National Home Sale Market Update

Today, a market study done by the National Association of Realtors was released on existing home sales in the month of February. There are many great points to be taken from this report. Our residential market in the Upper Peninsula tends to track a little behind the national market, so keeping an eye on these reports gives us somewhat of a glance into the future. We are already seeing this similar trend in our market, so much of this data is applicable to our local markets.

WASHINGTON (March 22, 2017) — After starting the year at the fastest pace in almost a decade, existing-home sales slid in February but remained above year ago levels both nationally and in all major regions, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales 1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 3.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in February from 5.69 million in January. Despite last month’s decline, February’s sales pace is still 5.4 percent above a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings retreated in February as too few properties for sale and weakening affordability conditions stifled buyers in most of the country. “Realtors® are reporting stronger foot traffic from a year ago, but low supply in the affordable price range continues to be the pest that’s pushing up price growth and pressuring the budgets of prospective buyers,” he said. “Newly listed properties are being snatched up quickly so far this year and leaving behind minimal choices for buyers trying to reach the market.”

Added Yun, “A growing share of homeowners in NAR’s first quarter HOME survey said now is a good time to sell, but until an increase in listings actually occurs, home prices will continue to move hastily.”

The median existing-home price 2 for all housing types in February was $228,400, up 7.7 percent from February 2016 ($212,100). February’s price increase was the fastest since last January (8.1 percent) and marks the 60th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory 3 at the end of February increased 4.2 percent to 1.75 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 6.4 percent lower than a year ago (1.87 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 21 straight months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace (3.5 months in January).

All-cash sales were 27 percent of transactions in February (matching the highest since November 2015), up from 23 percent in January and 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in February, up from 15 percent in January but down from 18 percent a year ago. Seventy-one percent of investors paid in cash in February (matching highest since April 2015).

First-time buyers were 32 percent of sales in February, which is down from 33 percent in January but up from 30 percent a year ago. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellersreleased in late 2016 4 — revealed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent.

“The affordability constraints holding back renters from buying is a signal to many investors that rental demand will remain solid for the foreseeable future,” said Yun. “Investors are still making up an above average share of the market right now despite steadily rising home prices and few distressed properties on the market, and their financial wherewithal to pay in cash gives them a leg-up on the competition against first-time buyers.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched up in February to 4.17 percent from 4.15 percent in January. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 45 days in February, down from 50 days in January and considerably more than a year ago (59 days). Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 214 days in February, while foreclosures sold in 49 days and non-distressed homes took 45 days. Forty-two percent of homes sold in February were on the market for less than a month.

Inventory data from realtor.com® reveals that the metropolitan statistical areas where listings stayed on the market the shortest amount of time in February were San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif., 23 days; San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., 27 days; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif., 33 days; Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., 36 days; and Boulder, Colo., at 37 days.

NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California, says being fully prepared is the right strategy for prospective buyers this spring. “Seek a preapproval from a lender, know what your budget is and begin discussions with a Realtor® early on about your housing wants and needs,” he said. “Homes in many areas are selling faster than they were last spring. A buyer’s idea of a dream home in a popular neighborhood is probably the same as many others. That’s why they’ll likely have to decide quickly if they see something they like and can afford.”

Distressed sales 5 — foreclosures and short sales — were 7 percent of sales for the third straight month in February, and are down from 10 percent a year ago. Six percent of February sales were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in February (14 percent in January), while short sales were discounted 17 percent (10 percent in January).

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales declined 3.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million in February from 5.04 million in January, and are now 5.8 percent above the 4.62 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $229,900 in February, up 7.6 percent from February 2016.

Existing condominium and co-op sales descended 9.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 590,000 units in February, but are still 1.7 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing condo price was $216,100 in February, which is 8.2 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

February existing-home sales in the Northeast slumped 13.8 percent to an annual rate of 690,000, but are still 1.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $250,200, which is 4.1 percent above February 2016.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 7.0 percent to an annual rate of 1.20 million in February, but are still 2.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $171,700, up 6.1 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South in January rose 1.3 percent to an annual rate of 2.34 million, and are now 5.9 percent above February 2016. The median price in the South was $205,300, up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West decreased 3.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.25 million in February, but are 9.6 percent above a year ago. The median price in the West was $339,900, up 9.6 percent from February 2016.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4 Survey results represent owner-occupants and differ from separately reported monthly findings from NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, which include all types of buyers. Investors are under-represented in the annual study because survey questionnaires are mailed to the addresses of the property purchased and generally are not returned by absentee owners. Results include both new and existing homes.

5 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for February is scheduled for release on March 29, and Existing-Home Sales for March will be released April 21; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.

Drone Videos – Come Fly With NMLB!

Technology is constantly evolving and changing the Real Estate industry. One of the latest and most exiting pieces of technology is the “drone”. These units are capable of shooting high quality video from high above a property providing perspective we’ve never had before. While virtual tours have been the rage recently, we see the “view from above” concept to be a great leap forward for all properties, but particularly large acreage and waterfront parcels.

There was a time when we actually took photos from low flying air planes as a way to get good photography of larger tracts or special properties. Now this drone technology puts that capability at our fingertips. With a little practice, these units can be directed over a parcel while capturing a video and photos. We can use them to inspect locations or areas that are difficult to access. Even a closer look at a roof or chimney of a building can come in very handy at times.

In 2016, we started to use this technology and we will integrate that into our marketing on a broad scale in 2017 and beyond. As we continue to look for an edge in the marketplace and lead the Upper Peninsula region in marketing and sales of unique and special properties, drones will be a key tool for us and our clients. Not only do these provide a great perspective on a property, but the quality of the video and attention that it can bring to a listing will really set our properties apart. While we are sure many others will begin to utilize this platform, we are ahead of competition on this and plan to stay there.

Presenting Premium U.P. Properties.com

We have just rolled out a new website – PremiumUPProperties.com

This platform focuses on our unique and exclusive properties throughout the Upper Peninsula. The design allows us to feature some of our most outstanding properties with less limitations on the listing presentations. We have limited the inventory to the cream of the crop to make it easier to search for special properties of this sort. Many of these listings focus on waterfront properties and investment tracts, but we also have commercial opportunities, timberland, and special residential properties.

We have dedicated blog posts and a newsletter specifically for this category of properties. We encourage everyone to visit this new site and stay tuned for more as we will be adding to it. Please sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date on new additions to the site.

Last Minute Hunting Properties

Are you in the market for a hunting property in the U.P.?

We have a huge inventory to hunting land and camps all over the Upper Peninsula. This time of year is a great time to view these properties and if you hurry, even close in time to use it this season. Call one of our Agents today to help guide you in the right direction. We can narrow the options for you and get you on the right property in no time. This is a Buyer’s market right now, so if you’ve been on the fence, there is no better time to act. Browse our website, or better yet, call us to let us help you find that perfect property.

It’s Waterfront Season!

Portage Lake
Portage Lake

The weather is heating up in Upper Peninsula and so is the waterfront market. This is best time of year to shop our world class inventory of waterfront properties. At no other time will there be more options available. If you live out of the area, tie in a vacation with an appointment to see what we have to offer. The bugs are dying down, lake temps are up, and our weather is getting consistently beautiful. If you live locally, get out for a drive and give us a call, you might be surprised at what you can buy on water right now.

Type in “waterfront”, “lakefront”, or the name of your favorite body of water in our word search in the upper right of the main menu to see what options await you.

Sue Feldhauser

Address:
2552 US 41 West
Marquette
MI
49855
E-mail: suefeldhauser@sbcglobal.net
Telephone: (906)225-LAND
Fax: (906)225-0076
Mobile Phone Number: (906)360-2891
http://www.NorthernMichiganLandBrokers.com
Information: Born and raised in the western end of the Upper Peninsula, I am happy to call the “UP” and Marquette my home. My love for the outdoors and nature has led me to pursue a career in real estate.  I am a graduate of Northern Michigan University, holding a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and two business associate degrees, with over 35 years experience working with the public and the veteran population.  My decision to become a Realtor was based upon my desire to continue to help people, whether they are buying or selling a home or land.  My outgoing personality, strong work ethic, dedication, and desire to exceed my client’s expectations have made for many friends and will make for many satisfied customers.

Testimonials:

“Sue, You were the best real estate agent we could have had.  You helped us through every step of our adventure.  After only a week we had a deal in the works.  We now consider you a friend.”

Nancy Oatley and Pat Meyers – Cabin and Large Acreage

 

 

Rob Sullivan

Address:
2552 US 41 West
Marquette
MI
49855
E-mail: robsullivan39@hotmail.com
Telephone: (906)225-LAND
Fax: (906)225-0076
Mobile Phone Number: (906)362-3337
http://www.NorthernMichiganLandBrokers.com
Information: I was born and raised in Marquette, MI. My father, Bob, has been in the Real Estate business for 30 years, so I grew up learning about Real Estate. In 2002, Bob started Northern Michigan Land Brokers as the Broker/Owner. I soon joined the business, and now manage the Marquette office.I obtained a Real Estate Salespersons license at the age of 19 and my Associate Brokers license at the age of 24. I have been in the business for 12 years now and feel that I have the perfect combination of youth and experience. I have experience with all types of Real Estate transactions, but specialize in vacant land, waterfront, and large acreage residential and camp sales. These categories require specific knowledge and experience to be successful. I spend more hours working with these property types than any of Agent in the business and I have a huge knowledge base as proof of that. I’ve worked to put our office at the top of land sales in the Upper Peninsula every year. I have extensive experience working with large timber companies and large private investors. I approach Real Estate from a consulting and Client based viewpoint rather than acting as a salesperson. I offer a variety of services to my Clients, many of which are free of charge to Buyer and Seller Clients:

  • Broker Price Opinions
  • Property Evaluation and Consulting
  • Timber Harvest Consulting
  • Marking Property Lines and Corners
  • Detailed Property Mapping
  • Property Management including Rental Management
  • Real Estate Investment Consulting

Above all, I value honesty and a moral approach to the Real Estate business which I find that my Clients see as a breath of fresh air. I take my responsibilities in representing people’s largest assets very seriously and I’m grateful to be in a position to help others with their most significant financial decisions.

 

Testimonials:

“A recreational land purchase was something I contemplated over the course of several years before I actually committed to doing it.  I first contacted Rob Sullivan at Northern Michigan Land Brokers in 2009 about a property we were interested in and asked multiple questions about the property and surrounding area.  His response was immediate and thorough.  I decided to wait.  I contacted Rob again spring 2013 about another property.  I entered into a contract, paid the earnest money, then got cold feet at the last minute.  Finally toward the end of 2013 into 2014 we found the property we wanted and contacted Rob again.  The deal got done and my family and I have been very happy with our purchase.

In a time where Rob could have lost patience and chose not to return calls or emails he remained diligent and professional through the entire process quickly responding to calls and emails and answering all of my questions.  I am very grateful for his knowledge and excellent customer service.  Northern Michigan Land Brokers is highly recommended.”

Jason Laughlin – Vacant Acreage Purchase

“Donna and I had a very short window to find a home in the UP due to the fact that we sold our home down state the 1st day it was listed. Rob worked tirelessly to help us find the right type of property we were looking for. Just as important he steered us away from places he thought would not be suitable for us. Rob’s knowledge of the Upper Peninsula from weather to wildlife, utilities or lack thereof came in very handy in helping us make our decision. He made the process enjoyable in trying times, he was was very patient with us as we were not familiar with the areas even when we asked dumb questions which I’m sure there were plenty of. We spent a lot of time driving around the UP looking at all types of properties and Rob’s knowledge of the Western UP was more than obvious. We would highly recommend anyone especially those like us who were not familiar with the area to contact Rob Sullivan with Northern Michigan Land Broker in Marquette.”

Bob & Donna Zarb – Home Purchase