Financial Friday

January 19, 2018

Home Sales and Buyer Traffic Start Year Slow

According to the NAHB Housing Market Index, home sales had a sluggish start to the year, down 2 points from 74 in December. The index charting sales expectations in the next six months decreased 1 point to 78; and the component measuring buyer traffic dropped 4 points to 54.

CES 2018 Game Changers For Real Estate

Realtor magazine found several products this year that hold real potential at CES to shake up the real estate market.

  • Smart cities to improve public safety and public transportation
  • High-tech design, such as wallpaper televisions and refrigerators with Alexa built-in
  • Self-driving cars so you can be safely conducting business while on the road
  • Drones capturing aerial images of listings and for home security
  • Holograms bring floor plans to life from a blueprint
  • 5G networks are 100x faster and 5x more responsive than current wireless 4G
  • Robots to be used for home showings
  • VR smart gloves can enable viewers to feel like they are not just in the home but are touching surfaces
  • 360 virtual home tours that can be captured using technology attached to your mobile phone
  • Voice control to operate smart home technology

Check out the CES demos of these products >

Most Affordable Beach Towns

While most of the Sunbelt and Eastern states are freezing, if you have homebuyers desiring warmer weather to move or for a vacation home, here are the nation’s most affordable beach towns:

City Median Home Value
Pensacola, FL $145,700
Biloxi, MS $149,100
Port Arthur, TX $64,300
Freeport, TX $71,000
Daytona Beach, FL $117,000
Fort Pierce, FL $89,000
Melbourne, FL $125,400
Myrtle Beach, SC $173,600
Hampton, VA $187,700
Galveston, TX $154,400

View the full list and all of the factors that contributed to a town’s rating >

New Homes Remain The Same Size Despite Affordability Concerns

A survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) found they are built 9% more house in 2017 but the size and configuration of homes changed little from 2016: 2,622 sq ft in 2016 to an average of 2,627 sq ft in 2017 with 46% of homes having four bedrooms and 37% having at least three full baths in 2017 compared to 45% and 35% respectively in 2016.

The survey indicates that homes coming on-line this year “will most likely include a walk-in closet in the master bedroom, separate laundry room, a great room, nine-foot ceilings on the main floor and granite kitchen counters.” They will probably also feature low-E windows and Energy Star-certified appliances and windows.

While 79% of prospective buyers can only afford half of the homes in their local market, most are still hoping to buy a home within a year.

More New Home Built Energy Efficient in 2017

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) announced that 277,480 homes in the U.S. were scored on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index last year, a 10% increase from 2016.

The average HERS Index score for homes rated in 2017 was 62, which RESNET says is 38% more efficient than some homes built in 2006 and 68% more efficient than a typical home built in 1970.

According to RESNET, Texas is the state with the highest number of HERS-rated homes at 44,680, followed by Arizona with 20,599 homes, Florida with 15,996 homes, North Carolina with 15,545 homes and Colorado with 11,340 homes. The number of homes scored on the HERS Index varies by climate zone and state.

See how many homes ranked energy efficient in your state >

 Information Courtesy of Jason Browning – Certainty Home Loans 

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