Home price growth is easing off
The growth of home prices slowed in February according to the latest S&/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. Year-over-year there was a 5.3 per cent gain nationally but the monthly increase was 0.2 per cent while the 10-city index gained 0.1 per cent in the month.
”Home prices continue to rise twice as fast as inflation, but the pace is easing off in the most recent numbers,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The slower growth rate is evident in the monthly seasonally adjusted numbers: six cities experienced smaller monthly gains in February compared to January, when no city saw growth. Among the six were Seattle, Portland OR, and San Diego, all of which were very strong last time.”
Blitzer also commented on mortgage defaults: “The mortgage default rate continues to mirror the path of home prices. Currently, the default rate on first mortgages is about three-quarters of one percent, a touch lower than in 2004.”
Realtors go niche for online opps
Real estate agents are looking for new opportunities online to benefit from an increasingly digital world.
In Denver for example, Rachel Betz is hoping her new website will become the go-to place for Colorado’s seniors. ActiveAgingDenver.com is focused on matching over 55’s with homes and includes listings and blog posts to appeal to that market.
“It is ideal for Baby Boomers downsizing, moving back to the city now that they are empty-nesters, etc,” Betz said. “People in the 55+ age group often have special needs and desires that are not addressed by the average real estate websites.”
As a marketing play this could work for other realtors and mortgage professionals
as although the site targets a niche, Betz continues to offer her realty services to the wider population through other channels.
Another record-breaker for Mass. home sales
Home sales in Massachusetts hit another record high in March. Closed home sales reported by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors were 3,452 for single-family homes, up 23.2 per cent year-over-year; condo closed sales rose 24.8 per cent to 1,429 units. It’s the highest level of closed sales in March since 2007.
“March has proved again this year that buyer activity in the first quarter of this year and the last few months of last year was very, very strong,” said 2016 MAR President Annie Blatz, branch executive at Kinlin Grover Real Estate in Brewster. “We’ve seen a good increase in the number of new listings added to the market and it’s a trend we really need to continue as were still faced with an ongoing shortage of homes.”
Median prices also gained; up 3 per cent to $329,505 for single-family homes and 0.3 per cent to $307,900 for condos. Inventory was down more than 12 per cent for both single-family and condos; new listings were up 30.8 per cent for single-family and 16.5 per cent for condos.