Home Sales Slip but Prices Stabilize

June Existing-Home Sales Slip on Contract Cancellations, but Prices Stabilize

Washington, DC, July 20, 2011

Existing-home sales eased in June as contract cancellations spiked unexpectedly, although prices were up slightly, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Sales gains in the Midwest and South were offset by declines in the Northeast and West. Single-family home sales were stable while the condo sector weakened.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million in June from 4.81 million in May, and remain 8.8 percent below the 5.23 million unit level in June 2010, which was the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is an uneven recovery. “Home sales had been trending up without a tax stimulus, but a variety of issues are weighing on the market including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month,” he said. “The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear, but with problems including tight credit and low appraisals, 16 percent of NAR members report a sales contract was cancelled in June, up from 4 percent in May, which stands out in contrast with the pattern over the past year.”

Yun cited other factors in the sales performance. “Pending home sales were down in April but up in May, so we may be seeing some of that mix in closed sales for June. However, economic uncertainty and the federal budget debacle may be causing hesitation among some consumers or lenders.”

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $184,300 in June, up 0.8 percent from June 2010. Distressed homes3 – foreclosures and short sales generally sold at deep discounts – accounted for 30 percent of sales in June, compared with 31 percent in May and 32 percent in June 2010.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.51 percent in June, down from 4.64 percent in May; the rate was 4.74 percent in June 2010.

NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I., said home sales should be higher. “With record high housing affordability conditions thus far in 2011, we’d normally expect to see stronger home sales,” he said. “Even with job creation below expectations, excessively tight loan standards are keeping many buyers from completing deals. Although proposals being considered in Washington could effectively put more restrictions on lending, some banking executives have hinted that credit may return to more normal, safe standards in the not-too-distant future, but the tardiness of this process is holding back the recovery.”

Phipps added that lower mortgage loan limits, due to go into effect on October 1, already are having an impact. “Some lenders are placing lower loan limits on current contracts in anticipation they may not close before the end of September. As a result, some contracts may be getting cancelled because certain buyers are unwilling or unable to obtain a more costly jumbo mortgage,” he said.

Total housing inventory at the end of June rose 3.3 percent to 3.77 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 9.5-month supply4 at the current sales pace, up from a 9.1-month supply in May.

All-cash transactions accounted for 29 percent of sales in June; they were 30 percent in May and 24 percent in June 2010; investors account for the bulk of cash purchases.

First-time buyers purchased 31 percent of homes in June, down from 36 percent in May; they were 43 percent in June 2010 when the tax credit was in place. Investors accounted for 19 percent of purchase activity in June, unchanged from May; they were 13 percent in June 2010.

The balance of sales was to repeat buyers, which were a 50 percent market share in June, up from 45 percent in May, which appears to be a normal seasonal gain.

Single-family home sales were unchanged at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.24 million in June, but are 7.4 percent below a 4.58 million pace in June 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $184,600 in June, up 0.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 7.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 530,000 in June from 570,000 in May, and are 18.0 percent below the 646,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price5 was $182,300 in June, up 1.8 percent from June 2010.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast fell 5.2 percent to an annual pace of 730,000 in June and are 17.0 percent below June 2010. The median price in the Northeast was $261,000, up 3.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 1.0 percent in June to a pace of 1.04 million but are 14.0 percent below a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $147,700, down 5.3 percent from June 2010.

In the South, existing-home sales increased 0.5 percent to an annual level of 1.86 million in June but are 5.6 percent below June 2010. The median price in the South was $159,100, down 0.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 1.7 percent to an annual pace of 1.14 million in June and are 2.6 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $240,400, up 9.5 percent from June 2010.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Moving? Relocation tools to help you compare income levels and more

 

I have recently seen so many out of state license plates and have spoken to folks that either have, or are, thinking of relocating to Washington.  In Snohomish County a large part of them, I assume, are being transferred here by Boeing but regardless thinking of relocation can be a huge decision and take some serious thought. It’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of such a move and how it would impact you. A good place to start would be with salary comparisons and the income level you would need to be comfortable. Here are some great sites with user-friendly calculators that can help you and even if you are not planning to move to another state or county there is still some very fun and interesting tools to check out.

  1. American Institute for Economic Research– See how your salary last year measures up today.  
  2.  Bankrate.com– Calculate relocation equivalents and expenses in dozens of categories, from home price and rent to goods and services.
  3. CityRating.com– Calculates the cost of living in two different states based on your current income.
  4. Pay Scale– Looks at cost of living calculations between U.S. cities with graphs that chart increases or reductions in specific services.
  5. Salary.com– Explore cost-of-living differences based on old and new home and work locations with brief analysis about the move.

Thanks to the Everett Herald for some very useful information.

www.snohomishcountyhomes4u.com

>USDA Home Loans and areas in Snohomish County

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Some Details about the USDA Home Loan Program in Washington State and no I’m not talking about steak!
– Zero Down, no down payment required
– No monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI)
– Very competitive 30-year fixed rates
– 640 minimum credit score required
– Flexible underwriting guidelines (see me for specific questions… employment, credit, debt-to-income..)
– Up to 6% seller contribution
– Can use to buy new construction
– Can use to finance a REO or short sale
Snohomish County USDA Loan Eligibility Map
If you wonder where, you can buy a home with a rural development (USDA) loan here’s a map. The area inside the outlined area is considered urban and is NOT eligible for rural development housing programs.
Hence, homes in Snohomish county located outside of the area outlined in the map should be geographically eligible for a USDA loan (see the official description of borders below).

The ineligible area of Snohomish County Washington includes all of the area South of 140th Street NW, West to Interstate 5. South on Interstate 5 to the water in Possession Sound at Port Gardner. Following the coastline South to the King County Line, East long the King County line to State Route 9. North on State Route 9 to 140th Street NW.
Source: WA INSTRUCTION HB-1-3550, Exhibit L (Snohomish County)
Note: Word has it that USDA is possibly changing some of these guidelines in the fall. What I have heard is that mortgage insurance might be coming into this type of loan. This is not validated yet but with FHA climbing from 3% down to 3.5% last fall it might be true. This can affect a purchasers buying power! If you know of anyone thinking of buying with a USDA loan have them contact me so we can get them into a home now and save money.

USDA Home Loans and areas in Snohomish County

Some Details about the USDA Home Loan Program in Washington State and no I’m not talking about steak!
– Zero Down, no down payment required
– No monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI)
– Very competitive 30-year fixed rates
– 640 minimum credit score required
– Flexible underwriting guidelines (see me for specific questions… employment, credit, debt-to-income..)
– Up to 6% seller contribution
– Can use to buy new construction
– Can use to finance a REO or short sale
Snohomish County USDA Loan Eligibility Map
If you wonder where, you can buy a home with a rural development (USDA) loan here’s a map. The area inside the outlined area is considered urban and is NOT eligible for rural development housing programs.
Hence, homes in Snohomish county located outside of the area outlined in the map should be geographically eligible for a USDA loan (see the official description of borders below).

The ineligible area of Snohomish County Washington includes all of the area South of 140th Street NW, West to Interstate 5. South on Interstate 5 to the water in Possession Sound at Port Gardner. Following the coastline South to the King County Line, East long the King County line to State Route 9. North on State Route 9 to 140th Street NW.
Source: WA INSTRUCTION HB-1-3550, Exhibit L (Snohomish County)
Note: Word has it that USDA is possibly changing some of these guidelines in the fall. What I have heard is that mortgage insurance might be coming into this type of loan. This is not validated yet but with FHA climbing from 3% down to 3.5% last fall it might be true. This can affect a purchasers buying power! If you know of anyone thinking of buying with a USDA loan have them contact me so we can get them into a home now and save money.

>July Events in Snohomish County

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July Events
There are so many events and activities going on around the Puget Sound I could go on forever!  Since I can’t I am focusing on the Snohomish County area but I am posting a link to Seattle area festivals (July and August)and please if you know of  a good one around the greater Puget Sound Region feel free to post.
July 9th – Run of the Mill in the Mill Creek Town Center. This run has become one of the most exciting 5k’s in Washington State, with some of the fastest runners in the nation competing for prize money. But the best part is it’s for everyone! Register– lace up those sneakers and have fun!  Starts at 9:30 am.
Speaking of Mill Creek how about some music? Mid-week 2011 concert series at the forum from 6-8.
July 13th-Ventura Highway Revisited (60/70’s classic hits)
July 20th– Hyah Vision- (reggae)
July 27th– Sly Mr. Y (classic rock
For August line up- www.millcreektowncenter.biz
And on Thursday head on over to Lake Stevens for some music!
“Music on the Lake” Free Summer Concerts Lake Stevens 2011 are presented by the Lake Stevens Arts Commission.   They will take place on Thursdays, July 7 – August 18, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at North Cove Park, Lake Stevens.
Concert Schedule:
July 7: “Navy Band Northwest”- Show band
July 14: “Red Desert Ramblers”- Bluegrass/Country
July 21: “Northend Jazz”- Local Jazz, school students
July 28: No concert this week
July 9, 2011 Mukilteo:10:00 AM to 4:00 PM : Flying Heritage Collection Flying Heritage Collection’s Fly Days are here! Watch rare vintage aircraft put through their paces, just as they did in WWII.  Special event on July 16th B-25 Dubut. Also, don’t forget the great Farmer’s Market down on the waterfront every Wednesday starting at 3:00. I got a pound of Rainier cherries for 4.50 a pound! Num!
July 16th and 17th starting at 11:00
Main stage entertainment at the beer garden, pet plaza, food court, car show, arts and craft booths, kid’s area with bouncy toys, games and activities and FREE shuttle from Jackson High School.
KLA HA YA DAYS– Snohomish
July 20-24
Parade, NBA Star Jon Brockman and so much fun for the whole family!
7/22-8/19 Cinema under the Stars.  Friday evenings with pre-show entertainment at 7:30.  Outdoor movie at Thorton A. Sullivan Park and Silver Lake.
7/29-7/31 Lake Stevens Aquafest Community Festival. Carnival and fireworks! Car show, boat races, art show and so much more.

Sell your home fast!

The 9 Step System To Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

The Real Estate Market Has Changed . . .


“Buyers are far more discriminating, and a large percentage of the homes listed for sale don’t sell the first time. It’s more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.”

Remember not so long ago, when you could make your fortune in real estate. It was nothing then to buy a home, wait a short while, and then sell it at a tidy profit.

And then do it all over again.

Well, as you probably know, times have changed. As good as the market is right now, home prices are still below what they were at their peak. Buyers are far more discriminating, and a large percentage of the homes listed for sale never sell. It’s more critical than ever to learn what you need to know to avoid costly seller mistakes in order to sell your home fast and for the most amount of money.

The 7 Deadly Mistakes Most Homesellers Make

  1. Failing to analyze why they are selling.
  2. Not preparing their home for the buyer’s eye.
  3. Pricing their homes incorrectly.
  4. Selling too hard during showings.
  5. Signing a long term listing agreement without a written performance guarantee.
  6. Making it difficult for buyers to get information on their home.
  7. Failing to obtain a pre-approved mortgage for ones next home.

The 9 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

Selling your home is one of the most important steps in your life. This 9 step system will give you the tools you need to maximize your profits, maintain control, and reduce the stress that comes with the home selling process:

1. Know why you’re selling, and keep it to yourself.

The reasons behind your decision to sell affect everything from setting a price to deciding how much time and money to invest in getting your home ready for sale. What’s more important to you: the money you walk away with, or the length of time your property is on the market? Different goals will dictate different strategies.

However, don’t reveal your motivation to anyone else or they may use it against you at the negotiating table. When asked, simply say that your housing needs have changed.

2. Do your homework before setting a price.

Settling on an offering price shouldn’t be done lightly. Once you’ve set your price, you’ve told buyers the absolute maximum they have to pay for your home, but pricing too high is as dangerous as pricing too low. Remember that the average buyer is looking at 15-20 homes at the same time they are considering yours. This means that they have a basis of comparison, and if your home doesn’t compare favorably with others in the price range you’ve set, you won’t be taken seriously by prospects or agents. As a result, your home will sit on the market for a long time and, knowing this, new buyers on the market will think there must be something wrong with your home.

3. Do your homework.

(In fact, your agent should do this for you). Find out what homes in your own and similar neighborhoods have sold for in the past 6-12 months, and research what current homes are listed for. That’s certainly how prospective buyers will assess the worth of your home.

4. Find a good real estate agent to represent your needs.

Nearly three-quarters of homeowners claim that they wouldn’t use the same realtor who sold their last home. Dissatisfaction boils down to poor communication which results in not enough feedback, lower pricing and strained relations. Another FREE report entitled 10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Agent” gives you the straight, to-the-point questions you should be asking when you interview agents who want to list your home. You can obtain a  FREE copy of this report from my website.

5. Maximize your home’s sales potential.

Each year, corporate North America spends billions on product and packaging design. Appearance is critical, and it would be foolish to ignore this when selling your home.

You may not be able to change your home’s location or floor plan, but you can do a lot to improve its appearance. The look and feel of your home generates a greater emotional response than any other factor. Clean like you’ve never cleaned before. Pick up, straighten, unclutter, scrub, scour and dust. Fix everything, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Present your home to get a “wow” response from prospective buyers.

Allow the buyers to imagine themselves living in your home. The decision to buy a home is based on emotion, not logic. Prospective buyers want to try on your home just like they would a new suit of clothes. If you follow them around pointing out improvements or if your decor is so different that it’s difficult for a buyer to strip it away in his or her mind, you make it difficult for them to feel comfortable enough to imagine themselves an owner.

6. Make it easy for prospects to get information on your home.

You may be surprised to know that some marketing tools that most agents use to sell homes (eg. traditional open houses) are actually not very effective. In fact only 1% of homes are sold at an open house.

Furthermore, the prospects calling for information on your home probably value their time as much as you do. The last thing they want to be subjected to is either a game of telephone tag with an agent, or an unwanted sales pitch. Make sure the ads your agent places for your home are attached to a 24 hour prerecorded hotline with a specific ID# for your home which gives buyers access to detailed information about your property day or night 7 days a week without having to talk to anyone. It’s been proven that 3 times as many buyers call for information on your home under this system. And remember, the more buyers you have competing for your home the better, because it sets up an auction-like atmosphere that puts you in the driver’s seat.

7. Know your buyer.

In the negotiation process, your objective is to control the pace and set the duration. What is your buyer’s motivation? Does s/he need to move quickly? Does s/he have enough money to pay you your asking price? Knowing this information gives you the upper hand in the negotiation because you know how far you can push to get what you want.

8. Make sure the contract is complete.

For your part as a seller, make sure you disclose everything. Smart sellers proactively go above and beyond the laws to disclose all known defects to their buyers in writing. If the buyer knows about a problem, s/he can’t come back with a lawsuit later on.

Make sure all terms, costs and responsibilities are spelled out in the contract of sale, and resist the temptation to diverge from the contract. For example, if the buyer requests a move-in prior to closing, just say no. Now is not the time to take any chances of the deal falling through.

9. Don’t move out before you sell.

Studies have shown that it is more difficult to sell a home that is vacant because it looks forlorn, forgotten, simply not appealing. It could even cost you thousands. If you move, you’re also telling buyers that you have a new home and are probably highly motivated to sell fast. This, of course, will give them the advantage at the negotiating table.

For more information about any of our innovative homeowners programs, give us a call.

 

July Events in Snohomish County

July Events
There are so many events and activities going on around the Puget Sound I could go on forever!  Since I can’t I am focusing on the Snohomish County area but I am posting a link to Seattle area festivals (July and August)and please if you know of  a good one around the greater Puget Sound Region feel free to post.
July 9th – Run of the Mill in the Mill Creek Town Center. This run has become one of the most exciting 5k’s in Washington State, with some of the fastest runners in the nation competing for prize money. But the best part is it’s for everyone! Register– lace up those sneakers and have fun!  Starts at 9:30 am.
Speaking of Mill Creek how about some music? Mid-week 2011 concert series at the forum from 6-8.
July 13th-Ventura Highway Revisited (60/70’s classic hits)
July 20th– Hyah Vision- (reggae)
July 27th– Sly Mr. Y (classic rock
For August line up- www.millcreektowncenter.biz
And on Thursday head on over to Lake Stevens for some music!
“Music on the Lake” Free Summer Concerts Lake Stevens 2011 are presented by the Lake Stevens Arts Commission.   They will take place on Thursdays, July 7 – August 18, 2011, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at North Cove Park, Lake Stevens.
Concert Schedule:
July 7: “Navy Band Northwest”- Show band
July 14: “Red Desert Ramblers”- Bluegrass/Country
July 21: “Northend Jazz”- Local Jazz, school students
July 28: No concert this week
July 9, 2011 Mukilteo:10:00 AM to 4:00 PM : Flying Heritage Collection Flying Heritage Collection’s Fly Days are here! Watch rare vintage aircraft put through their paces, just as they did in WWII.  Special event on July 16th B-25 Dubut. Also, don’t forget the great Farmer’s Market down on the waterfront every Wednesday starting at 3:00. I got a pound of Rainier cherries for 4.50 a pound! Num!
July 16th and 17th starting at 11:00
Main stage entertainment at the beer garden, pet plaza, food court, car show, arts and craft booths, kid’s area with bouncy toys, games and activities and FREE shuttle from Jackson High School.
KLA HA YA DAYS– Snohomish
July 20-24
Parade, NBA Star Jon Brockman and so much fun for the whole family!
7/22-8/19 Cinema under the Stars.  Friday evenings with pre-show entertainment at 7:30.  Outdoor movie at Thorton A. Sullivan Park and Silver Lake.
7/29-7/31 Lake Stevens Aquafest Community Festival. Carnival and fireworks! Car show, boat races, art show and so much more.