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What You Need to Know About Today’s Real Estate Market

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today’s Real Estate Market

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | MyKCM

The Housing Market has been a hot-topic in the news lately. Depending on which media outlet you watch, it can start to be a bit confusing to understand what’s really going on with interest rates and home prices!

The best way to show what’s really going on in today’s real estate market is to go straight to the data! We put together the following three graphs along with a quote from Chief Economists that have their finger on the pulse of what each graph illustrates.

Interest Rates:

“The real estate market is thawing in response to the sustained decline in mortgage rates and rebound in consumer confidence – two of the most important drivers of home sales. Rising sales demand coupled with more inventory than previous spring seasons suggests that the housing market is in the early stages of regaining momentum.” – Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Income:

“A powerful combination of lower mortgage rates, more inventory, rising income and higher consumer confidence is driving the sales rebound.” – Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Home Prices:

“Price growth has been too strong for several years, fueled in part by abnormally low interest rates. A mild deceleration in home sales and Home Price Index growth is actually healthy, because it will calm excessive price growth — which has pushed many markets, particularly in the West, into overvalued territory.” – Ralph DeFranco, Global Chief Economist at Arch Capital Services Inc.

3 Graphs that Show What You Need to Know About Today's Real Estate Market | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

These three graphs indicate good news for the spring housing market! Interest rates are low, income is rising, and home prices have experienced mild deceleration over the last 9 months. If you are considering buying a home or selling your house, let’s get together to chat about our market!

Stately Weston Retreat Overlooking the Aspetuck River

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels


17 Aspetuck Glenn in Weston was featured as a hot property in CT Post yesterday. Bernadette Blaze wrote that this 2.64 acre property overlooking the Aspetuck River, is an ideal location for an enchanting retreat with an abundance of privacy, glori­ous natural surroundings and convenient to the town and beach. The owners have found that this creates the perfect combination of solitude without seclusion. 


"Our cul-de-sac gives us the ultimate privacy," the owners commented. "The neighbors are great and we really enjoy our periodic neighborhood gatherings. And the house is 10 minutes from Compo Beach, so we enjoy the beach all year long." 

Read the whole article here:

Stone pillars frame the entry to the tranquil setting at the end of a cul-de-sac, encompassed by mature trees and approached by a winding circular driveway. Beautiful stone­work accents the exterior along the entry, front steps, foundation and chimney, setting an impressive tone that is carried throughout the home's 5,323 square feet. Five bed­rooms, four-full-and-two-half baths provide plenty of space for family or guests. 


Inside, the dramatic two-story foyer introduces an atmosphere of casual elegance that is ideal for entertaining and everyday living among finely appointed living space. Beautiful inlaid hardwood floors extend from the foyer into the formal living room, which is further enhanced by crown moldings, a handsome fireplace and French doors that open to a private study. On the opposite side of the foyer, the formal dining room is ideal for holidays meals and gatherings. 


From the dining room, French doors open to a stunning gourmet kitchen. Here, this bright and open space is brimming with beauty in form as well as function and leaves nothing to be desired among an expansive island with seating for at least four, sophisticated cabinetry, elegant backsplash and top-of-the­line Sub-Zero and Viking applianc­es. 


The sunny dining area opens onto an expansive deck that spans the back of the home and overlooks the neatly manicured grounds and winding river, perfect for outdoor entertaining or simply relaxing and taking in the peaceful surround­ings, a space that the owners have come to greatly appreciate. 


"Sitting on the deck, drinking a glass of wine, listening to the sounds of the river and enjoying the scenic views is very romantic," the owner adds. "Gazing at the stars on a clear night makes it even more special." 

The kitchen flows into the inviting family room forming the heart of the home, creating a central hub. 
"The open layout unites the kitch­en with a tremendous family room with a vaulted ceiling, large windows and a beautiful floor to ceiling stone fireplace," says listing agent Cheryl Scott-Daniels. "This large area accommodates multiple seat­ing groupings with ample space for various simultaneous activities." 


On the upper level, an open land­ing overlooks the foyer and has French doors to a balcony overlookng the front of the property. The luxurious master bedroom suite features a tray ceiling, his and hers walk-in closets and an impressive master bath with jacuzzi tub, double vanity and walk-in, glass-enclosed shower. A second bedroom enjoys a walk-in closet and en-suite bath, while two more bedrooms share a Jack-and-Jill style bath. 

Casual entertaining and leisure can be enjoyed in the finished walk out lower level featuring additional living space, bedroom and full bath. This versatile space can suit a vari­ety of needs such as in-law, guest or au pair accommodations, as well as a recreation room, home theater, office or gym. 

Additional features include a main level laundry, a three-car garage and a security system.

The Market Is Looking Good

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market

24 Hours that Suddenly Improved the Market | MyKCM

This year started strong for real estate, but then the market began to soften. Home inventory in the starter and move-up categories dwindled to almost nothing, mortgage rates were projected to rise, and home sales had decreased for several months in a row.

To many, the outlook heading into 2019 appeared dim… at best.

Then, in a 24-hour window last week, things seemed to change. On Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) revealed in their Existing Homes Sales Reportthat home sales had INCREASED for the second consecutive month. The next day, NAR’s economic research team announced that the percentage of first-time buyers in the market was higher than last month and even higher than a year ago.

What happened to turn around the downward momentum in the market? 

You only needed to wait a few hours to find out. On the heels of NAR’s revelations, Zillow released their November Real Estate Market Report that explained:

“After nearly four years of annual declines in inventory, the number of homes for sale has now increased year-over-year for three straight months…”

Ending 2018, we now know two things:

  1. Listing inventory increased over the last three months
  2. Home sales increased over the last two months

Maybe a lack of inventory was the major challenge all along.

But, what about those pesky interest rates?

Last Thursday (the day after all of the above news), Freddie Mac announced that mortgage rates did not increase but instead decreased…again. From their release:

“The response to the recent decline in mortgage rates is already being felt in the housing market. After declining for six consecutive months, existing home sales finally rose in October and November and are essentially at the same level as during the summer months.

This modest rebound in sales indicates that homebuyers are very sensitive to mortgage rate changes – and given the further drop in rates we’ve seen this month, we expect to see a modest rebound in home sales as well.”

Bottom Line

Will 2019 start out better than many have predicted? Perhaps, but we’ll have to wait and see. Things do look much better today, though, than they did just a month ago.

Shorehaven Tour of Homes

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Housing Market to “Spring Forward”

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Housing Market to “Spring Forward” | Simplifying The Market

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward”! Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which sometimes falls off in the winter months, especially in Connecticut where we are impacted by cold temperatures and snowy conditions.

That hasn't happened this year. 

Demand for housing has remained strong and is currently three times stronger than last year at this time.

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2014 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

If you are planning on selling your home in 2015, let's talk and evaluate the opportunities in your market.

The Right Time to Sell Your Home

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Fairfield County real estate broker Cheryl Scott-Daniels discusses the best time to sell your home:

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped?

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Why Have Interest Rates Dropped? | Simplifying The Market

The headlines agree mortgage interest rates have dropped substantially below initial projections. Many who are considering purchasing a home, or moving up to their dream home, might think that they should wait to buy, because rates may continue to fall.

A recent article on the Economists’ Outlook blog by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) provides insight into one major factor in the decline in interest rates, the crude oil price.

“As of January 5, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20/gallon, the lowest since gas prices peaked to about $ 4/gallon in May 2011.”

You may have noticed that filling your gas tank has become substantially less expensive in recent months. A welcome change from the close to $5 a gallon that many Americans were paying this time last year. The average US household is projected to save around $550 in 2015.

So what does that have to do with Interest Rates?

NAR explains the correlation like this:

“Lower oil prices mean lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates.”

Based on Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage survey as of January 22, 2015, the 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.63% and the 15-year fixed rate averaged 2.93%.

“The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments. That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

How long will rates stay low?

No one really knows how long oil prices will continue to support low mortgage rates. In a New York Times article, the author points to the fact that “adding hundreds of billions of dollars to consumer spending” could start to have a “counter effect” on rates as the economy continues to strengthen.

“If firms start hiring again, and wages increase — that’s when the level of all interest rates in the U.S. would increase.” 

Don’t wait too long

The low interest rates we are currently experiencing are not going to stay around forever. The current projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, NAR and the Mortgage Bankers Association all agree that interest rates will increase to between 4.3-5.4% by the end of 2015.

Bottom Line

NAR reports: “At the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates will yield savings of about $1,000 annually.”

If you are in a position to buy a home make sure that you meet with a local real estate professional with their finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the market. Don’t let a delay in purchasing impact your family’s financial future.

 

Resource: KCM

CT Home Info: Money Saving Tips for Winter

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Compo Beach SnowDecember can be a very expensive month for homeowners. The cold weather is here, the heat is running constantly, the days are shorter which means using lights more frequently, and the gift giving and family visits really add up. The good news is there are little things Connecticut homeowners can do to save in big ways.  

1.       Keep the fireplace damper closed when the fireplace is not in use to keep the heat from going up the chimney.  

2.       Dim lights by 10 to 15 percent. This small adjustment may not be noticeable to your eye but can make a big difference in your electric bill. 

3.       Have you checked your attic lately? Heat rises and you could be losing money and heat through attic cracks.  Seal attic cracks and add extra insulation to the floor or between the joists.

4.       Add window coverings. This may not be consistent with our staging suggestions but unless you are preparing your home for the market, we actually suggest adding window treatments to help keep cold air out. 

5.       Install vacancy sensors on lights. Yes, they make these! Motion sensors that detect when there has been no motion in a room and automatically turn lights off. 

6.       Invest in Programmable thermostats. Turn the temperature down when you are at work and have it automatically go up 30 minutes before you return. Also lower temperature for sleeping.

7.       Close heating vents in unused rooms. Why spend money heating rooms that are not often in use? Of course be sure that the rooms don’t get too cold, especially bathrooms, vacant in-law apartments, or other rooms with plumbing. 

Do you have any additional suggests on how Connecticut homeowners can save money? We would love to hear them!

Check back next month or follow us on Twitter @CScottDaniels, #CTHomeInfo. We will be offering January tips for emergency preparedness to help keep your family safe during this cold winter season.  

FSBO's Must Be Ready to Negotiate

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

FSBO's Must Be Ready to Negotiate | Keeping Current Matters

In a recovering market, some sellers might be tempted to try and sell their home on their own (FSBO) without using the services of a real estate professional. The real estate agent is a trained and experienced negotiator. In most cases, the seller is not. The seller must realize the ability to negotiate will determine whether they get the best deal for themselves and their family.

Here is a list of some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate if they decide to FSBO:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house.
  • The termite company if there are challenges
  • The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value
  • The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
  • The town or municipality if you need to get the COs permits mentioned above
  • The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges on the house your buyer is selling.
  • Your bank in the case of a short sale


    SOURCE: KCM

Fairfield County Real Estate Market, Jan – June, 2013-2014

by Cheryl Scott-Daniels

Fairfield County Real Estate Market, Jan – June, 2013-2014

The Fairfield County real estate market continues to hold steady with last year’s pace. There were 4,326 unit sales during the first six months of 2014, representing a unit sales decrease of 1.48% from the first six months of 2013. While the number of sales may be down just slightly, the average sales price is up 2.74%, making the average sales price for the first half of the year $586,988.

Westport, Connecticut

Sales in Westport are down slightly from last year. Unit sales from January to June 2014 are down 15% from sales in the first half of 2013. The average sales price is down 7.3% in the same time frame. Sales among the upper tier, over $2,000,000, are also down by about 20% in units. 

Sign up for our Fairfield County Real Estate Market Stats Newsletter and receive stats every month via email. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 44

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