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Greater McAllen Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because I care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 13, 2019

Majority Of Buyers Find A Home Using Their Phone

These days, there aren't many things you can't do on your phone. From grocery shopping to getting a job, smartphones have made nearly everything easier to do. And, according to new research from the National Association of Realtors, that's also true of looking for a house to buy. The data shows that the vast majority of home buyers used their phones to help search for a house. And it isn't just young people who are turning to technology to help with their home search. In fact, large majorities of buyers across all generations said they started searching homes using their phones. Among Millennial respondents, a full 80 percent said they used their phone to look for a home, with GenX buyers almost equally as likely to use a phone at 78 percent. There was a slight drop off, however, among Baby Boomers, with 68 percent of buyers between the ages of 54 and 63 saying they began their search on a smartphone. From the numbers, it's clear that the convenience and accessibility of smartphones has helped prospective buyers more easily find a home that suits their needs. They can also help buyers find an agent to work with. The survey found that nearly 20 percent of participants said that's how they found the real-estate professionals that helped them seal the deal. More here.
Using you phone to find a home

Sept. 8, 2019

New Home Market Shows Signs Of Momentum

The latest data from the U.S Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows new home sales down nearly 13 percent in July. But the decreasing sales numbers are a bit misleading. That's because the decline was mostly the result of a significant revision to month-before numbers. New home sales data is an estimate based on building permits and is often revised after initial reporting. In this case, after being revised upward, the June data actually shows sales were at their fastest pace since 2007. And, even after declining in July, sales of newly built homes remain 4.3 percent higher than at the same time last year. That's encouraging news for the market. Combined with increased residential construction and moderating prices, the improvement could be a sign that the housing market is gaining some momentum. One possible reason for the positive turn is lower mortgage rates. Another is lower prices. According to the report, the median sales price of new homes sold in July fell 4.5 percent. Additionally, inventory levels improved, with the supply of homes rising to 337,000 units. At the current sales rate, that's a 6.4-month supply. More here.

New Home Sales Gain Momentum

Posted in Market Updates
Sept. 5, 2019

Have Home Prices Finally Leveled Off?

Home prices have been rising for years now. But, according to new data, they may be finally starting to level off. The numbers, from S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices – which is considered to be the leading measure of U.S. home prices – shows price increases have continued to slow. Nationally, S&P's most recent reading has them up just 3.1 percent year-over-year. Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says that may be a sustainable level. “Home price gains continue to trend down, but may be leveling off to a sustainable level,” Murphy said. “While housing has clearly cooled off from 2018, home price gains in most cities remain positive in low single digits. Therefore, it is likely that current rates of change will generally be sustained barring an economic downturn.” And though prices are still rising, a 3 percent year-over-year increase is actually below normal. In fact, according to an analysis from the National Association of Realtors, the average yearly increase from 1968 through 2004 was 6.4 percent. More here.

Home Prices Finally Leveled Off

 

Posted in Housing Market
Aug. 13, 2019

Home Purchase Sentiment Index Hits Record High

Americans are feeling financially confident and it's good news for the housing market, according to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index from Fannie Mae. The survey - which measures consumers' perceptions of buying and selling a home, job security, mortgage rates, prices, etc. - hit a new high in July. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's chief economist, says it's due to favorable mortgage rates and increased job confidence. “Consumer job confidence and favorable mortgage rate expectations lifted the HPSI to a new survey high in July, despite ongoing housing supply and affordability challenges,” Duncan said. “Consumers appear to have shaken off a winter slump in sentiment amid strong income gains. Therefore, sentiment is positioned to take advantage of any supply that comes to market, particularly in the affordable category.” In other words, Americans are feeling good about their income and may be ready to buy. In fact, the survey found a 3 percent month-over-month increase in the number of respondents who said now was a good time to buy a house. More here.

Consumer's perception on buying and selling a home hits new high

Posted in Housing Market
Aug. 12, 2019

Bidding Wars Fall To Lowest Point Since 2011

Competition can sometimes be fun. But shopping for a house to buy isn't one of those times. When it comes to buying a home, competition usually leads to stress and disappointment. That's why data from one new national report is good news for potential home buyers. According to the report, the housing market is far less competitive than it was last year at this time. In fact, bidding wars are at their lowest point since 2011. Additionally, today's buyer is less than half as likely to face a competing offer than they were at this time last year. And the year-over-year decline in bidding wars was significant. Last July, nearly half of buyers faced competition when making an offer. This July, the share of buyers facing competition was just 11.2 percent. That's encouraging, of course. However, the amount of competition you face will depend on the market you're shopping in. Hot markets like San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston still have a fair amount of competition, although they're still far less competitive than they were last summer. More here.

Home buying bidding lowest since 2011

Posted in Housing Market
July 28, 2019

How Does Construction Affect Affordability?

Naturally, for home buyers, affordability is a top concern. That's not a surprise. Anyone thinking about buying a home in the near future is likely going to first try to figure out how much house they can afford. That means, keeping an eye on mortgage-rate fluctuations and where home prices are headed. But there are other, less obvious, factors that can affect the cost of housing in your area. Construction, for example. The amount and type of housing that's being built in the neighborhoods you're interested in can have an impact on affordability. That's because, as the number of homes available for sale increases, it reduces competition and helps relieve pressure on prices. So, if there are a lot of new homes being built in your area, chances are they're helping to keep prices from spiking. That's why there's been a renewed focus on diversifying the housing stock and building smaller, more affordable new homes. Since much of the new residential construction taking place these days is of higher-end, more expensive homes, there's a growing need for homes that will help meet demand from first-time buyers and slow entry-level home prices. More here.

home affordability

Posted in Housing Market
July 28, 2019

56% Of Homes Sell In Under A Month

If you're shopping for a house this summer, you should be prepared to move fast. That's because, homes are selling quickly so far this season and new numbers from the National Association of Realtors show the trend continuing through June. In fact, 56 percent of the homes sold during the month were on the market for less than a month. The typical property lasted just 27 days, which is up from 26 days the month before. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says the housing market is imbalanced and it's leading to higher prices and more competition for available homes. “Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices,” Yun said. However, like all things real estate, your location will determine the conditions you encounter when shopping for a house. For example, home sales in the Midwest and Northeast – where inventory isn't quite as tight – increased in June. The South and West, on the other hand, saw declines. More here.
Market Rate Homes are Sold

Posted in Market Updates
July 28, 2019

What's Happening In The New Home Market?

New homes only represent about 11 percent of all home sales. But, though they're a small slice of housing market activity, they do play an important role. That's because, when new homes are selling, builders build more houses. And, since adding new homes to the housing stock can help alleviate upward pressure on home prices, a healthy new home market can make buying conditions better for everyone. These days, though, the market faces some challenges. For example, the increasing cost of land and materials means builders struggle to build new homes in price ranges affordable for first-time and entry level buyers. For example, new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show that the median sales price of new homes sold in June was $310,400. The average price was $368,600. By comparison, at the end of 2018, the average price of homes purchased by first-time buyers was $219,300. Since a significant share of housing demand these days comes from younger buyers, new home sales are held back by the lack of affordable options for this demographic. More here.

New Home Sales Effect Home Prices

Posted in Housing Market
June 1, 2019

Summer Is The Best Time To Sell A Home

According to the popular Christmas song, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. But not if you're trying to sell a home. After all, winter is typically not the time home buyers go out shopping for a house. So what is the best time of the year if you're a homeowner with a house to sell? Well, according to a new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions, spring and summer are the seasons when sellers see the biggest premiums. In fact, of the nine days of the year that sellers saw a premium of 10 percent or more, eight of them occurred during summer months. Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, says this is no surprise. “Since Summer is a time for vacations and outings, it's no surprise that it's also a time when people are most likely to move,” Teta said. “Families start their home search when they know their kids will be out of school and when the weather is ideal for home viewing and moving, giving home sellers an upper hand in price negotiations.” Specifically, May and June are the best months for selling a house, with homes sold in June selling for an average of 9.2 percent above estimated market value. More here.

Summer is hot for selling your home

Posted in Housing Market
June 1, 2019

How Much Of Your Money Should Go Toward Housing?

No matter how much money you have, you still have to make choices about how to spend it. Spending too much on one thing means not having as much for another. This is simple budgeting. And, since your mortgage will likely be among your biggest monthly bills, you'll want to give some thought to how much of your income you'd be comfortable putting toward it. Conventional wisdom says you shouldn't spend more than 30 percent of your income on housing. But historically, Americans' mortgage payments have been closer to 21 percent of their income. These days, it's even lower. At the end of last year, the mortgage payment on a typical home required about 17.5 percent of the median income, according to a recent analysis. But that, of course, also depends on where you live. For example, the percentage you'd spend on a mortgage payment in Cleveland is about half of what the typical New Yorker spends. Wherever you are, though, giving some consideration to your household expenses, income, and prospective payment before heading out to find a house will help you avoid buying more than you can comfortably afford. More here.

How Much Money Should Go Towards Housing