Is history repeating itself?

Rapid price increases will not last forever.

The current growth in home prices is echoing the lead-up to the recession.  Is history repeating itself?

 

The answer is likely not, according to a recently released realtor.com® report.  Building is lacking in many markets—one hallmark 10 years ago was over-construction—and credit standards are more stringent, says Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com.

“As we compare today’s market dynamics to those of a decade ago, it’s important to remember rising prices didn’t cause the housing crash,” Hale says.  It was rising prices stoked by subprime and low documentation mortgages, as well as people looking for short-term gains—versus today’s truer market vitality—that created the environment for the crash.”

In 2016, home prices (the national median home sales price) were 2 percent higher than they were in 2006, the report reveals. Pre-recession prices have returned in 31 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas.

In contrast with 2006, however, are today’s credit conditions. Currently, the median FICO score for a mortgage is 734; the median in 2006 was 700.

Builds and flips are also different from 2006—starkly.  The credit environment, among other factors, is keeping a lid on unfettered flipping and over-construction.  In 2006, one household formation generally equaled 1.4 single-family housing starts; in 2016, that number shrank to 0.7 single-family starts.  Flips accounted for 5 percent of sales in 2016; in 2006, they comprised 8.6 percent.

“Lending standards are critical to the health of the market,” says Hale.  “Unlike today, the boom’s under-regulated lending environment allowed borrowing beyond repayable amounts and atypical mortgage products, which pushed up home prices without the backing of income and equity.”

Additionally, economic indicators point elsewhere.  Employment was healthy then and is now, but inventory is limited more today—at a 20-year low.  Presently, the average months supply is 4.2; in 2007, the average months supply was 6.4.

 

Featured Listings:   Price Reductions

Beautiful one level brick 3 BD/2 BA complete w/incredible views of the Smokies & of a beautiful pond adj. to this property.  More info
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$458,800   ID#: 212271
Resting atop 1.49 beautiful acres you’ll discover an architectural gem of 5000+ sq ft, 4 BD / 3 BA.   Views of Mt. LeConte & Clingman’s dome.  More info

College debt affecting housing market

College debt is having a compounding effect on how millennials perceive and plan for home ownership.

Eighty-three percent of millennials in a recently released report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) say they are delaying their home-buying plans by a median seven years as a result of their student loan debt. Twenty percent of the millennials surveyed in the study are homeowners; 80 percent are not. The typical millennial homeowner is burdened by $41,200 in student debt, and earning $38,800 annually.

Home ownership is not the only casualty of student debt—millennials are also postponing career changes, children, marriage and retirement savings, the study shows.

“The tens of thousands of dollars many millennials needed to borrow to earn a college degree have come at a financial and emotional cost that’s influencing millennials’ housing choices and other major life decisions,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Sales to first-time buyers have been underwhelming for several years now, and this survey indicates student debt is a big part of the blame. Even a large majority of older millennials and those with higher incomes say they’re being forced to delay home ownership because they can’t save for a down payment and don’t feel financially secure enough to buy.

“A scenario where only those with minimal or no student debt can afford to buy a home and save for retirement is not an ideal situation and is one that weakens the economy and contributes to widening inequality,” Yun says.

Millennial homeowners are doubly pressured, unable to sell and trade-up due to their student debt. At the entry level, the inability to move keeps valuable inventory off-market, worsening already scarce supply in the tier.
“Millennial homeowners who can’t afford to trade up because of their student debt end up staying put, which slows the turnover in the housing market and exacerbates the low supply levels and affordability pressures for those trying to buy their first home,” says Yun.
Combating the issue comes down to education. Many millennials are in the dark about college costs—in fact, the study shows only 20 percent have a big-picture understanding of the expenses related to education.

“REALTORS® are actively working with consumers and policy leaders to address the growing burden student debt is having on home ownership,” says NAR President Bill Brown. “We support efforts that promote education and simplify the student borrowing process, as well as underwriting measures that make it easier for home buyers carrying student loan debt to qualify for a mortgage.”

The study was conducted in conjunction with American Student Assistance (ASA), a non-profit guarantor.
“Student debt is a reality for the majority of students attending colleges and universities across our country,” says Jean Eddy, president and CEO of ASA. “We cannot allow educational debt to hold back whole generations from the financial milestones that underpin the American Dream, like home ownership. The results of this study reinforce the need for solutions that both reduce education debt levels for future students, and enable current borrowers to make that debt manageable, so they don’t have to put the rest of their financial goals on hold.”

 

Featured Listings, Price Reductions:

 

1224 Sky High Way  Gatlinburg, TN
$249,900   ID#: 210698

2 BD/2BA, 1,300+ sq ft mountain chalet, complete w/incredible views of Mt. LeConte, downtown Gatlinburg, ski resort & the Smokies.  Currently on a well-managed rental program.  More info

 

936 Stans Road   Gatlinburg, TN 37738
$249,900   ID#: 210699

Well-located, 2 BD/2 BA, 1,500+ sq ft mountain chalet,  currently on a well-established rental program. Amazing views of the Smokies & the City of Gatlinburg.  More info

 

The Great Smoky Mountains real estate market sees steady growth

 

 

Featured Properties:

1536 Zurich Gatlinburg, TN

$215,000 ID# 208705

Well-located, 3 BD/2 BA, 1,600+ sq ft mtn. chalet w/amazing mtn. & City views, located only mins. to dwtn. Gatlinburg. Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental – has great potential as a rental.

 

 

1155 Upper Alpine Way Unit 802  Gatlinburg, TN   

  $130,000   ID#: 212013

High quality, 2 BD/2 BA, nearly 1,100 sq ft condo, made of solid, masonry construction. Great location inside the city limits of Gatlinburg, & only about a mile from Over Gatlinburg Ski resort.

Will home prices reverse course?

It seems unlikely, however there may be some good news:

Home prices increased in the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, up 5.8 percent year-over-year in June, compared to 5.7 percent in May.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index’s 10-City Composite rose 4.9 percent year-over-year, down from 5.0 percent in May, while its 20-City Composite rose 5.7 percent year-over-year, identical to May. Month-over-month, the 10-City Composite and the 20-City Composite both rose 0.7 percent.

Of the 20 cities analyzed for the Index, Dallas, Texas, Portland, Ore., and Seattle, Wash., came out on top, with prices up 7.7 percent year-over-year in Dallas, 8.2 percent in Portland and 13.4 percent in Seattle.

“The trend of increasing home prices is continuing,” says David M. Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee and managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Price increases are supported by a tight housing market. Both the number of homes for sale and the number of days a house is on the market have declined for four to five years.

“Currently the months supply of existing homes for sale is low, at 4.2 months,” Blitzer says. “In addition, housing starts remain below their pre-financial crisis peak as new-home sales have not recovered as fast as existing-home sales.

“Rising prices are the principal factor driving affordability down,” says Blitzer. “However, other drivers of affordability are more favorable: the national unemployment rate is down, and the number of jobs created continues to grow at a robust pace, rising to close to 200,000 per month. Wages and salaries are increasing, maintaining a growth rate a bit ahead of inflation. Mortgage rates, up slightly since the end of 2016, are under 4 percent. Given current economic conditions and the tight housing market, an immediate reversal in home price trends appears unlikely.”

Featured Properties:

2924 Nuns Cove Rd. Sevierville  $495,000  ID#: 211855 

Amazing, private, 4 BD/3 BA, 2,200+ sq ft, well-kept chalet, located in the New Center area on 76 acres, minutes to dwntn. Sevierville.  Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or overnight rental.   Read more

 
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2220 St. Moritz  Gatlinburg   $219,900    ID#: 211874

1 BD/2 BA, 1,350+ sq ft, This cozy chalet has incredible views of the Smokies, Gatlinburg, and the Ober Ski Resort Tramway, from the large deck of this home, allowing for perfect enjoyment of the area at its finest. Read More

Market Report Sevier County

Let’s take a look at the real estate market. Currently there are 219 sales pending in the market overall, leaving 743 listings still for sale. The resulting pending ratio is 22.8% (219 divided by 962).

The pending ratio indicates the supply & demand of the market. Specifically,  a high ratio means that listings are in demand and quickly going to contract. Alternatively, a low ratio means there are not enough qualified buyers for the existing supply.  Current inventory is described as “mildly active.”

The $150K – $200K price range has a relatively large number of contracts pending sale.

The $200K – $250K price range has a relatively large inventory of properties for sale at 142 listings. The average list price (or asking price) for all properties in this market is $334,531.

A total of 780 contracts have closed in the last 6 months with an average sold price of $232,350.

Breaking it down,  the $150K – $200K price range contains the highest number of sold listings.

 

 

Alternatively, a total of 189 listings have failed to sell in that same period of time. Listings may fail to sell for many reasons such as being  priced too high, having been inadequately marketed, the property was in poor condition, or perhaps the owner had second thoughts about selling at this particular time. The $200K – $250K price range has the highest number of off-market listings at 37 properties.

Featured Properties:

$214,900   ID#: 211383

Spacious, well-located, 3 BD/2 BA contemporary-style mountain chalet, complete w/an attached 2-car carport, fenced back yard, seasonal view, and located only mins. to dwtn. Gatlinburg.  Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or even as an overnight rental; currently used as a long-term tenant-rental.  More information

 

426 Trentham Lane   Gatlinburg, TN 37738

$399,900  ID#: 211292

Prime commercial property in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg. Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, attractions, national park, and trolley stop. A corner parcel with access from two streets. Level lot. Current site plan from Trotter and Associates includes 30 Efficiency units, 15 One bedroom units, and 9 two bedroom units with a total 54 units and 66 parking spaces. This would make an excellent hotel, apartment or condo location. Public water, gas and sewer. Over 233 ft of road frontage.  More information

Home prices continue to rise- what is the good news for buyers?

Mortgage Rates Remain Low

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing home price climbed to $252,800 in May, the exceeding the peak hit in June 2016 of $247,600.

Home prices have been rising every month for more than five years.

Cities across the U.S. are facing major housing shortages, which means buyers have to compete for homes with bidding wars and offers well above asking price.

“Prices are moving up and properties are moving quickly,” said Danielle Hale, NAR’s managing director of housing research.

Builders aren’t building enough houses to keep up with demand and current homeowners are hesitant to list their properties because they’re worried they won’t be able to buy a new home.

But there has been one saving grace for buyers: mortgage rates, says CNN Money.

Even though the Federal Reserve has begun raising interest rates, mortgages have been hovering below 4% recently. Last week, the average rate of a 30-year fixed mortgage ticked down to 3.90%.

With the Fed raising rates, interest rates are expected to gradually rise over time, but should stay pretty low for the foreseeable future.

 

Our Featured Properties:

1011 Worsham Way, Gatlinburg, TN 37738

$1,825,000    ID#: 211111

Rustic Elegance describes this quality-built, private, spacious, 5BD/5BA, 2-half BA, 5,400+ sq ft mountain chalet with historic features incorporated from family’s VA farm. Amazing views of the Smokies with Mt. LeConte front and center! Ideal as a permanent or 2nd home, or as an overnight rental – tremendous rental potential in a beautiful, wooded location on just over an acre of private land.  Learn More

 

5055 Riversong Way, Sevierville, TN 37876

$1,250,000   ID#: 204617

Spectacular, private, gated estate in the heart of Pittman Center on over 5 acres offering spectacular river, forest and mountain views. Features such as the 2 car detached garage with guesthouse, 2 car porte-cochere, level parking, 6 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, loft, game/theatre room insures there are plenty of spaces for friends and family.  Learn More

Recent New Home Sales Surge Nationally Despite Slowly Rising Mortgage Interest Rates and Possible Fed Tapering

real estate investment

As we head towards the end of 2013, and into the start of 2014, there are some noteworthy national trends in real estate that are worth watching. These primarily center on the increasing likelihood of rising mortgage interest rates, as well as the possibility of the Federal Reserve beginning to taper, or slow down, its long-running bond buyback program. Both trends could foretell significant changes in the real estate market nationally in 2014.

In spite of these emerging trends, there are some other numbers worth noting in terms of the national real estate market that could also impact the coming year. One of these is that new home sales surged in October 2013 by 25% from the previous month, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

According to Keith Gumbinger, Vice-President of the mortgage information site HSH Associates, “It may very well be that a lot of folks are feeling better about their prospects and buying a new home.” In addition, Gumbinger also stated that there has been a general ease of financing for buyers, as “builders are motivated to get folks into homes.” Finally, Gumbinger also said that inventories of existing homes are thin in several markets, prompting people to build new homes rather than buy old ones.

The largest trend, however, in the coming year will center on the very real possibility of rising mortgage interest rates, especially since the Fed is currently weighing whether or not to start with tapering, or reducing the amount and scale to the Fed has been buying back bonds and securities since the 2008 financial crisis. The key to any real impacts will center on job and wage growth in the economy as a whole, and rising home prices will also have an impact as to whether or not there will be more buyers and sellers on the market in the coming year. At this point, it is too early to state how much of an impact this will have on the market, even though mortgage rates, from a more historical perspective, still remain low by comparison.

In view of these emerging trends, as well as recent surges in both home prices and new home sales nationally, there has never been a better time to find the home of your dreams, right here in the Great Smoky Mountains! Please feel free to browse our available inventory of properties, and see the many varieties of properties that we currently have here in the Smokies! Let us help you realize your home ownership dreams today!

 

Here Are A Few of My Featured Properties:

Private Log Cabin w/Amazing Mtn. Views! Enjoy privacy, mountain views and great outdoor spaces in this Sevierville log home that sits on over four acres! Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $359,900 Get more information >
Luxurious Cabin w/Amazing Mtn. Views! Luxurious, scenic, 3 BD/4.5 BA, 2,600+ sq ft log cabin with spectacular views of the Smokies and a virtual bird’s eye view downtown Gatlinburg and surrounding areas! Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg, Tennessee Price: $369,900 Get more information >
Unique Sevierville Home w/Large Backyard Beautiful, masonry-style, 3 BD/2.5 BA, 3700+ sq. ft. home located within minutes to Dollywood! Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $299,900 Get more information >


The Jason White Team
Century 21 Four Seasons Realty
1441 Wiley Oakley Dr
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Toll Free: 877-678-2121
Fax: 865-436-7227
Email: jason@jasonwhiteteam.com
Website: www.SmokyMountainLifestyle.com

Tools for Real Estate Investment 101: Self-Directed IRA’s and Your Real Estate Investment Needs

Real Estate Deals

As home prices continue their gradual trend of rising during 2013, there are various investment tools that can be utilized by potential buyers and/or sellers in considering whether or not to invest in real estate, especially here in the Great Smoky Mountain real estate market. Today, we will focus on one of these investment tools, which has gained popularity in recent years, namely that of the self-directed IRA (Individual Retirement Account).

A Self-directed Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is not your typical IRA since it allows the account owner to invest in a wider set of assets than those offered by custodians and trustees of traditional IRAs. This separates a Self-directed IRA from other types of IRAs since the account holder can decide what permissible investments to put his or her money into without having the custodian or trustee set a limit on what investments to pursue, hence the term “self-directed.” In other words, the account holder is limited only by the rules set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and of course, his or her choice of investments. In addition, the custodian or trustee is also in charge of facilitating all other transactions that involve the Self-directed IRA.

Some potential advantages of using a Self-directed IRA include, but are not excluded to, the following:

1.) Having a Self-directed IRA allows an account holder to purchase properties anywhere that’s allowed by law. Almost every type of real estate is permissible such as residential and commercial property, real estate options, and the like.

2.) Purchasing property can also be done without paying all the required capital. For example, account holders can participate in a limited liability company (LLC) that directly invests in real estate.

3.) Many account holders have already taken advantage of the current buyers’ market where property prices are low and foreclosure rates are high. They can attest to how they’ve benefited from their diversified portfolio within their Self-directed IRA.

4.) Usually, real estate investments purchased within a Self-directed IRA are intended as long-term investments. This means that once an account holder buys a property, they will hold onto it until its value appreciates and is ready to be sold. In other words, the “buy-low, sell-high” concept is well suited for this type of IRA.

5.) Selling an IRA-owned home lets the owner avoid paying capital gains tax if the proceeds are rolled back into the IRA. This especially applies to those who rehab properties in rundown condition and flip them for quick profit.

However, there are limitations as to what a Self-directed IRA can do, including, but not excluded to, the following:

1.) The Self-directed IRA cannot purchase real estate from a “disqualified person” either directly or indirectly. It also prohibits a “disqualified person” from using a property purchased within a Self-directed IRA. A “disqualified person” includes, but is not excluded to: Your spouse, your lineal ascendants/descendants and their spouses, plan fiduciaries (including advisors, custodians, and administrators), an entity (i.e., estate, corporation, etc.) where you own at least 50% of the voting stock, directly or indirectly, and anyone providing services to the plan.

2.) The purchased property cannot be used by the account holder – not even for a night. Only qualified people may use it and this does not include one’s relatives. Unless the account holder is 59 and a half years old and retired, then living in the investment property is deemed illegal.

3.) Account holders and family members cannot buy or sell property directly from their IRA. Likewise, it is also forbidden to buy or sell directly from the companies or enterprises that they own.

4.) Borrowing or lending money from the IRA is not allowed, and the IRA cannot be used to lend money to family members or as collateral for any type of loan.

5.) IRA funds and personal accounts cannot be combined or co-mingled.

6.) Those involved in the servicing of the Self-directed IRA account are not allowed to participate in any transaction that involves the account.

With a Self-directed IRA, you will have to find a reliable custodian or trustee to open an account and comply with the IRS requirements, and set up the account with a bank or other financial institution. When an investment property has been selected, the account holder would then authorize the custodian to pay a deposit from the Self-directed IRA by signing an authorization form. After which, the account holder must complete the necessary documents and forward them to the custodian or trustee. The closing agent will then coordinate the remainder of the transaction and release any additional funds required.

Finally, Self-directed IRA’s, like any other investment in real estate, do involve a lot of risk. First, it is recommended that one invests only 25 percent at the most if you are not inclined to be a “risk taker.” With the prices of properties at their current levels, you can probably find one that you may like. Second, keep in mind that the Self-directed IRA is making the investment — not you or anyone else. You can’t simply take the cash flow that you earn from your investment property since the custodian or trustee is in charge of it through your IRA. Third, be sure to leave enough funds in your Self-directed IRA to cover unexpected expenses related to your property, such as tenant turnover, maintenance and repairs. This will put you in a safe position should you incur any “additional” costs. Finally, please always seek the advice of qualified real estate investment professionals that can help you find the properties that would be best suited for your overall retirement goals. Like anything else, always ask questions, and make sure to get as much as information as you can before using this investment tool, or any other investment tool, before deciding to act on it.

With this basic knowledge and understanding of a potentially powerful investment tool for real estate, why not see what the Great Smoky Mountains real market can offer you today? Please feel free to browse our available properties, and let one of our buyer specialists help realize your home ownership dreams today! Come and see what the Great Smoky Mountains can offer you today!

Here Are A Few of My Featured Listings:

Nice Ranch-Style Home in Sevierville! Beautiful, well-maintained, 1,300+ sq ft, 3 BD/2 BA ranch-style home located in Sevierville, is walking distance to the nearby Pigeon River, along with being mins. to Dollywood, Pigeon Forge, and downtown Sevierville! Type: Single Family Home Location: Sevierville,TN Price: $159,900 Get more information >
Beautiful Private Cabin w/City View Beautiful, private 4 Bedroom/3 Bathroom cabin located just below Ober Gatlinburg w/a 20-mile view! Type: Single Family Home Location: Gatlinburg,Tennessee Price: $195,000 Get more information >
Great Views & Privacy This three level cabin has consistently produced right at $30k a year in rental income every year since 2007! Located on a private lot it features a great view and a lot of windows and deck space for enjoying the scenery Type: Single Family Home Location: Pigeon Forge Price: $279,900 Get more information >


The Jason White Team
Century 21 Four Seasons Realty
1441 Wiley Oakley Dr
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Toll Free: 877-678-2121
Fax: 865-436-7227
Email: jason@jasonwhiteteam.com
Website: www.SmokyMountainLifestyle.com