Thursday, October 28, 2010

Home Sales Prices Drop while Number of Sales Rise

Standard & Poor's S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices was released. It is a leading measure of U.S. home prices that showed a deceleration in the annual growth rates in 17 of the 20 MSAs and the 10- and 20-City Composites in August compared to what was reported for July 2010.  Home prices decreased in 15 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites in August from their July levels.

"A disappointing report. Home prices broadly declined in August. Seventeen of the 20 cities and both Composites saw a weakening in year-over-year figures, as compared to July, indicating that the housing market continues to bounce along the recent lows," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "Over the last four months both the 10- and 20-City Composites show slowing growth, after sustaining consistent gains since their April 2009 troughs.  The month-over-month growth rates tell the same story. Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites saw a decline in the month of August as compared to July levels. The 10- and 20-City Composites fell 0.1% and 0.2%, respectively. Indeed, the housing market appears to have stabilized at new lows. At this time, it does not seem that any of the markets are hanging on to the temporary momentum caused by the homebuyers' tax credits."

Chicago, Detroit, New York and Washington DC have all posted at least four consecutive months of positive increases in home prices.

The good news is that existing-home sales rose again dramatically in September, as reported by the National Assn of Realtors (NAR).  Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, jumped 10.0% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.53 million in September from a downwardly revised 4.12 million in August.  The number still remains 19.1% below the 5.60 million-unit pace in September 2009, when first-time buyers were ramping up in advance of the initial deadline for the tax credit last November.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market is in the early stages of recovery. "A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium. But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions," he said.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $171,700 in September, which is 2.4% below a year ago. Distressed homes accounted for 35% of sales in September compared with 34% in August, and 29% in September 2009.

"Vacant homes and homes where mortgages have not been paid for an extended number of months need to be cleared from the market as quickly as possible, with a new set of buyers helping the recovery along a healthy path," Yun said. "Inventory remains elevated and continues to favor buyers over sellers. A normal seasonal decline in inventory is expected through the upcoming months."

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast increased 10.1 percent to an annual pace of 760,000 in September but are 20.8 percent below September 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $239,200, which is 1.4 percent below a year ago.

I'm experienced and knowledgeable in short sales and distressed properties, with both buyers and sellers in Mercer County.  Contact me before you get too far behind in your payments or if you are ready to look at homes.  Remember, if you are Military, you can still use the tax credit this year.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Housing Recovery Predicted

In its new housing outlook report, The Concord Group, a real estate strategy firm based in Newport Beach, Calif., predicted that national home sales will recover by the fourth quarter of 2010, with some well positioned markets improving by late 2011 or early 2012.

"The Concord Group estimates sales for the next year will continue at current sluggish levels (400,000 units), with a recovery rate of approximately 640,000 units annually in the following year’s first half until the market returns to normalized absorption rates by the fourth quarter of 2012," the report says.

The company's housing demand model incorporates published employment forecasts, structural household growth, turnover, and obsolescence.  "Development of quality new housing in core employment centers is expected to be an opportunity," the company says in a statement. "Meeting the needs of baby boomers, highlighted by their transition to urban areas, should remain a focus."

In many areas of Mercer County, prices are already rising and sales have certainly increased.  Call or email me for some ideas on getting a good buy.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Short Sale Specialist
Real Estate Advisor

Source: The Concord Group

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Housing Survey Shows Caution and some Optimism

Fannie Mae’s latest national housing survey finds that most Americans believe the housing market has reached the bottom, but they are more cautious about owning a home. Respondents to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey believe that home prices will hold steady (47%) or increase (31%) over the next year, and that rental prices will stay the same (46%) or go up (39%). Across the general population, the average expected rise in rental prices is four times that of home prices (3.6% versus 0.9%).

70% of Americans think it is a good time to buy a house, compared with 64% in a similar survey conducted in January 2010. But 33%—up from 30%—of all respondents said they would be more likely to rent their next home if they were to move.

Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist, Fannie Mae, said, “These findings indicate a return to a more balanced and realistic approach toward housing. While this will likely weigh on the housing recovery in the near-term, it should, over time, help to build a stronger and healthier market focused on sustainable homeownership.  Although most Americans believe that home prices have bottomed, they are adopting a much more cautious approach toward buying.  Homeowners and renters alike continue to be wary of taking on risk, and they are less confident in the long-term outlook for housing.”

A majority of Americans (67%) continue to believe that housing is a safe investment; however, that number is down 16 percentage points from a similar survey conducted in 2003—the largest drop by far among all investment types tracked since then.  More than 70% of all respondents believe it will be harder for the next generation to buy a home, up three points from the beginning of the year.

This week, mortgage rates have hit another all-time low.  You owe it to yourself and your family to at least look at what you can buy in this market.  Call or email me to sign you up for some community searches so you can study the Mercer County homes available for sale.

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Short Sale Specialist

Friday, October 8, 2010

RE/MAX New Jersey Launches Smarter Agent Search

RE/MAX of New Jersey has announced the launch of over 27,000 Smarter Agent real estate search applications across every mobile platform. The result is that each of its 3,000 agents and brokers can give an application to any of their customers – no matter what phone they have – uniquely branded with the agent’s name, the company reports.

RE/MAX of New Jersey sells approximately 20% of all homes in New Jersey through 180 offices and 3,000 agents.  It is one of the first real estate companies in New Jersey to offer access to all listings provided by the state’s nine MLSs to virtually every cell phone user.
RE/MAX of New Jersey is also one of the first companies in the nation that is providing all of its offices and agents with their own personalized mobile apps for a myriad of mobile phone types from Blackberry, Android, Palm, and iPhone as well as providing their agents with hard-to-get apps for feature phones across all major carriers that make up over 50% of phones used by homebuyers. A mobile browser app is also included.
The RE/MAX Mobile app offers various search options including GPS, when available, to see the price and photos of any home for sale in the Multiple Listing Service. Users can also search by address, city or zip code to see property details including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps, pictures and more. The “Refine Search” feature lets users select a price range, property type and the number of beds and baths to help them find just what they’re looking for.
Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor
Just text JOEG to 87778

Joe Giancarli Offers New Mobile Service

You can now find homes for sale using my new mobile app. Just text JOEG to 87778 and you will be sent download instructions.

Once installed on your device, you will be able to do searches and see complete listing details including photos and prices.

If your device is GPS enabled you will also see the listings on a map.

(data rates may apply)

Joe Giancarli, SA
Real Estate Advisor

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chesterfield, NJ - Burlington County - Chesterfield Green - Fenton Lane - SOLD

43 Fenton Lane
a pristine, spacious home in Chesterfield Green. Features include a bright foyer, 9’ ceilings, hardwood oak flooring, living room, formal dining room, family room with fireplace, open to the kitchen and patio.  The gourmet kitchen has 42" honey maple cabinetry, built-in oven and gas stove, pantry, and a corner breakfast room. Up the oak staircase to the 2nd floor are three spacious bedrooms with wall to wall neutral carpeting. The master suite features a walk-in-closet and bath with soaking tub. There’s a full basement ready to finish off.  The back yard of the home is pleasant for outdoor living, from enjoying the professionally landscaped yard, to relaxing on the EP Henry paver patio, and entertaining with the 27" Lynx Grill.  The ¼ acre lot offers room for a garden or play set, plus the 2-car garage, and sprinkler system.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA, Real Estate Advisor, for a private showing.  609-658-2612.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

East Windsor NJ - Yorkshire Estates - SOLD - Woodfield Drive

Over $100,000 in Upgrades – this home is all you could ask for. Well designed & spacious; your full- front porch invites you into a soaring 2 story foyer. You’ll find 1st floor Hardwood Floors, a Kitchen for the chef(s) w/42” Cherry Cabinets, Corian & Granite Countertops, & an exceptional, “must see,” porcelain tiled floor. How does it get better – Crown Molding, Chair Rails, & a formal Dining Room to serve your culinary creations. There is an office for working or surfing the Internet, & a Family Room, w/a warming Wood-Burning Fireplace – you’re ready for the chilly nights ahead. Take the front, or “back” stairs to your 2nd floor. The Master Suite has a large walk-in closet w/closet organizers, & is complimented by an 11x11 Master Bath! Four additional bedrooms. A Finished Basement offers recreation, & the adjoining Large Workshop is a handy-person’s dream! Take the 1st floor’s Custom Anderson Sliders to your spacious 700 sq. ft. Stamped Concrete.

Contact Joe Giancarli, SA for a private showing, 609-658-2612.