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

 

The Importance of Using an Agent to Sell Your House

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When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles. However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.

In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional. We realize that technology has changed the purchaser’s behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.

However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder’s agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn’t know.

Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), or to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).

The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to “connect the dots”. This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

Bottom Line

If you are thinking of selling your home, don’t underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.

How can I help you achieve your real estate goals?

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 proved 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

 

The Mortgage Process: What You Need to Know

KCM mortgage process

Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don’t have perfect credit.

How much can you afford? Let me help you figure that out! Let’s chat!

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, renting or selling process.

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

 


Thinking About Going Green in 2016?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re thinking of “going green”, here’s some helpful information from the National Association of Realtors:

green-home-features-infographic-03-11-2016-full

This infographic takes a look at the green home features that recent home buyers and home remodelers find the most appealing. It was created using data from the following reports:

Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends

Highlights from the 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Remodeling Impact

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, renting or selling process.

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

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

Time is money, american concept

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let me explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen over the next 12 months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 5.5% by this time next year.

Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Tablepredicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.5% in that same time.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

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How can I help you with your real estate goals?

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 to make informed real estate choices and decisions, and guide you through the home buying, selling or renting process.

Contact me:
Carol Juntunen
Cell: 224-523-2217
Website: www.carol.juntunen.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:

KCM-ENG-1

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