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Lee County area residential sales in August improve 25% from prior year; YTD sales up 6%

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Please enjoy this exciting read on the real estate market improvement and call me TODAY for all of your Real Estate needs! Team Ashley welcomes the opportunity to work for you!

Reported By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) 
on September 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Monthly Sales: Lee County residential sales totaled 142 units in August, a significant improvement in sales growth of 24.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. August sales were 7 units above our monthly forecast. The year-to-date sales forecast through August projected 996 closed transactions while actual closings were 1,009 units.

Supply: The Lee County housing inventory in August was 820 units, a decrease of 7.4 percent from August 2013 and 40.8 percent from the month of August inventory peak in 2010 (1,385 units).

August inventory in Lee County also decreased by 1.8 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with historical data indicating that August inventory on average (’09-’13) decreases from the month of July by 4.0 percent.

The inventory-to-sales ratio in August was 5.8 months of housing supply. Restated, at the August sales pace, it would take 5.8 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. The market equilibrium (balance between supply and demand) is considered to be approximately 7 months during the month of August. This represents the first local market in Alabama that can be officially labeled a seller’s market. The last time the market experience 5.2+/- months of housing supply was August 2006 when it was 5.3 months.

Demand: Residential sales decreased by 11.3 percent from the prior month. This direction is consistent with seasonal historical data indicating that August sales on average (’09-’13) decreases from the month of July by 30.0 percent.

Existing single family home sales account for 51 percent (down from 61% in Aug’13) of total sales while 25 percent (same as Aug’13) were new home sales and 24 percent (up from 13% in Aug’13) were condo buyers.

Pricing: The Lee County median sales price in August was $174,200, a 4.3 percent decrease from last August. The higher than normal of condo sales may have skewed, in this case, lowered the August median sales price. The August median price slipped 7.0 percent compared to the prior month. Historical data (’09-’13) indicates that the August median sales price traditionally decreases from the month of July by .1 percent. Pricing can fluctuate from month-to-month as the sample size of data (closed transactions) is subject to seasonal buying patterns so a broader lens as to pricing trends is appropriate and we recommend contacting a local real estate professional for additional market pricing information.

Industry Perspective: “The August National Housing Survey results lend support to our forecast that 2015 will likely not be a breakout year for housing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “The deterioration in consumer attitudes about the current home buying environment reflects a shift away from record home purchase affordability without enough momentum in consumer personal financial sentiment to compensate for it. To date, this year’s labor market strength has not translated into sufficient income gains to inspire confidence among consumers to purchase a home, even in the current favorable interest rate environment. Our third quarter Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey results, to be released later this month, are expected to show whether mortgage demand from the lender perspective is in line with consumer housing sentiment.”

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Using YouTube as an Effective Marketing Tool!

By Ashley No Comments

Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

 Written by:  editor   Fri, December 7, 2012

There are plenty of companies that effectively use many different kinds of social media. Whether it’s interacting with customers on Twitter, or posting interesting information on Facebook, lots of companies do a great job of keeping customers engaged. Often though, many companies fail to use YouTube as a marketing tool. It’s perplexing, because there are so many plusses to having a YouTube account yet so many marketing departments fail to use YouTube. Whether you’re a small company or a large one, using YouTube as a marketing tool can increase revenues and create more customer loyalty. If you’re considering integrating YouTube into your marketing plan, consider the following to make sure it is effective.


Just like Twitter or Facebook, YouTube can be a great and creative way to interact with your customer base. Some companies have integrated full on interactive YouTube campaigns to answer customer’s questions and provide witty comments. Old Spice even hired an actor to answer YouTuber’s questions, and created videos with real responses to user submitted questions.

If you get creative, YouTube can essentially replace the frequently asked questions section on your website. You can use YouTube to directly respond to user’s questions and have a large database full of answered questions. This will also make your company appear more personal, as there is somebody visually answering a question.

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Housing Economists: Limiting the MID to Mortgages Under $500,000 Won’t Hurt Most Prices!

By Ashley No Comments

Real Estate Economy Watch – Insight and Intelligence on Residential Real Estate

 Written by: Steve Cook   Wed, Dec 26, 2012

As the President and Congress attempt to avoid the “fiscal cliff” scheduled to take effect a week from today, most leading housing economists and housing experts believe only high end housing prices would suffer if the mortgage interest deduction were limited to mortgages of $500,000 or less and eliminated for interest paid on second mortgages for second homes, a possibility in the final negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.

In a survey of 105 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists conducted by Pulsenomics LLC for Zillow, Inc. during the first two weeks of December, some 55 percent said cutting the deduction on mortgages over $500,000 and eliminating second home mortgage interest altogether would have little to no near-term impact on overall home prices and 42 percent said it would have a moderate impact.  Among higher priced homes, 84 percent said restricting the deduction to mortgages less than $500,000 would have a moderate or serious impact on prices.

The mortgage interest deduction saved taxpayers $82.7 billion in 2010, the latest data available. For the past two budgetary cycles, the Obama Administration has recommended limiting the MID to taxpayers making less than $250,000 a year. President Obama’s deficit commission proposed lowering the limit on mortgage principal eligible for a deduction to $500,000 from the current $1 million, removing any break for interest on a second home and turning the deduction into a tax credit capped at 12 percent of interest paid.

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A welcome read, indeed! Please call me for all of your Real Estate needs! I would love to help sell your property or hand you the keys to your new home!

ACRE Report: YTD New Home Sales in Alabama Up 4.5%!

By Ashley, Residential No Comments
Published: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:25 PM     Updated: Friday, November 02, 2012, 3:26 PM

Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) By Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE)

Alabama new home sales in September slipped 3.7 percent from the same period in 2011. Year-to-date (YTD) through September, sales are up 4.5 percent from 2011.

September new home sales in Alabama’s five metro markets, representing approximately seventy percent of all statewide transactions, also experienced a 12.4 percent decrease from the prior month. Real estate sales are seasonal and September represents the annual transitional month when the market anticipates a slower pace in closed transactions, a trend that traditionally continues into the winter quarters.

Sixty percent of metro areas have experienced YTD increase in new home sales compared to 2011 with Montgomery (up 20%) posting the best results followed by Tuscaloosa (13%) and Birmingham (12%). YTD new home sales have declined in Mobile (down 14%) and Huntsville (down 3%).

Demand: In September, Alabama new home sales were outperformed by the US market which reflected an increase of 27.1 percent from September 2012 and 5.7 percent from the prior month, according to the US Census Bureau & HUD. The release also reported that the results from the South region were up 24.3 percent from September 2011 and 16.8 percent down from last month.

Supply: Statewide new construction inventory has declined by approximately 8.5 percent from last September which is consistent with US trend (down 9%). All metro markets have experienced reductions in inventory since September 2011 with the exception of Mobile (up 6%). Birmingham (down 15%) leads the state in inventory followed by Huntsville (-6%), Tuscaloosa (-3%) and Montgomery (-.5).

Alabama’s metro markets in September reflect 4.6 months of new home supply, an decrease from 4.9 months of supply in September 2011 and up from 3.9 months in August 2012. According to the US Census Bureau, the US inventory of new homes for sale increased to 145,000 homes or 4.5 months’ supply, also a big improvement from 6.3 months of supply in September 2011 (down 29%).

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Another Super Read. This is GREAT news for our state economy – Call me when you are ready to buy or list!

Home Prices Rise for Fifth Month in a Row….

By Ashley, Residential No Comments

Yet another interesting read…Enjoy!

@CNNMoney October 30, 2012: 10:50 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The housing market picked up more momentum in August, as the average home price for 20 major cities jumped 0.9%, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index

The increase marked the fifth consecutive month of gains for the index with all but one city, Seattle, recording month-over-month price increases.

“The sustained good news in home prices over the past five months makes us optimistic for continued recovery in the housing market,” said David Blitzer, spokesman for S&P.

The Case-Shiller report is one of many gauges of housing market health that has turned upbeat in recent months. New and existing home sales have been stronger, inventory of homes for sale has fallen and developers have stepped up building activity.

Slow improvement in the national economy has also boosted the housing market, as have record low mortgage rates. The rates for a 30-year loan have stayed below 3.7% since May. Combined with home prices that are still about a third less than they were when they hit their peak, these record-low rates have made home buying very affordable.

Related: Obama’s housing scorecard

Of the cities S&P’s index covers, Phoenix has roared back the fastest, with a whopping 18.8% year-over-year gain in August. That marks the fourth month in a row of double-digit price hikes. Detroit prices rose 7.6% over the past 12 months and Miami’s grew 6.7%.

Mike Larson, a financial analyst with Weiss Research, remains cautious about the outsized gains in Phoenix and some Florida markets. Much of the return represents “a resurgence in investor demand,” he said. Investors now represent about 27% of the home purchases in the market, according to data from the National Association of Realtors.

Related: Best Places: Where homes are affordable

Most of these buyers are looking to take advantage of beaten down prices so they can rent out the properties at a healthy profit, he said.

“The fly in the ointment is that these buyers lack emotional attachment,” said Larson. So unlike regular homeowners, they will likely not stick with the homes should the market head South again.

Among the three cities to have year-over-year losses, Atlanta recorded the biggest decrease in home values, with prices down 6.1%. New York was down 2.3% and Chicago fell 1.6%.

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