Nationally, mortgage applications increased 49% in the first week of January and 11% the week prior which is the strongest two week gain since December 2008(Housing Watch, Bank of America 1/15/2015). These lower mortgage rates are increasing the sales pace on Hilton Head Island and our phones are ringing, appointments are being made, contracts are being written and we are off to a great start. This is great news for the Hilton Head sellers, agents and buyers that can pick up their pace! Read the rest of this entry
According to a recent Bloomberg article, more and more first-time home buyers are entering the market because they feel more confident about the economic recovery.
Faster economic growth and a labor market that’s approaching “full employment” (according to the Federal Reserve) are aiding in that rise in confidence among first-time home buyers.
Even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, this news is sure to benefit anyone who is navigating the national housing market right now.
Fannie Mae Economist Makes Positive Predictions for 2015
Douglas Duncan, a chief economist at Fannie Mae in Washington, made the following predictions about the year ahead:
- There will be a 6.3 percent increase in mortgage lending for purchases this year.
- This increase follows a 9.6 percent decrease in 2014.
- Increasing confidence in the job market is the strongest indication that home sales will improve.
Thomas Reuters Consumer Sentiment Poll Reflects Similar Optimism
Recently Thomas Reuters partnered with the University of Michigan for a consumer sentiment poll and this is what they found:
- Consumers expect an increase of 1.7 percent in their incomes in 2015, the highest since 2008.
- Those under 45 years old expect the biggest gain at 4.7 percent.
More Encouraging Factors From The National Economy
Meanwhile, economic growth (bolstered by consumer spending as well as business investment) is increasing. In fact, the Commerce Department reported that the US grew by 5 percent in the third quarter, which is the fastest since 2003.
The Fed said it expects the economy will expand between 2.6 percent and 3 percent in 2015, up from 2.3 percent to 2.4 percent in 2014.
Plus, the economy added more than 2.7 million jobs in 2014, which is the most since 1999, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And the jobless rate will average 5.2 to 5.3 percent, which is at the level last seen before the financial crisis.
All of this job growth and creation means that the median household income in 2014 increased 1.6 percent to $53,880 through November. Experts say that rate should increase through 2015.
Which Brings Us Back to the First-Time Home Buyer
All of this growth and prosperity is driving young home buyers to the market. As they enter the market, more homes will change ownership, freeing up existing home owners to buy bigger and better homes.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You need a regular stream of first-time home buyers to aid in the growth of any housing market. Thus, we’re thrilled that more and more first-time home buyers are coming back to the market.
Your #1 Resource for Real Estate News
We hope you found today’s news on first-time home buyers as encouraging as we did!
Check back here soon for more valuable information on the current state of the housing market and how it may impact you as a buyer or seller.
If you own property in the Hilton Head Area, it is likely you will be dropping the tax bill and your payment into the mail before January 15, 2015. We have listed additional information, deadlines and forms for Tax Appeals, Homestead Exemption, Assessment Ratios and Tax Installments below for your review. Note some of these have a January 15 deadline too.
- If you do not agree with your taxes, get an appeal going this year. If the appeal is successful the savings are for the next three (3!) years if filed this year. You can do this anytime before the December 31. Just click here for the appeal form and e-mail today for comps(click here) and or a recommendation of a local appraiser to help you with this.
- Do you qualify for the Homestead Exemption? South Carolina also allows for a $50,000 homestead exemption on the fair market value of a home for residents who are age 65 or older, totally and permanently disabled, or legally blind.
- Do you qualify as a permanent resident in the Hilton Head Area? If you do, there are tax savings that apply. The assessment ratio of 4% applies to permanent residents. This application needs to be filled out before January 15, 2015 for owner occupied legal residents. The questions in this application will help you determine if the 4% applies.
- Pay your taxes in Installments – If you would like to pay your taxes in installments, applications are due by January 15, 2015 if you would like to pay your 2015 taxes in installments.
2015 Real Estate in the Hilton Head Area
If you are not using your property and paying the taxes, the opportunity to sell is NOW. There are buyers in the market and the New Year is starting strong. With the majority of our buyers financing their purchases, buyers and sellers need to keep a watchful eye on the current interest rates. A half a point rate change can affect the buyers affordability by up to 10%. For example on a $600,000 home with a half point rate change a buyer would now only be able to afford $540,000 under this scenario. Both a buyer and seller lose, when there is $60,000(10%) less in buying power! Just email me for a free market value today.
And if you’re a prospective home seller, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors suggests that there’s a good chance you can get a great price on your home right now.
According to the recent report, US home sales recently hit a six month low, with inventory at a low point too.
While this may seem discouraging at first blush, this actually suggests that those homes that are being sold on the market are being met with increased demand. After all, home buyers have a smaller selection of available homes to choose from than in recent months.
The key to sealing the deal on your home for sale and getting a great price is expert marketing.
A Closer Look at This Recent Real Estate Report
Here are some of the highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:
- Existing home sales decreased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units.
- That figure is the lowest it’s been since May
- Meanwhile, home inventories reached an eighth month low.
- Home sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago during the month of December.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. housing index was down 0.2 percent as shares in the largest homebuilder (D.R. Horton) decreased 0.4 percent. Lennar Corp fell 0.43 percent and Pulte Group decreased 0.19 percent.
- Also, the inventory of unsold homes decreased 6.7 percent from a year ago, to 2.09 million.
- At November’s sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to sell all homes currently on the market. A six month supply is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.
- The decreased supply of homes means that the median home price increased 5 percent from a year ago.
Experts say that fickle wage growth as well as higher home prices have kept a lot of first-time home buyers out of the market.
Still, experts also say that with job gains and wage growth expected in early 2015, more and more first-time home buyers are likely to enter the market in the coming months.
In fact, during the month of November, first-time home buyers accounted for 31 percent of all transactions, which is the biggest share they’ve occupied since October 2012.
For comparison purposes, first-time home buyers comprised 29 percent of all transactions in October.
Expert Real Estate Marketing is Key to Selling Your Home
As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity to get a good price on your home, you just have to make sure your home stands out to prospective and qualified home buyers.
That’s where working with an experienced real estate agent can help. A professional will be able to create a custom-made marketing plan for your home that will maximize its exposure to the right buyers.
This will ultimately lead to you getting your home sold in a relatively short amount of time and for a great price!
Check back here soon for more expert insight on the national housing market and how it may impact you as a seller.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015 for you and your family!
Speaking with my coach, he told me that there are many that follow conventional wisdom when it is time to sell a property. Conventional wisdom is what the public and experts believe to be true. Listed below are reasons that are Contrary to Conventional Wisdom that apply to the Hilton Head Island Real Estate Market. Read the rest of this entry
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.
For now, we hope you and your family have a happy holiday season!