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Laquita Baez's Blog

By Laquita Baez | Agent in Atlanta, GA
  • Why Now is a Good Time to List Your Home- It's a Seller's Market!!!

    Posted Under: General Area in Lawrenceville, Home Buying in Lawrenceville, Home Selling in Lawrenceville  |  February 25, 2013 10:35 AM  |  320 views  |  No comments

    By Nick Timiraos

    National Association of Realtors

    The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday what home buyers in many parts of the United States have known for months: it’s becoming a seller’s market.

    The number of homes listed for sale in January fell by 4.9%, leaving 1.74 million properties on the market. That’s the lowest since December of 1999, when there were 1.71 million homes on the market. By contrast, there were 2.91 million homes on the market two years ago at this time.

    After adjusting for seasonal factors, home sales rose by just 0.4% in January, to an annual rate of 4.92 million units. Still, that’s up from 9.1% one year ago.

    The upshot is that there’s a growing pool of buyers chasing a shrinking supply of homes. If the trend holds, prices will keep going up. At the current pace of sales, it would take just 4.2 months to sell the current supply of homes available for sale, down from a 6.2 months’ supply one year ago.

    While inventories typically increase in the spring, the Realtors’ group has expressed growing concerns that sales volumes are being held back by the lack of choice. This is good news for homeowners who have watched home prices drop over the last six years, but it’s bad news for buyers—and for anyone that makes their living selling real estate.

    Inventory declines have been the most dramatic in California, Arizona, and other markets that witnessed some of the largest home price declines. Those cities have large numbers of underwater borrowers—people who owe more than their homes are worth—while many others may have equity but aren’t willing to sell because prices have fallen so far.

    Investors have also been aggressive in buying up properties that are selling for less than their replacement cost.

    National Association of Realtors

    Home sales could rise to 5.2 million units this year, an increase of nearly 12% from last year, according to economists at Goldman Sachs GS -1.67%. They base their forecast on household formation and demographics, which both suggest rising demand for housing in the coming years, and affordability measures such as mortgage rates and home prices.

    But the economists note that there’s a considerable amount of uncertainty that could make those targets hard to hit, particularly if there’s nothing for would-be buyers to purchase.

    For a professional market analysis for your area and home, contact:
    Laquita Baez
    Licensed Realtor in GA and NJ
    Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metrobrokers

  • Luxury Home Sales Spiked in 2012

    Posted Under: General Area in Summit, Home Buying in Summit, Home Selling in Summit  |  January 28, 2013 1:54 PM  |  300 views  |  No comments

    Luxury home sales soared in final months of 2012

    By Les Christie @CNNMoneyJanuary 8, 2013: 5:58 AM ET


    According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of homes valued at $1 million or more spiked 51% in November compared with a year earlier.

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

    Sales of luxury homes spiked in the final months of 2012 as high-end homeowners rushed to take advantage of lower tax rates before January 1.

    Many sellers wanted to cash in on their homes before a widely expected capital gains hike -- to 20% from 15% -- that was part of the fiscal cliff budget deal. High-income earners (singles with income of $200,000 or more and couples making more than $250,000) also wanted to close sales ahead of a 3.8% Medicare surtax on investment income that was already slated to go into effect this year as part of the Affordable Care Act.

    All told, a high-earner would pay $88,000 less in taxes if they made a $1 million profit on their home in 2012 rather than in 2013.

    That considerable tax savings motivated many wealthy homeowners to move fast. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales of homes valued at $1 million or more spiked 51% in November compared with a year earlier.

    In Manhattan, one of the most expensive markets in the nation, the number of sales of home valued at more than $10 million jumped 44% year-over-year during the last three months of 2012, according to broker Brown Harris Stevens.

    "Ever since last summer when people realized that the fiscal cliff was approaching, there was an incentive to get deals done," said Meredyth Smith, an agent for Sotheby's International Real Estate.


    Several of her clients hurried to close by the end of December. When one prospective buyer couldn't move that quickly, the seller called off the deal entirely, she said. He may reprice it entirely before putting it back on the market this year, she said.

    Some sellers lowered prices for buyers who promised to close before January 1. John Parsegian, an agent with Halstead Property, helped broker a $14 million condo sale in midtown Manhattan that closed in late December. The seller had structured the deal so that the home would cost $175,000 less if it finalized before January. He also threw in some furniture.

    Other sellers prevailed on co-op boards to speed up their approval processes, according to Sotheby's CEO, Philip White. Managing agents representing co-ops and condos, had trouble handling all of the paperwork for all the sellers who were anxious to close.

    For the first time in 26 years, Jonathan Miller, president of New York appraisal firm Miller Samuel, had to turn away business. "I call it 'bedlam in appraiserville,'" he said. "It was clearly skewed toward high-end properties."

    Looking ahead, all those rushed deals could mean a slight slump in high-end sales early in 2013, said White. Not only will buyers be in shorter supply but the inventory of luxury homes has dropped precipitously.

    But White thinks the drop-off will be short-lived. Historically low interest rates should continue making the long-term cost of buying these homes attractive to buyers. In addition, foreign buyers continue to invest in U.S. properties and many domestic buyers are starting to come off the sidelines now that home prices are starting to recover. To top of page

    First Published: January 8, 2013: 5:58 AM ET


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