July 6, 2018

Sellers Seemed Almost As Anxious As Buyers

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Despite a drop in housing prices, supply and demand continue to make Fall Church the most expensive location in the region in multiple metrics. According to May 2018 data provided by ShowingTime based on listing activity, the median City of Falls Church sales prices was $619,000 for this May, a drop of $210,000 when compared to May 2017, and a decline of almost $100,000 in the median price year-to-date change from $747,500 to $649,700. The Falls Church housing inventory rose by almost 26 percent from last May to this May. Louise Molton is the principal broker at Re/Max in Falls Church and she thinks prices do not discourage buyers as much as multiple offers on the properties they want do. ‘There is only one winner, no one gets a trophy if they come in second,’ she wrote in an email.”

“‘On the market today, and gone tomorrow’: that was the overall housing market trend across North Texas. Last year, listing prices continued to skyrocket and sellers in Collin County were making a killing. A new report revealed, in some cities, home prices may have flat lined.”

“‘This is especially true if a city has experienced fast and extreme growth, like Frisco. Home listing prices have plateaued for homes $400,000 and above. These homes are sitting on the market a little bit longer, and I’m even seeing some sellers negotiating closing cost for the first time in a long time,’ said said Rodney Anderson with Supreme Lending. ‘Some sellers are getting a little bit anxious, but no one is losing. I think that people will finally get an idea that some deals are being made for the first time in a long time.’”

“For the first time in a decade, the number of homes for sale in the Seattle area is finally starting to rise — and in a big way — as the rapid-fire market that has led to extreme bidding wars and lighting-fast sales slows a bit. The total number of single-family homes on the market jumped an eye-popping 43 percent in June from a year ago across King County, the biggest increase since the housing bubble and burst a decade ago. Condo inventory rocketed up 73 percent.”

“Interestingly, the reason is that homes already on the market are sitting unsold for longer, as opposed to a flood of brand-new listings, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. This is supposed to be the hottest time of year for the market — it’s the first time prices cooled from May to June since before the recession. ‘Now there are homes that are available that they don’t have to get into a bidding war to get,’ said Sabrina Booth, a Windermere broker in Seattle.”

“When the owner of Richard Nixon’s former beachfront estate in San Clemente, California, listed the 15,000-square-foot home three years ago for $75 million, you may have been tempted. Now, with the historic property back on the market for $63.5 million, you can hardly say no. Yet that’s just what buyers are saying to extravagant real estate listings from the sunny sands out west, where a residence owned by Warren Buffett has been on sale for more than a year, to the austere brownstones of Manhattan and the opulent hedges of Greenwich, Connecticut.”

“In Orange County, homes listed for more than $1.25 million account for about a third of all inventory but only 14 percent of demand, according to market-data provider Reports on Housing. Many properties are expected to sit for months — in some cases, for more than a year — before going into escrow for a sale. Deepening the doldrums of the region’s luxury sector are recent increases in interest rates and fears about further tightening by the Federal Reserve, said Bill Cote, a Newport Beach agent with Coldwell Banker. ‘All that’s going to do is stymie the market a little bit more,’ he said. ‘For the last few years, it’s all been milk and honey.’”

“As the traditionally busy spring shopping season drew to a close, a decided market shift was underway: Sellers seemed almost as anxious as buyers. As of June 28, homeowners in the four-county region covered by the Southern California News Group added 9,334 homes to the market so far this year vs. 2017’s 2,939 – a huge 218 percent jump. Yes, the rate of listing homes for sale has tripled! Steve Thomas of ReportsOnHousing writes, ‘Article after article details the continued lack of supply, hot demand, and years of nonstop appreciation. How in the world can any local market be a buyer’s market? Technically, luxury housing favors buyers and it is anything but hot.’”

“In Chicago and the suburbs, spring and summer is prime time for real estate, with the first half of the year the busiest season for homes sales. Here in the near west suburbs, inventory is up and sale prices are down. For John Lawrence, owner of Weichert Realtors Nickels Group, the typically hot spring and early summer selling season had a different feel this year. ‘In the spring when $300,000 to $500,000 homes in Oak Park are flying off the shelves with multiple offers, we feel like the market is good. That didn’t happen this year,’ Lawrence said. ‘The market has a very uneasy feel, and a lot of people were saying the market was way down, but the data doesn’t back it up.’”

“‘Anecdotally, there is the tax situation,’ Lawrence said. ‘We’ve always said, ‘What is the tipping point?’ I think we’ve reached it.’ Steve Scheuring of Baird and Warner agrees. ‘We used to have buyers who would come and look at a $500,000 house with $8,000 to $10,000 in taxes,’ Scheuring said. ‘The taxes were high, but considering Chicago Public Schools and private school tuition, they were cool with that. Now, with that same house having taxes of $15,000-$16,000, the buyer is no longer cool with that. We’ve reached a saturation point.’”

“Those individuals in the market for a new or existing home in Mississippi’s fastest-growing county have a wide inventory from which to choose, according to Tracy Kirkley, broker with Crye-Leike Realtors in Olive Branch. The latest information from the Northwest Mississippi Association of Realtors shows that in Olive Branch, there is a 17.6 month supply for homes costing $400,000 and up. The inventory for the DeSoto County seat of Hernando is similar, according to Kirkley. Homes priced at $400,000 and up enjoy a 38-month supply and those homes on the upper price range of $300,000 to $400,000 have a 9.9 month supply.”

“Chief executive officer Lesley Nalley updated the Hot Springs Village Property Owners’ Association board of directors on the Comprehensive Master Plan phase 1 implementation plan at the board’s June meeting. Nalley said 80 percent of the Village is platted for single-family homes, although that segment currently represents only 30 percent of market demand. ‘Targeting key areas for suspension reduces the massive oversupply of those lots,’ she said.”

“The most expensive home in Cincinnati has been sold for $5 million – a whopping 38 percent discount from its listing price of $8 million just two years ago. The 27,000-square-foot French chateau on more than five acres of land at 9005 Camargo Road in Indian Hill had been reduced to $7.5 million at the beginning of the year. But as the Enquirer reported in April, the market for Cincinnati homes listed for $1 million and up is soft.”

“‘There just aren’t a whole lot of buyers capable of buying those homes,’ Mark McGrath, a Realtor with Home Information Network in Silverton, said at the time. ‘It is somewhat of a buyers’ market right now.”’

“Real estate broker Luis Eduardo Rodriguez is accused of funneling drug money through the Las Vegas real estate market and dummy corporations on behalf of an international narcotics and money laundering ring. Rodriguez faces charges for his role in laundering hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money through Las Vegas real estate and multiple Nevada shell corporations with the intent on sending the profits to drug traffickers and money launderers in Mexico.”

“A woman accused of running a real estate fraud scheme is in custody after leaving South Carolina while her federal case is pending, according to court documents. Dana Roush was arrested Monday. She and Michael Roush are charged with fraud conspiracy and failing to maintain payments on a federally insured mortgage through their Greenville-based investment company. They are accused of operating the now-defunct Kingdom Connected Investments LLC to defraud dozens of home buyers and sellers. Part of the scheme involved falsely leading homebuyers into fake rent-to-own agreements in areas throughout the Carolinas.”

“Homebuyer remorse is on the rise, according to the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey. In a market driven by low inventory and heavy competition that has steadily escalated home prices for a few years now, buyers are increasingly regretting how much they’ve paid for their new homes. ‘Home payments in some areas are swallowing up 45 percent of local median income,’ ValueInsured wrote. In these areas, ‘expectation of buyer’s remorse is high.’”

“According to the findings, two-thirds of homebuyers and almost 70 percent of homeowners expect to have buyer’s remorse within a year. A quarter of those said they expect to have the same level of remorse reported by buyers just prior to the crash in 2008. Between 55 and 60 percent of buyers and owners said people who buy in their neighborhood now are overpaying; even more said that if they were to buy a home now, they would be buying high.”

“Homeowners in California and Texas–’two of the most overheated housing states’–are the most pessimistic about the sustainability of home prices, according to ValueInsured. Eighty percent of owners in these two states (vs. 71 percent nationally) believe a housing correction will happen within two years. Among potential buyers, the sentiment is only slightly less pessimistic. Sixty-five percent of buyers said a housing correction will happen within the next two years. (71 percent homeowners vs. 65 percent non-homeowners).”

“‘In Texas, 44 percent of all existing homeowners believe a housing correction is already underway in their area,’ ValueInsured said. This, the report stated, ‘reaffirms the astute sensibility of homeowners who seem to have foreshadowed the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index report released this week showing Dallas-area home prices growing at the slowest pace in five years.’”