US Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Month in a Row

home buying 18We have some excellent news to report from the national housing market: Evidently US pending home sales index increased for the third straight month in April.

This is a great testament that the national housing market is getting back on track and becoming increasingly stable.

If you’re considering entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this new trend.

The Latest Outlook from the Housing Market is Positive

Let’s take a closer look at the recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to recent data, the pending home sales index (which is based on contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes) increased 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 108.6 in March.

This is also higher than in February, when the level was 107.4.

And evidently, the increase in the home sales index is higher than many economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal thought it would be. They had expected the increase to be 1 percent.

Here are some additional highlights from the recent report:

  • When comparing March 2014 to March 2015, the index increased 11.1 percent.
  • Completed existing-home sales increased 6.1 percent in March. This increase followed two months in which the gains were lackluster.
  • And although sales of newly built single-family homes decreased from February to March, they increased almost 20 percent from the sales pace of a year ago.
  • The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.77 percent in March, which is slightly above the previous month but also down from a year earlier.
  • And pending sales of existing homes increased in the South and the West during the month of March, but decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • Meanwhile, markets across the country are seeing home prices increase.

Experts believe that low housing inventory have driven prices up on existing homes. And while that has helped to close the gap in cost between newer homes (which are typically more expensive) and previously-owned homes, existing home sales still account for roughly 90 percent of the overall market.

Will These Positive Housing Market Trends Continue?

Check back with us soon to see if national real estate activity continues on this upward trend or takes a dip.

Having the most up-to-date market data is critical to ensuring a successful outcome as a buyer or seller. That’s why we hope you’ll check back here again soon for the most up-to-date information on the market possible.

5 Baby Boomer Housing Market Trends to Watch

boomersRegardless of where you live, experts are expecting that Baby Boomers will have a major impact on the local housing market.

That’s because this sizeable portion of the population is comprised of 76.4 million individuals. And many of them are expected to make major moves over the next several years as they continue to retire.

To that effect, we wanted to share with you the top 5 Baby Boomer real estate trends to watch for in the coming months and years.

The Top 5 Real Estate Trends for Baby Boomers

Although many Baby Boomers plan to move to the Sunbelt when they retire, others may be motivated by different factors.

For instance, some may be motivated by staying closer to families. Others may be looking for the least expensive place to live. Still others may be more interested in moving to a place with a high quality of life for seniors.

Thus, regardless of where you live, it’s important to consider the following Baby Boomer trends:

Boomers want to pay off their mortgage. Many Baby Boomers own their own home. They’ve been paying a mortgage for decades. Thus, one of their primary goals is going to be to finally pay off the mortgage and own their home outright. In fact, for many, paying off the mortgage is a crucial consideration before they’re willing to retire.

They want more convenience. This may look like a smaller home with less maintenance and less work, but it may not. Baby Boomers also care about living in homes that have modern appliances, energy-efficient doors and other features that will make their life easy. As such, many are also opting for one-story homes because of their bad knees, bad hips, etc.

Baby Boomers want a walkable neighborhood. They’ve already spent a lot of time in their car, what with commuting to work, taking their kids to and from hobbies, etc. So now they’re trying to get back to simpler times, where they lived just a couple of blocks from the grocery store or the local restaurant. They want to be able to access the amenities they want and need without having to always get in the car.

They want to remain on their own. In fact, according to a Merrill Lynch survey, only 10 percent of Baby Boomers say they want to move into any kind of retirement or age-restricted community. Instead, they want to stay in their own homes, in their own neighborhood nad have their own friends.

Baby Boomers want to stay close to their loved ones. This is also a high priority for residents. They not only want to be close to their children, but also their grandchildren as well. Proximity to loved ones is certainly key with this segment of the population.

We’re Your #1 Source for National Real Estate Trends

We hope you’ve learned something new after reading today’s real estate blog. The Baby Boomers will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the real estate market as they prepare for where they want to live their Golden Years.

Please check back here soon to learn about more trends that may impact your local housing market.

Gorgeous Sunnyvale Townhome Could Be Yours for $925k!

sunnyvale homeWe are thrilled to announced that we recently listed a stunning townhome property in Sunnyvale, California!

This exquisite home comes with 3, bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a total of 1,714 square feet of living space –giving the next lucky home buyers who live here plenty of room to grow!

If you are in the market for a Sunnyvale home, then we highly recommend you take a few moments to learn more about our current listing.

What You’ll Love About This Silicon Valley Area Home

sunnyvale home 3Our new listing, located at 590 Blackwood Terrace, is currently listed at $925,000, which is a real deal when you learn what’s inside this property.

This Santa Clara County home comes with vaulted ceilings in the spacious living room, a gas fireplace, a separate office area and both informal and formal dining areas.

Plus, this home boasts engineered flooring throughout the living area! And as an added bonus, the washer, dryer and refrigerators are included in the purchase of this home!

Other amenities included in this home include:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Upgraded kitchen appliances
  • Beautifully painted rooms

Need more reasons to all in love with this property? It happens to be located in a great public school district and is also conveniently close to a number of recreational amenities, including shopping and dining!

Make This Sunnyvale Property Your Next Home!

If this sounds like exactly the kind of home you’ve been searching for as a home buyer in Sunnyvale, then please contact us at the Gary and Robert Real Estate Team!

We would be happy to assist you by answering any questions you might have and even scheduling a showing of this property for you!

Until next time,

Robert

Report: Now Is An Excellent Time to List Your Sunnyvale Home!

Home Selling 3The latest real estate numbers are in and the conclusion is clear: Now is a great time to be a home seller in the United States, including in Sunnyvale!

Evidently, the National Association of Realtors recently released data that indicated that more Americans signed contracts to buy homes in March, marking the third straight month of gains in that department.

What’s more, the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 1.1 percent to 108.6 in March. And the index as a whole has increased 11.1 percent over the last 12 months.

This developments, along with others, suggest that it truly is an opportune time to list your home.

More Encouraging Home Sales Data

The National Association of Realtors had even more encouraging data to share with home sellers recently:

  • Pending home sales improved in the south and the west, even as the number of signed contracts decreased in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • There are indications that would-be home buyer demand is increasing.
  • Inventory of homes remains low, which is helping drive up home sales prices.
  • Existing homes sold at an annual pace of 5.19 million in March, which is a solid uptick when compared to the below 5 million that sold in February and January.

We’ll Help You Get a Great Price for Your Home!

Are you encouraged by the recent numbers as a home seller? You should be! Home owners like you have a great opportunity to get a fantastic price for their home.

So contact us at the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team today to get the home selling process started. We’ll work diligently to get your home sold as quickly as possible – and for the best price possible!

Until next time,

Robert

Signed Contracts for US Homes Increase, Report Shows.

Home contractIn the latest sign that the U.S. real estate market is improving, more Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in February than in nearly a year.

The National Association of Realtors released the data, which showed that the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February.

That’s the highest it’s been since June 2013!

If you’re preparing to list your home anytime soon on the local housing market, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this trend!

US Home Sales Are On the Rise!

Here are some additional highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:

  • Buying activity increased in the Midwest and West during the month of February, although it actually decreased slightly in the Northeast and South.
  • Existing homes sold at an annual pace of 4.88 million in February, which is slightly below last year’s levels.
  • The supply of homes was just 4.6 months, compared to five months a year ago. It should be noted that a six month inventory is considered a balanced market.
  • Average 30-year fixed rates were 3.69 percent last week, according to the mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That was down from a 52-week high of 4.41 percent recently.
  • Home prices have increased 17 percent since the middle of 2012, which is when the market bottomed out.
  • Analysts are particularly encouraged by the recent gains because it means that the housing market was able to overcome such unforeseen and uncontrollable hurdles like freezing weather and a particularly harsh winter.

Experts say that the upturn suggests that the spring home buying season will be robust.

They added that home sales are likely to be further supported since the unemployment rate is down to 5.5 percent.

In fact, the unemployment rate is down to its lowest level in nearly seven years!  And employers have added 3.3 million jobs during the last year, including 295,000 jobs in February.

All of this is giving would-be home buyers more buying power as well as consumer confidence. This, in turn, is leading more to enter the national housing market in search of their dream home.

We’re Your #1 Real Estate Resource!

We hope you found the above information insightful as a prospective home seller.

As you can see, it really is a great time to list your property on the market.  After all, there’s plenty of pent-up home buyer demand and home sales activity appears to be picking up.

Please check back here soon for more valuable insight on that national housing market and how it may impact you.  We’d be happy to offer our expert insight in order to help you enjoy a successful outcome as a home seller!

Report: US Home Prices See Gains in February

home pricesThe national housing market continues to show gains, with home prices rising year-over-year during the month of February.

This is fantastic news as it shows that the U.S. real estate market continues to rebound from the Great Recession.

If you’re considering listing your home anytime soon, please continue reading to learn more about current national housing market trends.

A Closer Look at Recent US Sales Activity

CoreLogic released its February 2015 CoreLogic Home Price Index and the conclusions are favorable for home sellers.

Here are some of the highlights of that report:

  • US home prices (including distressed sales) increased by 5.6 percent in February 2015 compared to February 2014.
  • That increase marks three years of consecutive year-over-year increases in national home prices.
  • Month-over-month, national home prices (including distressed sales) increased 1.1 percent in February 2015 compared to January 2015.
  • 26 states and Washington DC were at or within 10 percent of their peak prices during the month of February.
  • Six states, including Colorado (+9.8 percent), New York (+8.2 percent), North Dakota (+7.7 percent), Texas (+8.5 percent), Wyoming (+8.4 percent) and Oklahoma (+5.2 percent), marked new home price highs since January 1976 when the CoreLogic HPI began.
  • When you exclude distressed sales, home prices increased by 5.8 percent in February 2015 compared to February 2014.
  • And home prices increased by 1.5 percent month over month compared to January 2015.

Certain states stood out for various achievements during the month of February:

  • If you include distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: Colorado (+9.8 percent), South Carolina (+9.3), Michigan (+8.5 percent), Texas (+8.5 percent) and Wyoming (+8.4 percent).
  • If you exclude distressed sales, the five states with the highest home price appreciation were: South Carolina (+9.7 percent), New York (+9.2 percent), Colorado (+9 percent), Texas (+7.9 percent) and Florida (+7.8 percent).
  • If you include distressed sales, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to February 2015) was -12.2 percent. If you exclude distressed sales, the peak-to-current change for the same period was -7.8 percent.
  • If you include distressed sales, only Connecticut had a decline in home prices, with a 0.9 percent decrease.
  • The five states with the largest peak-to-current declines, including distressed transactions, were: Nevada (-35.4 percent), Florida (-32.4 percent), Rhode Island (-29.6 percent), Arizona (-28.4 percent) and Connecticut (-24.7 percent).
  • If you include distressed sales, the U.S. saw 36 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
  • 92 of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population had year-over-year increases in January 2015.
  • Those core based statistical areas that saw year-over-year declines were: Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD; Philadelphia, PA; Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT; New Orleans-Metairie, LA; Rochester, NY; Worcester, MA-CT.; Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY; and New Haven-Milford, CT.

Based on recent market data and projections, the CoreLogic HPI Forecast suggests that home prices, including distressed sales, will increase by 0.6 percent month over month from February 2015 to March 2015 and on a year-over-year basis by 5.1 percent from February 2015 to February 2016.

If you exclude distressed sales, home prices are expected to increase by 0.5 percent month over month from February 2015 to March 2015 and by 4.8 percent year over year from February 2015 to February 2016.

How Can We Help You With Your Next US Home Sale?

If you’re interested in entering the market anytime soon as a home seller, please make sure to contact us.

We would be happy to assist you by further analyzing recent market activity to see how it may affect your specific efforts as a home seller.

Shop Smart for Your Dream Home During the Spring Buying Season

Home Buying 14This 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.

In preparation for the spring home buying season, we wanted to share with you some tips on how you can shop smart as a home buyer. Enjoy!

4 Home 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, 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. For full context, you need to view the home in person. 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 in trend. Obviously, every market is going to be slightly different and so it behooves you to lean about your local housing markets specific trends. Let’s consider the recent Case-Shiller 2014 home price index, which shows you how much of a difference there can be among major markets. In that report, San Francisco saw the largest annual regional gain at 9.3 percent. Meanwhile, other major markets like New York, Chicago and Washington DC saw less than 2 percent. A qualified and experienced agent 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.

Keep “Sweeten-the-Deals” Strategies in Your Back Pocket. As previously mentioned, this is going to be a competitive spring home buying season. In other words, you may face a bidding war. So to prepare, consider ways that you can sway the seller in your favor. This might include an escalation card, which is the amount that you’d automatically be willing to pay above a competing bid. You might also consider foregoing certain contingency clauses. Contingencies are stipulations that allow buyers to get out of contracts. These include appraisals, home inspections and financing contingencies. By removing such contingencies, you’re likely to impress the home seller enough to want to accept your offer.

We Are Your #1 Resource for Home Buying Tips

We hope you found the above information helpful as a prospective home buyer. Please make sure to check back here soon for even more tips that will help you as you navigate the market!

Have a great day!

Now Is a Great Time to List Your Silicon Valley Home!

Silicon Valley Home Selling 7If you’ve been on the fence about whether to list your Silicon Valley home on the market, we’re here to tell you that now is an excellent time to do so!

After all, according to recent market data, the median home sales price for Sunnyvale homes is showing year-over-year gains.

Plus, given that overall home inventory is low, any homes that are listed on the market are likely to sell quickly and for a lot of money.

Let’s Take a Closer Look at Recent Sunnyvale Market Trends

Here are the highlights of the latest real estate market report for Sunnyvale:

  • Currently there are 60 homes for sale on the market, including several that are in some stage of the foreclosure process.
  • Between November and February, the average price per square foot for homes was $694, up 19.9 percent from the same period last year.
  • Meanwhile, the median sales price for homes was $915,000 based on 142 home sales.
  • Compared to the same period a year ago, the median home sales price increased 12.8 percent, or $103,500.
  • And the number of home sales decreased 16.5 percent.
  • Specifically, the median sales price for a 1-bedroom home was $460,000.
  • The median sales price for a 2-bedroom home was $785,000
  • And the median sales price for 3- and 4-bedroom homes were $935,000 and $1,310,000
  • During the week ending on Feb. 18, the average listing price for homes was $781,408, down 14.3 percent from the week before.
  • Broken down further, the average listing price for a 2-bedroom home was $380,794.
  • The average listing price for a 3-bedroom home was $547,104.
  • And the average listing price for a 4-bedroom home was $1,387,097.

We’ll Help You Sell Your Sunnyvale, CA Home in Silicon Valley!

We find the above information encouraging for any home sellers trying to get a great price for their property.

If you’re ready to make that home selling dream your reality, please contact us at the Gary & Robert Real Estate Team.

We would be more than happy to help you list your home as well as to provide you with a free home evaluation, which will ultimately help determine the right list price for your home.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help make the home selling process in Silicon Valley easier for you and your family.

Until next time,

Gary & Robert

The National Real Estate Market Shows Positive Signs of Growth

Home Selling 8Things are certainly looking up on the national real estate market! According to a recent report from the national Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home prices increased during the month of January despite cooling home sales.

Experts believe that a tightening inventory helped to spur the rise in home prices.

This is important information for home sellers as it will help determine their home selling strategy on the local housing market. So continue reading to learn more!

What National Home Sellers Should Know About the Market

Here are the highlights of the most recent report from Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index:

  • National home prices increased 4.6 percent year over year in December, bolstered by increased of 9.3 percent in San Francisco and 8.4 percent in Miami.
  • Home prices in Chicago increased 1.3 percent year-over-year while Cleveland and Washington saw price gains of 1.5 percent.
  • Here are some additional cities mentioned in the report, including their year-over-year index change:

Atlanta: 5.1
Boston: 3.8
Chicago: 1.3
Cleveland: 1.5
Dallas: 7.5
Denver: 8.1
Detroit: 2.8
Las Vegas: 6.9
Los Angeles: 5.5
Miami: 8.4
New York: 1.9
San Francisco: 9.3
Washington: 1.5

  • Meanwhile, experts described how regional housing indicators in the south and west were generally positive while the harsh winter continued to hold back home sales in the Northeast and Midwest.
  • Specifically, existing home sales in the West dropped 7.1 percent in the month of January, according to National Association of Realtors’ data released Monday.
  • Meanwhile, national home sales decreased 4.9 percent month over month.
  • Sales in the Northeast dropped 6 percent month over month, while declining 4.6 percent in the South and 2.7 percent in the Midwest.
  • Home sales were, however, up year over year in all four regions in January.

How Can We Help Make Your Real Estate Dreams a Reality as a Seller?

Please contact us for more valuable insight on the current state of the national housing market and how it may benefit you as a home seller. We would love to assist you!

And make sure to check back here next time for even more information that will aid you in your real estate endeavors!

Report: US Home Prices On the Rise

Home Buying 5The National Association of Realtors recently announced the latest US real estate figures and the numbers are encouraging for anyone considering selling their home.

Evidently, home price growth accelerated in much of the country during the fourth quarter of 2014.

This is a fantastic development for anyone hoping to get a good price on their home for sale. Continue reading to learn more.

What You Should Know About US Home Sales

Here is an overview of the highlights of the most recent real estate market report:

  • The median price of an existing single-family home increased year-over-year in 86 percent of 175 metropolitan areas.
  • 24 areas had price gains of 10 percent or more.
  • That figure is up from 16 regions during the third quarter.
  • Meanwhile, prices declined in 24 areas.
  • Experts credit the home price acceleration at least in part to low mortgage rates and improving employment conditions.
  • Still, home price gains are reducing affordability in areas across the country, which had 25 percent growth on average over the last three years.
  • At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.85 million previously-owned homes listed for sale, down from 2.01 million a year earlier.
  • The number of markets that saw year-over-year price gains in the fourth quarter has increased.
  • The median price for an existing single-family home in the three months through December was $208,700, which is up 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.

A Different Effect Seen in Canada

As US home prices have increased, a lot of Canadian cities are seeing declines in home prices.

According to the market data:

  • Home prices have started trending downward in several major Canadian cities, including Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Hamilton, Ont.
  • Still, at least two major cities showed gains. On an annual basis, home prices were up 7.4 percent in Toronto and up 5.1 percent in Vancouver.

When It Comes to Real Estate, Knowledge is Power

We take pride in being able to provide you with the most up-to-date market information so that you can make informed decisions as home buyers and sellers.

Check back soon for even more updates on the state of the national housing market and how that may impact you as a buyer or seller.