Real Estate Market

February 2019 News

U.S. Real Estate Overview

Note: December 2018 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.

After two consecutive months of increases, existing-home sales declined in the month of December, according to the National Association of Realtors®. None of the four major U.S. regions saw a gain in sales activity last month.

Total existing-home sales (transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 6.4 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December. Sales are now down 10.3 percent from a year ago (5.56 million in December 2017).


National Association of Realtors December 2018 DataNAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun says current housing numbers are partly a result of higher interest rates during much of 2018. “The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $253,600, up 2.9 percent from December 2017 ($246,500). December’s price increase marks the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of December decreased to 1.55 million, down from 1.74 million existing homes available for sale in November, but represents an increase from 1.46 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 last month and up from 3.2 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 46 days in December, up from 42 days in November and 40 days a year ago. Thirty-nine percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month.

Per Freddie Mac data, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.64 percent in December from 4.87 percent in November. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32 percent of sales in December, down from last month (33 percent), but the same as a year ago.

The Best Mortgage

Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you to get the best financing deal. A mortgage - whether it's a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan - is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You'll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free brochure to help guide you through this process. Download a free copy today.

Take advantage of our experience! Contact us for a list of preferred mortgage professionals in our area -- pros we know will serve your interests well. Our experience can really help when it comes to finding the right mortgage professional and then getting the right mortgage for your situation.

Winter Home Staging Tips

When selling your home in the winter, staging the inside becomes even more important. Here are five simple tips to make your home shine even when the outside landscaping has faded:

Keep your house warm. In the winter people tend to turn the thermostat down to save money, however a warmer house is more welcoming to a potential buyer.

Clear your walkways and driveways of any snow or ice. Make it easy for buyers to get to your home.

Clean the windows and blinds. Letting in the natural light can brighten up a room and cheer up the home. This also brings attention to the windows and blinds so make sure they are clean even during winter.

Background music played softly can completely change the atmosphere, which will make the home feel cozy and keep potential buyers around longer. Select classical music to appeal to anyone.

Leave the light on. Before showing a home, make sure it's well lit. A well lit home is more inviting. If you're not home, consider setting up timers.

Following these simple tips can give your house that added boost in today's competitive market. For information on selling in our local market, please contact us for a free market analysis of recent neighborhood activity. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!