April 2015

What’s the Buzz?
In many respects our report this month continues the story we’ve been telling for the past few months.  The key difference is that what we have been “predicting” is now becoming a reality.  Not only is real estate picking up here in the valley, but—so far—it is outpacing all forecasts!

In February, new home orders — the initial contract to sell a house — were up 19 percent from the same month a year ago.  In fact, February saw the highest number of new-home sales since 2008!

Last month, Valley builders asked for and were issued 1,042 permits to construct new houses. That’s 30 percent higher than January’s homebuilding pace.  The homebuilding upswing is part of an expected overall surge in the Valley’s housing market.

And pending homes sales in February were up 30 percent from a year ago—a two-year high!

All-in-all, we should expect to see a stronger spring this year in the Phoenix housing market than we saw last year. While January was a little slow, it could well be the “lull before the storm,” according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

Mortgage rates continue to hover around 3.75%–with many loans being issued for under 3.5%.

With the very limited available inventory, we have recently switched to a seller’s market.  Virtually all local real estate experts agree that NOW is the time to sell a home.  Why?

  1. Demand is Strong. As mentioned above, home sales in February were 30% higher than the same time a year ago!
  2. Housing supply is low. Not only does this mean you have less competition, but tight inventory tends to prop up home prices and can result in multiple offers and even spur bidding wars.
  3. Rising rents: Rising rental prices are motivating tenants to make the leap into home ownership.
  4. Higher interest rates. The Federal Reserve continues to drop hints that higher interest rates are coming sooner rather than later. As rates rise, fewer buyers will be able to qualify for loans, which will, in turn, slow the demand.
  5. There may never be a better time. Whether you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, or down-sizing as your “nest” empties, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to continue to appreciate for the next several years. And you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate under 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase by three quarters of a percent, or more, by the end of 2015.

In this edition:

  • Stronger spring this year in Phoenix housing market
  • Good news for the Phoenix-area housing market
  • Two-Year High for Pending Home Sales Shows ‘Positive Momentum’ For Housing
  • February New-Home Sales Highest in Seven Years
  • 2 Million Renters Plan to Buy in the Next Year
  • Mortgage Rate Update
  • Why Waiting To Buy Might Not Make Sense
  • Mortgage Rates

Stronger spring this year in Phoenix housing market
Expect to see a stronger spring this year in the Phoenix housing market than we saw last year. January was the “lull before the storm,” according to the latest monthly report from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Click here for complete article.


Good news for the Phoenix-area housing market
The sluggish Phoenix-area housing market just got a pleasant surprise. New figures show a sudden uptick in buyer demand, with a significant boost in homes under contract since late January. This is according to Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Click here for complete article.


Two-Year High for Pending Home Sales Shows ‘Positive Momentum’ For Housing
Pending homes sales soared in February to their highest level since June 2013, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday. The Pending Home Sales Index rose 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February. Click here for complete article.


February New-Home Sales Highest in Seven Years
Builders signed contracts on more homes in February 2015 than any time since early 2008 according to the Census Bureau and HUD. February seasonally-adjusted annual new home sales topped out at 539,000, up 7.8 percent from a healthy 500,000 in January. Click here for complete article.


5.2 Million Renters Plan to Buy in the Next Year
Some 5.2 million renters plan to buy homes in the next year, according to the Zillow Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI), which is sponsored by Zillow and developed by Pulsenomics LLC. That’s an almost 25-percent boost from the same time last year. Homeowners remain more confident overall than renters, but renter confidence is growing faster than homeowner confidence in 14 of the 20 metro areas surveyed. Click here for complete article.


Mortgage Rate Update
Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 3.62 percent, up 6 basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose early in the week, then hovered around 3.65 percent before returning to the current rate on Tuesday. Click here for complete article.


Why Waiting To Buy Might Not Make Sense
Whether you are a first time or a move-up buyer, there are two factors that will impact the amount of house you can afford in your price range: home prices & mortgage rates. Let’s look at what the experts are predicting over the next twelve months for these two areas:  Click here for complete article.


Mortgage Rates
U.S. averages as of April 1, 2015:
30 yr. fixed:       3.81%
15 yr. fixed:       2.98%
5/1 ARM:         3.07%
30 yr. jumbo:     4.04%
View current rates


The Kennedy Group is pleased to provide this monthly newsletter.  Our business is built around the concept of educating and providing the personal service that our clients have come to depend upon. Each month we scour through dozens of industry articles, charts, and statistics – selecting those we feel offer the most accurate snapshot of the real estate market, both locally and nationally.

If you would like to stay more informed about both local and national real estate issues, you can see articles as soon as they are published. Just visit our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Ahwatukee.homes and click the “Like” button.   Real estate news is posted daily, and will be automatically fed to your personal “News Feed”.