Thursday, October 14, 2021

What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market?

What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The Market

As you follow the news, you’re likely seeing headlines discussing what’s going on in today’s housing market. Chances are high that some of the more recent storylines you’ve come across mention terms like cooling or slowing when talking about where the market is headed.

But what do these terms mean? The housing market today is anything but normal, and it’s still an incredibly strong sellers’ market, especially when compared to the few years leading up to the pandemic. With that in mind, what can previous years tell us about today’s real estate market and if it’s truly slowing?

We’re Still Seeing an Above Average Number of Sales

You may see headlines about a drop in home sales. But are those headlines telling the full story? The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) does show a drop of about 2% from July to August. But the month-over-month decline doesn’t provide the full picture (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAs the graph shows, historical context is key. Today’s home sales are well ahead of some of the more normal years that led up to the health crisis. That means buyers are still in the market, which is great news if you’re planning to list your home.

Houses Are Selling Faster Than Usual

When headlines mention the market is slowing, sellers may naturally wonder if their house will sell as quickly as they’d like. According to the most recent Realtors Confidence Index from NAR, homes are still selling at record speed (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAgain, if we look back at data from previous years, we can see the average time on market17 days –  means homes are selling faster than a normal pace.

Bidding Wars Are Still the Norm

The Realtors Confidence Index from NAR also shows a drop in the average number of offers homes are receiving in August, and many headlines may simply focus there without providing the important context (see graph below):What Do Past Years Tell Us About Today’s Real Estate Market? | Simplifying The MarketAgain, it’s important to compare today’s market to trends from recent years. Currently, the average number of offers per listing is higher than 39 of the previous 45 months. That means the likelihood of a bidding war on your home is still high. And the number of offers your house receives can have a major influence on the final sale price.

So, Is the Market Slowing Down?

While there are slight declines in various month-to-month data, it’s important to keep historical context in mind when determining what’s happening in today’s market. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, put it best recently, saying:

“It’s not the white-hot market from earlier in the year & it’s not the 2020 market benefiting from a wave of pent-up demand but make no mistake this is still a hot housing market.”

Bottom Line

Don’t let headlines make you rethink listing your home this fall. Selling today means you can still take advantage of high buyer demand, multiple offers, and a quick sale. If you’re thinking of selling your house, let’s connect and discuss why this fall is the perfect time to do so.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Don’t Wait for a Lower Mortgage Rate – It Could Cost You

Don’t Wait for a Lower Mortgage Rate – It Could Cost You | Simplifying The Market

Today’s housing market is truly one for the record books. Over the past year, we’ve seen the lowest mortgage rates in history. And while those rates seemed to bottom out in January of this year, the golden window of opportunity for buyers isn’t over just yet. If you’re one of the buyers who worry they’ve missed out, rest assured today’s mortgage rates are still worth taking advantage of.

Even today, our mortgage rates are below what they’ve been in recent decades. So, while you may not be able to lock in the rate your friend got recently, you’re still in a great position to secure a rate well below what your parents and even grandparents got in years past. The key will be acting sooner rather than later.

In late September, mortgage rates ticked above 3% for the first time in months. And according to experts throughout the industry, mortgage rates are projected to continue rising in the months ahead. Here’s where experts say rates are headed:Don’t Wait for a Lower Mortgage Rate – It Could Cost You | Simplifying The MarketWhile a projected half percentage point increase may not seem substantial, it does have an impact when you’re buying a home. When rates rise even slightly, it affects how much you’ll pay month-to-month on your home loan. The chart below shows how it works:Don’t Wait for a Lower Mortgage Rate – It Could Cost You | Simplifying The MarketIn this example, if rates rise to 3.55%, you’ll pay an extra $100 each month on your monthly mortgage payment if you purchase a home around this time next year. That extra money can really add up over the life of a 15 or 30-year loan.

Clearly, today’s mortgage rates are worth taking advantage of before they climb further. The rates we’re seeing right now give you a unique opportunity to afford more home for your money while keeping your monthly payment down.

Bottom Line

Waiting for a lower mortgage rate could cost you. Experts project rates will continue to rise in the months ahead. Let’s connect so you can seize this opportunity before they increase further.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Thursday, October 7, 2021

What Do Supply and Demand Tell Us About Today’s Housing Market?

What Do Supply and Demand Tell Us About Today’s Housing Market? | Simplifying The Market

There’s a well-known economic theory – the law of supply and demand – that explains what’s happening with prices in the current real estate market. Put simply, when demand for an item is high, prices rise. When the supply of the item increases, prices fall. Of course, when demand is very high and supply is very low, prices can rise significantly.

Understanding the impact both supply and demand have can provide the answers to a few popular questions about today’s housing market:

  • Why are prices rising?
  • Where are prices headed?
  • What does this mean for homebuyers?

Why Are Prices Rising?

According to the latest Home Price Insights report from CoreLogic, home prices have risen 18.1% since this time last year. But what’s driving the increase?

Recent buyer and seller activity data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) helps answer that question. When we take NAR’s buyer activity data and compare it to the seller traffic during the same timeframe, we can see buyer demand continues to outpace seller activity by a wide margin. In other words, the demand for homes is significantly greater than the current supply that’s available to buy (see maps below):What Do Supply and Demand Tell Us About Today’s Housing Market? | Simplifying The MarketThis combination of low supply and high demand is what’s driving home prices up. Bill McBride, author of the Calculated Risk blog, puts it best, saying:

“By some measures, house prices seem high, but the recent price increases make sense from a supply and demand perspective.

Where Are Prices Headed?

The supply of homes for sale will greatly affect where prices head over the coming months. Many experts forecast prices will continue to increase, but they’ll likely appreciate at a slower rate.

Buyers hoping to purchase the home of their dreams may see this as welcome news. In this case, perspective is important: a slight moderation of home prices does not mean prices will depreciate or fall. Price increases may occur at a slower pace, but experts still expect them to rise.

Five major entities that closely follow the real estate market forecast home prices will continue appreciating through 2022 (see graph below):What Do Supply and Demand Tell Us About Today’s Housing Market? | Simplifying The Market

What Does This Mean for Homebuyers?

If you’re waiting to enter the market because you’re expecting prices to drop, you may end up paying more in the long run. Even if price increases occur at a slower rate next year, prices are still projected to rise. That means the home of your dreams will likely cost even more in 2022.

Bottom Line

The truth is, high demand and low supply are what’s driving up home prices in today’s housing market. And while prices may increase at a slower pace in the coming months, experts still expect them to rise. If you’re a potential homebuyer, let’s connect today to discuss what that could mean for you if you wait even longer to buy.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Buying or Selling is Not a Game

PRICE MATTERS - on both sides! Sell at the right price - Buy at the right price.

We can help with that. Really!!

The Main Key To Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates

The Main Key To Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates | Simplifying The Market

Every Thursday, Freddie Mac releases the results of their Primary Mortgage Market Survey which reveals the most recent movement in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Last week, the rate was announced as 3.01%. It was the first time in three months that the mortgage rate surpassed 3%. In a press release accompanying the survey, Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explains:

“Mortgage rates rose across all loan types this week as the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield reached its highest point since June.”

The reason Khater mentions the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield is because there has been a very strong relationship between the yield and the 30-year mortgage rate over the last five decades. Here’s a graph showing that relationship:The Main Key To Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates | Simplifying The MarketThe relationship has also been consistent throughout 2021 as evidenced by this graph:The Main Key To Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates | Simplifying The MarketThe Main Key To Understanding the Rise in Mortgage Rates | Simplifying The MarketThe graph also reveals the most recent jump in mortgage rates was preceded by a jump in the 10-year Treasury rate (called out by the red circles).

So, What Impacts the Yield Rate?

According to Investopedia:

“There are a number of economic factors that impact Treasury yields, such as interest rates, inflation, and economic growth.”

Since there are currently concerns about inflation and economic growth due to the pandemic, the Treasury yield spiked last week. That spike impacted mortgage rates.

What Does This Mean for You?

Khater, in the Freddie Mac release mentioned above, says:

“We expect mortgage rates to continue to rise modestly which will likely have an impact on home prices, causing them to moderate slightly after increasing over the last year.”

Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), also addresses the issue:

“Consumers shouldn’t panic. Keep in mind that even though rates will increase in the following months, these rates will still be historically low. The National Association of REALTORS forecasts the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to reach 3.5% by mid-2022.”

Bottom Line

Forecasting mortgage rates is very difficult. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, once quipped:

“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”

That being said, if you’re either a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner thinking of moving into a home that better fits your current needs, keep abreast of what’s happening with mortgage rates. It may very well impact your decision.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Why Homeownership Is Still The American Dream

How often do we hear the term "American Dream"? Don't know about you but I remember hearing that from the time I was a little child. The dream never came true for half my family. The other half was more fortunate. There is a lot more to that story, but this is about you! Don't let the dream pass you by. Set a goal and go for the AMERICAN DREAM!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

If You’re a Buyer, Is Offering Asking Price Enough?

If You’re a Buyer, Is Offering Asking Price Enough? | Simplifying The Market

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the expectation they’ll be able to negotiate a lower sales price. In a typical housing market, buyers try to determine how much less than the asking price they can offer and still get the home. From there, the buyer and seller typically negotiate and agree on a revised price somewhere in the middle.

Things Are Different Today

Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are:

  • Receiving an average of  3.8 offers
  • Selling in just 17 days

Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers highlights how competitive the housing market is right now. This is due, in large part, to the low supply of homes for sale. Low supply and high demand mean homes often sell for more than the asking price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains how these stats can impact buyers:

“The imbalance between robust demand and dismal availability of for-sale homes has led to a continual bidding over asking prices, which reached record levels in recent months. Now, almost 6 in 10 homes listed are selling over the asking price.”

You May Need To Rethink How You Look at a Home’s Asking Price

What does that mean for you? If you’ve found your dream home, you need to be realistic about today’s housing market and how that impacts the offer you’ll make. Offering below or even at a home’s asking price may not cut it. In today’s market, the highest bidder often wins the home, much like at an auction.

Currently, the asking price is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. If you really love a home, it may ultimately sell for more than the sellers are asking. That’s important to keep in mind as you work with your agent to craft an offer.

Understand An Appraisal Gap Can Happen

Because of today’s home price appreciation and the auction-like atmosphere in the selling process, appraisal gaps – the gap between the price of your contract and the appraisal for the house – are more frequent.

According to data from CoreLogic:

“Beginning in January 2020, nationally, 7% of purchase transactions had a contract price above the appraisal, but by May 2021, the frequency had increased to 19% of purchase transactions.”

When this happens, your lender won’t loan you more than the home’s appraised value, and the seller may ask you to make up the difference out of pocket. Buyers in today’s market need to be prepared for this possibility. Know your budget, know what you can afford, and work with a trusted advisor who can offer expert advice along the way.

Bottom Line

Bidding wars and today’s auction-like atmosphere mean buyers need to rethink how they look at the asking price of a home. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional who can advise you on the current market and help determine what the market value is on your dream home.

Content previously posted on Keeping Current Matters

* This article was originally published here

Monday, September 27, 2021

The New Homeowners

There is nothing like the feeling of moving into your new home - a home that you own. Well, OK, the bank may be holding a mortgage, but it is yours! It is an investment. That monthly payment is going toward your investment - not your landlords! Ready now?

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Time for a New home

Growing family? Downsizing? Need a change? Whatever your motivation, right now is a great time to act on it. Let's talk about your personal needs for a home and explore all the options available today!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Holy Cross - Mother Guerin High Schools

This is one of those stories not directly related to real estate. Though, on the fringe I suppose it is. It is not related to San Antonio either, but rather a step back in time when I lived in my birth city of Chicago.

Taking you back to the beginning of Holy Cross High School, River Grove, IL….   It opened in 1961, I was in the next class 1962-1966 and was excited about the new school as it was less than 2 blocks from my house. Before it opened, I was destined to go to St Pats a moderate bus ride down Belmont Avenue. 

The land for the new school was undeveloped and heavily wooded. It was by no means "citified". The development was the biggest “news” in the neighborhood that was typically Chicago Northwest residential. As kids we played at the construction site on weekends. There was a huge hill perfect for bike riding, no brakes! One of the guys did get hurt going downhill, no hands.  That challenge proved not to be a good idea. However, following a few stitches, we all went back and played on the site until we were chased away…  and then they added that darned fence!

Finally, the school opened its doors. After years of Catholic education under the guidance of nuns, it was quite a shock to be taught by brothers. It was all part of growing up in that era. The school was considered a prep school for future college attendees. It was not a school that offered shop or trades. We had intramural and competitive sports, but never a swimming pool. There were efforts made to fund raise for a pool, but never enough money – a minor downside of a private school. No pool did not seem much of an issue as we still had a swim team – they just had to go down the street to St Pats. We survived.

In those days, tuition was less than a thousand dollars, actually I think it was around 5 or 600 dollars. My parents struggled to afford it as did many others but they got it done. The annual enrolment was around 400 and the school prospered. Everyone looked forward to new education and building a future, after all, we were Holy Cross Crusaders. I can honestly say that during the years watching the school being built, attending for 4 years and even after, never once did I think about them shutting the doors – and later being torn down.

Once Holy Cross was up and running they started construction of our next door neighbor Mother Guerin High School. It opened in 1963. There was a time the girls shared some of our facilities – like the athletics and gym. And there was a time when one of our coaches forgot what day it was and who was in the facility. That is a hilarious memory – but not one for sharing here. Eventually, the girls school was completed and Mother Guerin along with Holy Cross were the pride of the neighborhood.

Holy Cross floundered in 2004. Enrollment was down and expenses up. Tuition was unbelievably expensive and for many, unaffordable. Talks took place and an agreement was reached to merge Holy Cross with Mother Guerin, the new name taken was Guerin Prep. A great resource for more information can be found at: 

As I was researching some facts for this article, I stumbled on something that has totally shocked me. Earlier I mentioned St Pats. Turns out St Pats is one of the oldest continuously run high schools in Chicago – going all the way back to 1861 (that is NOT a typo). More on that here: . My god – the great Chicago Fire did not happen until 1871. It is going to take me a few minutes to continue writing this story.

It seems the destiny of Guerin Prep was the same as that of Holy Cross. Following low enrollment of the 2019-2020 academic year, history repeated and a decision was made to close the school. The end of an era had come. The land was sold and the buildings torn down. I am told the approximate 20 acre site will be redeveloped into townhomes and condos. 

New generations will not know the history of that land, nor the adventures and experiences of the thousands of students that passed through those halls for decades. But, those who had the good fortune to attend those two schools will carry the memories and no doubt pass along something they learned in those formative years – and life will go on. It is an interesting life experience to have watched your school be built – and then torn down. The circle of life is more than just a movie.

I understand the mosaic originally from Mother Guerin has been rescued and may one day have a new home. Let us hope so.


Thank you to my cousins Lee and Kathy, and Kathy’s friend Mary Lou for making these photos available. 

If anyone wants to post a memory or share a story about either school you are welcome to do so. Either use the comment feature or write your own article and I’ll create a new post for you – follow this:   (we’ll share stories under rule #11)

And, finally a school video:

Friday, September 24, 2021

Tips for Todays Sellers

Getting ready to sell your home? Thought we would share some seller tips with you today!