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NAR: March Existing-Home Sales Rise 3.7%

by Ashlie DuCros

Daily Real Estate News  |  April 20, 2011  

Sales of existing-home sales rose in March, continuing an uneven recovery that began after sales bottomed last July, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.10 million in March from an upwardly revised 4.92 million in February, but are 6.3 percent below the 5.44 million pace in March 2010. Sales were at elevated levels from March through June of 2010 in response to the home buyer tax credit.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects the improving sales pattern to continue. “Existing-home sales have risen in six of the past eight months, so we’re clearly on a recovery path,” he said. “With rising jobs and excellent affordability conditions, we project moderate improvements into 2012, but not every month will show a gain – primarily because some buyers are finding it too difficult to obtain a mortgage. For those fortunate enough to qualify for financing, monthly mortgage payments as a percent of income have been at record lows.”

NAR’s housing affordability index shows the typical monthly mortgage principal and interest payment for the purchase of a median-priced existing home is only 13 percent of gross household income, the lowest since records began in 1970.
According to Freddie Mac, the
national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.84 percent in March, down from 4.95 percent in February; the rate was 4.97 percent in March 2010.

Data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae show requirements to obtain conventional mortgages have been tightened, with the average credit score rising to about 760 in the current market from nearly 720 in 2007; for FHA loans the average credit score is around 700, up from just over 630 in 2007.
“Although home sales are coming back without a federal stimulus, sales would be notably stronger if mortgage lending would return to the normal, safe standards that were in place a decade ago – before the loose lending practices that created the unprecedented boom and bust cycle,” Yun explained.

“Given that FHA and VA government-backed loan programs turned a modest profit over to the U.S. Treasury last year, and have never required a taxpayer bailout, we believe low-downpayment loans should continue to be available for those consumers who have demonstrated financial responsibility and are willing to stay well within their budget. Raising the downpayment requirement would unnecessarily deny credit to many worthy middle-class families and veterans,” Yun said.

A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 33 percent of homes in March, compared with 34 percent of homes in February; they were 44 percent in March 2010.

Record Share of All-Cash Sales
All-cash sales were at a record market share of 35 percent in March, up from 33 percent in February; they were 27 percent in March 2010. Investors accounted for 22 percent of sales activity in March, up from 19 percent in February; they were 19 percent in March 2010. The balance of sales were to repeat buyers.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $159,600 in March, down 5.9 percent from March 2010. Distressed homes – typically sold at discounts in the vicinity of 20 percent – accounted for a 40 percent market share in March, up from 39 percent in February and 35 percent in March 2010.
NAR President
Ron Phipps said some renters are looking to home ownership as a hedge against inflation. “The typical buyer today plans to stay in a home for 10 years, while rents are projected to rise at faster rates over the next few years,” he said. “As buyers gain more financial security, the advantages of home ownership become more obvious. Rents will continue to trend up, especially in comparison with a fixed-rate loan which provides financial stability and gradual accumulation of equity over time.”

Total housing inventory at the end of March rose 1.5 percent to 3.55 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.4-month supply at the current sales pace, compared with a 8.5-month supply in February.

Single-family home sales rose 4.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.45 million in March from 4.28 million in February, but are 6.5 percent below the 4.76 million level in March 2010. The median existing single-family home price was $160,500 in March, down 5.3 percent from a year ago.
Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 1.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 650,000 in March from 640,000 in February, but are 4.1 percent below the 678,000-unit pace one year ago. The median existing condo price was $153,100 in March, which is 10.1 percent below March 2010.

Regions: Northeast
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 3.9 percent to an annual level of 800,000 in March but are 12.1 percent below March 2010. The median price in the Northeast was $232,900, down 3.0 percent from a year ago.
Midwest
Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 1.0 percent in March to a pace of 1.06 million but are 13.1 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $126,100, which is 7.1 percent below March 2010.
South
In the South, existing-home sales rose 8.2 percent to an annual level of 1.99 million in March but are 1.0 percent below March 2010. The median price in the South was $138,200, down 6.6 percent from a year ago.
West
Existing-home sales in the West slipped 0.8 percent to an annual pace of 1.25 million in March and are 3.1 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $192,100, which is 11.2 percent lower than March 2010.

—NAR

For more information, please contact me at 714-743-9778, or email ADucroshomes@gmail.com

The Best Spring Selling Strategy

by Ashlie DuCros

Sellers, you have an excellent opportunity to sell your home this season, if you have the right pricing strategy in place from the start! Studies show that the longer a property stays on the market, the less the seller will net upon the sale. It is very important to price your property at a competitive market value at the signing of your listing contract. The market is so competitive that even over-pricing by a few thousand dollars could mean that your house will not sell.

An Overpriced Home:

· Minimizes offers

· Decreases agents response

· Limits qualified buyers

· Decreases showings

· Decreases prospects

· Limits financing

· Wastes advertising dollars

· Nets less for the seller

When you are ready, contact me today at 714-743-9778 or email me at ADucroshomes@gmail.com for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!
www.AshlieDuCros.com
 

Foreclosed Homes to Buy in Orange County!

by Ashlie DuCros

Foreclosed homes are starting to hit the market! Here are some great deals found in the Orange County! For more information or to schedule a showing,  please contact me at ADucroshomes@gmail.com, or log on to www.HotOCbuys.com to get your own list of foreclosed homes!

 

City of Anaheim Hills

 

5532 Vista Del Amigo 2/3 1401 sqft. $367,000

 

1050 S. Rexford 4/3  2571 Sqft. $ 593,900

 

City of Brea

 

3638 Hawks 3/2 1973 sqft. 448,800

 

133 La Canada 4/3 2358 sqft. $519,900

 

 

City of Orange

 

400 S Flwoer 2/1 1145 sqft. $215,900

 

1910 Palmyra 2/3 1190 sqft. $237,900

 

5403 Avenida Palmer 4/3 3164 sqft $709,900

 

 

**Other cities available upon request**

 

 

 

Ashlie DuCros

 

 

Ashlie DuCros and Associates

Prudential California Realty

714-743-9778

www.AshlieDuCros.com

Aducroshomes@gmail.com

 

Who should you believe, your realtor?

by Ashlie DuCros

Great Article!! Who should you listen to? For any questions, please contact me at 714-743-9778, or ADucroshomes@gmail.com

 

OK. You Win. Stop Listening to Real Estate Agents!

by The KCM Crew on April 5, 2011 · 10 comments

in For Buyers

Each day we attempt to give truthful insight on the current housing market. If we report what is perceived as negative news, some in the real estate community come down on us hard. However, when we explain that we think now is a great time to buy, we get an avalanche of feedback from the general public attacking us for being nothing more than puppets for real estate agents across the country. Today, we don’t want you to listen to what we think about the opportunities that exist for buyers in this market. Instead, we want to report on what some members of the investment community are saying.

The Wall Street Journal

Jim Woods wrote an article earlier this year for Market Watch, part of the Wall Street Journal’s digital network. Its title: Why your best investment is a house. Mr. Woods compared the investment potential of real estate against other asset classes such as stocks and precious metals. Here was his conclusion.

One reason your best investment right now could be a home has to do with the relative upside of getting in on an asset class while it’s at the bottom versus buying into other asset classes that could be near a top. Consider for a moment the tremendous upside we’ve seen in stocks, precious metals and agricultural commodities over the past 12 months…

If you’re a long-term investor looking to put money to work, now is not really the best time to get into any of these three asset classes. However, with home sales starting to improve, and with prices now possibly forming a bottom, real estate could well be the asset class that represents the best low-risk buying opportunity out there today…

Mr. Woods went on to talk about the financing portion of the purchase:

Yes, mortgage rates still are near historical lows, but if we see these rates rise, then the cost of a new home could climb significantly. So, now could really be the best time to pull the trigger on that home purchase — and it could also be your best investment right now.

Fortune Magazine

Shawn Tully, senior editor at large for Fortune penned an article last week which was titled: Real estate: It’s time to buy again. In the article, Mr. Tully explained:

Forget stocks. Don’t bet on gold. After four years of plunging home prices, the most attractive asset class in America is housing.

Let’s state it simply and forcibly: Housing is back. Two basic factors are laying the foundation for dramatic recovery in residential real estate. The first is the historic drop in new construction … The second is a steep decline in prices, on the order of 30% nationwide since 2006, and as much as 55% in the hardest-hit markets. The story of this downturn has been an astonishing flight from the traditional American approach of buying new houses to an embrace of renting. But the new affordability will gradually lure Americans back to buying homes. And the return of the homeowner will start raising prices in many markets this year.

Bottom Line

Neither of the two media sources mentioned above has ever been accused of cuddling up to the National Association of Realtors. However, both have come to the same conclusion. It’s time to buy real estate. Perhaps we should listen to them.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

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Ashlie DuCros & Associates
Coldwell Banker Previews Global Luxury
21580 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda CA 92887
714-743-9778
Fax: 714-849-5489