Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Importance of Understanding Real Estate Law

Real estate is indeed one of the safest investments and a lot of people use real estate as an investment avenue. Real estate law is not the forte of real estate attorneys and real estate agents only. Every real estate investor should understand at least the basics of real estate law. In fact, a short course or a concise book on real estate law can sometimes be of great help (and is generally sufficient for understanding the basics of real estate law).

Understanding the various legal terms referred to in real estate laws can help you in not only enhancing your understanding of real estate but also help in making your conversations with real estate attorneys/agents really fruitful. You should also note that though some of the basics remain the same, the real estate laws vary across various states. Also, real estate laws (especially the tax related real estate laws) can undergo a change over a period of time, so you need to keep a tab on such changes. Any big changes will anyhow appear prominently in news and you will get to know of them anyhow.

So knowing a little bit of real estate law can really be helpful (and is, in fact, essential). To learn more about this process please visit http://www.teamlund.com.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fourth quarter metro area home prices strongest in seven years

A growing number of metropolitan areas had higher median home prices in the fourth quarter, with the national price showing the strongest year-over-year increase in seven years, according to the latest quarterly report by NAR.

The median existing single-family home price rose in 133 out of 152 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the same quarter in 2011, while 19 areas had price declines. In the third quarter, 120 areas showed increases from a year earlier, while in the fourth quarter of 2011, only 29 metros were up.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said all the conditions for strong price growth are at play. "Home sales are on a sustained uptrend, mortgage interest rates are hovering near record lows and unsold inventory is at the lowest level in 12 years," he said. "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." Yun added that more housing construction is needed to relieve some of the pressure in the market and keep home prices from overheating.

The national median existing single-family home price was $178,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10 percent from $162,600 in the fourth quarter of 2011, which is the strongest year-over-year price increase since the fourth quarter of 2005, when the median price jumped 13.6 percent. In the third quarter, the price rose 8.8 percent from a year earlier.

A shrinking market share of lower priced homes continues to account for some of the price growth. Distressed homes - foreclosures and short sales generally sold at deep discounts - accounted for 23 percent of fourth quarter sales, down from 30 percent a year ago.

Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.90 million in the fourth quarter from 4.66 million in the third quarter, and were 12.1 percent above the 4.37 million pace during the fourth quarter of 2011. Sales in the last quarter were at the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2009, when they reached 4.95 million.

At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.82 million existing homes available for sale, which is 21.6 percent below the close of the fourth quarter of 2011, when 2.32 million homes were on the market. Unsold inventory is at the lowest level since January 2001, when there were 1.78 million homes for sale.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Consumer housing sentiment continues to rise

Fannie Mae’s January 2013 National Housing Survey found that increasing confidence in home sales and an improved sense of job security provide further evidence of a strengthening housing market. Underlying the growing sense of optimism, the percentage of survey respondents who think it is a good time to sell a home continued to climb to 23 percent last month from 11 percent the same time last year. While expectations regarding personal finances stayed relatively flat last month, other housing indicators remained at or near survey highs, indicating consumers remain confident in the stability of the housing market.
Highlights from the survey include:
  • The average 12-month home price change expectation fell slightly from last month’s survey high to 2.4 percent.
  • At 41 percent, the share of those surveyed who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased by 2 percentage points from December’s survey high, while the share who believe home prices will go down returned to the survey low of 10 percent.
  • The percentage of those surveyed who think mortgage rates will go up decreased by 3 percentage points to 41 percent, while those who think they will go down dipped slightly to 7 percent.
  • Twenty-three percent of respondents say it is a good time to sell a house, up by 12 percentage points year-over-year.
  • At 3.7 percent, the average 12-month rental price change expectation fell 0.9 percent from last month’s survey high.
  • Half of those surveyed say home rental prices will go up in the next 12 months, a slight increase over December, and the highest level since the survey’s inception.
  • The share of respondents who said they would buy if they were going to move held steady at 65 percent.
http://www.teamlund.com