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Sherri Miller


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Meadowlakes Homes for Sale Update


Within the Meadowlakes community there are currently 4 homes under construction which will be completed soon.  Now is the best time to scoop up these new construction homes.

For those who are dreaming of new construction:  did you know that you can use your FHA mortgage to build a new home?  If you have qualified for a FHA mortgage, and would like to build your own dream home, call and ask me how.  This is a fantastic opportunity and its easy.

Another new mortgage option for purchasing real estate is the Reverse Mortgage.  Changes to the laws regarding reverse mortgages now allow buyers who meet certain eligibility requirements to use this financing product.   This greatly reduces the amount of cash necessary to purchase a home, either existing or new construction.

There are more choices out there than most may realize.  Information is only a phone call away. 


NAR Reports Strong Finish for National, Metro Area Home Prices


At the end of 2012, the national median price saw the biggest annual gain in seven years, more metros reported price improvements, and housing affordability managed to finish the year at a record level despite rising values, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Monday.

In Q4 2012, median prices for existing single-family homes increased in 133 out of 152 metro areas compared to the same quarter in 2011. In Q4 2011, only 29 metros showed year-over-year improvement, and in Q3 2012, 120 metro areas posted yearly gains.

The NAR also found the national median price for an existing single-family home rose to $178,900 in Q4, up 10 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011. The increase marks the biggest year-over-year gain since the fourth quarter of 2005, when the median price was up 13.6 percent.

According to the NAR, the depleting share of lower-priced homes is contributing to price growth as distressed salesforeclosures and short salesdiminish. In Q4, distressed sales accounted for 23 percent of sales, down from 30 percent a year ago.

Existing-home sales improved as well in Q4, rising to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million, which represents a 12.1 percent increase from Q4 2011 and a 5 percent gain from Q3.

While sales strengthened, the supply of existing homes for sale decreased in Q4, with supply at 1.82 million, a 21.6 percent decrease from Q4 2011 when 2.32 million existing-homes were available for sale. Unsold inventory now stands at the lowest level since January 2001, according to the NAR.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, expects sales to stay on a sustained upward trend with inventory at the lowest level in 12 years and as mortgage rates hover near record lows.

Home sales are being fueled by a pent-up demand and job creation, along with still favorable affordability conditions and rents rising at faster rates. Our population has been growing faster than overall housing stock, so supply and demand dynamics are very much at play, he explained.

On a regional basis, the West led sales with a 5.9 percent quarterly increase in Q4. The remaining three regions also posted gains in sales: Midwest (+5.6 percent), South (+5 percent), and Northeast (+2.2 percent). The West also posted the biggest year-over-year price gain, 20.1 percent. The Northeast saw the smallest increase at 0.7 percent.

At the same time, the associations House Affordability Index registered a record high of 193.5, up from the previous high of 186.4 in 2011.

The affordability index assumes a 20 percent downpayment and 25 percent of gross income is devoted to principal and interest payments. A 100 on the index represents the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home.

The housing affordability index shows that the national median income of families was almost double the income needed to buy a median-priced home in 2012, so most buyers are able to stay well within their means, Yun said. Even with rising home prices, conditions are expected to stay very favorable with the index averaging 161 in 2013, which would be the third best on record.

According to NAR data, 145 out of 156 metros set records for housing affordability in 2012. Two of the most affordable metros were in Michigan: Detroit-Warren-Livonia and Lansing-East Lansing, where the index hit 571.1 and 397, respectively

Thirty-One Percent of Houses Sold in Less than One Month in December 2012


Thirty-One Percent of Houses Sold in Less than One Month in December 2012

Tight inventory and multibidding have led to shorter days on the market. Based on information gathered from the December 2012 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, about 31 percent of REALTORS® who sold a home reported that the property sold in less than a month, compared to 22 percent last year. About 57 percent were sold within 3 months, compared to 47 percent last year. The median days on the market was 73 days.

Marble Falls Light-Up Parade & Walkway of Lights


The 2012 Lite-Up Parade in Marble Falls is scheduled for Friday, Nov 16, 2012.  The parade begins at 6:00 and will travel down Main Street in Marble Falls to Lakeside Pard, where the initial illumination of the Walkway of Lights will take place.  This is a lighted parade that is so festive and fun, it is a great holiday season event for the whole family.
The Marble Falls Walkway of Lights will continue every night from Nov 16, 2012 through Jan 1, 2013, and the lights are lit from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. 

walkway of lights reflection

Shrinking Inventory


Homes Are Selling Faster as Inventories Fall

The median time a home is on the market nationwide? Just 69 days.

The number of days on the market nationwide has fallen nearly 30 percent from year-ago levels.

Meanwhile, inventory levels are hovering at all-time lows, with the number of homes for-sale down 31.2 percent from a year ago. The inventory is at a 6.4-month supply of homes on the market, as of July data.

"As inventory has tightened, homes have been selling more quickly," says Lawrence Yun, the National Association of REALTORS®' chief economist. "A notable shortening of time on market began this spring, and this has created a general balance between home buyers and sellers in much of the country. This equilibrium is supporting sustained price growth, and homes that are correctly priced tend to sell quickly, while those that aren't often languish on the market."

For comparison, the time on the market for non-distressed homes peaked at 10 weeks in 2009. During the housing boom between 2004 and 2005, for example, the median selling time was just four weeks.

Source: Low Inventory Levels Sells Homes Quick, Realty Times (Nov. 2, 2012)

Seller's Market in Texas


Has it become a sellers market in Texas?

The Texas housing market posted a 14% increase in sales volume with roughly 6% increases in both median and average sales price, according to the 2012-Q3 edition of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report. Here are some highlights from the report:

  • Median sales prices for properties was $161,500, which is 6.46% more than third quarter 2011.
  • Average sales price had a similar increase, up 5.74% from the same quarter last year, to $208,515.
  • The Texas market featured 5.5 months of inventory statewide, which is 1.8 months less than 2011-Q3. The Real Estate Center cites 6.5 months of inventory as a market in which demand is balanced with supply.
  • The latest statewide inventory figure indicates Texas overall has shifted to a sellers market, and data show this is also true in many local real estate markets

Prices Up, Inventory Down

Home Prices Up Yearly, Inventory Down Nearly 30%: RE/MAX

Home prices skimmed close to the bottom during July this year but climbed 6.3 percent year-over-year by August, according to RE/MAX.


The real estate company revealed in its latest National Housing Report that median home prices ticked up from last year over the last seven straight months.

Home sales jumped 8.5 percent year-over-year, continuing its ascent from over the last fourteen consecutive months, and 2.5 percent on a monthly basis in August.

As we move from summer to fall its very encouraging that this years home selling season began strong and finished even stronger, Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, said in a statement. Nearly every month in 2012 experienced increased sales and prices over 2011, showing that weve definitely passed the bottom and were looking forward to 2013 being an even better year.

According to RE/MAX, home inventory dipped 29.7 percent below levels from August last year a trend that the company report says remains a serious challenge to this recovery.

The median sales prices for homes solid in August averaged $168,685, down by only 0.2 percent from July. Prices crested this summer in June, remaining higher from last year over the last two months.

The median price rose 6.3 percent in August, marking the seventh consecutive month that prices rose annually.

Forty-six of the 53 metro areas covered by the RE/MAX report saw prices tick up from over last year, with 15 observing double-digit increases.

Those latter areas included Phoenix (33.9 percent), Boise (24.1 percent), San Francisco (22.6 percent), Las Vegas (19 percent), Miami (17.8 percent), and Billings (16.6 percent).

For home sold in August, the average days on market fell to 81, reflecting a decline from just one day from the average in July.

Zillow Reports Shrinking Inventory

Zillow: Inventory Shrinking, California Metros Depleting Fastest

Sellers may begin to have the upper hand in the market as housing inventory shrinks, leaving first-time homebuyers left to compete with investors, a report from Zillow revealed.

First-time homebuyers are being squeezed out of the market by falling inventory and the rapid influx of investors looking to buy basic homes to rent out to the growing population of people who have recently been foreclosed upon, said Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist, in a release Thursday. Investors are paying in cash and can close sooner, which is more favorable to banks and homeowners looking to sell.

Inventory across all price levels fell 19.4 percent year-over-year as of September 30, according to Zillow analysis, which tracked the number of homes listed for sale on its site.

Among the 30 largest metros, California cities saw the biggest annual reduction in inventory. When looking at changes across all tier levels (bottom, middle, and upper), Sacramento led with a 42.4 percent decline, with San Francisco ranking second after seeing inventory drop 42.2 percent. San Diego was third due to its 40.7 percent decrease.

Cincinnati saw the smallest yearly decline across all inventory tiers, falling 9.5 percent, followed by Portland (-10.8 percent), and St. Louis (-14.5 percent).

Surprisingly, the inventory category that declined the most on a yearly basis was upper tier homes, which fell by 22 percent, while lower tier homes fell 15.3 percent.

Phoenix ranked highest among the 30 metros for having the steepest drop in inventory for homes priced in the bottom tier. In Phoenix, bottom tier inventory plummeted 57.1 percent. Following Phoenix, California cities were most notable, leading with Sacramento, where bottom tier inventory fell 55.4 percent, then San Francisco (-53.2 percent), San Jose (-47.5 percent), and San Diego (-45.4 percent).

Declines in the upper tier category werent as dramatic, with Kansas City, Missouri leading with a 42.7 percent drop, followed by San Francisco (-35 percent) and Miami (-34.4 percent).


Economic Update


Housing Starts

Data on housing starts and permits for construction were released this morning by the U.S. Census. Starts rose 2.3% from last month based on an improvement on the single-family side, while multi-family starts slipped. Strong existing home sales have pulled down inventories and staunched the flow of delinquent properties into inventory. The result has been lower inventories and stronger pricing, both signs needed for builders to move forward on single-family production.

Permits for construction inched up only slightly, though, again driven by the single-family sector while permits for multi-family construction fell by 3.0%. Regardless, permits for building both single-family and multi-family are significantly higher than in August of 2011, by 19.3% and 39.2%, respectively.

Construction contributes to economic growth as well as job creation. It is also a reflection of strength in the housing market as builders cannot get financing for a project in a market where supplies are too high, nor would they front their own money for such a project. The economic growth and job creation in turn help with consumer confidence and abet a virtuous economic cycle. While construction is up, it remains at low levels. In the near term declining inventories and restrained construction will help buoy prices and confidence, but a strong improvement in household formation and employment growth could result in housing shortages in the long-term.

Positive signs of economic improvement


According to Bloomberg reports, the number of Americans who believe the economy is getting better rose to the highest level since 2004.  The reason for this is a decrease in jobless claims, which has many believing that a labor-market recovery is gaining strength.  Thirty four percent of respondents to Bloombergs monthly survey said that the economy was improving, as the U.S. Labor Dept showed jobless claims decreased by 5,000- the fewest since February 2008.

Consumer confidence has been trending higher and is creating an atmosphere of improved spending, which is encouraging companies to expand their workforce.  The most limiting factor against consumer indexes is the rising cost of fuel.  It is hopeful that increased spending will drive demand for increased production of factories, and help sustain U.S. economic expansion.  Both the stock market and housing markets are showing signs of improvement.

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