New Listings Jump 5.1%; Price Adjustments Moderate

12716 S Edgecliff Rd, Portland, OR 97219
Presented by Kristen Kohnstamm | Offered at $2,395,000 | MLS# 21006067

From REALTOR® Magazine

More homeowners are listing their homes for sale, which is opening up options for anxious home buyers who have faced fierce competition the last few months over a limited housing stock.

New listings rose 5.1% in the 50 largest metros. The largest increases were in Columbus, Ohio (up 25.6%); Louisville, Ky. (up 22.8%); and Cleveland (up 21.6%), according to realtor.com®s newly released Monthly Housing Report.

Also, as more inventory and new listings arrived on the market in August, the rate of sellers making price adjustments has also begun to approach more normal levels, realtor.com® notes. The share of sellers who made listing price adjustments grew to 17.3% of active inventory, which is the highest share in 21 months and close to more typical levels that were seen between 2016 to 2019, researchers note.

Still, housing remains tight, even if with the additional inventory. U.S. housing inventory was down 25.8% year-over-year in August. That did mark an improvement over last month when inventories were down 33.5% annually.

Meanwhile, new listings were up 4.3% compared to a year ago.

“Low mortgage rates have motivated home buyers to endure this year’s challenging market and now some buyers are starting to see their persistence pay off,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. “This month, new sellers added more affordable entry-level homes to the market compared to last year, while others began adjusting listing prices to better compete with an uptick in inventory.”

Housing remains a strong seller’s market as homes continue to sell quickly at record-high prices, Hale says. “But now a home priced well and in good condition may see two to three bids compared to 10 last year,” she notes. “For sellers not seeing as many offers, it may be worth revisiting pricing strategies as buyers continue searching for homes that fit their budgets.”

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


Why 2021 Is Still the Year To Sell Your House

61151 Parrell Road, Bend, OR 97702
Presented by Cyndi Robertson | Offered at $997,500 | MLS# 220124791

From Keeping Current Matters

If you’re trying to decide whether or not to sell your house, this is the time to think seriously about making a move. Fannie Mae’s recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) reveals the number of respondents who say it’s a good time to sell is higher now than it was over the past few summers (see graph below). Today, the majority of consumers, 75 percent, say it’s a good time to sell a house.

Why is sellers sentiment up year-over-year?

The higher good time to sell sentiment has to do with today’s market conditions, specifically low housing supply and high buyer demand. In the simplest terms, we don’t have enough houses available for sale to meet buyer demand.

According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), we’re still firmly in a sellers’ market because housing supply is well below a balanced norm (shown in the graph below).

Clearly, the scales are tipped in a seller’s favor today. But while housing supply is undeniably low, the right side of the graph shows how the inventory situation is improving little by little each month as more sellers list their homes for sale.

As a seller, that means each month, buyers have more options to pick from. By extension, that means your house may get less buyer attention with time. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains it like this:

“More homeowners continue to list homes for sale compared to a year ago… Notably, while new listings continue to lag behind a more ‘normal’ 2019 pace, the gap is shrinking. Even though homes continue to sell quickly thanks to high demand and limited supply, new listings are subtly shifting the balance of market conditions in favor of buyers.”

So, what’s that mean for you?

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect time to sell, there may not be a better chance than right now. Inventory is gradually increasing each month, so selling sooner rather than later will help you maximize your home’s potential.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Top 25 Places to Buy a Vacation Home

2169 Forest Dr, Seaside, OR 97138
Presented by Sally Conrad | Offered at $659,000 | MLS# 21687504

From REALTOR® Magazine

Vacation homes are in demand since the pandemic, but which hot spots are consumers targeting that offer some of the best investment potential?

Vacasa, a vacation rental management platform, released its 2021 Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home report, identifying the top U.S. destinations for purchasing a vacation rental property. Among other factors, researchers factored in average cap rate or yearly rate of return in determining the rankings.

“Market conditions are always shifting, but the accelerated and lasting adoption of short-term rentals during the pandemic has had a clear impact on second-home sales,” said Shaun Greer, vice president of sales and marketing at Vacasa. “The spike in guest demand and preference for new, more remote destinations is changing where prospective buyers can find the best investment properties.”

Gatlinburg, Tenn., topped this year’s list, climbing four spots from 2020. Newcomer cities claimed more than half of the spots in 2021, including Deep Creek Lake, Md., Cle Elum, Wash., Litchfield Beach, S.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif.

The following are the top 25 places to buy a vacation home in 2021, according to Vacasa’s rankings:

  1. Gatlinburg, Tenn.: $320,111 (median home sale price)
  2. St. Augustine, Fla.: $365,576
  3. Gulf Shores, Ala.: $402,905
  4. Dauphin Island, Ala.: $382,699
  5. Norris Lake, Tenn.: $343,907
  6. Blue Ridge, Ga.: $290,934
  7. Palm Springs, Calif.: $539,370
  8. Deep Creek Lake, Md.: $439,367
  9. Seaside, Ore.: $466,086
  10. Ludlow, Vt.: $346,950
  11. Big Bear, Calif.: $372,667
  12. Rockaway Beach, Ore.: $330,831
  13. Cle Elum, Wash.: $551,586
  14. Big Sky, Mont.: $850,000
  15. Twentynine Palms, Calif.: $263,897
  16. Killington, Vt.: $317,336
  17. Bear Lake, Utah: $383,734
  18. Litchfield Beach, S.C.: $499,259
  19. Pagosa Springs, Colo.: $361,320
  20. Banner Elk, N.C.: $331,290
  21. St. George Island, Fla.: $471,501
  22. Ellijay, Ga.: $281,402
  23. Florissant, Colo.: $367,000
  24. Corolla, N.C: $608,953
  25. Holden Beach, N.C.: $580,847

View more information on each place as well as the cap rates at vacasa.com.

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


Weekly Mortgage Demand Hints at Return of the First-time Homebuyer

1306 E Vintage St, Newberg, OR 97132
Presented by Jennifer Nash | Offered at $925,000 | MLS# 21280163

From cnbc.com

After falling steadily for a month, demand for mortgages to purchase a home rose slightly last week.

Coupled with a continued increase in refinancing, total mortgage application volume rose 2.8% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 2% for the week but were still 18% lower than a year ago. Buyers are contending with high prices and limited supply, although more residences are slowly coming onto the market. The type of loan now seeing higher demand is telling.

“The higher level of purchase activity last week was driven by more government purchase applications, including a 3.3% increase in FHA loans,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “With low for-sale inventory keeping home price appreciation in many markets at record highs, the jump in FHA purchase applications is potentially a sign that more first-time buyers are finding purchase options despite the high prices.”

A slight increase in mortgage rates did not deter borrowers, especially since rates are still historically low. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($548,250 or less) increased to 2.99% from 2.97%, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.

Applications to refinance a home loan increased 3% for the week but were 8% lower than one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 68% of total applications from 67.6% the previous week.

“Homeowners continue to respond to lower rates, with refinance activity climbing to the highest level since February 2021,” Kan said.

Full article at cnbc.com


Surprising Shift Favors Homeowners: Buyers Now Prefer Existing Homes

636 NW Portland Avenue, Bend, OR 97703
Presented by Sheila Balyeat | Offered at $1,200,000 | MLS# 220121987

From Keeping Current Matters

In April, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) posted an article, Home Buyers’ Preferences Shift Towards New Construction, which reported: “60% of people who were looking to buy a home in 2020 said they’d prefer new construction to an existing home.”

However, it seems buyers are now shifting their preferences back to existing homes.

The latest Consumer Confidence Survey reveals the percentage of Americans planning to buy a home in the next six months is virtually the same as it was back in March. However, the percentage that plan to buy a newly constructed home is lower for that same period.

NAHB confirms this sentiment in their latest Housing Trends Report. The organization explains that existing homes are now the top preference among today’s buyers. Here’s a breakdown of those findings:

Surprising Shift Favors Homeowners: Buyers Now Prefer Existing Homes | Keeping Current Matters

Why the shift?

There are several reasons why buyer preference is shifting. Here are two that impact purchasers looking to move in now:

• The process may move faster. Builders may not be able to guarantee when the house will be complete and ready for move-in due to supply chain challenges with materials like lumber and appliances. If you buy an existing home, not only is it ready, it also likely has a refrigerator, range, and other necessary home appliances already.

• There are no unexpected costs during the buying process. With the price of land, labor, and lumber being so volatile, many builders are including an escalation clause in the price negotiation to cover rising expenses. With an existing home, the final price you will pay is negotiated upfront.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, your house is more attractive to a greater number of buyers as compared to earlier in the year. This might be the time to contact a local real estate professional to discuss the possibility.

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, your house is more attractive to a greater number of buyers as compared to earlier in the year. This might be the time to contact a local real estate professional to discuss the possibility.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Reach Record Low

11422 S Breyman Ave, Portland, OR 97219
Presented by Kim Kelleher | Offered at $1,474,000| MLS# 21687117

From REALTOR® Magazine

Borrowers can still take advantage of some of the lowest mortgage rates of all time. For the fifth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained below 3%. Also, the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.10% this week, an all-time low, Freddie Mac reported.

“As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

In 2019, mortgage rates averaged 3.94%, 4.54% in 2018, and more than 6% in 2008. That said, “expect mortgage rates to modestly rise in the following months as most of the economic indicators will start to stabilize,” Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®, said on the association’s Economists’ Outlook blog. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, is predicting the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to increase to 3.3% by the end of the year and average 3.6% in 2022.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending July 29:

• 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.80%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.78% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.99%.

• 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.10%, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s 2.12% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.51%.

• 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.45%, with an average 0.3 point, falling from last week’s 2.49% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.94%.

Freddie Mac reports average commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining a mortgage.

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine


Sales of Existing Homes Rise Slightly as More Listings Finally Hit the Market

2090 Roberts Mountain Rd, Roseburg, OR 97470
Presented by Maria Abarca Roberts | Offered at $3,500,000 | MLS# 21363285

From cnbc.com

After four straight months of declines, sales of previously owned homes rose 1.4% in June month to month to a seasonally adjust annualized rate of 5.86 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors.

These sales represent closings, so they are based on contracts signed in April and May.

Sales were 22.9% higher compared with June 2020. That annual comparison, according to the Realtors, is still slightly skewed due to Covid pandemic lockdowns in certain parts of the country that lasted into summer last year.

The inventory of homes for sale at the end of June was 1.25 million, representing a 2.6-month supply at the current sales pace. That is a slight improvement from May’s 2.5-month supply.

“We may have turned a corner on inventory,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “There is some softening in the demand.”

Low inventory continues to put pressure on prices. The median price of an existing home sold in June hit an all-time high of $363,300. That was 23.4% higher than the price in June 2020. Much of that gain, however, is skewed due to the types of homes that are selling. Sales of homes priced between $100,000 and $250,000 fell 16% annually. Sales of homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million jumped 119%.

“At a broad level, home prices are in no danger of a decline due to tight inventory conditions, but I do expect prices to appreciate at a slower pace by the end of the year,” Yun said. “Ideally, the costs for a home would rise roughly in line with income growth, which is likely to happen in 2022 as more listings and new construction become available.”

Price gains could start to cool. New listings spiked 9% last week, compared with the same week one year ago, according to Realtor.com. Inventory saw its 15th straight week of tapering declines.

“Although more sellers entered the market last week, homebuyers may understandably feel frustrated with the continued shortage of affordable homes for sale,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist, in a release. “The uptick in new listings offers a ray of hope for buyers trying to find a home and lock in still-low mortgage rates. With the public widely in agreement that now is a good time to sell, we may see even more new sellers in the coming weeks and the end of inventory declines before we finish out the year.”

Mortgage rates in April and May, when these contracts were signed, were slightly lower than in March. They moved within a very narrow range during the months, so they would likely not have played a role in prompting buyers to get in or pull out of the market.

Buyers are also seeing more competition from investors. They represented a 14% share of all sales, compared with just 9% one year ago. In addition, all-cash purchases, which are largely investors, rose to 23% of sales, up from 16% one year ago.

Full article at cnbc.com


Home Sales are Beginning to Stall as Buyers Hit Their Limit

56644 Little River Court, Bend, OR 97707
Presented by Jenn Schaake | Offered at $1,850,000 | MLS# 220119613

From housingwire.com

Home sales fell 1.2% from May to June, the largest drop at this time of year on record since at least 2012, according to a new Redfin study released this week.

The national median home-sale price hit a record high of $386,888, up 25% year over year, but a slight decline from the record of 26% in May. The number of homes for sale fell 28% year over year from 2020, and the typical home sold in just 14 days — a record low and, down from 39 days in June 2020.

Homes sold for their highest prices and at their fastest pace on record, but measures for market speed and competition seem to be at or near peak levels for this year, said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist.

“In June we entered a new phase of the housing market,” Fairweather said. “Home sales are starting to stall because prices have increased beyond what many buyers can afford. This summer I expect home prices to stabilize as more homeowners list their homes, realizing they likely won’t fetch a higher price by waiting longer to sell.”

Fifty-six percent of homes sold above their list price — another record high, up from 27% a year ago. And the average sale-to-list ratio hit 102.6% in June, meaning homes are selling on average 2.6% above asking price.

Regionally, seasonally adjusted active listings fell 28% year over year to their lowest level on record, and only two of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin posted a year-over-year increase in the number of seasonally adjusted active listings of homes for sale: Milwaukee (+4%) and New York (+1%). The biggest year-over-year declines in active housing supply in June were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (-57%), North Port, Florida (-52%) and Greensboro, North Carolina (-46%).

Median sale prices, however, increased from a year earlier in all of Redfin’s 85 largest markets. The largest price increase was in Austin, Texas (+43%), where a typical three-bedroom, two-bathroom suburban home sold for about $485,000 last month — up from about $340,000 a year earlier, according to Jennifer Hoffer, Redfin’s market manager in Austin.

“Home price growth over the last few months in Austin has been astronomical,” Hoffer said. “There has been a perfect storm of factors driving up price here with tech firms like Tesla, Amazon and Oracle announcing expansions in Austin, celebrities relocating here, and overall a whole lot of really great press for the area.”

The next biggest price increases were seen in Lake County, Illinois (+31%) and Phoenix (+30%). The smallest price increase was posted in San Francisco, where prices were up only 2.6% from a year ago.

Finally, new listings fell from a year ago in 15 of the 85 largest metro areas. The biggest declines were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (-51%), Allentown, Pennsylvania (47%) and St. Louis, Missouri (-41%). New listings rose the most from a year ago in San Jose, California (+38%), Tacoma, Washington (+35%) and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (+32%).

Full article at housingwire.com


More Homes, Fewer Buyers: The U.S. Housing Market Is Starting to Stabilize

1750 SW Westpoint Ct, Portland, OR 97201
Presented by Dennis Coxen | Offered at $1,839,000 | MLS# 21229026

From Mansion Global

The lopsided housing market in the U.S. is starting to right itself, albeit slowly, according to a report Friday from Redfin.

New listings for homes rose 4% in the four weeks ending July 4, compared to the same time last year, the data found. They were also up 3% from the same four weeks in 2019, marking the first time new listings exceeded the 2019 levels since the beginning of the year.

At the same time, pending home sales had their smallest year-over-year jump —17%—in close to a year, the data showed. Pending sales were also down 6% compared to the four-week period ending May 30.

“Many buyers have backed away from the housing market and are waiting until more and better homes are listed,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, said in the report. “Buyers don’t have the same sense of urgency that they did at the beginning of the year.”

That’s because mortgage rates have dropped to below 3%, with no immediate signs of rising, and asking prices are starting to stabilize, she added.

“With more new listings starting to come on the market, buyers who threw in the towel may want to look again because the market is tilting more in their favor,” Ms. Fairweather continued.

But make no mistake, for now, it’s still a seller’s market.

The median home price reached yet another record high, hitting $364,430 for the four weeks ending July 4, a year-over-year increase of 22%, according to the report. Asking prices rose 12%, compared to the same four weeks in 2020.

The median home spent 15 days on the market for the four-week period, down from 39 days at the same time last year, Redfin found. That number has been flat for the past month.

In addition, 55% of homes sold for above their asking price, the data showed. That’s a year-over-year increase of 27%, the highest jump since Redfin began tracking the data in 2012.

Full article on Mansion Global


Contract Signings Surge as Home Buyers Remain Eager

16440 Fair Mile Road, Sisters, OR 97759
Listed by Patty Cordoni & Suzanne Carvlin | Offered at $1,900,000 | MLS# 220118039

From REALTOR® Magazine

Pending home sales bounced back strongly in May and surged to the highest reading for the month of May since 2005, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Wednesday.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, climbed 8% in May compared to April. Contract signings are up 13.1% compared to a year earlier.

“May’s strong increase in transactions—following April’s decline, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability—was indeed a surprise,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “The housing market is attracting buyers due to the decline in mortgage rates, which fell below 3%, and from an uptick in listings.”

Buyers are shaking off record-high home prices and low inventories of homes for sale. Housing inventories are down 20.6% compared to a year ago. Also, the median existing-home price for all housing types posted a record year-over-year increase of 23.6% in May, according to NAR data. The median home price was $350,300.

“While these hurdles have contributed to pricing out some would-be buyers, the record-high aggregate wealth in the country from the elevated stock market and rising home prices are evidently providing funds for home purchases,” Yun says. “More market listings will appear in the second half of 2021, in part from the winding down of the federal mortgage forbearance program and from more home building.”

Yun also predicts that home price growth will gradually moderate as more homes are listed on the market. “But a broad and prolonged decline in prices is unlikely,” Yun says. “However, if a reduction occurs in some markets, home buyers will view the lower home price as a second chance opportunity to get into the market after being outbid in previous multiple-bid market conditions.”

All four major regions of the U.S. posted month-over-month and year-over-year gains in contract signings last month, NAR reported. The Northeast increased 15.5% in May, a 54.6% climb from 2020. In the Midwest, sales increased 6.7% monthly and 7.8% year over year. The South reported a 4.9% increase, 6.1% increase year over year. The West increased 10.9%, up 12.5% year over year.

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine