The For Sale Sign Going Digital

How important is the digital platform when buying or selling real estate? Today, it seems that it is the only way. In the last week of July, there was an interesting story that came out on CNBC, which focused on the new digital signage that’s becoming available for homes and properties.

All of a sudden, the age-old For Sale sign in front of the house is now getting a huge makeover. And it could definitely become a total game changer: smart signage is about to hit the real estate industry.

The mobility of our society, which is accelerating through the digital technologies, is beginning to dominate the way that 40 million people a year move, not to mention work, communicate and play.

The new digital sign handles everything including the lock box, open houses, information requests on the property and robo home showings.

This digital sign technology is so proactive that once you walk within 20 feet of the sign, your smartphone will get an alert on your phone that will give you the custom information about that home and how to contact the agents selling the home.

This new technology is so intuitive, by applying artificial intelligence, it is capable of connecting agents to potential buyers through Bluetooth. According to the report, it also can help direct buyers who are not near the house or the property through the Waze navigational system.

According to the report, the cost for the sign will initially be in the neighborhood of $700. But it is anticipated that this price will drop down to about $500 according to its distribution and use. The company that has designed and promoted this signage is called Compass.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Prices Rise as Buyers Bargain and Sellers Sit

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index for the 20-City Market indicated that out of all 20 major US cities, the New York Metro region was the only city that posted a loss month-over-month from May to June of -.1% and on a year-to-year basis a gain of 3.8%. The National Home Price Index gained 6.2% on a year-to-year basis in June.

For the most part, the NYC flatline appears to be basically symptomatic of the slowing of the Manhattan market, which has seen significant appreciation over the last 3 years.

New Jersey, on the other hand, has posted strong and consistent results, reflecting the overall positive national trend.

CoreLogic is forecasting a 5.1% year-over-year increase from July 2018 to July 2019. It is also forecasting, on a month-over-month basis, home prices to decrease slightly in August by .2% from July 2018 to August 2018.

On a more cautious note, CoreLogic is projecting, based upon its data, that 50% of the top 50 markets are considered to be overvalued.

As the trend for high prices continues to move into many markets, according to Frank Martell of CoreLogic, “Homeowners are confident that by waiting to sell, they will receive a greater return on investment than they would today. In other words, sellers are largely staying put. With fewer homes on the market, price pressure will continue to rise.”

What this is doing to the market is possibly adding additional artificial fuel that is driving home prices higher. The value of a home is not necessarily increasing due to the strength of a robust economy, but is also the byproduct of inventory shortage, labor shortages, higher mortgage rates, and higher material costs. Until markets find a stable level from which to operate sellers will presume that their homes are worth and buyers will continue to think that these homes are too expensive to risk a purchase.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

 

 

Shiplap: A Feature That Sells a Home

One of those hot items that seems to attract buyers to a home is shiplap. According to some online blogs, the big box home improvement stores including Home Depot and Lowe’s, did not carry shiplap, but this is no longer the case. I found shiplap in Home Depot and Lowe’s. Related image

Shiplap doesn’t have just plain old tongue-and-groove boards but actually they have “V” grooves.

In general, it used to be that only local lumberyards carried it. No more. One of the identifying characteristics of authentic shiplap is the grooves or the “rabbets” on each board. The overlap provides a tight weather-resistant quality to the material.

Another feature about shiplap is that it can be painted. Many times the shiplap that we see used on TV decorating shows is white or grey, but it can be painted green, blue or anything that you think might look well with a room.

Shiplap goes into any room you want to use it, including the bathroom. If you’re using it in the bathroom, make sure that you’re taking the extra steps to ensure that the planks are moisture resistant.

One of the interesting uses of shiplap is that it can be used as a headboard for your bed. It provides a rustic refined look that gives a current decor a trendy, slick look to your bedroom.

In some cases, shiplap can be used in the hallway to give that rustic authentic feel to your home.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Profile of New Jersey Home Buyer

This New Jersey Realtors put out this report back in early 2018:

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® 2017
Characteristics of Home Buyers
First-time buyers made up 34% of all home buyers, a decrease from last year’s 35%.

In New Jersey, 39% were first-time buyers.

The typical buyer was 45 years old this year, and the median household income for 2016 rose again this year to $88,800.

In New Jersey, buyers were:
50 years old
A median income of $97,000
65% of recent buyers were married couples
18% were single females
7% were single males
8% were unmarried couples
56% were married couples
24% were single females
9% were single males
8% were unmarried couples

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Real Estate News: Disruption Alert

Disruption doesn’t happen all at once; it is a very gradual thing and then all of a sudden everything changes.

Facebook recognized a while ago that it wanted to increase the scope and functionality of its platform.

When Facebook decided about a year ago that it was going to partner with Zumper and Apartment List, some people immediately recognized that this was just the beginning. The topography of the real estate industry just saw its newest entrant into the market that is sure to change the landscape of the real estate market.

Last week Facebook made another announcement: that it was going to begin working with a software service technology called Rental Beast. Rental Beast is a listing platform that provides rental listings nationally.

According to their website, “Rental Beast is to rentals what MLS is to home sales. As the first, largest and most accurate database of national renting listings, where partner agents use our proprietary software.” The Rental Beast technology seeks to bring together rental listings that are scattered across multiple sites and also coordinate them in such a way that they’re up-to-date and complete.

The timing of the relationship between Rental Beast and Facebook is highly conspicuous since it comes at a point when inventories are at historic lows, and prices for homes are at all-time highs. Many Millennials and would-be first-time home buyers are starting to move out of their parents, homes and into the rental market as an interim step.

According to the announcement, Rental Beast partner agents are seeing significant growth by using the platform to solve problems of continuity with an on-demand solution for consumers, agents, brokers, and landlords.

All of this activity, as also in the case of Zillow’s movement into actual home sales, is causing a bit of digital disruption within the industry.

According to sources, Rental Beast represents over 6 million rental listings nationwide and this comprises 70% of the rental inventory in the United States. The clearest conclusion one can take from this development is that the marketplace and the landscape within the industry is constantly changing and is fluid.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

July Ocean and Monmouth Home Sales

Ocean County                                                                
Single Family July 2018
Key Market Metrics    2017 2018      Change
■ New Listings        1,158   1,254    + 8.3%
■ Closed Sales           638       730   + 14.4%
■ DOM*                    76       63        – 17.1%
■ Median Px         $285K    $305       + 7.0%
■ % of Px Rec’d     96.8% 97.4%     + 0.6%
■ Inventory         4,776      4,453     – 6.8%
■ Months of Inventory 7.4   6.8       – 8.1%
* Days on Market Until Sale

Monmouth County
Single Family July 2018
Key Market Metrics    2017 2018     Change
■ New Listings         1,038 1,006     – 3.1%
■ Closed Sales            628  721       + 14.8%
■ DOM*                    54   48            – 11.1%
■ Median Px          $430K  $430K    + 0.0%
■ % of Px Rec’d      97.9% 98.0%   + 0.1%
■ Inventory          3,474      2,977   – 14.3%
■ Months of Inventory 5.9    5.0      – 15.3%
* Days on Market Until Sale

NJ Real Estate Market Moves Higher – Again!

The New Jersey market is super strong. Sales of single family home surged forward by 7.9%.  What is another good sign is that the percent of price received was calculated to be 98.5%. Also, inventory appears to be settling in the 6 month rage, with July’s figures coming in at 5.4 month’s supply, with 37,633 on the market. And can you believe that the adult community market rocketed forward with median sales prices increasing 16.7% to $210,000?

New Jersey Realtor website reported: “Housing price bubble chatter has increased this summer, as market observers attempt to predict the next residential real estate shift. It is too early to predict a change from higher prices and lower inventory, but the common markers that caused the last housing cool-down are present. Wages are up but not at the same pace as home prices, leading to the kind of affordability concerns that can cause fewer sales at lower prices. At the same time, demand is still outpacing what is available for sale in many markets.

  • Single Family Closed Sales were up 7.9% to 8,445.
  • Townhouse-Condo Closed Sales were up 5.2% to 2,335.
  • Adult Communities Closed Sales were down 2.0% to 698.
  • Single Family Median Sales Price increased 5.1% to $344,875.
  • Townhouse-Condo Median Sales Price increased 3.6% to $269,450.
  • Adult Communities Median Sales Price increased 16.7% to $210,000.

Consumer spending on home goods and renovations are up, and more people are entering the workforce. Employed people spending money is good for the housing market. Meanwhile, GDP growth was 4.1% in the second quarter, the strongest showing since 2014. Housing starts are down, but that is more reflective of low supply than anything else. With a growing economy, so lid lending practices and the potential for improved inventory from new listing and building activity, market balance is more likely than a bubble

Average Median Price Hits New High – $269,600

Here we go with another new high. The median existing-home price for all housing increased to $269,600′ this surpassed last July’s $258,100. The 4.5% increase from last July represents the 77th consecutive straight month of year-over-year gains.

As expected, total housing inventory fell by half a percent at the close of July 2018 to 1.92 million homes available in inventory for sale.

The good news about this is the supply number hasn’t changed in the last year. According to the National Association of Realtors, the unsold inventory of homes on the market represents a 4.3-month supply.

It remains still common for homes to sell in under 30 days. According to the report, properties remained on the market an average of 27 days in July. This showed a one-day increase from June but did show a reduction from 2017 from 30 days. Another interesting metric is that the report issued by the NAR indicates that 55% of homes stayed on the market for less than a month. Obviously, this reflects a strong, resilient, and growing market.

The first-time buyers still represent about a third of all the transactions, reflecting a slight decrease from the prior year, from 32% to 31% of all transactions.

The interest rate for fixed mortgages also fell from the prior month from 4.57% to 4.53%.

The buyers are still in the market, but they are negotiating and not always taking the list price. The weakening of affordability is putting more pressure on the first-time buyers to find more creative ways of getting into their first home, since rents continue to increase.

U.S. Forclosure Rates Continue Their Slide

One of the sure signs of a solid and stable economy is the foreclosure and delinquency rates for home mortgages. Such rates reported by CoreLogic have fallen to their lowest levels in 12 years for May 2018. 

According to CoreLogic’s Loan Performance Insights report, approximately 4.2% of mortgage were in some stage of delinquency. This most recent report from CoreLogic represents an improvement of 6% on an annual comparative basis. Delinquency is defined as a mortgage or loan obligation 30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure.

Appropriately, the foreclosure inventory continues to dwindle, which also fell 0.2 percentage points from May 2017 to just 0.5% in May this year. The foreclosure inventory rate measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process. This is the lowest inventory rate recorded for any month since September 2006.

Additionally, CoreLogic reported that mortgage delinquencies have slipped from 1.9% of all mortgages in May 2017 to just 1.8% in May 2018. This is clearly the result of the strong U.S. economy which for the second quarter of 2018 reported a white-hot 4.1% rate in the second quarter, its strongest number since 2014. This was the fastest rate of the growth since the 4.9% reported in the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession. Also, the Commerce Department upwardly-revised its first-quarter numbers to 2.2% up from the 2% previously reported. 

All of this is contributing to a stronger, more resilient housing market.

Seriously Delinquent
Homes considered to be serious delinquent, or those homes 90 days or more past due including loans in foreclosure, decreased to 1.8% in May, down from 2% the year before.

Natural Disasters
Natural disasters, such as the hurricanes such as those that devastated parts of Texas and Florida in 2017 and the California wildfires, continue drive the foreclosure or delinquency numbers higher.

The wildfires, “in the West will likely lead to a spike in delinquencies in hard-hit neighborhoods [such as] the wildfire in Santa Rosa last year destroyed or severely damaged more than 5,000 homes,” stated CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft. He continued to say, “Delinquency rates rose in the aftermath, and in the ensuing months we observed home-price growth accelerate and sales decline. We will likely see the same scenario unfold in fire-ravaged communities this year.”

Zillow analysts estimate that the damage attributed to the California wildfires could total about $11.15 billion in residential property alone. CoreLogic estimates that over 292,000 acres burned this year.

 

Home Buyers Are Showing Some Muscle

A few months ago, we began to see those West Coast hot spots such as San Diego and Seattle starting to flatten out in terms of prices. What we are now discovering is that the recent time of the bidding war may be coming to a close, at least temporarily. According to Zillow, locations such as San Diego have seen 20% of all listings showing a price cut for June. This marks a shift in the trend in what home sellers have seen over the last 20 months or so.

The same report from Zillow indicates that home prices in nearly 50% of the 35 largest US Metropolitan markets are slowing down.

Most likely the relentless appreciation in home prices got a little ahead of individuals’ and buyers’ ability to afford them.

As we wrote back on August 16th, 2018 first-time home buyers are getting involved, but they’re exercising more discipline when it comes to making an offer on a home. It seemed for a while there that buyers assumed that the listed price on a home was fixed, and that it represented the minimum that the house would probably cost. This is no longer the case; Millennials are making more money, the economy is getting stronger, and mortgage rates are getting higher, so this is giving buyers a pause when it comes to putting in an offer on a home.

The good news about this is that it reflects a correction in the housing market trends pointing to a very strong, stable and sober market. Supply and demand are negotiating a healthy balance. According to the article published by CNBC, home builders have still not been able to meet the demands of purchasers, which is also complicated by the shortage of skilled labor and the increased costs in building supplies.

New Jersey has never been a market where buyer exuberance was ever going to overtake common sense. Within New Jersey, most average home prices have increased year-over-year in the single digits with the exception of those with direct access to New York City via public transportation.

If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

Counsellors Title Agency, www.counsellorstitle.net, founded in 1996, is one of New Jersey’s most respected title agencies, serving all 21 New Jersey counties with title insurance, clearing title, escrow, tidelands searches, and closing and settlement services for commercial or industrial properties, waterfront properties and marinas, condominiums, townhouses or residential single family homes. Counsellors Title also features its own Attorney Settlement Assistance Program™ [ASAP], which is an individual resource customized to fit the needs specifically of real estate attorneys, including, Documentation, Preparation, Disbursement of Funds, Attendance at Closing, HUD Preparation or Post-Closing Matters.

Subscribe

Place an Order Today