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New Home Sales Drop Drastically, Time to Reconsider Buying New – Right Now

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February 2010 new home sales data

New House Painted with LightWhile existing-home sales are up 7.0% from February 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau reports today that sales of new single-family homes dropped 2.2% from January 2010 and a drastic 13.0% from February 2009.

The median sales price of new homes in February was $220,500 with a 9.2 month supply.

In February, we reported that housing starts were up and permits were down, but with a 9.2 month supply and new home sales at a startling low, home builders may be in for a rough spring.

Will the tax credit save the industry next quarter or will we see more small builders closing up shop?

Regardless, our suspicion is that if the new home industry is struggling this much, that “we can’t help you” attitude of last year might have turned into a rolling out of the red carpet- maybe it’s time to grab your buyers and go shopping?!?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Benn Rosales

    March 24, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    This is fantastic news for investors, buyers, and Realtors all at the same time- Builders are desperate – it’s time to buy, right now.

  2. Greg Cooper

    March 24, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Mark it down….new home sales will get worse still. Why would you build when every consumer knows you can buy distressed resale at 60 cents on the dollar? Builders better have VERY deep pockets for the forseeable future if they’re going to survive. Actually the new home sales numbers don’t concern me nearly as much as the resale dip this week. Those going down in the midst of our ongoing stimulus are VERY uncomfortable in our so called ‘recovery.’

  3. Benn Rosales

    March 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Greg, buck up cowboy, the grass does get green around this time of year.

  4. Tonia Parker

    March 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    As a New Home Consultant since 1988 it is a great time to purchase a new home! Why buy a distressed foreclosure or short sale home when builders like Lennar are offering great incentives and a home that is “new” with all the warranties! In our Sacramento market, Lennar went “solar” almost two years ago and all of our Sacramento area Lennar homes come with a solar electric system–customer see monthly utility savings and help the environment all at the same time! Pricing is extremely competitve with what is being offered in the resale market. We have seen an increase in agents bringing their “frustrated” tired-of-waiting-on-the-lender short sale offer clients out to see our ready for move-in homes! We have made lots of agents and their clients happy with the home purchase and incentives.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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