Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Much are Home Prices Dropping?

It depends on the indicator you're looking at, NAR Research says. Among the main indicators are those provided by NAR, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (Formerly OFHEO), and Case-Schiller. Each one is different because it looks at different data sets and uses different assumptions. An explanation of the differences, which will help you interpret news and other reports on home price trends, is available online from NAR.

Commercial Real Estate Is at a Standstill

Lending is nearly frozen and job losses are curtailing demand for commercial space, though default rates remain low, says NAR. Read more >

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

NAR International Real Estate Transactions Report

International transactions in the production and consumption of goods and services are expanding. In calendar year 2007, the U.S. exported $1.15 Trillion of goods and $0.5 Trillion of services; and the U.S. imported $1.97 Trillion of goods and $0.378 Trillion of services. With the expansion of international trade, the flow of people across borders has also increased rapidly, and, therefore, the demand for real estate in both residential and commercial sectors in conjunction with international transactions has been on the rise. The New Mexico report presents recent economic and demographic data related to international business activity directly associated with the state.

Deadline Nears for Dropping Jumbo Loan Limits

As of January 1, the maximum for loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are willing to buy will decline from $729,750 to $625,500 in the nation's priciest areas. Read more >

Study Shows Housing Values Have Climbed

A recent government report shows that housing values have actually increased over the last 5 years. Find out which markets have gained the most, some by nearly 80 percent.Read more >

Pending Home Sales Hold in Stable Range

NAR's forward-looking pending home sales index eased against a deteriorating economic backdrop but remains in a stable range, the association says. The index, based on contracts signed in October, slipped 0.7 percent to 88.9 from an upwardly revised reading of 89.5 in September, and is 1.0 percent below October 2007, when it was 89.8. "Despite the turmoil in the economy, the overall level of pending home sales has been remarkably stable over the past year, holding in a generally narrow range," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "We did see a spike in August when mortgage conditions temporarily improved, which underscores two things: there is pent-up demand, and buyers will enter the market when they have access to safe, affordable mortgages."

Is Your Property Tax Bill Too High?

Income tax, sales tax, estate tax, excise tax, alternative minimum tax...and just when you thought you'd paid them all...along comes your property tax bill as a homeowner. But did you know that the National Taxpayers Union estimates that as many as 60% of homes are assessed for too high of a value, resulting in an incorrectly larger property tax bill? Chances are good you might be in that group of people paying too much, so taking the time to review your property tax bill could save you a nice chunk of change.
The good news is that it's easy.
First, contact your local tax assessor's office and ask for someone in the reassessment area. Find out when appeals are heard, and how the process for submitting a property tax appeal works. Additionally, ask for a copy of your property card. Review the card and confirm that the basic information about your property is correct. For example, is the square footage and number of rooms for your home accurate? If the number is incorrect, the county may change the assessment without a formal appeal. If everything on the property card is correct but the assessed value still seems too high, your next step is to gather the following documentation to support an appeal. And don't be surprised if the assessed value is lower than what you think the market value for your home is--many counties use a formula which uses a percentage of market value to determine assessed value. Ask what the formula is, because an assessment which is less than market value still might be too high.If you have a current appraisal that supports the value being lower using recent market-value information, many counties will accept a copy of the appraisal with the appeal. If the appraisal is outdated, you can order a new one--just call me for a referral to a great appraiser. You can also visit the local assessor's office or search online, and look through the public records for other homes that have similar features to yours, but have lower assessments. Additionally, contact me to get in touch with a great Realtor who knows your area. They will be able to give you current market information for your neighborhood, and help you see how your market value and assessed value stacks up against your neighbors'.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

November 2008 Home Sales Report

For November there were 1,121 new detached residential listings that entered the market. This number is down 20.5% from last month, and down 18% from November of last year. New homes on the market tend to decrease in the winter months. Despite the decrease in new listings, the overall market inventory remains over 5,700, only 3.5 % lower than it was this time last year. There were a combined 904 Pending and Closed Sales in the Greater Albuquerque market area for November 2008. This total is down… click here for more.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Albuquerque Included in Safe Havens in Real Estate List

According to an article posted on Kiplinger.com, Albuquerque is one of six cities classified as a real estate safe haven. Using data from Fiserv Lending Solutions, a home-price research company, six U.S. cities were found with slow, steady growth. These cities' local economies have kept unemployment and foreclosure rates below average. Plus, their affordability index (a measure of home prices versus family income) is low. To read more, click HERE.