Westview Open House in a larger map
NAR President Charles McMillan said Congress needs to keep the momentum going. “Even with a good recovery taking place, the market is not yet back to normal. With a gradual absorption of inventory, we are on the cusp of a general stabilization in home prices,” he said.
“To ensure that housing has a broad stimulus to the overall economy and stays on sound footing, we’re encouraging Congress to extend the tax credit into 2010, and to expand it to all buyers of primary residences. The faster we stabilize home prices, the fewer families will face foreclosure and the quicker credit can be extended to other sectors of the economy,” McMillan said.
NAR’s Housing Affordability Index stood at 158.5 in July, below the peak set in April but is still 36.0 percentage points higher than a year ago. The HAI is a broad measure of housing affordability using consistent values and assumptions over time, which examines the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates, and family income.
Yun expects existing-home sales to rise through the fourth quarter. “Unless the tax credit is extended, no one should be surprised to see home sales drop in the first quarter of next year,” he said. “However, the fundamentals of the housing market and the economy are trending up, and we expect home sales to generally pick up in the second quarter of 2010. The buyer psychology may be shifting from, ‘Why buy now when I can purchase later?’ to ‘I don’t want to miss out on a recovery.’”
Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll
Contract activity for pending home sales has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1. The index is at the highest level since June 2007, when it was 100.7.
Affordability at Record High
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better. “The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country. Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit,” he said.
“Other buyers are taking advantage of low home values before prices turn higher. Nationally, the typical mortgage payment now takes less than 25 percent of a middle-income family’s monthly income to buy a median priced home, with payment percentages so far in 2009 being the lowest on record dating back to 1970. As long as home buyers stay within their budget, mortgage payments will be very manageable,” Yun said.
NAR estimates that about 1.8 to 2.0 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with approximately 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit. Buyers have little time to act because they must complete the transaction by November 30 to qualify for the credit. Unless extended, contracts signed but not completed by that date will not be eligible – it is taking approximately two months to complete home sales in the current market.
- Northeast: The Pending Home Sales Index declined 3.0 percent to 78.8 in July but is 4.7 percent higher than July 2008.
- Midwest: The index slipped 2.0 percent to 88.1 but is 8.1 percent above a year ago.
- South: Pending home sales activity rose 3.1 percent to an index of 103.8 in July and is 12.0 percent above July 2008.
- West: The index jumped 12.1 percent to 112.5 and is 20.0 percent above a year ago.
Thanks to John Pavlin, the VP of West End Neighborhood Development , for coming up with a great social idea for the neighborhood; “W.E.N.D.esdays” …. Now, Historic West End will have walking tours weekly on Wednesday evenings at 6PM. Meeting at the Grounds Coffee Shop under the Skyloft (898 Oak Street) , behind CVS on RDA. This week the first gathering had a very good turn out. W.E.N.D is inviting all to tour the neighborhood and enjoy the good weather!
In addition to the WEND cleanup, Friends of West End Parkheld a cleanup today, thanks to Yomara Velez and the FRIENDS (Ryan, Stephanie, Beth, Mary, Joel, Carlton, Reggie,Gretchen, Ayana -Park Pride and the many others) for organizing and making the Oak Street,Lucile, Dargan,Lawton Park- my favorite!! Awesome paint job and clean up guys.
Lastly, thanks to my bestest- Jerilyn Lewis( the best investor REALTOR in the ATL- 404-771-7956) for your help with my flower bed. I didn’t realize it needed THAT much work- nor did I realize that gardening is THAT much work.. lol.. now, ode to you- it should be ‘Easy street’ for me..
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey styledstagedsold
1. Fireplaces: The fireplace skyrocketed in importance in homes in 1991 with 62 percent of new homes having one or more. But the number has steadily been decreasing ever since. In 2007, the number dropped to 51 percent.
2. Carpet: While 54 percent of homes still have carpet floors, the number is decreasing and hardwood floors are taking the place. Vinyl and ceramic tile flooring also are being bypassed more by buyers. Seventeen percent of new homes contain hardwood floors throughout the entire house.
3. Living room: These once-decorative centerpieces of homes are slowly vanishing from newer homes. Thirty-four percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without a living room.
4. Desks in the kitchen: These desks were once looked at as great storage areas but they’re often too small and quickly become clutter spaces in a home, said Gayle Butler, editor in chief of Better Homes and Gardens. Instead, more consumers say they prefer larger desks in or near the family room—equipped with a messaging center—where they can keep an eye on their kids as they work on the computer.
5. Skylights: The little windows that allow natural light to seep into a home from above are falling out of style. Only 10 percent of new homes will include them this year, a continuing downward spiral for skylights.
6. Upscale kitchen finishes: Granite countertops are slowly becoming less desirable among buyers who are now moving toward affordable, low-maintenance laminate countertops—which tend to last longer and now come in various styles.
What trends are you noticing are falling out of favor with your buyers?
Living in a Historic community and having 4 fireplaces which I LOVE- I do not agree with this one 🙂 – you just can not beat my heat sucking beauties! I’m also not a fan of Granite- I have butcher block… I think next I would want concrete buffed..
Unfortuntly another friend has lost their home due to foreclosure. I wish I would have known they were going through this… I would have wanted to help with either assisting them obtain a Loan modification or via Short-Sale..
If you are facing Foreclosure- please allow me the opportunity to help you. Email or call anytime: email@example.com and let’s begin the process and discuss your options. There is no cost to you for my services- my commission is earned AFTER the sale of your home and paid by the bank. I work with a Real Estate attorney to give you the best possible service.
What’s a Short-Sale?
A short sale occurs when a property is sold and the lender agrees to accept a discounted payoff, meaning the lender will release the lien that is secured to the property upon receipt of less money than is actually owed.
Examples: If the unpaid balance of a loan is, say, $100,000 and a property sells for $90,000, under a short sale the lender might accept $90,000 as payment in full.