Ocala It is looking like a Good time to Sell! /Existing Home Sales Improve in July

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty 3200 SE 20 Ave. Ocala, FL. 34471 352-266-2637.

WASHINGTON (August 22, 2012) – Sales of existing homes rose in July even with constraints of affordable inventory, and the national median price is showing five consecutive months of year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Monthly sales rose in every region but the West, where inventory is very tight.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, grew 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million in July from 4.37 million in June, and are 10.4 percent above the 4.05 million-unit pace in July 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said housing affordability conditions are very good. “Mortgage interest rates have been at record lows this year while rents have been rising at faster rates. Combined, these factors are helping to unleash a pent-up demand,” he said. “However, the market is constrained by unnecessarily tight lending standards and shrinking inventory supplies, so housing could easily be much stronger without these abnormal frictions.”

NAR is asking the government to expeditiously release the foreclosed properties it owns in inventory-constrained markets.

Given population and demographic demand, Yun said existing-home sales could be in a normal range of 5 to 5.5 million if all conditions were optimal. “Sales may reach 5 million next year, but it will require more sensible lending standards and stronger job creation to push beyond that,” he said.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 3.55 percent in July from 3.68 percent in June; the rate was 4.55 percent in July 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.

“Fewer sales in the lower price ranges are contributing to stronger increases in the median price, but all of the home price measures now are showing positive movement and that is building confidence in the market,” Yun said. “Furthermore, the higher median price naturally means more housing contribution to economic growth.”

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $187,300 in July, up 9.4 percent from a year ago. The last time there were five back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier was in January to May of 2006. The July gain was the strongest since January 2006 when the median price rose 10.2 percent from a year earlier.

Distressed homes3 – foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts – accounted for 24 percent of July sales (12 percent were foreclosures and 12 percent were short sales), down from 25 percent in June and 29 percent in July 2011.

Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 17 percent below market value in July, while short sales were discounted 15 percent.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said pricing is the primary factor in determining how long homes stay on the market. “Correctly priced homes, regardless of price range, are selling quickly these days,” he said.

“Fully one-third of homes purchased in July were on the market for less than a month, and only 21 percent were on the market for six months or longer. Sellers should carefully consider a Realtor’s ® advice about marketing their homes,” Veissi said.

Total housing inventory at the end July increased 1.3 percent to 2.40 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.4-month supply4 at the current sales pace, down from a 6.5-month supply in June. Listed inventory is 23.8 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.3-month supply.

Yun said there are distortions in housing inventory. “The total supply of housing inventory appears to be balanced in historic terms, but there are notable shortages in the lower price ranges which are limiting opportunities for first-time buyers,” he said. “The low price ranges also are popular with investors, so entry-level buyers are at a disadvantage because many investors are making all-cash offers.”

First-time buyers accounted for 34 percent of purchasers in July, up from 32 percent in June; they were also 32 percent in July 2011. Under normal conditions, entry-level buyers account for four out of 10 purchases.

All-cash sales slipped to 27 percent of transactions in July from 29 percent in June; they were 29 percent in July 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 16 percent of homes in July, down from 19 percent in June; they were 18 percent in July 2011.

Single-family home sales increased 2.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.98 million in July from 3.90 million in June, and are 9.9 percent above the 3.62 million-unit level in July 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $188,100 in July, up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 490,000 in July from 470,000 in June, and are 14.0 percent higher than the 430,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $180,700 in July, which is 7.7 percent above July 2011.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast rose 7.4 percent to an annual level of 580,000 in July and are 13.7 percent above July 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $254,200, up 3.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 2.0 percent in July to a pace of 1.04 million and are 16.9 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $154,100, up 5.8 percent from July 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent to an annual level of 1.77 million in July and are 8.6 percent above July 2011. The median price in the region was $162,600, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West were unchanged at an annual pace of 1.08 million in July but are 5.9 percent higher than a year ago. With pronounced inventory shortages, the median price in the West was $238,600, a jump of 24.5 percent from July 2011.

If you are interested in listing your home or learning more about how to short sale your home give Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty a call at 352-266-2637. Call Rhonda when experience, knowledge, and expertise count the most!

Thinking of Short Selling your Ocala Home?/ Effective November 1st New Short Sale Guidelines

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty at 3200 SE 20 Ave Ocala, Fl 34471 352-266-2637

2011 and 2012 may well go down in history as “the years of the short sale.” Through the first six months of 2012, Fannie Mae had completed 38,717 short sales, and in 2011 it completed 70,025 total.
If you are in a situation where you owe more on your mortgage than your home is currently worth, chances are you have at least thought about short selling your house.
Recently the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are issuing new guidelines for mortgage servicers that will essentially consolidate all short sale programs into one streamlined program.
These updated short sale program rules will allow lenders to qualify someone for a short sale, and homeowners will more easily be able to tell if they are eligible for a short sale.
New Short Sale Guideline Highlights
Under the new guidelines going into effect Nov. 1:
Homeowners with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will be able to do a short sale even if they are current on their mortgage if they have an eligible hardship such as
the death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce or legal separation, illness or disability, or a distant employment transfer.
Homeowners will be able to make a financial contribution at closing in exchange for the lender not pursuing them for a deficiency judgment later (assuming the homeowner has sufficient income and/or assets).
Military personnel who are being relocated will be automatically eligible for a short sale and will be under no obligation to contribute funds to cover the shortfall between the outstanding loan balance and the sales price on their homes.
Subordinate-lien payments will be limited to $6,000. Previously lenders would often attempt to negotiate a higher payment from the homeowner.
In certain circumstances, homeowners will be eligible to receive up to $3,000 in relocation assistance.
New Guidelines For Lenders
The FHFA also recently announced that lenders:
Must respond to short sales within 30 days of receipt of the short sale offer.
Must provide weekly updates to the borrower.
Must communicate a final decision to the borrower within 60 days of receipt of the offer.
Combined these new short sale guidelines seem to indicate that homeowners who are faced with the difficulty of short selling a home will have a smoother transaction than ever before.

If you would like to learn more about short selling your home call Rhonda Buckner Ocala’s Short Sales Specialist 352-266-2637.

Ocala Short Sales/ Fannie Mae New Short Sale Guidelines

Fannie Mae helping streamline short sale requirements for homeowners to avoid foreclosure

Rhonda Buckner with Buckner Homes Realty at 3200 SE 32 Ave Ocala, Fl. 34471 352-266-2637

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced that it will implement new short sale guidelines for servicers to follow as part of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Servicing Alignment Initiative. The new guidelines streamline documentation requirements, waive deficiencies for borrowers that successfully complete a short sale and set standard payments for subordinate lien holders. In addition, all servicers will have the authority to approve and complete short sales that conform to the requirements without receiving individual approval from Fannie Mae.
“Short sales have become an increasingly important tool in preventing foreclosures and stabilizing communities,” said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae. “We want to help as many homeowners avoid foreclosure as possible. It is vital that servicers, junior lien holders and mortgage insurers step up to the plate with us. These new guidelines will open doors to help more homeowners qualify for short sales, remove barriers to completing short sales, and make the process more efficient for homeowners and servicers.”

Under the new guidelines, servicers will be permitted to approve a short sale for borrowers who have certain hardships but have not yet gone into default. Those hardships include the death of a borrower or co-borrower, divorce or legal separation, illness or disability or a distant employment transfer. In addition, Fannie Mae is significantly reducing the documentation required to complete a short sale, including requiring no documentation of a borrower’s hardship 90 days or more delinquent and have a credit score lower than 620. This will remove barriers for those homeowners who are most in danger of foreclosure and increase servicer efficiency in completing a short sale.

Give Rhonda a call at 352-266-2637 and I can help get you step by step through this process