Fourth Quarter GDP Hits 3.0%


Fourth Quarter GDP Hit 3.0% !

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the all-encompassing measure of economic activity came in at 3.0% for the fourth quarter of 2011.  This shows a substantial increase in the economic activity in the U.S.

As a whole for 2011 the GDP expanded by 1.7%.  The long-term average for the GDP is 3.0%.

It should be noted that the GDP is a lagging indicator of what has happened several months back, but you can see on the graph below that there is consistent growth occurring.  The first quarter GDP for 2012 is projected to come in between 1.5% – 2.0%.  This is due in large part to reduction in government spending and businesses that were running light on inventory may have accumulated inventory ahead of sales.

Gross Domestic Product

In separate, but related news, mortgage applications to buy a home rose 8% in the past week.  This data is consistent with other improving housing metrics.  In addition, it is important to note, that approximately 30% of all home purchases have been all cash, thereby completely bypassing the mortgage process.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, it is important to talk to a real estate professional.  Real estate is a very local matter. A real estate professional can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help you with any of your real estate needs, or simply to answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

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Pending Home Sales Index Climbs to Highest Level in Over Two Years


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Pending Home Sales Index Climbs to Highest Level in Over Two Years

The National Association of REALTORS® reported that its Pending Home Sales Index rose 2% in January, 2012 – to the highest level since April, 2010.

The Pending Home Sales Index is based on contracts signed and leads existing home sales by a month or two depending on when the closing takes place.

Economists had predicted a 1% gain in the index, but the results showed a 2% gain.  Contracts for the preceding 12 months showed an 8% gain overall, reinforcing that a real estate rebound is beginning to take hold.

The inventory of homes on the market, both new and existing, has decreased dramatically in the last few months.  Yet, in many markets there are still distressed homes that the market needs to work through before a full recovery can be claimed.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, it is important to talk to a real estate professional. Real estate is a very local matter. A real estate professional can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help you with any of your real estate needs, or simply to answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

 

Shame on CNN


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Shame on CNN

Shame on CNN Money for reporting half the story relating to the real estate market. CNN reported that home prices fell to the lowest point in more than a decade in January.  That sounds very ominous but does not give a true picture of the real estate market – but as I have said in earlier blogs, doom and gloom sells, good news does not.

What they reported as the median price is true for January, but what they did not mention is that more recent information, which I blogged about yesterday, was that sales of homes has increased and the list price of homes in February has risen 3%.  It is also important to note that there is a huge inventory of underwater homes in areas such as Florida, that are causing the “median” home price in the nation to decrease as those distressed properties are sold.  In some of those distressed markets, home sales have increased more than 30% which results in skewed numbers for sale prices.

Real estate is a very local matter and in my opinion it is misleading on the part of CNN to report that information as though it applies to the entire nation.  Yes, it is a median number, but unless you look at the whole picture of the real estate market, it will clearly give a wrong impression.

Experts agree that the real estate market has a ways to go before the market is as robust as we would like it to be.  Experts also agree that the market needs to work through the number of homes on the market that are distressed and that result in lower prices of homes in that market.  The fact that markets such as Florida that are selling homes in large numbers, even though the median price is dragged down should be seen as good news, not the doom and gloom CNN reported.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, it is important to talk to a real estate professional.  Real estate is a very local matter.  A real estate professional can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help you with any of your real estate needs, or simply to answer any questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

 

More good news in the real estate market!


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More good news in the real estate market!

There has been an enormous amount of activity in the world of real estate lately, and I think that trend will continue throughout the rest of 2012.  A few months ago experts were saying that the real estate market would not turn around until 2013, but most are now in agreement that the turnaround is taking place already and will continue so.

Nationally, the inventory of homes for sale has dropped about 23 percent compared to last year and fell 6% just from December 2011 to January 2012 according to REALTOR.

In addition, the age of inventory is also declining and has dropped nearly 5% below last January inventories.  Areas such as California, Arizona and Florida that were hard hit by the real estate boom are now showing the age of inventory dropping to 69 days or less.  The Greater Nashville real estate market is hovering around 90 days, but it is important to note that middle Tennessee was not hit as hard as other parts of the nation.

To add even more good news, the median list price of homes has risen: up nationally more than 3% year over year.    Couple this with the continued news about unemployment declining and you can see why experts are predicting a slow, but steady real estate rebound.

Interest rates remain at a very low level.  A 30 year fixed rate is at 3.9% as of February 22, 2012.

On a separate note, Chase has announced that it will donate at least 100 homes it owns to wounded military veterans as part of a program operated by a national nonprofit group known as Operation Homefront.

Eligible military families must be on active duty, not currently own a home, and be financially capable of taking on home ownership.  Spouses of military member killed in action will also be considered for the program

“These individuals have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation, and as they move back into civilian life in a tough economic environment, we hope that a mortgage-free home will make that transition a little easier,” Frank Bisignano, JPMorgan Chase Chief Administrative Officer and CEO of Mortgage Banking, said in a statement.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional who can provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com

Roland

For Sale by Owner vs. Hiring a REALTOR®


For Sale by Owner vs. Hiring a REALTOR®

According to REALTOR® Magazine Colby Sambrotto hired a real estate broker to sell his home last year.  That may not seem like news to you, but Colby Sambrotto is the founder and former chief operating officer of ForSaleByOwner.com.

Sambrotto was quoted as saying, “I learned a lot of lessons at ForSaleByOwner.com, but it didn’t sell enough houses to be the game changer I thought it would be.”

Selling real estate takes a lot of work and requires you to be fully aware of the ins and outs of what is acceptable and what is not.  Just because you are not a licensed agent does not mean that the laws do not apply to you.  There are very strict regulations that are involved in the selling of real estate and pulling the wool over a buyer’s eyes might seem like a good thing to do to sell your property, but it can leave you on the hook for a lawsuit for years to come.

Never the less, there are times when selling your property yourself makes sense.  For example: If you are selling property to a relative.  Even in those cases, there are regulations that you will be required to follow.  For example:  If you are selling your property, because you just learned that a landfill has been approved adjacent to your property, you are required to disclose that to prospective buyers.  Sellers who decide to overlook that step of the process could find themselves in a legal mess for not disclosing that fact.

In addition, statistics show that sellers, who go through a REALTOR®, typically sell their property for 17% higher than those who sell themselves.  This amount is more than enough to pay for the commission involved, and you don’t have the headaches of dealing with all the details.

If you are considering selling your property yourself, I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes and talk to a real estate professional who can give you the facts you need to make an informed decision.  Many times, agents will welcome calls from sellers wanting to sell their own property and are willing to answer questions you may have.  Some agents may even be willing to provide flyers or hold open houses if you are willing to pay the commission on any buyers they find.  It’s a win-win.  The hope of course is that the agent can find a buyer or the seller will eventually give up and sign up with the agent.  Just remember, unless  you have a contract with the broker for representation, that agent does not represent you, but in all likelihood will represent the buyer.

In any event, it is important that you have the facts you need to make an informed decision.  Talk to a real estate professional who can help you.

As always, if I can answer any real estate questions, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 615 417-8182 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com

Roland