How many clients do you have right now?”
Go for the Goldilocks agent, the one with the slate of clients that’s “just right” and can give you the attention and energy you deserve. Even with an assistant, an agent with double-digit clients may not be able to provide the personal focus you require. On the other hand, if you’re an agent’s only client, there’s probably a reason why.

4. “Can I talk to a previous client – or three?”
Ask for references from clients an agent has worked with in the past six months. Some things to ask: How responsive was the agent during the process? Did the client get their asking price? What could the agent have done better?

5. “How much would you list my property for?”
Make sure prospective agents can explain their pricing rationale, including showing you comparable sales listings in the area.

6. “What’s your sign?”
No, not their horoscope. Ask about professional affiliations. When agents are part of the RE/MAX network, they bring with them the power of the company whose agents sell more real estate than any other.


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Huge Hampton Roads Home Fire Hazard People Forget About

Small laundry room with wooden cabinet, white laundry appliances

Truth time: thousands of fires every year are sparked by a home fire hazard that is often overlooked… resulting in an estimated millions of dollars in property loss! What is this frightening fire hazard, you ask?

Lint in your dryer vent!

That’s right, dryer lint seems pretty harmless, but it catches on fire really easily (there are 15,000 dryer fires every year in the U.S.). So, what can you do to make your house safer than it was before you started reading this post? Simple. Follow these four tips:

1. Always Keep the Lint Trap Clean

Don’t ever run a load of laundry without removing dryer lint from the trap or screen. Large amounts of lint can always accumulate during a regular cycle.

2. Inspect Your Dryer Duct and Vent

Look for kinks, holes or other damage. Over time, dryer lint can build up and clog your dryer vent, reducing the airflow, backing up gases and creating a big fire hazard.

3. Clean Your Dryer Vent!

You can clean your dryer vent duct by vacuuming the back of the dryer, the dryer duct and the wall duct, but we recommend hiring a professional once a year to clean your dryer vent (prices vary by location, but generally it costs about $50). This will ensure you don’t miss any spots overtime that create a dangerous buildup.

4. Practice Gentle Drying Habits

To reduce buildup from general usage, limit your use of dryer sheets, and try to avoid running a dryer for longer than 45 minutes.


April Partida

To Buy Or Not To Buy in Virginia Beach

The following is a list of price-to-rent ratios, the median existing home price divided by the average annual rent you’d pay for a comparable home in the area.

Virginia Beach home purchases have seen an increase due to many factors.  Younger buyers are more educated about home buying processes and see value in purchasing homes now, when prices seem to be more reasonable.  Also, many studys show that rent may be higher than mortgages.  Take a look at the information below and ask yourself —to buy or not to buy?

Price-to-rent Ratio
Area Current 15-Year Average
Atlanta 15.72 13.42
Austin 22.88 15.79
Baltimore 16.75 11.30
Boston 21.87 16.50
Bridgeport-Stamford, CT 28.27 19.39
Charlotte, NC 22.09 16.17
Chicago 16.64 15.80
Cincinnati 15.63 14.58
Cleveland 13.47 13.24
Columbus, OH 17.60 15.68
Dallas 17.83 16.43
Denver 21.92 16.30
Detroit 7.16 9.87
Fort Lauderdale 15.95 13.36
Hartford 19.32 13.51
Honolulu 34.63 23.11
Houston 16.67 13.33
Indianapolis 16.60 14.12
Jacksonville 15.62 12.12
Kansas City, MO 17.10 13.62
Las Vegas 13.21 14.96
Los Angeles 14.67 12.12
Memphis 16.34 15.75
Miami 16.44 12.19
Milwaukee 21.36 15.02
Minneapolis 14.77 13.48
Nashville 23.18 16.99
Nassau-Suffolk, NY 20.83 12.09
New Orleans 16.69 13.17
New York 14.67 9.42
Oakland 29.83 29.02
Oklahoma City 13.97 11.32
Orlando 12.89 12.49
Philadelphia 14.61 9.66
Phoenix 12.86 12.07
Pittsburgh 11.95 9.85
Portland, OR 26.14 17.36
Raleigh, NC 24.59 17.42
Richmond, VA 22.24 14.93
Riverside, CA 12.69 16.59
Sacramento 15.06 15.59
Salt Lake City 20.02 14.34
San Antonio 16.90 12.63
San Diego 21.19 18.18
San Francisco 30.05 24.38
San Jose 29.80 23.33
Santa Ana, CA 28.21 20.54
Seattle 25.78 17.77
St. Louis 16.72 13.01
Tampa 14.46 13.31
Trenton, NJ 19.03 13.83
Virginia Beach 22.82 16.52
Washington, DC 15.62 11.79
West Palm Beach 14.59 13.06
United States 10.85 9.02
Notes: Current ratio for third quarter of 2009, the most recent data available. Metro areas are generally labeled by the largest city in that area Sources: Fiserv, PPR, Moody’s Economy.com

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April Partida is a Professional, Experienced and Results Oriented, Top Virginia Beach VA Realtor committed to meeting your needs.

April has distinguished herself as a leader in the Virginia Beach Virginia real estate market. April assists buyers looking for Virginia Beach VA real estate for sale and aggressively markets Virginia Beach homes for sale. April is also a Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Specialist (SFR). Avid foreclosure and short sale expert, committed to helping families in financial hardship find options to foreclosure.

You can reach April at 757-227-1777 or by email, april@remaxvb.com.