Category Archives: National Real Estate News

The Truth About Homeowner Equity

What is the Truth About Homeowner Equity?

Which Road to Choose, What is the Truth?
A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here’s why some homeowners still can’t sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “Negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.”  The article then goes on to soften that stance, but we want to bring better clarity to the equity situation.

A recent report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have “significant equity,” which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire. (There was no reference to significant equity in the article.) Continue reading

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

How is the Lack of Homes for Sale Affecting Buyers?

Detective Buyer Searching for Homes for Sale

There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”

First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.

The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:

  • 47% – existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
  • 26.5% – first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
  • 11.3% – existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
  • 10.6% – insufficient or negative equity in the home
  • 4.6% – foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes

As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).

Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?

The report on the survey explains:

“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory.”

That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.

The Bottom Line

While many homeowners are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell at a peak selling time. Plenty of buyers have seen what the summer market has leftover and are just waiting for better homes to come to the market. If you’re an anxious buyer waiting for new inventory, let one of our Buyer Specialists get you set up on a ‘flash’. You will receive instant notification of new listings that fit your criteria as soon as they hit the market. Give us a call at 734-761-3060 or shoot us an email at info@bouma.com and we’ll get started!

How Supply and Demand Impacts Real Estate Home Values

Supply and Demand in Today’s Market

The Impact of Supply and Demand on Housing Prices in Today's Real Esate Market

Some Highlights:

  • The concept of supply & demand is a simple one. The best time to sell something is when the supply of that item is low & the demand for that item is high!
  • Anything under a 6-month supply is a seller’s market!
  • Nationally, there has not been a 6-months inventory supply since August 2012!
  • Inventory levels differ depending on the area of the country and price range, so let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in our area.

Thinking of selling your home? It could be worth more than you think! Contact Ann Arbor’s premier Real Estate team at The Bouma Group at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com and get a market analysis for your home and find out the next steps in getting it sold for top dollar!

Where Are Home Prices Heading in The Next 5 Years?

What Experts are Saying About Future Home Prices

Steps Heading in an Upward Direction depicting Home Prices in the future
Today, many real estate conversations center on home prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number to better depict the results. Continue reading

Sellers: Your Home is an Oasis in an Inventory Desert

Home Inventory Still a Struggle for BuyersHome Inventory is Like an Oasis in the Desert

First-time home buyers are flocking to the real estate market by the thousands to find the perfect homes in order to make their dreams of homeownership a reality. Unfortunately for many, the inventory of starter and trade-up homes in the US has struggled to keep up with demand! According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale dropped 7.1% year-over-year to a 4.3-month supply and is down for the 25th consecutive month. Some homeowners may be hesitant to list their homes for sale because they are worried that they will also have a problem finding a home to buy. This is a legitimate concern; no one wants to sell their home quickly and not have anywhere to live.

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The 5 Greatest Benefits of Homeownership

The 5 Benefits of Homeownership You Need to Know!

Homeownership is Worth Celebrating

Recently, Freddie Mac reported on the benefits of homeownership. According to their report, here are the five benefits that “should be at the top of everyone’s list.”

  1. Homeownership can help you build equity over time.
  2. Your monthly payments will remain stable.
  3. You may have some tax benefits.
  4. You can take pride in ownership.
  5. Homeownership improves your community.

Let’s expand on each of Freddie Mac’s points:

Homeownership can help you build equity over time.

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reported that now the net worth gap is 45 times greater.

Your monthly payments will remain stable.

When you purchase a home with a fixed rate mortgage, the majority of the payment (principle and interest) remain constant. On the other hand, rents continue to skyrocket. Your housing expense is much more stable if you own instead of rent.

You may have some tax benefits.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s Briefing Book -“A citizen’s guide to the fascinating (though often complex) elements of the federal Tax System” – there are several tax advantages to homeownership.

Here are four items from the Briefing Book:

  • Mortgage Interest Deduction
  • Property Tax Deduction
  • Imputed Rent
  • Profits from Home Sale

You can take pride in ownership.

Most surveys show that a major factor in purchasing a home is the freedom you have to design the home the way you want. From paint colors to yard accessories, you don’t need a landlord’s permission to make the house feel like a home.

Homeownership improves your community.

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study explained:

“Homeownership does create social capital and provide residents with a platform from which to connect and interact with neighbors…Owning a home means owning part of a neighborhood, and a homeowner’s feelings of commitment to the home can arouse feelings of commitment to the neighborhood, which, in turn, can produce interactions with neighbors.”

Bottom Line

There are many benefits to homeownership, in addition to these top 5. Have you been considering purchasing a home, but aren’t sure where to start? Check out our state-of-the-art home search here. If you’re ready to get out and view a few homes, contact us at The Bouma Group, Realtors today at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com and we’d be happy to help!

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The American Dream Index Continues to Increase!

Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better!

Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better! | MyKCM


Forbes.com 
recently released the latest results of their American Dream Index, in which they measure “the prosperity of the middle class, and…examine which states best support the American Dream.”

The monthly index measures several different economic factors, including goods-producing employment, personal and commercial bankruptcies, building permits, startup activity, unemployment insurance claims, labor force participation, and layoffs.

The national index score was rounded out to 100.0 in January as a baseline for comparison. It rose the fourth straight month in a row to 101.8.

Alaska, coming in at 89.4, represented the lowest score on the index due in part to the recent collapse in oil prices. In contrast, Wyoming came in with the highest score at 115.1. You can see the full results can be seen in the map below.

Your Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream Keeps Getting Better! | MyKCM

Forbes Senior Editor Kurt Badenhausen explained why many states saw a boost in the index last month:

“The American Dream Index rose for the fourth straight month to 101.8 propelled by gains in goods-producing jobs and building permits, as well as declines in unemployment claims and mass layoffs.

Goods-producing jobs (manufacturing, mining, construction and agriculture) were up for the ninth straight month in May…Building permits rose for the fourth straight month compared to the prior year.”

Bottom Line

Owning a home of one’s own, for many, is a big part of the American Dream. With the economy improving in many areas of the country, that dream can finally become a reality. Are you a first time home buyer and want to know what you can afford in today’s market? Or see what is available in your price range? Give us a call at The Bouma Group, Realtors at 734-761-3060 or email info@bouma.com and let’s get started helping you achieve the American Dream!

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory?

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory?

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? | Simplifying The Market

As home prices continue to rise, some are questioning whether we are approaching another housing bubble. Zillow just reported that:

National home values have surpassed the peak hit during the housing bubble and are at their highest value in more than a decade.”

Though that statement is correct, we must realize that just catching up to prices of a decade ago does not mean we are at bubble numbers. Here is a graph of median prices as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Are Home Prices Approaching Bubble Territory? | Simplifying The Market

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The National Real Estate Market Shows Positive Signs of Growth

Home Selling 8Things are certainly looking up on the national real estate market! According to a recent report from the national Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, home prices increased during the month of January despite cooling home sales.

Experts believe that a tightening inventory helped to spur the rise in home prices.

This is important information for home sellers as it will help determine their home selling strategy on the local housing market. So continue reading to learn more!

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2015 Year in Review: The Economy and National Real Estate Market

This time of year, many people like to take a moment and reflect on the year that has passed, whether it’s reflecting on good memories or how the nation is doing financially. Today, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the economy and what this year’s trends meant for real estate.

A Brief Look Back on the US Economy

The economy has done well in 2015 — personal income is increasing, new construction homes are on the rise, and the job market is strong. And looking to the new year, now is the best time to buy a home. Here are three main real estate-related takeaways from the United States’ past economic performance in 2015.

1. Unemployment is Decreasing

laptop at an office workplaceThe job market in the United States is doing much better than in previous years following the Great Recession.

Unemployment this time last year was at 5.6%; the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states unemployment is at 5.0%. With more jobs and disposable income, home buyers have been able to spend more on their dream home than in past years.

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