Monday, September 27, 2010

August 2010 Market Report

Monthly Highlights

• Pending sales for detached single-family homes rose 2.13 percent from the previous month yet monthly home sales declined for the fourth consecutive month.
• The median sale price for single-family detached home sales saw a modest decline in August to $182,500, down 1.88 percent from both the previous year and previous month.
• Active listing inventory for single-family, detached homes is at 5,759, up 8.68 percent from the previous year.

PDF File Read the full August 2010 Market Report 

Market Condtions: Sept 2010 report of listings for sale

This number crunch article takes a close look at the inventory of homes currently for sale in the Greater Albuquerque market areas.  Information such as average list price, days on market and a breakdown of where homes are being sold will provide a clear picture of what is going on in the local Albuquerque real estate market.  The designated SWMLS Areas represent the different cities, towns, villages and counties in the Greater Albuquerque market. 
Specific information about home sales activity can be found in the August 2010 monthly market report, previously posted on this blog.  Active listing information was obtained from the SWMLS database on Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

Single-family detached

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:5,830
Original median list price:$225,000
Current median list price:$219,050
Current average list price:$298,470
Average Days on Market:112
Offering Seller Assistance:11.5%
Green Certified Homes:110
% of all Residential inventory:86.3%

Attached (condos/townhomes)

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:649
Original median list price:$154,000
Current median list price:$149,900
Current average list price:$168,406
Average Days on Market:78
Offering Seller Assistance:12.0%
Green Certified Homes:7
% of all Residential inventory:9.6%

Greater Albuquerque Market Areas


Areas 10-121 - City of Albuquerque

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:3,624
Original median list price:$220,000
Current median list price:$213,000
Current average list price:$291,476
Average Days on Market:102
Offering Seller Assistance:12.7%
Green Certified Homes:71
% of all detached inventory:62.2%

Area 130 - Corrales

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:116
Original median list price:$630,000
Current median list price:$586,750
Current average list price:$663,510
Average Days on Market:135
Offering Seller Assistance:2.6%
Green Certified Homes:2
% of all detached inventory:2.0%

Areas 140-162 - Rio Rancho

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:897
Original median list price:$199,000
Current median list price:$189,900
Current average list price:$233,812
Average Days on Market:109
Offering Seller Assistance:12.3%
Green Certified Homes:19
% of all detached inventory:15.4%

Area 170 - Bernalillo/Algodones

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:75
Original median list price:$315,000
Current median list price:$298,000
Current average list price:$437,262
Average Days on Market:139
Offering Seller Assistance:12.0%
Green Certified Homes:3
% of all detached inventory:1.3%

Area 180 - Placitas

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:109
Original median list price:$525,000
Current median list price:$495,000
Current average list price:$547,797
Average Days on Market:155
Offering Seller Assistance:0.9%
Green Certified Homes:2
% of all detached inventory:1.9%

Area 210-293 - East Mountains

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:485
Original median list price:$298,000
Current median list price:$285,000
Current average list price:$370,722
Average Days on Market:144
Offering Seller Assistance:8.9%
Green Certified Homes:7
% of all detached inventory:8.3%


Areas 690-760 - Valencia County

Active listings as of Sept. 21, 2010:524
Original median list price:$190,000
Current median list price:$184,950
Current average list price:$238,084
Average Days on Market:141
Offering Seller Assistance:8.4%
Green Certified Homes:6
% of all detached inventory:9.0%
Source: Southwest MLS, Inc.  Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Most Expensive and Affordable U.S. Housing Markets

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC released its Home Listing Report, a snapshot survey of U.S. four-bedroom, two-bathroom home listings, which found a $1.7 million difference between America’s most expensive and most affordable housing markets. Newport 

Beach, Calif., led the list of most expensive real estate markets in America, with an average home listing price of approximately $1.83 million for property listings meeting the subject home criteria. By contrast,
America’s most affordable housing market was Detroit, Mich., with an average home listing price of approximately $68,000. 

The Coldwell Banker Home Listing Report (HLR) is the brand’s latest development designed to provide comprehensive information on real estate data from around the country for homebuyers and sellers. The HLR provides the average home listing price of more than 18,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom properties on that were listed between February and August 2010 from nearly 300 select  U.S. markets where Coldwell Banker Real Estate has a presence. The U.S. average for the surveyed listings was approximately $353,000. Markets included in this report were required to have at least six properties fitting the above criteria within the relevant timeframe.

Known for its sandy beaches and historic Balboa Pavilion (established in 1906), Newport Beach, the most expensive market, has been the backdrop to numerous television shows including “The O.C.” and “Arrested Development.”

Detroit, the most affordable market, is the only major U.S. city that looks South to Canada. Residents of the Motor City take great pride in Red Wings hockey and appreciate the city's hard-working industrial and automotive history.

"Coldwell Banker Real Estate has released national real estate market reports annually for many years to provide consumers with insight into local market conditions,” said Jim Gillespie, chief executive officer, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “Our study shows that homeownership in the United States is generally affordable, with nearly 30 percent of the studied markets averaging $200,000 or less for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home – a size many buyers aspire to own. Today those who have the financial resources and a desire to move up to a larger home have a unique opportunity to take advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates coupled with comparatively lower prices and greater selection.”

2010 Coldwell Banker U.S. Home Listing Report – Highlights

* America's Most Affordable Markets: In addition to Detroit, America's most affordable real estate markets are as varied in culture and trivia as they are in listing price ranges:

* Grayling, Mich., is home to many top cross-country skiing destinations.

* Sioux City, Iowa, has been recognized as a top U.S. economic community for areas between 50,000 and 200,000 people.

* Cleveland, Ohio, is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

* Muncie, Ind., has gained notoriety for its successful prep sports programs.

* Norfolk, Neb., is home to many healthcare and manufacturing companies.

* Kansas City, Mo., is just behind Rome, Italy, for the largest number of fountains in a city (more than 200).

* Canton, Ohio, is home to the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

* Port Huron, Mich., features the School of Strings, which presents over 50 concerts a year with its Fiddle Club, Faculty and Student Ensembles.

* Topeka, Kan., was once temporarily renamed "Topikachu," in honor of the Pokémon franchise.

* Homeownership Affordability: In total, there are 85 U.S. markets in the HLR with average reported listing prices less than $200,000. There are 183 markets (out of a total of 296 surveyed) that are less than $300,000.

* Great Midwest: Michigan has three markets on the most affordable housing list (Detroit, Grayling and Port Huron), and all 10 of the most affordable markets are in the Midwest.

* Low Monthly Payments: Put in perspective, a $200,000 30-year-fixed mortgage at a 4.5% rate could cost a buyer a relatively low monthly mortgage payment of just above $1,000. The average $68,000 four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Detroit could average less than $350 a month.

* Pacific Paradise: Out of the 10 most expensive real estate markets, six are from California: Newport Beach, Palo Alto, San Francisco, La Jolla, Pasadena and Santa Barbara.

* Above $750,000: The survey included 25 housing markets where the average listing price for the subject home was more than $750,000, including 10 markets whose average listing price exceeded $1 million.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

How to Build Your Castle

My modest neighborhood is changing. Where once there were one-story stucco houses, now every other house is a mcmansion. All are two stories, with enough balconies to fill an opera house. Judging by the architecture, the builder bought one set of plans and has been using them ever since, with minor alterations.

Now you, too, can build your dream house, with an inexpensive program called Turbo Floor Plan Home and Landscape Pro. It's easy to use, lets you change your mind a thousand times without annoying your expensive architect, and the results are realistic enough that you can take a virtual walk-through each time to try a new theme, change your floor plan or try a new shade of paint. There even are elements for designing plumbing, electrical work and heating and air conditioning. If it's part of a house, you'll find the tools to make it happen.

After you've designed your exterior and interior, you can start landscaping projects. You won't have to guess which plants will thrive in your climate — a huge glossary of plants will handle that chore for you. There are tools for building sprinkler systems, and you can watch as plants grow over time.

There's much more, such as how to design exterior lighting and how fences and gates will look on your estate. There also are tools for remodeling that will help you move walls, change lighting and do everything the house-building tools will do.

Now all you have to do is find a builder with expertise in mcmansions, and borrow some green stuff, the kind that doesn't grow in gardens.

(c) 2010, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interactive Map of Your Town's Median Home Price

Click here and zoom in to your metropolitan statistical area to get the latest quarterly median home price for your market, and its percentage change from the previous quarter. Now includes median commute times for each metro area!

Five cities with the best real estate deals

Topping the list of the 50 largest U.S. cities with home-price reductions are Minneapolis, Minn.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Mesa, Ariz. and Albuquerque, N.M. Whether the homes were overpriced because they wished it were still 2005, or they're competing with foreclosed homes for sale, sellers ...

10 Markets Most Likely to Appreciate

Forbes magazine turned to real estate research firm Local Market Monitor to figure out which markets have the greatest likelihood of price appreciation because they offer a mix of jobs weighted toward growth industries.

These are the top markets, the research company concludes:

1. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
2. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas
3. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
4. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn.
5. San Antonio, Texas
6. Colorado Springs, Colo.
7. Albuquerque, N.M.
8. Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo.
9. Springfield, Mo.
10. Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind.

Source: Forbes

Friday, September 17, 2010

13 Unique Ways to Sell a Home

In today’s market, it takes more than painting and trimming the bushes to get noticed, to stand out, to make your home memorable. While home sellers across the country are resorting to dropping the price in order to make their home more attractive, it leads to one crucial question: what can I do differently to make my home stand out?

Larry Nusbaum, Resolution Assistance Contractor for the FDIC, offers the following tips for home sellers looking to differentiate their homes from the numerous homes that are on the market today. 

1. Get lighted signage that’s illuminated even after dark. This will give prospective buyers extra time to see your home as they don’t have to depend on sunlight. 

2. If you or your agent are hosting an open house, be sure to serve light snacks and hand out something that attendees will remember. You want something that will be a positive reminder of your home—seasonal gifts are the perfect way to stay top of mind. Be sure to at least have pens and key chains with your agent's name and contact information on them.

3. Create an informational flyer with all the local conveniences you can find: shopping, schools, universities, hospitals, malls, restaurants, gas stations and attractions in the area, in addition to local police and fire stations, even school bus pick up locations. Assume your open house attendees don’t know the neighborhood.

4. Hand out information pertaining to your home as well as information on the other listed properties in the area showing that your house is the best value.

5. Do some staging to make sure your home looks its best. 

6. Be sure to offer incentives. Some examples include a Lowe's gift card, paying for a year’s worth of yard care or a free session with a landscape architect, offering a $1,000 landscape allowance, paying for a years worth of homeowners fees, offering $1,000 for new appliances or any home improvement, offering a new carpet allowance or paying for lawn service for a year—the possibilities are endless. 

7. Paint the garage floor (concrete paint). Making the garage look fresh and clean will make the whole house feel newer.

8. Send letters to all the neighbors inviting them to “pick their neighbor,”and be sure to include information about your home and the open house. Give them an incentive to talk about your home with other individuals in their sphere of influence. (i.e. a $200 gift card if they find your buyer).

9. Put up signs in your front yard and be sure to hang up as many directional signs as the neighborhood allows.

10. Put out flyers in surrounding shopping areas.

11. Have your agent create a video of your home and put the virtual tour on the Web.

12. Have your agent post ads on Craigslist and on any other free online listing sites you can find.

13. E-mail HR departments at local companies as many employees prefer to live close to their jobs but don’t make time for the house hunting process. This will make it easy for employees to find your home. 


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

10 Market Facts for Uncertain Times

Although the economy is soft and consumer confidence remains low, new data from the National Association of REALTORS® shows positive signs for the future. Here are 10 key facts to understand about today’s market.
1. The economy is growing, though slowly.
2. The private sector is finally creating some jobs.
3. Consumer confidence remains low, though clearly off bottom.
4. The 30-year mortgage rate is at generational lows.
5. The national median-home price is stabilizing.
6. Other home-price measurements also are showing price stabilization.
7. Home price-to-income ratios have returned to fundamentally justifiable levels.
8. Economists expect price increases in upcoming years
9. Delinquencies are high but recent loan originations are performing well.
10. The long-term path to self reliance may be helped from long-term housing-wealth gains.
To see the statistics behind these facts, download the full NAR research report, Market Facts in Uncertain Times > (PPT: 1.39MB)
To share this report, download the PDF > (1.46MB)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Greater Albuquerque Market Areas Condtions by Price Range

This number crunch article presents 5 different charts of local market conditions, with a focus on different price ranges.  The data used for the article was based on single-family detached homes that were listed for sale or sold in the Greater Albuquerque Market Areas in 2009 and 2010.

Chart 1: Pending Sales by Price (Month vs. Month)
Summary of Chart 1: Overall, July 2010 was a month that saw a 14.06 percent drop in Pending sales from the previous year.  Homes priced between $120,000 and $250,000 show the highest decreases..  Properties priced below $120,000 show only a 0.88 percent decrease from the previous year.   
Chart 2: New Listings by Price (Month vs. Month)
Summary of Chart 2:  Overall, the new listing trend for July 2010 shows that there were less new listings entering the market when compared to the previous year.  Properties priced below $120,000 saw the highest levels of new listing activity in the month of July. 
Chart 3: Days on Market by Price (Month vs. Month)

Note: Sold listing information may differ slightly from monthly reports due to late entry of sold listings.
Summary of Chart 3: There are no surprises with the Days on Market for sold listings in July 2009 and 2010.  The general trend is that properties that are priced lower go to closing faster.  Detached homes that sold for less than $190,000 show the largest decrease in Days on Market when compared to the previous year. 
Chart 4: Quarterly Sales by Price (Quarter vs. Quarter)

Note: Sold listing information may differ slightly from monthly reports due to late entry of sold listings.
Summary of Chart 4: This chart of 2nd Quarter sales by price shows there were no decreases in sales compared to 2nd Quarter 2009.  The largest increases were with homes that sold below $150,000 and between $250,001 and $350,000.
Chart 5: Price Reductions by Price (Summer 2010)
Note: Data for Chart 5 was obtained using the MLS Hotsheet search.  Any listings that were Off Market will not generate in the results of the Hotsheet Search when a Price Change is specified.
Summary of Chart 5: Price reductions for May-July were tracked by looking at all listings that had a price change that month, counting the same listing more than once if it’s price changed multiple times in that period.  The chart shows a rising trend in the increase of price changes on MLS listings in the summer of 2010.
Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  Data courtesy of Southwest MLS, Inc.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Housing Market Still Hairy

We knew the housing market news was grim when the National Association of Realtors released numbers recently showing that existing home sales dropped 27.2 percent from June to July, a 15-year low. We knew things were even grimmer when Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said recently that despite low interest rates and lower prices, the glut of foreclosed properties and difficulties getting mortgages were "likely to continue to weigh on the pace of residential investment for some time yet." Oh, and then there's the figure of "25 percent of mortgages are underwater" that's been floating around. As far as stats go, that's almost as scary as nearly 20 percent of Americans thinking the president is Muslim.

But my real scare happened a few weeks ago when, amid my daily surfing of Internet real estate sites, I happened upon a particularly gruesome scene. Included among the photographs for a listing of a four-bedroom, four-bath house in a relatively desirable area was a close-up of an open toilet choked with what appeared to be a tangle of dark hair. A large tangle. Imagine a trichotillomaniac Morticia Addams who won't flush.

Granted, this was a short sale (last sale price $995,000; today's asking price $499,000), and short sales aren't known for fancy photo shoots. But the toilet picture seemed to represent a new downturn in the market, and I wasn't the only one who noticed. The real estate blog Curbed L.A. picked up on the listing, wondering aloud if the agent "hates house hunters."

Despite going on to view countless photos of spotless, flawlessly staged homes — think ridiculously wide-angle shots of spotless bathrooms, framed art posters, a single orchid in an earthenware vase — I couldn't get the hairy toilet out of my mind. It wasn't just the visual. It was the way it served as a brutal (if pathetically literal) metaphor for the state of the economy.

Finally, I called the real estate agent to find out what in the world she'd been thinking. I immediately reached a very nice, perky-seeming woman named Kaili Richards.

"It's not hair," she told me. "It's tree roots."

Richards explained that she'd included the photo because she wanted people to understand how much work needed to be done on the house. She hadn't realized how much the roots, which were growing through the plumbing into the toilet, looked like hair.

"I definitely wouldn't have included a toilet shot if it was just hair," Richards said. "Hair is an easy fix."

Her listing is hardly alone in its commitment to, shall we say, gritty realism. Lately I've run across photos showing unmade beds piled high with laundry, grease-stained kitchens whose countertops bear the remains of breakfast, and unkempt pets crouching in corners as if they fear they'll be auctioned off with the furniture. These drab, artless images could be this recession's version of the dustbowl photographs that came to symbolize the Depression. It's hard to look at them without wondering about all the sad stories beneath the surface.

Of course, painful as this recession may be, it's not the Depression. And if snapshots of countertops are our era's answer to Dorothea Lange, well, that's painful in its own right.

Looking at these photos, I can't help but think of the last time I saw such blatant disregard for buyers' senses. Oddly enough, it was only five or six years ago, when we were on the other side of the housing market pendulum.

I can't count the number of open houses I saw back then where sellers were so sure their homes would be snapped up in a bidding war that they didn't find it necessary to do the dishes before a Sunday showing, much less perform the repairs and renovations that, once upon a time, were considered standard in selling a house. We now see those days as an aberration, a reckless, decadent interlude in which a passive approach to selling was a function of cockiness rather than inertia.

Now, however, we're faced with a new strain of inertia, a new reason to explain why roots are growing in toilets. It's called desperation. And like the distressed properties themselves, it doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon.

By Meghan Daum
(c) 2010, Los Angeles Times.