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Where Have All the Houses Gone?

Where Have All the Houses Gone Blog Header

In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and purchase a home, housing inventory dropped even further. Experts consider this to be the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market while buyers continue to compete for homes. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comexplains:

“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower. In January as a whole, the number of for sale homes dropped below 600,000.”

Every month, realtor.com releases new data showing the year-over-year change in inventory of existing homes for sale. As you can see in the map below, nationwide, inventory is 42.6% lower than it was at this time last year:Where Have All the Houses Gone? | MyKCM

Does this mean houses aren’t being put on the market for sale?

Not exactly. While there are fewer existing homes being listed right now, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as current inventory. The market is that competitive! It’s like when everyone was trying to find toilet paper to buy last spring and it was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked in the stores. That’s what’s happening in the housing market: homes are being listed for sale, but not at a rate that can keep up with heavy demand from competitive buyers.

In the same realtor.com report, Hale explains:

Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful. Today’s buyers have many tools to help them do that, including the ability to be notified as soon as homes meeting their search criteria hit the market. By tailoring search and notifications to the homes that are a solid match, buyers can act quickly and compete successfully in this faster-paced housing market.”

The Good News for Homeowners

The health crisis has been a major reason why potential sellers have held off this long, but as vaccines become more widely available, homeowners will start making their moves. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zondaconfirms:

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed.”

With more homeowners getting ready to sell later this year, putting your house on the market sooner rather than later is the best way to make sure your listing shines brighter than the rest.

When you’re ready to sell your house, you’ll likely want it to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle. If you’re looking for these selling conditions, you’ll find them in today’s market. When demand is high and inventory is low, sellers have the ability to create optimal terms and timelines for the sale, making now an exceptional time to move.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market is a big win for sellers, but these conditions won’t last forever. If you’re in a position to sell your house now, you may not want to wait for your neighbors to do the same. so you can benefit from today’s high demand and low inventory.

2021 Incentives

2021 Buy More Save More Incentive

Take advantage of a $500 discount for every $10,000 of in upgrades & options when you sign a contract on a pre-sale home in any of these Belmonte new home neighborhoods:

Save on options & upgrades like these:

Sonoma Grove Castleton Model Home - Winner of Best Floor Plan & Merchandised Model

Dress up your Great Room with hardwood floors & an elegant coffered ceiling.

Sun room addition - Belmonte Homes

Add more flexible living space to your home with a Screen Porch or Sun Room.

Weston Model Home - Open Entry Foyer - Spencer's Landing

Make a great  first impression with an eye-catching staircase in your Entry Foyer.

City Square-106A Division - Master Bath

Upgrade your Master Bath with a transom window, ceramic tile & frameless shower door.

4 Reasons People Are Buying Homes in 2021

Why people are buying homes in 2021

According to many experts, the real estate market is expected to continue growing in 2021, and it’s largely driven by the lasting impact the pandemic is having on our lifestyles. As many of us spend extra time at home, we’re reevaluating what “home” means and what we may need in one going forward.

Here are 4 reasons people are reconsidering where they live and why they’re expecting to buy a home this year.

1. Record-Low Mortgage Interest Rates

In 2020, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage hit a record low 16 times, continuing to fall further below 3%. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed interest rate today is 2.65%. Many wonder how low these rates will go and how long they’ll last. Len Keifer, Deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, advises:

“If you’ve found a home that fits your needs at a price you can afford, it might be better to act now rather than wait for future rate declines that may never come and a future that likely holds very tight inventory.”

This sense of urgency is driving many to buy this year.

2. Working from Home

Remote work is a new normal for many businesses, and it’s lasting longer than most expected. Many in the workforce today are discovering they don’t need to live close to the office anymore and they can get more for their money by moving a little further outside of the city limits. David Mele, President at Homes.com, says:

“The surge in the work-from-home population has rewritten the playbook for many home buying and rental decisions, from when and where to relocate, to what people are looking for in their next residence.”

The reality is, for some people, working remotely in their current home is challenging, especially when there may be other options available.

3. More Outdoor Space

Another new priority for homeowners is having more usable outdoor space. Being at home is driving those in some areas to seek less densely populated neighborhoods so they have more room to stretch their legs. In addition, those living in apartments and townhomes are often looking for extra square footage, both inside and out.

According to the State of Home Spending report by HomeAdvisor, of the households surveyed, almost half reported spending 27% more on outdoor living over the past year. This is a trend that’s expected to grow in 2021 and beyond.

4. Avoiding Renovations

It’s recently come to light that many homeowners would also rather buy a new home than go through the process of fixing up the one they have. According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 44% of home buyers purchased a new home to “avoid renovations or problems with the plumbing or electricity.”

Depending on what needs to be addressed, today’s high buyer demand may make it possible to skip some renovations before selling. Many of these homeowners have prioritized buying over renovating for convenience and potential cost savings.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that homeownership needs are changing. As a result, Americans are expected to move in record numbers this year.

With Home Values Surging, Is it Still Affordable to Buy Right Now?

With Home Values Surging, Is it Still Affordable to Buy Right Now?

Housing inventory is at an all-time low. Realtor.com just reported that there are 39% fewer homes for sale today than there were last year. At the same time, buyer demand remains strong. In a recent newsletter, research analyst Ivy Zelman explained:

“Although the headwind of severe supply constraints in most markets has contributed to slight moderation in seasonally-adjusted and year-over-year new pending contract growth for two consecutive months (albeit still growing strongly), the underlying strength of buyer demandparticularly for this time of year, remains apparent.”

Whenever there’s a shortage in the supply of an item that’s in high demand, the price of that item increases. That’s exactly what’s happening in the real estate market right now. As a result, home values are surging.

This is great news if you’re planning to sell your house. On the other hand, as either a first-time or repeat buyer, this may instead seem like troubling news. Purchasers, however, should realize that the price of a house is not as important as the monthly cost. Here’s how it breaks down.

There are several factors that influence the cost of a home. Two of the major ones are:

  1. The price of the home
  2. The mortgage rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase the home

How do these factors impact affordability?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) produces a Housing Affordability Index which takes these factors into account and determines an overall affordability score for housing. According to NAR, the index:

“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”

Their methodology states:

“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”

So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here’s a graph of the index going back to 1990:With Home Values Surging, Is it Still Affordable to Buy Right Now? | MyKCMThe blue bar represents today’s affordability. We can see that homes are more affordable now than they were from:

  • 1990 to 2008
  • 2017 to 2018

Buying a home today is just a little less affordable than it was last year, but still very affordable compared to historical housing market trends.

Note: During the housing crash from 2009 to 2015, distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) dominated the market. Those properties were sold at large discounts not seen before in the housing market.

Why are homes still affordable today?

The number one factor impacting today’s home buying affordability is record-low mortgage rates. There’s no doubt that prices are on the rise. However, mortgage rates have fallen dramatically. Last week, Freddie Mac announced that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.72%. Last year at this time, the average rate was 3.68%.

If you’re considering purchasing your first home or moving up to the one you’ve always hoped for, it’s important to understand how affordability plays into the overall cost of your home. With that in mind, buying while mortgage rates are as low as they are now may save you quite a bit of money over the life of your home loan.

Bottom Line

At this point, home purchase affordability is still in a historically good place. However, we need to watch price increases going forward. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American noted in a recent post:

“Faster nominal house price appreciation can erode, or even eliminate, the boost in affordability from lower mortgage rates, especially if household income growth doesn’t keep up.”

Help Us Make A Difference for Local Youth this Holiday Season!

Belmonte Adopt a Shelter Charity Drive 2020 logo

Belmonte Builders is Adopting a Shelter for local youth in Malta this holiday season through Captain Community Humanity Service. Show these local youth who are scared & alone that they are not forgotten this holiday season with a thoughtful donation. 

Drop Off location - Adopt A Shelter 2020Recommended items include:

CLOTHING

  • Sweatshirts
  • Sweatpants
  • Fleeces
  • Socks
  • Pajamas
  • Jackets
  • Gloves
  • Warm hats

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

  • Face masks
  • Puzzles
  • Headphones
  • Wii games
  • Good body wash
  • Hair products
  • Journals
  • Colored pencils
  • Nice coloring books

GIFT CARDS
(any $ amount is appreciated)

  • Walmart
  • Amazon
  • Panera Bread
  • Starbucks
  • McDonalds

Click here to download a PDF

2019 Inductees to the Belmonte Inner Circle of Realtors

Belmonte Inner Circle logo

CLIFTON PARK, NY – Belmonte Builders is proud to recognize great realtors in Saratoga County who worked closely with our team in 2019 to find their clients the perfect Belmonte home. We are also excited to announce and welcome this year’s inductees to the Inner Circle of Realtors, those who sold their first Belmonte home in 2019.

We appreciate every single one of you and recognize your invaluable contributions to our success. Thank you for being part of the Belmonte family.

Thank You to these Inner Circle Realtors for Connecting a Buyer with Belmonte Builders in 2019

 

NameCompanyHomes Sold
Ruth Ann AbrahamsonColdwell Banker1 home / inductee
Ferdinando BrunoRe/Max2 homes
Kathie CarswellKeller Williams1 home
Debra L. CartierColdwell Banker1 home / inductee
Eric DaurioCapital Realty Experts1 home / inductee
Dona Frank FedericoSotheby's1 home / inductee
Beth GrzybowskiHoward Hanna1 home
Brian HollisterHoward Hanna1 home / inductee
Laurie “L.B” MorseHoward Hanna1 home / inductee
Sheri PennartzBerkshire Hathaway1 home
Kathleen SchnitzerKeller Williams1 home / inductee
Sheila SperlingSotheby's1 home / inductee
Barb VanBurenBerkshire Hathaway Home Services1 home / inductee
Bonnie WeilerColdwell Banker1 home / inductee

 

For more information about Belmonte’s Inner Circle of Realtors and how you can partner with Belmonte to help your clients, please call (518) 371-1000.

Belmonte Builders featured in 2020 Showcase of Homes

Due to COVID-19, The Showcase of Homes looks a little different this year.  Produced as a 60- minute TV special featuring 12 of the region’s top home builders and remodelers. It’s now available online where you can now watch it whenever you want (and as many times as you want) to get inspired by all the beautiful homes, learn more about each builder and see the latest trends! Belmonte Builders is proud to be a part of this televised event and to show off our newest model home at 106A Division Street, Saratoga Springs.  Check out our segment including an interview with Peter and Lindsey Belmonte.

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