There are five influences on US mortgage rates in the current market. First, the Federal Reserve continues to reduce (taper) it purchases of US Treasuries and Mortgage Backed Securities. The question moving forward is – What will the Fed do with its portfolio of Treasuries and Mortgages? If the Fed redeploys the proceeds from mortgage amortization and payoffs from their portfolio of mortgage backed securities, mortgage rates will continue to stay low. However, if the Fed allows their portfolio to shrink, rates will move higher. Announcements regarding the size and speed of reducing the Fed’s portfolio is going to be key to how fast mortgage rates will rise.
Second, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have embarked on a quantitative easing of their own. As a result, longer term US Treasury securities are relatively more attractive to foreign investors than German or Japanese 10 year bonds. As long as European and Japanese growth is sluggish, the US Treasury market, and by association the US mortgage backed securities market will be supported by foreign buying. This may provide the cover for the Federal reserve to reduce their holding of US Treasuries and mortgage backed securities without rates moving significantly higher.
Third, tensions between the Ukraine and Russia have helped the US Bond market in a “flight to quality” move. The flight to quality has kept US rates relatively low in the face of moderately strong economic data. Movement of Russian troops send rates lower, signs of peace send rates higher.
Fourth, the day to day release of US economic data continues to move the markets. If the data continues to suggest stronger economic growth in the US, markets will likely react by moving rates higher in advance of a perceived conclusion that the Fed will allow its portfolio to run off faster.
Finally, a low Federal Funds rate has been supportive to hedge funds who buy US treasury and mortgage backed securities and borrow short term money to create a spread. Over the past few year, the Federal Reserve has broadcast the Fed Funds rate would remain near zero for “quite some time.” Recently, Federal reserve members have been speaking publicly regarding the likely timing of increases in the Fed Funds. Speculation about the timing and speed of hikes in the Fed Funds Rate will provoke hedge fund sales of mortgage backed securities and therefore move mortgage rates higher.
With 30 year fixed rates at or around +-4.25%, all eyes are on the Federal Reserve and the release of economic data for clues about the size of the Fed’s portfolio, the disposition of that portfolio, and the timing of hikes in the Fed Funds Rate.
~ Cathy Haddad, Sales Manager, Atlantic Home Loans, 848-203-2272 ~
Curb Appeal. It was a popular term a few years ago. It still should be. Defined as the ability that your home had to make a casual driver STOP the car and take notice of and be interested in your home. If your home had it, life was good!
It has always been an important factor in selling a home and still is. Let’s face it: Having a home with good “curb appeal” does indeed help your home possibly sell for more and faster. But TODAY’S real estate market is slightly different. Let’s talk about the current version of curb appeal. INTERNET curb appeal. Can you make a person searching for homes on the internet STOP and be interested in your home? We can provide you with ways to do just that.
Let’s start with a couple of tips for giving your home an internet curb appeal jump start:
First (and most important), take GREAT photos. Seriously. Awesome photos. You want to make sure that you take professional quality shots with great lighting. It is important to present your home in the best way possible. Take a look here on SueAlder.com. We are talking some quality homes and neighborhoods. Despite the fact that a listing will be a luxury home in a great area, you often will see more than a few with “less than attractive” photos. Don’t have that happen to you. Think of real estate websites like SueAdler.com like a dating site for your home and a prospective buyer.
Number two, if you want your home to be the first one seen when people search on the internet, one way to help is price it at an even number in $25,000 increments. Do you know why? (Many people don’t. It is because real estate websites typically have menus that break prices down in $25,000 increments…and the difference in exposure between a home that is priced at $199,500 and $200,000 can be SIGNIFICANT. This is especially true if there are many other homes in that price range. A home can sometimesl get twice the exposure because it will be on the first page when a prospective buyer searches for a home rather than the second or third page of the results for that search. Think about when you search for something on Google. Do you go to the second or third page? Home buyers don’t either.
These are just a couple of ways for you to increase the internet curb appeal of your home. We have more! We combine our technology and marketing expertise to help your home online exposure that it deserves.
Have more questions? Want to boost the internet curb appeal of your home? Please call us today. We will be glad to assist you.
Realtor Magazine, the official magazine of the National Association of Realtors, released its 2013 Best of the Web Real Estate sites naming www.sueadler.com The Sue Adler Team as best website and blog in the country for Teams. The list names various categories: Individual, Team, Company and Best Use of Free Social Network. Recommendations were selected by the magazine’s editors with input from readers recognizing those real estate groups who create superb examples of online real estate space and tools.
According to Realtor Magazine, “The Keller Williams Sue Adler Team is all about highlighting quality of life in her NJ towns. The web site has no shortage of videos, blog posts and photos covering local festivals, dining spots, park events, and youth activities. New Jersey home buyers seeking convenient access to New York will learn from sueadler.com what the Short Hills area has to offer. Best of all, the content is fun and engaging. Web pages are framed with a clearly labeled drop-down navigation system that’s itching to be clicked on. A front-and-center IDX search includes an interactive area map, complete with mass transit commute times to Manhattan. And the site is customer-centric, successfully telling the team’s business story through a robust library of client testimonial videos.”
Hear it Direct, my consumer panel conference for the real estate industry is held twice a year to get a true understanding of what is important to the “google generation” . The insight we gain from these focus groups of buyers and sellers gives my team and others in the industry the ability to create the best possible customer experience from online research to closing. After all, by listening to the voice of the consumer, we can better serve the needs of our clients. On behalf of my entire team, we thank Realtor Magazine for this amazing recognition.
Please check out the article to learn more about the other winners!
To quote the old adage – with age comes experience – rings very true in real estate. To put it even clearer, about $25,000 for the average home in the US, which means that number is larger here in our NJ towns. The more experience an agent has, the greater the likelihood they will sell the houses they list, have homes on the market for less time and sell at a higher price. This makes sense…veteran agents, know their markets and have a solid network of buyers and sellers and most importantly know how to price your NJ Midtown Direct Line home, make any necessary staging recommendations to get it market ready and have a proven strategy to stir up interest to get your home sold for top dollar.
Bennie Waller, a professor of finance and real estate at Longwood University in Farmville, VA conducted a very interesting study on this topic. Mr. Waller looked at 10,065 real estate listings in a mid-Atlantic multiple listing service from March1999 to July 2009 and divided the listings into three groups. The first listed the agents who have been licensed for two years or less (rookies), the second are those agents licensed for up to 10 years and the third are the agents who have been licensed for 10 years or more (veterans). Of course, the study controlled property size and location. The findings were published in May 2012 in the Journal of Housing Research.
In summary, Mr. Waller concluded that experience pays off. The confidence and lessons learned over the years serve to get homes priced and marketed just right. We know the Midtown Direct communities and partner to buy or sell your home.
From time to time, the housing market undergoes changes that may affect my clients. It’s my responsibility to pass along industry news and keep clients informed.
As of April 1, 2013, annual mortgage insurance premiums for most FHA loans will increase by 10 basis points. The increase is one of a series of changes to be issued to allow the agency to better manage risk and further strengthen the health of the MMI Fund, the FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund. The changes also state that the length of time the borrower is required to pay mortgage insurance will be extended if the loan is applied for on or after June 3, 2013. At that time, borrowers with a Loan to Value (LTV) that begins above 90% will pay mortgage insurance for the life of the loan.
The changes are being made to protect FHA’s single-family insurance programs and to make sure the FHA remains a vital source of affordable mortgage financing for future generations of homebuyers. Borrowers that have already been preapproved for FHA financing that file their case numbers prior to these changes will not be impacted. However, buyers in the market now may want to act quickly before the changes take place. Spring is here and new inventory is cropping up every day.
If you have any questions regarding the HUD changes or other specific financing concerns, please do not hesitate to contact myself or a member of my team. Whether you are in the market today or in the future, we are always here to lend a hand and continually yours to count on.
As a home buyer or seller, when it comes to your home, you expect your Midtown Direct real estate professional to be up to date on the latest technology. You want us to have an active web presence and list your Midtown Direct home on social media in order to get the most exposure possible.
But are you aware that many single-family home builders and remodeling professionals are tech savvy, too? Do you research the contractors you hire to complete your home renovation projects online before having the work completed? These days you absolutely can.
In a recent study from the National Association of Home Builders, more than 80 percent of construction professionals utilized smart phones and computers and most, over 70 percent, used laptops to conduct business operations and manage projects as well.
Many of these service providers seek ratings and pay attention to client satisfaction, but only about 20 percent allow customers to track project progress through technology. Still, this is one area where technology has experienced huge increases in the last two decades.
As consumers have become more comfortable with their technology, they’ve come to expect it from their construction professionals, many of whom they even connect with on Facebook and LinkedIn. In fact, the study revealed that it may be possible for some remodelers and small builders to double their share of business by using downloadable brochures and sharing new home buying details on their websites.
As a consumer, do you agree? Do you want and need technically proficient builders and remodelers? Do you enjoy looking through website portfolios when deciding on your contractor or do you make your decision on a face-to-face meeting?
I’m sure it’s much the same as being a real estate agent. My clients love searching for homes on my interactive website, doing their own research on my communities and calling me as they have questions or are ready to actively pursue home buying and home selling. Still, nothing beats a face-to-face meeting! So in today’s world we are lucky to have both.
If you are curious about how technology has changed the construction and home building industry, see the full report here. And, of course, my team can answer any questions that arise in your search for reputable contractors.
One of my primary responsibilities is to share the latest trends and offer tips to help buyers and sellers in every way possible. This month KCM’s (Keeping Matters Current) blog features a post by Ken H. Johnson, Ph.D., Florida International University & Editor of the Journal of Housing Research, well worth sharing and some food for thought for my community clients and friends.
The good news — the housing market is on the upswing and starting to show signs of recovery. This means that sellers often think they can list their property at a higher price and then adjust when necessary. But is that really the best strategy? Are there adverse effects from changing the listing price of your home? This is an age-old question that has been troubling real estate professionals as well as sellers almost every day. Research scientifically conducted by John R. Knight, has no clear results or consensus, but his conclusions certainly ring true.
Knight’s findings are very interesting as he investigates changing a property’s listing price. The research indicates that, on average, properties which experience a listing price change take longer to sell and suffer a greater price discount in the end than similar properties. What’s more, the bigger the price change the longer the marketing time and ultimately even greater price reductions. Finally, as for which properties are most likely to experience a price change, Knight concludes the greater the initial mark-up; the higher the likelihood that this property will experience a listing price change.
Bottom Line Implications
Sellers as well as Brokers/Agents must be aware of the importance of getting the price correct from the start. That’s where my team and I can help – we have our pulse on this market and the experience and knowledge to get your home sold quickly and profitably. At our initial consultation, we will give you all the information needed about the market in your particular neighborhood; discuss timing and a personalized marketing strategy. After all, according to Knight, sellers wanting to over list will have a house sitting longer on the market that will end up selling for less.
Interestingly, Mr. Johnson’s research shows that changing the listing price up or down both lead to similar results found in Knight’s work – longer marketing times and lower selling price. Count on my team to get the price right at the start and to work incredibly hard to get your house sold.
The holiday season is a time of peace and joy, however for home sellers it can be a rather stressful period trying to balance open houses and showings with family time and holiday traditions. Therefore if you plan to relocate during this time of year, I offer friends and clients in my neighboring communities — Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, Chatham, Madison, Maplewood, South Orange, Livingston, Westfield and New Providence — a few ideas and tips to enjoy the seasons cheer.
First of all, remember you are not the only one with a busy schedule and that your potential buyers may also be in a hurry. Be as flexible and available as possible — the more showings, the greater the chances for a potential fast sale. Make the necessary time for family and holiday traditions, but you’ll also need to make compromises. This means that this year you might have to put those big house parties on hold and keep holiday decorations to a minimum. Decorations can actually affect a buyer’s decision so best to keep it simple and tasteful. Take a look at holiday home décor magazines — they are full of great decorating ideas and examples. Simple scented candles with wintertime fragrances and winter fresh flowers can really go a long way. We have many wonderful trendy stores and flower shops right here in our communities where you can find one-of-a-kind items that add just the right touch to any room.
Plan fun and interesting activities outside the home this year while your house is being listed. Take the family to a festive restaurant, to a holiday movie or a winter activity like ice skating. No matter how much you wish to sell your home, do not miss out on the holiday spirit and enjoy special family time. Our towns — Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, Chatham, Madison, Maplewood, South Orange, Livingston, Westfield and New Providence — are full of holiday activities, boutique stores for shopping, special community events and a host of holiday spirit.
Selling a home implies emphasizing its best features and drawing attention to the positive aspects of your residence. It’s important to take a great winter time photograph to make a lasting impression on potential buyers. After all, a good photograph is worth a thousand words, and that can really help with the sale. Take advantage of the snow and the natural beauty of winter.
The holiday season is a much anticipated time of year, and with a few compromises it will not be impossible to sell your home. Take the necessary steps to prepare your home and allure potential buyers to make it their own. Our communities have so much to offer.
This article is very timely given that we are in a very low inventory market. Many people think they need to wait til spring to sell in their homes in the communities of Millburn, Short Hills, Chatham, Summit, Livingston, Maplewood and Westfield to get the best price, but that’s not always true… you will have more competition in the spring, but the buyers who are out there right now are very serious and will jump on that perfect house.I am happy to meet with you for a consultation and discuss timing with you. Feel free to call me on my cell. 973-200-6261 There’s no obligation whatsoever, I just want to help you weigh your options and make the best decision for your family. CLICK HERE TO READ ARTICLE
KCM (Keeping Current Matters) is a great source for timely real estate information that helps prepare agents to assist and guide buyers and sellers. This week they posted a blog that I felt really hit the nail on the head and I wanted to share it with my friends and clients in our Midtown Direct and neighboring communities.
We so often use the terms COST vs. PRICE, but what exactly is the difference? As a seller, you will be most concerned about “short term price” or where homes values are headed during the next six months. Buyers must be concerned more about the “long term cost” of the home more than price. Here’s a little clarification….
Yesterday, KCM reported that the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is projecting mortgage interest rates will slowly increase over the next 12 months. And earlier this week, they indicated that experts are projecting home prices to increase as well over the next year.
This will have an impact on a buyer’s mortgage payment as home prices increase over the coming months. To better explain, we’ve put together this simple demonstration on a home selling for approximately $600,000 today:
Impact of Interest Rates on Payments
PRICE $570,000 $600,000 $630,000
What is comes down to is return on investment or where do we stand to gain the biggest profit and the greatest long-term benefits. And that’s where my team comes in – our years of experience and understanding of the housing climate can help both buyers and sellers navigate the market and get the biggest bang for their buck.