Great article by the RGJ.com Talking about our housing market.

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Seven years after the Reno-Sparks housing bubble popped, the area’s real estate market finds itself in a much different situation.

From affordability to new home construction, here are seven things you should know about the Northern Nevada real estate market.

Stability is the new normal: In the last decade, the story of the Reno-Sparks real estate market was akin to the diary of a roller coaster rider. There’s the steep climb to the top as it reached its crazy highs during 2006 and 2007, followed by an equally steep drop to the bottom.

This year, however, has been markedly different.

After seeing noticeable appreciation on the last couple of years, home prices have reached a plateau in the last few months. Since June, the median price of an existing home in Reno-Sparks have stuck to a holding pattern in the $250,000 range.

“Stabilization is the trend for home pricing in Northern Nevada and Nevada as a whole,” said Peter Counts, a graduate assistant with the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The institute produces a regular housing report with the Nevada Department of Business and Industry.

For those who remember the crazy days of the overheated market and the resulting fallout, stable is a good thing. For the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors, the pricing trend of the last few months could indicate something the area has not seen for quite some time: a more normal market.

“From 2008 to 2012, we had so many distressed properties that we did not see the traditional winter slowdown we’ve seen in the 20 years before that,” said Mark Ashworth, RSAR president. “I believe this is a sign that we’re returning to our traditional market.”

Housing is less affordable: In January of 2012, the median price for a home in the area was around $135,000. More than two and a half years later, home values have jumped by about 85 percent. In contrast, median salaries have not seen a similar jump, which is understandable given how much farther home values dropped in relation to wages.

Even as the pace of home value increases started normalizing at a slower rate, however, wages continue to be flat.

In 2013, for example, wages saw growth in the last three quarters after posting a decline in the first three months of the year, according to the Nevada Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation. The 1.1 percent increase in overall wages that year failed to keep pace with inflation, which grew by 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, an estimated 55 percent of houses in Northern Nevada are affordable to the area’s median income earners, compared to 62 percent nationwide, according to the Lied Institute.

Flat wages are a concern for maintaining continued growth in the housing market and the economy, specifically as it relates to first-time home sales.

“New home sales generate more economic activity than a housing move from one part of town to another,” Ashworth said. “That’s because new home buyers buy more new furniture and appliances and do more remodeling, so they generate more economic activity.”

Although houses are less affordable now than they were two years ago, the situation still does not compare to the peak of the housing boom. At the bubble’s peak in 2006, for example, only 18 percent of homes could be afforded by median income earners in Northern Nevada despite a record 4,518 homes being actively listed in July.

California also continues to be a key part of the local real estate market’s equation. Androo Allen, interim president of the Builders Association of Northern Nevada, remembers the buyer mix for one high-end community project. Of the 19 homes it sold, 18 of the buyers came from Nevada’s next door neighbor.

New homes are back: After the collapse of the housing bubble, the hum of bulldozers on new home construction sites went silent. With the value of new homes going up, however, new housing is back in business.

Reno posted 1,387 new home starts in the second quarter of this year, up 43 percent over the same period last year, according to Metrostudy. Meanwhile, only 36 percent of homes are priced below $300,000 compared to 64 percent last year.

This is causing many builders to finish rough cut lands that were started during the boom but got paused during the recession.

“We’re starting to see more confidence among builders, including the smaller ones,” said BANN’s Allen. “The price of a new home has gone up enough for a builder to absorb the development cost of a lot … and still come out with a profit.”

At the same time, smaller builders aren’t jumping full steam into the new building craze like larger builders. Although, they like to see price increases in new homes, they don’t want a repeat of the unsustainable spikes seen during the bubble days and the ensuing crash, Allen said. At the time, builders were making houses as fast as they could as buyers were snapping houses, at times sight unseen.

“We don’t want to see rapid growth, we want to see slow, consistent growth,” Allen said. “The market needs to define itself first so the next 12 to 18 months will determine just how solid it is.”

Unit sales are down from last year: Although year-over-year house sales saw steady increases in the first half of 2014, the last few months are a different story. In July, for example, 520 homes were sold in Reno-Sparks compared to 591 during the same month last year. The trend continued in August, which posted 548 sales in contrast to 638 units the previous year.

The RSAR’s Ashworth attributes the dip to a variety of factors, including lower inventory and the return of new home sales.

Demand remains healthy in relation to market supply, however. Supply for regular homes with no special conditions is at 2.5 months — 1.6 months for short sales and 2 months for foreclosure sales. There are 1,385 active listings in Reno-Sparks as of early September.

“Demand has remained constant for the year and that indicates desirability in the market,” Ashworth said.

North vs. South: While real estate trends in Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada mirror each other in many ways, there are also differences. One interesting difference, according to the Lieds Institute, is that building starts for single-family homes are up year-over-year in the north but down in the south.

Conversely, multi-family starts, which includes multi-unit facilities such as apartments, are up in the south but down in the north.

Fewer homeowners are underwater: Nearly three in four Northern Nevadans have equity in their homes, according to the Lied Institute. That’s a big improvement from the 2009-2010 period when only 27 percent of homeowners were not underwater on their mortgage.

With banks being more judicious in putting distressed properties in the market, the market likely won’t see a repeat of 2009, according to Ashworth.

“They basically flooded the market in 2009 with foreclosures and that’s why prices plummeted,” Ashworth said. “”Hopefully, they learned their lesson.”

There’s less distress: Only 14 percent of homes sold in Reno-Sparks involve a distressed property. That’s a big change from 2010 to 2011, when troubled houses accounted for 80 percent of sales.

“Foreclosures haven’t changed much over the past year (but) there are less than half as many short sales now as there were this time last year,” Counts said.

Data from the Washoe County Recorder’s office back Counts’ claim. Through August, the county posted 640 short sales, a large drop from the 1,485 it recorded last year.

Part of it could be related to the lack of an extension from the federal government regarding so far for a deficiency forgiveness program related to short sales.

Meanwhile, there are also continuing concerns about the bank-owned properties still out there.

“The elephant in the room that everybody sees and nobody talks about is shadow inventory,” Ashworth said. “You can see homes in neighborhoods that don’t have a for sale sign but are boarded up and unoccupied. As long as they come to the market slowly, then that’s fine.”

Overall, however, the Northern Nevada real estate market is on the right track, according to Counts. One thing everyone agreed on, however, is that the area is not quite out of the woods yet.

“Home prices are still gradually increasing and the construction industry is still building homes that can sell,” Counts said. “However, we still have a long way to go before to get to where we were before the housing market collapse.”

 

http://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2014/09/21/trends-reno-real-estate-market/15976175/

Voted Best Realtor in Northern Nevada

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I wanted to thank the people of Northern Nevada for Voting me as the “Best Realtor In Northern Nevada”

The annual popularity contest, the Biggest Little Best of Northern Nevada, once again has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Five thousand and ninety-three verified voters and 121,605 votes in all categories. It’s frankly unprecedented. 

This year, is the 20th for this contest, it was chosen to highlight the contributions of individuals and business make to the Truckee Meadows culture. Business owners, activists, artists and promoters all got into the act to promote. Of course, there were also the impresarios who took the opportunity to raise their own profile in the community, but hey, all’s fair in love and Best of.

Thank you to everyone that made me their selection for “BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT IN NORTHERN NEVADA.

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I would like to present to you all… My 2 Newest Listings in Sparks.

9635 Cordoba Blvd

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The most popular Home is in the Autumn Trails Community. This beautiful spacious home is on a wide lot with open space behind. You don’t have to wait 8 months for the builder to build your dream home. This home is ready to go and has all the upgrades you would want in a new build. The main difference is you do have to be put on a waiting this. This home is priced to sell and is under the new build prices. This spacious home backs up to open space and comes with a 2 car detached garage. The master bedroom includes a master retreat and the master bath and has separate vanities, garden tub, and shower all new tile and granite counter tops. A his and her walk-in closet is also included. The kitchen has raised maple cabinets with roll-outs and under cabinet lighting. A large island with sink and dishwasher includes plenty of sitting room at the island. A butler pantry is right next to the kitchen and a pantry with frosted glass door. From the kitchen sink you are open to the family room with a beautiful stone gas log fireplace. Windows look out to the common space. The family room is pre-wired for a home theater system for watching your favorite movies. The home includes a laundry room with sink and cabinets. A 75 gallon water heater so you never have to take a cold shower again. Two of the bedrooms are adjoined with a Jack n Jill bathroom with 2 sinks. The 5th bedroom has it’s own bathroom with a shower and is on the other side of the house so it would be a great guest room or in-laws quarters.
 
 

 

 

2880 Halo Drive

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Welcome Home!!! Have you been looking for that home in Wingfield Springs that makes you want to move? You don’t have to look any longer. This home has every upgrade you can think of… from the Brazilian Tiger Wood floors to the Top of the Line appliances all the way down to the 6 inch custom baseboards to the crown molding that spans the expansive great room. This home has everything you have been looking for and more… The moment you walk in to this beautiful home you will see why no other home will compare. The first thing your guests will gawk at is the beautiful hardwood floors that open up to the flowing great room. The second thing you will notice is the Kitchen of your dreams with the custom hand built cabinets that have dome and down lighting. You will never want to eat out again after you use the GE Monogram 6 burner range. No home is complete if you don’t have a place to relax and enjoy your meal. Take your pick of eating out on the Deck or go downstairs and eat on the covered patio and look at a view that most would kill to have. But that’s not it… Every home needs a place to kick up your feet and relax. This home comes with its own Hot-tub that comes with the home. Just when you think it cant get any better you walk into your new Master bedroom from your own slider off the deck. You take your shower in a Shower that only is fit for a king/queen. After your done you walk into your own master closest that comes with custom shelves and cabinets for all those clothes you have been saying you don’t have enough place to put them all… You are HOME… Don’t wait and call for your showing NOW.
 
 

 

Best Bets for Adding Value to Your Home in 2014

America’s remodeling dollars are flowing again. If you’re looking to upgrade, Remodeling magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report tabs these projects as offering the best return on your investment.Image

Price Reduction… 2070 Driscoll Drive Reno, Nv 89509

Price Reduction...  2070 Driscoll Drive Reno, Nv 89509

Fabulous, well maintained SW home with 4 car garage. Expansive views of city & mountians. Upstairs features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths & spacious great rm w/ hardwood floors, fireplace. Sit on the spacious deck (over 1000 sq ft) and enjoy the view. Large kitchen w/ Viking 6 burner range. Downstairs has large bonus rm, wet bar & brick fireplace + bedroom and full bath. Attached 700sf 2 car garage, plus a heated 2 bay 912 SF detached garage w/ 9′ doors. Solar water heating system. RV sewage cleanout.

U.S. HOUSING PRICE APPRECIATION

U.S. HOUSING PRICE APPRECIATION

AVERAGE ANNUAL APPRECIATION BY STATE HOUSING PRICE INDEX 1975-2013

The Map and mini charts below are color coordinated by Census Division. The figures evidence the average annual rate of increase in the HPI (Housing Price Index) per division and the average first year rate of return on a 20% down payment. The actual rate of return on the purchase of real estate will vary with many factors. This ROR calculation is simplified and designed to show the benefit that can often exist by the use of leverage (financing) a purchase vs. paying cash. Taxes, insurance, maintenance and interest expense must all be considered as well, yet currently, these expenses are often less than the cost of renting a similar home and accordingly, can often cancel one another out.

New Listing… 2070 Driscoll Drive Reno Nv 89509 $469,900″

Fabulous, well maintained SW home with 4 car garage. Expansive views of city & mtns. Upstairs features 3 bdrms, 2 baths & spacious great rm w/ hardwood floors, fireplace. Sit on the spacious deck (over 1000 sq ft) and enjoy the view. Large kitchen w/ Viking 6 burner range.   Downstairs has large bonus rm, wet bar & brick fireplace + bedrm and full bath. Attached 700sf 2 car garage plus a heated 2 bay 912 SF detached garage w/ 9′ doors. Solar water heating system. RV sewage cleanout.

ANOTHER HAPPY HOMEOWNER!!!

ANOTHER HAPPY HOMEOWNER!!!

Say hello to The Warner’s. This cute couple just bought their new home in Reno. What an interesting road it was to the finish line. Mary-Lou and Dennis were a pleasure to work with were calm and collected when things weren’t the most ideal. I want to thank Britanya Hanlon at Wells Fargo Home Loans for making the dream happen for the Warners.

This is the reason I love what I do, Seeing the smiles on my clients faces when they get the keys. BTW… Dennis is smiling on the inside, :-).

Congratulations Warner’s

Dominic

NEW HOME SALES

“Don’t touch that dial.” That familiar broadcasting statement certainly applies to the markets these days, as some upcoming news could lead to big decisions. Read on for details.

There was news on the housing front as New Home Sales surged by 8.3 percent in June to 497,000. New Home Sales are up a whopping 38 percent since June of 2012, the largest annual increase since 1992. It’s important to note that New Home Sales in May were revised lower to 459,000 from 476,000, while Existing Home Sales came in weaker than expected, down 1.2 percent from May to June.

In other economic news, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims rose by 7,000 in the latest week to 343,000, above expectations. Meanwhile, Durable Goods Orders, which are orders for items that last for an extended period of time, had an upside surprise, surging by 4.2 percent in June, well above expectations. And consumers are still feeling positive, as Consumer Sentiment came in at 85.1, higher than expected.

What does all of this mean for home loan rates? It’s important to remember two things. First, home loan rates are tied to Mortgage Bonds, meaning that as Bonds improve, home loan rates improve. Second, the Fed has been purchasing Bonds and Treasuries at the rate of $85 billion a month since late last year, via their Quantitative Easing (QE) program. But as the housing and labor markets have begun to improve, there has been talk that the Fed should taper its purchases soon. The uncertainty surrounding this decision has caused volatility in the markets.

Some of this uncertainty may come to an end this week. The Fed’s next two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee begins Tuesday, with the monetary policy statement set to be released Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET. The statement will be closely watched around the globe for any signs that the Fed will begin tapering its Bond purchases–or if the members feel that tapering should be put off until 2014. If inflation starts to rise and economic reports continue to be strong, the Fed could consider tapering its Bond purchases sooner rather than later. Whether this will cause Bonds to worsen, leading to higher home loan rates–and how much higher–remains to be seen.

The bottom line is that home loan rates remain attractive compared to historical levels and now remains a great time to consider a home purchase or refinance. Let me know if I can answer any questions at all for you or your clients.