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Existing Home Sales Show Significant Gains Year-Over-Year

National homes for saleThe National Association of Realtors recently released some data that is sure to be encouraging for anyone thinking about selling a home.

Evidently, existing home sales increased for the second month in a row in May to a level that is significantly higher than last year.

What’s more, median home sales prices saw double-digit year-over-year increases.

All of this suggests that the national housing market is indeed rebounding.

Overview of the Recent Report from the National Association of Realtors

Here are some more highlights from the recent report:

  • Sales of existing homes (which include single-family, town homes, condos and co-ops) increased 4.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.18 million.
  • In April, that figure was 4.97 million.
  • What’s more, sales of existing homes were 12.9 percent higher than the 4.59 million-unit pace that the nation saw in May 2012.
  • Sales of existing homes have reached their highest levels since November 2009.
  • In November 2009,  a lot of buyers were taking advantage of the tax stimulus program. Thus, the market jumped to 5.44 million
  • Existing home sales have shown year-over-year increases for the last 23 months.
  • Meanwhile, the national median price has seen year-over-year increases for the last 15 months.
  • The total housing inventory at the end of May jumped 3.3 percent to 2.22 million existing homes for sale, which represents a 5.1-month supply.
  • A year ago, the total supply of existing homes for sale was 6.5 months.
  • In May, the median home sales price for existing homes was $208,000, up 15.4 percent from May 2012.
  • For the last six months, the median existing home price has seen double-digit increases.
  • Meanwhile, the total number of distressed homes hasn’t changed since April, representing about 18 percent of May sales.
  •  Still, that’s the lowest supply of distressed homes on the market since October 2008.

Analysts say that because of the high demand for homes, buyers across the country can expect a limited supply of available homes for sale for the rest of 2013.

The only likely remedy for the housing shortage is an increase in new home construction by 50 percent, experts say.

Experts also noted that the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.45 percent to 3.54 percent between April and May.

In May 2012, that rate was 3.8 percent.

National Real Estate Trends that Affect You

The type of housing market environment we’re seeing right now is nearly opposite of what we saw during the housing boom.

Just six years ago, there was plenty of overbuilding going on all across the nation.

Today’s housing market is marked by a great shortage of homes for sale.

Pair that with a lot of pent-up home buyer demand as well as a 29 percent increase in buyer traffic and you have favorable conditions for home sellers across the country.

On Cape Cod, Tourist Traffic Slows Down, but Buyer Traffic is Up

As a team that both lists and sells homes and condos, we feel that this news is great for everyone! Our sellers are expecting that the lower inventory will increase prices and sell their homes more quickly. Our buyer clients are expecting that previously-reluctant sellers will see the trend and put their homes on the market before mortgage rates hurt their buying power.

If you know anyone looking to list their home or condo or anyone looking to purchase a first home, second home, or forever dream home on Cape Cod, call The Steve Clay Team. We are happy to offer free real estate consultation whenever you have questions about your very valuable asset!

 

 

 

Right Price Equals a Quick Sale

The condo market on Cape Cod has been very slow, but there is clear evidence that if a unit is in good condition and is priced right, it will sell.

A case in point is a closing that took place yesterday. When I was meeting with the seller about listing her beautiful condo, the seller had a price in mind that was considerably above the fair market value that I had determined. I suggested that she have an appraisal done so that we would have an independent third party’s view of the property value. Another good reason to have an appraisal done is that there will be a day of reckoning when the bank appraisal is conducted after the home is under contract. No matter how much the prospective buyer loves the home, if the home does not “appraise,” there is no sale.

After the appraisal came in, the seller listed the home and priced it accordingly. The condo sold in 63 days at the appraised value to a couple who had been scouting the market for over two years. They knew that the home was priced right and was a good value in this market.

2009 Cape Cod (MA) Condos Listed/Sold Comparisons

  

This beautiful condo in a waterfront community that is being offered at $317,000 is an example of good buys awaiting Cape Cod condo buyers.

This beautiful condo in a waterfront community that is being offered at $317,000 is an example of good buys awaiting Cape Cod condo buyers. Click on the picture for full details and a virtual tour.

 
       
       
  Current Sold Absorption
Town Listings 6 Mo. Rate
       
Barnstable 94 35 16.1
Bourne 43 20 12.9
Brewster 63 28 13.5
Chatham 21 5 25.2
Dennis 83 21 23.7
Eastham 14 4 21.0
Falmouth 72 24 18.0
Harwich 46 8 34.5
Mashpee 105 46 13.7
Orleans 37 11 20.2
Provincetown 187 32 35.1
Sandwich 28 6 28.0
Truro 56 10 33.6
Wellfleet 26 4 39.0
Yarmouth 90 36 15.0
       
TOTAL 965 290 20.0

What does this mean?

Since the absorption rate for condo sales in a balanced market is usually around 5 months, a 20 month absorption rate means that the number of condos available exceeds the number of potential buyers. This would indicate that buyers still have the advantage in negotiating sales prices and conditions.

Lobster on the Lawn Mondays

Now that the summer is winding down, it’s time to do those things that you wanted to do all summer but somehow never got to do.

Lobster on the Lawn Mondays

Families on the Lawn in Falmouth, MAEvery Monday night during July and August from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church in Falmouth Village serves all meat lobster rolls with all the trimmings for just $15 per person. My wife Mary Beth and I finally made it this past Monday. Hundreds of locals and visitors gather on the church’s expansive lawn. Tables and chairs are provided, but many people bring blankets and sit right on the grass. They also offer free PB & J with juice, chips and a cookie for kids under age 10.  Finally, you get a choice of lemon meringue or blueberry pie…of course mine was blueberry!

Community Atmosphere

Part of the attraction is the casual community atmosphere that permeates the evening. Frisbees, flying footballs, and even a life-sized lobster are part of the fun, and you can end the evening with a stroll down Main Street.

There’s Still Time

The program wraps up for the summer on August 31.

Until next time, Steve

FHA Condo Loan Falls Apart Over Association Questionaire

Selling Cape Cod Real Estate

We recently had the sale of a condo at Sea Oaks in Mashpee, MA fall apart over the condo association’s refusal to answer four questions that required an opinion or judgement.

Working With Cape Cod Home Buyers

The mortgage provider had sent a form to the association’s management company, American Properties Team of Woburn, MA. American Properties provided a comprehensive form of their own that provided in-depth information but failed to answer four questions. Neither the lender nor APT would budge.

What an Expert Cape Cod Real Estate Agent Can Do For You

There are several questions that I am attempting to get answered:

1. Can a condo be purchased with an FHA backed loan at a property managed  by APT or any association whose attorneys refuse to allow them to answer questions requiring an opinion? (i.e. Is the maintenance reserve adequate?)

2. Do all lenders use the same form?

3. Which lenders will accept the pre-prepared form provided by the association?

I will keep you updated.

Until next time,
Steve