Real Estate Market

January 2020

U.S. Real Estate Overview

Note: November 2019 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.

Existing-home sales fell in November, taking a small step back after October’s gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Northeast and Midwest both reported growth last month, while the South and West saw sales decline.

Total existing-home sales (transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 1.7% from October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in November. However, sales are up 2.7% from a year ago (5.21 million in November 2018).

National Association of Realtors November 2019 DataLawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, said the decline in sales for November is not a cause for worry. “Sales will be choppy when inventory levels are low, but the economy is otherwise performing very well with more than 2 million job gains in the past year.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in October was $271,300, up 5.4% from November 2018 ($257,400), as prices rose in all regions. November’s price increase marks 93 straight months of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of November totaled 1.64 million units, down approximately 7.3% from October and 5.7% from one year ago (1.74 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 3.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 months in October and from the 4.0-month figure recorded in November 2018. Unsold inventory totals have declined for five consecutive months, constraining home sales.

Properties typically remained on the market for 38 days in November, seasonally up from 36 days in October, but down from the 42 days in November 2018. Forty-five percent of homes sold in November 2019 were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32% of sales in November, essentially hovering at the 31% seen in October and 33% in November 2018.

Individual investors or second-home buyers, who account for many cash sales, purchased 16% of homes in November 2019, up from both 14% in October and from 13% in November 2018. All-cash sales accounted for 20% of transactions in November, about even with 19% in October and 21% in November 2018.

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.70% in November, up from 3.69% in October. The average commitment rate across all of 2018 was 4.54%.

 

Investing in Real Estate

Today's low interest rates and rising home prices have created some great investment opportunities!

Investing in real estate has unique advantages over other types of investments. Let's take a look at some of the reasons why real estate investment should be on the "short list" for many investors:

  • Interest in mortgage loans are tax-deductible. Investors can lower their tax liability while increasing their equity.
  • Renters pay down your mortgage loan. Investors reap the benefits of rental income, which offsets your mortgage cost and build equity.
  • Real Estate values increase over the long term. Real Estate is limited and will always be in demand. 
  • 1031 exchanges are available to defer taxable income when you are ready to sell.

Many investors are taking advantage of these great market conditions. Have questions? Give us a call. We are happy to help!

What's Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is a composite snapshot of your credit history. A high credit score takes time to cultivate, and is not likely to rise much in a short period of time. Generally speaking, you want to make sure you pay your bills on time, keep outstanding debt levels to a reasonable amount for each account, and avoid closing accounts you've successfully paid-off and managed. Don't lose hope if you have less than perfect credit, there are still good loan programs out there for responsible borrowers. We have a list of preferred local lenders who can help you find the best financing programs for your specific needs.

Contact us and take advantage of today's low interest rates!

Here are some great resources to learn more about credit scores, and to get a free credit score and report:

Contact Information

Photo of John Riggins REALTOR RB11175 Real Estate
John Riggins REALTOR RB11175
John Riggins Real Estate
1003 Bishop Street, suite 2700
Honolulu HI 96813
808.523.7653
808.341.0737
Fax: 888.369.3210