September 2013 Housing Summary

Realtor.com® National Housing Trend Report for September 2013 highlights a strong continuation of equilibrium-oriented trends identified last month. While key indicators show a relatively consistent pace with August figures, the year-over-year perspective shows a strong performance in median list price, decline in days on market and a return to year-ago inventory levels that signal a dramatic rebalancing compared to the beginning of this year.

Listed below are Median List Prices and change on a Year over Year basis for key markets.

This information is provided by realtor.com, and if you wish to see data for any other market, please view the full report on their site.

Area / Region Median List Prices Median Age of Inventory
City $ YY # YY
Orlando, FL $189,900 18.76% 69 -13.75%
Miami, FL $282,075 6.44% 75 -20.21%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(VA) $409,000 5.14% 63 -7.35%
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $225,000 4.65% 86 -13.13%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC(NC) $189,900 8.58% 86 -20.37%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(MD) $299,888 11.11% 76 -19.15%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $242,000 5.40% 111 -18.38%
Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC $169,900 3.03% 108 -10.74%
Columbia, SC $159,900 6.67% 102 -11.30%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(DC) $470,000 14.08% 52 -11.86%
Asheville, NC $249,900 4.56% 115 -12.21%
Norfolk-Virginia Bch-Newport News, VA-NC(VA) $224,900 2.27% 92 -9.80%

Should I replace my water heater with a tankless water heater?

Note: The following article is a Guest post from Chris Corley of Corley Plumbing Air Electric in Greenville, SC.

People often wonder if their home appliances, especially water heaters are up to the mark, and need replacement to keep up with the ever-changing trends and technology in the market. One such issue is ‘tankless water heaters’.

Well, the decision to switch to a tankless water heater is pretty much based on personal preferences and choices. If you are a person who does not like a huge tank sitting around, then tankless water heaters are just the thing for you. They obviously take up less space in the home because of the absence of a tank. However, there are both pros and cons involved, and the decision should be an informed one. Listed below are some basic differences, but you should consult with a licensed plumber before making a decision on replacing a water heater.

The Pros:

  • Efficiency: They are more efficient when it comes to energy usage, and lower your usage costs as well.
  • Lifespan: They have a better lifespan than regular water heaters. The initial cost of purchasing and installing a tankless water heater is much higher than a traditional water heater. However, it will not need to be replaced nearly as often as a traditional water heater.
  • Operating costs: Tankless water heaters are more efficient which means your ongoing operation costs for gas or electricity will be reduces.

The Cons:

  • No storage container: This deficiency means the amount of hot water a tankless water heater can supply at a given time is less than the amount a regular heater can supply. Tankless water heaters have a limited per minute hot water supply.
  • The price tag: The initial investment that this water heater requires may be a huge drawback for many, even if the long run cost saving advantages are huge.
  • Venting requirements: Sometimes a tankless water heater may need a good venting mechanism because of the huge and powerful burners that it has. This functionality could be costly and time consuming to install.

Switching to a tankless water heater is a big decision, and one must make this decision only after properly weighing all the pros against the cons. If you have an interest, then it is best to consulting with a professional plumber who can evaluate your specific needs. If you’re looking for a plumber in Greenville, SC, then give us a call at 864.517-1251.

August 2013 Housing Summary

August data shows the inventory recovery is broad and growing, and the net number of listings increased even though the summer season is ending. While the national median list price did not change compared to July, price increases are becoming more widespread; more than 80 percent of the markets covered registered a year over year increase in median list price.

Listed below are Median List Prices and change on a Year over Year basis for key markets.

This information is provided by realtor.com, and if you wish to see data for any other market, please view the full report on their site.

Area / Region Median List Prices Median Age of Inventory
City $ YY # YY
Orlando, FL $188,900 19.56% 92 -15.00%
Miami, FL $279,000 7.31% 72 -20.88%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(VA) $399,999 2.83% 64 -8.57%
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $228,000 6.05% 85 -13.27%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC(NC) $189,900 8.51% 82 -19.61%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(MD) $299,900 13.71% 78 -15.22%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $249,990 3.30% 113 -12.40%
Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC $170,000 3.09% 106 -10.17%
Columbia, SC $159,900 6.67% 100 -13.04%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(DC) $435,000 10.13% 54 -22.86%
Asheville, NC $250,000 4.38% 113 -11.02%
Norfolk-Virginia Bch-Newport News, VA-NC(VA) $234,900 5.10% 96 -2.04%

July 2013 Housing Summary

July’s real estate market data shows the nation experienced a 5.24 percent decline in housing inventory, which is the second month in a row with year-over-year inventory declines in the single digits. National median list prices increased 5.27 percent year-over-year while median age of inventory is down 16.67 percent.

Listed below are Median List Prices and change on a Year over Year basis for key markets.

This information is provided by realtor.com, and if you wish to see data for any other market, please view the full report on their site.

Area / Region Median List Prices Median Age of Inventory
City $ YY # YY
Orlando, FL $186,000 16.43% 68 -18.07%
Miami, FL $280,000 1.82% 75 -29.25%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(VA) $415,000 5.6% 60 -13.04%
Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC $227,585 5.90% 82 -17.17%
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC(NC) $195,000 11.49% 81 -18.18%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(MD) $299,900 11.28% 72 -20.88%
Charleston-North Charleston, SC $242,000 0.83% 106 -18.46%
Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC $169,900 2.97% 98 -12.93%
Columbia, SC $159,500 5.00% 98 -10.91%
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV(DC) $465,000 16.54% 52 -17.46%
Asheville, NC $249,900 0.36% 102 -16.39%
Norfolk-Virginia Bch-Newport News, VA-NC(VA) $227,500 -1.04% 88 -13.73%

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 24, 2013

Whats-Ahead-Mortgage-Rates-6Comments by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke after Wednesday’s FOMC meeting caused havoc in financial markets as investors anticipated the potential effects of any rollback of the Fed’s policy of quantitative easing (QE). Chairman Bernanke said that the Fed may begin reducing its $85 billion monthly purchase of Treasury securities and MBS toward the end of this year.

The chairman made it clear that any decision concerning QE would be based on careful review of current and developing economic conditions. QE is intended to keep long-term interest rates low; any reduction of the QE securities purchases could cause mortgage rates to rise.

Economic News Bodes Well For Housing

The week’s other economic news included more good news for housing. The NAHB/WF Housing Market Index for June came in ahead of expectations at 52, which surpassed the expected reading of 45 and May’s reading of 44. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders surveyed believe that housing market conditions are positive.

Tuesday was busy for economic news. The Consumer Price Index for May rose from April’s reading of –0.40 percent to +0.10 percent in May, which was below expectations of +0.20 percent.

The Department of Commerce released its Housing Starts Report for May; the reading for May missed expectations of 953,000 housing starts and came in at 914,000 which exceeded April’s 856,000 housing starts. Increasing the number of available homes could help steady recently increasing home prices, but existing homes remain in short supply in many areas.

Fed Expects Moderate Improvement Continuing For Economy

Wednesday’s news involved the Fed’s FOMC meeting and press conference. The Fed stated after the meeting that it expects moderate improvement in economic condition and noted that housing, which was a primary cause of the economic downturn, is now leading the economy’s recovery.

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell from 3.98 percent with 0.7 percent discount points to 3.93 percent with borrowers paying 0.8 percent in discount points.  The average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage fell from 3.10 percent to 3.04 percent with 0.7 percent in discount points for both weeks. Investor response to the Fed’s mention of possibly reducing its QE program is likely to send mortgage rates up next week.

The National Association of REALTORS® released its Existing Home Sales report for May. Existing home sales came in at 5.18 million and beat projections of 5.00 million and April’s sales of 4.97 million existing homes.

Increasing sales of existing homes is good news as demand has exceeded supplies of existing homes in recent months. High demand drives up home prices and impacts affordability along with rising mortgage rates.

What’s Ahead For This Week

Next week’s scheduled news includes a number of housing related reports, FHFA Home Prices, the Case-Shiller Home Prices Report and New Home Sales are set for release Tuesday.

The Gross Domestic Product Report comes out on Wednesday. On Thursday, data for weekly jobless claims, consumer spending and pending home sales will be released.

Friday brings the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index and the Consumer Sentiment Index.

The data released in these reports will continue to inform the Fed’s decision-making with regard to bond purchasing and interest rate policy. It’s possible though, following the aggressive market sell-off activity from last week, that we may see a softening in long-term rates over the course of this week.

What Does The Future Hold For The Security System In Your Home?

home securityImagine walking into your home and turning off the alarm, locking your doors, opening the windows and starting your coffee maker, all with a few taps of your finger on your smart phone?

What if you had a home security camera that you could monitor from anywhere and a motion sensor that would send you an email when your kids come home from school? What if you could open your blinds or unlock your home for a visitor, even from halfway around the world?

The technology that powers our home security systems is getting more and more sophisticated and in the future, our homes will be more responsive than we could ever imagine.

Rather than a simple line of defense that keeps out burglars, it will be a completely integrated and custom designed automated system that responds intelligently to your needs.

Here are a few of the upcoming technology innovations:

Smart Home Technology

At the moment, prototypes are being developed for integrated home security systems that have individual Internet protocols that can address everything from a fridge to a window to a door.  Even your home appliances, like your refrigerator, air conditioning systems and lighting systems may be able to be managed remotely through a smart phone.

This connectivity essentially gives everything in your house an Internet address, so that you can control them and monitor them digitally. Once the system is linked up it can be controlled remotely by Blackberry, Apple or Android.

The 2013 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year showcased a number of smart phone apps and devices designed to control everything within your home so that you can master the household with the click of a button.

The Future Is Still On Its Way

Although the technology is being developed, there is still a long way to go until we all live in automated houses like on The Jetsons. One underlying and yet unsolved issue is the security systems inability to function in a power outage or with bandwidth and connectivity challenges.

There are also many different conflicting operating systems, setups, standards and approaches that will need to be worked out before the dream of a fully automated Mauldin home can become a reality.

Even so, the technological advances being made in home security and management systems are impressive and exciting to learn more about.

Case-Shiller Reports Energetic Annual Home Price Gains Nationally

Case-Shiller-Home-AppreciatThe most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Index showed all three composites posting double-digit increases over the last four quarters.  The national composite, which is the broadest based index, showed an increase of 10.2% annually. The 20-City composite posted even stronger annual growth at 10.9%.

Click Here To Download The Full Report

The Case-Shiller Index measures changes in home prices by tracking same-home sales using 10-City, 20-City and national housing markets; and the change in sales price from sale-to-sale. Detached, single-family residences are used in the Case-Shiller Index methodology and data is for closed purchase transactions only.

12 Of 20 Metro Markets Notch Double-Digit Annual Growth

Between March 2012 and March 2013, home values rose in all 20 Case-Shiller Index markets. Phoenix, Arizona (+22.5%) once again was leading the national price recovery, quite possibly due to its precipitous fall during the onset of the housing crisis.

Another notable gainer was San Francisco (+22.2%), followed by Las Vegas, Nevada (+20.6%)  On the weaker end were Boston (+6.7%), Cleveland (+4.8%) and New York (+2.6%), but it is important to note that even these smaller numbers still represent significant gains across the board.

There were a total of 12 year-over-year double digit gainers in home value which included those mentioned above as well as Atlanta, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa.

All 20 Metro Markets Show Positive Growth For 3 Consecutive Months

In another very strong supporting point for the housing recovery, all 20 metro markets measured showed positive home price growth for at least 3 consecutive months.  This consistency in growth contributes to an overall indication of strength in the housing sector rebound.

The only potential back-pedaling in the report came from noting that higher than normal multi-family housing numbers, large numbers of homes still in the foreclosure process, and significant investor activity may demonstrate that the housing recovery is not yet complete.

This latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report seems to indicate that the housing market continues to show positive growth.

Now may very likely be the best time to move forward with your next Simpsonville real estate transaction.  A positive next step is to call your local, trusted mortgage professional for advice today.

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