Do We Have Enough Homes?

On a national scale the enclosed article in Yahoo Finance points to the 6 reasons why there are NOT enough homes for prospective buyers.

Of course housing markets are typically influenced first by the neighborhood, then community, and finally by their region.  In ‘South County’ (Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, CA) for example, there is a shortage of homes to choose from and, therefore, home values seem to be forever increasing.  12-16% annual appreciation is pretty typical.

In Hollister we are seeing a slight slow down in the appreciation pace for resale homes this year due to the significant number of new homes being built.  In 2015 the average single family residence value increased 12.6%.  Morgan Hill and Gilroy’s appreciation for the same period were: 15.5 and 16.9% respectfully. Hollister’s new home construction in 2015 affected its appreciation which, normally is on par or, even higher, than both Morgan Hill and Gilroy, CA.

So the proverbial question: “Is your glass half full, or, half empty?”

Home Buyers: Now’s the Time

I have been in the housing business so long that I’ve been through several outgoing, 2 term presidents, where their party was in control of both houses.  Typically, at the beginning of the election year, interest rates and gas prices begin to rise.  They peak during 3rd. quarter and begin to improve toward the national election in November.  (Watch, as soon as I say this, we’ll see an aberration in 2016.)

However, this article may well be a signal that the trend will repeat itself in the coming months.

Prospective homeowners would be wise to buy their home as soon as they can.  Sales prices in the South County (San Jose, Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Hollister, San Juan Bautista, CA) begin to rise more rapidly at the end of March and peak in July.  The interest rates will probably inch their way upward during this same time frame.

And look at the impact of a 1.0% rise in interest rates*:  A $400,000 home with 10% down to a new, $360,000 30 yr. fixed rate loan will see a $214 higher monthly principle and interest; a corresponding increase in the qualifying income needed by $642/mth.  The closing costs will also be slightly impacted.

If you are thinking of buying a home, now will be the lease expensive time for South County homes for the next year or more.

*4.0% to 5.0%

Morgan Hill, CA Home Values

Morgan Hill Ave. SPAs you can see here, the average sales price of single family residences in Morgan Hill CA continued to rise over the last 12 months.

This month’s average sales price (approximately $960,000) is roughly 26% higher than 11/14’s average price of $760,000.

You will also notice that the average price spiked in 9/15 at roughly $1,010,000.

Now is a great time to buy a home in Morgan Hill: the ratio of prospective buyers-to-available homes is a little more balanced; the interest rates are still South of 4.0%; and, the short commute into San Jose is very manageable.

It is also a great time to sell your home: it worth more now than in the last 10 years.

For both prospective buyers and hopeful sellers, a sale NOW will get you settled in before Christmas and for the start of the mid school year.

 

El Nino’s Coming, 3 To-Do Tips

Rainy season is about here.  In Morgan Hill, Gilroy & Hollister Calif. we welcome any rain!  However, there are 3 smart things you can do to protect your home from water damage:

Clean out your rain gutters.  Here is a quick ‘how-to’ video to show you how easy it is.

Make sure your down spouts take the rain water away from your foundation. Here is another, quick video to show how easy this chore is.

Lastly, make sure the earth against your foundation is sloped down hill, away from the home. Here is a short, DIY video.

While these 3 tasks will take some time to do, they are not expensive and they will greatly reduce expensive repairs due to water!  I absolutely recommend that you invest the time now, before the rains come.

Let me know if you have found other, easy tips, to prepare your home.

Simple Curb Appeal Improvements

Often I will have 4-6 homes to show buyers.  Each time we arrive in front of a prospective home the buyers nearly always comment on what they think the home will be like – based on what they first see from the curb.  And, typically an impressive front of the home opens to a similarly maintained home on the inside.   The opposite is also true.  There have been times when the buyer doesn’t even want to get out of the car, because the front of the house is shabby, overgrown, or in need of paint.

There are several simple and inexpensive things you can do this Spring to make your home very appealing.  Click here for 13 suggestions.  Each of these easy to do tasks also provide the most added value – to – investments you can do to the outside of your home.

Lastly, your neighbors may be a willing source of help if you announce your ‘sprucing up’ plans for the ‘tired’ front appearance of your home.

Home Prices in Our Bay Areas

Here is a quick glance, one page summary of year-over-year values for of our Bay Areas.

The median prices increased slightly in Santa Clara County (up 9%) and Monterey County (up 6%) but dropped 1% in San Benito County.

At the bottom of the summary page we see some indicators which suggest San Benito County values may rise in 2015: Inventory of homes for sale increased 14% 9/13 to 9/14 which is one of the causes of the median price to drop. However, the Days on Market (DOM) dropped a whopping 46%!  Since homes sold significantly faster year-over-year we may see San Benito County single family prices rise next year.

With one eye on these opaque indicators and one on “the holidays” disengagement many get caught up in – a shrewd buyer should buy a home before the year is out. And, with interest rates around 4% for a home loan, you could be one of the few others admire in the future: “You bought at the end 2014?  You really ‘lucked’ out”.

Why not text, email or call me?  With your answers to 4 simple questions I will be able to compute for you how much of a home you can qualify for and provide you with a list of those homes in your price range.

“Happy (Holiday) shopping”.

 

 

Hollister Homes Highest Value Gain

Hollister, CA

Of the 3 cities which make up ‘ South County‘, the City of Hollister, CA single family residences saw the highest appreciation from 1st quarter 2013 to 1st quarter 2014.

The average Hollister single family residence (SFR) value rose 23.1% whereas Morgan Hill, CA experienced 21.9% and the City of Gilroy, CA saw their SFR rise by 11.2% from 1Q13 to 1Q14.

However, Hollister’s typical SFR value dropped 43% from 1Q07 (when many say the bubble burst) to 1Q13. Morgan Hill dropped 32.5% and Gilroy 30.6% during this same period.  Hollister’s ave.  SFR value in 1Q07  was $302,383, down to $240,798 in 2013 and up to $274,309 1Q14.

Another indicator of Hollister’s recovery is the time it takes homes to sell.  The average days on the market in 2007’s 1st quarter was a whopping 148 days.  In 1Q13 the time dropped to 124 days on the market.  That is a 69% improvement!  Then, this year we watched the average days on the market drop even further to 24.

Finally, the average Sales to List price ratio was 99.5% in the 1st 3 months this year compared to slightly over 96% in both ‘o7 and ’13 first quarter.  They are selling faster and virtually at their asking price.

What do you think this trend will do?

(data source: MLSListings)

Home Prices in Gilroy, CA

City Gilroy

Gilroy, CA is not only known as the “Garlic Capital of the World” but it is also known for its robust housing market.

Using the first quarter of 2007 (1Q07) as a high point in,  and the beginning of decline of market values, there are some interesting changes which point to a strong recovery:

The average number of days it took for homes to sell in 1Q07 was 141. Then, in 1Q13 it had dropped to just 36 days, and, 1Q14 days on market slipped up to an average of 45 days. Obviously, homes are again, selling much faster but the pace is slowing.

Gilroy CA’s average sales price for single family residences (SFR) in 1Q07 was an amazing $785,763!  By 1Q13 prices dropped to $544,965. In the year since, the average prices continued to increase: 1Q14, the average was $605,845.

Another indicator of a recovered market is the ratio of sales price to listed price. In 1Q07 the average was 97.7%; in the first quarter of 2013 it was 98.7% and in the 1st 3 months of this year it averaged 96.2%.  Again, 2014 is still improving but it seems at a slower pace.

Relatively speaking, Gilroy had the least significant drop in prices of the other South County neighbors: Morgan Hill and Hollister. Gilroy’s drop 1Q07 to 1Q13 was 30.6% while Morgan Hill’s was 32.5% and Hollister saw a 43% drop in that time frame.

So, what do you think values are going to do here in South County in the near future?

(data: MLSListings)

Morgan Hill, Ca Home Price Recovery

City of Morgan HillDon’t you hate the question: “So, you want the good news or the bad news?”

Well, here is the good news and, ‘not-really-that-bad’ news regarding single family residence (SFR) values in Morgan Hill, CA:

Good:  The average number of days homes were on the market dropped from 66 days during 1Q07 down to 43 days for 1Q14.  There was also a drop from 1Q13’s 52 days to this year’s 43 days. They’re selling faster.

Not really that bad: The average closed sales price for Morgan Hill, CA’s SFR dropped from $931,413 during 1Q07 to $629,030 in 1Q13.  That $302,383 drop in average sales price reflects the market’s peak in ’07 down to the recovering level in ’13.

However, the good news is that Morgan Hill, CA homes’ values rose by $137,641 or, 17.7% in the last year.  That is the 3rd straight year where we’ve seen sustained appreciation.

The interesting comparison is the average sales price/list price ratio. There has been little change: in 1Q07 it was 97.6%, first quarter, ’13 averaged 98.6% and this year’s first 3 months saw an average of 96.6% . So, I’m not sure if that is good or ‘not really that bad’ news. Homes are virtually selling at their asking price, due to the low inventory of homes for sale.

We have seen similar values in Gilroy and Hollister, CA.  I’ll post those comparisons soon.

So, what do you think values in the South County are going to do?

(data source: MLSListings)

Smart Home Purchase = Good Investment

home's appreciationAfter nearly 8 years Americans are once again considering the purchase of a home as an investment.

As in all good investments you want to “buy low and sell high” with regard to your home.  As this article points out there are 4 key considerations when buying a home with “investment” in mind:  Don’t buy the nicest home in the neighborhood; look for a home which needs a little T.L.C.,; of course location is very important and plan on living in the home at least 5 years,.  10 years is even better.  Regarding location, look for a home in a nearby suburb of a job-rich metropolitan area and, off the main thorough fairs.  Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister, CA for example, are ideal communities near the San Jose and Silicone Valleys.

The other side of the home buying equation is the financing of it.  With the goal of living there at least 5 years it actually pays to buy down the interest rate of your home loan.  If you pay 1.5 to 2.0 points (percent of the loan amount) you should be able to lower your rate by .25% for the term of the loan.   This little tax deductible investment will repay itself within 3 – 4 years through the savings in house payments and will save 10s of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan.

Lastly, design your budget to allow an extra payment toward the principle loan amount.  Just an extra $100 or two paid with your regular payment each month will reduce the number of years you will pay on the loan and builds equity much faster.

Buying smart imitates the investment growth and the extra payments on points and principal will quickly grow your equity.  When time comes to move up or, out, you should have a sizable profit from your home’s investment.

What’s your ‘buy low sell high” success story?