Fall Looks Good for Buyers and Sellers

According to a published story on CNBC, housing confidence rose in September to match the all-time high set in June.

The Big Take-Aways
■ A big jump in the share of current renters surveyed saying now is a good time to buy
■ The percentage of those respondents saying they believed home prices would go up in the next year dropped significantly
■ The main barrier to entry-level homeownership today is high prices
■ Inventory is still cratering, with August down again 6.5% from the year-earlier period
■ Pending home sales continue to fall, with August sales making it five out of the last six months, with a lower number

NJ Closes in on Amazon as the New East Coast HQ

It has been reported that Amazon is seriously close to naming one of four New Jersey cities as the site for its second headquarters, located on the East Coast. This is really big stuff for the Garden State.

The four finalist cities are identified to be: Newark, Jersey City, New Brunswick, and Camden.

These final four have been called upon to provide additional information to Amazon.

The next steps will be for the New Jersey Economic Development Authority to vet these applications and then provide them to Governor Chris Christie, who will submit them to Amazon.

Most likely some of the details of these cities will include logistics, access points, highways, real estate information, parking, housing, other amenities and functionalities, all of which will lend to Amazon’s final decision.

The competition for Amazon’s new headquarters has been of intense interest to the state, which has seen a number of other companies move away due to New Jersey’s high real estate taxes, real estate prices and climate.

There are a number of reasons why New Jersey is going to fare better than most states, some of which are the state’s highly educated workforce, its highway system, access to large eastern metropolitan centers and airports.

It has been projected that Amazon’s second headquarters can be expected to bring as many as 50,000 jobs to the Garden State and potentially at $5 billion in spending to the area that its selects.

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

Flipping Part 2 – Selling is Still Making $ense

Even though the return on investment and time may not be as strong as it has been for a few of the past quarters, those people who have bought and sold real estate over the last 7 years have killed it!

Making $34K Per Year
Marketwatch reported that, “Some Americans who bought their homes between seven and nine years ago have made up to $235,000 over that time selling their home, or $34,000 per year, making a final return on their investment of 78%. That’s the median amount of money home sellers made after 7 years and 3 months in Oakland, Calif., real-estate site Zillow found. In Portland, Ore., sellers last year sold for $145,000 more than what they had paid 9 years earlier, a 65% gain.”

Still, the market is projected to trend higher by at least 5-7% over the next 12 months, as stated by numerous agencies.  The Marketwatch story reported, “If you bought a home for $110,000 and spent $30,000 renovating it, most homeowners would want to sell it for around $200,000 to make it worth their while.”

That is making the real estate market the Gold Rush of the decade.

In 2016, 193,000 single-family homes were flipped. This compares with 276,000 homes flipped in 2006, which seems to suggest that we are still far from Bubble-Territory.

Homes Get More Affordable

Housing affordability improved in many of the real estate markets the third quarter of 2017. This clearly is good news, as the average price trend has eased or in some cases gone down, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ multi-sourced property database.

Home prices have continued to increase, but annual wage growth outpaced home price appreciation in 48% or 193 of the 406 counties studied for the third quarter of 2017. This is down from 53% of counties during the second quarter of 2017 and from 50% of counties in the third quarter of 2016.

According to ATTOM’s recent findings, “Affordability improved from the second quarter in 60% of the 406 counties analyzed in the report, however, while 2017 might be beginning to cool, it is still down from last year in 79% of markets.”

One of the primary reasons for home affordability becoming a problem for purchasers is that inventory continues to evaporate, forcing buyers to pay more for what they could have purchased for a lower price just a year ago.

ATTOM’s most recent report put its national home affordability index at 100 in the third quarter. This represents the lowest level since the third quarter of 2008. An index of 100 means the share of average wages needed to buy a median-priced home nationwide in Q3 2017 is on par with historic averages.

The ATTOM Home Affordability Index is an analysis of:
The median home prices
From publicly recorded sales data
From the average wage data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 406 U.S. counties
Total population covered by the study is 212 million.

The affordability index is based on the percentage of average wages needed to make monthly house payments on a median-priced home with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage and a 3% down payment, including property taxes, home insurance and mortgage insurance.

The ATTOM study found that wage growth is outpacing home price growth in about half of all local markets in 2017, thus indicating that moving forward there appears to be a more sustainable affordability pattern taking shape.

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

CoreLogic August National Valuation Analysis

Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 6.9 percent in August 2017 compared with August 2016 and increased month over month by 0.9 percent in August 2017 compared with July 2017 (revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results).

Forecast Prices Nationally
The CoreLogic HPI Forecast indicates that home prices will increase by 4.7% on a year-over-year basis from August 2017 to August 2018, and on a month-over-month basis home prices are expected to increase by 0.1% from August 2017 to September 2017.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

Nationally, the year-over-year home price changed by 6.9%. Most states experienced increases, except West Virginia.

Frank Martell of CoreLogic stated, “Nearly half of the nation’s largest 50 markets are overvalued. The lack of real estate affordability has spread beyond the typically expensive coasts into the interior of the nation, hitting such cities as Denver, Nashville, Austin and Dallas.”

NJ Percent Change Aug 2017 Aug 2018
Year-over-Year        2.2%           5.4%

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

7 Key Findings about American Neighborhoods

The Mortgage Bankers Association recently published a report, 7 Key Findings about American Neighborhoods, which offered an introduction to a series on the segmentation of neighborhoods by the type and density of housing within the national real estate market.

They concluded that there are 10 basic housing market types in the United States. They are broken down into:
Urban housing markets:
• Apartment Tower Communities
• High Density Downtowns
• Eclectic Urban Markets
• City Neighborhoods

Suburban housing markets:
• Apartment Suburbs
• Eclectic Suburban Markets
• Suburban Communities
• Off the Beaten Path

Exurban/Rural housing markets:
• Exurban
• Rural

The findings offered a number of highlights of their analysis, specifically, that identify where and how Americans live:

1. Almost one-half of U.S. households live in the suburbs, more than in either urban or exurban / rural communities
2. More households live in suburbs with a mix of housing types than in suburbs with predominately single-family housing
3. Urban housing markets tend to be diverse — in terms of housing type, race, ethnicity and more
4. Owning and renting are both widespread, and each more common in certain types of markets
5. Apartment Tower markets are different than other dense urban areas
6. Given its size, there are more Exurban and Off the Beaten Path households in the New York metro area than in any other
7. Millennials are drawn to dense urban areas, but are a large part of all housing markets; Retirees are less common in urban areas

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.
If you have any questions about this information or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte: 732.914.1400.

New Jersey a Destination to Global Corporations

As previously announced, Amazon is seriously close to naming one of New Jersey’s cities as the location for its #2 headquarters. In the previous post, those cities under serious consideration are: Newark, Jersey City, New Brunswick, and Camden.

New Jersey remains the host to many global marquis names in the world of business. It is easy to forget the symbiotic relationship that New Jersey plays economically to New York City, Philadelphia (which is undergoing a corporate renaissance), and Washington, DC.

These companies include:

American Standard Companies
Automatic Data Processing
Avaya
Avis Budget
Becton Dickinson
Bed Bath & Beyond
Benjamin Moore & Co.
Campbell Soup Company
Century 21 Real Estate
Chubb Corp.
Church & Dwight
Coach USA
TD Bank, N.A.

 

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

Homesense Comes to Ocean NJ

Homesense, the new home decor chain of the TJX Companies, has opened its new store in Ocean, New Jersey.

This is the second Homesense store to open recently in New Jersey: the first one is located at East Hanover Plaza on Route 10, and the second in Seaview Square Shopping Center on Route 66 in Ocean Township.

The Homesense super home décor store will complement, not compete, with its sister store, HomeGoods, which is less than a half-a-mile away from the Ocean store.

Executives at the company believe that the new Homesense and HomeGoods stores will not compete with each other, but rather complement each other in the same way that TJ Maxx and Marshalls do. HomeGoods stores are located in Holmdel, Neptune, Manalapan, Shrewsbury, Stafford and Toms River. The two stores differ primarily in that HomeGoods doesn’t provide a large selection of furniture, whereas Homesense will provide a massive selection of items.

Homesense will offer sofas, leather furniture, desks, lighting fixtures, chandeliers, sconces, art and a large assortment of rugs. Homesense plans to sell at 30-40% percent below department store prices.

In addition to the opening of Homesense at Seaview Square in Ocean, another TJX brand, Sierra Trading Goods, an outdoor apparel company, is also opening. Both stores are located on the site of the long-closed Value City Department Store.

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

Counsellors Title Celebrates Columbus Day

Wishing All of our Friends, Clients and Associates a Great Columbus Day!
We look forward to a great finish for the fourth quarter of 2017!

HOLIDAY OFFICE HOURS
The Office is Closed Monday, October 9th.
We will reopen: Tuesday, October 10th, 8:30 a.m.

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

Mortgage Bankers Association Maps Millennials

According to its recent studies on market conditions and real estate demographics, the Mortgage Bankers Association found that “Millennials are drawn to dense urban areas, but are a large part of all housing markets.” They also found that Retirees are found to be less common in urban areas.

The same report looked to see if stereotypes truly applied to Millennials, which was assumed to clump Millennials into downtown area apartments in densely populated downtown areas. They found that this is not always the case: Millennials make up a greater share of Apartment Towers (33%) and High Density Downtown (31%) households than of any other housing market type.

“But in absolute numbers, there are more Millennials in Apartment Suburbs and in Eclectic Suburbs than in any other market type.”

Currently, the MBA found that the homeownership rate is roughly 64% of U.S. households owning and 36% renting their homes.

They also found that homes in multifamily structures are more likely to be renter-occupied, and single-family homes are more likely to be owner-occupied.

Almost one-half of U.S. households live in the suburbs, more than in either urban or exurban / rural communities. Almost one-half of all U.S. households (47%) live in suburban housing markets.

To put these numbers in context, the suburbs, with 47% of the nation’s households, make up 3% of its land area. Urban markets, with 23% of the nation’s households, make up 0.3% of its land area. Exurban and rural markets, with 30% of the nation’s households, make up 97% of its land area.

ABOUT COUNSELLORS TITLE AGENCY
Since 1996, Counsellors Title Agency had provided swift, proven and knowledgeable title insurance settlement and search expertise for thousands of New Jersey’s attorneys, loan officers, Realtors, borrowers and purchasers. CTA’s detail-oriented team of professionals streamlines the complexities of a real estate transaction to make each one stress and glitch-free.

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

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