Category Archives: National News

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.

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!

Excellent News for Home Buyers: US Prices Stabilizing

Home Selling 6If you’ve been weighing whether now is the right time to enter the local housing market as a home buyer, we have some news to share with you that will help you decide. According to a recent report from real estate data provider CoreLogic, U.S. home price gains are slowing down, despite an increase during the month of August. This is great news for home buyers because it means that you have a fantastic opportunity to get a reasonable price on your next home before prices continue to rise!

What Every Home Buyer Should Know

CoreLogic reported that home prices increased 6.4 percent in August when compared to last year. Still, that figure is actually down slightly from the annual gain of 6.8 percent in July.

Here’s what else the recent housing market report revealed:

  • The increase in home prices is also down when compared to how much they had been rising toward the end of last year. During that time, prices were rising as much as 12 percent.
  • Home sales have been mostly stable throughout 2014, as have price gains.
  • All states showed home price gains during the month of August, save for Arkansas where prices were stagnate.
  • Home prices nationwide remain about 12.1 percent below their peak average in April 2006.
  • Home purchases decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million in August.
  • Home sales decreased from a July rate of 5.14 million.
  • Meanwhile, the pace of home sales dropped 5.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Experts say that an annual sales rate of 5.5 million is considered a healthy market.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price has increased 4.8 percent over the last 12 months to $219,800, although that average dropped slightly during the month of August when compared to July and June.

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Bigger is Better for Home Buyers

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The sluggish housing market over the last several years did not have an impact on Americans’ desire for bigger and fancier homes, according to a recent report from USA Today.

Evidently, demand continues to grow for these large estates, especially as the housing market across the nation improves. This is a fascinating trend on the national housing market and one that is sure to impact both home buyers and sellers.

Americans Love to Own Large, Luxury Homes

The American Dream of owning a bigger and better home is still very much alive across the country. In fact, as the recent USA Today article noted, many of today’s buyers still want a house that includes as many luxury amenities and features as they can think of – or at least afford. This may include gourmet kitchens, deluxe bathrooms, spacious decks or screened-in porches.

While this is occurring, experts also note that homeownership rates have remained mostly stagnant. And income growth appears to be lagging behind the rising price of homes. Continue reading

Home Improvements That Pay Off

Home RemodelingNot all home remodeling projects are created equal – especially when you’re trying to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes time to sell your property.

So before you spend thousands of dollars on that home remodeling project you’ve been dreaming about, make sure that you’re armed with the facts first.

Today, we’re going to tell you which of the most common home renovation projects are worth the investment, and which ones you’re better off doing without. The answers may surprise you. Continue reading

Home Sales See Second Consecutive Month of Increases

US Home SalesOne month of positive real estate sales is encouraging, but sometimes it can be a fluke. That’s why we’re always so thrilled when positive numbers one month carry over into the next month. And that’s just what we saw with the recent release of May sales numbers. According to a recent USA Today article, existing home sales increased for the second straight month in May, increasing to their strongest rate since the fall.

Current State of the Housing Market

Here’s what the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors revealed: Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, which marks a 4.9 percent increase from April’s rate of 4.66 million. This was the highest monthly percentage gain since August 2011! Continue reading

Baby Boomers Setting New Trend in Retirement

As more Baby Boomers retire, real estate experts all across the United States are seeing more cash deals, according to a recent report from Bloomberg.  Evidently, these Baby Boomers (defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964) are opting to purchase their homes with all cash instead of taking out a mortgage.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8JmuOK0tgI[/youtube]
Experts credit this in part to the fact that US home price gains have restored $3.8 trillion in value to home owners since 2012. This means that a record number of Americans (including Baby Boomers) are using that equity to help them pay cash for properties, avoiding a home loan altogether. Another factor is that these Baby Boomers have more money in savings, allowing them the option to pay with cash.

This is an important trend that is sure to have an effect on all home buyers, not just those who fall in the Baby Boomer cohort. Continue reading

Home Prices On The Rise

House sold signFrankly, it’s hard not to feel encouraged and optimistic about the real estate market these days.

Everywhere you look, positive real estate trends are popping up, further emphasizing that the worst days of the economic recession are in the rear view mirror now.

And here’s another recent nugget of good news: Home prices all across the country increased 11.1 percent in March 2014 when compared to the same time last year. And that’s including distressed sales. According to the latest published data, the 11 percent home price increase in March represents 25 months of consecutive year-over-year increases in national home prices.

That’s incredible. That means that the housing market has been in the process of recovering for more than two years. Continue reading

More Gains Expected in 2014

Experts recently emphasized what we’ve been expecting: The US and South Carolina housing market will show even better gains in 2014. Evidently, experts believe that it will be a strong year for housing, despite the fact that sales are likely to level off slightly.

Those interested in buying and selling real estate in South Carolina in 2014 will surely find the following information helpful as they navigate the market! And the Chuck Avera Group would be happy to assist you as you do so!

Good News for Real Estate

  • 2013 represented the best year for housing since the financial crisis.
  • When all was said and done, home prices increased about 11.5 percent in 2013, which was the biggest gain since 2005.
  • And sales of existing homes reached 5.1 million in 2013, the National Association of Realtors said.  That’s an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.
  • That figure is also the highest it’s been since 2006.
  • Home prices are expected to increase 5 to 6 percent in 2014, which is about half of what it was in 2013.
  • The number of foreclosed homes has dropped significantly in the last several months, suggesting that the foreclosure crisis is nearing an end.
  • In South Carolina, 2013 foreclosures dropped 19% from the previous year.

Locally, in Charleston, economists believe the housing market will continue to put up high sales numbers in 2014, but not at the 21% growth that was set in 2013. And who wouldn’t want to live here! Watch the following video for a great reminder of Charleston’s beauty!

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