All posts by Paige Hutto

Housing Market Experienced Fantastic Gains This Spring

construction 4We just love having the opportunity to share with you good news about the US housing market and this is one of those weeks!

Evidently, according to a recent article we were reading, sales of newly built homes as well as home prices in general saw some great increases during the month of April, further demonstrating that the housing market continues to improve.

If you’re considering buying or selling real estate anytime soon, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this exciting development.

What You Should Know About the Housing Market

Here is some of the most pertinent information you’ll need about the current state of the housing market:

  • New home sales increased 6.8 percent from March to April, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000.
  • The median price of a new home sold in April was $297,300, up 8.3 percent from the year before.
  • Supplies of existing homes remain tight and home builders are still slow to start construction on new project.
  • So far in 2015, builders have constructed just more than 1 million housing units, which is not too much different from 2014.
  • The construction pace increased some in April and actually hit the best level it’s seen since November 2007.
  • Meanwhile, new home purchases have been up 26.1 percent over the last year.
  • The housing market in April had 4.8 months of supply of new homes, although this is still short of the six months inventory that experts consider a balanced market.
  • New home sales represent about a tenth of all home purchases.

Continue reading

Busy Summer Home Buying Season

sullivansThe summer months should be quite busy for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike!

As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market. Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.

Already in May, Mt. Pleasant saw 136 homes sold with an average sale price of $533,000. In May of 2014 the average sales price was $520,000. There are currently 517 single family homes for sale in the north and south areas of Mt. Pleasant which is a 3% increase from this time last year. The absorption rate, or Months of Inventory is still dropping, which means that the demand for homes in Mount Pleasant is still strong and outpacing supply of new construction homes.

What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know

According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.

On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July. In Mt. Pleasant, the average days on market for homes sold in May was slightly longer at 70 days.

Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:

  • The share of first-time buyers increased slightly
  • The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month. In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010
  • New listings in Mt. Pleasant increased 12.5% over last year in May
  • More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
  • And sellers’ instincts about buyer interests appear to be spot on. For instance, 40 percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.
  • The median price of an existing home jumped 7.8 percent from March 2014 to March 2015, to $212,100. That’s the most since February 2014.
  • Sales of single-family homes rose 5.5 percent to an annual rate of 4.59 million, which is the most it’s been since August 2013.
  • Meanwhile, closings on multifamily properties (including condominiums) increased 11.1 percent.
  • Also, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.67 percent recently. The rate was 3.59 percent in February, which was the lowest in almost two years.

We’re Your Real Estate Market Experts!

We hope you have found the information above as insightful and encouraging as we did. Seeing the national housing market recover is definitely a welcome sight! If you are thinking of buying or selling call us today! We’d be happy to review statistics that are pertinent to your property or a home you like! Sold data is also available on our website for Mt. Pleasant neighborhoods like Belle Hall, Carolina Park and a host of others.

What’s Going on With Mortgage Rates?

Interest Rates Remain Low, But for How Long?

Despite some volatility in mid- to late-March, low rates continue their smooth stride into the spring home buying season.  Rates jumped slightly this week to 3.99% after the yield on the 10-year Treasury note hit its highest level in two months. The increase in rates spurred a 8% drop-off in refinances, but purchases are still up.
Home loan applications for purchases moved higher in early April due to consistently low rates and were 8% higher than the same time one year agMortgage-Rates-300x300o. Applications to refinance, which are more dependent on interest rates, rose 4% in April and were a surprising 44% higher than the same time one year ago.

Applications for the two main types of home loans, conventional (typically 15 and 30 year fixed rate loans) and government (Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans), also moved higher. This indicates both move-up and first-time buyers are back or getting into the market. Government-insured loans tend to attract first-time buyers due to their low down payment requirements. Volume for these loans grew by an impressive 19 percent from a year ago. Continue reading

Shop Smart During the Spring Buying Season

This is the time of year that has home buyers and home sellers alike excited: The Spring Home Buying Season!  For buyers, it’s a great time to purchase a home because the school year is coming to an end and residents have all summer to move before it’s back in session. For sellers, it’s a great chance to reach a lot of home buyers as they navigate the market searching for their dream home.

Charleston Buying Tips for the Spring Market

Don’t just rely on the Internet for your home searches. While you can certainly find a treasure trove of information on the Internet and through our website, it’s not the only way to find your dream home. In addition to searching real estate websites, you might consider also getting out and canvassing homes for sale the old fashioned way. After all, Internet pictures and listing information only tell part of the story and aren’t always up to date. As real estate professionals, we also have access to a information that isn’t widely available to the public. And don’t hesitate, either! This year’s spring home buying market is expected to be particularly competitive and so you want to make sure you get to that home before other buyers do.

Learn about current market values. Obviously, every market is going to be slightly different and so it behooves you to learn about your local housing markets specific trends. In Charleston this March, new listings were up 7.6%, pending sales increased 46.3% and inventory shrank 17.6%. The median sales price also inched slightly higher to $221k.  With a promising jobs picture and steady mortgage rates, people can and are buying homes. As qualified and experienced agents, we can talk with you about current trends and how they impact you.

Lock in low mortgage rates now. Those near-historic lows won’t be around forever. Thus, make sure you get a good mortgage rate now. By doing so, you ensure that your monthly mortgage will be reasonable for you. And in some cases, you may qualify for a larger or more expensive home thanks to low mortgage rates. Here’s another reason to get a mortgage now: In January, the Federal Housing Authority (which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments), lowered the annual insurance premium it requires from 1.35 percent of a home loan to just 0.85 percent. All told, the Housing Department estimates that will save FHA homeowners roughly $900 a year.

We Are Your #1 Resource for Home Buying Tips

We hope you found the above information helpful as a prospective home buyer. We thought we should pass along these tips for those of you who have been on the fence about buying or for those of you who plan on moving sometime down the road. I would hate for you to hesitate, and miss out on once-in-a-lifetime conditions as a result.

If you would like to talk it over, we are always available by email or phone. You don’t have to worry about contracts or obligations of any sort. We would love to advise you on the subject, so you can make the decision that’s right for you and your family.

Have a great day!

Home Staging Tips

In a report released by the National Association of Realtors, the 2015 Profile of Home Staging, the Association revealed some important information regarding staging a home, including the most important rooms for you to stage when selling your home. As the spring real estate market heats up, we thought it’d be helpful to share some interesting and useful tips regarding home staging. 36 Cannon Street Charleston SC-small-006-DSC04851-666x444-72dpi

According to the report, for 81% of buyers it is easier to visualize the property as a future home for them when the home is properly staged. Furthermore, almost half of  buyers are more willing to walk through a home they viewed online. Getting a buyer off the internet and actually into the home is a big hurdle and staging a home clearly shows that it can help get the buyer in your door.  And some buyers are more willing to overlook other property faults when a seller has taken the time to have the home staged. Continue reading

I’On Real Estate 2014 Recap & Market Update

As we predicted at the end of 2013, the I’On real estate market did not see significant changes in 2014.  The market appears to have leveled out and growth has become more steady. Below is a snapshot of 2014 sales activity for the community.  To put the year in perspective, we have included the percentage growth in these numbers as compared to 2013.

2014 Activity:

I’On homes sold – 70 ~ up 3%
Average Selling Price/Square foot – $298 ~ up 6%
Average Selling Price – $957,690 ~ up 10%
Average Days on Market – 85 ~ down 26%
(Note: Click here to view details on all I’On homes sold in 2014)

SqFt2014

The average sales price is inching closer to one million dollars, which is great news for home owners. And the time it takes to sell a home in I’On has decreased by around 30 days. This is all good news for home sellers, it simply isn’t the significant changes we saw in 2013. Continue reading

Renting More Expensive Than Buying

According to USiHomes, rents all over the US continue to soar upwards, and online real estate database Zillow has recently found out that renting imagesa home is now twice as expensive as buying one. According to their recent affordability report, in the third quarter of 2014, renters in the US were spending an average of 30% of their monthly incomes on rent, while homeowners were spending just 15% of their monthly incomes on their mortgage payment.

These findings shed light on a major shift that has occurred in the US housing market over the past few years. In the years before the real estate bubble, between 1985 and 2000, rent was usually more affordable compared to buying houses, in most US cities. Now, in most American metros, if you can just come up with a down payment, you are much better off buying your own house than renting. Continue reading

Mount Pleasant Real Estate – 2014 Review

Happy New Year! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday season. Now that 2014 is behind us, it’s time to take a look at how the Mt. Pleasant real estate market fared for the year. While 2013 real estate trends saw major growth in the number of homes sold and solid price increases, 2014 market did not bring significant changes. However, the market continues to be strong and the steady growth keeps keeps us in a market that is generally favoring the seller.

 2014 Mt. Pleasant real estate stats:

  • Homes Sold – 2,364 ~ up 1%
  • Volume Sold – $1,033,081,563 ~ up 10%
  • Median Price – $375,000 ~ up 10%
  • Average Price – $437,000 ~ up 10%
  • Average Days on Market – 67 ~ up 6%

Continue reading

10 Winter Home Improvements That Are Worth The Investment

We hope everyone had a happy holiday and are looking forward to a happy and healthy new year!

Temperatures are starting to dip as we move into the New Year. So today, we wanted to share with you some relatively easy home improvements that you can make that will save you money during the winter months.

Home Tips for Saving Yourself Money This Winter

Here are 10 home improvements that you can make this winter that will save you both money and energy:

Caulk around windows and doors, making sure that all cracks and holes are sealed. This will keep the cold air out of your house, which will keep your heater from working overtime. If necessary, you might also consider adding or replacing weather stripping.

Add area rugs to your tile and wood floors. This creates an extra layer of insulation in your home and also makes it easier to walk around your home in bare feet during the winter time.

Install glass doors that close off your fireplace. This will not only keep cold air from coming down and through your house but it will also prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney. Also, if you use your fireplace, make sure to close the flue when you’re finished. Continue reading

5 Predictions for the US Housing Market in 2015

PredictionAre you a current home owner who is considering listing your property on the market in 2015?

If so, then you’re likely to enjoy a lot of success!

After all, Realtor.com recently released its top predictions for the housing market in the New Year. And all of them seem to favor home sellers.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at National Housing Market Predictions

Millennials will enter the market en masse. This is something the housing market has needed for the last couple of years: More Millennials entering the market as first time home buyers. And according to projections, that’s what you can expect in the New Year, with more than two thirds of household formation being credited to this demographic. Helping matters is the fact that about 2.5 million jobs are expected to be added next year, improving home buying power.

There will be an increase in existing home sales. These sales are expected to increase 8 percent during the New Year. Meanwhile, as more people gain employment and increased incomes, distressed property inventory is expected to decline. All of this means a lower real estate inventory. This coupled with a surplus of buyers will create a seller’s market.

Home prices will rise. This generally follows when housing inventory shrinks. In fact, prices are expected to increase by an average of at least 4.5 percent in the coming year. Thus, if you’re thinking about possibly selling your home, 2015 is likely going to be a good year for doing so.

Mortgage rates will increase as well. For much of 2014, these rates have hovered around 4 percent and under. But with the previously mentioned factors and the Federal Reserve’s expected rate hike in the early part of 2015, residents can expect home loans to shoot up to 5 percent in 2015. If you have been thinking about re-financing, it makes sense to do it sooner rather than later since mortgage rates are likely to increase.

Home affordability will decline. With all of these changes on the market expected, home affordability is projected to decrease by 5 to 10 percent. This will be driven by price appreciation, mortgage rate hikes and tighter housing inventory. Again, if you’re thinking about possibly selling your home, 2015 is likely to be a good year for home sales.

See You In 2015!

We hope that as a home seller, you’ve found the above predictions encouraging.

We’ll be back in the New Year to discuss whether these real estate predictions come true and to revisit how they will impact buyers and sellers.

If you’re thinking about listing you home anytime soon,  please give Paige or Chuck a call. We’re available to answer any questions you may have or to help you on your home selling journey.  For now, we hope you and your family have a happy holiday season!