First Half of 2017 Ends with Record Sales, Prices

July RE/MAX National Housing Report on MLS Data from 53 Metro Areas

DENVER, July 14, 2017 (PRNewswire) Halfway through 2017, the U.S. housing market is on pace for another record year as four of the last six months have topped same month sales from 2016, according to the July 2017 RE/MAX National Housing Report. June home sales were 1.4% higher than June 2016, which was previously the month with the most home sales in the nine-year history of the report. To access the housing report infographic, visit rem.ax/2cYFT50.

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The combination of increased sales and a record low inventory that slipped further to 2.8 months resulted in higher sales prices. June’s median sales price of $245,000, up 7.5% over last June, also set a RE/MAX National Housing report record. In fact, prices increased in 50 of the report’s 53 markets.

The average number of Days on Market dropped to a report-record low of 47, while inventory dropped year-over-year in 87% of the markets.

Other notable numbers:

  • Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in transactions.
  • The June 2017 Median Sales Price of $245,000 was the highest in the history of the report.
  • Decreasing 15.2% from June 2016, inventory continued to decline year-over-year. This is the 104th consecutive month of year-over-year declines dating back to October 2008.
  • The June 2017 average Days on Market was 47, the lowest Days on Market in the history of the report.

“Sellers continue to benefit from limited inventory, getting top-dollar for their homes, and as a result, overall sales are at a record high,” said Adam Contos, RE/MAX Co-CEO. “But buyers shouldn’t be discouraged. Mortgage rates are still relatively low and the market may be taking a positive turn, albeit subtle, as recent Labor Department data showed a decline in open construction jobs which could mean more workers focused on new home builds.”

Closed Transactions
Of the 53 metro areas surveyed in June 2017, the overall average number of home sales increased 7.5% compared to May 2017 and 1.4% compared to June 2016. Thirty of the 53 metro areas experienced an increase in sales year-over-year including, Trenton, NJ +14.9%, Fargo, ND +14.6%, Wilmington/Dover, DE +12.9%, Albuquerque, NM +10.4% and Billings, MT +10.4%.

Median Sales Price – Median of 53 metro median prices
In June 2017, the median of all 53 metro Median Sales Prices was $245,000, up 5.6% from May 2017 and up 7.5% from June 2016. Only three metro areas saw a decrease in Median Sales Price (Trenton, NJ, -12.1%, Anchorage, AK, -2.5%, and Wilmington/Dover, DE, -1.3%). Ten metro areas increased by double-digit percentages, with the largest increases seen in Las Vegas, NV +13.7%, Nashville, TN +13.7%, Seattle, WA 12.3%, Manchester, NH +12.2%, and San Diego, CA +11.6%.

Days on Market – Average of 53 metro areas
The average Days on Market for homes sold in June 2017 was 47, down four days from the average in May 2017, and down seven days from the June 2016 average. The four metro areas with the lowest Days on Market were Omaha, NE at 20, Seattle, WA at 20, Denver, CO at 21 and San Francisco, CA at 22. The highest Days on Market averages were in Augusta, ME at 119 and Miami, FL at 85. Days on Market is the number of days between when a home is first listed in an MLS and a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 53 metro areas
The number of homes for sale in June 2017 was up 1.2% from May 2017, and down 15.2% from June 2016. Based on the rate of home sales in June, the Months Supply of Inventory was 2.8, compared to May 2017 at 2.6 and June 2016 at 3.2. This is the fourth consecutive month that months supply has been below 3.0. A 6.0-months supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. In June 2017, 52 of the 53 metro areas surveyed reported a months supply of less than 6.0, which is typically considered a seller’s market. At 6.4, Miami, FL continued to be the only metro area that saw a months supply above 6.0, which is typically considered a buyer’s market. The markets with the lowest Months Supply of Inventory continued to be in the west, with San Francisco, CA at 1.0, Seattle, WA at 1.1, and Denver, CO at 1.2.

Contact
For specific data in this report or to request an interview, please contact newsroom@remax.com.

About the RE/MAX Network:
RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 110,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX, when measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $157 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit www.remax.com. For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit www.remax.com/newsroom.

Description
The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 53 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Definitions
Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Months Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (current inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median of the median sales prices in each of the metro areas included in the survey.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.

84 Percent of Americans See Homeownership as Good Investment, Affordability a Growing Concern

Washington, D.C. – July 12, 2017 (nar.realtor) According to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey, concerns over housing affordability show clear demographic divides especially among unmarried and non-white Americans. More than five out of 10 unmarried and non-white Americans view the lack of available affordable housing as a big problem, compared to only 40 percent of married and white Americans.

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The survey, measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing issues in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan statistical areas and found that 84 percent of Americans now believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision – the highest number since 2007. Yet six in 10 said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. Housing affordability was ranked fourth in the top-five issues Americans face in their area behind the lack of affordable health care; low wages and debt making it hard to save; and heroin and opioid drug abuse, and ahead of job layoffs and employment.

Nationally, 44 percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or fairly big problem. In the top 25 densest markets, more than half see the lack of affordable housing as a big problem, an increase of 11 percentage points from the 2015 National Housing Pulse Survey. Low-income Americans, renters and young women most acutely feel the housing pinch. There is also greater concern about affordable housing among the working class (65 percent) than for public servants such as teachers, firefighters or police (55 percent).

“Despite the growing concern over affordable housing, this survey makes it clear that a strong majority still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home,” says NAR president William E. Brown, a second-generation Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties.

Eight out of 10 believe that the most important financial reason to own a home is that the money spent on housing goes towards building equity rather than to a property owner. Paying off a mortgage and owning a home by the time you retire is the next most important financial reason for buying a home followed by ownership being a good investment opportunity to build long-term wealth and increase net worth.

When asked about the amount of down payment needed for a mortgage, four in 10 respondents believe that a down payment of 15 percent or more is necessary. Seventy percent feel that a reasonable down payment should be 10 percent or less, according to the survey. Misperceptions about higher down payment requirements were most prevalent in bigger cities and by older adults.

Apparent confusion about down payment requirements most likely added to non-owners concerns about affordability. NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years and 14 percent for repeat buyers in three of the past four years.

Over 50 percent of respondents strongly agree that homeownership helps build safe and secure neighborhoods and provides a stable and safe environment for children and family members.

The survey also found that four in 10 Americans say paying their rent or mortgage is a strain on their budget. Those most likely to say their mortgage is a strain have incomes under $60,000, are residents of New York City or the Pacific coast, are under the age of 50 and non-white. Just over half, 51 percent, of respondents said they were willing to strain their budget for a better living environment and would pick a neighborhood with better schools and job opportunities even if housing prices are a bigger strain on their budget. Those most willing to strain their budget are disproportionately married, upper income and living in the suburbs. Overspending on homes is more prevalent in Northeastern cities (36 percent), the Mountain West (34 percent) and the Pacific coast (33 percent).

The 2017 National Housing Pulse Survey is conducted by American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program, which aims to position, educate and help Realtors® promote housing opportunities in their community, in both the rental and homeownership sectors of the market. The telephone survey polled 1,500 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Media Contact:

Cole Henry
(202) 383-1290
Email

America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes By State

Los Angeles, CA – July 10, 2017 (PRNewswire) A new study finds the cost of living in the most expensive zip codes of every state.

Personal finance website GOBankingRates used data from Zillow to survey median home values and mortgage payments, as well as cost of living expenses such as groceries, transportation, utilities and healthcare for zip codes in 48 states and the District of Columbia. To find the total amount of money needed to live comfortably in each zip code, the study split the costs using the following metrics: necessities (50 percent), discretionary income (30 percent) and savings (20 percent).

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For full study results and more details on methodology, visit: What It Costs to Live in America’s Most Expensive Zip Codes

Top 5 Most Expensive Zip Codes

1. Atherton, California: 94027 – Total Income Needed: $668,078

2. Water Mill, New York: 11976 – Total Income Needed: $438,510

3. Alpine, New Jersey: 07620 – Total Income Needed: $330,756

4. Medina, Washington: 98039 – Total Income Needed: $297,905

5. Greenwich, Connecticut: 06830 – Total Income Needed: $222,002

Additional Study Insights

  • Honolulu, Hawaii (96821) sits at #6 on the list of most expensive zip codes across the country, with a total income of $202,798 needed to live comfortably there. This city also has utility, transportation and grocery costs that top the charts.
  • Of the most expensive ZIP codes in every state, the 25314 ZIP code in Charleston, West Virginia is the lowest, with a total income needed of just $61,100.
  • South Dakota and Maine have been excluded from the list due to lack of data (for example, only two ZIP codes exist in Maine).

About GOBankingRates

GOBankingRates.com is a personal finance news and features website dedicated to helping visitors live a richer life. From tips on saving money, to investing for retirement or finding a good interest rate, GOBankingRates helps turn financial goals into milestones and money dreams into realities. Its content is regularly featured on top-tier media outlets, including MSN, MONEY, AOL Finance, CBS MoneyWatch, Business Insider and dozens of others. GOBankingRates specializes in connecting consumers with the financial institutions and products that best match their needs. Start your journey toward a rich mind and full wallet with us here.

Contact:

Kim Dahlgren, Media Relations
GOBankingRates.com
kimd@consumertrack.com
(310) 297-9233 x138

Home Staging Decreases Time on the Market, Finds Realtors® Report

Washington, D.C. – July 6, 2017 (nar.realtor) Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2017 Profile of Home Staging.

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“Realtors® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

According to the report, which is in its second iteration, nearly two-thirds of sellers’ agents said that staging a home decreases the amount of time the home spends on the market, with 39 percent saying that it greatly decreases the time and 23 percent saying it slightly decreases the time. Sixteen percent of sellers’ agents believe that staging either greatly or slightly increases a home’s time on the market, while 8 percent believe that it has no impact.

Seventy-seven percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home, and 40 percent are more willing to walk through a staged home they first saw online. However, 38 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging positively affects a home’s value if the home is decorated to the buyer’s taste, meaning that a home’s staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

Forty-nine percent of buyers’ agents said that staging has an effect on most buyers. Another 48 percent stated that staging has an effect on some buyers’ opinion of a home, but not always, and only 4 percent said that it has no impact on buyers.

Realtors® representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room in a home to stage, followed by the master bedroom, the kitchen, and then the yard or outdoor space. The guest bedroom is considered the least important room to stage.

Real Estate Staging Infographic

The highest share of buyers’ agents, 31 percent, reported that staging a home increases its dollar value by 1 to 5 percent. Thirteen percent said that staging increases the dollar value 6 to 10 percent, while 25 percent stated it has no impact on dollar value. Only 1 percent of buyers’ agents felt that staging has a negative impact on a home’s dollar value.

Sellers’ agents report even more value is added from staging: 29 percent reported an increase of one to five percent in dollar value offered by buyers, 21 percent reporting an increase of 8 to 10 percent, and 5 percent reported an increase of 11 to 15 percent. No sellers’ agents reported a negative impact.

When deciding which homes to stage, 38 percent of sellers’ agents said that they stage all of their sellers’ homes before listing them, 14 percent will stage only homes that are difficult to sell, and 7 percent stage only homes in higher price brackets. Thirty-seven percent of sellers’ agents said they do not stage homes before listing them, but they recommend sellers declutter their homes and fix any faults with the property.

When it comes to paying for home staging, 25 percent of the time the seller pays before listing the home. Twenty-one percent of sellers’ agents will personally provide funds to stage the home, while 14 percent of agents will offer home staging services to sellers.

Beyond staging, agents also named the most common home improvement projects they recommend to sellers: Ninety-three percent recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning, and 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning. Other pre-sale projects include depersonalizing the home, removing pets during showings and making minor repairs.

In March 2017, NAR invited a random sample of 53,760 active Realtor® members to fill out an online survey. A total of 1,894 useable responses were received for an overall response rate of 3.5 percent. At the 95 percent confidence level the margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.25 percent.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Media Contact:

Jane Dollinger
(202) 383-1042
Email

Survey: One in Three Recent Homebuyers Made an Offer Sight-Unseen, Up from Nearly One in Five a Year Ago

Forty-one percent of buyers would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views

More than half of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents said immigration orders influenced their home-buying or selling plans, according to a new Redfin-commissioned survey

Seattle, WA – June 28, 2017 (BUSINESS WIRE) Thirty-three percent of people who bought a home in the last year made an offer without first seeing the home in person, according to a May survey of 3,350 homebuyers and sellers commissioned by Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. In a similar survey last year, 19 percent of buyers said they had offered sight-unseen. Among recent Millennial homebuyers, 41 percent had done so.

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Five other major findings include:

1. Affordable housing was the most prevalent economic concern, cited by 40 percent of buyers; rising prices caused 21 percent to search in other metro areas where homes cost less.

2. Forty-one percent of buyers would be hesitant to move to a place where people have different political views from their own.

3. Orders restricting immigration influenced the buying and selling plans of 52 percent of Arab, Asian and Latino respondents; 45 percent of minority buyers felt that sellers and their agents may have been less eager to work with them because of their race.

4. Buyers remain resilient amid the prospect of rising mortgage rates. Just 5 percent said they’d cancel their plans if rates surpass 5 percent.

5. Fifty-one percent of buyers and 46 percent of sellers saved money on real estate commissions.

“Millennials are already starting to set trends in the real estate industry,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “They are three times more likely than Baby Boomers to make an offer sight-unseen, and they’re more likely than older buyers and sellers to negotiate commission savings. Despite their tech-savvy confidence, politics are seeping into Millennials’ decisions about where to live; nearly half cited hesitations about moving to a place where their neighbors wouldn’t share their views.”

For the full report including more findings, charts and a detailed methodology, visit here.

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $40 billion in home sales.

Contacts

Redfin Journalist Services:
Rachel Musiker
(206) 588-6863
press@redfin.com

Pending Home Sales Tumble in May for Third Straight Month

Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2017 (nar.realtor) The ongoing supply shortages that are propping up home prices in many metro areas caused pending home sales in May to slump for the third consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors®. None of the major regions saw an increase in contract activity last month.

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The Pending Home Sales Index*, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, decreased 0.8 percent to 108.5 in May from a downwardly revised 109.4 in April. The index is now 1.7 percent below a year ago, which marks the second straight annual decline and the most recent since November and December of last year.

Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says it’s clear the critically low inventory levels in much of the country somewhat sidetracked the housing market this spring. “Monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales,” he said. “Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

The persistent housing shortages seen in several markets are most severe, according to Yun, in the lower price ranges. That’s very apparent when looking at the percent change in closings in May compared to a year ago. Sales of homes under $100,000 last month were down 7.2 percent from last year and up only 2.0 percent for those between $100,000 and $250,000. In higher price brackets, sales expanded incrementally all the way up to massive increases of 26.0 percent for homes priced between $750,000 and $1 million and even more for those $1 million and up (29.1 percent).

Weaker financial and economic confidence could also be playing a role in the slowdown in contract activity. NAR’s quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey, released earlier this week, found that fewer renters think it’s a good time to buy a home, and respondents overall are less confident about the economy and their financial situation than earlier this year.

“The lack of listings in the affordable price range are creating lopsided conditions in many areas where investors and repeat buyers with larger down payments are making up a bulk of the sales activity,” said Yun. “Meanwhile, many prospective first-time buyers can’t catch a break. Prices are going up and there’s intense competition for the homes they’re financially able to purchase.”

Existing-home sales are forecast to be around 5.63 million this year, an increase of 3.2 percent from 2016 (5.45 million). The national median existing-home price this year is expected to increase around 5 percent. In 2016, existing sales increased 3.8 percent and prices rose 5.1 percent.

“A much higher share of homeowners compared to a year ago think now is a good time to sell(1), but until they do, sales will likely stay flat and low inventory will keep price growth moving swiftly,” said Yun.

The PHSI in the Northeast decreased 0.8 percent to 96.4 in May, but remains 3.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index was 104.5 in May (unchanged from April), and is 2.8 percent lower than May 2016.

Pending home sales in the South declined 1.2 percent to an index of 123.4 in May and are now 1.4 percent below last May. The index in the West subsided 1.3 percent in May to 98.6, and is now 4.5 percent below a year ago.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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1. NAR’s Q2 HOME survey additionally found that 71 percent of homeowners think it’s a good time to sell, which is up from 69 percent last quarter and 61 percent a year ago.

* The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined. By coincidence, the volume of existing-home sales in 2001 fell within the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million, which is considered normal for the current U.S. population.

NOTE: Existing-Home Sales for June will be reported July 24, and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be July 31; all release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Media Contact:

Adam DeSanctis
(202) 383-1178
Email