Why Accurate Home Price And Sales Data Is Vital To Buyers and Sellers

I’ll concede the fact that not everyone is as much of a data geek as I am and, in fact, a more accurate statement would probably be that most people are not, including the majority of home buyers and sellers.    Sure, home buyers and sellers are interested in home prices and what the potential value of the home is they are looking to buy or sell, but most leave the real data analysis to their agent.  After all, part of being a professional real estate agent is knowing the market as well as knowing how to research the market and apply market data to their client’s situation.

However,  don’t assume all real estate agents are created equal in this regard and that they all know the market as well as they should or do the research they should.  There are many great agents that do these things very well but there are a bunch, probably an equal number, if not more, that don’t.  Even the agents that do it well are still limited to the data resources they have available to them.

The MLS is the best source of market data...

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – January 2020 – The market finished 2019 strong!

The St Louis real estate market had a strong finish in 2019! One of the many great things for the St Louis housing market about a strong finish in 2019 is that 2020 begins strongly as well!  January will be a key month in terms of whether the trend will continue or whether December’s uptick was an isolated event. Another encouraging thing about the real estate market is that long term mortgage interest rates remain low!  See in the video just how powerful this is!  How a house today will actually cost you less than a little over a year ago, even after factoring in home price appreciation! Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

St Louis Home Sales Fare Better Against Prior Year Than Condo Sales

There were 3,637 condos sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during 2019, a decline of 2.28% from 2018 when there were 3,722 condos sold.  As I reported yesterday, 2019 St Louis home sales were down 1.18% in 2019, just over half of the rate of decline of condo sales.

As the STL Market Report below shows (available exclusively through MORE, REALTORS), the median price of condos sold during 2019 was $155,000, an increase of 4.15% from the year before.  In contrast, home prices increased by 5.85% during the same period.

Going into 2020, the inventory of homes for sale remains low and favors sellers.  Currently, the supply of homes for sale is just over 2 months.

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Condo Market

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Condo Market

St Louis Area Home Sales For 2019 Fall A Little Short of 2018

There were 27,076 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during 2019, a decline of 1.18% from 2018 when there were 27,399 homes sold.  As the STL Market Report below shows (available exclusively through MORE, REALTORS), the median price of homes sold during 2019 was $208,000, an increase of 5.85% from the year before.

Going into 2020, the inventory of homes for sale remains low and favors sellers.  Currently, the supply of homes for sale is just over 2 months.

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Market

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Market

Top Ten Zip Codes Where Homes Sold The Fastest In St Louis During Past 30-Days

Homes in the Lincoln County zip code of 63362 sold the fastest in the past 30-days with an average time to sell of just 40 days, according to the latest data available from MORE, REALTORS®.

As the list below shows, 4 of the remaining 10 fastest-sold zips in the St Louis MSA were in St Charles County, 3 in St Louis County, 1 in Franklin County and 1 in St Clair County, IL.


Fastest SOLD Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA In Past 30 Days

(Click List Below For Current, Complete List)
Fastest SOLD Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA In Past 30 Days

Home Sales Trend In St Louis 5-County Core Market Falls To Lowest Level In Over 3 Years

After peaking in May 2018 with 27,829 homes sold in the prior 12-months, the St Louis home sales trend has trended downward to 26,830 homes sold in the 12-month period ended November 30, 2019.  This marks the lowest home sales trend for the St Louis 5-County core market in over three years.

In spite of this statistical fact, it should be noted that the difference in home sales for the 12-month period ended November 30, 2019, from the same period a year ago, is just under 3%, so it is a pretty modest decline.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend - Past 5 Years

Should You Keep Your Home On The Market Over Christmas?

Most home buyers and sellers understand the seasonality of the residential real estate market with spring being the “hot” market and winter being a slow one.  This often leads to many sellers with homes that have not sold, opting to take them off the market until after the holidays with the plan to come back when the market gets better.  Is this a good plan though?  As a seller are you missing out on selling your home by taking your home off the market at a time when there is so little competition and at a time that the buyers that are out looking are usually very serious?

Well, first and foremost, if, as a seller, you are taking a break from dealing with keeping your home show-ready, making it available for showings, etc so that you can enjoy time with your family and friends then by all means that is a great plan.  However, if you are taking a listing hiatus because of “the market” or “the time of year”, you may want to rethink it.

715 homes and condos went under contract within a week of Christmas last year…

As the table below shows, there were 715 homes that went under contract within a week of Christmas last year (either in the week proceeding or week after).  So, during what many consider a “dead” time for real estate, quite a few homes sold.  During 2018, there were a total of 31,121 homes and condos sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market so, if we were to simply determine on average how many homes sold in a two-week period we would come up with 1,196.  At 715 sales for this two-week Christmas period, that is just about 60% of an average two-week period, but it’s still rather significant.

Homes and Condos That Went Under Contract Within 1 Week Of Christmas 2018 In The St Louis 5-County Core

Homes and Condos That Went Under Contract Within 1 Week Of Christmas 2018 In 5-County Core

 

St Charles County Home Sales Trend On The Rise After Hitting Bottom in September

The home sales trend in St Charles County peaked in April 2017 with 6,118 homes sold in the 12-month period ended April 30, 2017.  Since then, the home sales trend fell to closer to the 6,000 home mark until hitting a near peak again in August 2018 with 6,111 homes sold in the 12 month period ending that month.  After that, the home sales trend in St Charles County has fairly consistently trended downward until hitting bottom in September with 5,759 homes sold in the 12-month period ended September 30, 2019, nearly a 6% fall in home sales from the recent peak. This marked the lowest home sales trend for St Charles County since April 2016.

The St Charles County home sales trend has reversed course…

The good news is, for the past two months, home sales in St Charles County, as the chart below illustrates,  have trended upward hitting 5,809 homes sold in the 12-month period ended November 30, 2019,  a 1.2% increase in the trend from August 2019.

St Charles County Home Sales Trend – Past 3 Years

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart)
St Charles County Home Sales Trend - Past 3 Years

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – December 2019 – No Better Time To Buy!

Between low, low-interest rates and the seasonally low home prices, there is no better time to buy a home! Just like every year, home prices are declining and will continue to decline over the next few weeks until they hit their “winter bottom” and then start the climb back to spring prices. All the while, mortgage interest rates remain low, giving you more buying power than a year ago, even at the higher home prices! Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

New Home Construction Trend In St Louis Remains Steady In October

New home construction in St. Louis during October held at about the same trend as September with 4,289 new home permits issued for the 12-month period ended October 31, 2019, a decline of 8.04% from a year ago when there were 4,664 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri.  This is about the same as September when the 12-month trend was down 8.05% from the prior 12-month period.

As the table below shows, 4 of the 7 counties covered in the report saw a decline in new home permits from a year ago.  This is the same as last month, with the same four counties on the decline.  For the 9th month in a row, Franklin County suffered the biggest loss at 41.31%.  At the other end of the spectrum, St Charles County had the largest increase at 7.55% and took removed Warren County from the number one slot after Warren County had 9 consecutive months of the highest growth in permits.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – October 2019

St Louis New Home Building Permits - October 2019

 

Cyber Monday Real Estate Deals?

Are you one of those people like me that didn’t go out and fight the crowds on Black Friday in search of deals and instead waited until today to catch the Cyber Monday deals online from the comfort of your home or office?  Or perhaps you were out Friday shopping and now you are back at it online?  In any event, don’t forget that Cyber Monday deals come 7 days a week this time of the year in real estate!  That’s right!  Like I discussed here on Black Friday, some of the best deals of the year on St Louis real estate occur from now until the end of the year.

As the STL Market Chart (exclusively provided by MORE, REALTORS) below illustrates, in the St Louis 5-County Core market home prices (the red line) peaked in July and, with the exception of a little uptick in August, have trended downward since reaching the lowest point since April of this year.  St Louis home sales (the pink line) have shown pretty much the same result, hitting the lowest level in November since February.

It shouldn’t be a surprise…

What is happening in the St Louis real estate market presently does not come as a surprise because home sales are very seasonal and, the seasonal fluctuation we are seeing now, happens every year.  This is why I chose a 25-month chart below, so you can see the last year was pretty much the same pattern.  also, I wanted to show that prices continued to fall last year until hitting bottom in February of this year and I would expect a similar pattern this year.  That does not mean however that you want to wait until February to buy as the prices shown are based upon closed deals.  The typical real estate transaction takes 4-6 weeks to close, so those “February” home prices were from sales transactions that originated in December and January for the most part.  Therefore, from now until the end of the year the best time to buy a home in St Louis from a value standpoint!

“Cyber Monday” St Louis Home Prices

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Cyber Monday St Louis Home Prices

 

Black Friday Shopping? Buy a house and save a bunch of money!

As you get ready to head to the stores today for all those Black Friday bargains, perhaps you should jump on St Louis Real Estate Search and find a few houses to look at as well?  Well, if you have been thinking about buying a home, you would do well to buy now rather than wait for spring.  As the table below shows, based upon data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions, people in Missouri that buy homes in October, November or December get the best deals of the year!  This may account for the fact that there were 25% more homes sold during the 4th quarter than during the 1st quarter.

Now is the BEST time to buy in St Louis!

As the chart at the bottom shows, home prices in St Louis have hit their lowest point during January in 2 of the prior 3 years and in February on the third one.  These prices are reported as of the closing of the sale, so if prices are typically the lowest on homes that closed in January, given that the typical sale takes 4-6 weeks to close, that makes from now until the end of the year the best time to buy a home in St Louis from a value standpoint!

Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home

Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home

Source: ATOM Data Solutions

St Louis 5-County Home Prices and Sales – Past 36 Months

St Louis 5-County Home Prices and Sales - Past 36 Months
Source: STL Market Charts – MORE, REALTORS

Percentage of Homeowners that Sold FSBO In Past Year Near Record Low

Annually, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) does a massive survey of people that purchased and sold a home in the prior year to gather information about them and their transaction.  This is done using a 125 question survey that was sent to nearly 160,000 people, in randomly sampled geographic areas, that purchased or sold a home in the prior year.  The results are published by NAR in their “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers“.  From this publication, some great information is obtained (in my humble opinion, the best and most accurate information available)  about home buyers and sellers as well as the process they went through, the homes they bought or sold as well as about their agent if they used one.

Sellers’ appetite for selling their own homes remains at a near-record low…

As the chart below, which covers the time period from 2001 to 2019, illustrates, the percentage of homes sold using a real estate agent or broker (the blue bars) has increased from 79% in 2001 to 89% in this year’s survey.  Meanwhile, the percentage of sellers that sold their own homes “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) declined from 13% in 2001 to 8% in this year’s survey.

Why the decline in FSBO’s?

St Louis Area Buyer’s Markets – Town and Country Near Top Of List

As the table below shows, from MORE, REALTORS®  exclusive STL Market Report, the overall St Louis MSA housing market has a current supply of homes for sale equal to just a little over two-and-a-half months making it very much favor sellers.  The St Louis 5-County Core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) have, as the second table shows, an even lower supply of homes for sale with a 2.32 month supply.

However, as the list at the bottom shows, there are some municipalities within the St Louis area that are buyers markets, 12 in total to be exact.  A healthy inventory, one that is considered “balanced” and not favoring buyers or sellers, is generally 5 or 6 months, so to make this list of buyers markets there must be greater than a 6-month supply of home currently for sale.  At the top of the list is Pine Lawn a small municipality in northern St Louis county, followed by Swansea IL and then Town and Country.  Town and Country with 4 homes sold in the past month and 54 active listings currently has a 13.5 month supply of homes for sale.

Actual “Cost” Of St Louis Home Today Over 7 Percent Lower Than Year Ago

Thanks to a strong economy and low-interest rates, the actual cost of a home today in St Louis is lower than it was a year ago, in spite of the fact that the median price of homes sold in St Louis has increased by 5.64% in the past year.   Most people buying a typical home in St Louis finance nearly all of the purchase price, therefore, the cost of financing plays a significant role in the true cost of a home.  Buyers decide what they can afford (as do lenders) based upon the house payment, not the price of the home.

The cost of a home today in St Louis versus a year ago…

As our STL Market Chart below shows, the median price of a home sold in the St Louis 5-County core market in October of this year was $200,000, 5.3% higher than last October when the median price of homes sold was $189,900.  However, as our mortgage interest rate chart below shows, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 3.78%, over a full percentage point less than October 2018 when the rate was 4.83%.

If we do a little math and use our mortgage payment calculator, we find that if someone bought a median-priced home in St Louis in October of 2018 at $189,900 and financed 100% of the purchase at the current rate at the time (4.83%), their payment would have been $1,027 per month.  If a person were to buy a median-priced home in St Louis today at $200,000 and finance 100% of the purchase at the current rate of 3.78%, their payment would be $958.  So, even though the price of the home increased over 5%, the payment on the home (at current prices) actually dropped by 7.2% showing just how much impact interest rates have on the cost of a home.

What are buyers waiting for?

We are entering the “slow season” for real estate, winter, a time when, year after year, home prices typically decrease until hitting a low around January and then start to increase as the weather warms.  Therefore, we are in the period when home prices will be the lowest they will be for the year, interest rates are near the lowest they have been, so, if I were considering buying a home, I would jump into action as I just don’t see how it’s going to get better than this anytime soon.

How Many Real Estate Agents Are There And How To Fine a Good One?

According to the latest estimates by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), there are approximately 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States.  Last year, according to the NAR, there were a total of 5.341 million existing homes sold which equates to one agent for every 2.67 homes sold during the year in the U.S.  Wow, talk about competition!  Granted, not all licensed agents sell residential real estate as many focus us on commercial real estate, including industrial, retail, office, multi-family, and land, and others focus on farms, large tracts of land, recreational property, etc.  Nonetheless, there is still a lot of competition in the real estate industry.

As of last month, there are 1,327,880 real estate agents that are members of the National Associaton of REALTORS® (NAR) and, according to a survey done by NAR of its membership, 70% of their members (929,516) list residential real estate brokerage and their primary field of practice.

How to choose a good real estate agent….

One question that is frequently asked by people interested in buying or selling a home is how should they choose a real estate agent?  You can find extensive information on how to choose a good agent at AvoidBadAgents.com, but below is a list of questions to consider asking an agent you are considering working with:

  • Are you a full-time real estate agent?
  • Are you a REALTOR®?
  • How long have you been an agent?
  • What professional designations and industry awards have you received?
  • How do they communicate?
  • Do they know technology and does their firm use it for your benefit?
  • Ask to be walked through the sales transaction.

Falling Interest Rates Make St Louis Homes Even More Affordable

Mortgage interest rates have been falling since last Thursday when the referendum passed for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.  As the chart below shows, interest rates on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage today averaged 3.44%, a new 52-week low and a decline of nearly 3/4 of 1 percent from a year ago when they were 4.20%.  The payment on a $160,000 home loan at today’s rates would be $713 (principal and interest), a decline of nearly 9 percent from a year ago when the payment on the same loan amount would have been $782.
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Continue reading “Falling Interest Rates Make St Louis Homes Even More Affordable

Real Estate Recovery "On Its Way"

real estate recovery

Tyler Frank,
Paramount Mortgage
NMLS ID 942420

“The (real estate) recovery has been much more like the tortoise than the hare,” said Stephen Blank, a senior resident fellow of the Washington-based Urban Land Institute. “We’ve become used to slow relief. But we have finally turned the corner.”

Real estate markets on both coasts in places like; New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston were the first to emerge from recession and will pick up their pace of recovery through 2013, said Blank, a principal researcher for Emerging Trends. He was the main speaker at the annual outlook presented by ULI’s St. Louis chapter.

Big investors scared away by the high prices in coastal cities will look more closely at properties in secondary markets, including St. Louis, experts predict. David Griege, executive vice president at Paramount Mortgage, believes home sales will be much stronger this spring and summer than in past years. Continue reading “Real Estate Recovery "On Its Way"

One in Five Housing Units in City of St Louis is Vacant

Saint Louis Realtor, Dennis Normanst-louis-real-estate-realtor-dennis-normanThe city of St. Louis has experienced a decline in the number of residents since hitting it’s peak population back around 1950.  The most recent disappointment came in the 2010 census results showing, in spite of optimism on the part of the city for better numbers, the population of the city of St Louis had declined by nearly another 1o percent during the decade, falling from 348,189 people in 2000 to 319,294 in 2010.  During that same decade there were efforts to revitalize the city and bring new life to it as developers built new and fun living spaces by converting warehouses and other “non-residential” buildings to loft condos and apartments, rehabbing historic homes as well as through the construction of new homes in existing neighborhoods.

Through the strong lobbying efforts of REALTORS, Builders and other groups promoting redevelopment of the city, there were enormous amounts of money thrown at much of this development in the city by way of tax credits and other incentives along the way.  Unfortunately, the old adage “build it and they will come” did not prove to be true in the case of the city because, as the census data showed, the city continued to lose residents at a serious rate.  The crash of the real estate market certainly didn’t help and in fact stalled the momentum that had begun.

So what’s the result of all of this?  Well, the latest data estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that almost one in five housing units (19 percent) in the city of St. Louis was vacant in 2011.   As you can see from the table below, this is twice as high as the next highest county in the area.

st-louis-area-percentage-of-housing-that-is-vacant-2011

Vacant buildings are problematic to a community in many ways:  They many times fall into a state of disrepair or suffer from a serious amount of deferred maintenance, they invite crime and bring down surrounding property values.  For the city itself they can become a financial burden if the owner does not maintain the property forcing the city to come in and maintain it or correct issues that pose a threat to the public.  Unfortunatley, unless the city can do something to change the trend of the population shift, it will probably be many years before the excess inventory of housing stock in the city of St Louis has depleted.

A Look at the Change in Home Ownership by Race from 2000 to 2011

dennis-norman-realtorThe American Dream” is a phrase we often apply to home ownership although the historian that made this expression popular, James Truslow Adams, defined it differently in his 1931 book Epic of America. According to Wikipedia, in his book Adams defined “The American Dream” as a better and richer life for every man through social order and not material possessions. Regardless of it’s original definition, home ownership became a part of the American dream in the 20th century. In spite of the fact that we are on the tail-end of a five-year housing slump, the “American Dream” appears to be hanging on as, according to 2011 Census Data, 66.1 percent of Americans own a home and, while this is no doubt a fairly significant decline from the peak of home ownership around the middle part of the decade, it is down only slightly from 2000 when 66.2 percent owned a home. Continue reading “A Look at the Change in Home Ownership by Race from 2000 to 2011

Cap on Mortgage Interest Deduction Expected Soon

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-Charlie Cook, of the Cook Report, a well-known and respected political commentator, cautioned REALTORS at their annual national convention to be prepared for changes to the mortgage interest deduction.  According to an article in REALTOR magazine, Cook said he did not expect the mortgage interest deduction (MID) to specifically come under attack but that, as Congress looks at cuts to address the deficit, the MID “unlikely to escape unscathed.  Cook went on to say that he felt the change would most likely be in the form of a cap, whether it be a dollar amount or a percent allowed for itemized deductions, but one way or another, it was going to change.

Is there a 3.8 percent house sale tax in the health-care legislation?

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-In the past few months I have received dozens of emails being forwarded around the internet warning of a new “3.8 percent real estate tax” or “tax on home sale” coming as a result of Obamacare. Given there seem to be many misconceptions out there about this topic I decided to address it this morning. For starters, there is not a 3.8 percent house sale tax in the health care legislation per se. There is, however, a 3.8 percent on unearned income for high-income individuals and couples that could end up being applied to the sale of one’s home. Continue reading “Is there a 3.8 percent house sale tax in the health-care legislation?

St. Louis home prices falling;  St Louis rents on the rise

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-A report just released by Trulia today which is based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia, shows that asking prices for Saint Louis homes for sale decreased 2.4 percent from a year ago however Saint Louis rental rates increased 3.2 percent during the same period.

Nationally, home prices increased 0.3 percent in June from a year ago and rents were 5.4 percent higher in June than a year ago. Continue reading “St. Louis home prices falling;  St Louis rents on the rise

What to do about a low appraisal?;  St. Louis Mortgage rate update

The sale price for a house is $200,000, but the appraisal comes back at $190,000. Should the borrower still try to purchase this property or just leave it be? This is not unusual circumstance common in today’s real estate market; appraisals are coming in conservatively.

What action should the borrower take when there is a mismatch between the seller’s asking price and the home’s appraised value? Remember, the maximum loan amount is based upon the lower of the sale price or the appraised value, whichever is less. Continue reading “What to do about a low appraisal?;  St. Louis Mortgage rate update

Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Three-Year Low

The percentage of first-lien mortgages that were current and performing at the end of the first quarter of 2012 increased to the highest levels in three years, according to a report published today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Continue reading “Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Three-Year Low

Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-Lately the $64 question for many people is whether to rent or buy a home. I think by now everyone knows that, as a result of the collapse in home prices and dirt-cheap interest rates, buying a home is now more affordable than ever, but for a lot of people there are still doubts or concerns that need to be addressed before making the decision whether or not to buy. Many of these issues stem around financing including; how much down payment will be necessary, what can I afford, etc. The American’s Banker Association (ABA)came out with five questions every potential buyer should ask when deciding to buy or rent a home that, along with the helpful online calculators they offer, I think may be very helpful: Continue reading “Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

Mortgage delinquencies increase for second-consecutive month

st-louis-realtor-dennis-norman-mortgage-delinquency-foreclosure-rate

The mortgage delinquency rate (the percentage of home loans 30 or more days past due) increased in May 1.1 percent from the month before according to the latest “First Watch Report” from Lenders Processing Services (LPS). While it’s a modest increase, this marks the second consecutive month we’ve seen an increase in mortgage delinquency rates reversing the downward trend for the 9 months prior which is not good. Since delinquent mortgages are the precursor to forelcosures and foreclosures have wreaked havoc on home prices, this is something we definitely want to keep an eye on. Continue reading “Mortgage delinquencies increase for second-consecutive month

Mortgage defaults fall to lowest level in 5 years

According to a report just released by S&P Experian, the first mortgage default rate fell by more than a quarter of a percent (26 basis points) in May compared to April and is the lowest rate since May 2007. The second mortgage rate also fell during the month, by 5 basis points, and is at a seven year low.

Mortgage defaults and delinquencies are the pre-cursor to foreclosures and foreclosures are the enemy of home prices so this is good news and a trend that, if it continues, should point the way to a housing recovery.

Looking for a bargain vacation home near the beach?

dennis-norman-st-louis-realtor-My family is definitely a beach-loving family! Most of the trips and vacations our family has been on over the years have included beaches and both of our children’s first trips as infants were to the beach. So, I guess it is safe to say our family loves beaches and we are not alone! There is always demand for homes in beach communities even during the real estate bust. Some areas, like Sarasota, Florida, are already seeing prices increase on homes located on or near the beach. Did you wait too late to buy that second home or vacation home in a beach community? Well, according to a report just released by RealtyTrac, there are still some bargains to be found out there! Where? Well, read on….. Continue reading “Looking for a bargain vacation home near the beach?

Despite Home Value Gains, Underwater Homeowners Owe $1.2 Trillion More than Homes’ Worth

But Negative Equity is a Paper Loss for Most, As 90% of Underwater Homeowners Pay Mortgage on Time

Nearly one-third (31.4 percent) of U.S. homeowners with mortgages – or 15.7 million – were underwater on their mortgage in the first quarter of 2012, despite rising home values, according to the first quarter Zillow® Negative Equity Report[1]. Collectively, underwater homeowners owed $1.2 trillion more than their homes were worth. Negative equity rose slightly from 31.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and declined from 32.4 percent one year ago.

Continue reading “Despite Home Value Gains, Underwater Homeowners Owe $1.2 Trillion More than Homes’ Worth