Thursday, May 29, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
Since then, the Fed has cut short-term rates seven times in seven months, creating a season of "cheap money" that is pumping up the stock market while speeding recovery to the housing market in many parts of the country (FYI and to be reported soon - market time for homes in Southern California has fallen from 15.6 months in January to 5.88 months in April... and 26% more homes sold in April of 2008 than in April of 2007).
Friday, May 16, 2008
The controversial initiative, launched earlier this year, increased downpayment requirements for hundreds of thousands of borrowers in areas (including Denver) that were "redlined" by Fannie Mae for having experienced declining values.
So what does it mean?
Beginning June 1, buyers using Fannie Mae loan products will have the option of making lower down payments when purchasing a home. Increased flexibility with down payment requirements should bring more buyers back into the market, which bodes well for a further draw-down of our available housing inventory.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
With the high number of bank-owned properties on the market, home inspections are more important than ever.
- Siding: Looking for dents, buckling or deterioration
- Foundation: Looking for cracks or water seepage
- Exterior brick: Looking for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
- Insulation: Looking for condition, adequate condition for climate
- Doors and Windows: Looking for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping
- Roof: Looking for age, condition of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
- Ceilings, Walls and Moldings: Looking for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away
- Porch / Deck: Loose railings or steps, signs of rot
- Electrical: Looking for condition of fuse box / circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room
- Plumbing: Looking for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that could suggest leaks, sufficient insulation
- Water Heater: Looking for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating
- Furnace / Air Conditioning: Looking for age, energy rating.
- Garage: Looking to see if exterior is in good repair, condition of floors, operability of door mechanism
- Basement: Signs of leakage or prior standing water, musty smell
- Attic: Looking for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof
- Septic Tank (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family
- Driveways / Sidewalks: Looking for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains
Remember, an inspector's job is not to tell you whether or not you should buy a home, but rather to create a detailed "punchlist" of every defect he can spot with a visual inspection.
Once this step is completed, we sit down and work on a strategy for negotiating repairs with the seller.
A thorough home inspection should cost betweeen $300 and $400, but it's about the most important "pre-closing" investment you can make.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
Active Homes on the Market as of 4/30/08: 26,171
Active Homes on the Market as of 4/30/07: 27,757
Change: - 6.06%
Homes Under Contract as of 4/30/08: 6,287
Homes Under Contract as of 4/30/07: 6,417
Change: - 1.85%
Homes SOLD in April 2008: 4,265
Homes SOLD in April 2007: 4,395
Change: – 3.05%
WHAT IT MEANS
As I mentioned last month, these YOY (year-over-year) statistics are tough to get a handle on because the rules of the game when it comes to financing were completely different 12 months ago.
It has become so much more difficult for many buyers (and investors) to secure financing that one would logically presume a falloff in sales activity, yet that is not the case.
ACTIVE inventory has fallen by more than 6% from one year ago. There were an additional 1,586 homes on the market in April of 2007. Falling inventory is a key indicator of a firming market.
We have about 2% fewer homes under contract than a year ago, and there were about 3% fewer sales in April of 2008 than in April of 2007. With the changes in the mortgage market, however, these numbers still look pretty good.
Now let's drill down a bit further:
The number of active condos on the market has fallen by 17.13% from one year ago. With 80% of our foreclosures priced at $240,000 and below, the condo market has been hit hardest of all. However a 17% reduction in inventory suggests that renters are investors alike realize its cheaper to own than to rent now in many areas of town.
Days on market has fallen to 103 for single family homes, a decline of about 5% from one year ago.
Days on market is a very deceiving statistic, in my opinion, because you have a mix of overpriced homes on the market that will likely never sell and occasional "screaming deals" that get picked off in two or three days. From all that, you get an "average", and I just don't know how much you can figure out with this number.
Well priced homes in good areas sell quickly. Overpriced homes in down areas do not.
My best advice here is for us to really thoroughly analyze what's happening in your subdivision, because submarkets are everything right now.
It's a "professional's market"... so choose your counsel wisely.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Monday, May 5, 2008
Unemployment is at 4.4%, Colorado’s population is growing by over 2% per year, and we just had our largest “in-migration” year since things were going strong during the tech boom of 1998 – 2001.
New construction permits fell by 49% last year as builders shut down operations. The “credit crunch” has transformed over 40,000 former homeowners into renters, and restricted lending guidelines are making it more difficult for entry level buyers to purchase a first home.
Where do you think rents are going from here?