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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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.

5 ‘Must-Have’ Amenities for Your Virginia Beach Home

Besides an upscale kitchen and plenty of space, what are new-home buyers’ looking for when house hunting? Surveys by the National Association of Home Builders and homebuilder PulteGroup shed some light on a few of the latest in-demand amenities.

1. Walk-in closets: Large closets, particularly in the master bedroom, is among one of home shoppers’ top priorities, according to the NAHB survey of builders and remodelers. Indeed, 31 percent of 1,000 home owners recently surveyed by PulteGroup said they’d sacrifice another household feature in order to have his-and-hers closets in the master bedroom.

2. Luxurious laundry rooms: Buyers are looking for more than just a place to stick their washer and dryer. They want upgraded laundry rooms – complete with skylights, built-in ironing boards, space for folding clothes, extra storage, and upgraded appliances, according to the NAHB survey.

3. Energy efficiency: Home buyers are looking to cut utility costs, and energy efficiency appliances and products can be one way to do that. Low e-windows, Energy Star appliances, and programmable thermostats are more in demand among home shoppers.

4. Great rooms: These large open spaces that often merge dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens continue to be in high-demand among home shoppers, according to NAHB’s poll of builders. “Great rooms are wonderful places where everyone in the family can sit around, or where the kids can do their homework while you get dinner ready,” Stephen Melman of NAHB told MainStreet. “Today’s great rooms are large, bright and just make you feel good being there.”

5. Taller first-floor ceilings: More home buyers want the first floor to stretch beyond the typical eight-foot ceiling. They’re asking builders for nine-foot ceiling heights. The taller ceilings can open up living rooms, dining rooms, and other spaces on the first floor. But home shoppers say they can do without the cathedral ceiling in the family room, which can be too costly to heat and cool. Also, they aren’t preferring the higher ceilings on the second floor, which many home buyers say they want to feel more cozy, Melman says.

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Positive Indicators For Increased Virginia Beach VA Home Sales in 2012

At last, some good news to share! It appears that a multitude of economic factors have successfully come together to finally give rise to an optimistic view of the future of the real estate market and to put a glimmer of a smile on the faces of those selling Virginia Beach VA homes.

“Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” says Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Americans’ rental price expectations for the next year continue to rise, reaching their record high level for our survey this month. With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that homeownership is a more compelling housing choice.”

Duncan based his remarks on the results of Fannie Mae’s March 2012 consumer attitudinal National Housing Survey which found that because of a rise in key economic indicators, potential buyers are less hesitant to enter the real estate market and purchase a Virginia Beach VA home. In addition, confidence in consumers’ views of their own finances is stabilizing; for three straight months 44 percent have believed their personal finances will get better over the next year. These trends may be providing Americans with an increased sense of urgency to buy a home, since 73 percent of Americans now believe it is a good time to buy a home, up from seventy percent in February.

Remarkably low mortgage rates are making houses more affordable than they have been in decades, the unemployment rate is slowly dropping, and steadily rising rental rates encourage both renters and potential buyers to seriously consider purchasing a Virginia Beach VA home as a residence or as an investment.  As Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, states, “The recovery is happening, though not at a breakout pace, but we have seen nine consecutive months of year-over-year sales increases. Existing-home sales are moving up and down in a fairly narrow range that is well above the level of activity during the first half of last year. With job growth, low interest rates, bargain home prices, and an improving economy, the pent-up demand is coming to market and we expect housing to be notably better this year.”

Recovery, encouragement, confidence—words you may not have heard for a while. Are you smiling yet?

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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). Avoid 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. ALL of the information, NONE of the obligation!