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FHA Key to Housing Rebound

by Desi Sowers

The Federal Housing Administration is a primary source of mortgage financing for millions of America’s families and plays a key role in helping bring stability to the housing market. This is the message that the National Association of Realtors®. delivered to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee today.

“Without FHA financing, families would be unable to purchase homes and communities would suffer from continued foreclosures and blight,” said Lennox Scott, a member of NAR’s Real Estate Advisory Board and CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate in Bellevue, Washington. In his testimony, Scott shared NAR’s belief in the importance of FHA and concern for the safety and soundness of its programs due to its dramatic growth over a short period of time.

“We believe that FHA has done a good job stepping up to today’s market challenges. However, along with the dramatic growth in market share comes greater responsibility and the need for increased infrastructure and staff,” Scott said. Over the past 18 months, FHA has handled an increase in volume four times greater than 2007 levels, increasing its market share to over 30 percent.

Price Just Reduced!

by Desi Sowers

New Radford Listing

by Desi Sowers

Pricing a Home to Sell

by Desi Sowers

 

Did you know the best chance for selling your property is within the first seven weeks?

It's true.

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
· Lowers agents response
· Limits qualified buyers
· Lowers showings
· Lowers prospects
· Limits financing
· Wastes advertising dollars
· Nets less for the seller

When you are ready, contact me today 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!  It's easy to get started at www.HomeValuesNRV.com

With Affordability Up, Home Buyers Return to the Market

by submitted by Desi Sowers

Thanks to record low mortgage rates and declining home prices, 55 million families - or half of all U.S. households - can afford today’s $200,000 median-priced new home, according to figures released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “That’s an increase of 17 million households from conditions just two years ago and the best housing affordability number we have seen in years,” said NAHB Chairman Joe Robson, a home builder from Tulsa, Okla. “We are now seeing the first signs that buyers are returning to the

marketplace.”

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau comparing home prices, mortgage rates and minimum income needed to purchase a median-priced home in February 2007 and February 2009, a typical family today can purchase a house with $20,000 less in household income and save nearly $500 per month on their principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The number of households that can afford to purchase a home today is 55.4 million, compared with 38.4 million two years ago, according to figures compiled by NAHB.

“With affordability up dramatically, reports from our builders in the field indicate that foot traffic in new homes is on the rise and consumer interest is increasing with each passing day. These are encouraging signs that the housing market may be finally reaching a bottom,” said Robson.

Entering the crucial spring home buying season, there are other signs that buyers are starting to return to the market.

Single-family permits were up 11% in February 2009, new and existing home sales also posted gains and the huge inventory backlog is being slowly whittled down. In a survey for Century 21 Real Estate last month among prospective first-time home buyers who indicated they were likely to purchase a home in the next two years, a majority - 78% - said that now is a good time to buy a home. Of those responding to the online poll, 68% said that now is a better time to buy than six months ago.

Another sign that consumers are considering jumping back into the housing market is the growing interest in the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit included in the recently enacted economic stimulus package. During February and March 2009, 1.5 million visitors logged on to NAHB’s consumer website, www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com, to learn more about the tax credit. Further, a new survey commissioned by Move, Inc. found that nearly 20% of those who plan to purchase a home this year are doing so to take advantage of the tax credit, which expires at the end of November.

“With home values in many markets at the lowest level since 2003, an $8,000 tax credit available to first-time home buyers, fixed-rate mortgages under 5%, and an outstanding selection of homes to choose from, buyers are starting to recognize that this has the makings for a one-time opportunity to break into the market,” said Robson.

Housing is a critical component of the U.S. economy, accounting for about 15 cents of every dollar spent in this country, so any upturn in the housing market should be viewed as good news for the overall economy, said Robson.

Construction of an additional 500,000 single-family homes - the difference between today’s anemic construction rate and one that would move closer to meeting the underlying demand for housing - would generate 734,000 jobs and $35 billion in wages in the construction industry and another 790,000 jobs and $37.7 billion wages in manufacturing, trade, and service sector jobs, he noted.

Additionally, another half-million housing starts would bolster the tax base for government, generating $45 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. And the benefits go well beyond the completion of each home. Within the first year after buying a home, those half million households will spend about $2.5 billion more on appliances, furnishings and property alterations.

“Clearly, housing will be central to any economic recovery we experience in the months ahead,” said Robson.

For more information, visit www.nahb.com.

RISMEDIA, April 11, 2009

Just Listed - Blacksburg, Preston Forest

by Desi Sowers

New Listing - Stunning Views!

by Desi Sowers

Consumers Redefining the ‘American Dream’

by Desi Sowers

While many Americans still believe they can achieve the American Dream, uncertainty in the U.S. economy has prompted a shift in consumer priorities, according to the 2009 MetLife Study of the American Dream. While the American Dream is still defined first and foremost by financial security (66 percent), the current version also emphasizes strong personal relationships. Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) said the current economy has caused them to reevaluate their priorities.

About one-third of Americans feel they have already achieved the American Dream, down slightly from 37 percent a year ago; 72 percent believe they can still achieve it in their lifetime. However, nearly half (49 percent) worry that they won’t be able to sustain that dream.

The study also finds that 50 percent of Americans are only one month – or two paychecks – or less away from being unable to meet their financial obligations if they were to lose their job, and more than half of these people said they could not survive financially for more than two weeks. Nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of Americans admit to having an inadequate financial safety net, and 62 percent of these respondents said they wish they had more cash on hand to tide them over for three to six months in the event of job loss.

Nationally, 44 percent of Americans expect the overall economy to be worse in 2009 than it was in 2008, and 49 percent believe that the creation of new jobs will do the most to boost the economy.

Very Important Housing Indicator

by Desi Sowers

Here is an  important indicator of where housing is headed.  Last week,  new mortgage applications for home purchases and refinances suddenly surged as they hadn't in months.

Applications for FHA loans to buy houses were up by 10.4 percent. And overall home purchase applications jumped by 7.1 percent.

Meanwhile mortgage interest rates dropped to their second lowest level in nearly two decades, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Thirty year fixed rates averaged 4.96 percent and fifteen year rated dropped to just 4.5 percent.

Why's this important? New financing applications to buy homes obviously point to rising purchase contracts and closed sales in the months ahead. They also suggest that prices have hit a level in many markets that is attracting once-hesitant buyers off the sidelines.

If you are waiting to "time the market" the only way to know if home prices have bottom is to see prices go back up and then you missed bottom - not a good strategy!

ZIP Codes Where Housing Sales Are Increasing

by posted by Desi Sowers

Housing sales are improving significantly in key ZIP codes around the country where prices have moderated, according to information compiled for BusinessWeek.com by First American CoreLogic.

ZIP codes in California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada dominated the list, but there were also ZIP codes on the
top 25 most-improved sales list from the suburbs around Detroit and Minneapolis and in the metro areas of Atlanta and Chicago.

Inventories are shrinking and prices are stabilizing in several markets, according to the survey. Here are the top 10 ZIP codes with improved home sales:

  1. 94533, Fairfield, Calif. (Fresno)
  2. 92376, Rialto, Calif. (Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario)
  3. 91342, Slymar, Calif. (Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana)
  4. 92126, San Diego, Calif.
  5. 33914, Cape Coral, Fla. (Fort Meyers)
  6. 93065, Simi Valley, Calif. (Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura)
  7. 95123, San Jose, Calif.
  8. 85379, Surprise, Ariz. (Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale)
  9. 93722, Fresno, Calif. (Madera)
  10. 95624, Elks Grove, Calif. (Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville)


Source: BusinessWeek.com, Prashant Gopal (03/05/2009)

Displaying blog entries 691-700 of 777

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Photo of Desi Sowers,  Associate Broker,  Real Estate
Desi Sowers, Associate Broker,
Certified Residential Specialist at REMAX 8
1344 N. Main Street
Blacksburg VA 24060
Phone: (540) 320-1328

Each Office Independently Owned and Operated