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Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey: May 2018 Highlights

The REALTORS® Confidence Index (RCI) survey[1] gathers monthly information from REALTORS® about local real estate market conditions, characteristics of buyers and sellers, and issues affecting homeownership and real estate transactions.[2] This report presents key results about market transactions from May 2018. View and download the full report here.

Market Conditions and Expectations

  • The REALTORS® Buyer Traffic Index registered at 73 (74 in May 2017).[3]
  • The REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index registered at 44 (46 in May 2017).
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index—SixMonth Outlook Current Conditions registered at 72 for detached single-family, 59 for townhome, and 57 for condominium properties. An index above 50 indicates market conditions are expected to improve.
  • Properties were typically on the market for 26 days (27 days in May 2017).
  • Eighty-eight percent of respondents reported that home prices remained constant or rose in May 2018 compared to levels one year ago (90 percent in May 2017).

Characteristics of Buyers and Sellers

  • First-time buyers accounted for 31 percent of sales (33 percent in May 2017).
  • Vacation and investment buyers comprised 15 percent of sales (16 percent in May 2017).
  • Sales of distressed properties (foreclosed or sold as a short sale) accounted for 3 percent of sales (5 percent in May 2017).
  • Cash sales made up 21 percent of sales (22 percent in May 2017).
  • Seventeen percent of sellers offered incentives such as paying for providing a warranty (9 percent), closing costs (6 percent), and undertaking remodeling (2 percent).[4]

Issues Affecting Buyers and Sellers

  • From March–May 2018, 76 percent of contracts settled on time (76 percent in May 2017).
  • Among sales that closed in May 2018, 77 percent had contract contingencies. The most common contingencies pertained to home inspection (58 percent), obtaining financing (45 percent), and getting an acceptable appraisal (44 percent).
  • REALTORS® report “low inventory”, “interest rates”, and “multiple offers” as the major issues affecting transactions in May 2018.

About the RCI Survey

  • The RCI Survey gathers information from REALTORS® about local market conditions based on their client interactions and the characteristics of their most recent sales for the month.
  • The May 2018 survey was sent to 50,000 REALTORS® who were selected from NAR’s 1.3 million members through simple random sampling and to 7,495 respondents in the previous three surveys who provided their email addresses.
  • There were 4,169 respondents to the online survey which ran from June 1-12, 2018. The survey’s overall margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is one percent. The margins of error for subgroups and sample proportions of below or above 50 percent are larger.
  • NAR weighs the responses by a factor that aligns the sample distribution of responses to the distribution of NAR membership.

The REALTORS® Confidence Index is provided by NAR solely for use as a reference. Resale of any part of this data is prohibited without NAR’s prior written consent. For questions on this report or to purchase the RCI series, please email: Data@realtors.org


[1] Thanks to George Ratiu, Managing Director, Housing and Commercial Research and Gay Cororaton, Research Economist for their data analysis and comments to the RCI Report.

[2] Respondents report on the most recent characteristics of their most recent sale for the month.

[3] An index greater than 50 means more respondents reported conditions as “strong” compared to one year ago than “weak.” An index of 50 indicates a balance of respondents

who viewed conditions as “strong” or “weak.”

[4] The difference in the sum of percentages to the total percentage of sellers who offered incentives is due to rounding.

Median Prices Rose to Highest Level, But Inflation-Adjusted Prices Still Below Bubble Peak

The median sales price of all existing homes sold rose to its highest level in May 2018, to $264,800. This peak price exceeds the housing bubble peak of $230,400 in July 2006. The median sales price of existing homes sold has been trending up (on a year-on-year basis) in the past 75 months since March 2012. This also represents a 71 percent nominal increase from its lowest level in January 2012 of $154,600. However, netting out the effect of inflation, the May 2018 inflation-adjusted median home sales price is at $172,928. This is still 11 percent lower than the inflation-adjusted peak price of $193,781 in June 2005. On an inflation-adjusted basis, home prices have increased 58 percent since February 2012.

An inflation-adjusted measure of house prices provides useful information for both current homeowners and for homebuyers. For current homeowners, a desirable situation is one where home prices are appreciating at a faster rate than inflation, so that they get a positive real return. For homebuyers, a desirable situation is one where home prices are not appreciating too far off from the overall increase in prices (inflation), so that households are not forced to make significant adjustments to their spending behavior just to purchase a home. Moreover, home prices should not be appreciating too far ahead of the rate of increase in income (which is also tied to some extent to inflation), which makes a home purchase unaffordable.

The median sales price of existing homes sold at the nominal and inflation-adjusted levels are still rising, but the pace of appreciation has slowed compared to the double-digit growth rates in October 2012‒ January 2013. Although the May 2018 nominal median home price of $264,800 is a new high, this represents a modest appreciation of 4.9 percent (year-on-year basis) compared to the average price appreciation of 8.5 percent during the bubble period and the 7.0 percent average during this current recovery period.  The inflation-adjusted median home price rose by 2.0 percent in May 2018, also a slower pace of appreciation compared to the 5.7 percent average during the housing bubble period and the 5.5 percent average during this recovery period. This indicates that, nationally, the real estate market during this recovery period has not overheated to the same intensity as that of housing bubble period of January 2012–July 2006.

The pace of price appreciation has started to taper off as home prices have become less affordable, along with interest rates on the rise. Home prices have been rising at a faster pace than income, making a home purchase less affordable.  As of 2017, the median sales price of existing homes was up 40 percent compared to the annual average in 2012, while incomes (measured by weekly earnings) were up by only 12 percent.

Interest rates are still at historically low levels, though they are on the rise, as monetary policy is expected to tighten in response to rising inflation.  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has increased to 4.62 percent during the week of June 14 compared to 3.91 percent nearly one year ago. A one-percentage point increase in mortgage rates increases the monthly mortgage by $119 (or $1,426 annually) for a borrower making a 20 percent down payment and by $143 for a borrower making a 3.5 percent down payment (or $1,720 annually). For some borrowers, this additional cost can mean the difference between buying or renting.

In summary, nominal home prices are above the peak seen during the bubble years, but the inflation-adjusted price is still below the housing bubble peak. Moreover, while home prices are still increasing, the pace of price appreciation is slowing, as demand is adjusting to the higher price and rising mortgage rates. The trends indicate that the pace of price appreciation during the current recovery period is not likely to reach the intensity of the housing bubble period on a national scale.

Younger Boomers: Purchased Multi-Generational Homes

Younger Boomers, buyers aged 53 to 62 years, made up 18 percent of all home buyers in 2017. The median age for this group was 58 years old and they were born between 1955 and 1964. This age group was the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 20 percent. Their reasons for purchasing a multi-generational home were children or relatives over the age of 18 years moving back in (23 percent), health/caretaking of aging parents (22 percent), and children over 18 years that never left (16 percent).

For Younger Boomers, the primary reasons they purchased homes were the desire to own a home of their own (17 percent), a job-related relocation or move (13 percent), and the desire for a smaller home (10 percent), more than other generations. Compared to other buyers, they said it was the right time and that they were just ready to buy when they did (49 percent).

Younger Boomers were less likely to purchase in the suburbs (50 percent) and most likely to purchase in rural areas (15 percent) compared to other generations. They had the second highest median household income at $94,000. They also purchased the second most expensive homes of all generations with a median home price of $249,200. This generation of buyers also purchased the third largest homes in size at a median square footage of 1,870.

Younger Boomers were the most likely to consider heating and cooling costs very important. This age group was unlikely to compromise on the price of the home as well as the quality of and distance from schools. Younger Boomers moved from their previous residence at a median of 17 miles.

Younger Boomers were the most likely to look online for properties for sale as their first step in the home search process (48 percent). They were also the most likely to cite yard signs as useful search information on homes (50 percent) more than other generations. Younger Boomers were the most likely to use money from an inheritance for the downpayment of their home purchase.

Younger Boomers were the second largest share of home sellers last year at 23 percent. They had the third highest median incomes for sellers at $100,000 (Millennials surpassed them this year) and sold the second highest median priced homes at $264,300. Younger Boomers were the most likely to sell a detached single-family home and sold the largest homes at a median of 2,100 square feet. They were the most likely to offer home warranty incentives to help sell the home.

 

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Mike Smith
Broker/Owner

Premier Real Estate & Property Management, LLC
Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Oregon
Office: 541-735-3507
Cell: 541-954-4946
Email: brokermike@comcast.net


Melissa Hillsman
Broker

Premier Real Estate & Property Management, LLC
Licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Oregon
Office: 541-735-3507
Cell: 541-852-1278
Email: brokermelissa@comcast.net

 

Testimonials Page

Mike was a wizard with the details and having our best interest at heart. He is responsive, and his knowledge and expertise are invaluable. As a builder, we have used Mike in 4 sales and 3 purchases of real estate so far and will use him again. His demeanor is kind and gentle, and we feel confident in Mike's understanding, and negotiation skills, of the fine print. He is as attentive with small sales as he is the big ones. Mike is our real estate go-to guy and we would enthusiastically recommend him. Debbie & Curt
One of the best decisions we have made during the past year was the decision to list our house for sale with Mike Smith. Before meeting Mike, we truly believed that courteous, personal service was a thing of the past, particularly in the highly competitive "dog-eat-dog" world of real estate. We were truly amazed by the level of professionalism which Mike exhibited in listing our property. Mike worked tirelessly on our behalf, communicating with us on a regular basis and never failing to patiently explain each step of the marketing process. His knowledge of the real estate market is unsurpassed and is the type of knowledge that can be acquired only through many years of experience. Mike has continued to educate himself over the years and maintains a "state of the art" website which he is constantly striving to improve. We would wholeheartedly recommend Mike Smith to anyone who is interested in either buying or selling real estate. We are confident that anyone seeking his services would receive the very same extraordinary level of care and service that we have received. Richard & Nancy Prout
Now that our Cosmoledo house has closed and our life has become a bit calmer and simpler again, we just wanted to let you know how much we appreciated having your excellent services. While we can acknowledge that you were "just doing your job," we also know that there are many agents out there who would be receiving the same commission for considerably lesser services. We had very little experience with real estate buying/selling, so we realized many times during the process that your knowledge and advice was making a big difference for us. You stayed positive the whole time, and we never felt that you would suggest we accept an offer just to "get this over with." In a better market things would have been easier for you and for us, but in a difficult market we were fortunate to have your guidance. Evelyn and Peter Alford
I really appreciated Melissa's help in finding my home. My other experience's with a realtor had been irritable and argumentative. Working with you was a welcome change. Your thoughtfulness and calm nature made it much nicer to work with you. Buyer in Eugene, OR
I am relieved that the sale is over finally. I know you worked hard for this process; we all did. But we made it happen in spite of a bad real estate market. Thanks for the help with the remodel. I appreciate your honest, aggressive recommendations; that is what we needed for this market. I will recommend you to my friends with confidence. Keep up the good work. These kind of hard markets are made for aggressive agents like you. Luke
Thank you Mike, for all your help during this transaction. You made this process simple and easy. I have a respect for your professionalism and knowledge. Your attention to detail was very comforting and reassuring. Thank you for the excellent job you did for me. Terri Thiele
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