Foreclosures still high
Despite the robo-signing debacle slowing down foreclosures as the processing and servicing is rapidly changing, foreclosures remain high and homes in default or scheduled for auction rose 6.5 percent in the second quarter from the first, according to RealtyTrac. In July 2011, one in every 611 homes received a foreclosure filing and the average sales price on distressed homes was $164,217, down slightly from the first quarter but down five percent from a year ago. Distressed home sales are now roughly 32 percent below the average sales price of homes not in foreclosure.
“In the face of an overall market where we’re seeing home sales declining, the fact that we’re seeing an increased number of distressed properties being sold suggests the market is correcting the way it needs to,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
As housing continues to struggle along with the overall American economy, inventory remains a massive struggle, and overall sales dropped 11.1 percent in the Q2 2011 from Q2 2010. Analysts note the homebuyer tax credit expiration was pending in the second quarter of last year which stimulated home purchases.
The good news
Sharga said that sales of homes in the pre-foreclosure stage rose 19 percent from the first quarter and is “the first good news we’ve seen in this part of the housing market in quite some time. It allows the borrower to exit without a foreclosure, it gets a homebuyer into a property at a discount that’s probably in better condition than a bank-owned property and it allows the bank to lose less money ultimately on the transaction.”
Pre-foreclosure home sales are down 12.4 percent from the previous year, likely due to the homebuyer tax credit expiration promoting home sales of all types. Sales of pre-foreclosure homes accounted for 12.1 percent of all residential sales in the second quarter.
Distressed home sales
Sales of bank-owned homes were stagnant in the second quarter compared to the first, but saw a dip of 10.2 percent from twelve months ago. Bank-owned homes accounted for 19.2 percent of all residential sales in the second quarter.
Overall, distressed sales accounted for one in three residential sales in the second quarter, down 4.2 percent from the first quarter, yet up 24.4 percent from Q2 2010.
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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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
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