January 2018 Newsletter

RBaker copy

Happy New Year!  It is truly an honor and privilege to Chair such a wonderful and informative association as The AARC.  We are looking forward to a prosperous housing and retiree market to serve our industry in 2018.  For developers and communities alike, the retiree market continues to be a tremendous economic boost.

We are constantly looking at ways of helping better serve our members. Whether it’s through monthly industry updates in our newsletter or digital marketing or becoming one of our certified AARC Seal of Approval communities, we want to help grow your business or destination. Also, don’t forget to share your latest news with us!

Home sales are expected to stay hot through next year, and sellers are in a position to unload their homes at a profit. (Dave Ramsey)

3 Things That Will Improve Your Retirement Life in the Future. Smart carpet? This, other technology trends, and more on the forefront. (US News)

Again, thank you for choosing the AARC as part of your business!

Sincerely,

Rachel Baker Chair, The AARC


AARC February Webinar

AndyWindham-Headshot-2017_HDRJoin the AARC team and your fellow members for our first Webinar of 2018.  Andy Widham of Crawford Strategy will present a timely and informative webinar for anyone wanting to learn more about digital marketing.  The webinar will be February 15th at 2:30pm (Eastern) – Click to learn more and sign-up, February Webinar

The Art and Science of the Digital Marketing Mix

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 7.10.41 AMJust because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do it. This short webinar is adapted from Crawford Strategy’s “CEO’s Guide to Digital Marketing.” It blends a high level strategic overview with a real-world perspective on how to make sure the market and your message drive your media, and not the other way around.

The webinar will be February 15th at 2:30pm (Eastern) – Click to learn more and sign-up, February Webinar

Existing-Home Sales Soar 5.6 Percent in November to Strongest Pace in Over a Decade

Adam DeSanctis, National Association of Realtors | December 20, 2017

WASHINGTON (December 20, 2017) — Existing-home sales surged for the third straight month in November and reached their strongest pace in almost 11 years, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the West saw a significant hike in sales activity last month.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 10.57.19 PM

Total existing-home sales1, https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 5.6 percent2 to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.81 million in November from an upwardly revised 5.50 million in October. After last month’s increase, sales are 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and are at their strongest pace since December 2006 (6.42 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says home sales in most of the country expanded at a tremendous clip in November. “Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end,” he said. “As evidenced by a subdued level of first-time buyers and increased share of cash buyers, move-up buyers with considerable down payments and those with cash made up a bulk of the sales activity last month. The odds of closing on a home are much better at the upper end of the market, where inventory conditions continue to be markedly better.”

The median existing-home price3 for all housing types in November was $248,000, up 5.8 percent from November 2016 ($234,400). November’s price increase marks the 69th straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory4 at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago.

“The anticipated rise in mortgage rates next year could further cut into affordability if these staggeringly low supply levels persist,” said Yun. “Price appreciation is too fast in a lot of markets right now. The increase in homebuilder optimism must translate to significantly more new construction in 2018 to help ease these acute inventory shortages.”

First-time buyers were 29 percent of sales in November, which is down from 32 percent both in October and a year ago. NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers – released earlier this year5 – revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 34 percent.

Matching the highest share since May, all-cash sales were 22 percent of transactions in November, which is up from 20 percent in October and 21 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 14 percent of homes in November, up from 13 percent last month and unchanged from a year ago.

“The elevated presence of investors paying in cash continues to add a layer of frustration to the supply and affordability headwinds aspiring first-time buyers are experiencing,” said Yun. “The healthy labor market and higher wage gains are expected to further strengthen buyer demand from young adults next year. Their prospects for becoming homeowners will only improve if more lower-priced and smaller-sized homes come onto the market.”

Properties typically stayed on the market for 40 days in November, which is up from 34 days in October but down from 43 days a year ago. Forty-four percent of homes sold in November were on the market for less than a month.

Realtor.com®’s Market Hotness Index, measuring time on the market data and listings views per property, revealed that the hottest metro areas in November were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.; San Diego-Carlsbad, Calif.; and Stockton-Lodi, Calif.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased for the second straight month to 3.92 percent in November from 3.90 percent in October. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

On the topic of tax reform, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation Realtor® from Columbia, Missouri and CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty, says it’s good news homeowners can continue to count on tax incentives such as the mortgage interest deduction and the state and local tax deduction.

“Only 6 percent of homeowners have mortgages exceeding $750,000, and only 5 percent pay more than $10,000 in property taxes, but most homeowners won’t itemize under the new regime,” she said. “While we’re pleased that important homeownership incentives such as the capital gains exclusion survived in conference, additional changes are required to truly incentivize homeownership in the tax code.”

Distressed sales6 – foreclosures and short sales – were 4 percent of sales for the fourth straight month in November, and are down from 6 percent a year ago. Three percent of November sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales.

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales grew 4.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.09 million in November from 4.87 million in October, and are now 3.2 percent above the 4.93 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $248,800 in November, up 5.4 percent from November 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 14.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 720,000 units in November, and are now 7.5 percent above a year ago. The median existing condo price was $242,500 in November, which is 8.8 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

November existing-home sales in the Northeast leaped 6.7 percent to an annual rate of 800,000, (unchanged from a year ago). The median price in the Northeast was $273,600, which is 4.0 percent above November 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales jumped 8.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.42 million in November, and are now 6.8 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $196,100, up 8.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South expanded 8.3 percent to an annual rate of 2.34 million in November, and are now 4.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the South was $216,200, up 4.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 2.3 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in November, but are still 2.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $375,100, up 8.2 percent from November 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.



Rising mortgage rates could mean even fewer homes for sale this spring

Diana Olick, CNBC.com | January 19, 2018

  • This year’s spring housing market will be more competitive than ever.
  • However, for existing homes, there are 10 percent fewer homes for sale compared with a year ago.
  • Mortgage rates, which sat near record lows for the bulk of 2017, are suddenly rising.

Screen Shot 2018-01-29 at 11.03.10 PMThere is still plenty of snow blanketing a wide swath of the nation’s neighborhoods, but the spring housing market is just around the corner. This year, it will be more competitive than ever, with the supply of homes for sale at record lows and rising mortgage rates threatening to make the situation even worse.

President’s Day is considered the start of the busiest season for housing, with big builders touting holiday sales to kick it off. Over in the existing home market, however, there is nothing to shout about.

There are 10 percent fewer homes for sale compared with a year ago, and in the hottest markets, where prices are appreciating fastest, there are up to 40 percent fewer homes for sale, according to Zillow. Low supply last year caused home prices, which were rising already, to accelerate, and that continues now. Prices are increasing far faster than incomes, even as the economy and employment improves.

 Now mortgage rates, which sat near record lows for the bulk of 2017, are suddenly rising. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed is up a quarter of a percentage point since the start of this year to around 4.25 percent, according to Mortgage News Daily. The expectation is that they will continue to move higher as the Federal Reserve raises rates and investors move away from the bond market. Mortgage rates loosely follow the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury.

Rising mortgage rates will make the market more competitive because they will decrease supply and increase demand. Potential sellers will not want to lose the record-low rates they locked in after the recession, so they will stay put. Potential buyers will want to move in faster before rates rise even more and price them out.

Homebuilders have been increasing production slowly, but they are nowhere close to meeting the growing demand.

“The market is starving for new homes, but it won’t be easy for builders struggling with high and rising land, labor and lumber costs,” said Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “Aging millennials and young families may be able to find more affordable new homes for sale this year, but they’ll most likely be in further-flung suburbs with more grueling commutes to urban job centers.”

Newly built homes are also more expensive than comparable existing homes, so higher mortgage rates may make them less attractive, especially to buyers on the margins or those who have more trouble qualifying for a mortgage.


New Home Sales Rise 8.3 Percent Overall in 2017

Press Release , NAHB.com |
January 25, 2018

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 7.09.41 AMSales of newly built, single-family homes fell 9.3 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000 units, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite this monthly decline, new home sales rose 8.3 percent overall in 2017 to 608,000 units.

“The number of consumers planning to buy a new home in the near future is trending upward,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel, a custom home builder from LaPlace, La. “Inventory remains low, but its growth in 2017 is an encouraging sign. Our members are also telling us that market conditions continue to improve.”

“Some moderation in sales was expected this month after a strong November reading,” said NAHB Senior Economist Michael Neal. “With ongoing job creation and rising home equity, we should see housing demand continue to grow in the months ahead.”

The inventory of new home sales for sale was 295,000 in December, which is a 5.7-month supply at the current sales pace. The median sales price of new houses sold was $335,400.

Regionally, new home sales decreased 2.4 percent in the Northeast, 9.5 percent in the West, 9.8 percent in the South and 10 percent in the Midwest.