If You’re Thinking About Selling, Now is the Time!

Getting an early start

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist of realtor.com, in a recent article revealed that:

“Would-be buyers face a dilemma: There will be more homes on the market over each week of the next three to four months, but there will also be even more prospective buyers. We are entering the busiest season of home buying with the lowest amount of inventory in three years. To be competitive, buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage and be ready to act quickly if they find a home that meets their needs.”

Smoke goes on to say:

“Listings are growing as they normally do this time of the year, but because demand has been growing faster than supply, homes are selling faster. So the monthly trend is the normal seasonal pattern, but the year-over-year decline is reflective of demand being stronger than supply for more than a year, which is resulting in fewer homes available and faster-moving inventory.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen: I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago Northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to sell your house? Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

 

Over Half of Americans Planning on Buying in the Next 5 Years

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According to the BMO Harris Bank Home Buying Report, 52% of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years. Americans surveyed for the report said that they would be willing to pay an average of $296,000 for a home and would average a 21% down payment. The report also included other interesting revelations.

Those Looking to Buy

  • 74% of those looking to buy a new home will consult with a real estate agent
  • 59% said they will visit online real estate websites
  • 37% will seek recommendations from friends and family
  • 78% plan to get pre-approved before seriously searching for a home

 Those Who Already Own

  • 75% of current homeowners set a budget before looking for a home, and 16% ended up spending less while 13% went over their budget.
  • 63% of American homeowners spent under six months looking for a new home before they made a purchase.
  • 8% bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The last point is very interesting: Of those who purchased a home, 8% bought “without any plan to buy at all”. A property caught their attention and they acted on it.

Why Are More People Not Planning Their Next Move?

Why are people that are considering a move not putting their home search to a plan, and instead, buying only when a property catches their attention? An article by Fannie Mae reveals evidence that a large number of homeowners are dramatically underestimating the equity they have in their current home. The report explains that:

“Homeowners may be underestimating their home equity. In particular, if homeowners believe that large down payments are now required to purchase a home, then widespread, large underestimates of their home equity could be deterring them from applying for mortgages, selling their homes, and buying different homes.”

Bottom Line

Perhaps it is time to sit down and talk with me to determine the actual equity you have in your house and to take a look at the opportunities that currently exist in the real estate market. This may be the perfect time to move-up, move-down or buy that vacation home your family has always wanted.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen: I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy, sell or rent? Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

Real Estate: 2016 Will Be the Best Year in a Decade

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A few weeks ago, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist at realtor.com, exclaimed: “All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006.”

Now, Freddie Mac has doubled down on that claim and is saying that 2016 will be the best year that the real estate industry has seen in a decade. In their March Housing Outlook Report, Freddie Mac explained:

“Despite the challenges facing the housing market, we expect this to be the best year for housing in a decade. Home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest level since 2006 according to our latest forecast…Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets, but on balance, the housing markets in the U.S. are poised for the best year since 2006.”

The key indicators that have given Freddie Mac such a positive outlook are:

  • Low interest rates
  • A resilient labor market
  • An increase in household formations
  • A projected increase in newly constructed homes

Bottom Line

2016 looks to be shaping up as a great year for residential real estate. Whether you are thinking of buying, selling or renting, now may be the time to sit down with a real estate professional to discuss the new opportunities that are arising.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I'm a with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

If you're ready to buy, sell or rent, contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

2016 Home Sales Doing Just Fine!!

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Some of the housing headlines are causing concern for some consumers who are in the process of either buying or selling a home. Pundits are concerned over the lack of new construction or the month-over-month sales numbers. Let’s set the record straight; 2015 was a good year for residential real estate in the United States and 2016 is starting out stronger.

Here is a graph of total homes sold (new construction and existing homes) in the first two months in 2016 compared to last year:

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Will this momentum continue?

If we look at foot traffic (the number of purchasers currently out looking at homes), we can see that the spring buying market has started early and all indicators point to the fact that we may have the best spring in over a decade.

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Bottom Line

The 2016 housing market started out well and looks to be gaining steam. If you are thinking of buying or selling a home, now may be a great time.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Ready to buy, sell or rent?
Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217 

Past, Present & Future Home Values

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In CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, they revealed home appreciation in three categories: percentage appreciation over the last year, over the last month, and projected appreciation over the next twelve months.

Here are state maps for each category:

The Past – home appreciation over the last 12 months:

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The Present – home appreciation over the last month:

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The Future – home appreciation projected over the next 12 months:

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Bottom Line

Homes across the country are appreciating at different rates. As I have mentioned before, the rate of home price appreciation across the country is due to a strong housing market reacting to supply and demand, and not a new housing bubble.

If you plan on relocating to another state, and are waiting for your home to appreciate more, you need to know that the home you will buy in another state may be appreciating even faster.

Ready to buy or sell? Let’s meet so that I can guide you through the next steps and help you decide what’s right for you.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process. 

Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

Sales Contracts Hit Highest Level in Months

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced that the February Pending Home Sales Index reached its highest reading since July 2015.

What is the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)?

NAR’s PHSI is “a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings”. The higher the Pending Home Sales Index number, the more contracts have been signed by buyers that will soon translate to sales. February’s Index rose 3.5% month-over-month to 109.1.

What does this mean for the market?

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist explained:

“After some volatility this winter, the latest data is encouraging in that a decent number of buyers signed contracts last month, lured by mortgage rates dipping to their lowest levels in nearly a year and a modest, seasonal uptick in inventory.”

“Looking ahead, the key for sustained momentum and more sales than last spring is a continuous stream of new listings quickly replacing what’s being scooped up by a growing pool of buyers. Without adequate supply, sales will likely plateau.”

So What Does This Mean For Buyers?

There is a lot of competition out there right now for your dream home. Prices are going to continue to climb, act now before you are priced out of your future home.

What Does This Mean For Sellers?

If you are on the fence about listing your home for sale and debating whether now is the time to move on with your plans of relocating… don’t wait!

There are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy their first, second, third, vacation, or investment property now than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Listing your home for sale now will give you the most exposure to buyers and the best sales price.

Bottom Line

Whether you are planning on buying or selling a house this year, waiting to act no longer makes sense.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I’m a Realtor® with the Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact Me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

 

91.5% of Homes in the US have Positive Equity

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CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that one million borrowers regained equity in their homes in 2015. The outlook for 2016 remains positive as well, as an additional 850,000 properties would regain equity if home prices rose another 5% this year. 

The study also revealed:

  • 95% of homes valued over $200,000 now have a positive equity position
  • 87% of homes valued under $200,000 have entered a positive position
  • The 11.5% growth in home equity in Q4 marked the 13th consecutive quarter of double digit gains

Below is a map showing the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, that have positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)

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Significant Equity Is On The Rise

Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the“long-term health of the U.S. economy.” He went on to say:

“The number of homeowners with more than 20% equity is rising rapidly. Higher prices driven largely by tight supply are certainly a big reason for the rise, but continued population growth, household formation and ultralow interest rates are also factors.”

Of the 91.5% of homeowners with positive equity in the US, 72.6% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that nearly three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home now.

The map below shows the percentage of homes with a mortgage, in each state, with significant equity.

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Bottom Line

If you are one of the many homeowners who is unsure of how much equity you have in your home and are curious about your ability to move, I’d love to meet with you and help evaluate your situation.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live YOUR life?

About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I'm a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

I can help you buy, sell or rent real estate anywhere in the NW suburbs including: Schaumburg, Elgin, South Elgin, Bartlett, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, Barrington, Dundee (East & West), Sleepy Hollow, Algonquin, Hanover Park, Crystal Lake, Geneva, St. Charles, Palatine, Roselle, Pingree Grove, etc. 

Contact me:
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:   carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:    224-523-2217

 

3 Charts That Scream ‘List Your Home Today’

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In school we all learned the Theory of Supply and Demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.

SUPPLY

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 4.4-month supply. This is considerably lower than the 6-month inventory necessary for a normal market.

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DEMAND

Every month NAR reports on the amount of buyers that are actually out in the market looking for homes, or foot traffic. As seen in the graph below, buyer demand in February significantly outpaced the last six months.

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Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream home (if they even are able to find a home they wish to purchase).

Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.

HOME EQUITY

Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their home. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their home. In reality, CoreLogic’s latest Equity Reporttells us that 72.6% actually do!

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Many homeowners who are undervaluing their home equity may feel trapped in their current home, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.

Bottom Line

If you are debating selling your home this year, please let me help you evaluate the equity you have in your home, as well as the opportunities available in your market.
To find out what your home is worth, click the green button in side bar.
How can I help you achieve your real estate goals so that you can live your life?
About Carol Juntunen:
My name is Carol Juntunen and I’m a Realtor® with the Baird & Warner in the Chicago northwest suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choice and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Website:  www.caroljuntunen.com
Email:    carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
Cell:     224-523-2217

 

 

Lack of Inventory Challenging Many Housing Markets

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Going into the 2016 spring market, the biggest challenge the real estate industry has is the lack of available housing inventory for sale. Here are a few experts and their thoughts on the subject:

David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders:

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Ralph McLaughin, Chief Economist with Trulia:

“We are in a time of short supply, which is great news for sellers because they will likely be faced with multiple offers due to the little inventory out there…Buyers will be up against a lot of other people and against a short supply of existing homes.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with NAR:

“First-time buyers in high demand areas continue to encounter instances where their offer is trumped by cash buyers and investors. Without a much-needed boost in new and existing-homes for sale in their price range, their path to homeownership will remain an uphill climb.”

Fitch Ratings:

“One important issue that has restrained sales and starts is inventory. On an absolute basis, inventory has not expanded as much as in past recoveries, leading to less selection for buyers. This is especially true for existing home sales but is evident for new home construction as well. When it comes to U.S. housing inventory, more is better.” 

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com:

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.”

If you’re thinking about selling, NOW is a great time to list your house. Let’s discuss your options!

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

About Carol Juntunen:
I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs. My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide your through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com

 

Gap Between Homeowner’s & Appraiser’s Opinions Widen

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In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.

If prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Every month, Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner believes their house is worth as compared to an appraiser’s evaluation in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI). Here is a chart showing that difference for each of the last 12 months.

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The gap between the homeowner vs. appraiser’s opinion had been heading in the right direction (closer to even), until this past month, when the gap widened again to -1.99%.

Bottom Line 

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, I can guide you through this, and any other, obstacle that may arise.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals this year?

About Carol Juntunen:
I’m a Realtor® with Baird & Warner in the Chicago NW suburbs.
My intention is to provide insights and information to empower you to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, renting or selling process.

Contact me:
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com
Email: carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com