Sotheby’s International Realty today announced that its independently owned and operated affiliate, Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Oregon, has merged with local firm, The Hasson Co., which achieved more than US$2.8 billion in sales volume in 2021. The partnership brings together two of the biggest real estate firms in Oregon that will now operate as Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty.
In 2021, the two companies achieved a combined total of US$6 billion in sales volume, and through the partnership, are now the largest real estate company in Oregon in terms of sales volume. Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty will now consist of a total of 22 offices and 575 independent sales associates.
“The integration of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty and The Hasson Co. combines the prowess and renown of two leading real estate firms in Oregon,” said Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “This strategic partnership solidifies their position as a leading residential real estate firm in the state of Oregon. I greatly look forward to supporting Deb, Steve, Lynae, and the entire Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty team.”
“Our partnership with The Hasson Co. brings together the strengths and synergies of two established, family-run businesses,” said Deb Tebbs, co-CEO of Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty. “In addition to being affiliated with the most trusted and recognized real estate brand in the world, our clients know they can rely on us for global representation with a local family feel from listing to close.”
As part of the merger, Steve Studley and Lynae Forbes will remain in place as Co-CEO and President, respectively. The strategic integration unites two well-respected, family-run organizations that will service the state of Oregon and the Southwest Washington region. The partnership expands the firm’s service areas to include the cities of West Linn and Wilsonville, Oregon, and builds upon the company’s existing locations in Portland; Ashland; Bend; Cannon Beach; Vancouver, Washington; and more.
Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty is part of the Peerage Realty Partners portfolio.
Rising home prices keep pushing up equity for homeowners. The average homeowner gained about $64,000 in equity from the first quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of this year, according to a new report from CoreLogic.
About 62% of all properties nationwide saw an increase in annualized equity gains in the first quarter. California, Hawaii and Washington posted the highest average equity increases at $141,000, $139,000 and $114,000 respectively, according to the report. On the other hand, the states seeing the lowest equity gains were Iowa ($17,300) and North Dakota ($19,000).
This chart from CoreLogic shows the average equity gains from last year’s first quarter to this year’s in each state across the country.
Sharply higher mortgage rates have caused a sudden pullback in home sales, and now sellers are rushing to get in before the red-hot market cools off dramatically.
The supply of homes for sale jumped 9% last week compared with the same period a year ago, according to Realtor.com. That is the biggest annual gain the company has recorded since it began tracking the metric in 2017.
Real estate brokerage Redfin also reported that new listings rose nearly twice as fast in the four weeks ended May 15 as they did during the same period a year ago.
“Rising mortgage rates have caused the housing market to shift, and now home sellers are in a hurry to find a buyer before demand weakens further,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.
Sellers clearly see the market softening. Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts on existing homes, dropped nearly 4% in April from March. They were down just over 9% from April 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. This index measures signed contracts on existing homes, not closings, so it is perhaps the most timely indicator of how buyers are reacting to higher mortgage rates. It marks the sixth straight month of sales declines and the slowest pace in nearly a decade.
April sales of newly built homes, also measured by signed contracts, dropped a much wider-than-expected 16% compared with March, according to the U.S. Census.
While many industry analysts have expected increasing hesitation in the housing market, buyers largely remain optimistic, a new report says.
About 28% of 5,000 prospective home buyers are “mostly confident” that the next three months will be a good time to buy a home, according to a new survey from OJO Labs, a real estate search website operated by Movoto. However, they aren’t quite as confident as they felt in April when 31.1% of respondents responded at that level.
That group of buyers is the largest cohort of respondents, the survey authors say. Further, 18.7% of survey respondents “strongly agreed” that the next three months will be a good time to buy a home, bringing the total of positive responses to about 47% of respondents overall, the authors say.
Home buyers have felt headwinds with rising prices and mortgage rates and a shortage of homes for sale. But they’re not giving up their hunt this spring and summer.
Buyers may see the equity other homeowners are accumulating and be drawn to the long-term financial benefits of homeownership.
Soaring home prices continue to serve existing homeowners, with nearly 45% of all property owners now considered equity rich, a year-over-year jump that boosted 13% more homeowners into the prime position.
A homeowner is considered equity rich when they have at least 50% equity in their home, a feat more easily accomplished when skyrocketing home price appreciation widens the gap between what someone owes on their mortgage and the value of their house.
About 44.9% of mortgaged residential properties in the first quarter of 2022 had at least 50% equity in their property, according to ATTOM. The portion of mortgaged homes that were equity rich rose from 41.9% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and from 31.9% during the same period in 2021.
“Homeowners continue to benefit from rising home prices,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence for ATTOM, said in a statement. “Record levels of home equity provide financial security for millions of families, and minimize the chance of another housing market crash like the one we saw in 2008. But these higher home prices and rising interest rates make it extremely challenging for first time buyers to enter the market.”
In the first quarter of 2022, just 3.2% of mortgaged homes, or one in 31, were considered seriously underwater – meaning the owner owed at least 25% more than the property’s estimated market value. While that figure is largely unchanged from the 3.1% of seriously underwater homes in the prior quarter, it was a marked improvement from 2021’s 4.7%, or one in 21 properties.
The decade-long housing marketing boom, which continued from late 2021 into early 2022, largely has been attributed to the rise in home equity. But across the country, the median home price rose 2% during that period – to another record of $320,500, according to ATTOM. Market analysts say a glut of home buyers chasing a historically tight supply of properties also brought up prices even higher.
ATTOM expects the latest home equity trend to slow in the remaining months of this year.
“It’s likely that equity will continue to grow through the rest of 2022, although home price increases should moderate as the year goes on,” Sharga said. “Rising interest rates, the highest inflation in 40 years, and the ongoing supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine are likely to weaken demand and slow down home price appreciation.”
Nationwide, 45 states saw equity rich levels rise from the fourth quarter of 2021. However, at the same time, the percentage of mortgaged homes that were seriously underwater increased in 28 states.
Idaho had the highest level of equity-rich properties with 68.8%, while Vermont (68%), Utah (63.6%) and Washington (60.9%) followed. Meanwhile, Mississippi ranked first for having the country’s biggest portion of mortgages seriously underwater at 17%. It was trailed by Louisiana (11.3%) and Wyoming (10%).
Buying your first home is a major decision and an exciting milestone. Even though it can feel daunting at times, it has the power to change your life for the better. If you’re looking to purchase your first home, you may be wondering what’s happening in the housing market today, how much you need to save, and where to start.
Here are three things that can help give you the information you need to confidently pursue your dream of homeownership.
1. Consider All Options When the Number of Homes for Sale Is Low
Today, there are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available for sale. When that happens, it’s a good idea to do what you can to increase your pool of options. That could mean expanding your search to include additional housing types. For first-time buyers, considering condominiums (condos) and townhomes can be an excellent way to increase your choices. According to Bankrate:
“Townhomes often cost less than single-family homes of a similar size in the same location.”
In another article, Bankrate also says:
“Buying a condo can be a great way to dive into homeownership without worrying about the upkeep that comes with single-family homes and townhouses.”
Condos and townhomes are both great entryways into homeownership. When you buy either one, you can start building equity which increases your net worth and can fuel a future move.
2. Know Your Down Payment Could Be More Within Reach Than You Think
Saving for a down payment can feel like one of the biggest obstacles for homebuyers, but that doesn’t have to be the case. As the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:
“One of the biggest misconceptions among housing consumers is what the typical down payment is and what amount is needed to enter homeownership.”
Data from NAR shows the median down payment hasn’t been over 20% since 2005. The graph below breaks down the median down payment by age group for recent homebuyers according to the 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from NAR (see graph below):
Based on the data above, the median down payment for all homebuyers is only 13%. That’s well below the common misconception of 20%, and it’s even lower for younger buyers. This could mean you may not need to save as much for a down payment as you initially thought.
There are also down payment assistance programs available for many buyers. Not to mention, some loan options require as little as 3.5% (or even 0%) down for buyers who qualify. While there are advantages to putting 20% down, especially in today’s competitive market, know that you have options. To get more information on how much you may need to save and the help that’s available, talk with a professional.
3. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Advisor Throughout the Process
Finally, no matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional.
If you’re just starting out, they can help you with the initial steps, like educating you on the process and connecting you with a trusted lender to get pre-approved. Once you’re ready to begin your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help your offer stand out above the rest.
Homebuyers realize they need to be quick with their offers in today’s competitive housing market, a new report says. Sixty-five percent of buyers recently surveyed said they’d make an offer within three days of viewing it if they’re interested. Twenty percent say they’d make an offer immediately, according to Bank of America’s new 2022 Homebuyer Insights Report, based on about 2,000 responses.
Homes spent an average of 17 days on the market in March. Eighty-seven percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month, according to National Association of REALTORS® data.
Higher home prices and mortgage rates are straining buyers’ budgets. A home is often the most expensive purchase people make in their lifetime. Buyers are finding they have to budget wisely or increase the amount of money they can devote toward homeownership.
Some buyers say they’ve had to moonlight or take on freelance work to try to earn more money. Fifty-six percent of home buyers surveyed said they are willing to consider a second job to earn supplemental income for a home purchase, according to the Bank of America survey. One-third of prospective buyers said they’d consider starting an online store to sell handcrafted pieces or selling some of their belongings to increase the amount of money they have to purchase a home.
Homebuyers also are showing some willingness to compromise to move toward homeownership, including by:
· Moving to an up-and-coming neighborhood (82%)
· Buying a home further from entertainment, restaurants, and shopping (79%)
The numbers: U.S. home builders started construction on homes at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of roughly 1.79 million in March, representing a 0.3% increase from the upwardly-revised figures for the previous month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday. Compared with March 2021, housing starts were up nearly 4%.
Permitting for new homes occurred at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of roughly 1.87 million, up 0.4% from February and 6.7% from a year ago.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected housing starts to occur at a median pace of 1.73 million and building permits to come in at a median pace of 1.82 million.
What happened: Single-family starts and permits declined compared with both the previous month and March of last year. Every region saw declines in these figures between February and March, aside from the Midwest where new single-family construction rose 7%.
Consequently, multifamily housing projects prevented both housing starts and building permits from declining. Permits for the construction of housing projects with five or more units rose 11% since February, and were up nearly 34% from the same time a year ago. Similarly, multifamily starts climbed 7.5% on a monthly basis and 28% from a year ago.
The construction backlog continued to grow, as the number of housing projects under construction rose 2.3% from the previous month and 24% from a year ago.
Looking ahead: “The shortage of skilled labor, materials, and lots are persistent headwinds to increasing the pace of new construction. According to the February housing starts report, the number of single-family homes authorized but not started was nearly 25% higher than one year ago because of supply-chain disruptions,” said Odeta Kushi, deputy chief economist at title insurer First American.
“Even with rising interest rates and ongoing issues surrounding geopolitical stability, supply chain issues, and inflation, the overall lack of inventory over the past year has continued to drive demand for more housing starts as builders continue to try to push inventory to market,” said Kelly Mangold, a principal with RCLCO Real Estate Consulting.
With today’s real estate market moving as fast as it is, working with a real estate professional is more essential than ever. They have the skills, experience, and expertise it takes to navigate the highly detailed and involved process of selling a home. That may be why the percentage of people who list their houses on their own, known as a FSBO or For Sale By Owner, has reached its lowest point since 1985 (see graph below):
Here are five reasons why selling with a real estate professional makes more sense, even in today’s hot market:
1. They Know What Buyers Want To See
Before you decide which projects and repairs to take on, connect with a real estate professional. They have first-hand experience with today’s buyers, what they expect, and what you need to do to make sure your house shows well.
If you don’t lean on their expertise, you may spend your time and money on something that isn’t essential. That’s because, in today’s low-inventory market, buyers are willing to take on more of the renovation work themselves. A survey from Freddie Mac finds that:
“. . . nearly two-in-five potential homebuyers would consider purchasing a home requiring renovations.”
A professional can help you decide what you need to tackle. It’s not canned advice you could find online – it’s recommendations specific to your house and your area.
2. They Help Maximize Your Buyer Pool
Today, the average home is getting 4.8 offers per sale according to recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), and that competition is pushing prices up. While that’s promising for you as a seller, it’s important to understand your agent’s role in bringing buyers in.
Real estate professionals have an assortment of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the MLS to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. According to realtor.com:
“Only licensed real estate agents can list homes on the MLS, which is a one-stop online shop of sorts for getting a house seen by thousands of agents and home buyers. . . . This is certainly one of many good reasons why the majority of home sellers decide to employ the services of a listing agent rather than going it alone.”
Without access to these tools, your buyer pool is limited. And you want more buyers to view your house since buyer competition can drive your final sales price higher.
3. They Understand the Fine Print
Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. That’s why Investopedia says:
“One of the biggest risks of FSBO is not having the experience or expertise to navigate all of the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home.”
A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.
4. They’re Trained Negotiators
If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:
The buyer, who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent, who will use their expertise to advocate for the buyer
The inspection company, which works for the buyer and will almost always find concerns with the house
The appraiser, who assesses the property’s value to protect the lender
Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.
5. They Know How To Set the Right Price for Your House
If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. Investopedia explains it like this:
“. . . There is no easy or universal way to determine market value for real estate.”
Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your house. These factors are key to making sure it’s priced to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.
Nearly 65% of homeowners planning to sell this year expect to list by the end of summer, which should provide a much-needed influx of inventory that should slow the explosive home price growth seen during the pandemic, according to a Realtor.com survey of prospective sellers.
Realtor.com Wednesday released the results of the online survey of 3,000 consumers conducted in February by HarrisX. More than six in 10 prospective 2022 sellers said they intend to put their homes on the market within the next six months, suggesting some upcoming relief to one of the worst housing shortages in history, it found.
“While sellers are expected to hold the upper hand in 2022, navigating the listing process remains a challenge – particularly for those also buying in today’s fast-paced market,” said George Ratiu, Senior Economist & Manager of Economic Research at Realtor.com. “Homeowners who are ready to move forward with pandemic-delayed plans will find plenty of opportunity this spring and summer. Although accelerating inflation is leading to higher housing costs and living expenses, many buyers remain interested in finding a home. At the same time, recent housing trends suggest demand is beginning to moderate as higher mortgage rates push monthly payments out of some buyers’ budgets, underscoring the long-term need for more affordable inventory.”
Whether the nearly two-thirds of potential sellers follow through with their plans to list in spring or summer will prove integral to buyers hoping to make a purchase before interest rates inch up even higher, according to the news release from Realtor.com.
“In a positive sign that homeowners are serious about listing, many sellers are already getting their home ready. However, they’re doing so with great expectations of the current market, which means buyers should prepare for sellers asking for high offer prices, quick closes, waived contingencies and more,” it said.