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In Which States Did Properties Sell Quickly in September 2018?

In a monthly survey of REALTORS®, respondents reported that properties were typically on the market for 32 days (34 days on year ago), according to the  September 2018 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.[1]  However, the difference in median days in the current month compared to the same month last year has started to narrow as homebuying demand has eased and the inventory of homes for sale has slightly increased. In January and February of this year, properties were selling about one week less compared to the length of time in the same period one year ago.

During the July–September 2018, properties typically sold within one month in 27 states (32 states in August 2018).  Properties sold most quickly in South Dakota (20 days), Idaho (21), Washington (21 days), Rhode Island (21 days), Indianapolis (22 days), Kansas (23), Massachusetts (23), Ohio (23), Utah (23), Colorado (24), Nevada (24), Nebraska (24), Maine (24), and Michigan (24).  

That properties are still selling faster compared to one year ago is an indication that the supply of homes for sale is still inadequate compared to the demand for homes. Based on the REALTORS® Seller Traffic Index[2], home selling conditions were “weak” during July, August, and September 2018 compared to one year ago in the District of Columbia and in 28 states including California, Oregon, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida.

 


[1] In generating the median days on market 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.

[2] An index greater than 50 means that more respondents reported conditions relative to one year ago as “strong” than those that reported “weak.” Due to sampling, we categorize the index as “very weak” for 0 to 25; “weak” for values 25+ to 45; “stable” for values 45+ to 55; “strong” for values 55+ to 75; and “very strong” for values 75+.

September 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates rose to 4.77 percent this September, up 14.9 percent compared to 4.15 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in September moving the index down 8.4 percent from 160.1 to 146.7. The median sales price for a single family home sold in September in the US was $260,500 up 4.6 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 62 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).

  • The payment as a percentage of income was down to 17 percent this September but up from 15.6 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.7 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 16.5 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.4 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.5 percent.

  • Regionally, the West recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 7.0 percent. The Northeast had an increase of 5.3 percent while the South had a gain of 4.2 percent. The Midwest had the smallest growth in price of 2.2 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in affordability of 9.0 percent. The South had a decline of 7.3 percent followed by the West that fell 6.8 percent. The Midwest had the smallest drop of 5.8 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is up from last month in all of the four regions. The Northeast had biggest gain of 5.5 percent. The Midwest had an incline of 4.2 percent followed by the South with an increase of 2.3 percent. The West had the smallest gain in affordability of 1.9 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 185.3. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 105.4. For comparison, the index was 151.4 in the South, and 152.3 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down. Mortgage rates are rising and home price growth is starting to slow down. Despite higher mortgage rates, lower home prices and increases inventory levels will help renters and potential home buyers enter the housing market. Home prices are up 4.6 percent outpacing median family incomes that are growing 3.1 percent.
  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.

Third Quarter Single Family Metro Market Prices

The National Association of REALTORS® reported that quarterly home prices increased again this past quarter. Prices continued to rise, with 93% of the markets showing home price appreciation. While, single-family home price growth is slowing and median family incomes are rising, affordability has been declining. Knowing the mortgage rates and the qualifying incomes for down payments will help potential homeowners figure out what metro areas are affordable for them. Here is a look at the metro areas with the strongest price growth in the third quarter 2018, as well as a look at the yearly change in median existing single-family home prices for the top five highest and lowest growth metro areas of the third quarter 2018.

These are the top five single-family metro areas with the highest home price appreciation:

These are the bottom five single-family metro areas that had a decline in home price appreciation:

These are the most expensive metro areas for the third quarter 2018:

These are the least expensive metro areas for the third quarter 2018:

Qualifying Income Based on Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas by Region:

For the US, at the 5 percent down-payment threshold, the qualifying income amount for the third quarter of 2018 was $64,480. At the 10 percent down-payment mark, the qualifying income was $61,086, and with a 20 percent down-payment, the income required to qualify for a mortgage was $54,299. The West led all regions with the highest qualifying income while the Midwest had the lowest income for 5%, 10% and 20% down payments on a single-family home.

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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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