Featured Listings!!

Price-to-Rent Ratio isn’t the Bottom Line for Seaford Renters

Nov 12, 2015

Last week, Seaford residents who keep their eyes on real estate trends got some fresh information about one factor that seeks to put numbers to the relative benefits of buying versus renting. When real estate values head south, buying may seem to be a particularly risky proposition…even though later it’s clear that the value proposition was actually improving. The trade-offs are hard to quantify. Even now, if Seaford listings reflect prices on the rise, renters who failed to lasso the most extreme bargains may assume they’ve missed the boat.

Putting numbers to the problem is a complicated, pencil-snapping exercise. In addition to current dollars spent, it involves speculating on future market values. But Seaford readers who checked into CoreLogic’s Insights blog found some new data toward the end of last week, presented in an interesting way. It arrived in an article that looked at one particular aspect of today’s national real estate landscape “seven years after the last housing bubble.”

What CoreLogic’s market trend analyst Shu Chen did was to calculate the ratio of median home listing prices versus home rental prices, and chart it over the past decade. To come up with the numbers, national median home prices in key markets were divided by median annual rent figures. The beginning 2005 ratio was set at (indexed to) 100: the starting point for this “Price-to-Rent” ratio. The idea would be that when the ratio shows less than 100, it’s a good time to buy; when it goes over 100, the relative advantage has faded. It’s all relative, of course…and it doesn’t work out to be much more than a footnote to history—but you have to check the graph carefully to come to that conclusion.

Tracking the ratio’s movement over the past ten years, the graph shows a more or less steady Price-to-Rent ratio from 2005 until sometime in 2007. English translation: until the onset of the housing crisis, the financial incentives to continue renting versus buying remained pretty much unchanged. But then we see a bumpy but pronounced drop from 2007 until 2012. Aha! The housing crisis/mortgage meltdown! This would verify that listing prices were falling even as rent levels were rising. This would mark a point where purchasing became more advantageous—even though the risk level at the time seemed daunting.

Then, beginning in 2012, the graph does an about-face. It shows a steady rise as the Price-to-Rent ratio returned to previous heights. Right at the end, as we near today’s data, there is a minor drop: but it’s only slightly below the peak—which you’d think should coincide with the least advantage to buying versus renting.

That this conclusion is the opposite of our area’s current situation is because the Price-to-Rent ratio isn’t the only game in town. The spoiler on the US Price-to Rent Ratio graph is a second line (a faint orange one that all but disappears next to the in-your-face deep purple of the Price-to-Rent line). The orange one is the mortgage interest rate curve. It mimics Price-to-Rent’s ups and downs almost exactly…until it doesn’t. At some point in 2012, the mortgage interest rate flat-lines near the bottom, then stays there, hugging the depths even as Price-to-Rent’s purple line heads skyward.

In other words, the relative advantage to buying versus renting, which should have all but disappeared as Seaford home prices climbed, did no such thing. Today’s historically low mortgage interest rates continued to make buying a fantastic opportunity. If you’re one of those who’d like to check into those current opportunities in Seaford, I’ll stay close to the phone!   Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Lewes Real Estate Listings are Designed for Simplicity

Nov 12, 2015

The first stop for anyone looking for a new home in Lewes —or for anyone who is even mildly curious about what properties are currently available—is the Lewes real estate listings. Like those you find here on my site, today’s online real estate listings are updated regularly all across the internet. It’s a coordinated system that appears deceptively simple on the surface, bringing you what you ask for from within the mind-bogglingly vast amount of detail that encompasses all the properties being offered throughout the country at that moment.  

When a prospective buyer goes online to get a feel for the Lewes properties being offered, the real estate listings she or he sees appear to be straightforward enough. The information is clearly formatted, presented in a way that makes it easy to compare with other properties’ attributes. That apparent simplicity might be a little bit misleading, as anyone who has recently put their own home on the market knows.  

Before any listing goes online, all the property’s physical details have to be determined and verified. It’s your agent’s job to make sure the paperwork is complete—including the legal documentation that says, yes, this property is for sale at this amount. The 2015 NAR® handbook on multiple listing policy fills 152 pages for good reason. ‘Under the hood’ of the neighborhood listings is the structure of legal agreements that stitch together the cooperative framework that enables the smooth functioning of the modern real estate industry. Stripped of all its legal bells and whistles, it’s really an agreement among brokers and agents who agree to the way work will be apportioned and commissions shared. 

As you might expect, those 152 pages also cover some special kinds of real estate listings. Homeowners, for instance, can create Lewes real estate listings that are not made public. This is done when the seller withholds consent for a listing to be published with the MLS compilation. Although that might seem to be a particularly bad idea—like a candidate running for office who decides it would be a good idea to keep his name off the ballot—there are circumstances when it makes sense. Such ‘office exclusive’ listings can serve a useful purpose when maximum confidentiality is important. Celebrities and other public figures sometimes use this approach, as do sellers who’d rather not publicize their plan to jump ship until it’s a fait accompli.

All this is made as simple and straightforward as possible for the benefit of all. If it were too complex, sellers and buyers would hesitate to get involved. The market would suffer. In fact, today’s Lewes listings—especially as they are presented online, on sites like this one— represent a standout example of how technology can make even complicated commercial undertakings easier and more efficient than they have ever been. To find your next home, for instance, you need only check out the current Lewes listings, and then there’s only one other thing you have to do: call me up! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

Friday News Triggers Selbyville Mortgage Rate Wakeup Call

Nov 12, 2015

There’s a reason that Selbyvillehome loan providers sometimes choose to lead their ads with a ‘lock’ provision. They know that potential clients likely to be enticed by low Selbyvillemortgage rate numbers are fairly sophisticated—they know that today’s mortgage rate is not necessarily tomorrow’s. By the time a home loan is finalized, the headlined number could be less favorable; hence, the ‘lock’ guarantees.

For quite a while—years, actually— Selbyvillemortgage rates have behaved themselves pretty much the way we’d like. There may have been occasional minor upticks, but seldom any that would cause serious consternation. The interest rate hikes which some experts had predicted for 2014 and 2015 never seemed to materialize: every notch up was followed by notches back down. Mortgage rate volatility disappeared as a topic of interest from real estate and financial pages. What discussion there was tended to be predictable: rates would certainly have to rise, sooner or later—but later was (yawn) a lot more likely. It was pretty much All Quiet on the Mortgage Front…zzzzzzzzzz….

Until last week, which provided a definite wakeup call. It was a textbook example of how mercurial mortgage rates can turn—and how right those were who have been championing financing and/or refinancing while rates are in the historically low range.

The week started out quietly enough. In the previous week, before the Federal Reserve’s 2-day meeting, consumer mortgage rates were, per themortgagereport website, “scraping new lows, bestowing refinance opportunities on homeowners and boosting the purchasing power for buyers” across the nation. As usual, the Fed get-together provided hints that the Fed Funds rate would certainly have to rise, sooner or later…and although sooner did seem to be jostling later for consideration. It had been a possibility for so long, the usual carefully-worded announcement failed to raise undue concern. Yawns had to be stifled.

Until Friday, when the Non-Farm Payroll report hit the snoozing nation like a tornado in January. It crushed the forecasts. It was stellar. This was as unexpected as, per FuturesMag writer Matt Weller, it was “essentially perfect.”  The world’s largest economy had created a “stunning” 271,000 jobs. What was not to like?

For those who were banking on mortgage interest rates remaining frozen in the cellar, there was a lot not to like. The strong news made the Fed much more likely to finally raise the Fed Funds rate next month! Web headlines were screaming within minutes: “Bad Day for Mortgage Rates; Non-Farm Payrolls Soar” and “Non-farm payroll paves the way for a Fed rate hike in December.The Washington Post even came up with “This settles it: The Fed is going to raise interest rates in December.” That may be far from certain, but quoted home loan rates did begin to rise in anticipation. By the close of business on Friday, the Mortgage News Daily observed rates that were the highest since July.

What does this mean for Selbyvillemortgage interest rates? If the now wide-awake experts are credible, it looks as if taking advantage of still-low rates is likely to prove advantageous. There are never any guarantees, but for anyone intending a move that involves a home loan, it might not be a bad idea to give me a call—sooner rather than later! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at russellstucki@remax.net, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com