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Everything Real Estate with Catherine J Smith Blog

Tuesday, September 14, 2021   /   by Catherine J

5 Reasons Today’s Housing Market Is Anything but Normal

There are many headlines out there that claim we’re reverting to a more normal real estate market. That would indicate the housing market is returning to the pre-pandemic numbers we saw from 2015-2019. But that’s not happening. The market is still extremely vibrant as demand is still strong even while housing supply is slowly returning.
Here’s the definition of normal from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

“conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern: characterized by that which is considered usual, typical, or routine.”

Using this definition, here are five housing industry metrics that prove we’re nowhere near normal.
1. Mortgage Rates
If we look at the 30-year mortgage rate chronicled by Freddie Mac, we can see the average rates by decade:


The 1970s: 8.86%


The 1980s: 12.7%


The 1990s: 8.12%


The 2000s: 6.29%


The 2010s: 4.09%

Today, the average mortgage rate stands at 2.87%, . ...

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Monday, August 23, 2021   /   by Catherine J

A Look at Home Price Appreciation and What It Means for Sellers

When you hear the phrase home price appreciation, what does it mean to you? Through context clues alone, chances are you know it has to do with rising home prices. And as a seller, you know rising home prices are good news for your potential sale. But let’s look past the dollar signs and dive deeper into the concept. To truly understand home price appreciation, you need to know how it works and why it matters to you.
Investopedia defines appreciation like this:
“Appreciation, in general terms, is an increase in the value of an asset over time. The increase can occur for a number of reasons, including increased demand or weakening supply, or as a result of changes in inflation or interest rates. This is the opposite of depreciation, which is a decrease in value over time.” 
When we consider this definition and how it applies to real estate, a few words stick out: supply and demand. In today’s real estate market, we’re experiencing hig ...

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Thursday, August 5, 2021   /   by Catherine J

Today’s Real Estate Market Explained Through 4 Key Trends

As we move into the second half of the year, one thing is clear: the current real estate market is one for the record books. The exact mix of conditions we have today creates opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Here’s a look at four key components that are shaping this unprecedented market.
A Shortage of Homes for Sale

Earlier this year, the number of homes available for sale fell to an all-time low. In recent months, however, inventory levels are starting to trend up. The latest Monthly Housing Market Trends Report from realtor.com says:
“In June, newly listed homes grew by 5.5% on a year-over-year basis, and by 10.9% on a month-over-month basis. Typically, fewer newly listed homes appear on the market in the month of June compared to May. This year, growth in new listings is continuing later into the summer season, a welcome sign for a tight housing market.”

This is good news for buyers who crave m ...

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Thursday, July 8, 2021   /   by Catherine J

What Do Experts See on the Horizon for the Second Half of the Year?

As we move into the latter half of the year, questions about what’s to come are top of mind for buyers and sellers. Near record-low mortgage rates coupled with rising home price appreciation kicked off a robust housing market in the first half of 2021, but what does the forecast tell us about what’s on the horizon?
Mortgage Rates Will Likely Increase, but Remain Low
Many experts are projecting a rise in interest rates. The latest Quarterly Forecast from Freddie Mac states:
“We forecast that mortgage rates will continue to rise through the end of next year. We estimate the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021, rising to 3.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022.”
However, even as mortgage rates rise, the anticipated increase is expected to be modest and still well below historical averages. Rates remaining low is good news for homebuyers who are looking to maximize their purchasing po ...

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Wednesday, June 9, 2021   /   by Catherine J

In Today’s Market, Listing Prices Are Like an Auction’s Reserve Price

For generations, the process of buying and selling a home never really changed. A homeowner would try to estimate the market value of their house, then tack on a little extra to give themselves some negotiating room. That figure would become the listing price. Buyers would then try to determine how much less than the full price they could offer and still get the home. As a result, the listing price was generally the ceiling of the negotiation. The actual sales price would almost always be somewhat lower than what was listed. It was unthinkable to pay more than what the seller was asking.
Today is different.
The record-low supply of homes for sale coupled with very strong buyer demand is leading to a rise in bidding wars on many homes. Because of this, homes today often sell for more than the list price. In some cases, they sell for a lot more.
According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of R ...

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