Scottsdale Real Estate News - October 2014

In our Scottsdale Real Estate News for October 2014:

Pending Scottsdale Home Sales Slip in August

Pending Scottsdale home sales slid backwards in August after improving in July, underscoring the unsettled state of the residential real estate market.

Pending Scottsdale home sales slid in August after increasing in July

Nationwide, The National Association of Realtors' Pending Homes Sales Index, which is based on contracts signed for previously-owned homes, fell 1 percent in August from July and is 2.2 percent lower than August 2013. Pending sales mirrored a drop in settled purchases of previously-owned homes during the month. Those settlements were for contracts signed earlier in the year.

The pullback of pending Scottsdale home sales in August followed a 3 percent gain in July. The July advance numbers had improved on June's 1 percent decline after three months of gains in March, April and May.

Some blame August's decline on the market's improvement since the Great Recession. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said, "Fewer distressed homes at bargain prices and the acknowledgement we're entering a rising interest rate environment likely caused hesitation among investors last month. With investors pulling back, the market is shifting more towards traditional and first-time buyers who rely on mortgages to purchase a home."

Those first-time buyers may face higher mortgage rates in coming months, but they aren't out of reach just yet. Speaking of mortgage rates and how they may affect Scottsdale home sales…

 

Scottsdale Mortgage Rates Near 3-Week Lows

Scottsdale mortgage rates have fallen to the lowest levels since September 9th.

According to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, average fixed-rate mortgage rates decreased slightly, a week after making their biggest one-week gain of the year.

30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) averaged 4.20% with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 25, 2014, down from last week when they averaged 4.23%. A year ago at this time, 30-year FRMs averaged 4.32%.

15-year FRMs this week averaged 3.36% with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when they averaged 3.37%. A year ago at this time, 15-year FRMs averaged 3.37%.

Tomorrow, the jobless claims figures come out. New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. These numbers could impact Scottsdale mortgage rates if the job numbers are not in line with expectations.

As we said last month when updating the Scottsdale mortgage rates here, if you're close to closing on a home, or have tight debt ratios/cash to close, lock in your rate and don't look back!

 

Scottsdale Home Price Gains See Significant Slowdown

Scottsdale home price gains saw their smallest annual gains since late 2012 in July.

The 20-city S&P/Case-Shiller index released yesterday (September 30) indicates that prices rose 6.7 percent in July from a year earlier. That is the smallest year-over-year increase since November 2012. It's also a continuation of a slowdown in Scottsdale home price gains.

The report indicates that as of July, average home prices are back to autumn 2004 levels.

While the year-over-year figures are trending downward, Scottsdale home price gains are still rising month-to-month, although at a slower rate than what we are used to seeing over the past couple of years. Home prices are still rising two or three times the rate of inflation, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

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Anyone who has applied for a Scottsdale mortgage recently knows how elusive the best interest rates, loan terms and ultimate mortgage loan approval can be. The good news is that steps can be taken to vastly improve the odds, but you need to take some of the steps for getting that Scottsdale mortgage before you even apply.

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If you're thinking of trying to get a Scottsdale mortgage to buy a home, consult with a lender ahead of time, even before you start looking for that home. Waiting until you find the home you want to buy to apply could cost you the deal, as many sellers today want to see a pre-approval letter rather than tie their home up with a buyer who may not even qualify.You have much more bargaining power if you make an offer knowing you will already qualify to get that Scottsdale mortgage.
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We periodically publish other valuable tips and techniques that may help you when applying for a Scottsdale mortgage, both here at our website, and on Twitter.
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Check out our Scottsdale Mortgage Info section of articles to your right under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories for more.

Scottsdale new home sales are at the highest level since 2008

After falling for two consecutive months, Scottsdale new home sales jumped 18 percent in August to the highest level since 2008.

The jump in Scottsdale new home sales for August comes during the same month when housing construction slumped. Housing starts fell 14.4 percent in August, the biggest one-month drop in more than a year. Even so, home construction in July reached the highest level in almost seven years.

For the companies that build new homes, optimism is rising.

A recent report from the National Association of Home Builders said its builder confidence index rose for he fourth consecutive month in September, to the highest level since November 2005.

Scottsdale New Home Sales Catching Up With Builder Sentiment

While this report is prone to some volatility and revisions, it's promising to see Scottsdale new home sales finally begin to catch up with home-builder sentiment, which is at its highest level in almost a decade

The monthly builder survey covers current sales conditions, prospective buyer traffic and future sales expectations. All its metrics rose in September, according to the NAHB.

Why is this news about Scottsdale new home sales so important?

Home building, which accounts for about 3 percent of gross domestic product compared with about 12 percent for capital spending, matters because of its "broader linkages that will feed back into the economy" to spur household spending, wealth, hiring, and confidence.

We'll continue to keep a sharp eye on trends that affect Scottsdale new home sales, and report any and all trends in future updates here on our website.

In the meantime, find more current Scottsdale real estate news articles under our Scottsdale Real Estate News section under the Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right.

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According to an article in Housingwire, recent research has shown that many Scottsdale homeowners are failing to take advantage of lending programs that could be hugely beneficial to them. It's estimated that around 20% of households who could benefit from refinancing are potentially missing out on savings of over $10,000 each year, simply by failing to take action.

Scottsdale homeowners may be throwing away money as if they were burning it

The study was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research and looked at a random sample of mortgages in December 2010 and found that while people are able to take action to buy and finance a property many Scottsdale homeowners are failing to take the next step which is to refinance the loan. While it might seem puzzling that Scottsdale homeowners are willing to miss out on such substantial savings, the National Bureau of Economic Research has identified three reasons why this occurs.

The first is that it is often difficult for borrowers to calculate the type of benefits available through refinancing. This is often due to the complex transactions required combined with the limited experience most borrowers have with this situation. In addition, sometimes the benefits of refinancing the loan aren't immediately apparent but tend to build up over a longer period of time. Some Scottsdale homeowners may be put off by the amount of upfront costs that must be factored in when refinancing a loan and which may include valuing the property and reevaluating their personal financial situation.

Scottsdale Homeowners Could Save $11,500 By Refinancing

According to the study, average Scottsdale homeowners could save around $160 a month for the remaining period of their loan, and the total savings for around 20% of borrowers were approximately $11,500.

The hope is that providing more targeted information could enable greater numbers of people to take advantage of these savings. Apparently Scottsdale homeowners who work with certified housing counseling agencies are far more likely to be able to make money-saving changes to their mortgage, and are around 60% less likely to default on their loan. When necessary these borrowers can also complete short sales more quickly compared to homeowners who don't work with housing counselors.

Fannie Mae recently announced that it is updating its policy concerning the minimum waiting period following a pre-foreclosure sale which should make it easier for these borrowers to purchase another home more quickly.

In the meantime, find more tips and articles regarding financing and mortgages in the Scottsdale Mortgage Info section to your right under our Scottsdale Real Estate Categories.

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An unusual surge in Scottsdale home sales is predicted this fall due to a slowdown in home price growth and a shift in pricing power from sellers to one that more closely aligns with buyers' expectations. Home buyers who have been willing to wait for better deals are starting to be rewarded for their patience.

The number of Scottsdale home sales above list price in July was down nearly 7 percent from a year ago. These numbers would indicate that sellers are starting to realize that it's not really a seller's market any more.

A surge in Scottsdale home sales is predicted this fall due to a slowdown in home price growth and a shift in pricing power from sellers

Scottsdale Home Sales Vary By Area

Some areas have seen more moderate price growth year-over-year but have seen their "for sale" inventories also rise.

Areas with the fewest price drops tended to have smaller increases in median home prices and for-sale inventories.

Redfin analysts are predicting a surge in home sales in September and October. "We continue to see strong buyer demand as we head into fall," according to Redfin’s housing report, which shows the number of tours and offers picking up from July and into August.

"The buyer fatigue from competing against multiple offers, bidding wars. and tight inventory is diminishing. Additionally, the widespread increase in price drops is likely to give buyers even more confidence that they have regained some of the bargaining power lost last year."

You can read the full housing market report here.

For more Scottsdale home sales news, check out our Scottsdale Real Estate News section of articles under Scottsdale Real Estate Categories to your right.