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/

Is NOW the time to buy a home?!?!

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Is the housing market still seasonal? The market has been so up and down recently that the answer can depend on whom you ask, and the market that you’re talking about. But, historically, residential real estate sees a lull in the winter holiday season and beginning of the new year — when everyone seems a bit crunched for time, not to mention money. And in most markets it doesn’t pick up again until the end of January. There’s a reason that data on home prices, mortgage rates, etc., are “seasonally adjusted.”

There are compelling signs, though, that as 2013 winds to a close, serious home shoppers should ignore this convention and instead turn it to their advantage. Here are key things that prospective homebuyers might want to consider before putting their quest on winter hiatus.

Mortgage rates have fallen: Primary among the reasons to move now has been the fluctuation in mortgage rates. After having taken a sharp bump up in the late spring, as the housing market re-energized and demand for mortgages surged, mortgage rates have dropped for the second straight week. And at an average of 4.10 percent for a 30-year-fixed loan, they’re at their lowest in six months. It might be true true that with the Federal Reserve apparently committed for the near term to keep interest rates low by buying bonds, that borrowers have some wiggle room. But there are other reasons not to delay.

The ceiling will drop on loan amounts: If you’re seeking a government-backed mortgage — as most mortgages are — you’re already restricted to getting a loan that’s based on the median home prices in your desired area ($417,000 in most housing markets). And the acting head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco, has announced that these limits will go lower next year. While DeMarco assured the public in October that the change wouldn’t be sudden, and that financial markets would have at least six months to adjust, why would you want to wait until then? Home prices in the U.S., meanwhile, have continued to rise.

Loans might be tougher to qualify for, or at least require more paperwork: Starting in January 2014, in order to get a “qualified mortgage” — a loan that’s insured by the Federal Housing Administration, prospective homebuyers will have to make a stronger case for their credit-worthiness. Along with documents spelling out the terms of the loan, mortgage seekers will be supplying proof of current income and assets, credit history, and other debts. And then they’ll have to prove that the annual amount of debt they carry is no more than 43 percent of annual income. The changes, required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, also mandate that the loans carry a fixed-rate and be paid over a term not longer than 30 years.

Investors appear to have taken a breather: Those real estate speculators who were driving up housing prices, and swooping in to snatch away the bargains by making higher bids and cash offers, now seem less smitten with the residential market. A recent poll of investors found that only around 1 in 5 are still interested in buying more homes — about half the number from a year ago. That means less competition.

Average homebuyers seem discouraged: Speaking of the competition, applications for new mortgages have been ebbing in recent months, along with consumer confidence. That should improve the chances of those willing to stay in the hunt, even if it means slogging through the winter weather.

Sellers might be more motivated: Just as it can show a bit more commitment to shop for a home in November and December, the same might be said for sellers, especially those who might be seeking a tax advantage by selling before the year is out, or who have grown impatient after seeing their properties fail to sell during the market’s peak season.

What better time to see a home?: Sure, it might be a little tough to judge a house’s curb appeal through the gloom and slush of late autumn and early winter, not to mention under the holiday lights and tinsel. But what better time to see what a home can stand up to?

It’s true that there are some key areas that probably can’t be inspected or tested if it’s cold or snow is on the ground, such as air conditioning units (which could be damaged in operated at temperatures below 60 degrees) and in-ground sprinklers. On the other hand, it’s a prime time to see how the heater works and how well-insulated the home is. Some other things that might be much more evident include: roof leaks, a basement that floods, pipes that freeze, and inadequate lighting. And how easy is it to get to and from the property during bad weather? If it’s in a rural area, are you likely to get snowed in, see a road washed out or be trapped by a mudslide?

And as for those uninspectable areas: If you can’t wait until the weather warms to have those checked, explore a contingency built into the contract that takes care of any possible repairs

Listing prices for Reno homes surge nearly 30%

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According to Realtor.com’s latest Monthly Housing Summary the list prices for homes across the country increased 7.57 percent year-over-year in October. Of the 146 markets tracked by Realtor.com 85 percent reported year-over-year increases — with many showing gains of 20 percent or more; and even a few with increases of 30 to 40+ percent.

Reno, Nevada ranked 4th nationwide amongst housing markets with the largest increase in list price. Reno’s median list price increased 29.29 percent year-over-year.

The Realtor.com report also showed Reno’s median list price for October was $258,577. To compare these numbers to actual sold homes in October, Reno’s median sales price was $215,000, for a year-over-year increase of 19.4 percent.

What other markets showed the largest gains in list prices? Here are the top-ten…

Search Ranking Area / Region Median List Prices Total Listings Median Age of Inventory
United States $199,000 7.57% -0.25% 1,905,064 -1.51% -0.71% 94 -11.32% 1.08%
RANK City $ YY MM # YY MM # YY MM
1 Detroit, MI $129,900 44.33% -2.33% 16,509 -15.00% 2.48% 52 -18.75% 8.33%
2 Stockton-Lodi, CA $245,000 40.80% 2.13% 1,385 21.92% -7.17% 48 37.14% 6.67%
3 Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, CA $799,000 33.39% 1.65% 1,103 -25.22% -6.68% 73 -21.51% 4.29%
4 Reno, NV $258,577 29.29% -0.26% 2,636 -13.43% 0.00% 77 -26.67% 1.32%
5 Melbourne-Titusville-Palm Bay, FL $165,990 27.78% 0.60% 3,769 -31.24% 3.01% 68 -32.00% 6.25%
6 Fresno, CA $229,900 24.34% 2.18% 2,655 15.38% -2.53% 59 5.36% 5.36%
7 Las Vegas, NV-AZ(NV) $164,999 24.33% -2.88% 18,723 -12.78% 1.90% 80 -16.67% 5.26%
8 Oakland, CA $475,000 24.27% -1.03% 3,796 26.66% -0.68% 30 11.11% 7.14%
9 Phoenix-Mesa, AZ $237,900 22.00% 1.23% 19,751 14.38% 12.86% 50 0.00% 0.00%
10 San Diego, CA $449,900 21.92% -0.02% 8,890 -8.72% 0.32% 57 -17.39% 3.64%

September, 2013 Market Report Area 100, Greater Reno/Sparks

September, 2013 Market Report Area 100, Greater Reno/Sparks

Here is the latest information on the Reno/Sparks Housing Market.

  • Days on Market (DOM) by Special Conditions

– Short sale properties had an average days on market of 232.
– Properties with no special conditions had an average days on market of 72.
– REO Properties had an average days on market of 90.

  •  New Listings

– September, 2013 new listings was down -20.1% to 583 compared to 730 in August,
2013 and up 5.0% compared to 555 in September 2012.
– Properties listed at under $250,000 made up 56% of new listings entering the
market during the month of September, 2013.
– 22% of new September, 2013 listings were distressed. Short sales 17%; REO 3%;
No special conditions 78%; and Other 2%.

  •  Distressed New Listings History

– The allocation of new listings by special conditions increased, representing 19% of
the market in September 2013, down from 19% in August 2013, and 47% in
September 2012.

  •  Status of Pending

– Active/Pending-Short Sale represent 39.6% of the total active pendings;
Active/Pending-Loan equals 23.3%; Pending-No Show represents 25.4%;
Active/Pending-Call 9.4%; and Active/Pending-House 2.3%.

  •  Current Months Supply of Inventory (Unsold Inventory over Sales per Month)

– At the end of September, 2013, there was 4.0 months of unsold inventory based on
the monthly sales rate.

Reno ranked 9th best city to live

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http://livability.com/reno/nv

Reno is getting some good press lately.  With housing prices on the rise but yet still affordable, Reno is a destination place once again.

 

Known as “The Biggest Little City in the World,”Reno is as much an outdoor recreation mecca as it is a casino city. It’s about 450 miles from Las Vegas, but it’s considered a gaming and nightlife destination in its own right with several casinos and showplaces. It truly shines, however, with an abundance of year-round recreation – from snow skiing to mountain biking. Reno is also home to Nevada’s oldest university, the University of Nevada – Reno.

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SPARKS, 75 QUIVERA LANE | Dominic Gentile, Realtor® | Condos to Castles. We are the first step in reaching your dreams.

SPARKS, 75 QUIVERA LANE | Dominic Gentile, Realtor® | Condos to Castles. We are the first step in reaching your dreams..

 

This well situated, grand one story country style home takes advantage of maximum light and unobstructed views.  Paved road from Quivera to the home…  This is not common in this area of town.   From its high vantage point, You’ll see sparkling Sparks lights in the evening, a panorama of the valley , beautiful surrounding homes, our changing seasons, and the occasional rain. On over 37 acres, at least 34 acres are undeveloped flat land surrounding the home, perfect for developing horse property.

 

The home is designed to accommodate the large family and has entertained over 90 people comfortably! Each bedroom has its own bathroom, the massive living area has a focal point of a floor to ceiling natural stone fireplace which is wood burning, also there is a pellet stove with a blower. The heart of the home is it’s kitchen which is open, featuring a 48 inch, 6 burner 2 oven WOLF range.  With many areas to seat people, especially the huge “nook” which is 14 X 26 and counts as part of the square footage. You’ll notice the more than ample counter space.  There is a cultivated 7800 sf yard that has an uncovered patio and is surrounded by a picket fence. There are 2 garages, the dimensions are extra deep 28 X 38. The home has a fire sprinkler system that protects the home home.  The RV garage has 2 bays and is 14″ high with 12″ high doors.  The assessment covers the costs of a 17 mile asphalt road which leads right to the home. The current owners are motivated to downsize and will leave this home with many happy memories of entertaining their large family.  If you have horses there is not a better property in the area for you to ride.   Grab your appetite for open land and come on up and view this amazing piece of heaven.

WANTED!!!

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I need your help!!!  Homes needed for these signs.  If you know of a home or condo that is in need for a FOR SALE sign let me know ASAP.

No home should go without one in this market.   Please give me a call if you see a home that is in need.   The only way to get your home sold is with a HARCOURTS FOR SALE SIGN!!!

Dont waste anymore time.  The longer you wait let longer your HOME will go without making you happy.   Just think if you sold your home Today your home would make you some serious cash.

DON’T WASTE ANOTHER DAY LETTING YOUR HOME FAIL BETWEEN THE CRACKS.

FOR URGENT RESULTS CONTACT.

DOMINIC GENTILE

775-749-8811

DOMINIC.GENTILE@HARCOURTSNV.COM

What IRS recognition of gay marriage in every state means for real estate

What IRS recognition of gay marriage in every state means for real estate

Same-sex spouses who own a home and have a mortgage together will be able to claim the home mortgage interest deduction jointly on their joint tax return, like any other married couple