Archive for the ‘Housing Market’ Category

New Home Starts Up and Down in June; Builder Confidence Dropping

July 22, 2010

There was good news and bad news released this week for home builders in Phoenix, Arizona and the nation. The good news is that the expected drop in June’s single-family new home starts didn’t really happen. In fact it was essentially unchanged from a month before, which could indicate that the plunge in new home construction has reached the bottom and is leveling off.

Perhaps this news will perk up the confidence of Arizona home builders. The National Association of Home Builders released the July Housing Market Index showing a drop in builder confidence from previous months. This reflects the slow market that builders are seeing and shows that their perception of the market is very bad. Anything below 50 is considered low.

There is more bad news about what else has dropped. A steep plunge of over 21% in multi-family housing starts pulled the overall rate down to a lower-than-predicted level. Many economists forecasted combined June housing starts would drop to 550,000. Actual numbers came in about 10,000 below that estimate, for an overall drop of 5%.

Graph of New Home Starts

This drop was expected after the end of the home buyer tax credit, however economists are now hoping that the slight drop of only 0.7% in single family home starts is a sign of better things to come.

On the flip side, permits for new housing starts increased just over 2% in June. This number reflects a drop in single family housing permits but a 19% increase in multi-family permits. The Northeast and the West saw healthy increases in combined permits while the Midwest and the South both saw significant drops.

June housing permits could be an indicator of July’s housing starts, although many are reflected in June’s numbers.

According to the NAHB, “about half of single family homes are started the same month that the permit is issued” and nearly all are started within two months. About one-third of multi-family units are started in the same month. A housing start is defined as the beginning of excavation for the footings or foundation of both single family and multi-family buildings. This is commonly referred to as “ground breaking.”

If you are hunting for a new home or even the perfect patch of land to build on, the Curtis Johnson team can help. Contact the Curtis Johnson team, go to www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

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Housing Prices Continue to Drop in Phoenix and Nation-wide

June 30, 2010

The Phoenix real estate market has been up and down, but its more down than up now.There is good news for home buyers in the Phoenix area—home prices are continuing to decrease, down half a percent from February. Of course, this sounds like terrible news if you are trying to sell your home, especially if you bought it when home prices were at or near their peak. No matter what shoes you are in, you should take time to look at the current housing market before making your next real estate move.

Sales jumped during the past several months, partially due to the lower prices of homes and partially due to the home buyer tax credit. Now that the credit has ended, home sales have plummeted and sellers are dropping prices in an attempt to catch the eyes of the prospective home buyers still out there. Eventually the market will right itself if left alone, but it will take time.

In the meantime, foreclosures and short sales are increasing. Combine that with slow job growth, increasing unemployment in many areas and fields, and increasingly tight credit requirements. This combination is going to further drive down the value of homes in Arizona and other states. It’s a bargain hunter’s paradise, for sure.

What can you do if you are trying to sell your home in this frustrating market? How do you compete with the foreclosed house down the block? The same tips are tried and true no matter what state the market is in: good staging, fresh paint, decrease clutter, clean, clean, clean, and fix all those issues that might come up. Have someone with a fresh eye take a walk through your house as if they were a home buyer, then write down—and complete—everything they suggest.

If the continuing downturn of the Phoenix housing market has you in a sweat, or if you’re looking to take advantage of lower prices, call the Curtis Johnson team to help you. The Curtis Johnson Team is here to help when you are looking to buy or sell a home. You don’t need to go to the government for help. Instead, go to www.CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.

On the Brink of a New Housing Crisis? Foreclosure at Record High for Second Month

June 24, 2010

This beautiful Scottsdale home is a current bank-owned foreclosure. Interested in purchasing a home like this? Call the Curtis Johnson team!

The second plunge of the real estate market is beginning to rear its ugly head. For 2 months in a row, April and May, bank repossessions have hit a record monthly high. Nearly 94,000 properties in the United States were repossessed in May alone. Arizona foreclosures are the second highest in the nation. These numbers are an increase of 44 percent over a year ago.

These are not newly distressed properties, and many have been sitting empty for months—abandoned by their financially troubled owners—but the fact that these REO homes will soon cram the real estate listings is the real problem. When normal listings are placed side by side with bank owned repo’s the only way they can compete is by dropping their prices. If you are in no rush to sell your home, that’s probably not too troubling, but if you’re heading towards foreclosure yourself, or even just being relocated for your job, then you want a quick efficient sale. If your price can’t meet those of other homes, chances are that sale will be slow in coming.

Sure, Bob and Mary could walk into your home and immediately fall in love, realizing it’s the dream home they have always wanted, and after a little bit of haggling about the sales price you could be packing for your big move—but in reality this is a pretty rare event these days. You may have to drop the price of your home by $20,000 or more just to get some interested buyers, with offers coming in well below that.

What this means is that all homes will have their prices driven down again, more and more homes will go into foreclosure as financially distressed home owners are unable to sell them, relocated homeowners will be forced to rent out their home in order to carry two housing payments, and distressed neighborhoods could continue to become more and more blighted.

I’m afraid that the government’s attempt to salvage some of the housing market in the past has only increased the problem now. The Home Buyer Tax Credit kicked the market into action, but since it has stopped so has the market. Slow home buying activity combined with an increase in bank repossessions is combining for what will soon be a very unpleasant situation.

Want to get your home sold quickly before the market plunges deeply? Contact the Curtis Johnson team to learn more about our Quick Cash Options. Looking to invest? It’s an investor’s dream right now and we have many properties to suit you. Call the Curtis Johnson team today!

Go to CurtisJohnsonRealty.com or call 1-888-Curtis-J.