Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Sept. 21, 2022

Selling Your Home Now

Top Reasons Homeowners Are Selling Their Houses Right Now

Top Reasons Homeowners Are Selling Their Houses Right Now | MyKCM

Some people believe there’s a group of homeowners who may be reluctant to sell their houses because they don’t want to lose the historically low mortgage rate they have on their current home. You may even have the same hesitation if you’re thinking about selling your house.

Data shows 51% of homeowners have a mortgage rate under 4% as of April this year. And while it’s true mortgage rates are higher than that right now, there are other non-financial factors to consider when it comes to making a move. In other words, your mortgage rate is important, but you may have other things going on in your life that make a move essential, regardless of where rates are today. As Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

Home sellers have historically moved when something in their lives changed – a new baby, a marriage, a divorce or a new job. . . .”

So, if you’re thinking about selling your house, it may help to explore the other reasons homeowners are choosing to make a move today. The 2022 Summer Sellers Survey by realtor.com asked recent home sellers why they decided to sell. The visual below breaks down how those homeowners responded:

Top Reasons Homeowners Are Selling Their Houses Right Now | MyKCM

As the visual shows, an appetite for different features or the fact that their current home could no longer meet their needs topped the list for recent sellers. Additionally, remote work and whether or not they need a home office or are tied to a specific physical office location also factored in, as did the desire to live close to their loved ones.

The realtor.com survey summarizes the findings like this:

The primary reason homeowners decided to sell in the last year was the realization that, after so much time spent at home, they wanted different features and amenities, such as walkability, outdoor space, pool, etc. . . . 

If you, like the homeowners they surveyed, find yourself wanting features, space, or amenities your current home just can’t provide, it may be time to consider listing your house for sale.

Even with today’s mortgage rates, your lifestyle needs may be enough to motivate you to make a change. The best way to find out what’s right for you is to partner with a trusted real estate professional who can provide expert guidance and advice throughout the process. They can help walk you through your options, so you can make a confident decision based on what matters most to you and your loved ones.

Bottom Line

While the financial reasons for moving are important, there’s often far more to consider. Non-financial reasons can also be a significant motivating factor. If you need help weighing the pros and cons of selling your house, let’s connect today. Call The Lawrence Team, we have 13 agents on call each and everyday ready to assist you with all your real estate needs. 

Sept. 1, 2022

Start Your Home Search

Why You May Want To Start Your Home Search Today

Why You May Want To Start Your Home Search Today | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you likely have a lot of factors on your mind. You’re weighing your own needs against higher mortgage rates, today’s home prices, and more to try to decide if you want to jump into the market. While some buyers may wait things out, there’s a reason serious buyers are making moves right now, and that’s the growing number of homes for sale.

So far this year, housing inventory has been increasing and that’s making the prospect of finding your dream home less difficult. While there are always reasons you could delay making a big decision, there are also always reasons to consider moving forward. And having a growing number of options for your home search may be exactly what you needed to feel more confident in making a move.

What’s Causing Housing Inventory To Grow?

As new data comes out, we're getting an updated picture of why housing supply is increasing so much this year. As Bill McBride, Author of Calculated Riskexplains:

We are seeing a significant change in inventory, but no pickup in new listings. Most of the increase in inventory so far has been due to softer demand - likely because of higher mortgage rates.”

Basically, the inventory growth is primarily from homes staying on the market a bit longer (known as active listings). And that’s happening because higher mortgage rates and home prices have helped moderate the peak frenzy of buyer demand.

The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show how much active listings have risen over the past five months as a result (shown in green):

Why You May Want To Start Your Home Search Today | MyKCM

Why This Growth Is Good News for You

Regardless of the source, the increase in available housing supply is good for buyers. More housing supply actively for sale means you have more options as your search for your next home. A recent article from realtor.com explains just how significant the inventory growth has been and why it’s good news for your plans to buy:

“Nationally, the inventory of homes actively for sale on a typical day in July increased by 30.7% over the past year, the largest increase in inventory in the data history and higher than last month’s growth rate of 18.7% which was itself record-breaking. This amounted to 176,000 more homes actively for sale on a typical day in July compared to the previous year and more choice for buyers who are still looking for a new home.

The growth this year is certainly good news for you, especially if you’ve had trouble finding a home that meets your needs. If you start your search today, those additional options should make it less difficult to find a home than it would have been over the past two years.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to jump into the market and take advantage of the increasing supply of homes for sale, let’s connect today. The opportunity is knocking, will you answer?  Call the Lawrence Team today and let us help you find the perfect home!  We have real estate agents on call every day waiting to help you find the perfect home.  

Posted in Buying A Home
Aug. 31, 2022

Bidding Wars Ease In Housing Market

Buyers: You May Face Less Competition as Bidding Wars Ease

Buyers: You May Face Less Competition as Bidding Wars Ease | MyKCM

One of the top stories in recent real estate headlines was the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. With so many buyers looking to purchase a home and so few of them available for sale, fiercely competitive bidding wars became the norm during the pandemic – and it drove home prices up. If you tried to buy a house over the past two years, you probably experienced this firsthand and may have been outbid on several homes along the way.

But here’s the news you’ve been waiting for: data shows clear signs bidding wars are easing this year.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average number of offers on recently sold homes has declined considerably over the past few months (see graph below):

Buyers: You May Face Less Competition as Bidding Wars Ease | MyKCM

The graph shows homes were seeing a high of around five offers earlier this year. But the latest data shows that average was down to just shy of three offers per recently sold home. This shift is happening largely because rising mortgage rates moderated buyer demand and slowed home sales, resulting in a growing supply of homes on the market. Essentially, more choices for buyers.

What This Means for You

If you put your home search on pause because you were outbid last year or because you didn’t want to deal with the peak intensity of bidding wars, you can breathe a welcome sigh of relief. While it’s still a sellers’ market, an uptick in inventory gives you a window of opportunity to jump back in. You may still be competing with some buyers, but it likely won’t be anything like it was just a few short months ago.

Bottom Line

If you put your plans on pause because of intense bidding wars in recent years, it may be time to kick off your home search. Today, bidding wars are easing and that may mean less competition for you as a buyer. If you’re serious about buying a home or making a move, let’s connect to get started today.

Posted in Buying A Home
Aug. 4, 2022

It's Still A Seller's Market

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

As there’s more and more talk about the real estate market cooling off from the peak frenzy it saw during the pandemic, you may be questioning what that means for your plans to sell your house. If you’re thinking of making a move, you should know the market is still anything but normal.

Even though the supply of homes for sale has been growing this year, there’s still a shortage of homes on the market. And that means conditions continue to favor sellers today. That’s because the level of inventory of homes for sale can help determine if buyers or sellers are in the driver’s seat. Think of it like this:

  • buyers’ market is when there are more homes for sale than buyers looking to buy. When that happens, buyers have the negotiation power because sellers are more willing to compromise so they can sell their house.
  • In a sellers’ market, it’s just the opposite. There are too few homes available for the number of buyers in the market and that gives the seller all the leverage. In that situation, buyers will do what they can to compete for the limited number of homes for sale.
  • neutral market is when supply is balanced and there are enough homes to meet buyer demand at the current sales pace.

And for the past two years, we’ve been in a red-hot sellers’ market because inventory has been near record lows. The blue section of this graph highlights just how far below a neutral market inventory still is today.

Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market | MyKCM

What Does This Mean for You?

Ed Pinto, Director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, gives a perfect summary of what’s happening in today’s market, saying:

“Overall, the best summary is that we'll move from a gangbuster sellers' market to a modest sellers' market.”

Conditions are still in your favor even though the market is cooling. If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, you’ll find success when you sell your house today. While buyer demand is softening due to higher mortgage rates, homes that are priced right are still selling fast. That means your window of opportunity to list your house hasn’t closed.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market still favors sellers. If you’re ready to sell your house, let’s connect so you can start making your moves.  Call The Lawrence Team, and let us get your home SOLD!  

Aug. 2, 2022

This Isn't a Housing Bubble!

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

With all the headlines and buzz in the media, some consumers believe the market is in a housing bubble. As the housing market shifts, you may be wondering what’ll happen next. It’s only natural for concerns to creep in that it could be a repeat of what took place in 2008. The good news is, there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation.

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, supply is growing, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how this time compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.0-months’ supply at the current sales pace.

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

One of the reasons inventory is still low is because of sustained underbuilding. When you couple that with ongoing buyer demand as millennials age into their peak homebuying years, it continues to put upward pressure on home prices. That limited supply compared to buyer demand is why experts forecast home prices won’t fall this time.

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Crash

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. The graph below showcases data on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage.

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home. Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices.

Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americansays:

Credit standards tightened in recent months due to increasing economic uncertainty and monetary policy tightening.” 

Stricter standards, like there are today, help prevent a risk of a rash of foreclosures like there was last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been on the way down since the crash because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help tell the story:

3 Graphs To Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

In addition, homeowners today are equity rich, not tapped out. In the run-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATMs. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up. When home values began to fall, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage was greater than the value of their home. Some of those households decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a wave of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at considerable discounts that lowered the value of other homes in the area.

Today, prices have risen nicely over the last few years, and that’s given homeowners an equity boost. According to Black Knight:

In total, mortgage holders gained $2.8 trillion in tappable equity over the past 12 months – a 34% increase that equates to more than $207,000 in equity available per borrower. . . .”

With the average home equity now standing at $207,000, homeowners are in a completely different position this time.

Bottom Line

If you’re worried we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the graphs above should help alleviate your concerns. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.  Call The Lawrence team, we can give you expert insight into the market here in Chattanooga.  The real estate market as of today is still low on inventory and buyers are plentiful.  Homes are selling quickly and the market is hot.  Let The Lawrence Team guide you through the process.

 

Posted in Buying A Home
Aug. 1, 2022

Why are people Moving Today?

Why Are People Moving Today?

Why Are People Moving Today? | MyKCM

Buying a home is a major life decision. That’s true whether you’re purchasing for the first time or selling your house to fuel a move. And if you’re planning to buy a home, you might be hearing about today’s shifting market and wondering what it means for you.

While mortgage rates are higher than they were at the start of the year and home prices are rising, you shouldn’t put your plans on hold based solely on market factors. Instead, it’s necessary to consider why you want to move and how important those reasons are to you. Here are two of the biggest personal motivators driving people to buy homes today.

A Need for More Space

Moving.com looked at migration patterns to determine why people moved to specific areas. One trend that emerged was the need for additional space, both indoors and outdoors.

Outgrowing your home isn’t new. If you’re craving a large yard, more entertaining room, or just need more storage areas or bedrooms overall, having the physical space you need for your desired lifestyle may be reason enough to make a change.

A Desire To Be Closer to Loved Ones

Moving and storage company United Van Lines surveys customers each year to get a better sense of why people move. The latest survey finds nearly 32% of people moved to be closer to loved ones.

Another moving and storage company, Pods, also highlights this as a top motivator for why people move. They note that an increase in flexible work options has helped many homeowners make a move closer to the people they care about most:

“. . . a shifting of priorities has also affected why people are moving. Many companies have moved to permanent remote working policies, giving employees the option to move freely around the country, and people are taking advantage of the perk.”

If you can move to another location because of remote work, retirement, or for any other reason, you could leverage that flexibility to be closer to the most important people in your life. Being nearby for caregiving and being able to attend get-togethers and life milestones could be exactly what you’re looking for.

What Does That Mean for You?

If you’re thinking about moving, one of these reasons might be a top motivator for you. And while what’s happening with mortgage rates and home prices in the housing market today will likely play a role in your decision, it’s equally important to make sure your home meets your needs. Like Charlie Bilello, Founder and CEO of Compound Capital Advisorssays:

Your home is your castle and should confer benefits beyond just the numbers.”

Bottom Line

There are many reasons why people decide to move. No matter what the reason may be, if your needs have changed, let’s connect to discuss your options in today’s housing market.  Call The Lawrence Team, we can help you upsize, downsize or simply find the perfect home in the Chattanooga market. 

 

Posted in Buying A Home
July 27, 2022

Want To Buy A Home? Now May Be The Time

Want To Buy a Home? Now May Be the Time.

Want To Buy a Home? Now May Be the Time. | MyKCM

There are more homes for sale today than at any time last year. So, if you tried to buy a home last year and were outbid or out priced, now may be your opportunity. The number of homes for sale in the U.S. has been growing over the past four months as rising mortgage rates help slow the frenzy the housing market saw during the pandemic.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains why the shifting market creates a window of opportunity for you:

“This is an opportunity for people with a secure job to jump into the market, when other people are a little hesitant because of a possible recession. . . They’ll have fewer buyers to compete with.”

Two Reasons There Are More Homes for Sale

The first reason the market is seeing more homes available for sale is the number of sales happening each month has decreased. This slowdown has been caused by rising mortgage rates and rising home prices, leading many to postpone or put off buying. The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show how active real estate listings have risen over the past four months as a result.

Want To Buy a Home? Now May Be the Time. | MyKCM

The second reason the market is seeing more homes available for sale is because the number of people selling their homes is also rising. The graph below outlines new monthly listings coming onto the market compared to last year. As the graph shows, for the past three months, more people have put their homes on the market than the previous year.

Want To Buy a Home? Now May Be the Time. | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The number of homes for sale across the country is growing, and that means more options for those thinking about buying a home. This is the opportunity many have been waiting for who were outbid or outpriced last year.  Call The Lawrence Team, we know inventory is low however now if the time to purchase your next home in the Chattanooga market.  Call The Lawrence Team today!

Posted in Buying A Home
July 21, 2022

Home Prices on the RISE!

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again | MyKCM

Over the last two years, the rate of home prices appreciated at a dramatic pace. While that led to incredible equity gains for homeowners, it’s also caused some buyers to wonder if home prices will fall. It’s important to know the housing market isn’t a bubble about to burst, and home price growth is supported by strong market fundamentals.

To understand why price declines are unlikely, it’s important to explore what caused home prices to rise so much recently, and where experts say home prices are headed. Here’s what you need to know.

Home Prices Rose Significantly in Recent Years

The graph below uses the latest data from CoreLogic to illustrate the rise in home prices over the past year and a half. The gray bars represent the dramatic increase in the rate of home price appreciation in 2021. The blue bars show home prices are still rising in 2022, but not as quickly:

Think Home Prices Are Going To Fall? Think Again | MyKCM

You might be asking: why did home prices climb so much last year? It’s because there were more buyers than there were homes for sale. That imbalance put upward pressure on home prices because demand was extremely high, and supply was record low.

Where Experts Say Prices Will Go from Here

While housing inventory is increasing and buyer demand is softening today, there’s still a shortage of homes available for sale. That’s why the market is seeing ongoing price appreciation. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First Americanexplains it like this:

“. . .we’re still well below normal levels of inventory and that’s why even with the pullback in demand, we still see house prices appreciating. While there is more inventory, it’s still not enough.”

As a result, experts are projecting a more moderate rate of home price appreciation this year, which means home prices will continue rising, but at a slower pace. That doesn’t mean prices are going to fall. As Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogicsays:

“The current home price growth rate is unsustainable, and higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”

In other words, even with higher mortgage rates, moderating buyer demand, and more homes for sale, experts say home price appreciation will slow, but prices won't decline.

If you’re planning to buy a home, that means you shouldn’t wait for home prices to drop to make your purchase. Instead, buying today means you can get ahead of future price increases, and benefit from the rise in prices in the form of home equity.

Bottom Line

Home prices skyrocketed in recent years because there was more demand than supply. As the market shifts, experts aren’t forecasting a drop in prices, just a slowdown in the rate of price growth. To understand what’s happening with home prices in our area, let’s connect today.  If you are looking to sell your home or looking to purchase a home in the Chattanooga market be sure to call The Lawrence Team.  We are here to help you with all your Real Estate needs.

July 18, 2022

Supply of Homes is Increasing

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today?

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

If you put a pause on your home search because you weren’t sure where you’d go once you sold your house, it might be a good time to get back into the market. That’s because today’s market is undergoing a shift, and the supply of homes for sale is increasing as a result. That means you may have a better chance of finding a home that will meet your current needs. Here are some options to consider.

Buying an Existing Home Can Give You That Lived-in Charm

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of existing homes (a home that’s been previously owned) has steadily increased since the beginning of the year. The graph below indicates inventory levels are rising, and that’s largely due to more homes coming onto the market and the pace of sales slowing:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, if you’re looking for a home with lived-in charm, supply is rising, and that’s great news for you.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, gives insight into why more homeowners are listing their homes and adding to the growing supply of existing homes today:

“Home sellers in many markets across the country continue to benefit from rising home prices and fast-selling homes. That’s prompted a growing number of homeowners to sell homes this year compared to last, giving home shoppers much needed options. We’ve seen more homes come up for sale this year compared to last year . . .”

There are several benefits to buying an existing home. Many buyers want to purchase a home with history, and the character of older houses is hard to reproduce. Existing homes can often be part of an established neighborhood featuring mature landscaping that can give you additional privacy and boost your curb appeal.

Plus, timing can be a consideration as well. With an existing home, you can move in based on the timeline you agree to with the sellers, rather than building a new home and waiting for construction to finish. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you need to move sooner rather than later.

Just remember, while more sellers are listing their homes, supply is still low overall. That means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home, but you’ll still need to be prepared for a fast-moving market.

Purchasing a Newly Built or Under Construction Home Means Brand New Everything

Census data shows there’s an increasing number of new homes available for sale. It includes homes that are under construction, soon to be completed, and fully built. As the graph below highlights, the supply of new homes for sale has also grown this year:

Wondering Where You’ll Move if You Sell Your House Today? | MyKCM

When building a new home, you can create your perfect living space and customize it to your lifestyle. That could mean everything from requesting energy efficient options to specific design features. Plus, you’ll have the benefit of all new appliances, windows, roofing, and more. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time.

The lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great advantage. When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. And with new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years.

Keep in mind, that purchasing a new home could mean waiting a considerable amount of time before you can move. Robert Dietz, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), explains:

“New single-family home inventory remained elevated at a 7.7 months’ supply. . . . However, only 8.3% of new home inventory is completed and ready to occupy. The remaining have not started construction (25.9%) or are currently under construction.”

That’s an important factor when making your decision and one you should discuss with a trusted real estate advisor. They’ll help you think through all the pros and cons of both new and existing homes to help you arrive at your best decision.

Bottom Line

With the supply of homes for sale rising, you have options for your next home no matter what your preferences are. If you have questions or want help deciding what’s best for you, let’s connect and start the conversation today.  In the last month, The Lawrence Team has seen an increase in homes for sale.  The market is changing every day and we are seeing more homes hit the market.  Call The Lawrence Team today and let us find you the perfect home!

Posted in Buying A Home
July 11, 2022

Drop in Mortgage Rates!

The Drop in Mortgage Rates Brings Good News for Homebuyers

The Drop in Mortgage Rates Brings Good News for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Over the past few weeks, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate from Freddie Mac fell by half a percent. The drop happened over concerns about a potential recession. And since mortgage rates have risen dramatically this year, homebuyers across the country should see this decline as welcome news.

Freddie Mac reports that the average 30-year rate was down to 5.30% from 5.81% two weeks prior (see graph below):

The Drop in Mortgage Rates Brings Good News for Homebuyers | MyKCM

But why is this recent dip such good news for homebuyers? As Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped sharply by 40 basis points to 5.3 percent. . . . As a result, home buying is about 5 percent more affordable than a week ago. This translates to about $100 less every month on a mortgage payment.

That’s because when rates go up (as they have for the majority of this year), they impact how much you’ll pay in your monthly mortgage payment, which directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. The inverse is also true. A decrease in mortgage rates means an increase in your purchasing power.

The chart below shows how a half-point, or even a quarter-point, change in mortgage rates can impact your monthly payment:

The Drop in Mortgage Rates Brings Good News for Homebuyers | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If your home doesn’t meet your needs, this may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for. Let’s connect to see how you can benefit from the current drop in mortgage rates.  If you are looking to purchase a home in the Chattanooga, N Georgia market please let The Lawrence Team know.  We are here to help you with all your real estate needs.  

Posted in Buying A Home