December 2017
Portrait of Karen Harvey

Karen Harvey
CRS, GRI, ABR, Relocation Specialist
715-571-0027
harveyk@firstweber.com
karenharvey.firstweber.com

First Weber Group Realtors

 

Sales rebound modestly in October as prices increase

Sales rebound modestly in October as prices increase

Wisconsin REALTORS Association,

Existing home sales improved in October and inventories remained tight statewide, putting upward pressure on home prices. Wisconsin home sales in October were 4.9 percent ahead of the sales in October 2016, which pushed year-to-date closings 1.1 percent above the pace set in the first 10 months of 2016. However, median prices continued to rise at a rate well above inflation, with median prices rising to $175,000 in October, which is 6.1 percent higher than last October and very close to the year-to-date increase of 6 percent in median prices. In contrast, inflation in October stood at just 2 percent on an annualized basis.

"October sales grew nearly 5 percent statewide," said Peter Sveum, WRA board chairman. Every region in the state except the North region experienced growth in October, with the strongest sales in the Central region, which grew 25.3 percent compared to that same month last year. This was followed by solid year-over-year October sales growth in the Southeast region, up 6.3 percent; the South Central, up 5 percent; and the West, up 4.7 percent. The Northeast region grew at a more modest pace of 1.1 percent. It is important to note that the seasonal trends are more volatile in the North and Central regions. Sales were up 6.4 percent in the North region for the first 10 months of 2017 compared to that same 10-month period in 2016, and sales were up 6 percent in the Central region. No other region grew more than 0.5 percent on a year-to-date basis. “This is the inventory problem, plain and simple," said Sveum.

"A positive signal was the improvement in new listings," said Michael Theo, WRA president and CEO. The number of new homes listed for sale rose 4.1 percent in October, compared to October 2016. Housing remains affordable in Wisconsin, mainly as a consequence of modest income growth and continued low mortgage rates.

5 scents that can sell a house

5 scents that can sell a house

RISMedia,
  • 1. A Clean Smell, from cleaning products can make buyers nostalgic. But remember, just a little will go a long way.
  • 2. Citrus Smell, grind up lemon or orange rind with a few ice cubes in the garbage disposal for a fresh, clean scent without using cleaning products.
  • 3. A Natural Smell, use baking soda and other non-scented products to keep from distracting buyers with artificial scents from potpourri or plug-ins. Artificial scents can turn buyers off.
  • 4. The Smell of Baked Goods, stick to simple scents like vanilla, cinnamon, coffee, and fresh bread.
  • 5. A Fresh Pine Scent, from a live tree, wreath or tree trimmings is especially pleasant during the holidays.
Home prices are ‘unstoppable’ will they stay that way?

Home prices are unstoppable, will they stay that way?

RISMedia,

Home prices grew in the latest S&P CoreLogic/Case-Shiller Indices, up 6.1 percent year-over-year in August, compared to 5.9 percent in July. The increase is against-grain in an economy gaining at a lesser pace, says S&P Dow Jones Indices Chairman of the Index Committee and Managing Director David M. Blitzer.

“Home price increases appear to be unstoppable,” Blitzer says. “Most prices across the rest of the economy are barely moving compared to housing. Over the last year the consumer price index rose 2.2 percent, driven largely by energy costs. Aside from oil, the only other major item with price gains close to housing was hospital services, which were up 4.6 percent. Wages climbed 3.6 percent in the year to August.”

Is there an end in sight? According to Blitzer, home prices have come back since the downturn—and then some—but how long they sustain their trajectory remains to be seen.

“The ongoing rise in home prices poses questions of why prices are climbing and whether they will continue to outpace most of the economy,” says Blitzer. “Currently, low mortgage rates, combined with an improving economy, are supporting home prices. Low interest rates raise the value of both real and financial long-lived assets.

“The price gains are not simply a rebound from the financial crisis,” Blitzer says. “Nationally and in nine of the 20 cities in the report, home prices have reached new all-time highs; however, home prices will not rise forever. Measures of affordability are beginning to slide, indicating that the pool of buyers is shrinking. The Federal Reserve is pushing short-term interest rates upward and mortgage rates are likely to follow over time, removing a key factor supporting rising home prices.”

If you are struggling with mortgage payments, HARP might help

If you are struggling with mortgage payments, HARP might help

RISMedia,

HARP, or the Home Affordable Refinance Program, is a great way to refinance your mortgage and save a ton of money in interest charges. HARP allows homeowners who have little or no equity in their homes to refinance their mortgages and get lower interest rates. You can even refinance if your mortgage is upside down. The program was due to expire in September, but it has been extended through December 2018.

Find the property you really want with the First Weber app

Find the property you really want with the First Weber app

Download the First Weber app, FREE, on the App Store or Google Play so you’ll never miss out on the property you really want. You will love the convenience and ease.

4 reasons your smaller house can sell for more than ever before

4 reasons your smaller house can sell for more than ever before

RISMedia’s Housecall,

Market Shifts:
The way that people buy homes has changed. While at one time buyers were looking to get as much square footage for their money as possible, they are now looking for smart investments. Many buyers now look at the lower maintenance costs and the location of the home as far more valuable than the size metric. This, in turn, allows owners of smaller homes to be more competitive than their larger neighbors, especially when selling to investors.

Design is Changing:
There has also been a huge scene change when it comes to small space interior design. More and more designers are looking to design for small spaces, making the most of what they have instead of filling up larger rooms. This is a spin-off of the tiny home movement, one that has really altered the overall design landscape. While most buyers aren’t looking for a true tiny home, many have begun to realize that they can do much more with much less. This is fantastic for you as an owner of a smaller home, as buyers are finally realizing how much they can do with the square footage you are selling. As long as this movement persists, owners of small homes will be at a major advantage.

Area Over Square Footage:
Buyers have also become incredibly conscious about the areas in which they live. With some buyers now targeting hip new areas, they are willing to put aside some of their size concerns in order to get into the hottest neighborhoods. Even if your home is only adjacent to one of these hot spots, you'll find buyers who would have never looked twice at your smaller house. These trends are especially true among younger buyers who don't plan on having large families; they now know that they can get a good space near everything they loved without having to travel. This demographic is perfect for those who are looking to sell smaller homes.

Minimalism:
Quite a bit of what's been discussed goes back to a single, overriding trend among younger buyers: minimalism. There are many who now see having a smaller, nicer home as a lifestyle statement. These are the same kinds of buyers who would have paid top dollar for a larger space years ago, but are now following current trends to keep up with their neighbors. If you have a small house, it's the perfect time to start branding it towards trend-conscious buyers. While the square footage might be minimal, there are many who see that as something of an asset.