Real Estate Market

January 2015

Existing Homes Sales Report

Following the high-water mark for 2014 home sales reached in October, sales of existing homes sales dipped in November as the housing supply displayed some contraction, according to data provided by the National Association of Realtors®. November's dip affected each major region of the nation. Total existing-home sales data -- which tracks completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops -- dropped 6.1 percent in November to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million compared to 5.25 million in October. While sales remained above year-over-year levels (up 2.1 percent from last November), transactions dropped to their lowest annual pace since May (4.91 million)

Existing Home Sales By Region

The chief economist at NAR, Lawrence Yun, suggested that sales activity was uneven throughout the country in November while housing inventory began its expected seasonal decline. Yun said, “Fewer people bought homes last month despite interest rates being at their lowest levels of the year." Yun added, “the stock market swings in October may have impacted some consumers’ psyches and therefore led to fewer November closings. Furthermore, rising home values are causing more investors to retreat from the market.”

Total housing inventory of existing homes available at the end of November dropped to 2.09 million (-6.7%) which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace; this is unchanged from last month. However, despite the contraction in supply, unsold inventory is still 2.0 percent above what it was a year ago, when there were 2.05 million existing homes available for sale.

The percentage of first-time buyer transactions in November rose to 31 percent, up from October (29 percent) and represents the highest share since October 2012 (also 31 percent). Through November of this year, on average, first-time buyers have been 29 percent of all buyers.

Are Bi-Weekly Payments Right for You?

Many people ask about bi-weekly payment plans designed to reduce the interest paid out over the course of your loan. These programs help the borrower budget an extra payment a year, and over time this can knock years off the repayment schedule.

Many people are surprised to learn that they can do this themselves without any special programs, simply by submitting an extra principal payment as they are able. By submitting an extra payment, you get the advantages of an early payout, without the extra contractual obligation. Want more information on other mortgage options?

Contact us today for our list of preferred local mortgage experts who can help you position yourself for a great year in 2015!

Winter Staging Tips

When selling your home in the winter, the art of staging the inside becomes more important. Here are five simple tips to make your home shine even when the outside landscaping has faded:

  • Keep your house warm. In the winter people tend to turn the thermostat down to save money, however a warmer house is more welcoming to a potential buyer.
  • Clear your walkways and driveways of any snow or ice. Make it easy for buyers to get to your home.
  • Clean the windows and blinds. Letting in the natural light can brighten up a room and cheer up the home. This also brings attention to the windows and blinds so make sure they are clean even during winter. Dirty windows will make the home appear neglected.
  • Background music played softly can completely change the atmosphere, which will make the home feel cozy and keep potential buyers around longer. Select classical music to appeal to anyone.
  • Leave the light on. Before showing a home, make sure it's well lit. A well lit home is more inviting. If you're not home, consider setting up timers.

Following these simple tips can give your house that added boost in today's competitive market. For information on selling in our local market, please contact us for a free market analysis of our recent neighborhood activity. We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have!

Contact Information

Photo of John Riggins Real Estate
John Riggins
John Riggins Real Estate
Seven Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd #400
Honolulu HI 96813
Fax: 888.369.3210