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News that affects the Real Etate Market


Why You Should Sell Your Home in 2018

If you haven’t given much thought to selling your home this year, you might want to think again. Real estate information company Trulia commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted by Harris Poll, to get a feel for expectations and plans for housing and homeownership in 2018. The survey results show 31 percent of respondents expect 2018 to be a better year for selling a home than 2017 – and just 14 percent expect it to be worse. Real estate information company Zillow echoes these sentiments in its predictions for 2018, expecting inventory shortages to continue to drive the housing market. With too few homes on the market to meet buyer demand, prices increase and would-be buyers can’t afford the price or down payment needed to submit a winning offer.

Read Article - USNews



Housing Market Starts 2018 on Positive Note

Contract signings on home sales rose slightly in December, reaching their highest level since last March. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, moved 0.5 percent higher to a reading of 110.1 last month, 0.5 percent higher than a year ago.

“Another month of modest increases in contract activity is evidence that the housing market has a small trace of momentum at the start of 2018,” says NAR’s chief economist. “Jobs are plentiful, wages are finally climbing, and the prospect of higher mortgage rates are perhaps encouraging more aspiring buyers to begin their search.”

Read Article - realtormag



Buyers Act Fast: Existing Homes Are Selling Quickly

Homes across the nation are selling at a breakneck pace—reaching levels not seen since the height of the housing boom more than a decade ago.

Sales of existing homes (which have previously been lived in) rose 5.6% last from October to November, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® report. They were also up 3.8% year-over-year to reach a high of about 5.81 million sales. That's the fastest clip at which they've sold since December 2006.

Read Article - Realtor.com


A Bill Introduced Would Make It Easier For HOAs To Foreclose

Currently, Arizona homeowners associations can foreclose on owners if they fail to pay their dues for a year or get behind by $1,200 — whichever comes first But a bill introduced by one of Arizona's most powerful Republican senators would allow HOA foreclosures after six months, with no minimum debt. Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 1080, said six months of avoiding payments is a serious infraction.

Read Article - StreetScout


FHA Loan Limits To Increase For 2018

Hot off the presses. On the heals of  FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) announcing an increase to Conforming loan limits for 2018, the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) announced Thursday the FHA loan limit will increase as well.  For Maricopa County the FHA loan limit will be increased to $294,515, going into effect for case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2018.  This news means, with the minimum 3.5% FHA down payment requirement, that the maximum Sale Price will be $305,196!

Great News to get such large increase in Loan Limits for Conventional ($453k) and FHA ($294k)

Read Article - hud.gov


Six Easy Ways To Prepare Your Home For Holiday Guests

It'll be here before you know it: holiday season. If those two words just sent a chill up your spine, it's probably time you started getting prepared. The good news is that while may think your house needs a bulldozer, or at least a few teams of HGTV stagers to make it guest-ready, it will probably be easier than expected to get it in good shape. Here are a few things you can do this weekend to get started

Read Article - realtytimes.com


High home prices hit first-time buyers harder than ever

As the economy and wages improved in 2017, first-time homebuyers were finally moving back into the market — until that turned around again.

Sky-high home prices and few low-priced listings took their toll on these buyers yet again. For those who did buy, they had to pony up and pay more money for less house.
The share of sales to first-time buyers fell to 34 percent in 2017, down from 35 percent in 2016, according to the National Association of Realtors' annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. That is the fourth-lowest share in the survey's 36-year history. First-time buyers historically make up closer to 40 percent of homebuyers.

Read Article - cnbc.com


Will Home Sales in The Valley Set a Record in 2017?

2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years for home sales in metro Phoenix.

Sales aren’t higher than the boom year of 2005 when speculators bought a record number of homes, or the bust year of 2011 when investors snapped up a record number of bargain Phoenix-area foreclosure homes. But those years weren’t normal and definitely weren’t healthy for Phoenix’s housing market.

“2005 went down in the history books as the year our housing bubble rapidly inflated,” said housing expert Tom Ruff of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service’s The Information Market. “2011 was the year housing prices bottomed out after the housing-market collapse.  “This leaves 2017 as the very best year for Valley resale homes in our history not influenced by some freakish market outlier,” said Ruff.

Home sales are up 9 percent from last year.

Read Article - Arizona Real Estate News


Thousands of solar homes with battery storage systems coming to Arizona

Mandalay Homes and German battery maker Sonnen GmbH are partnering to build 2,900 solar-powered homes in Prescott Valley north of Phoenix.

That is according to reports from Greentech Media and Reuters.

Sonnen will outfit the homes with battery systems that will store power generated by rooftop solar panels.

The homes also are energy efficient including with an aerosol spray development at the University of California - Davis that seals leaks allowing warm or cold air to escape the house, according to Greentech.

Read Article - Phoenix Business Journal


Gilbert ranks fourth most affordable real estate market

In a study conducted by WalletHub, Gilbert ranked third best real estate market for midsize cities and fourth most affordable real estate market.

WalletHub conducted a study ranking 300 U.S. cities by the best and worst real estate markets. It identified 21 indicators of housing-marking attractiveness including factors such as job growth, home prices as percentage of income, foreclosure rates, median home-price appreciation, and many more.

Read Article - Phoenix Business Journal


Is Fall the New Spring in Real Estate?

Compared to the spring market, which is considered to typically last from March through June, the fall real estate market’s prime time is just September and October. The beginning of a noticeable increase in activity will typically correlate to the start of schools, which varies depending on local school calendars.

Sellers: Take into account the shortened window of time when pricing your house.

Buyers: Depending on your specific time frame, you may need to be prepared to pull the trigger quickly on making an offer, as the largest influx of homes will be in a shorter period of time. 

Read Article - US News


5 Financial To-Dos for First-Time Buyers

First-time home shoppers are eager to buy, but there’s a lot they need to do before they start touring listings and submitting offers. Make sure they stay on track so that the path to closing is smooth, here are a 5 items that can remind them what do to make sure their finances are in order. This will help to determine buying power and avoid the pit falls. 

Read Article - Realtor Magazine


Should You Invest In Arizona Real Estate?

If you're planning to buy a home in Phoenix, Flagstaff or Prescott, do it now, because prices are going up for the next few years. Investments in single-family rental properties have good potential mainly in Phoenix. Apartment developments have the best potential in Phoenix, where splitting homes into rental units is also attractive, and in Tucson. Mortgages and construction loans have average risk.

Read Article - Forbes


Homeownership Rate Rebounds from 50-Year Low

The U.S. homeownership rate may have finally bottomed out, as the share of Americans who own homes is steadily climbing. The ownership rate posted an increase in the second quarter, reversing a sharp downward trend that begun in the Great Recession. The homeownership rate was 63.7 percent in the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday. That marks nearly a full percentage point increase from a year ago.

Read Article - Realtor Magazine


Mortgage Rates Push Above 4% Average

 Average mortgage rates are moving up, posting increases for the second consecutive week.

“After fully absorbing the sharp increases in Treasury yields over the past couple of weeks, the 30-year mortgage rate has cleared the psychologically important 4 percent mark for the first time since May,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending July 13:

Read Article - Realtor Magazine


More Down Payment help for Metro Phoenix Homebuyers

As a Millennial, a down payment may be the only thing standing between you and home ownership. But it can be tough coming up with money for a down payment. The median sales price of a home in Maricopa County is about $247,000. That means a 20 percent down payment would be almost $50,000. Fortunately, you might not need to cough up an entire 20 percent. FHA loans and other housing programs can help ease the burden of a large down payment. Here are a couple resources to check out:

Read Article - AZCentral


Should You Invest In Arizona Real Estate?

The strongest economic growth, and therefore strongest demand for housing is in Phoenix, where jobs are being added at twice the national rate – many of them in healthcare, retail, and large finance sector.

Read Article - Forbes


3 New Trends in A/C  Technology to cool your home

In the desert, we’re used to hearing big compressor boxes outside our houses that clunk on-and-off night-and-day to cool us off during the hottest times of the year.

But new developments have been shaking up the world of air conditioners in the past few years. If you’re in the market for a new heating and cooling system, you may already have heard about these three technology trends:

Read Article - streetscout


Phoenix still ranks as top apartment market

Don’t count out the apartment wave just yet.

The Phoenix metro area ranked among the top multifamily markets for net leasing in the U.S. in the first quarter, according to new data from CBRE Group (NYSE: CBG).

New York – including Newark and Long Island — saw the most apartment absorption (or net leasing) in the first quarter with 6,400 units rented.

Phoenix was fourth with 3,300 units absorbed behind only New York, San Francisco (3,600) and Washington D.C. (3,400).

Read Article - bizjournals


Top 5 real estate trends in Arizona that you need to know now

With the housing crisis fading in the distance behind us and the move into city centers’ taking hold, the Valley’s housing market is recovering just the way we want it to, according to Rebecca Grossman, President of the Scottsdale Realtor’s Association (SAAR).  “Anytime you have a housing market that’s recovering, what you don’t want to see is it recover too quickly,” she said.  Instead, she said you want slow and steady growth, the kind we’re seeing in our state now.

Read Article - abc15news


Tax reform could cause home ownership to wane                                            

While the local housing market is enjoying a recovery, tax reform proposals coming out of Washington are stoking fears about a damper on recent gains. The Tax Policy Center predicts more than 80 percent of taxpayers would opt for the standard deduction, versus itemizing to get a tax break on their mortgage interest.

What that could mean is buyers shying away from a new house because they don’t see the financial payoffs to the investment.

Read Article- AZStarNet


  • Maricopa County saw biggest growth in US last year.

    Maricopa County had the highest population growth in the entire country in 2016 the United States Census Bureau announced Thursday.

    Arizona’s largest county gained 81,360 people, an average of nearly 223 people per day – per day – between July 1, 2015, and July 1, 2016, according to bureau estimates.                                                                     Read ArticleAZFamily


  • Consumer Confidence in Housing Hits All-Time High

  • The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased by 5.6 percentage points in February to 88.3, a new all-time high. Five of the six components that comprise the HPSI were up, and three hit record highs. 
    The net share of Americans who reported that now is a good time to buy rose 11 percentage points, while the net share who believe that now is a good time to sell rose 7 percentage points. Consumers also demonstrated greater confidence about not losing their jobs, with the net share rising 9 percentage points. 

Read article 


Buying a new house in 2017? It's gonna cost more

Shoppers for newly built homes will likely see higher prices in metro Phoenix this year.

Don’t expect a big jump, but builders are poised to start raising prices to offset rising costs of land and labor.

Arizona housing analyst Jim Belfiore predicts new-home prices in the Valley will climb an average of 7 percent to 9 percent this year.

In 2016, new-home prices in the area climbed about 2 percent. That’s because the cost of building has climbed 50 percent in the past two years,” he explained.

Read article - AZCentral


Loan Demand Defies Rising Rates
Despite a solid gain in mortgage rates last week, home buyers and refinancers were not deterred. Last week, mortgage applications for home purchases increased 6% compared to the previous week. Purchase applications are just 0.1 percent higher than a year ago. Mortgage rates were volatile last week, the MBA reported. Rates moved up and down based on daily news reports.
Read article - Realtor Magazine


Will Phoenix Be the Number 1 Housing Market in 2017?                                                 

National Real Estate websites are predicting Phoenix will be on top of the housing market this year. Realtor.com predicts prices in Phoenix will increase by 5.9% and the number of sales will increase by 7.2% in 2017. Other sources predict that home values in Phoenix will rise from 9% to 11% in 2016.                      

Read article - Southern Mountain District News


Foreign Buyers: U.S. Is Tops for Real Estate

The United States remains the world’s most popular choice for foreign real estate capital, according to the latest annual survey of overseas investors by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate.  Ninety-five percent of global investors surveyed said they planned to increase or maintain their level of U.S. investment. 

Read article - Realtor Magazine


West Valley city named among fastest growing in U.S.
A West Valley city was ranked as one of the fastest growing in the U.S. A new WalletHub report of the fastest and slowest growing cities ranked Surprise No. 5. It was the only Arizona city in a top 10 list dominated by Texas cities.
Read article - Phoenix Business Journal


First-Time Buyers Behind Latest Housing Gains
Existing-home sales rebounded in September as first-time home buyers flooded the market. Sales to first-time home buyers topped a 34% share in September, the highest in more than four years, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. "There's hope the leap in sales to first-time buyers can stick through the rest of the year and into next spring," says Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist.
Read article - Realtor Magazine


How Much Does Location Really Matter When Buying A Home?
You can change your home, adding, updating, and renovating down to the last square foot. What you can't change is where it's located. Add in an inherent desire to build equity when you buy a home, and it's not surprising that real estate experts often recommend buying not only in the best location you can afford, but, if given a choice, buying the worst house in the best neighborhood instead of the other way around.
Read article - Realty Times


Freddie Tests Less-Stringent Loan Program
In a new pilot program, Freddie Mac and two non-bank lenders are easing income and documentation requirements for mortgage borrower applicants. The aim is to fuel more mortgage originations among first-time buyers, who tend to have more low to moderate incomes, and to better reach those who live in underserved areas.
Read article - Realtor Magazine


Do Ultra-Clean Homes Appraise Higher?

Some home owners are beginning to see value in spick-and-span listings. But are appraisers on board? 

Jennifer Chateauvert of San Jose, Calif., insists that two weeks of deep cleaning is what helped her home appraise higher than she'd predicted. However, appraisers say—while they appreciate clean properties—this work won't result in higher valuations.

“Appraisers are normal people. When they see something that looks nice and looks clean and presents well, they’ll have a better impression of the property. But that won’t affect the appraisal value,” Donald Boucher, president of the appraisal firm Boucher & Boucher in Washington, D.C., tells realtor.com®.

Read article - Realtor Magazine


Mortgage Demand Up 14% on Falling Rates

Total volume for mortgage applications jumped 14 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis this week, as interest rates continue their freefall in the wake of the "Brexit" vote, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The volume level is now 66 percent higher than a year ago.

Refinancings are mostly fueling the spike. Refinancing applications are up 21 percent week-over-week and are 113.5 percent higher than a year ago, when rates were about three-quarters of a percentage point higher, CNBC reports.

"Mortgage rates have been low for years, but the impact of Brexit has brought us close to record lows once again, with jumbo rates already at their lowest levels, giving more borrowers a larger incentive to refinance," says Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist.

Read article - Realtor Magazine


Metro Phoenix housing market has best month in a decade

April just might have been the best month for metro Phoenix's housing market in a decade. Foreclosures fell to the lowest level since 2006. Homebuilding continued to rebound. Phoenix kept its spot as one of most affordable big metro areas for homebuyers. And a national moving survey shows the Valley is one of the top 10 U.S. areas where people are moving. Also, many of the buyers needed for the Valley's housing market to finally fully recover are here.

Read article - azcentral.com


Credit Mistakes Potential Home Buyers Make

This article highlights common credit problems buyers should avoid:
1. Don't be late. A person's payment history makes up 35% of the total credit score. A late bill payment of 30 to 60 days stays on the credit report for a whopping seven years.
2. Applying for new credit. If your potential buyers are planning to apply for a home loan in the near future, make sure they don't apply for anything else around the same time.
3. Having high balances. Just making minimum credit card payments isn't good enough for most mortgage companies.
4. Too much disputing. Disputing false charges too often will be a red flag to lenders.
5. Not having a credit history at all. Credit can't be established if there's none to begin with.

Read article - Realtor Magazine


5 Top Motivations for Selling
A recent survey by REALTOR.com® identified some of the top motivations to sell:
1. Want to be in a different neighborhood (40%)
2. Need a home with different features (28%)
3. Need a bigger home (22%)
4. Want location with better weather, views, or lifestyle (19%)
5. Need to lower cost of living (17%)

Read article - Realtor Magazine


Rising rents spurring more metro Phoenix homebuyers
More Millennials and boomerang buyers bouncing back after foreclosure are purchasing metro Phoenix homes than ever.  But it's not just because they want a place of their own.  Rents for homes, condos and apartments climbed sharply in many Valley neighborhoods during the past few years and are still on the rise.  For homes and condos, the average monthly lease rate in metro Phoenix rose 10% during the past year to $1,454.  Apartment rents in the Phoenix area jumped 8% during the past year.
Read article - azcentral.com


Arizonans wanting to own home now have 'Pathway to Purchase'
This program is for people that are creditworthy, have steady employment but can't quite gather enough cash for a down payment.  It could get buyers into as many as 2,400 homes.  Potential buyers just have to be okay living in the outlying areas.  Pathway to Purchase is focused on homes in 17 Arizona cities. Eight of them are in the Valley. They are Avondale, Buckeye, Casa Grande, Coolidge, El Mirage, Goodyear, Laveen and the city of Maricopa.
Read article - azfamily.com


9 Neighborhood Features That Hamper Values
Certain neighborhood features near a home - like cemeteries and power plants -- have the potential to drag down a home's price. Realtor.com® recently identified which of those features could have the biggest impact. The #1 feature topping the list was: 

Bad school: -22.2% (translation: home owners near a bad school received 22.2% less than an average home in the same county could get)
Read article - Realtor Magazine