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

 

The Difference An Hour Makes This Spring

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Some Highlights:

  • Sunday, March 13th, we “Spring Forward” one hour for Daylight Savings Time (except for our friends in AZ).
  • Every hour in the United States, 624 homes will sell and 118 homes will regain positive equity.
  • The median home value will also increase each hour in the United States by $1.84.

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

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

Contact me:
Carol Juntunen
224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com

Yes, Home Prices Are Rising. No, a New Housing Bubble is NOT Forming!

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We recently reported that home prices are continuing to rise across most of the nation. This has created concern in some pundits that a housing bubble, like we saw ten years ago, is forming again. We want to explain why these concerns are unfounded.

The current increase in home values can be easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. Right now, the number of families looking to purchase a home is greater than the supply of homes on the market.

Here is a chart that explains how the months’ supply of housing inventory impacts home values:

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According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, there is currently a four-month supply of inventory. That puts us in the blue section of the above graphic. Home prices should be appreciating.

The difference in 2006…

A decade ago, the demand for housing was artificially boosted by lending standards that were far too lenient. Today, the strength of the demand for housing is legitimate, as lending standards are nowhere near what they were a decade ago.

For proof of this, let’s look at a graph of the Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s Mortgage Credit Availability Index:

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The higher the number, the easier it was to get a mortgage. We can see that from June 2005 to June 2007, mortgage standards were much more lenient than they have been over the last nine years.

Bottom Line

Today’s price increases, unlike those a decade ago, are the result of qualified buyer demand exceeding the current inventory of homes available for sale. Once the supply increases, prices will level out.

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 you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Carol Juntunen
Baird & Warner
Realtor® & Broker Associate
CNE, CSC, e-PRO
carol.juntunen@bairdwarner.com
www.caroljuntunen.com
224-523-2217


Housing Market To “Spring Forward” This Year

 

SpingForward_2016Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2015 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2016, let’s chat! I’d love to help you evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Contact me: 
Carol Juntunen
Realtor® with Baird & Warner in Chicago NW suburbs
Cell:  224-523-2217
Website: www.caroljuntunen.com