Inventory Woes Aren’t Slowing Down Home Sales – Based on a report from the National Association of REALTORS®, existing-home sales remained strong in October, increasing by 0.8% in October compared to September. However, compared to only a year ago, sales are down 5.8%.
“Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Inflationary pressures, such as fast-rising rents and increasing consumer prices, may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed, consistent mortgage payment.”
NAR’s report further indicated that home prices climbed in all four major regions of the U.S. The median, existing-home sales price rose 13.1% to $353,900, while eighty-two percent of homes sold in October were on the market for less than a month.
Will Higher Values Mean Higher Taxes? – According to a recent study from NerdWallet, housing experts warn that homeowners may want to brace themselves for a potentially shocking property tax bill as home values rise. Although we can expect the magnitude and timing to vary, property taxes are expected to rise by hundreds of dollars in many areas.
Property taxes do not always stay in sync with home price increases, however. “An increase in value does not necessarily mean that the next year’s property taxes will increase at a proportionate rate,” Lee Pierce, senior vice president of lending for Seattle Credit Union, told NerdWallet.
Source: “The Property Line: As Home Values Soar, Should You Brace for Your Tax Bill?” NerdWallet (Oct. 28, 2021) and “Homeowners, Prepare for a Shocking Property-Tax Bill,” NerdWallet/MarketWatch (Nov. 10, 2021)
Top 5 Remodeling Projects to Boost Resale Value – Based on recent interviews conducted by HomeLight.com, real estate agents suggest the following top remodeling projects to consider before selling your home.
- Painting – Stick with neutral colors throughout, like whites, beiges, or soft grays. Some of the most popular colors: Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray and Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.
- Keep flooring consistent – A more uniform flooring look—one or two types—can be more appealing to buyers.
- Brighten the kitchen – White-colored kitchens remain the most popular. “What the buyers are looking for today is white and clean—they just want clean,” Harrison told HomeLight. “It doesn’t have to be stark white. But they just want a clean palette.”
- Replace dated countertops and appliances – Dated appliances and countertops can quickly turn off buyers.
- Hire a professional cleaner for your bathroom – A professional cleaner can do the most thorough job.
Source: “What to Remodel Before Selling Your Home: 9 Light-Lift Projects,” HomeLight.com (Nov. 1, 2021)
Builders Hope to Woo with Improved Manufactured Housing – According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, an increasing number of home buyers are showing an interest in manufactured housing as means to deal with surging home prices.
The manufactured housing segment has long contended with a reputation of being poorly made or cheap. Companies say the latest designs are modern and often energy-efficient and are built to withstand even the most severe weather.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recently adopted innovative programs to make it easier for lenders to extend conventional mortgages on certain manufactured homes, including those that have features like porches or garages built on site.
Source: “Home Prices Are Surging. The Manufactured-Housing Industry Sees an Opening,” The Wall Street Journal (Nov. 21, 2021) [Log-in required.]