Archive for the ‘Harry’s Corner’ Category

In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Friday, December 29th, 2017
The Weather Outside is Frightful but the Real Estate Market is….?
The weather outside is frightful, but the real estate market is steadily moving closer to delightful!  In fact, compared to the market we were in ten years ago, we are way beyond delightful and approaching wonderful.
Based on numbers from our local MLS system (Real Estate Information Network), last month was the 39th straight month that prices have increased when you compare year over year numbers (November 2017 to November 2016).  Plus, the number of homes for sale across Hampton Roads continues to decrease.  This decrease holds true in both year over year numbers and comparing month to month (October 2017 to November 2017).
If you are a long time reader, you know that studies show that the ideal time to list your house is early spring.  But, both in our office and from conversations with fellow agents, buyers are having trouble finding a house that they want. Thus, a good argument can be made that if you are planning on selling your house this year, you should consider listing your home now.  This decision really should be made on a case by case basis, so give us a call (Lee: 757-726-SOLD (7653) or Harry: 757-434-9084) or just reply back to this email and we will be happy to set up a time to talk in more detail about your personal situation.
We appreciate your support over the past year and are thankful for you.  We  hope you had a great Christmas and lastly, make sure you check out our Facebook page for the Christmas light contest!
Happy New Year,
Lee and Harry Cross

In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Monday, November 27th, 2017
There Are Not Many Black Friday Deals
Last month we wrote how things normally slow down in the fall and while that is still true, the last week around the office has felt more like the real estate market has just pumped the breaks.  We aren’t anywhere near a complete stop.  We have been averaging a ratified contract every other day over the last ten days, which would be a lot, even for spring time.
Based on numbers from our local MLS system (Real Estate Information Network) the number of homes for sale across Hampton Roads continues to go down.  In October there were 10,172 homes for sale which is 287 fewer homes than September and 679 fewer homes than August.  In just two months, the number of homes for sale has gone down over 6% across Hampton Roads.
Please keep in mind that as a general rule, no one wants to move their Christmas Tree (speaking of Christmas Tree, make sure you check out our contest below).  There are almost always more homes available for sale in the spring, but at this point our inventory of homes for sale is down below normal numbers and buyers are having trouble finding homes in certain price ranges.
Seller’s sometime wait until Spring and Summer to list, but with the inventory level low, if you know you are going to move, we should go ahead and talk through the pros and cons of listing now.  Give us a call (Lee: 757-726-SOLD (7653) or Harry: 757-434-9084) or just reply back to this email and we are happy to set up a time to talk in more detail about your personal situation.

In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

Is it Fall?

As I (Lee) was driving my girls to school Friday morning, my car was telling me it was 38 outside and the weather forecast was calling for it to be in the high sixty’s today. I have heard several people wishing the cool weather would arrive and stay around for a while and I can’t say I blame them. Our local real estate market normally cools down some in the fall as well, but as you can see below, seller’s don’t have to break out their winter jackets quite yet.

Based on numbers from our local MLS system (Real Estate Information Network) the number of homes for sale across Hampton Roads continues to go down. In September 2017 there were 10,459 properties listed for sale, which is 510 fewer homes than in September 2016. Plus, it is a reduction of 392 homes from the month before (August 2017).

To put the number of properties for sale in better context, you need to look at the months’ supply of inventory. You get that number by dividing the total number of homes for sale by the number of homes that sold month. Said another way, if the demand from buyer’s stayed the same and there weren’t any other houses listed, how many months would it take to sell all of the homes that are currently listed? The month’s supply in September 2017 was 4.81 months. Between five and seven months’ supply is considered an average market, and, the lower the number, the more bargaining power seller’s traditionally have. Last year (September 2016) the months’ supply was 7.85 and locally it was over 10 during the bottom of the last recession.

Both the statistics and our experience show home prices creeping up. The median sales price was up 3.84% in year over year numbers, while the median sales price for the third quarter of 2017 was up 2.13% over the third quarter of 2016.

Sellers sometime wait until Spring and Summer to list, but with the inventory level low, if you know you are going to move, we should go ahead and talk through the pros and cons of listing now. Give us a call (Lee: 757-726-SOLD (7653) or Harry: 757-434-9084) or just reply back to this email and we are happy to set up a time to talk in more detail about your personal situation. We also greatly appreciate any referrals you can send our way and promise to take great care of them.

by: Lee Cross


In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Will Buyer Demand Stay Strong?

Last month we wrote that our big question for the spring is will buyer demand stay strong? Based on just the numbers from February 2017, the answer is yes!

Looking at year over year numbers (February 2016 compared to February 2017) the number of homes for sale decreased a little over 10%, while the number of homes under contract went up by 7.79%. Suffolk led the charge with 25.69% more homes under contract than in February 2016. A quick note, keep in mind this is just one month, and a winter month. Last year we had more snow which kept more buyers from looking, so our snow free February almost certainly helped to inflate the year over year numbers.
However, when you look at what happened just in February 2017 across Hampton Roads, you see that 3,497 new properties were listed but 3,807 went under contract or were sold. If you were looking for a home throughout the month of February the statistics say you actually had fewer homes to choose from by the end of the month.

So what does this all mean? Our honest answer is, it is too early to tell, but we still feel that our prediction of this being a glass half full and rising seller’s market will stay true. If you are looking to buy a home, or if you are looking to buy a higher priced home than what you currently own, it is time to start looking. Using rough math based on buying a $200,000 house, interest rates increasing by 1% on your home loan will cost a buyer approximately the same as the cost of the home you are buying going up 10%.

If you have read this newsletter before you already know that studies show now is the best time of year to list your house, and with the Federal Reserve announcing they are planning on raising interest rates two more times this year buyers should be actively looking as well.

Of course this email is focused on the overall market, which may or may not apply to your personal situation. We are happy to sit down and talk about how our current real estate market affects you and your future real estate plans. Please give us a call (757-726-SOLD) or email (LeeCross@CallCrossRealty.com, HarryCross@CallCrossRealty.com).

by: Lee Cross


In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Monday, February 27th, 2017
The Glass is past half-full!
Last month we talked about how the glass is half full and rising, and if the latest statistics for home sales in Hampton Roads continue in the same direction, our glass will be past half full by the end of the year.  The number of homes for sale continues to shrink, and buyers are starting to complain that there aren’t enough homes for sale.  Looking at year over year numbers, there are 10.76% fewer homes for sale in January 2017 than there were in January 2016.    The year over year numbers for January also fell for the average days on the market (down to 118 from 125) and the month’s supply of inventory (down to 4.37 months from 5.37).  Plus, the number of homes that went into pending (under contract) status in January 2017 was the highest for January since 2007.
The big question, is will this continue throughout the year or are we seeing a surge of buyers due to the rising interest rates?  Interest rate changes make a huge difference for buyers.  If a buyer is using a normal 30 year loan to buy a $225,000 house and the rates go up one percentage point they either have to pay about $115 more a month, or spend $25,000 less on a home to keep the payment the same.  Clearly this will matter to buyers, so even though rates can go up a point and still be historically great, it will have an effect on buying power.
Now is the time to get your home ready if you want to sell this year.  We are happy to do a quick, no obligation walk through of your home.  We can share with you some tips to help you get your house ready to bring top dollar, and tell you what your house could sell for in this market.
Please give us a call (757-726-SOLD) or email (LeeCross@CallCrossRealty.comor HarryCross@CallCrossRealty.com) and we will help you take advantage of this rising market

In The News for Buyers and Sellers

Monday, January 30th, 2017

The Glass is Half-Full and Rising!

The statistics for home sales in Hampton Roads for 2016 show that our real estate market continues to improve for sellers.  We’d like to say we are in a glass half full and rising market.  The average sale price for 2016 was $225,000, up from $218,000 in 2015.  More impressive was the fact that 9.02% more homes sold in 2016 than they did in 2015.  Most importantly for current sellers or people thinking about listing their home this year, the number of active listings continues to decline.  In December 2016 there were 9,108 homes listed for sale, which is the lowest number since April 2006.  Anytime you are selling anything, the less competition you have the better.
Part of the reason we say the glass is half full, is that the average sales price had a higher increase in 2015 (5.3%) than 2016 (3.2%).  Plus, rising interest rates will mean buyer’s have to have a higher monthly payment or look in a lower price range from a couple of months ago.
Having said that, we still feel that unless the economy takes a hard hit, prices should continue to go up in 2017.  We have written about this before, but as a quick reminder, local numbers show sellers are most likely to have their home under contract in April.  In order, the top five sales months are April, June, May, July, and March.  If you are going to sell your home this year, it is in your best interest to be listed before the end of February to take advantage of the number of buyers looking in March.
Now is the time to start talking about getting your home ready if you want to sell this year.  We are happy to do a quick, no obligation walk through on your home.  We can share with you some tips to help you get your house ready to bring top dollar, and tell you what your house could sell for in this market.  Please give us a call (757-726-SOLD) or email LeeCross@CallCrossRealty.com  or HarryCross@CallCrossRealty.com and we will help you take advantage of this rising market

In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Monday, November 21st, 2016

While we had a great time trick or treating last month, my need for a crystal ball has not gone away.  Interest rates on thirty year loans have moved up about a half a percent over the last week, and it looks like the Federal Reserve is going to raise their rates in December.  Of course the last time the Federal Reserve increased their rate, the rates for thirty year home loans went down.

Homes in Hampton Roads are continuing to sell, and the months’ supply of inventory is a little over five months, which is the lowest number since 2009!  The year over year numbers are looking better for sellers as well.  When comparing the average sales price for a home in Hampton Roads, it is 4.57% higher in October 2016 than it was in October 2015.  Also, Suffolk has 22.43% more homes under contract in October 2016 than we did in October 2015.

While I don’t have a crystal ball, I do expect the local real estate market to continue to do well over the next twelve months.  The one thing I do know for certain is that eleven years ago today I was lucky enough to marry the girl of my dreams.

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and be on the lookout for our second annual Christmas Light contest starting next weekend!

 

By: Lee Cross


In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Monday, October 24th, 2016

I (Lee) live in a house with a six year old, a four year old, and an 18 month old who have been very excitedly planning their Halloween costumes.  As usual, I will also be assigned a costume, and this year I have been told I am going as a bear.  While I know we will all have a lot of fun, I was hoping that my costume would have included a crystal ball!

Normally as we head into fall, real estate sales slow down.  However, according to the Real Estate Information Network (Hampton Road’s multiple listing service) September 2016 had only 8% fewer home sales than May 2016.  Plus the number of homes listed for sale continues to decrease in both year over year numbers (comparing September 2016 to September 2015) and from month to month (comparing August 2016 to September 2016).  From a seller’s point of view, the lower number of homes for sale, the better.

Interest rates for thirty year home loans remain amazing.  Based on a study by the Federal Bank of St. Louis, they were averaging 3.47% for the week of October 13, 2016.  As you can see from the chart below covering the last forty five years, that is almost a record low:

Since I will not be carrying a crystal ball around on Halloween, I guess I will have to wait with everyone else so see what the next couple of months bring.  I suspect the market will stay stronger than normal through the winter. So, if you are thinking about buying or selling, give me a call and I will be happy to talk more about how you can take advantage of our current market conditions.  Also, we manage nearly 300 homes so if you have any lingering storm damage and need recommendations for trusted contractors, I am always happy to help.
by: Lee Cross

In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

School is out and the buyers are too!  According to the Real Estate Information Network (Hampton Road’s multiple listing service), the number of homes that became pending (under contract) went up by 32.68% when comparing year over year numbers (May 2015 to May 2016).  Interestingly, Portsmouth had a 78% increase, Norfolk’s was only 1.18%, and Suffolk’s pending sales went up by 22.86%.

The months’ supply of inventory across Hampton Roads continues to fall, and in May it was at 5.62 months.  This is calculated by dividing the total number of homes currently listed by the average number of homes that have sold each month over the last year.  A rule of thumb is that in an average real estate market, the months’ supply of inventory should be between 5 and 7 months.  In May, Suffolk’s months’ supply was 7 months.

Studies show that July is the second most popular time for owners to list their home in Hampton Roads, but August is a very slow month for buyers. So, if you are going to sell your home this year, you should try to have it listed in the next week or two.

If you are wondering what effect the increase in buyer’s demand has on your personal home, give us a call/email/text for a free, no obligation, consultation to find out what your house is worth

By: Lee Cross


In the News for Buyers and Sellers

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

The first couple of weeks of April have brought us pollen, cold weather, and a University of North Carolina loss in the NCAA tournament (no one picked Villanova in our Facebook contest).  The good news is that statistics show buyers have been out looking for homes, the weather is warming up, and with the tax filing deadline on Monday, everyone should have a reason to smile this week.

According to the Real Estate Information Network (Hampton Road’s multiple listing service), the number of homes under contract continues to show strong year over year gains.  Homes under contract throughout Hampton Roads are up over 20% when you compare year over year numbers (March 2015 to March 2016).  Some other good news is that the percentage of distressed properties (bank foreclosures or short sales) is down to under 14% of the total active listings. This is the lowest percent of active listings since September 2009.

If you were unhappy with the amount of taxes you are paying, you may want to consider investing in real estate.  Real estate investing has a lot of tax advantages.  If you would like to talk through some of them, please give us a call (of course we can’t give individual tax advice, so you will also need to consult your CPA).

Don’t forget, studies show that lots of sellers make the mistake of waiting until July to list their home.  Please don’t do that, as you will miss out on the three best months to sell your home.

If you are thinking of selling this year, give us a call/email/text for a free, no obligation consultation to find out what your house is worth




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