April 1, 2020

Shasta County Market Update - April 2020

Good afternoon,

First and foremost I hope that this email finds you and your family healthy and safe. To say that all of us, all over the world, are shaken by the latest events is an understatement. I want to take a moment and say thank you to all of those that are continuing to serve the public in this trying time. From our grocery store clerks, to the police officers, to the health care providers, and many, many more, Thank you! This month I will do my best to lay out the state of the real estate market in Shasta County. I apologize in advance as this update will cover a range of topics regarding real estate. For that reason, it may be best to just browse the topics that interest you most.

As always, if you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me at 530-222-3800 or feel free to respond to this email.

Respectfully,

Josh

Homes sold Report for March

Homes sold in the month of March finished at 237. This is down from 292 in the same month, 1 year ago. It is important to note that there were some additional cancelled escrows in the month of March due to the disruption in the economy. The cancellations were predictable and largely due to employment changes and financing guidelines.

Pending Sales Report for March

The first 2 weeks of March started out extremely strong for home sales and all indicators pointed to a very busy spring. Of course, that all changed in the second half of the month as the Pandemic began to take hold in our state. In spite of the pandemic news, we continued to see home sales take place as buyers and sellers found new ways to transact. New pending home sales finished at 290. This is down from 306, 1 year ago.

Rental Market

The rental market has experienced the largest changes over the past month. The State of California passed a law preventing the enforcement of evictions until the end of May. For landlords, this means that in the event that a tenant fails to pay, the landlord cannot take action until the end of May. This policy will likely transfer the hardship away from tenants and place it onto the landlords. Many of these landlords still have a mortgage on the property to cover. No easy answers...

Mortgages

The mortgage market has experienced a disruption over the past 30 days. The state of California, as well as the Federal government, has issued forbearance regulations for many of the Nation's banks. This means that in many cases homeowners who cannot afford to make their mortgage due to the current crises may qualify to temporarily suspend some or all their mortgage payment for approximately 90 days. As a result of this program, as well as the major impacts on the economy, many investors related to mortgages are becoming reluctant. Interest rates are unpredictable, and many loan programs are being eliminated altogether. Although these challenges are likely temporary, those challenges are affecting those that are currently transacting.

New Construction

New construction has continued to take place in our local market in spite of current events. Builders are considered to be a vital part of the state economy and with the State's housing shortage we can understand why. The challenge ahead for local home builders will be determining buyer demand. With already razor thin margins, any major shift in demand could leave many builders holding inventory. Again, no easy answers...

Home Price Expectations

Home prices have a lot more to do with supply and demand than volume. We can assume that home sales volume will decline. However, whether home prices decline has a lot to do with how many homes become available for sale. If inventory remains stable and does not climb rapidly, prices will likely remain stable. Too early to call this, but we know what to look for.

Home Sellers

I have been asked by many homeowners if now is a good time to sell. I can say that I do not see an advantage to selling now. If a person "needs to sell" there continues to be a market to accomplish your goals. If you "want to sell but do not need to sell" it may be a good idea to wait. The health risks involved, as well as the anticipated unpredictability of the market over the next 2 months, may cause many to think twice...

Home Buyers

The number of buyers continuing to shop in spite of current events is impressive. I can understand the opportunity. Low interest rates, little competition for the best homes on the market, the optimism and reality that these challenging times will come to pass are attractive to those who are currently looking for homes. The key to shopping for homes at this time is to conduct as much VIRTUAL research as possible. Minimize your exposure to others and become very selective as to what you are willing to look at physically.

Bottom Line

The real estate market continues to transact. Home mortgages will be a challenge over the next several months and payments for both rentals and mortgages may be disrupted. The key is not to panic, like all things, this too will come to pass and when it does, we will all climb out of it together one day at a time. 

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 27, 2020

Real Estate News and Regional Medical Response

Mortgage Loans

The mortgage industry continues to see changes on a daily basis. Loan programs with unreliable funding sources are being shut off. In addition, credit score requirements as well as down payment minimums are changing in some cases as well. Our office is recommending that any borrower that has a prequalification older than March 25, 2020 contact your lender and verify if anything has changed with your prequalification.

Sales report

Homes continue to sell in the local market. Currently over 40 properties that have gone into escrow since Monday. If sales remain similar to what they are currently, the market could be on pace for approximately 150 sales for the month. This is down from the 300 pendings the market received in the month of March last year.

Sellers are helping bring homes to market

Due to the Shelter in place order issued by the state of California, real estate agents are not permitted to show properties. However....due to the fact that nearly everyone has an amazing camera, thanks to our cell phones, home sellers are stepping up and making it happen. Many sellers that want to sell now are providing photos and video walk throughs via their smartphones. These photos are then sent to our marketing department, edited, and uploaded to the MLS for distribution. Buyers are responding, and offers are being written and accepted.

Regional medical Hub

Due to Reddings location and access to resources, it is highly likely that the state will establish Redding as a regional medical hub. This much needed resource could provide medical care to the outlining mountain communities. Hopefully, this resource will be established out of an abundance of caution and it is great to know that our mountain communities can count on Redding to be there in a time of need.

Your Realtor, 

Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 26, 2020

Mortgage Forgiveness and Congress Passes Stimulus Package

Good afternoon everyone,

Today is Thursday 3/26/20 and there are a few updates I would like to share with you.

Mortgage Payment Relief

The Governor of California is working with large mortgage lenders like Wells Fargo, Chase bank and others to provide flexibility on making mortgage payments. The intent is to provide relief for homeowners that can no longer afford to make their payments. I can appreciate the intent and for many this will make a big difference between keeping or losing a home. What is not clear is the credit implications that may occur as a result of missing payments. Historically, banks have been notorious for stating one thing and doing another. We only have to go back to the 2008 financial crisis to be reminded. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/25/governor-gavin-newsom-announces-major-financial-relief-package-90-day-mortgage-payment-relief-during-covid-19-crisis/

Payments coming to the unemployed and businesses

The financial package that has been sitting in Congress all week was just passed by the house and anticipated to be signed by the president. Assuming all goes as planned, many recently unemployed Amercians would expect to receive payments within the next 3 weeks. For those that own rental properties, this could be good news for tenants. For those that are trying to purchase, unemployment is likely to impact the ability to obtain a loan. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/13/congress-coronavirus-stimulus-package-deal-friday-128140

Home are continuing to sell in the MLS

Purchases are continuing to take place, although at a noticeably slower pace. Since Monday, there have been 33 residential properties that have gone pending in Shasta County. What is unknown at this time is how many of these "pendings" were the result of showings on the home that took place prior to the Shelter in place order. The next week will be very telling as to whether there is a viable market to list homes for sale on the MLS. More info to come as the data improves.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our office. I will do my very best to get back to you as soon as possible. 530-222-3800

Your Real Estate Broker,

Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 25, 2020

Impact of Coronavirus on Real Estate as of March 25

 

How is the market doing? Consider sharing the following...

Its day by day...some of our clients are telling me they want to wait for now, and I am supporting that decision while continuing to keep them updated on the market. Other clients are wanting to buy and sell now and we are helping them do that safely with virtual tours and strategic marketing tools. There have been 24 properties that have gone pending in the last 3 days. 

People have been asking how the stock market might impact the housing market. Take a look at this slide below...

 

The slide above shows the impact of the stock market crash of early 2000's. Housing appreciated!

As you all know, the Coronavirus has had an impact on the real estate market. The outline of events that have unfolded are as follows...

Early March...Initial realization that the Virus was spreading in the state...Response, the market continued to transact, homes continued to be shown, and offers were being negotiated and escrow were opening.

Thursday 3/19/20...The Governor issue a shelter in place order....Response...Agents scrambled to find out what impact, if any, the order had on agents showing homes and meeting with clients. Homes continued to be shown and offers were still being written and escrow being opened.

Friday Evening 3/20/20...The California Association Of Realtors provided much needed guidance on the order. Real Estate agents must comply with the order meaning no showing homes, attending inspections or meeting with clients face to face.  https://www.carcovidupdates.org/stay-at-home-guidelines.

Monday 3/23/20...Our team formally revised our marketing plan in order to meet the request of the governor and the California Association of Realtors. Effective immediately, our company stopped showing homes or gaining access to owner occupied homes for photography. Instead, we requested home owners to photograph their own homes with their cell phone and make video walkthroughs. These marketing pieces are then sent to our office, and our marketing department edits them for the Multiple Listing Service. 

What this means for existing escrows...Escrows can proceed provided that thoughtful consideration is given. Title companies and lenders are still providing services at this time.  In addition, new escrows can be opened given that thoughtful consideration is given for the current situation and honoring the shelter in place order. 

Should you leave your home on the market? This is an individual decision that each person should thoughtfully consider. There are mechanisms for temporarily withdrawing a home from the market if desired. However, keep in mind...There are millions of buyers sitting at home with little to do other than to shop homes online. Historically, many home buyers have purchased homes in the past without ever seeing them. 

Should I put my home on the market at this time? There are buyers shopping in the market currently. Since Monday March 23rd, there have been 24 properties that have gone into escrow. If you have to sell now, it is possible. If you do not have to sell now, it may make sense to wait. 

Please feel free to contact our office if you have any additional questions.

Your Realtor

Josh Barker

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 24, 2020

Best Way to Send Highest Quality Pics and Videos to Your Real Estate Agent

 

Here is a quick tutorial on how to send the highest quality photos and videos of your home to your respective real estate agent while sheltering in place. 

A wonderful website to use is www.wetransfer.com, which is optimized for mobile phone use. 

 

1. OPEN A WEB BROWSER ON YOUR PHONE SUCH AS SAFARI, CHROME, FIREFOX, ETC. 

Type in wetransfer.com into the web address field and hit "go."

 

 

2. TAP ON THE BUTTON WHICH SAYS "SEND A FILE."

 

 

3. TAP ON THE PLUS BUTTON TO ADD YOUR FILES. 

 

 

4. TAP ON "PHOTO LIBRARY" TO ACCESS THE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON YOUR PHONE.

 

 

5. CHOOSE THE PHOTOS AND/OR VIDEOS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND. 

Then tap "Done" when you're finished. 

 

 

6. TYPE IN A MESSAGE FOR THE RECIPIENT. 

Although this step isn't necessary. If you don't want to write a message, no worries.

Then tap "Next."

 

 

7. CHOOSE THE OPTION "SEND AN EMAIL."

Then tap "Next."

 

 

8. ENTER THE "TO" AND "FROM" EMAIL ADDRESSES 

Then tap "Transfer."

 

 

9. ENTER VERIFICATION CODE

After tapping transfer, it will automatically send a verification code to the email address you entered to make sure you didn't enter a bogus email address.

Look out for that email, then enter the 6-digit verification code provided, then tap "Verify."

 

 

10. THE TRANSFER BEGINS!

 

 

11. YOU'RE ALL SET!

Congratulations! You've successfully transferred your beautiful photos and videos to your real estate agent. 

As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 9, 2020

Impact of the Coronavirus on the U.S. Housing Market

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused massive global uncertainty, including a U.S. stock market correction no one could have seen coming. While much of the news has been about the effect on various markets, let’s also acknowledge the true impact it continues to have on lives and families around the world.

With all this uncertainty, how do you make powerful and confident decisions in regard to your real estate plans?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) anticipates:

“At the very least, the coronavirus could cause some people to put home sales on hold.”

While this is an understandable approach, it is important to balance that with how it may end up costing you in the long run. If you’re considering buying or selling a home, it is key to educate yourself so that you can take thoughtful and intentional next steps for your future.

For example, when there’s fear in the world, we see lower mortgage interest rates as investors flee stocks for the safety of U.S. bonds. This connection should be considered when making real estate decisions.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):

“The Fed’s action was expected but perhaps not to this degree and timing. And the policy change was consistent with recent declines for interest rates in the bond market. These declines should push mortgage interest rates closer to a low 3% average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.”

This is exactly what we’re experiencing right now as mortgage interest rates hover at the lowest levels in the history of the housing market.

Bottom Line

The full impact of the Coronavirus is still not yet known. It is in times like these that working with an informed and educated real estate professional can make all the difference in the world. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
March 2, 2020

Shasta County Market Update - March 2020

Click Here to watch Josh's video blog for the month of March.


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Real Estate Market Report for Shasta County

The fundamentals in the local real estate market are strong. The vast majority of homeowners are enjoying a large equity position in their homes. In addition, most homeowners with mortgages are enjoying a fully amortized loan with a low-interest rate averaging below 5%. Foreclosures and short sales are at or near historic lows for the area and speculation and investor activity is also low. All that being said, the overall health of our local real estate market is positive. This month we will dive a little deeper into several of the hottest topics trending now in our local market. As always, If you have any questions please feel free to respond to this email or contact me at the office at 530-222-3800. 

New Listing Inventory

There were 365 new home listings taken in the month of February.  This number is up from 292 one year ago in the same month. One contributing factor to the increase in new home listings this year is the absence of the major snowstorm that hit our local market in February of last year. 

Home Closings for February

Total home closings in the month of February finished at 185. This is down from 213 one year ago. The slight reduction in home closings is not surprising considering that home buyers have fewer options available to choose from in the lower price ranges. 

Current Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales for the month of February finished at 316.  This is up from 241 one year ago. Again, last year's snow storm had an impact on pending home sales in the second half of February last year. At that time, many local residences were cutting their way out of driveways and waiting for power to be restored.

Average Sales Prices

The average sales price in the local market averaged $310,000 in February.  This is down slightly from $316,000 one year ago. The fact that the average sales price did not climb year over year indicates that home appreciation overall in 2020 has been off to a slow start.

Current Active Home Inventory

The overall inventory of homes for sale finished at 799 for February.  This is down from 941 in the same month one year ago. The 15% reduction in inventory has taken a bite out of the absorption rate. The absorption rate is currently averaging a 2.9 months supply.  This is down compared to the 3.3 months supply of just one year ago. If the absorption rate remains this low, we can expect to see home appreciation tick up in the months to come.

Home Construction

Homebuilders are active in the local market. In addition to the fire-related rebuilds on the westside of town, there are many additional housing units currently being constructed throughout the county. New construction is necessary for several reasons. First, new home construction contributes to overall home price stability. Second, new home construction provides moving opportunities for existing homeowners which adds to the resale market supply. Third, population growth is accommodated for and encouraged with the increase in housing options. Finally, wages paid and fees collected are added to the local economy and government infrastructure. 

Buyer Demand

The amount of "online search activity" currently suggests that buyer demand will be very strong in the first quarter of this year. Typically, our local market experiences an increase in buyer demand in the spring and peaks in mid-summer. Current data suggests that the selling season may start a little earlier in 2020. Lower than anticipated interest rates, combined with a strong economy and housing market is driving buyer demand.

Interest Rates

Currently, interest rates are averaging 3.75% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. The federal reserve is scheduled to meet this month and although previous forecasts projected little to no change in the rate, current events may change that. The novel Coronavirus referred to as COVID-19 has jarred the markets and could lead to more aggressive action taken from the federal reserve.

We want your feedback! Each month our team collects some of the hottest topics trending in the market and I present them to you in these market updates. If you would like to see any additional topics discussed, please feel free to respond to this email with your thoughts and comments.

Learn more about Josh Barkers 5 proven steps to selling your home by visiting 

reddinghomes.com/selling-your-home/ 

Learn more about Josh Barker's proven ideal investment formula by visiting

reddinghomes.com/buying-home/

Check the average value for your home instantly by visiting reddinghomes.com/cma/property-valuation/

 

Make it a great March!

Josh Barker

P.S. You can view all of our past real estate market updates by visiting www.reddinghomes.com/blog

Posted in Josh's Blog
Feb. 17, 2020

The Overlooked Financial Advantages of Homeownership

There are many clear financial benefits to owning a home: increasing equity, building net worth, growing appreciation, and more. If you’re a renter, it’s never too early to make a plan for how homeownership can propel you toward a stronger future. Here’s a dive into three often-overlooked financial benefits of homeownership and how preparing for them now can steer you in the direction of greater stability, savings, and predictability.

1. You Won’t Always Have a Monthly Housing Payment

According to a recent article by the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“If you’ve been a lifelong renter, this may sound like a foreign concept, but believe it or not, one day you won’t have a monthly housing payment. Unlike renting, you will eventually pay off your mortgage and your monthly payments will be funding other (possibly more fun) things.”

As a homeowner, someday you can eliminate the monthly payment you make on your house. That’s a huge win and a big factor in how homeownership can drive stability and savings in your life. As soon as you buy a home, your monthly housing costs will begin to work for you as forced savings, coming in the form of equity. As you build equity and grow your net worth, you can continue to reinvest those savings into your future, maybe even by buying that next dream home. The possibilities are truly endless.

2. Homeownership Is a Tax Break

One thing people who have never owned a home don’t always think about are the tax advantages of homeownership. The same piece states:

“Both the interest and property tax portion of your mortgage is a tax deduction. As long as the balance of your mortgage is less than the total price of your home, the interest is 100% deductible on your tax return.”

Whether you’re living in your first home or your fifth, it’s a huge financial advantage to have some tax relief tied to the interest you pay each year. It’s one thing you definitely don’t get when you’re renting. Be sure to work with a tax professional to get the best possible benefits on your annual return.

3. Monthly Housing Costs Are Predictable

A third item noted in the article is how monthly costs become more predictable with homeownership:

“As a homeowner, your monthly costs are most likely based on a fixed-rate mortgage, which allows you to budget your finances over a long period of time, unlike the unpredictability of renting.”

With a mortgage, you can keep your monthly housing costs steady and predictable. Rental prices have been skyrocketing since 2012, and with today’s low mortgage rates, it’s a great time to get more for your money when purchasing a home. If you want to lock-in your monthly payment at a low rate and have a solid understanding of what you’re going to spend in your mortgage payment each month, buying a home may be your best bet.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to start feeling the benefits of stability, savings, and predictability that come with owning a home, let’s get together to determine if buying a home sooner rather than later is right for you. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Feb. 10, 2020

How Pricing Your Home Right Makes a Big Difference

Even though there’s a big buyer demand for homes in today’s low inventory market, it doesn’t mean you should price your home as high as the sky when you’re ready to sell. Here’s why making sure you price it right is key to driving the best price for the sale.

If you’ve ever watched the show “The Price Is Right,” you know the only way to win the game is to be the one to correctly guess the price of the item up for bid without going over. That means your guess must be just slightly under the retail price.

When it comes to pricing your home, setting it at or slightly below market value will increase the visibility of your listing and drive more buyers your way. This strategy actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search process. Why? When potential buyers look at your listing and see a great price for a fantastic home, they’re probably going to want to take a closer look. This means more buyers are going to be excited about your house and more apt to make an offer.

When this happens, you’re more likely to set up a scenario with multiple offers, potential bidding wars, and the ability to drive a higher final sale price. At the end of the day, even when inventory is tight, pricing it right – or pricing it to sell immediately – makes a big difference.

Here’s the other thing: homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to lower the prices anyway after they sit on the market for an extended period of time. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drops were caused by something wrong with these homes when in reality, nothing was wrong, the initial prices were just too high.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your home this year, let’s get together so you have a professional on your side to help you properly price your home and maximize demand from the start. As always, we here at Josh Barker Real Estate Advisors are here to help answer any questions you may have about buying or selling homes here in Redding and Shasta County. Feel free to give us a call at 530-222-3800 or email me at josh@reddinghomes.com.

Posted in Josh's Blog
Feb. 3, 2020

Shasta County Market Update - February 2020

Click Here to watch Josh's video blog for the month of February.


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Real Estate in 2020 is off to a strong start. Low interest rates, combined with a strong economy, are contributing to healthy buyer demand. This month we will quickly review some of the hottest topics trending now. As always, if you have any additional questions feel free to contact me at the office 530-222-3800 or feel free to respond to this email. Have a great February! 

Home Inventory 

The number of housing units currently for sale is averaging 916.  This is down from 1,019 in the same period last year. We expect the inventory of homes for sale to climb as we transition to spring. For those that plan to sell this spring, we believe the sooner the better, as there will be less competition. 

Home Sales

The number of housing units sold in January finished at 232. This is down from 260 in the same period last year. The average sales price in January was also down finishing at $285,000. This is down from $292,000 in the same period one year ago. The largest contributing factor was the lack of inventory in the below $250,000 price range. 

New Construction

New construction is on the rise in Shasta County and many of these new homes will be priced between the $350,000-$500,000 price range. The absence of new construction in  $250,000 and below price range means we will continue to experience low inventories and shorter market times for these types of properties. 

Buyer Demand

The amount of "online search activity" currently suggests that buyer demand will be very strong in the first quarter of this year. Typically, our local market experiences an increase in buyer demand in the spring and peaks in mid summer. Current data suggests that the selling season may start a little earlier in 2020. Lower than anticipated interest rates, combined with a strong economy and housing market is driving buyer demand.

Rental Market

The rental market in Shasta County has continued to remain strong. The vacancy rate is low and rents are climbing. There are multiple high density developments coming to market this year but will still fall short of the numbers necessary to keep rents in check.

Interest Rates

Continued lower than anticipated interest rates are driving the housing market. However, these low rates are serving as camouflage for housing affordability. If rates go up as little as 1%, the purchasing power for the average home buyer diminishes by nearly 10%. Fortunately, we do not expect to see major increases in interest rates in the near future.

Home Price Expectations 

As more millennials participate in home ownership and take advantage of today's low interest rates, demand will continue to strip away at supply. Supply will be hit the hardest in the $275,000 and below price ranges. For this reason we expect the most appreciation in this price segment. New construction begins to pick up steam above $300,000 in Shasta County and for this reason appreciation is expected to be slower as the price of a home increases.

Learn more about Josh Barkers 5 proven steps to selling your home by visiting 

reddinghomes.com/selling-your-home/ 

Learn more about Josh Barker's proven ideal investment formula by visiting

reddinghomes.com/buying-home/

Check the average value for your home instantly by visiting reddinghomes.com/cma/property-valuation/

 

Make it a great March!

Josh Barker

P.S. You can view all of our past real estate market updates by visiting www.reddinghomes.com/blog

Posted in Josh's Blog