So How is the (local) Real Estate Market?

We addressed this subject in May and this will just be an update to that subject. In our local markets, school districts seems to be the best way to reflect the local markets.  These figures reflect only residential sales (not commercial or land sales).

Reviewing the Milton School District market, that encompasses municipalities of East and West Chillisquaque, Turbot and White Deer Townships and Milton Borough.  The year-to-date numbers are:

2011 (YTD) – Milton School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 54     82 $5,482,523 $107,000 90.28
Active 51 $8,347,600 $121,900 182      

 

2012 (YTD) – Milton School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 72     102 $10,138,984 $123,950 92.66
Active 57 $11,567,757 $147,500 224      

In summary, the number of listings currently on the market is up slightly over last year at this time.  The Days on the Market has increased significantly over last year and the average list price has increased, indicating that the higher priced homes are staying on the market much longer.

 

 

 

Reviewing the market statistics for the Warrior Run School District, which encompasses the municipalities of Anthony, Limestone, Delaware, Lewis and Gregg Townships, as well as Watsontown and Turbotville boroughs.  The year-to-date numbers are as follows:

2011 (YTD) – Warrior Run School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 27     100 $3,361,200 $123,000 93.70
Active 18 $4,414,600 $172,400 179      

 

2012 (YTD) – Warrior Run School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 34     99 $5,714,236 $137,000 88.44
Active 23 $4,482,600 $172,500 243      

Summarizing the above data:  there is no significant change in the listing data for this market since last year.  On the sales side, there is an increase in sales of approximately 26% and the volume has increased.  Sellers have had to reduce their prices more this year over last year to get their homes sold, which is reflected in the List to Sales price percentage.

 

 

 

Reviewing the market statistics for the Lewisburg School District, which encompasses the municipalities of East Buffalo, Union and Kelly Townships as well as Lewisburg borough.  The year-to-date numbers are as follows:

2011 (YTD) – Lewisburg School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 89     153 $20,851,203 $180,000 89.35
Active 73 $17,959,925 $225,000 159      

 

2012 (YTD) – Lewisburg School District

  Total

Total List

Vol.

Median List

Price

DOM

Total Sold

Vol.

Median Sold

Price

Percent

(List to Sale Price)

Sold 96     139 $20,923,600 $191,250 89.98
Active 105 $29,566,873 $225,000 178      

Indications are that there is a significant increase in the number of total properties on the market over last  year (over 45%) and the dollar volume has increased significantly as well, but the median price range of those listings has not changed;  there are just more homes on the market.  Surprisingly, there is a slight increase in the number of homes that have sold and the Days on Market to sell those homes has actually decreased slightly.

Congress Puts Housing Market in Peril with Lower FHA Loan Limits

Here is a very timely topic by Gavin Mathis.  With real estate being “sluggish” in many areas through out the country, this is not the time for congress to waffle on such important legislation.  Many home buyers use this program and if the limits are lowered, this will also effect home prices and sellers.

Please read further:

By: Gavin Mathis

Published: September 21, 2011

Without Congressional action before the end of the month, FHA loan limits are set to fall to the same levels they were at before the housing meltdown, which could send another jolt through an already ailing housing market just when the recovery can least afford it.

Without Congressional action before the end of the month, FHA loan limits are set to fall to the same levels they were at before the housing meltdown, which could send another jolt through an already ailing housing market just when the recovery can least afford it.

For more than 75 years, the FHA has made home ownership a reality for millions of creditworthy Americans who don’t make the cut for a traditional bank loan. For example, FHA offers qualified home buyers financing with as little as a 3.5% down payment and a credit score as low as 580, allowing borrowers who take an FHA-backed mortgage to pay a premium of roughly 1% annually. Borrowers with nontraditional credit histories may also be eligible for maximum financing.

Since the collapse of the subprime mortgage bubble, the program has played a substantial role stabilizing the housing market. In an effort to boost liquidity in the market, Congress wisely raised the FHA loan-limit caps to $729,750.

Allowing the loan limits to now drop to $625,500 from $729,750 in certain areas will squeeze qualified home owners out of the market. Loan limits vary based on the median home price in an area, which is also going to drop from 125% of median to 115%. This reduction will affect people taking out much smaller loans as well. In fact, the new limits will affect 669 U.S. counties in 42 states.

Leading housing groups have already noticed the potential impact if Congress does nothing. Applications for mortgages between $625,500 and $729,750 fell 34% in August, says the Mortgage Bankers Association. In 2010 alone, lenders originated $30 billion in loans for properties in this bracket. This represents a sizeable chunk of the market that needs to remain intact. We’re more than three years into the housing slump and home sales remain weak, and yet Congress is putting the housing market in further peril.

During a Senate Banking Committee hearing, housing experts warned against reducing the limits until the market bounces back. Even Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, who originally supported allowing the limits to expire, told The Wall Street Journal this isn’t a good time for the government to stop helping home owners. “Given what’s happening in the housing market and the economy, I think that’s an error,” Zandi said.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group of representatives, led by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), has proposed a short-term extension of the limits. “Without the current limits, fewer mortgages would be eligible for the guarantees provided by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Housing Administration,” Ackerman wrote.

Urging the House Appropriations Committee to attach the measure to a stop-gap funding bill, the group hopes the provision passes before the end of the month. If the short-term extension is passed, Congress can see if the housing market improves. It would be preferable for Congress to extend the current limits for two years, but this short-term measure would bring some stability to the market.

If the extension isn’t passed, there’s no reason to believe that the private sector is going to step up and provide reasonably priced, long-term, fixed-rate mortgages. The nation has been waiting for banks to start making loans for more than two years now. Without a free market alternative prepared to step up, this is an incredibly risky time for the government to step out of the housing market.

What do you think about the FHA loan limits potentially lapsing while home sales are struggling?

Price of residential new construction just went up!

Prices for new residential construction in Pennsylvania will be rising by an estimated $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot, thanks to a new Pennsylvania mandate.

Pennsylvania will be the first state to make automatic fire sprinkler systems mandatory in all newly constructed one- and two-family houses beginning, Jan. 1, 2011.

Firefighters support the code change saying that the death rate of firefighters in sprinklered homes is 80 percent lower. And the American Insurance Association says property/casualty losses in sprinklered homes are about 45 percent to 70 percent lower compared to non-sprinklered homes.

Neither the National Association of Home Builders nor the Pennsylvania Association of REALTORS® supported mandatory sprinkler systems.

This may not be the best time to increase the cost of residential housing.

It seems to us that it would have been better to allow the consumer/new home owner to make the CHOICE, rather than mandate it.  What do you think?