Homebuyers Quick to Offer More than Asking Price

Guess how many homes have sold above their listing price during the month of May?

51%! – which is up from 26% one year ago.

Redfin’s recent study looked at homes sold in 400 U.S. metros that found most homebuyers are scrambling to purchase and seal the deal. 57% of the homes that went under contract had an accepted offer within the first two weeks on the market.

But what’s even more interesting, is that Redin’s study also found that the number of homes listed for sale is down 49% from 2019.

What this means, is that the real estate market has a lack of inventory – but that doesn’t seem to halt buyers from stepping forward and fighting for their dream home.

Redfin’s Chief Economist, Daryl Fairweather, explains, “[…] the fact that homes keep selling for more and more above asking prices goes to show that many people want a home than there are homes for sale. I don’t see that changing until mortgage rates increase, which will likely happen later this year. But until then, the housing market will remain red-hot.”

Also noted in Redfin’s study – the median home sales price hit a higher sales record ($354,250).

We’ll have to keep an eye on the market as mortgage rates fluctuate, contractors hurry to build, and sellers and buyers figure out their next steps in their real estate journey.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Are You a Cool Neighbor?

How close are you to your neighbors? We’re not talking about proximity.

A recent survey from SafeHome.org surveyed more than 1,000 Americans about their neighbor relationships to sort out what neighbors look for in other neighbors, and, if they would “tell on them” if a situation arose.

Depending on what situation occurs in the neighborhood, 38% of neighbors would choose to overlook an offense if it didn’t bother them, whereas 15% stated they have called the police on a neighbor when witnessing some type of occurrence.

So what’s the biggest thing neighbors find annoying or aggravating? – Violating noise ordinances. The survey found that 11% of respondents admitted to the activity in their home or neighborhood, but 26% stated that they were called out for being too loud.

Take a look at SafeHome.org’s infographic below and see where you might stand with your neighbors:

Check out Alliance’s Blog for more fun news, tips, and guides.

Builders Setting Restrictions for Home Construction

This isn’t news – the real estate market is hot, and construction is trying to keep up with homebuyer demand.

Rising construction costs haven’t been helping builders; items such as appliances, cabinets, and Sheetrock are causing delays in projects. To combat this growing problem, builders are changing up the way they handle requests.

According to the National Association of Home Builder’s survey conducted in April, 63% of builders nationwide are limiting the number of contracts they sign each month, and some builders are accepting bids for empty lots and contracts.

Other builders are trying to protect themselves against fluctuating prices – like including opt-out clauses for both the builder and buyer, since it’s getting more and more difficult for builders to give you a hard price. 

The new hoop to jump through isn’t trying to sell homes, but rather, trying to build homes.

For more real estate industry and economy news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Remote Online Notarization & ALTA Support

 U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) have reintroduced the bipartisan bill, The Securing and Enabling Commerce Using Remote and Electronic (SECURE) Notarization Act of 2021 (Senate Bill 1625)  that would allow for immediate nationwide use of remote online notarization (RON) – this would allow the notary and signer to complete the transaction in different physical locations.

This bill is supported by the American Land Title Association (ALTA), the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors.

What would the SECURE Notarization Act do, exactly?

ALTA lists them on their article, here:

  • Authorize every notary in the U.S. to perform RON.
  • Create national standards requiring use of tamper-evident technology, multifactor authentication of a signer and retention of an audio-visual recording of the notarial act.
  • Allow signers outside the U.S., such as military personnel and their families, to easily and securely notarize documents.
  • Create national standards requiring use of tamper-evident technology.
  • Follow a similar structure of complementary state/federal legislation, such as the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (ESIGN) and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA).

Diane Tomb, ALTA”s Chief Executive Officer, explains, “The SECURE Notarization Act allows businesses and consumers the ability to execute critical documents using two-way audiovisual communication. Current requirements for a signer to physically be in the presence of a notary are often impractical and sometimes impossible due to social distancing limitations resulting from the spread of COVID-19, as well as other roadblocks for in-person signing, like military service overseas and time constraints.” 

The 2021 ATLA Advocacy Summit (currently virtually underway) will discuss this bill further and encourage members of Congress to support the bill.

Homebuyers Feeling the Housing Pinch

Real estate is only beginning to heat up as the spring season kicks into gear – and homebuyers may be in for a bit of a shock.

According to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors, almost every metro area saw year-over-year home price increases in the first quarter. The median single-family sales price has soared to $319,200, which is an annual increase of 16.2% – a record high.

NAR’s chief economist, Lawrence Yun, comments: “The sudden price appreciation is impacting affordability, especially among first-time home buyers. With low inventory already impacting the market, added skyrocketing costs have left many families facing the realities of being priced out entirely.”

The average monthly mortgage payment increased to $1,067, which is up from $995 only a year ago.

What metro areas saw the highest price increase? NAR’s report listed the top 11 areas with median sales prices ranging from $100,000 to $600,000:

  • Kingston, NY: up 35.5% annually
  • Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn: 34.3%
  • Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J: 34%
  • Barnstable Town, Mass: 33.1%
  • Boise City-Nampa, Idaho: 32.8%
  • Sherman-Denison, Texas: 29.8%
  • Elmira, N.Y.: 29.1%
  • Austin-Round Rock, Texas: 28.2%
  • Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa: 27.7%
  • Decatur, Ill: 27.5%
  • Glens Falls, N.Y.: 27.5%

Continue reading the NAR’s report, here.

Whatcha Gonna Do When the DIY Fails?

Since the pandemic, DIY projects have been the go-to thing for homeowners to set out and accomplish. What better to do than update areas in your home to enjoy the time you spend in them?

According to Cinch Home Services’ recent survey, 90% of homeowners have taken on a DIY home project during the pandemic.

But, for most us “joe schmoes,” we don’t entirely know each and every particular step to accomplishing a DIY project – and, according to the same survey, homeowners reported spending an average of $184.13 to fix a failed DIY house project.

Cinch Home Survey Infographic

So, what areas in the home are subjected to a higher probability of ending in failure? The survey found that every 1 in 5 attempted bathroom DIY projects ended in some sort of mistake. Stay away from these plumbing projects – especially if you’re a novice.  

What are some of the problems that end up with a DIY failure?

  • 46% of homeowners surveyed said they were lacking the right equipment or tools
  • 44% of homeowners surveyed said they lacked enough knowledge to complete the project
  • 38% of homeowners surveyed said they forgot a step to the project
  • 36% of homeowners surveyed said they bought the wrong material to complete the project

While a DIY project isn’t necessarily the wrong idea if you’re a homeowner, it might be worth it to consider all steps and all tools needed to complete a project correctly.

Have you undertaken a DIY project since the pandemic? How’d it go? Let us know in the comments below!

For more real estate guides and news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

The Love/Hate Relationship Between Homeowner and Home

Before and after becoming a homeowner, there’s a checklist created of wants and needs that they hope their home has – obviously, not all home transactions will complete the entire checklist for the homeowner.

What are features that homeowners seek for their homes, and what are attributes that contribute towards their dissatisfaction towards their home?

According to Sears Home Services recent survey, more than 1,000 consumers helped answer the question.

Here are the features homeowners seek:

  • Security and safety – 54.4%
  • Location – 52.7%
  • Part of the home dedicated to relaxation – 51.4%
  • Privacy – 49.3%
  • Size – 46.4%
  • Living situation (housemates) – 45%
  • Outdoor space (garden, balcony, etc.) – 43%

Features that stress homeowners:

  • Noise level – 26.7%
  • Size – 24.9%
  • Proximity to other homes – 22.8%
  • Pests – 21.6%
  • Design choices – 21.6%
  • Lack of privacy – 20%
  • Lack of outdoor space – 20%

The survey also dived into what helped create the “Habit of a Happy Home” –

So, do you agree with what features make your home happy and/or frustrated? Do you contribute to any of the above “habits” to create a happy home?
Voice your comments below!

Check out more real estate news, stats, and guides through Alliance’s Blog.

Homeowner Regret: The Refinance Train

It’s no shock or surprise to read that mortgage rates are currently (still) at historical lows, but what may be a surprise – are homeowners who didn’t refinance and jump on saving thousands of dollars.

What happened?

2020 was a big refinancing boom, obviously due to the incredibly low rates. However, according to LendingTree, more than a third (36%) of homeowners report having regret after not taking advantage of the low mortgage rates. Most homeowners incorrectly assumed that in order to refinance, they had to work with their original lender (false) or only had the option to refinance their mortgage once (also false).

And 11% of homeowners also currently do not know what their mortgage rate is, or even if it’s worth it to refinance at all.

Interest rates are currently sitting at 3.060% for a 30-year fixed mortgage rate and 2.340% for a 15-year fixed mortgage rate – but about 34% of homeowners (over a third) have a 4% mortgage rate or higher.

So, who did take advantage of refinancing? Looks like Millennials were the ones to jump on board last year. 42% of Millennials, 18% of Gen Xers, and 10% of Baby Boomers refinanced within the last year.

However – it looks like with all the reporting on “missed refinancing,” homeowners are starting to consider it in the next year, about 49%.

For more real estate news, stop by Alliance Title’s Blog.

Blooming Real Estate Stats

Spring has sprung in real estate! Buyers and sellers alike are heating up the market – check out the latest stats to hit the industry.

  • Urban areas are the top location for MILLENNIALS, with the group citing convenience and commuting costs as their top concerns.
  • 81% of all homes purchased continue to be detached single-family homes.
  • Baby Boomers are the largest group of sellers at 43%.
  • *NAR 2021 Generational Stats

Stay in the know and reach out to your local Alliance Title Rep today!

Closing Time & Delays

Real estate has its hoops for buyers, sellers, lenders, agents, and the like to jump through – but what recent hurdles have been happening in the title and escrow world?

The majority of home contracts have been settling on time, but according to REALTORS Confidence Index, about 26% faced some sort of delay in February, while 6% were cancelled completely.

So what happens to be the most common issues when trying to close on a home? Check out the National Association of REALTORS infographic below that highlights what potential problems might delay contracts:

Stop by Alliance’s Blog for more real estate news.