January 27, 2014

One Key Reason Homeowners Are Looking To Sell

The Boulder County Business Report in Colorado. “Home prices in Colorado are leaving wage increases in the dust. So is the state’s housing boom setting up for a cool-down in 2014? Ryan McMaken, communications director and economist with Colorado’s Division of Housing, thinks there could be some tapering of home-value appreciation. But as for a bursting bubble, he says that’s not a concern at this point. At the top end, Boulder County had more than 40 homes sales eclipse $2 million in 2013, a leap from just 18 such sales in 2012 according to figures from Legendary Properties broker Scott Franklund.”

“‘If it was a million-dollar home in 2012, they’re going to want a million-five for it now,’ Franklund said. ‘And they’ll probably get it.’”

The Denver Post in Colorado. “Housing markets across Colorado hit the brakes hard in the fourth quarter, according to a report from the Colorado Association of Realtors. Colder weather and the holidays typically cause activity to slow in the final three months of the year. But the rate of deceleration as 2013 ended was enough to raise concerns for 2014. ‘Our biggest challenge is not having enough inventory to meet the needs of all the buyers wanting to be in the market. Many people end up disappointed,’ Duane Duggan, a broker with Re/Max of Boulder, said in a statement.”

“The northern Front Range’s heated housing market appears to have contributed to a another kind of surge: fraud on mortgage applications, according to a new report from Kroll Factual Data. ‘Boulder, Denver and Fort Collins are hot markets and are having more loans made. You are also seeing more instances of application and identity fraud,’ said Michael Mauseth, senior VP of product and channel development at the Loveland company.”

“The Fort Collins-Loveland area showed a 51.4 percent increase in suspicious mortgage activity in the third quarter from the second quarter, the second-highest gain in the nation after Huntsville, Ala. Boulder-Longmont ranked fifth with a 32.3 percent jump, Greeley 11th at 22.4 percent and Denver 25th among metro areas studied at 16 percent.”

The Santa Fe New Mexican. “Santa Fe Realtor Coleen Dearing says homeowners here shouldn’t pay attention to the national stories about double-digit home-price gains. She said many sellers are pulled in by articles that group New Mexico and Santa Fe with the fast-appreciating markets of Denver, Texas and even Phoenix, and they can get discouraged about the market price of their home. ‘They see the national news and think it extrapolates locally,’ she said.”

“Santa Fe is still getting the retirees who want to relocate, but home sales to those coming for a job have stalled. ‘Folks will always keep coming here because it’s a great place to live, but people coming here for jobs — that has been stymied,’ Dearing said.”

“According to David Barker, president of Barker Realty, the median sales price per square foot decreased for the sixth consecutive year. The time on market has dropped to an average of 170 days. That’s a 21 percent decrease from 2012 (212 days) and 40 percent below the 289 days in 2011. But the steady market also is bringing more sellers, and some of them are banks and lenders looking to unload distressed and foreclosed properties. The fourth quarter of 2013, for instance, saw the inventory of homes for sale increase 7.7 percent to 1,923.”

The Arizona Daily Star. “Tucson’s residential real-estate market improved by most measures in 2013, with gains in home sales and prices. But the market is still far from its pre-recession boom, or even what’s considered a normal market, and industry experts see only gradual improvement in 2014 as foreclosures continue to weigh heavily on the market.”

“‘We have largely recovered in our volumes in the resale market and right now it’s kind of just a matter of absorbing those foreclosures,’ said Ginger Kneup, owner of Bright Future Real Estate Research in Sahuarita. ‘We look at the appreciation not being as much as we would like it to be, but the progress is kind of underlying that. There’s an undercurrent of weeding through these foreclosures, and we can’t really move things forward until that’s done.’”

“Investors are finding it harder to fix-and-flip foreclosure homes, said Kimberly Clifton, president of the Tucson Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. ‘There have always been foreclosure and agents that specialized in foreclosures, but now instead of three or four guys down at the courthouse steps, now there’s 30,’ she said. ‘Everyone wants to make a quick buck and the problem right now is, especially in the investor market, there are fewer and fewer homes that are selling with a high margin, which is a good thing for the consumer, quite honestly.’”

The Arizona Republic. “The number of houses for sale in metro Phoenix has climbed almost 40 percent in the past year. With many more properties from which to choose, the market is tilting away from sellers toward people looking to buy. The entire region can’t yet be called a buyer’s market, but certain areas, including the northwest Valley and Pinal County, have enough houses listed for sale to exceed demand. The nearly 72 percent increase in home prices since August 2011, to $199,000 from $116,000, is one key reason more homeowners are looking to sell.”

“The number of listings is expected to keep climbing in the Phoenix area. With the past year’s price increases, more owners can sell for a profit. And more houses for sale will swing the market in buyers’ favor. ‘It won’t be long before supply will exceed demand,’ said Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.”

“Sellers, who have seen many properties sell within 30 days over the past year, may have to bide their time before they get an offer. Bobby Lieb, an agent with HomeSmart, said people now are taking more time and want to see more properties before deciding on a house. ‘There’s not the urgency among buyers there was last year,’ he said. ‘Buyers now typically want to see 20 to 30 houses and want a few weeks to make a decision.’”

Bits Bucket for January 27, 2014

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