5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

This is a great article that I wanted to share with you as I get this question often about the tax changes. It was a hot topic and then fizzled out some but people are still concerned with the affects.

 

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market | MyKCM

Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.

Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual impact that tax reform has had on the real estate market.

1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.”

According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis” and is a “highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends,” buyer demand has increased each month over the last three months and is HIGHER than it was for the same months last year. Buyer demand is not down. It is up.

2. Have the tax changes affected America’s belief in real estate as a long-term investment? The answer is “NO.”

Two weeks ago, Gallup released its annual survey which asks Americans which asset they believed to be the best long-term investment. The survey revealed:

“More Americans name real estate over several other vehicles for growing wealth as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. Just over a third cite real estate for this, while roughly a quarter name stocks or mutual funds.” 

The survey also showed that the percentage of Americans who believe real estate is the best long-term investment was unchanged from a year ago.

3. Has the homeownership rate been negatively impacted by the tax changes? The answer is “NO.”

Not only did the homeownership rate not crash, it increased when compared to the first quarter of last year according to data released by the Census Bureau.

In her latest Z Report,” Ivy Zelman explains that tax reform didn’t hurt the homeownership rate, but instead, enhanced it:

“We have been of the opinion that homeownership is most highly correlated with income and the net effect of tax reform would be a positive, rather than negative catalyst for the homeownership rate. While still in the early innings of tax changes, this has proven to be the case.”

4. Has the upper-end market been crushed by new State and Local Taxes (SALT) limitations? The answer is “NO.”

In the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report it was revealed that:

  • Sales between $500,000 and $750,000 were up 4.5% year-over-year
  • Sales between $750,000 and $1M were up 15.1% year-over-year
  • Sales over $1M were up 17.3% year-over-year

5. Will the reforms in the tax code cause home prices to tumble over the next twelve months? The answer is “NO.”

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Insights Report, home prices will appreciate in each of the 50 states over the next twelve months. Appreciation is projected to be anywhere from 1.9% to 10.3% with the national average being 4.7%.

Bottom Line

The doomsday scenarios that some predicted based on tax reform fears seem to have already blown over based on the early housing industry numbers being reported.

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring

This has never been more true for buyers and sellers. There was a definite slow down in 3rd and 4th quarter of 2017. Buyers were not just jumping on any home at any price. They were waiting for the right house at the right price and this lead to many bidding wars soooo there are a lot of buyers who didn’t find or get what they wanted in the last half of the year and they are ready to pounce on the right homes. Spring market starts at the end of January- beginning of February so Sellers who are on the market then and now are finding that those buyers are pouncing in their homes!! I had a listing that was listed from late August to October last year, we pulled it for the holidays and then listed the 3rd week of January. It was on the market for 3 days and we have it under contract for $15,000 above list price!

For Buyers who think more homes will be coming later in the spring market – this is true but the competition just heats up with more buyers who are waiting to get into the market or waiting for more homes to hit the market as well so if you are thinking of buying anytime in the next 3-4 months you need to start your search now and be ready to jump. You might even lose a few homes before you get the right one so you will need time to do this!

Call me to discuss selling or buying NOW!

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring
The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring | MyKCM
The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2017:

The #1 Reason to Sell Now Before Spring | MyKCM

Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.

Bottom Line
Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.

The #1 Reason to List Your House Today!

Many people believe that selling their house during “the spring buyers’ market” is the best thing to do. Their reasoning is that there will be more buyers than there are during the winter months and, therefore, their house will sell quicker and for a higher price.

Historically, this made sense. However, today’s real estate market is not following the rules of the past.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) measures buyer “foot traffic” each month. It receives data on the number of properties shown to a prospective purchaser by a Realtor® (based on the number of lockboxes used). The data reveals the number of buyers out actively looking for a home, not just window shopping on the internet. NAR explains:

“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.”

According to the latest Foot Traffic Report, buyer traffic is greater now than it was during this year’s spring market and there are more buyers out now than at any other time in the last five years (March of 2012).

The chart below shows that buyer activity over the last three months (blue bars) was greater than it was during this past spring market (green bars).

The #1 Reason to List Your House Today! | MyKCM

Bottom Line
If you are waiting for next spring to list your home because you think that’s when the buyers will be out in force, perhaps you should reconsider. Buyers are out right now!

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI

Top 4 Home Renovations for Maximum ROI [INFOGRAPHIC] | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • Whether you are selling your home, just purchased your first home, or are a homeowner planning to stay put for a while, there is value in knowing which home improvement projects will net you the most “Return On Investment” (ROI).
  • While big projects like adding a bathroom or a complete remodel of a kitchen are popular ways to increase a home’s value, something as simple as updating landscaping and curb appeal can have a quick impact on a home’s value.

A ‘Buyer’ in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

I really love this blog today – I have this conversation with my Sellers a lot these days. The media will drive the hype of Seller’s market and this can sometime make Sellers feel like they are untouchable. This causes a problem when it comes to appraisals mostly. A good example of this happened recently where a buyer made an offer $15,000 above list price (which was crazy considering we were already pushing the market with our list price) the Sellers of course wanted to take this highest offer. I supported this decision whole heartedly but we also discussed that the home might not appraise so we couldn’t count on this high offer price until the appraisal came in and if it didn’t appraise at full offer price we may still want to move forward with the transaction at the appraised value. Time off market is crucial and buyers lenders are as well. It never hurts to take the highest offer price as long as you understand that it is just an offer and still has to be appraised.
I also really love the message of “treat others as you would want to be treated” this can often be lost when money is involved.
My business has slowed down and I don’t do well with being slow so help me out and send any referrals of people that you know who might be thinking of buying or selling a home right now or in the future. Send them this post and introduce us by email. I will take care of the rest!!

A ‘Buyer’ in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush

A ‘Buyer’ in Hand is Worth Two in the Bush | MyKCM

In today’s highly competitive seller’s market where there are more buyers than there are homes for them to buy, some sellers may feel like the ball is in their court.

And they would be right when it comes to choosing which offer to accept, the closing date, or even which improvements they are willing to make to their house prior to selling.

One thing to remember though, is that there is always a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

Interest rates can change, financing might not go through, the appraisal might not come back at the price that you have agreed to. These are all opportunities to work with your buyer to make sure that the sale still happens.

You may think that, because buyer demand is so high right now, you can choose to make your buyer jump through hoops. But what happens if they reach their limit and need to walk away? You’re starting over… weeks, maybe months later… and other buyers may wonder what’s wrong with the house since the last deal fell through.

The Golden Rule

We were all taught from a young age to “treat others as you would like to be treated.”This shouldn’t change once you have a buyer who seems as though they would do anything to buy your home.

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act

Thinking of Selling? Now Is the Time to Act | MyKCM

If you thought about selling your house this year, now may be the time to do it. The inventory of homes for sale is well below historic norms and buyer demand is skyrocketing. We were still in high school when we learned the concept of supply and demand: the best time to sell something is when supply of that item is low and demand for that item is high. That defines today’s real estate market.

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, revealed in a recent article that:

“The biggest challenge to buyers this spring will be simply finding a home to buy and getting it successfully under contract. That’s because the supply of homes for sale is at an all-time low, and yet demand is strong and getting stronger.”

Smoke goes on to say:

“We started the year with the lowest inventory of homes available for sale that we’ve ever seen on realtor.com. While we did see inventory grow 2% in February, total inventory was down 11% over last year.”

In this type of market, a seller may hold a major negotiating advantage when it comes to price and other aspects of the real estate transaction including the inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies.

Bottom Line

As a potential seller, you are in the driver’s seat right now. It might be time to hit the gas.

Great information provided by the KCM Blog.

The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth

The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth

The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth | MyKCM

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in January. If we look at only the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth | MyKCM

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.4% this year alone, the young homeowners will have gained $11,000 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $43,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

No Matter What the Groundhog Says, Here are 5 Reasons to Sell Before Spring!

The time to sell is when it is right for you and your family- however there are advantages to selling at certain times of the year. I am always amazed at how people say they don’t want to list until March or April because that is when the spring market is- people that is half way through the spring market!! Buyers start their home search right after the first of the year- it is their new years resolution to buy a home so be there and available for them before everyone else is!! Call me today to discuss the market statistics for your area!

Is spring closer than we think? Depending on which groundhog you listen to today, you may have less time than you think to get your home on the market before the busy spring season.

Many sellers feel that the spring is the best time to place their homes on the market as buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year. However, the next six weeks before spring hits also have their own advantages.

Here are five reasons to sell now.

1. Demand is Strong

Foot traffic refers to the number of people who are out, physically looking at homes right now. The latest foot traffic numbers from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that the number of buyers out looking for their dream homes in December reached the highest mark since February 2016.

These buyers are ready, willing and able to buy…and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the strong buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory just dropped to a 3.6-month supply, which is well under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. This means, in many areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices; however, additional inventory is about to come to market.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last four years. Many of these homes will be coming to market soon.

Also, new construction of single-family homes is again beginning to increase. A study by Harris Poll revealed that 41% of buyers would prefer to buy a new home, while only 21% prefer an existing home (38% had no preference).

The choices buyers have will increase in the spring. Don’t wait for this other inventory to come to market before you sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

One of the biggest challenges of the housing market has been the length of time it takes from contract to closing. Banks are requiring more and more paperwork before approving a mortgage. There is less overall business done in the winter. Therefore, the process will be less onerous than it will be in the spring. Getting your house sold and closed before the spring delays begin will lend to a smoother transaction.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move-Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.7% over the next 12 months according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher priced home, it will wind-up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. You can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to rise by half a percentage point by the end of 2017.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take back control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps, the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017?

This is a great post from KCM about the affordability of the market. Right now I am hearing all kinds of theories about the market- mostly fear driven. I think this is a year of re-set because the interest rates are finally going up. This was needed to keep everyone humble so to speak. Construction costs are increasing, home prices are increasing, number of buyers are increasing, but inventory is still low so things continue to plug along. I don’t think we will see any bad effects of this market but I do expect to see some re-setting of all facets of the market by 2018-19. Again no major effects but everyone will need to slow their boats a little so that we can still produce inventory. If inventory continues to stay really low then it will take buyers longer to find a home and prices will still continue to rise as the homes that sell will sell for the highest price the market will bear. Remember homes still have to appraise so even with multiple offers we can’t just name a price and make it happen- although I have experienced quite a few all cash offers which has made it tough for financed buyers to compete.
Bottom line is the market is still strong and healthy and will continue this way barring any craziness that happens with outside factors. Try to not let the election, inauguration, interest rates, etc affect you- just reach out to your favorite real estate agent ( this should be me!) to discuss!!! I look forward to hearing from you or your referrals soon!

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017?

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017? | MyKCM

Some industry experts are saying that the housing market may be heading for a slowdown in 2017 based on rising home prices and a jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Here is how NAR defines the index:

“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”

Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify.

The higher the index, the easier it is to afford a home.

Why the concern?

The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market.

But, wait a minute…

Though the index skyrocketed from 2009 through 2013, we must realize during that time the housing crisis left the market with an overabundance of housing inventory with as many as one out of three listings being a distressed property (foreclosure or short sale). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock.

The market is recovering, and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall.

However, let’s remove the crisis years and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008:

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017? | MyKCM

We can see that, even though prices have increased, mortgage rates are still lower than historical averages and have put the index in a better position than every year for the nineteen years before the crash.

Bottom Line

The Housing Affordability Index is in great shape and should not be seen as a challenge to the real estate market’s continued recovery.

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up

This is true but every market is seeing variations on this. Some areas actually have higher amounts of supply but many of the homes are not in the best condition and over priced. There seems to be a disconnect with some Sellers that are pricing there homes at the high price point when they are not at the best condition.
While inventory is low buyers aren’t just buying anything that comes on the market. They are still looking for the best value which might mean a slightly higher price but the home has to be in excellent condition.
Reality is that the homes that sell for the highest prices are still the ones that are in the best condition and priced correctly.
Call me to see if your home is a candidate for selling this year and I can help you navigate the buying side as well!
For every transaction I close this year I will continue to donate to one of my four charities; Furkids, Decatur Education Foundation, FitWit Foundation, and Senior Connections-Meals on Wheels!

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up | MyKCM

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)revealed a direct correlation between a lack of inventory and rising prices.

We are all familiar with the concept of supply and demand. As the demand for an item increases the supply of that same item goes down, driving prices up.

Year-over-year inventory levels have dropped each of the last 18 months, as inventory now stands at a 4.0-month supply, well below the 6.0-month supply needed for a ‘normal’ market.

The median price of homes sold in November (the latest data available) was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marking the 57th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say:

“Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017. Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.”

But there is good news about rising prices. More and more homeowners are recovering from a negative equity situation and learning that they are able to sell their homes and either move up to their dream home or downsize to a property that will better suit their needs. Look for these homes to come to market soon.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. Listing your home in the winter attracts serious buyers who are looking to close the transaction quickly.