Real Estate Blog

Keeping Current Matters, 4/6/16

A few weeks ago, Jonathan Smoke, the Chief Economist at realtor.com, exclaimed: “All indicators point to this spring being the busiest since 2006.” Now, Freddie Mac has doubled down on that claim and is saying that 2016 will be the best year that the real estate industry has seen in a decade. In their March Housing Outlook Report, Freddie Mac explained:

“Despite the challenges facing the housing market, we expect this to be the best year for housing in a decade. Home sales, housing starts, and house prices will reach their highest level since 2006 according to our latest forecast…Challenges remain, with low housing supply and declining affordability being a key concern in many markets, but on balance, the housing

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Some Highlights:

  • Harvard University's Joint Center of Housing Studies recently released the top financial & emotional reasons to own a home.
  • Owning is a good way to build up wealth that can be passed along to your family as it is usually a form of "forced savings."
  • You're paying for a house whether you own or rent, but owning gives you control over your living space.
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Keeping Current Matters, 3/16/16

Some Highlights:

  • Many buyers are purchasing a home with a down payment as little as 3%.
  • You may already qualify for a loan, even if you don't have perfect credit.
  • Take advantage of the knowledge of your local professionals who are there to help you determine how much you can afford.
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Keeping Current Matters, 3/10/16

We recently reported that home prices are continuing to rise across most of the nation. This has created concern in some pundits that a housing bubble, like we saw ten years ago, is forming again. We want to explain why these concerns are unfounded. The current increase in home values can be easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. Right now, the number of families looking to purchase a home is greater than the supply of homes on the market. Here is a chart that explains how the months’ supply of housing inventory impacts home values: 

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, there is currently a four-month supply of inventory. That puts us in

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By Jim Buchta, StarTribune 3/15/16

The kickoff to the spring housing market in the Twin Cities was unseasonably strong — especially for sellers.  

During February, there was a 6.7 percent increase in signed purchase agreements in the 13-county metro area, according to a monthly sales report released Monday by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Though new listings increased slightly in February, there were just 10,953 available properties at the end of the month, a 19.4 percent decline compared with last year.

With buyers outpacing sellers in some parts of the metro area, that meant stiff competition and little room for buyers to negotiate. The median price of all closings during the month was $207,395, a 3.7 percent increase

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Keeping Current Matters, 3/8/16

According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index homeownership is a better way to produce greater wealth, on average, than renting. The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question: 

Is it better to rent or buy a home in today’s housing market?

The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers use a “'horse race' comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” Ken Johnson Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index’s authors

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Minneapolis Area Assn of Realtors. 2/12/16

The year got off to a mostly strong start with buyer activity and home prices rising even though seller activity was lackluster.  Pending sales rose 3.5 percent to 3,033 signed contracts; new listings decreased 7.2 percent to 4,167 homes.  In light of that, it’s no surprise that inventory levels fell 22.2 percent to 10,065 active properties—the lowest figure on record since January 2003.

Prices continued along their upward trajectory.  The median sales price rose 10.3 percent from last January, landing at $215,000. But the big news came by way of median list price, which rose 6.1 percent to $259,900, a record high.  The price per square foot rose 7.2 percent to $126.

Buyers wrote offers that were more

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Jim Buchta, StarTribune, 2/13/16

The Twin Cities home market continued to percolate in January, though it remained below full boil because of constrained supply.

Buyers in the Twin Cities metro signed 3,033 purchase agreements for homes last month, 3.5 percent more than a year ago, the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors said Friday.

“This year’s spring market started earlier and stronger than in past years,” said Cotty Lowry, a sales agent with Keller Williams and president-elect of the association.

Closings on deals that were signed late last year rose 17.8 percent, with the median price of those closings rising 10.3 percent to $215,000. Prices reached new highs in several markets, including Edina, St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Hopkins,

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Keeping Current Matters, 1/21/16

Fannie Mae recently released their “What do consumers know about the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” Study. The study revealed that Americans are misinformed about what is required to qualify for a mortgage when purchasing a home. Here are three takeaways:

  • § 59% of Americans either don’t know (54%) or are misinformed (5%) about what FICO score is necessary
  • § 86% of Americans either don’t know (59%) or are misinformed (25%) about what an appropriate Back End Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratios is
  • § 76% of Americans either don’t know (40%) or are misinformed (36%) about the minimum down payment required

To help correct these misunderstandings, let’s take a look at the latest Ellie Mae Origination Insight

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Jim Buchta, StarTribune 1/20/16

Minneapolis is on the cusp of getting its third major condo project since the recession.

Developer Bob Lux said Tuesday that he will build a 40-story tower with 207 condominiums in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood just across the river from downtown Minneapolis.

The decision comes after months of speculation about whether Lux would build apartments or condos on the site at 200 Central Av., now the location for a Washburn-McReavy funeral home.

“We recognize that condominium homes are more difficult to construct and that the site would accommodate apartments nicely,” Lux said. “But city leaders and neighborhood groups have helped us recognize that this site presents a great opportunity to respond to the area’s need

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