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The national headlines over the past few years have indicated that the housing market is doing well, median home values have been on the rise, and mortgage rates have been historically low.  What I want to do with this particular post is take a closer look at where we are now, compared to the housing market peak in 2006/2007 and as compared to the housing market low in 2011/2012.

Spoiler alert!  The bottom line is that not all housing markets are equal and real estate is local.  While I’m sure the national headlines are accurate, they may not be applicable to your particular housing market.

During the market downturn from 2007 to 2011, many home owners had a hard time coming to grips with the current value of their home.  It was going down monthly, but all they could think about was what it was worth at the housing market peak in 2006/2007.  Reality took several years to sink in.  The good news is that we’ve had around 6 years of housing market recovery (since 2011) and, for the most part, home values have recovered nicely.

So let’s take a closer look at some of the major markets throughout the United States.  The following table shows where each market is compared to the peak in 2006/2007 as well as how much each market has increased since the low in 2011/2012.

 

Housing Market

% Above (or Below) Peak in 2006/2007 % Change From Low in 2011/2012

Denver, CO

53.4% 78.5%

Dallas, TX

47.4% 65.5%
Seattle, WA 33.7%

99.4%

Portland, OR

24.8% 80.4%
San Francisco, CA 22.3%

114.3%

Boston, MA 17.6%

47.0%

Charlotte, NC

15.6% 44.9%
Atlanta, GA 6.9%

76.7%

Los Angeles, CA

2.8% 76.6%
San Diego, CA 2.8%

73.1%

Minneapolis, MN

-0.05% 61.7%
Cleveland, OH -2.2%

28.1%

Detroit, MI

-3.5% 90.2%
New York, NY -8.8%

25.0%

Washington DC

-9.4% 30.3%
Tampa, FL -12.7%

67.8%

Chicago, IL

-14.8% 39.7%
Miami, FL -16.3%

71.6%

Phoenix, AZ

-20.5%

80.5%

Las Vegas, NV -22.9%

101.4%

Amazingly, ten of the housing markets are now above where they were at the peak in 2006/2007.  The top 3 markets are Denver, CO (up 53.4%), Dallas, TX (up 47.4%), and Seattle, WA (up 33.7%).

Given that the Minneapolis, MN housing market is essentially back to the peak it saw in 2006/2007, the 9 remaining housing markets in the table above have not quite returned to their peak value.  The bottom 4 markets are Chicago, IL (still down -14.8% from its peak), Miami, FL (still down -16.3% from its peak), Phoenix, AZ (still down -20.5% from its peak), and Las Vegas, NV (still down -22.9% from its peak).  While these housing markets have not recovered to their peak values, they have recovered 39.7%, 71.6%, 80.5%, and 101.4%, respectively, from their lows seen in 2011/2012.

My personal opinion is that a slow and steady recovery is healthier than fast recovery.  But there are many factors that play into why one particular housing market would perform different than another housing market.  High demand for housing would be the biggest factor to drive up home values to where they have surpassed their historical peak.  And what would create such a demand?  My first response to that question would be jobs.  I’ve seen an inverse relationship between unemployment rate and the demand for housing (as the unemployment rate goes down, the housing values go up).  It stands to reason that people will move to where the jobs are and this in turn creates a high demand for housing resulting in increased home values in those particular markets.

Another factor that would lead to a high demand for housing is affordability of the housing.  Historically low mortgage interest rates have helped drive the high demand for purchasing a home.  Needless to say, having a job, as evidenced by the current low unemployment rates, also plays into making a home affordable.  An additional contributor to the high demand throughout the housing market recovery has been investors.  For those investors with capital, or the ability to borrow capital (at historically low mortgage rates), housing has been an attractive investment.

Vincent Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Inspire
Geneva, IL
630-391-8764

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I just read about St. Charles North high school ranking in the top 25 on the US News Best High Schools list for the state of Illinois this year.  That’s awesome!

In all, eight Kane county high schools made the top 100 list.  They are: St. Charles North (#25), Barrington (#28), St. Charles East (#47), Hinckley-Big Rock (#60), Geneva Community (#69), Bartlett (#81), Central (#92) and Batavia (#93).

To read more about all of these great schools, check out Kane County Connects at the following link:
http://kanecountyconnects.com/2016/04/u-s-news-8-kane-county-high-schools-ranked-among-best-in-illinois/?utm_source=Kane+County+Connects+WEEKEND+EDITION+-+April+23%2C+2016&utm_campaign=KCC+WEEKEND+Newsletter&utm_medium=email.

This is just another great reason to live in the Fox River Valley!

Vince Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty
630-391-8764

 

‘Property Watch’ service to help you protect your house against fraud.  Sounds like a great idea.  Unfortunately, it is a sign of the times that we live in that something like this is even needed.  Then again, you have this service available to you.  Although the only place I know that it is available is in Kane County, Illinois.  I would venture to guess that other counties already have or will implement similar systems, but this is the first one that I have heard about.

The best time to catch fraud is as early as possible.  And how often do you check your county recorder’s office for documents recorded against your property?  My answer would be never.  Well, I guess I might if I was looking to sell my house.  And for sure, my attorney would do this for me when I am ready to sell my house.  But that could be years down the line and it would be last minute to try to clear something up that is incorrectly recorded right before closing the sale of your house.  That’s the last thing a seller needs when they are selling their home, more stress.

So how do you get set up for this ‘Property Watch’ service?  You go to the Kane County Recorder’s website, www.kanecountyrecorder.net, and click on the Land Records Search in the menu on the left.  There you will find a place for you to register your account (create a username and password) and subsequently you can identify your property address for monitoring.

Some of the features identified in the press release from the county are as follows:

  • Instant access to live updates on important transactions to your property records.
  • Review your current chain of title to your property.
  • Make sure you have clean title before buying, selling, or refinancing your home.

I’ve set up the service to protect my house from fraud.  I suggest that it is a good idea for you to look into doing the same thing to protect what is most likely one of your most valuable assets, your property.  Once you are signed up, you will receive an e-mail when a document is recorded against your property and get a link to be able to see that document.

Vince Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty
630-391-8764

If you will lend me your crystal ball, or better yet, your time machine, I would be able to tell you.  The answer is, no one really knows exactly what the housing market will look like in the future.  And it will be different depending on your location.

I’ve told you what the current market looks like in my series on the towns in and around the Fox Valley that I just finished.  Let’s start looking at some of the factors that will influence the shape the future housing market.  One of these items is the mortgage rates.  This will be impacted by the Fed’s policy on interest rates, and only time will tell which direction the Fed is going to go.  The bottom line with this one is, if mortgage rates stay low, more people will be able to afford to buy a home.  If rates go up, less people will be able to qualify for buying a home.

Another factor that I see influencing the future housing market is the amount of distressed homes (short sale, bank owned/REO) for sale.  For the past several years, these represented homes in an affordable price range for many, but they were not always in good condition.  So, if you were willing to add some elbow grease to fix up one of these homes, you had a good chance of finding a home you could afford to buy.  With there being fewer distressed homes available, I think that less homes in general will be sold because the other homes, typically in better condition and more expensive, may be too costly to afford.  This in effect could keep some would be buyers out of the market.

Not to mention, there are 8.1% of all mortgages that are still under water.  These homeowners either can’t sell or won’t sell at a loss.  With an estimated average 3% per year appreciation in home values in the near future, it may be several more years before these homeowners will be back in the market to sell their current home and possibly buy a new home.

It’s already a buyer’s market in many areas for higher priced homes.  And by higher priced, for some areas this means $400k and up.  The high supply of homes for sale and low supply of buyers to buy them can put downward pressure on home value appreciation, which in turn will slow down the ability of those homeowners that are still under water to get out from underneath their mortgage and back into the market.  At the same time, it can put upward pressure on the lower priced homes.  This would be due to seller’s market conditions, i.e. too few homes for sale at the lower prices  and a large number of buyers.

It’s not all doom and gloom.  We’ve had a great run in the housing market recovery over the past several years.  The number of distressed homes for sale has decreased.  The number of homes that have sold has also been increasing.  I do expect a slowdown in the number of homes that sell each year mainly because of some of the reasons stated above.  But there can be unforeseen government incentives or economic influences that come up to keep the market rolling along.

Maybe conditions are prime for a boom in tiny houses!  Maybe we would be accepting of a year or two to sell our home.  Or maybe the unemployment rate drops more, consumer confidence rises, wages increase, and homes are more affordable and the market keeps going at its current pace without skipping a beat.  Let me know your thoughts on what you see happening in the housing market.

Vince Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty
630-391-8764

I was thinking about the housing market recovery and wondered what it looked like for one of the neighborhoods in St. Charles known as Cambridge East.  Cambridge East was built and initially sold from 1983 to 1989.  The subdivision has approximately 340 homes and is located on the east side of St. Charles.  Homes in this neighborhood have an average of around 1,700 square feet of living space and about 0.2 acres of land.  Back in the 80’s homes sold from $73,300 to $186,700 with a median sale price of around $114,400.  Ever since then, there’s been an average of 18.6 homes sold per year.  The chart below shows the details by year.

Cambridge East Sales

In the past 4 years, the number of homes sold has been on the rise back up to near the average number of home sales.  As a percentage, there has been an average of 18.9% of the homes sold in the past 2 years that have been distressed homes (e.g. short sale or bank owned/REO).  This is a little higher than the average for distressed home sales (for single family detached homes) in St. Charles which was 16.8% and 13.1% in 2014 and 2015, respectively.  Anyway, all of these numbers are below the 20.3% rate of distressed home sales in Kane County.

Believe it or not, even with all of the home sales in this neighborhood over the years, about 25% of the home owners are still the original owners.  The average length of home ownership in the neighborhood is around 16.7 years.

Based on an evaluation of available home sale data, the average home value in today’s market is estimated as follows:

 

Home Style Average Home Value
1 Story $219,800
1-1/2 Story $234,100
Split Level $248,900
2 Story $261,300

 

Please keep in mind that every home is different and that the value of any individual home will depend in large part on its size and the condition of the home, including what updates and upgrades have been made to it over the years.  Overall, Cambridge East looks to be a good value, selling below the median home value of $320,000 for St. Charles, and the homes still come with all of the benefits that St. Charles and the Fox Valley have to offer.

This is the final entry in my series this Spring on the real estate market in the Fox Valley and the surrounding areas. To review from my previous blog entry, the overall Chicagoland market in December 2015 has shown a year-over-year increase in home values of 2.4% and a 5.6% increase in the number of homes sold. This is all good news, which we don’t get enough of these days.

So now let’s narrow the focus to single family detached homes in West Chicago. Here are some stats to review.

2015 2014 % Change
Median Sale Price $195,000 $215,250 -9.4%
# of Homes Sold 325 294 +10.5%
# of Distressed Homes Sold 86 99 -13.1%
% of Market (Distressed Homes Sold / Homes Sold) 26.5% 33.7% -7.2%
Average Market Time (days) 119 102 16.7%

While the median sale price went down, it does not mean that the home values in West Chicago decreased, all it means is that more lower-priced homes sold. With that said, all of the other numbers look good, but it would be nice to see the average market time go down a little. Also, significantly down is the percent of the market that are distressed home sales (short sales, bank owned/REOs). While this number stands at 26.5% of the West Chicago market in 2015, it is down from its high in 2011 when it was 60.8%.

Let’s take a look at current market conditions for detached homes as the Spring housing market gets going. I’ll break the market down into price ranges to get a closer look at the different segments of the market.

Home Values # of Active Listings # of Homes Sold (past 6 mo) Absorption Rate
Up to $199k 45 66 4.1 Months
$200k to $399k 88 55 9.6 Months
$400k and up 42 8 31.5 Months

I would expect the number of active listings to start going up as the Spring housing market picks up momentum in the next month or so. But again, it’s the absorption rates* that show an interesting range of values. There is a neutral market for homes up to $199k, and there is a buyer’s market for homes from $200k and up. It would be nice if each segment was in the neutral market range, but that’s not always the case. This is a key statistic to keep in mind when pricing your home to sell, or when placing an offer on a home to buy.

Let’s now take a look at attached homes (townhomes and condos) in West Chicago.

2015 2014 % Change
Median Sale Price $143,000 $126,125 +13.4%
# of Homes Sold 37 36 +2.8%
# of Distressed Homes Sold 8 14 -42.9%
% of Market (Distressed Homes Sold / Homes Sold) 21.6% 38.9% -17.3%
Average Market Time (days) 84 114 -26.3%

All of these numbers look good and are supportive of the ongoing housing market recovery.

Let’s look at the current market conditions for attached homes in West Chicago. I’ll also break it down by price ranges to get a closer look at the different segments of this market.

Home Values # of Active Listings # of Homes Sold (past 6 mo) Absorption Rate
Up to $205k 9 18 3.0 Months

What I see here is a seller’s market for all attached homes in the West Chicago market.

Thanks for checking out this blog. Check back to see how the other towns in the Fox Valley and the surrounding areas have done in 2015.

(Data Source: MLS. Absorption rates do not include Pending home sales.)

*Absorption Rates: While there is no agreed upon definition for these limits, I define the markets as follows: Seller’s Market: up to 4 months absorption rate, Neutral Market: 4.1 months to 7.9 months absorption rate, Buyer’s Market: 8.0 months or greater absorption rate.

Vince Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty
630-391-8764

This is the next entry in my series on the real estate market in the Fox Valley and the surrounding areas. To review from my previous blog entry, the overall Chicagoland market in December 2015 has shown a year-over-year increase in home values of 2.4% and a 5.6% increase in the number of homes sold. This is all good news, which we don’t get enough of these days.

So now let’s narrow the focus to single family detached homes in Warrenville. Here are some stats to review.

2015 2014 % Change
Median Sale Price $225,000 $220,250 +2.2%
# of Homes Sold 111 82 +35.4%
# of Distressed Homes Sold 19 19 0.0%
% of Market (Distressed Homes Sold / Homes Sold) 17.1% 23.2% -6.1%
Average Market Time (days) 91 97 -6.2%

All of these numbers look good and are supportive of the ongoing housing market recovery. Also, significantly down is the percent of the market that are distressed home sales (short sales, bank owned/REOs). While this number stands at 17.1% of the Warrenville market in 2015, it is down from its high in 2011 when it was 43.3%.

Let’s take a look at current market conditions for detached homes as the Spring housing market gets going. I’ll break the market down into price ranges to get a closer look at the different segments of the market.

Home Values # of Active Listings # of Homes Sold (past 6 mo) Absorption Rate
Up to $199k 9 12 4.5 Months
$200k to $399k 24 14 10.3 Months
$400k and up 18 2 54.0 Months

I would expect the number of active listings to start going up as the Spring housing market picks up momentum in the next month or so. But again, it’s the absorption rates* that show an interesting range of values. There is a neutral market for homes up to $199k, and there is a buyer’s market for homes from $200k and up. It would be nice if each segment was in the neutral market range, but that’s not always the case. This is a key statistic to keep in mind when pricing your home to sell, or when placing an offer on a home to buy.

Let’s now take a look at attached homes (townhomes and condos) in Warrenville.

2015 2014 % Change
Median Sale Price $178,000 $160,000 +11.3%
# of Homes Sold 218 193 +13.0%
# of Distressed Homes Sold 34 43 -20.9%
% of Market (Distressed Homes Sold / Homes Sold) 15.6% 22.3% -6.7%
Average Market Time (days) 78 84 -7.1%

All of these numbers look good and are supportive of the ongoing housing market recovery.

Let’s look at the current market conditions for attached homes in Warrenville. I’ll also break it down by price ranges to get a closer look at the different segments of this market.

Home Values # of Active Listings # of Homes Sold (past 6 mo) Absorption Rate
Up to $199k 19 37 3.1 Months
$200k to $399k 4 4 6.0 Months
$400k and up 7 0 n/a

What I see here is a seller’s market for attached homes up to $199k and a neutral market for attached homes from $200k to $399k. The absorption rate for homes from $400k and up could not be calculated because there were no home sales in the past 6 months.

Thanks for checking out this blog. Check back to see how the other towns in the Fox Valley and the surrounding areas have done in 2015.

(Data Source: MLS. Absorption rates do not include Pending home sales.)

*Absorption Rates: While there is no agreed upon definition for these limits, I define the markets as follows: Seller’s Market: up to 4 months absorption rate, Neutral Market: 4.1 months to 7.9 months absorption rate, Buyer’s Market: 8.0 months or greater absorption rate.

Vince Coniglione
Real Estate Professional
Keller Williams Fox Valley Realty
630-391-8764