John Collinge
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Existing-Home Sales Rise in April for Second Straight Month

MEDIA CONTACT: ADAM DESANCTIS / 202-383-1178 / EMAIL(LINK SENDS E-MAIL)

WASHINGTON (May 20, 2016) — Despite ongoing inventory shortages and faster price growth, existing-home sales sustained their recent momentum and moved higher for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors®. A surge in sales in the Midwest and a decent increase in the Northeast offset smaller declines in the South and West.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.45 million in April from an upwardly revised 5.36 million in March. After last month’s gain, sales are now up 6.0 percent from April 2015.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says April’s sales increase signals slowly building momentum for the housing market this spring. “Primarily driven by a convincing jump in the Midwest, where home prices are most affordable, sales activity overall was at a healthy pace last month as very low mortgage rates and modest seasonal inventory gains encouraged more households to search for and close on a home,” he said. “Except for in the West — where supply shortages and stark price growth are hampering buyers the most — sales are meaningfully higher than a year ago in much of the country.”

The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in April was $232,500, up 6.3 percent from April 2015 ($218,700). April’s price increase marks the 50th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory3 at the end of April increased 9.2 percent to 2.14 million existing homes available for sale, but is still 3.6 percent lower than a year ago (2.22 million). Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace, up from 4.4 months in March.

“The temporary relief from mortgage rates currently near three-year lows has helped preserve housing affordability this spring, but there’s growing concern a number of buyers will be unable to find homes at affordable prices if wages don’t rise and price growth doesn’t slow,” adds Yun.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate(link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.69 percent in March to 3.61 percent in April, which is the lowest since May 2013 (3.54 percent). The average commitment rate for all of 2015 was 3.85 percent.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 39 days in April (47 days in March), which is unchanged from a year ago but the shortest duration since June 2015 (34 days). Short sales were on the market the longest at a median of 120 days in April, while foreclosures sold in 51 days and non-distressed homes took 37 days. Forty-five percent of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month — the highest since June 2015 (47 percent).

“Looking ahead, with demand holding steady and supply levels still far from sufficient, the market for entry-level and mid-priced homes will likely continue to be the most competitive heading into the summer months,” says Yun.

The share of first-time buyers was 32 percent in April, up from 30 percent both in March and a year ago. First-time buyers in all of 2015 also represented an average of 30 percent.

At last week’s 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced beneficial changes to FHA condo rules, which could help many first-time buyers, are moving forward and are currently at the Office of Management and Budget for review.

“Secretary Castro’s update that the condo rule changes are in their final stages before implementation received great applause from Realtors® both at the forum and throughout the country,” said NAR President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “To ensure that purchasing a condo increasingly becomes a viable and affordable option for first-time buyers, NAR supports the ongoing efforts to eliminate unnecessary barriers holding back condo sales. We hope that progress on this condo rule means we’ll see some much-needed changes in the near future.”

All-cash sales were 24 percent of transactions in April, down from 25 percent in March and unchanged from a year ago. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 13 percent of homes in April (matching the lowest share since October 2015), down from 14 percent in both in March and a year ago. Sixty-nine percent of investors paid cash in April.

Distressed sales4 — foreclosures and short sales — declined for the second straight month to 7 percent in April, down from 8 percent last month and 10 percent a year ago. Five percent of April sales were foreclosures and 2 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in April (16 percent in March), while short sales were discounted 10 percent (unchanged from March).

Single-family and Condo/Co-op Sales

Single-family home sales inched forward 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million in April from 4.78 million in March, and are now 6.2 percent higher than the 4.53 million pace a year ago. The median existing single-family home price was $233,700 in April, up 6.2 percent from April 2015.

Existing condominium and co-op sales jumped 10.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 640,000 units in April from 580,000 in March, and are now 4.9 percent above April 2015 (610,000 units). The median existing condo price was $223,300 in April, which is 6.8 percent above a year ago.

Regional Breakdown

April existing-home sales in the Northeast climbed 2.8 percent to an annual rate of 740,000, and are now 17.5 percent above a year ago. The median price in the Northeast was $263,600, which is 4.1 percent above April 2015.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales soared 12.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.39 million in April, and are now 12.1 percent above April 2015. The median price in the Midwest was $184,200, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South declined 2.7 percent to an annual rate of 2.19 million in April, but are still 4.3 percent above April 2015. The median price in the South was $202,800, up 6.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West decreased 1.7 percent to an annual rate of 1.13 million in April, and are 3.4 percent lower than a year ago. The median price in the West was $335,000, which is 6.5 percent above April 2015.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

# # #

NOTE: For local information, please contact the local association of Realtors® for data from local multiple listing services. Local MLS data is the most accurate source of sales and price information in specific areas, although there may be differences in reporting methodology.

1 Existing-home sales, which include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, are based on transaction closings from Multiple Listing Services. Changes in sales trends outside of MLSs are not captured in the monthly series. NAR rebenchmarks home sales periodically using other sources to assess overall home sales trends, including sales not reported by MLSs.

Existing-home sales, based on closings, differ from the U.S. Census Bureau’s series on new single-family home sales, which are based on contracts or the acceptance of a deposit. Because of these differences, it is not uncommon for each series to move in different directions in the same month. In addition, existing-home sales, which account for more than 90 percent of total home sales, are based on a much larger data sample — about 40 percent of multiple listing service data each month — and typically are not subject to large prior-month revisions.

The annual rate for a particular month represents what the total number of actual sales for a year would be if the relative pace for that month were maintained for 12 consecutive months. Seasonally adjusted annual rates are used in reporting monthly data to factor out seasonal variations in resale activity. For example, home sales volume is normally higher in the summer than in the winter, primarily because of differences in the weather and family buying patterns. However, seasonal factors cannot compensate for abnormal weather patterns.

Single-family data collection began monthly in 1968, while condo data collection began quarterly in 1981; the series were combined in 1999 when monthly collection of condo data began. Prior to this period, single-family homes accounted for more than nine out of 10 purchases. Historic comparisons for total home sales prior to 1999 are based on monthly single-family sales, combined with the corresponding quarterly sales rate for condos.

2 The median price is where half sold for more and half sold for less; medians are more typical of market conditions than average prices, which are skewed higher by a relatively small share of upper-end transactions. The only valid comparisons for median prices are with the same period a year earlier due to seasonality in buying patterns. Month-to-month comparisons do not compensate for seasonal changes, especially for the timing of family buying patterns. Changes in the composition of sales can distort median price data. Year-ago median and mean prices sometimes are revised in an automated process if additional data is received.

The national median condo/co-op price often is higher than the median single-family home price because condos are concentrated in higher-cost housing markets. However, in a given area, single-family homes typically sell for more than condos as seen in NAR’s quarterly metro area price reports.

3 Total inventory and month’s supply data are available back through 1999, while single-family inventory and month’s supply are available back to 1982 (prior to 1999, single-family sales accounted for more than 90 percent of transactions and condos were measured only on a quarterly basis).

4 Distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), days on market, first-time buyers, all-cash transactions and investors are from a monthly survey for the NAR’s Realtors® Confidence Index, posted at Realtor.org.

NOTE: NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index for April will be released May 26, and Existing-Home Sales for May will be released June 22; release times are 10:00 a.m. ET.body

foreclosure laws in alaska

Foreclosure Laws in Alaska

Homeowners in Alaska should always be aware of the foreclosure laws in Alaska and how to prevent such occurrences from happening.

In Alaska, the most common type of procedure of foreclosure is non-judicial.  This means that the process of foreclosure with any property is done outside of the Courts.

This article is meant to help homeowners and distressed home sellers recognize the different types of foreclosure laws in Alaska, and to understand their own personal situations with foreclosure. Continue reading

Moving In To Your New Home in Anchorage, Alaska

Alaska became a part of the United States in 1959, and it is the largest, most sparsely populated state in the country. For many, visiting Alaska means the opportunity to explore vast expanses of untouched wilderness, wide-open spaces, abundant wildlife and more. Alaska is the epitome of outdoor adventure. For those who are planning to move to Alaska, there is lots of opportunity for both career and personal growth in larger cities such as Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau.

If you’re looking for more information before you set down roots in this amazing state, consider the following information below to help with your decision.

Advantages of Living in Alaska

Natural Elements

The first and most obvious advantage of living in Alaska is having the opportunity to enjoy the breath-taking views every day. For those who value rich wildlife, natural views and an active lifestyle Alaska is certainly a place to set down roots.

Winter Weather

The average temperature in Alaska is 37 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average annual snowfall from 1981-2010 ranged from 32.3″ (82cm) to 326.3″ (828cm). Individuals and families who enjoy outdoor activities, specifically in the winter will certainly be able to enjoy lots of skiing, snowboarding and other winter sports. Continue reading

The Top 15 Must-See Spots in Anchorage: An Introduction to Alaska (Part 2)

Discover Anchorage with its rich history, impressive wildlife and rich culture. There is certainly something for every visitor!

In part 2 of our top 15 must-see spots in Anchorage, we are continuing on with the final top 8 locations: (If you missed the previous post, check it out!)

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The Top 15 Must-See Spots in Anchorage: An Introduction to Alaska (Part 1)

If you find yourself journeying through beautiful Alaska, Anchorage is a stop you’ll want to make! Anchorage is the largest town in Alaska, and visiting tourists love to explore its many inland tourist attractions and excursions! Add a stop to your plans and visit Anchorage, the world’s largest seaplane base!

In this two part series, we will be helping you identify the top fifteen tourist attractions in Anchorage, to ensure that you don’t miss out on some of the best sites Anchorage has to offer! In part one, check out these 7 attractions that will meet the expectations of history buffs, animal lovers, nature fans and more!
1. Alaska Native Heritage Center
alaska native heritage centerGet to know Alaska’s eleven indigenous groups, natives and tribes. See the natives work on their traditional crafts and let them teach you how to make them yourself. You can also take part in their cultural dances, games, artifact demonstrations, and storytelling too!  http://www.alaskanative.net

 

 

2. Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
anchorage museum in rasmuson centerThere is no better place to learn about the history of Alaska, the arctic and its people than the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center.

Kids will love the “Imaginarium Discovery Center” as well as the “Spark Lab” where kids can take part in hands-on activities to learn about the history of invention! The modern museum is a beautifully designed, glass building that is full of permanent and visiting exhibits that you can explore again and again! https://www.anchoragemuseum.org

3. Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Alaska Wildlife Conservation CenterThis 200-acre wildlife conservation center in Alaska was created to protect and provide refuge for injured, orphaned and sick wildlife animals. Experience up-close encounters with the wildlife, and learn about the different species and their various habitats. Some of the awesome animals you’ll see include elk, bison, eagles, bears and more! Some fun presentations for the kids include moose and musk ox calf bottle feeding, lynx feedings, and presentations with porcupines! https://www.alaskawildlife.org

 

Continue reading

Mortgage interest rates today brought to you by John Collinge

Are you thinking about buying a home?

Interest rates remain very good.

See the rate chart below:

Current Interest Rates

Rates last updated:  January 26th, 2016 08:51:35 GMT-0800 (AKDT)

Today’s FHA/VA Rates
Type Rate APR
FHA/VA 30 Year Fixed 3.625% 4.718%
FHA/VA 15 Year Fixed 3.000% 4.139%
Today’s Conventional Rates
Type Rate APR
30 Year Fixed 3.875% 4.691%
15 Year Fixed 3.250% 3.431%
Today’s AHFC 30 Year Fixed
Type Rate APR
Tax Exempt 1st Time Home Buyer 3.625% 4.419%
Taxable 1st Time Home Buyer 3.750% 4.588%
Veterans (VMP) 3.750% 4.558%
Taxable 3.875% 4.691%
Rural Owner Occupied 3.750% 4.588%

Interest rates and APR for all loan programs are based on Sales price of $300,000 with minimum program down payment and owner occupied single family properties.

Conventional financing assumes a credit score of at least 740, with a minimum 5% down.

FHA financing assumes a credit score of at least 680, with a minimum down payment of 3.5%, and subject to FHA upfront and monthly MIP. Other rates available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

VA financing assumes a credit score of at least 680, zero down payment, and first time use of VA eligibility. Min Other rates available for borrowers with lower credit scores.

 

John Collinge is an Anchorage Realtor at Remax Dynamic Properties

Lic. Ak.17979

www.propertyAk.com

john@propertyAk.com

907-440-2785

Remax Dynamic Properties

Courtesy of Lisa Guillory

Lic. 167729

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas from John Collinge at Amazing Alaska Homes

Merry Christmas! As you gather with friends and family to celebrate this special day, I hope your time is filled with moments of love and laughter.  Through generosity, kindness and fellowship we bring a joyful end to 2015, and start the new year off right. I would like to sincerely thank all of the folks who have bought and sold Real Estate with me!  This was a record breaking year and I owe it all to my wonderful clients!

Merry Christmas !

John Collinge

Amazing Alaska Homes

Remax Dynamic Properties

www.propertyAk.com

907-440-2785

 

The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in your Home

The Top 5 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in your Home 

 

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Mold is an important component in nature, which helps in the breakdown of dead, organic matter. It is a fungus that has the ability to grow wherever moisture is present, which unfortunately also includes the inside of our homes. In large quantities mold can become a health hazard that is especially harmful to infants and children, causing irritations, allergic reactions or respiratory problems.

Continue reading

Is it a Good Idea to Buy a House Together Before Marriage?

Is it a Good Idea to Buy a House Together Before Marriage?

should-you-buy-a-home-before-or-after-marriage

 

According to a recent study, about one in four married couples between the ages of 18 and 34 purchase their first home together before their wedding date. Homeownership is a milestone that many couples reach together. It can be an incredible bonding experience.

But I raise the question, are young folks (married or unmarried) really ready for the responsibilities of homeownership as a couple? Don’t go into a real estate purchase with your eyes closed. Read below for information and resources before you decide.
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John Collinge New Office

I would like to announce that I now work at Remax Dynamic Properties!!

Opportunities have presented themselves and after a lot of soul searching, I have made the decision to move to Remax from Jack White Realty. By doing this I will be able to take my Real Estate Business to the next level.  I will be working closely with long time Realtor Bob Baer who has over 40 years of experience selling all types of real estate in Alaska. The only noticeable difference for all of my existing clients will be the new Remax Dynamic Properties name. Like always I will try my absolute hardest to create Satisfied, Happy, Home Sellers and Buyers.  My strategy is to keep my clients for the long haul. My goal is that you will want to use my services over and over again for life!! This has been the best year I have ever had in the Real Estate Business and  I would like to sincerely thank everyone who worked with me for making this possible. Thank You for the fantastic year and I look forward to doing it again in 2016!!

Best Regards,

John Collinge

Remax Dynamic Properties

907-440-2785

john@propertyAk.com

www.propertyAk.com