Market News

Infographic: May the Fourth Be With You!

Happy Star Wars Day everyone!

In honor of this day of intergalactic adventure, the National Association of REALTORS® has some information on some of the most out-of-this-world cities in America.

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Instant Reaction: April Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report on the employment situation in April:

“Another month of job additions implies more households  are in a position to buy a home. However, recent existing-home sales activity, at around 5.5 million per year, is well below its potential. That’s because similar home sales were occurring during the 2001 and 2002 period, when the housing market was considered fairly normal and somewhat boring, and well before the subprime-led bubble.

“Today there are more than 16 million more jobs compared to back in 2002, yet home sales are running essentially even, meaning there is plenty of pent-up housing demand. What is needed is new supply and new home construction. The number of construction workers is rising, but is insufficient, even though the average wage rate of a non-supervisory construction worker, at $27, is much higher than the average wage of all workers, at $22 per hour.”    

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Story Ideas: Creating a Color Scheme for a Whole House

Picking a color for just one room in a home can be difficult, so choosing colors for an entire house can be overwhelming. Figuring out how to coordinate colors in the kitchen with the colors in the living room – not to mention the colors in the bedroom! – requires some effort. Experts recommend when choosing a palette to start with three colors – one neutral and two other tones. Make sure to use the neutral tone in every room and accent with the other two colors. From there it is easier to insert additional colors while maintaining a coordinated look.

Story Springboard

Check out HouseLogic’s spotlight “The Freshest Paint Schemes for Spring” for more information on the best paint colors for a home. Speak with a decorator about how he or she helps clients develop a color scheme for their homes. Talk to REALTORS® in your area about paint colors they recommend to clients who are considering selling their home.

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WATCH: Realtors® April Housing Minute

Existing-home sales and contract signings both saw modest gains in March, even as low supply and higher mortgage rates continued to affect overall affordability.

Visit https://www.nar.realtor/videos/housing-minute to watch a 56-second, animated video from the National Association of Realtors® summarizing how the housing market performed in March, as well as a look at consumer optimism about buying and selling a home in early 2018.

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Pending Home Sales Increase 0.4 Percent in March, Inventory Restraints Remain

The Pending Home Sales Index inched up 0.4 percent to 107.6 in March from a downwardly revised 107.2 in February. Even with last month’s increase in activity, the index declined year-over-year (3.0 percent) for the third straight month.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that despite the strong job-creating economy, contract activity is not seeing an increase. “Healthy economic conditions are creating considerable demand for purchasing a home, but not all buyers are able to sign contracts because of the continued lack of inventory,” he said. “Steady price growth and the swift pace listings are coming off the market are proof that more supply is needed to fully satisfy demand. What continues to hold back sales is the fact that prospective buyers are increasingly having difficulty finding an affordable home to buy.”

Yun anticipates the multiple winter storms and cold weather contributed to the decrease in contract signings, particularly in the Northeast. Looking ahead, Yun believes that affordability will be a significant topic of discussion and driving factor if overall activity can move above year ago levels. Price appreciation in most markets continues to outpace incomes, and the recent increase in mortgage rates to over a four-year high only adds to the budget constraints aspiring buyers are experiencing in recent months.

For the full news release, click here.

 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Vegetable Garden

By Kris Holland Next to building a patio, one of the most popular backyard projects for many homeowners is growing their own vegetable garden. As more people are making conscious decisions to eat healthier, it’s come as no surprise that at-home vegetable gardens are growing in popularity. A fully-functioning garden that houses a variety of […]

The post A Beginner’s Guide to Growing a Vegetable Garden appeared first on RISMedia’s Housecall.

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Hot Home Trend: Stylish Cowhide

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

From rustic to modern to even the most luxurious interiors, homeowners are sprucing up their spaces with cowhide. Cowhide rugs have seen one of the biggest jumps in Google searches on home design trends over the last decade, according to Digital Third Coast’s latest design trends study, based on search engine results.

There are many types of cowhide to choose from, such as solid colored, cuvy shaped ones to black and white cowhide to ones with brown accents. The brown accent cowhides can be more subtle when used up against hardwoods or brown leather furnishings. The black and white cowhides, meanwhile, are for the wishing to make a bigger statement.

Where should you add a cowhide? Here are a few ideas to show how the trend is being used in home design.

FURNISHINGS: A cowhide accent chair or ottoman can create a focal point in a space.

RUGS: A curvy cowhide rug under a coffee table in the living room can help anchor a space. Designers say the cowhide even helps “loosen up” an otherwise perfectly symmetrical balanced space.

ACCESSORIES: Cowhide accessories can also make an impact, such as cowhide patterned throw pillows or cowhide print blanket to dress up a brown or black sofa.

One thing to add with this trend: Don’t overdo it. You don’t need a lot of cowhide to make a statement.

 

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Instant Reaction: Q1 GDP

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s U.S. Commerce Department report on Q1 GDP:

“The continuing economic expansion assures further job creations and household formations. However, the latest GDP growth rate (of 2.3%) is short of what is possible. Residential investment spending showed zero growth because single-family and condominium construction have not been growing meaningfully. In America today, there is a major housing crisis. Consumers are facing high rent growth and are having difficulty saving up for down payment because of fast appreciating home prices. The acute housing shortage in most parts of the country can easily be relieved with more construction. Therefore, regulatory relief for small-sized banks will facilitate more construction loans for small-sized homebuilders. Local governments need to balance out how zoning laws may be hindering home construction and thereby unnecessarily raising housing costs for local residents. Also many communities need to focus on providing training in trade skills like carpentry and wood framing. A solid growth in home construction will help boost future GDP growth to consistently run at 3% or higher.”

 

 

 

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Instant Reaction: Q1 Homeownership Rate and S&P/Case-Shiller

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to this morning’s S&P/Case-Shiller release on February home prices:

“There is no let-up to rising home prices. The Case-Shiller Index and National Association of Realtors® median home price both show gains of roughly double the average wage growth. Even as the tightening job market is starting to boost incomes, those looking to buy are facing a double whammy of fast rising home prices and higher mortgage rates. The way to make housing more affordable is to build more homes, particularly smaller-sized entry level homes and condominiums. 

Regulatory relief to small-sized community banks will also help boost construction loans. Local governments need to speedily approve housing permits. And there needs to be a way to more easily acquire trade skills like carpentry, wood framing and other construction specialties for those wanting to earn good middle-income salaries without having to go to college. Such actions will boost economic growth and provide better access to homeownership.”

 

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Existing Home Sales Grew Slightly in March; Supply Shortage Continues

After two straight months of declines, existing home sales climbed 1.1 percent in March but it was a familiar story as low inventory and high prices kept sales activity to a level lower than a year ago, according to NAR.

As NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun explained during this morning’s press conference, gains last month in the Northeast and Midwest – a reversal from the weather-impacted declines seen in February – helped overall sales activity rise to its highest jump since last November at 5.72 million.  Yet low supply and a median sales price increase of 5.9% since last year has home sales at a lower level compared to a year ago.

“Unsold inventory is at a 3.6-month supply at the current sales pace, compared to 3.8 months at this time in 2017. There is a spring seasonal ramp-up in buyer demand but without the corresponding increase in new listings coming onto the market,” said Yun. “As a result, the market is highly competitive and homes are going under contract in about a month, which is four days faster than last year and 17 days faster than March 2016.”

 

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