Real Estate Market

March 2017 News

Sales Start Fast in 2017 | Data Report

According to the National Association of Realtors®, sales of existing homes jumped out to a fast start in 2017, eclipsing a recent high and hitting the quickest pace in nearly a decade. All major regions except for the Midwest saw sales growth last month.

Total existing-home sales (transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops), bumped up 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January from 5.51 million in December 2016. January's sales velocity is 3.8 percent above one year ago (5.48 million) and eclipses November 2016 (5.60 million) -- this is the quickest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated that January's sales increase points to stability among consumers despite a rising interest rate environment. "Much of the country saw robust sales activity last month as strong hiring and improved consumer confidence at the end of last year appear to have sparked considerable interest in buying a home," Yun said.

Housing Data Takeaways

  • January's median existing-home price (all housing types) was $228,900, up 7.1 percent from January 2016 ($213,700). January's price bump represents the 59th straight month of year-over-year gains.
  • Total US housing inventory at January's end grew 2.4 percent to 1.69 million existing homes available for sale -- but this remains 7.1 percent lower than a year ago (1.82 million) and has dropped for 20 straight months. Nationally, unsold inventory offers a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace (the same as December 2016).
  • First-time buyers generated 33 percent of US sales in January, up from 32 percent in December and one year ago.
  • Freddie Mac data shows the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell a bit in January to 4.15 percent from 4.20 percent in December. The average rate across 2016 was 3.65 percent.

What's Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is a composite snapshot of your credit history. A high credit score takes time to cultivate, and is not likely to rise much in a short period of time. Generally speaking, you want to make sure you pay your bills on time, keep outstanding debt levels to a reasonable amount for each account, and avoid closing accounts you've successfully paid-off and managed. Don't lose hope if you have less than perfect credit, there are still good loan programs out there for responsible borrowers. We have a list of preferred local lenders who can help you find the best financing programs for your specific needs.

Contact us and take advantage of today's low interest rates!

Here are some great resources to learn more about credit scores, and to get a free credit score and report:

Investing in Real Estate

Today's low interest rates and rising home prices have created some great investment opportunities!

Investing in real estate has unique advantages over other types of investments. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why real estate investment should be on the "short list" for many investors:

  • Interest in mortgage loans are tax-deductible. Investors can lower their tax liability while increasing their equity.
  • Renters pay down your mortgage loan. Investors reap the benefits of rental income, which offsets your mortgage cost and build equity.
  • Real Estate values increase over the long term. Real Estate is limited and will always be in demand. 
  • 1031 exchanges are available to defer taxable income when you are ready to sell.

Many investors are taking advantage of these great market conditions. Have questions? Give us a call. We are happy to help!