Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward”

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Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 datessellers listed their homes in 2016 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2017, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.

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First Comes Love… Then Comes Mortgage?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2016 at 58% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.

But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 14% of all first-time buyers last year.

If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 8% of buyers. One recent article pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their home, rather than rent.

Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2016 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:

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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.

Spring Gardening Tips For Owners of Virginia Beach VA Real Estate

In addition to chasing away the winter blues, spring also brings with it exciting times for gardeners who anticipate floral beauty and healthy plants for the grounds of their Virginia Beach VA real estate. To fulfill your gardening hopes, however, you need to prioritize your time in order to tend to all the tasks necessary for blooms and blossoms.

  • Prune

For early blooming shrubs such as forsythia and viburnum, prune them as soon as blooms have passed. Early spring is also an ideal time to prune your roses.

  • Deadhead

Remove spent flowers from bulbs, but leave the rest of the plant as is for the time being.

  • Weed

Pull weeds from your beds and borders before they have a chance to take hold and spread.

  • Compost

Tend to your compost if it has been neglected over the winter. If you do not have a compost bin, spring is a great time to start one.

  • Prepare tools

Spring is a good time to prepare your tools for the oncoming gardening season and to make any necessary repairs or new purchases. You will be happy you have done so when summer sets in.

  • Plant

Spring is a great time to add new plants to your garden. Be sure, however, that all threat of frost has past. Plant such things as trees, shrubs, hardy annuals, and summer blooming bulbs.

  • Fertilize & Mulch

Fertilize and mulch beds and borders. Spring is also a good time to fertilize fruit trees. If you applied heavy winter mulch for protection from the cold, you will need to clear it away.

  • Stake

Stake plants that may be prone to wind damage during the unpredictable spring weather.

One type of gardening which appeals to many environmentalists is organic gardening, the incorporation of the entire landscape design and environment to improve the soil and maximize plant production without using synthetic materials.
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