Monday, January 29, 2024

Flat is here to stay, for now.

 A flat real estate market isn't that bad and it isn't that unusual.  In the nearly 20 years I've been a REALTOR(R), the market could be characterized as flat at least half of that time. I believe a flat market is a good opportunity and is the most capitalist market cycle we experience. It truly is a free market!

From 2005-2008 the North Texas real estate was balanced between sellers and buyers. Sellers competed for offers and buyers had reasonable leverage in transactions. However, nationally and also in Texas, sales were unnaturally boosted by bad political policy and irresponsible lending practices that all came crashing down.  Texas recovered sooner than most states and by 2015 demand soared and prices followed--homes sold in hours, not days!  That hot, seller's market just got hotter until the big Covid-19 blast 5 years later. In Texas, that barely slowed us down but the fire did seem to run low on fuel.  Severe inflation and recession-like conditions have extinguished that inferno and we are in a constricting but balanced market.

The biggest change was the erosion of the seller's invulnerability. High prices and multiple offers are now rare.  There is a home in my neighborhood that has been for sale for nearly 2 years!  That's unusual and not really the market's fault.  Contracts now encounter buyer terminations over home repairs, property conditions, and fatal negotiations.  More than ever, Your Broker Matters™!  

These market forces are fair to both sides. A seller must put forth a solid product and be flexible over any deferred maintenance (home repairs).  Home inspections are as vital as ever.  Buyers have to have their financing clear and a local, reputable lender is a must.  Homes that are rare, or in extraordinary condition will still sell quickly.  Homes that lack, will sit.  Buyers who have cash will have some muscle but a solid lending strategy is very competitive since sellers have more concern over their vulnerability.

Wow.. if you've read all of this, you are either related to me or on my payroll! 

I hope that this post serves to enlighten, clarify and inspire both buyers and sellers that now Is a great time to sell and buy. I didn't say an easy time, but a good time it certainly can be.  

...if you have the right broker.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Fate of the Fall Housing Market

 The housing market is stuck—and isn’t likely to unstick itself this fall.

Pinned down by high mortgage rates, nearing 8%, the market has slowed to a crawl. Buyers can’t afford to buy, sellers are reluctant to sell, and the number of available homes remains dangerously low. That shortage has led to rising home prices again, forcing many would-be buyers to put their American dream on hold.

Home sales have dropped sharply this year as there aren’t many homes available to purchase. Most sellers are also buyers, so they don’t want to give up the ultralow mortgage rates they secured during the COVID-19 pandemic to buy a new home at a much higher rate. So they’re staying put until rates come down.  Mortgage rates averaged 7.49% for 30-year, fixed-rate loans in the week ending Oct. 5, according to Freddie Mac. That’s up from 6.66% a year ago and 2.99% two years earlier.

The result? Today’s monthly mortgage payments are about 90% higher than what they were just two years ago, according to a® analysis.* Most of that increase is due to higher rates.

Ironically, high mortgage rates and home prices are a result of the U.S. Federal Reserve trying to bring prices down. The Fed has been hiking its own short-term interest rates since last year in its quest to quell inflation. Generally, mortgage rates move in the same direction as the Fed’s rates. So when the Fed raises rates, mortgage rates often go up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Cheaper Housing ...if you Survive

Are you freaked out by the high home prices in North Texas?  Well, here are some cities who's home prices that won't break your budget.  But as for the rest of you, especially your health and safety, BUYER BEWARE!

That's not entirely fair to this article.  I mean, sure, Flint, MI has that water thing, and my wife really likes bottled water.  Sure most of these destinations are just 90-45 minute commutes into a big city like, NYC.  But Lawton, OK is probably nice?

Just incase I'm not being fair, here's the whole article from REALTOR.COM, written by Evan Wyloge.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Sellers Shield Online Disclosure Service

This new tool makes filling out the long, arduous but very necessary sellers disclosure form much easier.  The process is easier, the form is just as long, and the principle is the same; when in doubt, disclose, disclose, disclose.

Saturday, March 11, 2023

How the 2023 Texas real estate market is taking shape

From the Texas Association of REALTORS(R)

How can you prepare for the rest of 2023 when the last few years have been so unpredictable?

The Texas Real Estate Research Center released the 2023 Texas Economic Forecast in December. Researchers made educated guesses by using their understanding of economic and market conditions and past market trends, the report says.

Lead Data Analyst Joshua Roberson recently shared what he’s watching this year and how it could impact buyers, sellers, and renters.

Inflation will continue

Inflation will be the metric to watch in 2023. Inflation rose rapidly last year, and the Federal Reserve responded by raising interest rates. Making it more expensive to borrow money cools off inflation but also decreases buying power.

The Research Center predicts inflation will likely stay elevated this year. Even if the Federal Reserve does rein in inflation, we probably won’t feel the effects immediately or completely.

Global events also affect inflation. “What happens in one country spills over to the U.S. market,” he says. “If China shuts down because of COVID-19 or the oil markets are in flux because of the war in Ukraine, there’s only so much the Federal Reserve can do.”

Inflation impacts Texas real estate because higher interest rates push buyers out of the market. Qualified buyers may delay purchases until rates come down. Texas is somewhat protected from these consequences because of the steady stream of new residents, Roberson says. As a result, Texas is in a better position to bounce back compared with other states.

Expect moderate price growth

Texas home prices and rents could not keep growing like they did during the pandemic, the Research Center says. “The way I look at it, back in 2019 we were having conversations about declining housing affordability. Then COVID-19 threw everything into a whole other gear,” according to Roberson.

Prices partly rose because of low mortgage interest rates in 2019-2021. Buyers lost 40% of their purchasing power when rates leapt from 2.65% in January 2021 to around 7% last fall. The 30-year mortgage rate in February 2023 was 6.12%. That feels high compared to recent years but 6%-7% is closer to historical norms, Roberson says.

“COVID-19 was a special period of time with interest rates being as low as they were,” Roberson says. “People had a lot of money they couldn’t spend on anything else but their homes. We thought we’d be in our homes a lot more than we were. We couldn’t sustain those numbers. For Austin to experience 30% to 40% year-over-year price growth, that was unique. Things are leveling off.”

The Research Center predicts moderate home price and rent growth in 2023. The median home price in November 2019 was around $250,000. Last June it was $349,000. It’s down to $333,000 now but Roberson doesn’t see a return to the $250,000 range. Any fall in prices definitely won’t come close to the nosediving levels of the 2007-2009 Great Recession. Texas has a tight supply of homes and still-strong demand.

Sales will slow down

Higher mortgage rates and higher asking prices will slow sales even as price growth moderates, the Research Center predicts. “2022 had fewer sales than the previous year, but sales still exceeded 2019,” Roberson says. “Even if there was a decline, sales were still good. It’s just that everything will look disappointing compared to 2021.”

Roberson watches days on market and months of inventory, which are both slowly increasing. Texas continues to have limited inventory at the lower price points, even with new homes being built. The housing market in general remains undersupplied. He also watches list-to-sale price comparisons.

Are we headed to recession?

One of the biggest questions for the Research Center was whether the economy is headed into recession, Roberson says.

If there is a mild recession, job and housing growth will flatten. “More than likely, that’s the best-case scenario for this year,” he says. If the recession is more significant or persistent, there will be a loss of real wages and buying power. The economy will tighten and housing sales will continue to fall.

How consumers feel about the economy can be as important as the actual numbers themselves, Roberson says. Pessimistic attitudes influence purchasing decisions, like houses, which end up in the data. “Inflation is the big pain point,” he says. “That eclipses everything else. Even though it’s improved, it’s still elevated. And people feel it, especially when buying food.”

Thursday, August 19, 2021

What's ahead for Texas real estate in 2021-22?

The primary question agents get asked, naturally, "How's the market?"

The experts at the Texas A&M Real Estate Center say that we Texans can expect interest rates to rise and things to remain about the same. Some improvement in inventory of homes for sale should improve as listings have reached a low and are rising. I hope this will ease some of the price pressures. 

Texas homebuilders can't get all the lumber, labor, appliances, and other construction materials, which is driving up prices and costs yet, home construction should maintain strong positive growth in 2021-2022. 

Maybe the foreclosure market will offer some relief to pressure and price.  Federal forbearance ends in the fall of 2021.  The housing market could absorb the foreclosed homes and also those homes could be sold with a gain even before they enter foreclosure.  We'll see.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Entire Housing Market is Crazy... even Mobile Homes!

COLLEGE STATION – Production of manufactured homes accelerated in June according to the latest Texas Manufactured Housing Survey (TMHS), contributing to increased business activity. Plant activity chipped away at backlogs that bottled up over the past year amid moderating sales volume.

'Backlogs started to ease for some manufacturers in June, but time will tell if that trend persists through July," said Rob Ripperda, vice president of operations for the Texas Manufactured Housing Association (TMHA). "Production days are reduced by Independence Day, and the summer sales season continues on retail lots."

Manufacturers expanded payrolls to boost activity, but hiring was hindered by on-going labor-supply challenges that drove wages and incentives upward. Survey respondents expect labor-market conditions to improve over the next six months.

In addition to hiring wages and salaries, rising prices for raw materials continued to drive up the cost of production. The TMHS corroborated inflationary pressures, but the rate of price increases slowed slightly.

"Manufacturers are experiencing some relief in lumber prices after a 40 percent decline in June," according to Dr. Harold Hunt, research economist at the Texas Real Estate Research Center at Texas A&M University. "Lumber prices, however, are still almost twice as high as they were last year."

Supply-chain disruptions continued to hinder operations and contributed to higher prices.

"Shortages in many other building components, especially those involving the use of chemical resins such as siding and shingles, are negatively impacting the construction process," said Hunt.

These challenges weighed on industry optimism, but the outlook for Texas’ manufactured housing industry remains favorable for the rest of the year.


Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Got Tomatoes?

What do tomatoes have to do with buying or selling your home??  Well, that's an easy one.  See, if you hire JTOden Realty to personally assist & represent you in your real estate ventures, you enjoy the FRUIT of a wise and happy decision.  

If you hire some other licensee, you'll be 
using those tomatoes as rotten projectiles.  
This is fact, friends!

Friday, March 13, 2020

Happy, Happy, Happy in Plano!!  Plano has ranked second on WalletHub's list of America's happiest cities in 2020.

The Collin County city ranked fifth in lowest separation and divorce rate, sixth in emotional and physical well-being, ninth in income and employment, and 16th in community and environment.

Austin ranked 22nd overall, the only other Texas city in the top 25. The Texas capital ranked fifth in highest income growth, sixth in income and employment, 12th in emotional and physical well-being, and 118th in community and environment. 

Laredo had the lowest suicide rate nationally.

Fremont, Calif., took the top spot in the overall rankings. The rest of the top five were San Jose, Calf.; Irvine, Calf.; and Madison, Wis.

Last year, Plano was first on WalletHub's list. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

Allen City Council Greenlights an 80-acre Development!

Dallas Morning News Editor, Steve Brown writes that the city council has approved The Avenue, an 80-acre mixed-use development at the southwest corner of SH 121 and Alma Rd.

The development, previously known as Allen Sports Village, will include: 
  • one million sf of office space,
  • 65 single-family homes,​
  • 1,600 urban residential units,
  • three hotels, and 
  • 275,000 sf of retail and restaurant space.

File:Flag of Allen, Texas.png - Wikimedia CommonsMany of the shops and dining venues will be built in old shipping containers. A food hall and a central outdoor plaza with water features will be included.

Developer Thakkar originally proposed building a $500 million sports complex with a cricket stadium, but the deal was canceled after neighborhood opposition and the departure of a key player.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lubbock still a seller's market

I've been posting and everyone has been talking about the Dallas area real estate market.  Specifically, the NE Dallas metroplex area seems to have a balanced (flat) market recently.  Well, it's not necessarily state-wide.  The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports that local home sales slowed but the median price increased in February, according to data from the Real Estate Center and the Lubbock Association of Realtors.

Home sales were down 5 percent from February 2018 with 280 homes sold. The median price increased 13 percent to $182,500.  The number of active listings grew 7 percent over the year at 1,024 listings.  Monthly housing inventory decreased from 2.9 months to 2.7 months in the same period. The TAMU Real Estate Center considers a six- to 6.5-month inventory a balanced market.

Homes in Lubbock spent an average of 87 days on the market. ​ For more on the Lubbock housing market, read the Center's latest housing report​​.​