October 14, 2014

Sellers Are Wondering Why Buyers Aren’t Competing

The Daily Commercial reports from Florida. “Real estate watchers say new home construction appears to be coming back strong this year, and the evidence is in the myriad subdivisions that are sprouting fresh homes in recent months. A Sept. 19 statement from D.R. Horton, owner and homebuilder of the new 55-lot Brookshire subdivision in Eustis, said 14 homes were under construction and were planned to be ‘ready for move-in very soon.’ At that time, just one home had been sold. Lake County Property Appraiser Carey Baker said the fact that homes are being built on speculation is a good sign. ‘They are moving full steam ahead and building homes just anticipating that they’ll be able to sell them, Baker said.”

The Herald Business Journal in Washington. “Pending sales for Snohomish County homes jumped 15.48 percent in September compared with the same month of the previous year, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. One novelty of the market is the number of international buyers, especially from China, who are picking up prime homes in the Puget Sound area particularly east of Seattle. ‘The influx of buyers from China is very real,’ said Gary O’Leyar, broker for Prudential Signature Properties in Seattle.”

“Dick Beeson, a real estate broker in Tacoma and a Multiple Listing Service director, said he believes that the China-Washington connection will continue. He said he believes that the Vancouver, B.C., has grown too expensive so Chinese buyers are looking south to the Puget Sound region. ‘Like the San Francisco Bay Area, Vancouver was their location of choice,’ he said, adding that skyrocketing values in those cities have some of them looking elsewhere to buy.”

The Star Tribune in Minnesota. “Higher house prices beckoned sellers to list their homes in the Twin Cities area last month. Buyers weren’t as plentiful. Many sellers are left wondering why buyers aren’t competing for house. ‘Our expectations were to see a sold sign on our home within three months of listing,’ said Don and Jen Mohs, who put their house in Chaska on the market in mid-August. After more than 40 days on the market, they’ve had plenty of showings, but still no offers. ‘We sense a lack of urgency from potential buyers, due to a greater number of houses on the market this season to choose from,’ Jen Mohs said.”

The Oregonian. “The way the numbers tell it, metro home prices are nearly back to where they were at the height of the housing bubble. But tell that to Dan Gering, who sold his house in Tigard this week – after dropping the price three times. ‘Everyone around us was saying the market was hot,’ he said. ‘I was stunned.’”

“When Gering listed his house in the 97223 ZIP code in May, several real estate agents he consulted expressed high hopes. But when they threw open the doors for the expected throngs of waiting buyers, they saw only a trickle of interest. ‘It was not as hot as we were thinking it was going to be,’ he said. ‘I never felt like it was a seller’s market. Ever.’”

The News & Observer in North Carolina. “The average price of homes that sold during the third quarter rose 3 percent to $257,300. But there are signs that pricing in some areas of the Triangle may be softening. The percentage of new home listings that have had at least one price reduction is now 24 percent, up from 17 percent during the same period a year ago. Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents, said a big run-up in the average list price of new homes over the past three years may be a factor. The average list price of new homes is now $367,900, up from $309,800 in 2011.”

“‘That could be where we’re starting to see some of the softness come into it,’ Anfindsen said.”

The Capital Gazette in Maryland. “As the real estate and mortgage collapse of 2008 fades into history, state officials and real estate agents point to the decreasing number of new foreclosures and default notices as evidence of recovery. But thousands of bank-owned properties sit empty in neighborhoods across the state, a backlog of unsold properties that will eventually make it into Maryland’s housing market at a discount.”

“Maryland has just recorded the largest influx of ‘real estate owned’ properties in its history. Housing experts say the deluge is linked to Maryland’s efforts two years ago to push back against foreclosures — a drive that delayed foreclosures and allowed mediation for many properties. It helped homeowners, but also created a backlog of homes that would inevitably be foreclosed.”

“Edgewater resident Chris Christoforou lives across the street from a home with broken windows, cracked bricks and a boarded-up back door. Christoforou said the vacant home may be interfering with the efforts of one of his neighbors to sell his own home. One such vacant home can drag down the neighborhood, he said. ‘I wish someone could buy (the vacant home) and fix it up,’ Christoforou said. ‘People trying to sell their homes right now won’t get top dollar.’”

Bits Bucket for October 14, 2014

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