Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 24, 2022

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year

 



If you own a home, your net worth likely just got a big boost thanks to rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. And today, based on recent home price appreciation, you’re building that equity far faster than you may expect – here’s how it works.

Because there’s an ongoing imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase, home prices are on the rise. That means your home is worth more in today’s market because it’s in high demand. As Patrick Dodd, President and CEO of CoreLogicexplains:

“Price growth is the key ingredient for the creation of home equity wealth. . . . This has led to the largest one-year gain in average home equity wealth for owners. . . .”

Basically, because your home value has likely climbed so much, your equity has increased too. According to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogicthe average homeowner’s equity has grown by $64,000 over the last 12 months.

While that’s the nationwide number, if you want to know what’s happening in your area, look at the map below. It breaks down the average year-over-year equity growth for each state using the data from CoreLogic.

The Average Homeowner Gained $64K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

The Opportunity Your Rising Home Equity Provides

In addition to building your overall net worth, equity can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale. In a market where homeowners are gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

So, if you’ve been holding off on selling or you’re worried about being priced out of your next home because of today’s ongoing home price appreciation, rest assured your equity can help fuel your move.

Bottom Line

If you’re planning to make a move, the equity you’ve gained can make a big impact. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, let’s connect so you can get a professional equity assessment report on your house.

Posted in Homeowners
June 24, 2022

Home Price Deceleration Doesn’t Mean Home Price Depreciation



Experts in the real estate industry use a number of terms when they talk about what's happening with home prices. And some of those words sound a bit similar but mean very different things. To help clarify what's happening with home prices and where experts say they're going, here’s a look at a few terms you may hear:

  • Appreciation is when home prices increase.
  • Depreciation is when home prices decrease.
  • Deceleration is when home prices continue to appreciate, but at a slower pace.

Where Home Prices Have Been in Recent Years

For starters, you’ve probably heard home prices have skyrocketed over the past two years, but homes were actually appreciating long before that. You might be surprised to learn that home prices have climbed for 122 consecutive months (see graph below):

Home Price Deceleration Doesn’t Mean Home Price Depreciation | MyKCM

As the graph shows, houses have gained value consistently over the past 10 consecutive years. But since 2020, the increase has been more dramatic as home price growth accelerated.

So why did home prices climb so much? It’s because there were more buyers than there were homes for sale. That imbalance put upward pressure on home prices because demand was high and supply was low.

Where Experts Say Home Prices Are Going

While this is helpful context, if you’re a buyer or seller in today’s market, you probably want to know what’s going to happen with home prices moving forward. Will they continue that same growth path or will home prices fall?

Experts are forecasting ongoing appreciation, just at a decelerated pace. In other words, prices will keep climbing, just not as fast as they have been. The graph below shows home price forecasts from seven industry leaders. None are calling for prices to fall (see graph below):

Home Price Deceleration Doesn’t Mean Home Price Depreciation | MyKCM

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, identifies a key reason why home prices won’t depreciate or drop:

In today’s housing market, demand for homes continues to outpace supply, which is keeping the pressure on house prices, so don’t expect house prices to decline.”

And although housing supply is starting to tick up, it’s not enough to make home prices decline because there’s still a gap between the number of homes available for sale and the volume of buyers looking to make a purchase.

Terry Loebs, Founder of the research firm Pulsenomics, notes that most real estate experts and economists anticipate home prices will continue rising. As he puts it:

“With home values at record-high levels and a vast majority of experts projecting additional price increases this year and beyond, home prices and expectations remain buoyant.”

Bottom Line

Experts forecast price deceleration, not depreciation. That means home prices will continue to rise, just at a slower pace. Let’s connect so you can get the full picture of what’s happening with home prices in our local market and to discuss your buying and selling goals.

Posted in Homeowners
June 20, 2022

May 2022 Brevard County Market Snapshot

 

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for May 2022:
  • Closed Sales are up 1.4% for May 2022 in which the number of units closed was 1,054 compared to 1,039 in May 2021, with an increase in cash sales of 11.5%.
  • New Pending Sales are up 7.4% and New Listings are up 23.5%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 29.3% to $375,000 compared to a year ago, which was $290,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 37.5% to 1.1 months, from 0.8 months in May 2021.
  • Traditional Sales are up 1.6% with a median sales price of $375,510.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -50.0% with 3 closed sales and a median sales price of $141,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are N/A with 1 closed sale and a median sales price of $248,500.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for May 2022:
  • Closed Sales are down -7.2% for May 2022 in which the number of units closed was 271 compared to 292 in May 2021, with an increase in cash sales of 0.7%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -21.3% and New Listings are up 7.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 29.2% to $300,000 compared to a year ago, which was $232,250.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is up 10.0% to 1.1 months in May 2022 from 1.0 months in May 2021.
  • Traditional Sales are down -6.9% with a median sales price of $300,000.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are down -100.0% with a median sales price (no sales) and 0 closed sales.
  • Short Sale Closings are N/A with 0 closed sales in May 2022 and 0 closed sales in May 2021.

 

Posted in Market Updates
June 10, 2022

Brevard County Housing Statistics for 2022 Q1

A quick recap of the Brevard County Residential Report for 2022 Q1:
  • Closed Sales are down -1.8% for 2022 Q1 in which the number of units closed was 2,741 compared to 2,792 in 2021 Q1, with an increase in cash sales of 20.4%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -4.7% and New Listings are up 1.3%.
  • The Median Sales Price for Brevard Single Family homes is up 22.8% to $339,000 compared to a year ago, which was $276,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is down -22.2% to 0.7 months, from 0.9 months in 2021 Q1.
  • Traditional Sales are down -1.8% with a median sales price of $339,900.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are 0.0% with 15 closed sales and a median sales price of $233,000.
  • Short Sale Closings are down -33.3% with 4 closed sales and a median sales price of $340,000.
A quick recap of the Brevard County Townhouses/Condos for 2022 Q1:
  • Closed Sales are down -12.7% for 2022 Q1 in which the number of units closed was 771 compared to 883 in 2021 Q1, with a decrease in cash sales of -10.2%.
  • New Pending Sales are down -19.9% and New Listings are down -12.5%.
  • Median Sales Price for Townhomes/Condos is up 23.6% to $272,000 compared to a year ago, which was $220,000.
  • Months' Supply of Inventory is down -28.6% to 1.0 months in 2022 Q1 from 1.4 months in 2021 Q1.
  • Traditional Sales are down -12.8% with a median sales price of $272,500.
  • Foreclosure/REO Sales are 0.0% with a median sales price of $111,125 and 1 closed sale.
  • Short Sale Closings are N/A with 1 closed sale in 2022 Q1 and 0 closed sales in 2021 Q1.
Posted in Market Updates
June 9, 2022

Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past



In today’s housing market, many are beginning to wonder if we’re returning to the riskier lending habits and borrowing options that led to the housing crash 15 years ago. Let’s ease those concerns.

Several times a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases an index titled the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:

“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is . . . a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available mortgage credit becomes. Here’s a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:

Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past | MyKCMAs the graph shows, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure. Thankfully, lending standards have eased somewhat since then, but the index is still low. In April, the index was at 121, which is about one-seventh of what it was in 2006.

Why Did the Index Get out of Control During the Housing Bubble?

The main reason was the availability of loans with extremely weak lending standards. To keep up with demand in 2006, many mortgage lenders offered loans that put little emphasis on the eligibility of the borrower. Lenders were approving loans without always going through a verification process to confirm if the borrower would likely be able to repay the loan.

An example of the relaxed lending standards leading up to the housing crash is the FICO® credit score associated with a loan. What’s a FICO® score? The website myFICO explains:

“A credit score tells lenders about your creditworthiness (how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history). It is calculated using the information in your credit reports. FICO® Scores are the standard for credit scores—used by 90% of top lenders.”

During the housing boom, many mortgages were written for borrowers with a FICO score under 620. While there are still some loan programs that allow for a 620 score, today’s lending standards are much tighter. Lending institutions overall are much more attentive about measuring risk when approving loans. According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reservethe median credit score on all mortgage loans originated in the first quarter of 2022 was 776.

The graph below shows the billions of dollars in mortgage money given annually to borrowers with a credit score under 620.

Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past | MyKCMIn 2006, buyers with a score under 620 received $376 billion dollars in loans. In 2021, that number was only $80 billion, and it’s only $20 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Bottom Line

In 2006, lending standards were much more relaxed with little evaluation done to measure a borrower’s potential to repay their loan. Today, standards are tighter, and the risk is reduced for both lenders and borrowers. These are two very different housing markets, and today is nothing like the last time.

Posted in Buyers
June 9, 2022

Luxury Homes Are in High Demand

Luxury Homes Are in High Demand



As people realize their needs are changing, some are turning to luxury housing to find their dream home. Investopedia helps define what pushes a home into this category. In a recent article, they point out that a luxury home isn’t only defined by its price. Location is also an important factor. It could be a condo at a desirable city address, a spacious home on the water, or one with access to luxury activities like arts and entertainment, high-end shopping and dining, and more. The home itself will also boast some of the finest features available.

According to the Luxury Market Report from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketingthere’s been a substantial increase in how many buyers are purchasing luxury homes over the past two years. It says:

“. . . North America recorded the fastest growth of demand during the first year of the pandemic. Also, demand has . . . consistently increased, and even in April 2022, we saw a higher volume of sales compared to 2021.

If you own a luxury home, it could be a great time to list your house today while demand is so high. But first, let’s understand where the demand is coming from.

What’s Driving the Heightened Buyer Demand for High-End Homes?

The same report says more people have reached a certain net-worth threshold, and that’s contributing to the increased interest in luxury housing:

“In 2020, we saw a 2.2% growth in the number of individuals with wealth of over $5 million in net value, but in 2021 that number grew by an outstanding 19.8%.

This total increase has resulted in the introduction of over 660,000 new individuals into the high net-worth bracket, which, combined with the existing affluent looking to both diversify and add new properties to their portfolio, provides a true insight into why the demand for luxury properties skyrocketed during 2021 and into 2022.”

So, if you’re looking to make changes to your real estate portfolio or are looking to sell your current house, it may be a great time to list and benefit from the high demand for luxury homes today.

Bottom Line

If you own a luxury home and want to know how strong demand is in your area, let's connect so you can capitalize on current market conditions while buyer demand for upscale homes is so high.

Posted in Buyers, Homeowners, Sellers
June 7, 2022

8 Weekend Home Improvement Projects

8 Home Improvement Projects You Can Tackle in a Weekend

 

Summer is the perfect time to tackle a few of those projects you’ve been putting off for months! From tidying up your exterior to cleaning those neglected spaces, here are eight tasks you can tackle in just a few days this season.

Pressure Wash Your Home — After months of snow, rain, and other weather phenomena, your home is bound to need a little TLC. Give it a good scrub down by power washing the siding, driveway, and deck. You can hire professionals to take care of it for you, or you can easily rent a power washer from your local hardware store.  

Re-stain Your Deck — Get your backyard ready for those summer barbecues by adding a new coat of stain to your deck. The stain will help you protect the exterior wood from the elements and hide any evidence of past grime.  

Build a Shed — If your garage is overflowing with toys and outdoor equipment, it may be time for a new storage solution. You can find plenty of free storage shed building plans online or head to your local hardwood store for a pre-built option.  

Clean Your Gutters — While the summer is full of beautiful, sunny days, it can also be wrought with intense rainstorms. Use the warm, clear weekends to ensure your gutters are clear and in prime condition to help avoid any future water damage.  

Spruce Up Your Landscaping — Of all the summer home improvement projects you can DIY, landscaping is the most popular. There are so many things you can do to improve your home’s curb appeal from adding a new garden or flower bed to adding a few new hardy shrubs here and there. Visit Pinterest for some inspiration or take a drive around your neighborhood to see how your neighbors have taken advantage of the local foliage.  

Replace Your Air Filters — Making sure to clean or replace your air filters is imperative during the summer months. Dirty filters can cause allergies by circulating dust, mold, and other allergens around your home. They can also inhibit your A/C units from functioning properly, causing your electricity bill to potentially rise.  

Paint Your Front Door & Shutters — Putting a fresh coat of paint on your front door and shutters can help make your home instantly warmer and more inviting!  

Upgrade Your Ceiling Fans — The summer is a great time to ditch your old ceiling fans and invest in new, high-quality fixtures. Not only can this help make your home more energy efficient, but it can also improve the overall air circulation within the house. 

Posted in Homeowners
June 3, 2022

Hurricane Hacks, Tips & Resources

With Hurricane Season upon us it is always good to have your plan of action and checklist in place! Those of us who endured the 2004 Season of Hurricane's along the Space Coast, we remember all too well that Hurricane Season is not all about Hurricane Parties and being prepared is key. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

Know your Evacuation Route

If you need to leave, have your plan ready to go. How many people? Animals? Food for the road, games to occupy the kiddies and plenty of gas because you will not be alone in your travels. Many travelers head away for the storm so make sure to be patient and drive safe. Here is the Evacuation Route for Brevard County.

Emergency Supplies

  • Don't wait for the last minute to get these supplies! Most of these items you can get and store well in advance!
  • We recommend having a tote that you can store with Hurricane Supplies such as flashlight, batteries, first aid supplies, medications and copies of your critical paperwork.
  • Adding ziploc baggies, canned food, etc so it is ready in case a storm comes near. You will already have important supplies ready to go.

Around the home, getting prepared

  • Remove anything around your yard that can become a flying projectile. This includes those lawn chairs, garbage cans, recycling bins, etc. Bring those inside the garage.
  • If you are staying home
  • Be prepared to lose your power. Having an emergency radio and flashlight along with games to keep you occupied through the storm and possibly a couple days afterwards is always good to have.
  • Make sure you have an emergency communication plan set up for your family.
  • Don't forget to charge up those cell phones and those extra battery packs and have 3 days food & water supply for family and pet members. (Don't forget to have your manual can opener ready).
  • Be sure to know where your nearest Shelter is in Brevard County in case the Storm becomes too much.
  • Use your ziploc baggies and tupperware and fill them with water and put them in your freezer. This will give you additional water if needed as well as help keep those refrigerated items colder for a little longer.
  • Turn your fridge and freezer to the coldest setting once you know a storm is coming and keep the doors closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Fill up your cars gas tank along with additional gas if you can. This will help avoid those long lines just before or after the storms as well as help with your generator if you have one.
  • Get extra cash... when the power goes out so does the ability to get cash from ATM's or pay for anything via credit card.

 

Do you have additional hacks?  We would love to hear them and add them to our list!

June 3, 2022

18 Ways to Beat the Heat This Summer

There are so many reasons we love summer, but the high temperatures are not always one of them! When the sun is high, it may be tempting to stay inside and bask in your shaded, air-conditioned haven—but there are plenty of activities to do to make the most of your summer.

  1. Grab some ice cream
  2. Check out a local arcade
  3. Go ice skating
  4. Take a dip in a pool or lake
  5. Head to a spray ground
  6. Explore a local museum or art gallery
  7. Host an at-home spa day
  8. Visit your local library
  9. Catch a movie
  10. Break out the board games
  11. Host a water balloon fight
  12. Make some fancy cocktails or mocktails
  13. Setup an indoor picnic
  14. Float the river
  15. Head to a nearby water park 
  16. Take an art class
  17. Go bowling or mini golfing
  18. Host an outdoor movie night  
May 24, 2022

How Homeownership Can Bring You Joy



If you're trying to decide whether to rent or buy a home, you're probably weighing a few different factors. The financial benefits of homeownership might be one of the reasons you want to make a purchase if you’re a renter, but the decision can also be motivated by having a place that’s uniquely your own.

If you want to express yourself by upgrading and customizing your living space but are feeling held back by your rental agreement, it might be time to consider the perks of owning your home.

A Little Change Can Bring Lots of Joy

There’s a significant level of pride that comes from owning a home. That’s because it’s a space that truly belongs to you.

recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows making updates or remodeling your home can help you feel more at ease and comfortable in your living space. NAR measures this with a Joy Score that indicates how much happiness specific home upgrades bring. According to NAR:

There were numerous interior projects that received a perfect Joy Score of 10: paint entire interior of home, paint one room of home, add a new home office, hardwood flooring refinish, new wood flooring, closet renovation, insulation upgrade, and attic conversion to living area.

The report also breaks down just how much each of these projects can enhance your emotional attachment to your home, even leading you to want to spend even more time in the space (see graph below):

How Homeownership Can Bring You Joy | MyKCM

And while many of the items NAR highlights are larger tasks, some, like painting rooms, are much smaller. Even those quicker projects can still bring you a greater sense of joy and accomplishment. Not to mention when you make upgrades in your home, you could be increasing its value which also gives your net worth a boost if you invest your time and effort wisely.

You’re Free To Update Your Home to Your Heart’s Content

These types of updates can result in additional happiness when you complete them, but there’s another reason you can feel good as a homeowner. In most situations, you’re free to renovate or update the interior of your home without needing additional permission. But as Business Insider points out, renters may not have the same freedom:

“Your landlord won't always approve changes when you rent. But you have the power to update the home when you're the owner. (Just make sure any big changes are approved by your homeowner's association, if necessary.)”

If you do make changes as a renter, there’s a good chance you’ll need to revert them back at the end of your lease based on your rental agreement. That can add additional costs when you move out. That’s one major benefit of owning your own home. Unless there are specific homeowner’s association requirements, you typically won’t have to worry about the changes you can and can’t make.

Bottom Line

Deciding whether to rent or buy is a personal decision. The financial benefits are critical, but don’t overlook the emotional impact homeownership can have. Let’s connect to discuss all the benefits you can enjoy when you purchase your own home.

Posted in Buyers, Homeowners