New York’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices Show a Mixed Bag of Results

Throughout my assessment of the current real estate market, I like some diversity in the analysis of data. Today’s blog will focus on information out of New York via Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. This index provides both seasonally adjusted and non-seasonally adjusted data that helps track the path of single family homes in 20 large metropolitan areas across the country. Most analysis requires a time lag to post and interpret the data. The figures we are viewing are from November of 2009. With S&P/C-SHP Index we can look at individual metro areas or view the index from a 10-city or a 20-city composite to assess trends in home pricing. The good news is that most markets are showing improvement. Home prices are off their peak, but the rate of decline has slowed. Some of the country’s best markets are entering positive territory for the first time in 2 years like; Dallas, Denver, San Diego, and San Francisco. On the flip side, markets in; Las Vegas, Charlotte, Seattle, and Tampa are putting in lower prices that may establish the bottom for higher values in the future.

February Index Results

All this information is interesting, but each of us must utilize it in some way that benefits our lives. For some, the figures show that extreme bubble-inflated real estate markets are still searching for a bottom. There also seems to be a trend that; upbeat, fun, climatically-favorable markets are among the first real estate markets to recover. For those of you considering the Great Smoky Mountains, as a place for real estate purchase or sale, this current data supports us. While this area of East Tennessee saw growth at the peak, we were not unrealistic like other markets. Our area is like many of the markets that are first to recover. The Smokies has a great location, we have fun amenities available, and our climate and scenery are beautiful. We are a top location for the eastern half of the nation. Contact the Jason White Team today, to secure your personal slice of paradise for; a primary residence, a vacation home, or an investment property.

Now is a great time to view vacant land!!  Here are a few of my outstanding current listings nestled in the upscale neighborhood of Riversong:

Private-Close to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge
This private upscale subdivision has a common access to boulder strewn river for swimming and fishing. This lot can be built on the downside allowing for sloping drive.
Type: Land
Location: Sevierville,TN
Price: $54,900
Get more information >
Upscale Neighborhood-Close to Smoky Mtns
This property is convenient to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville but in a private, serene, wooded, upscale, subdivision which offers common access to the river for swimming and fishing.
Type: Land
Location: Sevierville,TN
Price: $64,900
Get more information >
One Mile to Great Smoky Nat’l Park!
This private lot is gently rolling, mountainous and wooded. Located in the upscale subdivision of Riversong which offers common access to the river for swimming or fishing and is centrally located for convenience.
Type: Land
Location: Sevierville,TN
Price: $64,900
Get more information >
Exclusive Home Site w/Mountain View
This level road access property offers a exclusive home site in a private, serene, wooded environment with mountain view.
Type: Land
Location: Sevierville,TN
Price: $54,900
Get more information >
Two Mtn Lots/ Serene/Wooded /Sevierville
Two lots combined in subdivision to make one fantastic private lot with no close neighbors and common area access to the river for swimming and fishing.
Type: Land
Location: Sevierville,TN
Price: $74,900
Get

Pending Home Sales Show Improvement and Stabilization

My news sources out of the National Association of Realtors in Washington, DC, show improvement continues in pending home sales. For new readers, the Pending Home Sales Index is a tool for measuring U.S. residential sales. A pending home sale is a home under a written contract, but not officially closed. Usually, these pending sales officially close within 1-2 months.

This index uses a level of 100 to be equal to the average home contract activity of 2001. This was year one in utilizing the “PHSI” and it was the first of five back-to-back record years, in existing-home sales. NAR’s data on the “Index” figures, combined with comments from Lawrence Yun, confirmed my views on recent Smokies’ home sales. Mr. Yun is NAR’s chief economist and his comments are valuable in understanding U.S. real estate trends. The chief economist feels last year’s home market responded to the homebuyer tax credit stimulus. We saw robust activity in the Smokies and across the U.S. as the homebuyer stimulus approached it’s deadline. Congress later renewed and expanded the homebuyer tax credit for qualified buyers, to get new homes under contract by April 30, 2010. Buyers have until June 30th, 2010 to finalize their contracts and be eligible for the tax credit. In retrospect, last year’s home market was driven by lower-end new home sales and by deep-discount foreclosures. Sales reached a crescendo with the deadline of the home buyer stimulus. Activity plummited with the end of the first tax credit.

However, the expanded extension of the homebuyer tax credit is slowly rebuilding a momentum that will likely peak in April of this year, and then possibly back off. The analysis of monthly raw data always lags current activity, but here is the latest PHSI data. November of 2009 dropped 16.4% from its upward trend in previous months to an index reading of 95.6. Then December of 2009 increased 1% to an index of 96.6. This gain is most likely stimulus-driven, but it remains 10.9% above December of 2008.

Feb. Index

 A quick look at this material indicates a home buying market that was government-driven. However, a deeper focus reveals some positive indicators. The underlying trend seems to be a firming in price stability and a gradual improvement in overall home buyer sentiment. The downturn in new home construction is not building the inventory of homes for sale. The current lack of a good safe haven for people’s savings combine with uncertainty over the future of the U.S. dollar. This makes real estate attractive as an investment. Market demand for low priced homes and discounted foreclosures removes their lingering influence from forcing home values lower, thus allowing prices to stabilize.

Today’s real estate buyer or seller faces uncertainty across a global economy. At some point each individual must decide for themselves what is best. Here in the Smokies, we have; location, climate, and natural beauty in our favor. Currently, mortgage rates are near historic lows, and there is a good inventory of property for sale. If you are buying or selling real estate in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, enlist a professional with a great track record. Please contact me, Jason White, at the  Jason White Team today to get started on your goal.

                                  Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

Mt LeConte Views from Gatlinburg Home!!
Custom built,many hand crafted features,gourmet kitchen with Brazilian granite counter tops,plus huge master bedroom on the main level. Even a separate living quarter on lower level.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $598,700
Get more information >
Level Lot/ Walk to Club House,Ski Resort
This gently rolling property is convenient to everything. community pools, tennis courts, ski resort and tram to take you into town.
Type: Land
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $35,000
Get more information >

As Analysts Continue To Digest Data From 2009 Results Show No Digestive Aids Are Needed.

Case-Shiller Report Jan.

In my news sources out of New York that track Standard & Poor’s S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, there is favorable news. The S&P/C-S Home Price Indices are a well-respected gauge for charting U.S. home prices. This index system utilizes a broad spectrum look at 10 city and 20 city home values across the U.S.  Values peaked in 2006’s second quarter and declined to a bottom in April 2009.  During that drop, home values fell 33.5% in the 10-city composite and 32.6% in the 20-city composite. Values of homes are slowly climbing.  Through October 2009 the 10-city is 29.8% and 20 city is 29.0% off the 2006 peak.  Early in 2009 the indices began to show improvement. The spring and summer seasons showed the typically strong real estate activity and then backed off going into fall.  San Fransisco continues to lead the country on the rebound while Las Vegas continues to search for home price stability.  S&P’s Index Chairman, David M. Blitzer, feels a second dip in home prices is unlikely because of the uniform commitment we are getting from the Federal Reserve. On top of this fed action, sales of  homes have been strong and this continues to eliminate the surplus of home inventory. This surplus inventory has been a big factor in depressing home prices across the country. Dropping the excess inventory can only help to bolster home prices across the board. Chairman Blitzer does advocate using caution in today’s housing market.  Housing starts are weak. Government stimulus for homes expires early in 2010, and there could be increased foreclosures, if U.S. jobs continue to decline.

Factoring in all this information, it still could be a great time to buy or sell property in the Smokies.  Mortgage interest rates are low, and there is ample selection of great homes for sale.  Currently, there are no fantastic high-yield, safe investments out there to park your cash.  Real estate can decline in value, but it is not easily duplicated or inflated like paper assets.  With the Fed cranking out new dollars in bailouts, and aging baby-boomers looking to retire in warmer, beautiful locations, property in the Smokies could be a great investment. Contact the Jason White Team, a leader in Great Smoky Mountains real estate. You can start your search online or call us to get started today on your 2010 Smokies property quest.

                                       Here are a Couple of My Listings:

Value for the Money w/ Incredible Views!
This artisan quality home has possibly the best mountain views around. Located in Prestigious Chalet Village, this home would cost over a million $ to reproduce in today’s market. Such a value for your money. It even has an elevator!!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $799,900
Get more information >
Exquisite Lofty Mountain Retreat!!
Detail and excellent craftsmanship throughout this lofty mountain home will please even the most discriminating buyer. Complete with an outdoor living space with fireplace that overlooks Mt. LeConte views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $575,000
Get more information >

Pending Home Sales Slows, But Remains Above 2008 Levels

My blog readers may recall this expected market action from earlier news reports out of the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C., NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun reaffirmed that the drop in the Pending Home Sales Index was anticipated. Home buyers scrambling to beat the initial deadline for the tax credit caused a wave of activity that crested with the origional deadline for the tax credit. Many analysts at the NAR predicted that the rise in the PHSI would halt as the old tax credit ended and its’ new expanded replacement builds momentum. Yun is optimistic that another surge of new home buyers will enter the market this spring. Although Pending Home Sales backed off its streak of consecutive increases, the Index remains above last year’s levels. NAR’s chief economist thinks the U.S. home market is building momentum on its own, but expects another 900,000 first-time home buyers to utilize the extended tax credit along with 1.5 million repeat buyers. Yun feels that low mortgage rates and increases in job growth will help the real estate market. Excess housing inventory will continue to decrease. All this should help in stabilizing home prices in 2010.
                                                   Pending Home Sales Index

The Pending Home Sales Index fell in all 4 regions of the country. Home sales in the West fell the least. Next in line is in the South, where the Index fell 15.0% to a reading of 97.8, but stayed 14.7% above 2008’s levels. An index level of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity on homes in 2001. This was the first year the index was used.

If you are considering a real estate purchase in the Smokies, now is a great time. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels and will probably increase. Inventory of properties for sale is up, so selection is good. The tax credit is in effect through April 30th and it could put $6,500-$8,000 in your pocket, if you qualify. So if you are seriously thinking about buying or selling  Smokies real estate in 2010, contact the Jason White Team. Our expertise and knowledge of the area has made us a leader in helping people buy or sell property in the Great Smoky Mountains. Contact us online or by phone to get started today.

                      Here are a Couple of My Latest Listings:

Incredible Smoky Mountain/Valley Views!
This home is truly Above and Beyond. Even has an elevator! The mountain and valley views are worth viewing this home! Incredible log details throughout.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Wears Valley
Price: $699,900
Get more information >
Lots of Windows to Enjoy Mountain View!
Beautiful views from this contemporary home. Lots of windows bring the outside in. If you need storage this home is for you with plenty of closet space and even a separate living space in the lower level with it’s own entrance. Great in-law quarter!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $135,000
Get more information >

A Pleasant Look Back At 2009

As we enter into 2010, it is interesting to briefly review what happened to real estate in the Smokies in 2009. Past results do not always dictate future direction, but they can show trends or motivate us to take action. For our analysis, I pulled data from the Great Smoky Mountains Association of Realtors. The figures I reference are for residential property sold, they do not include; multi-family, commercial, or vacant land.  We will compare Jan 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009 versus the same in 2008 a year ago.

Comparison Chart

In looking at the figures, there is some good news. Like the stock market last year, real estate rebounded with the number of residences sold increasing slightly. The total dollar volume sold and the average residence price sold was off 8% from 2008’s figures. I think it is safe to say that; foreclosures, short sales, and first time home buyers were a driving force in 2009’s real estate market. The active lower price sector of residential sales was driven by first-time homebuyers scrambling to utilize the tax credit. When you combine this activity with red hot foreclosure sales in ’09, it is easy to see why dollar volume sold and average price sold is lower than in ’08. In the area of active listings, 2009 saw an increase of 16% over the previous year.

Taking all this information into account, we can see that residential real estate is still active. For qualified buyers, it is a great time to buy.  Mortgage rates are quite low, home prices are reasonable, and there is a good selection of properties for sale. For sellers, there is good news as well. The final months of 2009 brought renewed activity across all price levels of homes. Higher priced homes may not be selling as fast as the entry level home market, but competitively-priced residences are selling. If 2010 looks like your time to buy or sell a property in the Smokies contact The Jason White Team. You can easily get started on our website. Your privacy and time-saving property searches were key elements in building our site. Log on or call us to get started finding your property today.

With Year-End Only A Day Away 2009 Real Estate Was Jump-Started by Government Stimulus

Happy New Years

Events from the year 2009 are about to recede into history books. As we get ready to look back at ’09, one aspect stands out. Government stimulus in the form of the first-time home buyer tax credit impacted the US real estate market in a big way. My news sources at the National Association of Realtors, in Washington, DC have analyzed data through the month of November. Their conclusions sync well with what the Realtors in the Smokies already know.  November of ’09 saw a scramble of activity from people racing to make the deadline for the homebuyer tax credit. NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun felt that the home buying rush was expected. With the congressional extension and expansion of the home tax credit, more buyers will enter in the market. There may be some decline in activity, as the markets make their seasonal shift from year-end holiday shopping, to a traditionally strong spring new home search. Yun expects home buying to ramp up, as the spring of 2010 progresses and buyers take advantage of the extended tax credit. So far the tax credit appears to be soaking up excess inventory in unsold homes. This has helped to stabilize home prices in much of the US. The stimulus focused on getting first time home buyers into the market. This has created a real demand for lower priced homes, which inturn impacted the national median home price for sold homes.

The government-induced real estate simulus appears to be benefiting the market in a number of ways. We previously mentioned inventories of homes for sale are dropping. Foreclosures, short sales, and other price-distressed properties are quickly being purchased, so their low prices are not around long enough to radically bring down comparable real estate. Pricing overall appears to be stabilizing across the country. Before October of this year, the only real gains were at the bottom of the market. However, for the second month in a row, property sales have risen in all price classes. The median price of sold homes is lower by 4.4% than in 2008, because of the influx of new buyers. The level of sold single family homes is 42.1% above the 2008 numbers. Here in the South, the existing home sales are 44.8% higher than last year and the median price is $151,400, only 1.4% lower than ’08.

If you are considering real estate in the Smokies this could be a great time to buy. For qualifying buyers, mortgage interest rates are close to historical lows. Inventories of property for sale are high enough for good pricing and adequate selection. Start your search on The Jason White Team website. You can define your property search criteria to save time and money. When you are ready to visit or finalize your quest, contact us and we will assist with years of local knowledge and professional expertise.

November Existing Home Sales

 

                       Here are a couple of my vacant land properties:    

Spectacular Smoky Mountain View!!
Unique opportunity to own a lot like this! Spectacular mountain and city view, with level building site.
Type: Land
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $125,000
Get more information >
Listen To Mtn River From This Property!!
Listen to the abundant sounds of nature from this 1.64 acre property with river and mountain views. Amazing that you are only minutes from the National Park, downtown Gatlinburg , and Pigeon Forge with such amenities but yet so private.Type: LandLocation: Sevierville,TN
Price: $144,500
Get more information >

 

 Call me today for more information on these properties! 865-436-2121

Year-To-Date Figures Continue to Show Improvement in the U.S. Real Estate Market

As we approach the end of the calender year, a better picture emerges in the direction of the country’s real estate market. The overall view of the nation’s home prices continues to show improvement toward stabilization. My news sources out of New York released their story on November 24th, 2009. The data was based on findings from the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. This model from S&P/Case-Shiller is widely used in the housing industry to measure U.S. home prices. They utilize three views in the indices. There is a U.S. National, a 10-city, and a 20-city composite version in their analysis of data. The decline in the indices was dropping as we proceeded through the year.

 Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

Chairman of the S&P Index Committee, David M. Blitzer reports broad improvement in home prices for most of the past six months. Recent gains have been more modest than typically strong summer months. Previous concerns were focused on the drop due to an end to the first-time homebuyer tax credit. Housing starts did back off in October, but the government extended and expanded the tax credit for first-time homebuyers. This extension should bring in additional homebuyers that have been uncommitted at this point.

With home prices approaching stabilization, now could be the right time to purchase your property in the Smokies. Housing affordability is good. The inventory of active listings for sale is high. Mortgage rates are historically quite low. Surf our website for possible purchases. With the homebuyer tax credit recently extended, check with your legal and financial advisors to see if you qualify. In any case, the year-end holiday season is a fun time in the Smokies. If real estate is on your holiday wish list, contact The Jason White Team. We have the knowledge and expertise to fill your holiday property wish.

                                   Here are a couple of my current listings 

Stunning 4 Levels w/ Great Mtn View!!
Four level log cabin style overlooks nearby ridges and valley with great night views and lights. Large suites with whirlpools, large great room and media room with projection theater style TV and lots of windows to enjoy the Smoky Mountain views.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $549,500
Get more information >
Gatlinburg Home with River !!
Get lost in the sounds of the flowing river just outside the door of this 1BD/1BA cottage offering all the amenities plus a soothing hot tub designed for perfect placement on the private stone patio.Within walking distance to attractions of Downtown!
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg,Tennessee
Price: $339,900
Get more information >

 

Call me today for more information on these properties!  865-436-2121

New Historical Record-Nine Consecutive Monthly Gains for Pending Home Sales

This is a unique event in the history of the Pending Home Sales Index. This index for measuring the strength of U.S. home sales was first utilized in 2001. The National Association of Realtors in Washington, DC meticulously tracks this data to predict trends in the country’s real estate. For new blog readers, the Pending Home Sales Index is a future-oriented indicator based on home contracts signed, but not officially closed. Generally, these contracts officially close in 1-2 months after signing. The Index utilizes a large sample (approx. 20% of the nation) of existing home sales. Monthly comparisons often are not as accurate as comparing months of 2 different years or cumulative results year to year.  An index reading of 100 equals the average level of contract activity that occurred in 2001. This was the first year it was used and coincidentally was the first of 5 consecutive record years in existing home sales. The index reading for October 2009 was 114.1 or 3.7% above the September ’09 index of 110. This is 31.8% above October of 2008’s index at 86.6. This rise from October ’08 is the largest increase recorded and the current October level is closing in on an all time high.  March 2006 holds the record so far at an index level of 115.2 and current readings are as follows:Chart

Let us carefully look into this good news and analyze it in more detail. Lawrence Yun, the NAR chief economist gives us some perspective. Yun feels that real estate in 2008 under performed. Typical activity based on the population growth lagged the market. He feels that the current tax credit for new home buyers is helping qualified renters to purchase new homes.  However, Yun thinks home sales could drop in the future, as  the demand for new homes backs off due to the end of economic stimulus in real estate. Current market activity is helping high home inventories to decline. This favors price stabilization for real estate across the country.

If you are considering real estate in the Great Smoky Mountains Area, several factors are favorable.  First, the inventory for various properties from; homes to rental chalets, and cabins is up, giving buyers a great selection.  Another favorable condition is the low mortgage interest rates available for qualified buyers. Locking in a low rate could be a bonus, if inflation drives rates higher in the future. Real estate can be a hard asset that retains it’s value in times of inflation, protecting some of your life savings from getting inflated away.  As leaders in Smokies area real estate, the Jason White Team has years of professional expertise and in- depth knowledge of the region to find you the property, that fits your needs. Call or contact us online to  get started helping you today. Click here to view my featured listings. Click here to select all local listings.

                        Here are a couple of my listings  

 

 

Extra Large Private Lot w/Great View
This updated, immaculately maintained home is a must see! The spacious decking overlooks the beautiful mountain views as well as the extra large lot that is well manicured. The community pool and club house amenities are a bonus.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $199,900
Get more information >
Gatlinburg Home is Close to Town!!
This home has room for everyone! With the fantastic views and outdoor spa it is perfect for families and large groups.
Type: Single Family Home
Location: Gatlinburg ,Tennessee
Price: $379,900
Get more information >