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Home Sales Off to a Bumpy Start in 2015

Photo courtesy of http://www.funnyautos.com/funny-mobile-home.html

Photo courtesy of http://www.funnyautos.com/funny-mobile-home.html

Existing-home sales dropped in January to the lowest rate in nine months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report. All regions across the country saw declines in sales in January, with the Northeast and West posting the largest losses.

Still, the pace of sales was higher than a year ago – at a 4.82 million seasonally adjusted annual rate remains up 3.2 percent compared to a year ago.

“January housing data can be volatile because of seasonal influences, but low housing supply and the ongoing rise in home prices above the pace of inflation appeared to slow sales, despite interest rates remaining near historic lows,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “REALTORS® are reporting that low rates are attracting potential buyers, but the lack of new and affordable listings is leading some to delay decisions.”

5 Stats to Gauge the Market

Here’s a closer look at where the housing market stands, based on NAR’s existing-home sales report for January.

1. Inventory: Total housing inventory at the end of January rose 0.5 percent to 1.87 million existing homes available but sale. Unsold inventory is at a 4.7-month supply at the current sales pace.

2. Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $199,600 – 6.2 percent above year ago levels. “Although sales cooled in January, home prices continued solid year-over-year growth,” Yun notes. “The labor market and economy are markedly improved compared to a year ago, which supports stronger buyer demand. The big test for housing will be the impact on affordability once rates rise.”

3. Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales comprised 11 percent of sales in January, down 15 percent from a year ago. Broken out, 8 percent of sales in January were from foreclosures and 3 percent were short sales. The average discount that a foreclosure sold at was 15 percent below market value, while short sales were discounted, on average, 12 percent.

4. Days on the market: Properties tended to stay on the market slightly longer in January – 69 days compared to 66 days in December. Short sales remained on the market the longest at a median of 128 days, while foreclosures tended to sell in 63 days. Overall, 30 percent of homes sold in January were on the market for less than a month.

5. Cash sales: All-cash sales made up 27 percent of transactions in January, down from 33 percent a year ago. Individual investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in January, below the 20 percent in January 2014.

Regional Breakdown

Here’s a closer look at existing-home sales in January across the country:

  • Northeast: existing-home sales dropped 6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000. Sales are 3.3 percent above a year ago. Median price: $247,800, up 2.7 percent from a year ago
  • Midwest: existing-home sales fell 2.7 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in January. Sales are still 0.9 percent above January 2014 levels. Median price: $151,300, up 8.2 percent from a year ago
  • South: existing-home sales dropped 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.07 million in January, but are still 5.6 percent above year ago levels. Median price: $171,900, up 7.4 percent from a year ago
  • West: existing-home sales fell 7.1 percent to an annual rate of 1.04 million in January, but are still 1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $291,800, up 7.2 percent from a year ago

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
EMail John O'Dell
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Nevada County Fair – August 6 – 10, 2015

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Photo courtesy of Nevada County Fair

Five days of fun in Grass Valley

It’s Fair season, and the Nevada County Fair, happening August 6 – 10, has five days of “Simply Fun” planned for Fair-goers of all ages. Held under the shade of the tall pine trees in Grass Valley, the Nevada County Fair is the perfect opportunity to listen to musical entertainment, eat delicious food, enjoy carnival rides and games, visit barns full of animals, and see thousands of community exhibits – all in a community-friendly environment.

While visiting the Fair, zip line across The Green, check out the sky diver flying into the arena during the rodeo, try your hand at gold panning, walk in a water balloon, see baby chicks hatch in the embryology display, watch the Fair’s Family Feud competition, or listen to Mogollon’s music as they celebrate 20 years of performing at the Nevada County Fair. Or, how about visiting Circus Imagination, where children become instant stars by being selected from the audience, put in costume, and then performing in a spontaneous circus for the crowd.

Long-time crowd pleasing events will soar into the Fair’s arena Wednesday through Sunday evening. There’s the Flying U Extreme Rodeo happening on Wednesday and Thursday evening; while Friday and Saturday night features Tuff Trucks and Monster Trucks. On Sunday, the ever-popular Destruction Derby returns to the arena. All arena events begin at 7 pm.

Enjoy ongoing, musical entertainment at one of the outdoor stages. This year features a variety of music – pop rock, country rock, traditional country, Chicago-style blues, jazz, traditional and contemporary bluegrass, rockabilly dance, and rock and roll. Barbershop quartets, hula dancing and dancers, and Nevada County’s Concert Band will also be featured on the various stages.

For more fun, enter one of the special contests held daily in the Special Events tent. There’s a Cell Phone Photo Scavenger Hunt, an Instagram contest, Field Games, Kids Duct Tape Art Challenge, a Yo-Yo Contest, a Scrapbook Page Layout Contest, “Minute to Win It” fun, a Diaper Derby, a Just Dance Contest, and nightly karaoke. No pre-registration required – just show up and have fun. Details for contests are available on the Fair’s website.

A visit to the Fair wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Treat Street. It is here that you’ll find an array of delicious foods and drinks – pasties, tacos, corn on the cob, beer, tempura zucchini, baked potatoes, nachos, hamburgers, corn dogs, caramel corn, and more – all while supporting local, non-profit organizations.

For best deals, purchase your tickets before the Fair begins. Tickets are on sale now and advanced sale discounts are available through August 5 at 5 pm. To purchase tickets, visit NevadaCountyFair.com, stop by the Fair Office, or call the Fair Office.

Join us at this year’s Nevada County Fair, August 6 – 10, and find out why we’ve been voted as the “Best Community Event” for 12 years in a row. The Nevada County Fairgrounds is located at 11228 McCourtney Road in Grass Valley. For a list of daily activities, event details, tickets, or general information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call (530) 273-6217.

Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
for a your free home market anaylsis

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

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Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation to Host Cioppino Feed

nevada-county-fairgrounds-l

 

Join the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation at its fourth annual All-You-Can-Eat Cioppino Feed on Saturday, March 7 at Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Doors open at 5 pm, and dinner service begins at 6 pm.

For the event, the chefs will create and serve Arnie Romanello’s special 100-year-old recipe for all to enjoy. Dinner includes antipasto, all-you-can-eat Cioppino, salad and garlic bread.  This year, a pasta dish will be available to those who do not prefer Cioppino, but want to attend the event. A no-host bar will also be available, and there will be a silent dessert auction and a live auction.

Tickets are $40 per person. If you’d like to purchase a table for 8, it is $350 and includes two bottles of wine.

Tickets are available by visiting the Nevada County Fairgrounds, calling the Fair Office at (530) 273-6217, or downloading an order form at www.NevadaCountyFair.com/foundation.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Nevada County Fairgrounds Foundation and its mission of supporting and improving the community’s Fairgrounds.

For more information, visit www.NevadaCountyFair.com or call the (530) 273-6217.

Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
for a your free home market anaylsis

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

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The Best Seasons to Sell a Home

Photo courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Photo courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

 

 

Spring is traditionally considered the best season to list a home, but it doesn’t inch out the other seasons by much, according to a new analysis by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

Check out our last report from Redfin’s seasonality study

Redfin’s research team analyzed 7 million homes listed from 2010 through 2014 to gauge how important the season is in listing a home. It examined how many of the homes went under contract within 30 days and how often they sold for more than their list price.

Here’s how the seasons stacked up:

  • 39% of the homes listed in the spring (between March 21 and June 20) in the past five years went under contract within 30 days, and 15 percent sold for more than the list price.
  • 38% of homes listed in the winter (Dec. 21 – March 20) sold within 30 days and 14 percent sold for more than the list price.
  • 36% of homes listed in the summer (June 21 – Sept. 20) were under contract within 30 days and 12 percent sold above the list price.
  • 34% of homes listed in the fall (Sept. 21 – Dec. 20) went under contract within 30 days and 11 percent sold at a premium.

“Just as buyer demand follows a seasonal pattern, so do home prices,” says Nela Richardson, Redfin’s chief economist. “Over the past five years prices have increased by an average of 3 percent month over month in the spring and ticked down by about 1 percent each month during the fall. To get the best of both worlds, sellers need be informed on both local buyer demand and recent sale prices in their neighborhoods before deciding when to list their homes and for what price.”
Live in Nevada County? Call or email today
for a your free home market anaylsis

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
Email John

BRE#00669941

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87% of Homes Qualify for Down Payment Aid

Photo courtesy of http://funny-pics-fun.com/funny-compilations/home-sweet-home

More prospective home buyers would likely qualify for down payment assistance than they think. Indeed, more than 68 million single-family and condo households – or about 87 percent — would qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located, according to a new study by Down Payment Resource and RealtyTrac in an analysis that included a look at nearly 2,300 down payment programs nationwide.

“Many homebuyers, especially Millennials, haven’t fully investigated their home financing options because they are pessimistic about qualifying for a mortgage,” says Rob Chrane, president and CEO of Down Payment Resource. “Our Homeownership Program Index highlights the wide range and availability of down payment programs available to today’s homebuyers. In fact, 91 percent of the 2,290 programs in our registry have funds available to lend to eligible buyers. Plus, income limits vary depending on the market and programs extend beyond just first-time homebuyers. It’s important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.”

Read the rest of the story here

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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Oil Prices Dropping, Good News or Bad News For Home Buyers

Photo courtesy of http://worldsamazinginformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/worlds-top-10-biggest-oil-producer.html

Photo courtesy of http://worldsamazinginformation.blogspot.com/2011/06/worlds-top-10-biggest-oil-producer.html

 

The drastic drop in oil prices could put downward pressure on mortgage rates.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the price of regular gasoline was $2.20 per gallon, its lowest point since a peak of $4 per gallon in May 2011. EIA estimates that the savings could amount to $550 per household in 2015.

It might not all be good news:Lower Oil Prices Could Stall Home Appreciation

“Lower oil prices mean a lower inflation rate, which pushes down mortgage rates,” economists note at the National Association of REALTORS®‘ Economists’ Outlook blog. Indeed, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.73 percent last week — the lowest average in 20 months — according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey. Taking into account the median home price of $205,300, a 0.75 percentage point drop in mortgage rates could yield a savings of about $1,000 annually, according to NAR researchers.

“What this means for REALTORS®: The decline in oil prices is generally positive to households by way of the gas savings and lower mortgage payments,” economists note. “That savings will boost consumer spending in other areas. But there may be some layoffs in oil-producing states.”

The lower oil prices may prompt revenues to flatten out in some oil-boom areas, notably North Dakota and Texas.

Still, the overall impact to national employment likely will be minimal, since most of the employment growth is coming from many economic sectors. Those employed in oil and gas extraction represent just 0.14 percent of the U.S.’s 138 million workers, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Most state economies are diversified enough, too. Even in Texas, which is the biggest state for oil production and accounts for about half of U.S. oil and gas extraction workers, the oil industry covers less than 1 percent of its workers.

That said, some smaller counties may feel the impact more, since they do have higher employment in the oil sector. Those counties include Washington County, Okla.; Upton County, Texas; Woods County, Okla.; Crockett County, Texas; Hutchinson County, Texas; Yoakum County, Texas; and Gilmer County, W. Va.

Source: “Recent Oil Trends and What They Mean for the Housing Recovery,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook Blog (Jan. 12, 2015)

 

 

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091

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Five Things to Watch in Housing In 2015

With lingering concerns about the recovery of the housing market, there are several key factors to watch in 2015, including affordability. It remains to be seen whether sales will pick up in 2015 if there’s more available for sale, and if those sellers realize prices aren’t rising the way they were one or two years ago. Slight loosening in access to credit may make the process of obtaining a mortgage less burdensome, but without an increase in incomes, there may not be sufficient buyers. Interest rates, inventory, and new construction are also important to monitor.
Read the full story
Source: Wall St. Journal

 

Live in Nevada County?
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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
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Housing Inventory May Be Low in 2015

Photo courtesy of http://funpho.com/funny-house/

Despite recent increases, new-home inventories remain near all-time lows and are unlikely to return to their highs any time soon, according to a new analysis by John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

The rise in single-family inventory levels over the last few months bring them back only to 2012 levels. What’s more, the supply of condos continues to be at record lows, with fewer new high-rise developments and condo conversions occurring now than in the mid-2000s, John Burns Consulting says.

From 1984 to 2014, there was an average of 9,900 units on the market. The current inventory is 72 percent below the average of the last 30 years and 79 percent below the average since 1971, Pete Reeb, senior vice president at John Burns Consulting, notes in a recent article for the firm.

Why are new-home inventory levels so low, and why will supply not likely reach the previous highs? John Burns offers the following reasons:

  • Decrease in available lots. Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego, for example, have less land for large-scale new-home developments than five years ago. Fewer master-planned communities will lead to less supply.
  • Fewer overall projects. With fewer projects, there are fewer units coming on to the market. Actively selling community counts are far lower today than 10 or 20 years ago, Reeb notes.
  • Lower unit counts. The average total number of units in a project has significantly decreased in the last three decades. For example, in San Diego County, project sizes have dropped from a median size of around 125 units per project in the 1980s to 59 units today. “With fewer units per project, there are less total units to bring to market,” Reeb says.
  • Tight construction financing. Lenders now often require builders to have 50 percent to 100 percent of units under contract before releasing funds for the next phase. That has greatly reduced the potential for overbuilding, Reeb says.

Source: “How Much Is Too Much,” John Burns Real Estate Consulting/Building Market Intelligence (Jan. 5, 2015)

Live in Nevada County?
Call or email for a Free Market Analysis of Your Home

John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
O’Dell Realty
(530) 263-1091
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New Year 2015 fireworks from around the world

After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.

Across the globe, revelers looking for a respite from the gloom will converge on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and the potentially snowy streets of Las Vegas (yes, really) to welcome 2015.

So here is an highlights video of the best fireworks displays – from cities all over the world – welcoming in the new year, 2015.

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John J. O’Dell Realtor® GRI
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Happy New Year 2015

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. May you find peace and happiness in 2015

Enjoy some of Abba’s greatest hits!

John J. O’Dell

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