Oct. 3, 2019

Shasta County Market Update - October 2019

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


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Happy Fall! Summer has ended, and the weather is beginning to cool off. For those who are spending their first fall in the beautiful North State, you are in for a real treat. The trees will begin to show off their colors and the surrounding mountains will soon be lightly dusted in snow. Be sure to check out The Sacramento River trails and the picturesque Sundial Bridge. Both promise to be a breathtaking experience. This month we will touch on a few of the hottest topics trending now in our local market. Enjoy the quick read and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me by calling (530) 222-3800 or email josh@reddinghomes.com.

Sales report

Total closings for the month of September finished at 255 closings. This is down from 285 in the same month one year ago. Last year's sales for the month of September trended higher than this year largely due to the additional transactions created as a result of our local CARR fire. The closings this year represent a normal sales volume that was expected with the absence of fire-related buyers.

Active Listing Report

Total active listings available for purchase averaged 1,116 for the month of September. This is down from 1,126 at the same time last year. This small change (-10 listings) indicates that the local market has experienced a very stable housing climate.

Home Price Report

Home prices in our local market have improved slightly over last year. The average sales price, year to date, is averaging $304,000. This is up from $287,000 at the same time one year ago. Zillow indicates that home values have increased by 5.3% in the Redding Metro market year over year. Experts are predicting that appreciation may slow down to an average of 2-3% over the next 12 months.

You can view the average value of your home instantly by visiting www.shastahomevalue.com

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates are averaging 3.75% for a 30-year mortgage. The low-interest-rate environment, nearly 0.8% lower than a year ago, will likely contribute to a strong housing market through the balance of the year.

Mortgage Availability

Mortgage availability is one of the largest contributing factors to a stable housing market. When buyers have access to mortgages, the demand for housing remains strong. Lenders have continued to manage a steady stream of home borrowers while at the same time minimizing the risk associated with high risk borrowers.

Market Forecast

Although there has been some talk about a housing recession, the fundamentals of real estate have remained strong. For example, unlike in 2009, currently 93% of local homeowners have equity in their home and nationally equity is at 95%. In 2011, homeowners nationally had approximately 2.2 billion in equity in stark contrast to the 6.3 billion of equity homeowners have today. Equity equals stability, and many homeowners in today's market have equity. In addition, the home buyers obtaining financing in today's market are using fixed-rate fully amortized mortgages with no balloon payments. This is in stark contrast to the balloon payment type loans that were common during the previous housing recession. Finally, home borrowers in today's market must first prove that they have the ability to repay a loan utilizing tax returns, bank statements, credit scores, verification of employment and whatever hoops the lender deems appropriate for the buyer to jump through. All these factors combined with the added fact that nearly 1/3 of all homeowners nationally have no mortgage at all on their home, translates into a very stable housing market.

Bottom Line

When the next housing recession comes, which is always the case, it is expected that it will not be anything like the housing crash of 2008. Most homeowners will likely wait it out and the odds of it lasting very long are very slim. Below are a few resources relating to a potential housing recession. I hope that you find them useful.

https://www.realtor.com/news/trends/how-the-coming-recession-will-affect-the-housing-market/

http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2019-08-06-Recessions-Typically-Have-Limited-Effect-on-the-Housing-Market

https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2019/03/housing-recessions-and-recoveries.aspx

As always, thank you for taking the time to review our monthly market update. If you have any additional questions please feel free to email me directly josh@reddinghomes.com or telephone at 530-222-3800.

Make it a great day!

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
Oct. 1, 2019

How Does the Supply of Homes for Sale Impact Buyer Demand?

The price of any item is determined by supply, as well as the market’s demand for the item. The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for their monthly REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand).

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 3 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now very strong; only 2 of the 50 states have a ‘weak’ demand. Overall, buyer demand is slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong.

Seller Supply

The index also asked: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

As the map below shows, 18 states reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 29 states and Washington, D.C. reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 3 states reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are looking for homes.

Bottom Line

Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, let’s get together to help you capitalize on the demand in our market now. 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
Sept. 26, 2019

Are You Ready for the ‘Black Friday’ of Real Estate?

Every year, ‘Black Friday’ is a highly anticipated event for eager shoppers. Some people prepare for weeks, crafting and refining a strategic shopping agenda, determining exactly when to arrive at each store, and capturing a wish list of discounted must-have items to purchase. But what about buying a home? Is there a ‘Black Friday’ for the home-buying process? Believe it or not, there is.

According to a new study from realtor.com, the week of September 22 is the best time of year to buy a home, making it ‘Black Friday’ for homebuyers.

After evaluating housing data in 53 metros from 2016 to 2018, realtor.com determined that the first week of fall is when buyers “tend to find less competition, more inventory, and the biggest reductions on list price.”

The report explains,

“During the first week of fall, buyers tend to face 26% less competition from other buyers, and they are likely to see 6.1% more homes available on the market compared to other weeks of the year…nearly 6% of homes on the market will also see price reductions, averaging 2.4% less than their peak.”

What’s so different about the first week of fall?

George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com says,

“As summer winds down and kids return to school, many families hit pause on their home search and wait until the next season to start again…as seasonal inventory builds up and restores itself to more buyer-friendly levels, fall buyers will be in a better position to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates and increased purchasing power.”

Learn more about how prices, listings, and buyer competition stack up during the first week of fall in your metro area.

Bottom Line

If you want to take advantage of the ‘Black Friday’ of home buying, let’s get together to discuss the benefits of making your next move this fall. 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
Sept. 17, 2019

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range

CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed,

“National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.”

They also analyzed four individual home-price tiers, showing the increase in each.

Here’s the breakdown:

To clarify the methodology, CoreLogic explains,

“The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and 100% of the median (low-to-middle price), homes priced between 100% and 125% of the median (middle-to-moderate price) and homes priced greater than 125% of the median (high price).”

What does this mean if you’re selling?

Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. If you’re a homeowner thinking of selling, let’s get together to find out how much your home is increasing in value, so you can price it competitively for today’s market. 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
Sept. 9, 2019

5 Reasons to Sell This Fall

Below are 5 compelling reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase…and are in the market right now. More often than not, in many areas of the country, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy the same home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal market. This means that in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers.

Historically, a homeowner would stay an average of six years in his or her home. Since 2011, that number has hovered between nine and ten years. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move as they were unable to sell over the last few years due to a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.

Many homeowners were reluctant to list their homes over the last couple of years, for fear that they would not find a home to move to. That is all changing now as more homes come to market at the higher end. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Today’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and simpler, as buyers know exactly what they can afford before shopping for a home. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time needed to close a loan is 43 days.

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move up. There is currently ample inventory for sale at higher price ranges. This means if you’re planning on selling a starter or trade-up home and moving into your dream home, you’ll be able to do that in the luxury or premium market.

According to CoreLogic, prices are projected to appreciate by 5.2% over the next year. If you’re moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage) if you wait.

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to these questions. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important. 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
Sept. 4, 2019

Shasta County Market Update - September 2019

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


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Summer is winding down, kids are back to school and soon the weather will begin to cool off. We are entering a season of amazing colors and a period when the North State really shines. This month we will discuss some of the hottest topics trending now in our local housing market. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at the office at 530-222-3800. Have a great September!

Homes Sales

Home sales in the month of August finished at 295 closed, down from 333 one year ago, in the same period. Keep in mind home sales ticked up in the month of August last year due to additional buyer demand created by our local CARR fire.

Home Inventory

Home inventory in the month of August finished at 1,123 homes for sale. This number is slightly higher than 1,109 homes for sale in the same month, one year ago. Home inventory in the below $200,000 price range is down by an average of 25% compared to last year.

Interest Rates

Interest rates have continued to remain historically low. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate is averaging just below 3.75% and is an additional contributing factor to the overall strong housing market.

Feeder Markets

Feeder markets are markets that provide a reliable source of buyer demand to our local area. Feeder markets, like the Bay Area, are experiencing noticeable changes in buyer demand. According to Zillow research, the bay area has averaged a 10% decline in average sales prices since the beginning of the year. This change in the Bay Area market could potentially spill over into our market in the coming months. When Bay Area buyers sell their homes for less than anticipated our local home sales, primarily in the middle and upper-end markets, could notice a shift in demand.

 

 

You can view the average value of your home instantly by visiting www.shastahomevalue.com

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to review these reports. I also appreciate the feedback that many of you share with me each month. If you have any additional questions regarding real estate we are always here to help. Make it a great September!    

Your Realtor

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
Aug. 26, 2019

Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019

We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.

Here’s what some of the experts have to say:

Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic

“We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

“We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”

Freddie Mac

“The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”

Bottom Line

The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area. 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
Aug. 16, 2019

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate-themed TV show marathon, you might start to think everything you see on the screen must be how it works in real life. However, you may need a reality check.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.

Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.

Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.

Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes shown are already sold and are off the market.

Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.

Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy.

Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house.

Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but they are only one piece of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind, many homes are sold during regular showing appointments as well.

Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation.

Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives and goals.

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee you can make the home of your dreams a true reality. 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
Aug. 8, 2019

How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today.

1. How much do you really need for a down payment?

There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Mae shows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 – 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.

There are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that provide 0% down payment options too.

We’ve mentioned recently that you don’t need to come up with a 20% down payment to buy, and we’ve also shared how quickly you can save for a 3% or 10% down payment, depending on where you live. If you’re planning to put down just 3%, the research shows it may be possible in most states to have enough saved for a down payment in less than a year. That puts homeownership in a much closer reach for many potential buyers, maybe even you!

2. How can I get help with my down payment?

Regardless of the loans available, many buyers still need assistance with a down payment. The great news is, there are a lot of ways to tap into down payment assistance options. Here are just a couple of them:

Assistance from Family Members

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said, “a third of recent first-time buyers received down payment assistance from family members.” They also mentioned, “the average net worth of those aged 75 and over stands at $264,800…They just might offer the boost the next generation needs to become homeowners.

That means one of the ways to find help with a down payment is to accept a gift from a family member. If this is an option for you, make sure you talk to your loan officer before you accept the money, to ensure you document the process the way it is required by your loan. This way, it will be received properly and you can still potentially qualify.

Down Payment Assistance Programs

The reality is, not everyone has a loved one or a family member who can provide help with a down payment. There are, however, more than 2,500 down payment assistance programs available (by local areas like city, county, or neighborhood), and some of them are even specifically for first-time buyers.

The gap, as mentioned in the same survey, is “only 23% of consumers are familiar with low down payment programs.

That’s why it is so important to get familiar with these options by doing your homework before you plan to buy a home. Determine what is available in the area where you ultimately want to live, so you have all the details you need to take advantage of the down payment assistance option that is best for your family.

Bottom Line

If buying a home is one of your long-term goals, you may be able to get there sooner than you think by tapping into one of the many down payment assistance programs available. 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
Aug. 5, 2019

Shasta County Market Update - August 2019

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


From the Desk Of Josh Barker @ RE/MAX

Homes Sales Report

Homes sales for the month of July finished at 282 homes closed, up from 280 in July 2018. The CARR fire at the end of July 2018 had a slight impact on overall closings for that month. The slight difference indicates that if the fire had not occurred, this year's July closings would have been slightly lower.

Home Inventory Report

Home inventory for the month of July finished at 1,146 homes for sale. This is down from 1,187 just one year ago in the same month. The recent reduction in home inventory can be largely contributed to the lack of new homes being constructed for sale in the local market.

Interest Rates

Mortgage interest rates dropped drastically in the month of July (3.75% average on a 30 year loan) and have just reached the lowest levels in over 3 years. The recent drop in rates will increase overall buyer demand and will likely provide an additional boost to the market.

Appreciation Forecast

Forecasting home appreciation is always a challenging task and each price range range performs differently. Generally speaking, homes priced below $500k will likely receive a boost in value due to overall low inventory and the recent interest rate drop. Homes priced over $500k will likely continue to sell with some regularity but will likely not receive an equal boost in value due to overall sluggish buyer demand and increased supply.

Bubble Markets

It has become an understandable concern for some that a bubble in local home prices may be forming. This concern is largely due to the fact that we have had an extended period of positive growth. It is important to keep in mind that the recent economic recovery has been extremely slow in comparison to the previous bubble. In fact, in the local market average selling prices for homes across all price ranges is still below the previews peak of 2006. The slide below compares July 2006 to July 2019.

Currently, local Investors represent a very small portion of all sales (estimated at 11%) and institutional investors are a non factor in our local market. In addition, home buyers are highly qualified and financing is based on fixed rate mortgages. The troubling signs that plagued our last local housing bubble are essentially non existent. The largest concern for the future of real estate locally may actually be the low interest rate environment. As rates eventually tick up, there may be a corresponding reduction in buyer demand and softening in home prices. When this may happen is anyone's guess.

The bubble forming that should not go unnoticed is in destination markets like Idaho, Washington, Utah and Texas. These destination markets have enjoyed robust growth and serious spikes in sales prices. Once these destination markets have reached a serious premium, it is likely that the scales will shift, supplies will grow and prices will soften. Once the sticker shock of the destination markets is apparent, markets like Shasta County will once again look like a bargain in comparison. I am clearly biased when it come to this topic as I am a lifelong resident of Shasta County, but a believe the data is on my side.

You can view the average value of your home instantly by visiting www.shastahomevalue.com

As always, I appreciate you taking the time to review these reports. I also appreciate the feedback that many of you share with me each month. If you have any additional questions regarding real estate we are always here to help. Make it a great August!    

Your Realtor

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