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Article by KCM Crew



If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount. Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home. The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000. But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first. In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do: “Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.” Bottom Line The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.
Posted by Cat Moe on April 6th, 2017 9:35 AM
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2015 Survey Exclusive: Wealth, Real Estate & the High-Net-Worth Investor

Article by Real Estate News

Rising home prices? C’est la vie, say a majority of today’s high-net-worth (HNW) individuals. According to new research Coldwell Banker Previews International®/NRT commissioned from Ipsos MediaCT, 54% of HNW individuals say they plan to make a real estate investment this year, up from 48% in 2014. The report surveyed the wealthiest 1.5% of the U.S. population with an average net worth of $8.5 million, and their outlook on real estate was generally positive. An overwhelming majority — 94% — expect their property to grow, on average, 16% in value over the next five years. However, appreciation is not their primary motivator for wanting to buy. Those considering a purchase are twice as likely to be looking for a residence for personal use, as opposed to purely for investment/rental purposes. Still, 40% of respondents cited investment attractiveness as a reason to be in the real estate market. “Property has been a mainstay of high-net-worth investor portfolios for decades, but what is notable now is that so many those investors continue to be bullish about real estate, even in the face of rising real estate prices in many U.S. cities,” says Ginette Wright, vice president of marketing for Previews®/NRT. “Financial market uncertainty and other recent global economic factors, such as a potential slowdown in China, all seem to have contributed to their view of real estate as a safe haven.” Young, Free and Willing to Pay a Premium Even younger affluent generations are taking an interest in real estate. The survey found that 69% of HNW millennials (those under age 35) say they plan to purchase a new property in the coming year — running contrary to the myth that millennials are reluctant to enter the housing market. Compare that to 50% of Gen Xers (ages 35-49) and 17% of baby boomers (50 and older), who expect to purchase new property in the coming year. Millennials are also leading the movement toward embracing a “live anywhere” lifestyle, a trend spotted in last year’s survey. Plan-to-Purchase-_-corrected In addition to being more inclined to invest in real estate, younger wealthy consumers are also purchasing homes at substantially higher prices than baby boomers. Gen Xers paid an average of $5.24 million for their last home, and millennials spent $4.96 million. Baby boomers, who tend to be in downsizing mode, reported an average closing price of $1.55 million on their last home purchase. Most Wanted: Tech and Green Features What features and amenities do HNW individuals most desire? A home that’s move-in ready was at the top of their list, followed by modern appliances and technology, as well as the latest in “green” features. A growing share of HNW individuals say that a fully automated and wired home environment and a LEED-certified green home are becoming more important.
Posted by Cat Moe on December 9th, 2015 1:45 PM


By Brian Honea On April 8, 2015 @ 7:59 am In Daily Dose,Featured,Market Studies,News 
An early look at the realtor.com  national monthly housing data, which is based on the first three weeks of March, showed that housing demand is surging and median list prices are rising faster.
The median age of inventory declined by 13 percent month-over-month in March despite a 2 percent increase in inventory for that same period, according to realtor.com. Meanwhile, the median list price for a home rose nationally by 3 percent month-over-month and 11 percent year-over-year up to $220,000 for March.
“It’s still a seller’s market,” said Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com chief economist. “Realtor.com data shows that supply is not keeping pace with surging demand.  We expect rising prices to persuade those who may be on the fence about listing their homes to do so in the coming months, leading to closer parity between supply and demand.”
The realtor.com data concurred with Fannie Mae's March 2015 Housing Survey [3] , which also showed signs of a seller's market. The percentage of respondents in Fannie Mae's survey who said they believe now is a good time to sell reached an all-time survey high of 46 percent while the percentage of people surveyed who said now is a good time to buy declined slightly to 20 percent, possibly indicating a move toward a more balanced housing market.
Smoke determined the 20 hottest housing markets in the nation based on the number of listing views relative to the number of listings when looking at March data and website traffic. Realtor.com said these markets should see plenty of activity in the next few months as homebuying season gets underway. The top 20 markets were: 1. Waco, Texas; 2. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana; 3. Ann Arbor, Michigan; 4. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado; 5. Santa Rosa, California; 6. Fort Wayne, Indiana;  7. Vallejo-Fairfield, California; 8. San Diego-Carlsbad, California; 9. Columbus, Ohio; 10. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan; 11. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire; 12. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire; 13. Austin-Round Rock, Texas; 14. Boulder, Colorado; 15. Springfield, Illinois; 16. Charleston, West Virginia; 17. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; 18. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida; 19. College Station-Bryan, Texas; and 20. Lansing-East Lansing, Michigan.
Posted by Cat Moe on April 9th, 2015 12:11 PM

Selling in the winter offers at least two positives – less competition and new customers.  During the winter, most people have taken their listings off the market, but agents can help buyers who have been forced into sudden moves, like executives with job transfers who are looking to purchase a property quickly.

To take advantage of the season, make sure your home is properly staged for the winter. This can help your property receive a higher offer and get off the market sooner.

Start on the Outside

There is no question that curb appeal is one of the first things that attract a potential buyer, but more often than not, they are forgiving of a snow-covered property during the winter months. Most buyers understand that snow piles up in the yard and trees stay barren during cold weather.

What they will not tolerate however is the inability to get to your open house because of bad weather. If heavy snow threatens before the open house, you may need to provide alternative directions to visitors or move the showing to when the weather is more favorable.

If snow covers the ground, clear a safe path from the street to the front door. Spreading sand or salt on the walkway can improve footing. Do not forget to also clear a pathway to any outdoor areas that you want buyers to visit, such as a storage shed or guest house.

Make it Comfortable

Be sure to ask your client to turn on the heat in all the rooms for a warm walk-through. Before the open house begins, walk through the property and check the warmth level in each room. If any room or area feels chilly, buyers may assume that the home lacks adequate insulation or has heating issues.

If the source of the cold air is a draft from a hole or a poorly sealed window, seal any gaps to eliminate the problem. Poor air circulation may also be an issue. You can remedy this by moving furniture away from vents wherever the room allows.

Show Warmth

What buyers see can affect their perception of warmth. Barren areas, solid colors, shine and reflective surfaces reinforce a “cool” aesthetic and are best reserved for summer staging. In the winter, ensure that warm fabrics, rugs, pillows, curtains, bed linens and tablecloths adorn the home for visual warmth. Layer throws and pillows on sofas and beds so visitors can envision cozy days spent on the couch. Use richly textured materials such as furry blankets and wooden accessories.

Bring in the promise of warmer times by putting containers filled with winter-blooming plants in strategic locations. Place a hanging plant near the entry, a winter bouquet on the dining room table or a bunch of small flowers on the side tables flanking the couch.

Staging your winter listings should not take any more time, effort or money than in the summer. Adequate preparation and a bit of attention to detail can make the difference between marketing a cozy home that buyers will bid on and a property that languishes on the market for months because it seems as cold as the weather outside.




Posted by Cat Moe on February 25th, 2015 2:04 PM



Posted by RE-Insider on 2/09/15 • Categorized as Industry News

While many aspects of the real estate market have seen encouraging changes in recent weeks, one new development could spell disaster in the near future. Recently, the total number of homes available nationwide fell for the first time in 16 months, while many Californian markets saw significant drops from previous months. Now, there is a growing concern that the tightening inventory could accelerate price gains – a change which could ultimately force many would-be buyers out of the market.

A new report from the National Association of Realtors recently stated that the number of homes available on the market dropped in the month of December, waning by a modest 1% from the year before but marking the first year over year decline in 16 months.

Although several metro areas throughout California saw improvements year-over-year, many still saw significant drops in inventory from previous months.

Orange County for example – which is already facing a housing shortage and believed to have a deficit of 30,000 to 60,000 homes – had a significant improvement of 43.9% year-over-year but still dropped 8.5% from the month before. San Francisco’s inventory, on the other hand, declined by 15% year-over-year and 40% from the month before. San Diego saw a more modest drop, with inventory sinking by 1.7% from the year before and 16.9% from the previous month.

Bakersfield was the only metro area which saw positive gains on both a yearly and monthly basis, increasing by a whopping 52.1% and 4.1% respectively, according to data collected by Redfin.

While sellers may at potentially increasing prices, it’s likely that buyers and their agents will start to feel the pressure of a tightening inventory.

“Months’ supply is already low at 4.4 months,” said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in an analysis of the trend. “More inventories are needed, not less. Or else, home prices could reaccelerate.”

It’s believed that a part of the drop was a result of declining foreclosure inventories, so agents and brokers who deal heavily in distressed properties should be aware that business opportunities could be shrinking as well.

Do you think the recent drop in available listings will price out new buyers? What are your thoughts?

Posted by Cat Moe on February 25th, 2015 1:43 PM

Article posted by RISMedia

2015 will show an economic improvement, according to the Economic Advisory, Committee of the American Bankers Association, who predicts that the U.S. economy will grow nearly 3 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis this year compared to 2.5 percent last year.

The committee, which includes 15 chief economists from among the largest banks in North America, sees an improved fundamental backdrop for growth.  Sectors that were severely damaged during the 2008-2009 crisis better health.  Household balance sheets have also improved, with strong gains in asset prices and a dramatic drop in debt service burden.

The fiscal and monetary policy environment is supportive of growth. Fiscal policy is no longer a headwind as budget brinkmanship battles abate and tax and spending polices stabilize.  The group forecasts the federal budget deficit will stabilize at $470 billion in fiscal year 2015.

The committee expects the Federal Reserve to maintain near-zero interest rates through mid-2015. Thereafter, the bank economists see a very gradual normalization of interest rates over the next several years.

"We expect the Fed to calibrate its policy to minimize any shock to growth," says Ethan Harris, chairman of the group and co-head of global economics research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The group sees failing energy prices as a net positive for the economy.  Low prices will hurt the oil patch, cutting into mining employment and capital spending.  However, this will likely be more than offset by the boost of energy consumers.

"Gas at about $2 a gallon is like an across-the-board tax cut," says Harris. "Cash savings at the pump leave more money for consumers to save or spend elsewhere."

Despite the weakness in energy sector investment, the group sees business investment as a strong point for the economy. The consensus forecast is that business investment will rise 5 percent on an inflation-adjusted basis this year.

The Committee sees continued monthly job gains of 200,000 or higher through this year. However, the bank economists expressed concerns that job gains had not yet triggered healthy wage growth.

"Top earners have fared well since the last recession, but the same can't be says for middle and lower-income families," says Harris. "Wages have barely kept up with inflation over the last six years, straining household budgets."

Nonetheless, the Committee believes the ongoing drop in unemployment will start pushing wage growth higher.

"Solid job growth, improving wages and lower energy costs should encourage more families to spend," says Harris. The Committee expects 3 percent real consumption growth in 2015.

The group expects residential investment to be stronger this year with gains in single and multi-family starts and home sales. The EAC expects home prices nationally to rise 3.5 percent this year.

"With home prices on the rise, families are once again viewing homes as good investments," says Harris. "Even if mortgage interest rates rise some this year, more people are going to want to buy a first or larger home."

The group's consensus is that mortgage rates will rise only from about 4 percent now to 4.5 percent by year-end.

The group forecasts that consumer credit growth will be modest this year and business lending growth will be stronger, but will return to a more normal pace of growth.  In 2015 and 2016, loans to individuals are expected to grow about 6 percent and loans to businesses will grow about 10 percent.

"We're optimistic that business lending will grow at a double-digit rate this year to finance healthy business investment, "says Harris. "Stronger growth in business lending will be critical for the economy.  Banks are ready to meet demand as businesses take the next step forward."

The Committee sees low inflation resulting from failing energy prices, which will temporarily push year-over-year headline inflation into negative territory.

"Outside of energy, the improving domestic economy could put upward pressure on prices, but the weak global backdrop and a strong dollar should limit any inflation acceleration," says Harris.

The Committee believes the greatest near-term risks to the U.S. economy come from outside the country.

"Disappointing growth in Europe, China and Japan is a reminder that the global economy still faces major challenges, "says Harris.

The Committee also sees major long-run budget challenges.

"As the baby boom generation retires, the federal budget deficit will balloon again, posing a major challenge to future generations, "says Harris.

Nonetheless, the Committee sees a generally positive U.S. economic outlook for 2015 with above-trend growth, low inflation and a go-slow Fed.


Thought that is was a good article so wanted to post it for our readers.  Let us know what your thoughts are on this positive growth!  Contact us if you would be interested in getting an home evaluation or speaking to us about purchasing a home.

Posted by Cat Moe on January 21st, 2015 1:32 PM

By Michael Neal


A precious blog post illustrated that U.S house prices are recording a range of annual gains with some areas of the country rising faster than others.  Similarly, in the context of the global economy, annual house price growth in the U.S. has been faster than some countries while lagging in other countries.

The International Monetary Fund’s Global Housing Watch calculates a real seasonally adjusted house price index for 52 countries including the United States.  House prices in these countries are used to calculate two separate global house price indexes.  One global house price index assigns an equal weight to each country and the second global house price index is adjusted to account for the size of each country’s economic output (GDP).

Figure 1 below shows that the rate of growth recorded in the US places it in the 2nd quintile amongst countries for which house price data are available.  According to the International Monetary Fund, real and seasonally adjusted annual house price growth in the U.S. was estimated to be 3.6% between the second quarter of 2013 and the second quarter of 2014, thereby contributing to the 1.3% increase in real seasonally adjusted global house prices.  The IMF comparison utilizes the Federal Housing Agency (FHFA) house price index.


Earlier blog posts have illustrated how typically, house prices in areas that fell the most remain farther from their peak level.

Similarly, in an international comparison, real seasonally adjusted house prices in the U.S. fell more than collective would house prices, but they are farther from returning to their peak level. As Figure 2 illustrates, house prices in the U.S reached their peak in the fourth quarter of 2006 and fell to 73% of that peak by the second quarter of 2011.  As of the second quarter of 2014, U.S. house prices peaked in the first quarter of 2008 and fell to 91% of that level in the second quarter of 2009.  However, as of the second quarter of 2014, global house prices are at 94% of their peak level.




Posted by Cat Moe on December 9th, 2014 3:00 PM

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