Real Estate Market

March 2018 News

U.S. Market Data Overview

Note: Jan. 2018 data shown below is the most recent published by National Association of Realtors.

Sales of existing homes in January dipped for the second straight month, and saw their most significant decline on an annual basis in more than three years. Data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) indicates that all major regions saw monthly and annual sales declines last month.

Total existing-home sales (completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops), fell 3.2% in January to 5.38 million from 5.56 million in December 2017. Sales are 4.8% lower than a year ago (largest annual decline since August 2014 at 5.5%) and sit at their slowest pace since last September (5.37 million).

NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said that January’s downturn in closings underscores the housing market’s major inventory shortage. “The utter lack of sufficient housing supply and its influence on higher home prices muted overall sales activity in much of the U.S. last month,” Yun said. “While the good news is that Realtors® in most areas are saying buyer traffic is even stronger than the beginning of last year, sales failed to follow course and far lagged last January’s pace. It’s very clear that too many markets right now are becoming less affordable and desperately need more new listings to calm the speedy price growth.”

January's U.S. median existing-home price (all housing types) was $240,500, up 5.8% from January 2017 ($227,300). January’s price increase represents the 71st straight month of year-over-year gains.

American total housing inventory at the end of January grew 4.1% to 1.52 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 9.5% below a year ago (1.68 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 32 straight months. Unsold inventory sits at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace.

First-time buyers drive 29% of sales in January, which is down from 32% in December 2017 and 33% one year ago. The annual share of first-time buyers was 34%.

Freddie Mac data shows the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage got a boost for the fourth consecutive month to 4.03% in January from 3.95% in December. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99%.

All-cash sales were 22% of transactions in January, which is up from 20% in December 2017 but down from 23% a year ago.


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Your credit score is a composite snapshot of your credit history. A high credit score takes time to cultivate, and is not likely to rise much in a short period of time. Generally speaking, you want to make sure you pay your bills on time, keep outstanding debt levels to a reasonable amount for each account, and avoid closing accounts you've successfully paid-off and managed. Don't lose hope if you have less than perfect credit, there are still good loan programs out there for responsible borrowers. We have a list of preferred local lenders who can help you find the best financing programs for your specific needs.

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Investing in Real Estate

Today's low interest rates and rising home prices have created some great investment opportunities!

Investing in real estate has unique advantages over other types of investments. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why real estate investment should be on the "short list" for many investors:

  • Interest in mortgage loans are tax-deductible. Investors can lower their tax liability while increasing their equity.
  • Renters pay down your mortgage loan. Investors reap the benefits of rental income, which offsets your mortgage cost and build equity.
  • Real Estate values increase over the long term. Real Estate is limited and will always be in demand. 
  • 1031 exchanges are available to defer taxable income when you are ready to sell.

Many investors are taking advantage of these great market conditions. Have questions? Give us a call. We are happy to help!