Real estate news and tips for homeowners that are thinking about selling or refinancing.

Idaho Ranked #2 for Strongest Housing Markets

Idaho Ranked #2 for Strongest Housing Markets

Signs of a housing recovery continue although recovery has been slow in many areas.  From July of 2011 to July of this year, prices increased by more than 5.5% in 10 states.   Most of the states seeing a more stout housing recovery have many things in common.

Many, like South and North Dakota, have held a jobless rate below the national average.  In these particular states, home prices slightly dropped during the housing bust.  In economically stable areas home prices are expected to move higher although the increase will be modest.

Some states, such as Idaho, with the largest price increases during the “boom”  were hit very hard by the housing bust.  States such as Florida and Arizona saw home prices drop nearly 50%.  The decline was nearly 60% in Nevada.  The recovery is expected to be temporary in all 3 states.

Data points to an uneven housing recovery which will be based upon what happened to home prices geographically since  2007.  Housing markets which had economic strength throughout the recession will continue to improve.  States hurt by sharp declines in home values and high unemployment should expect the housing recovery to be difficult and long.

Below you will find the ranking  by 24/7 Wall St. of the 10 states with the strongest housing markets:

1)      Arizona

2)      Idaho (1 year home price change: 10%, Median home price:  $85,000, Unemployment:  7.5%)

3)      Utah

4)      South Dakota

5)      Colorado

6)      North Dakota

7)      Florida

8)      South Carolina

9)      Hawaii

10)   Montana


The potato state–a leader in the real estate recovery

The potato state–a leader in the real estate recovery

Home prices throughout the United States increased 3.8% in the twelve months ending in July, which includes a steep increase in the pricing of Fort Lauderdale mansions for sale.  The 12 month increase was the largest in 6 years—further evidence of the housing markets recovery.

Home prices also increased 1.3% from June to July—the 5th increase in both monthly and yearly price indexes.  The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller index and the federal government housing agency also reported annual increases. The same was indicated by ManhattanMiami index.

The states with the most substantial price increases over the last 12 months were Arizona, Idaho, Utah, South Dakota and Colorado.  The state of Idaho posed a 10% gain in real estate pricing since July of 2011.

Unfortunately, however, not all states are seeing real estate prices increase. This informative post has a few reasons to point out,  for example, in Delaware home prices dipped 4.8% w/in the last 12 months.  Alabama saw prices decrease 4.6% during that same time period.

Although the recovery has been slow, evidence shows that the real estate market is bouncing back, much like the real estate in Jacksonville, FL.  Sales of previously occupied and new construction have increased.  Builders are becoming confident in the market and starting new projects.  Mortgage rates, as you most likely know, are at historic lows.

On the flip side, prices are rising due to the supply of available homes for sale being limited.

Most think that the housing recovery is in the beginning phases since prices remain 27% lower then prices during the peak of 2006.

The recent improvements in the real estate market have been widespread with only 23 of the 100 large cities tracked showing a year-over-year decline in real estate pricing.


2012 2nd Quarter Top Turnaround Towns

2012 2nd Quarter Top Turnaround Towns

Pheonix topped’s top turnaround towns list for the 2nd straight quarter of 2012.  However, Boise ranked #4!!!  The list ranks 146 real estate markets by both current inventory and median list prices.  Median list prices in Phoenix, AZ were up 29.7% in the 2nd quarter compared to the same quarter in 2011.  This is the most substantial increase in median list prices monitored by  The greater Boise area saw a median price increase of 19.6 percent—WOW!

The housing market continues to mend and almost 70% of the markets studied saw median price increases which only 13% of the markets studied were still in a declining market.’s Top Turnaround Towns for the 2nd Quarter are:

  • Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.: +29.7 percent/-44.4 percent (% change in median list price/% change in inventory)
  • Oakland, Calif.: +10.8 percent/-56.6 percent
  • Miami: +19.4 percent/-33.2 percent
  • Boise City, Idaho: +19.6 percent/-29.6 percent
  • San Jose, Calif.: +12.0 percent/-40.8 percent
  • Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash.: +10.9 percent/-42.9 percent
  • Bakersfield, Calif.: +7.6 percent/-49.3 percent
  • San Francisco: +11.1 percent/-38.7 percent
  • Fresno, Calif.: +6.7 percent/-48.7 percent
  • Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.: +16.6 percent/-31.1 percent

End of Summer Checklist for Home Owners

End of Summer Checklist for Home Owners

As we near the end of the summer season, it’s a great time to think ahead about home maintenance projects that should be completed prior to the colder weather hitting.  While the weather is warm & comfortable and prior to September and October, it is important to conduct a “walk-around” of your home in order to make a punch list of problematic areas. Some things will immediately stick out, like damaged windows for example. You’ll have to hire residential window replacement services to take care of this for you while the weather is comfortable. As you can surely imagine, having to deal with damaged windows filtering cold air in during the winter would be quite the issue. These services are also bound to be busier during the season as well, so look for a good window replacement service and hire their services as soon as possible to you to avoid having to wait for days.

Some areas of concerns should be able to be repaired by a non-professional while alternate repairs may need assistance from an “expert” such as a roof replacement.

End of summer projects include:

1)       Outdoor painting.  If unable to paint the entire exterior of a home, it is suggested that touch up painting is performed on the rough areas of the siding.  As Brushwork Painters in Lancaster claim,  if there is peeling paint then it will be important to scrape, sand, primer and re-paint the areas of concern. Painting companies can help you with painting the outside of your house too.

2)      Outdoor caulking & sealing.  It is vital for your energy bills during the winter to ensure that all of the windows are checked for leaks or cracks, and replaced with help of Window Doors MArt if required (find us online).  Leaks or cracks will obviously mean higher heating bills due to the loss of heat from your home. Check your roof in case of any damage; contact a roofing services company for roof repair if necessary.

3)      Concrete & Asphalt patching.  If having an asphalt driveway then it is wise to repair any asphalt cracks or holes with an asphalt patching material.  It is wise to seal asphalt every other year.  If having a concrete driveway or sidewalk then cracks or holes can be repaired with an epoxy material. If you are not sure when to update your epoxy coating, contact specialists from Adhesives Lab.

4)      Patio & Deck Maintenance.  Rotted planks should be replaced, stained or painted as needed.  Debris should be cleared. Decks should be inspected to see if any deck repair is needed.  In regard to paver or brick patios, missing bricks or pavers should be replaced, level off areas that tree roots may have pushed the pavers or bricks “up” and re-grout any areas of the patio which may have been degraded. It is also important to check the roof as you might need to call C&D Staten Island Roofing service for repair work.

5)      Landscaping. Keep exterior landscaping attractive. Spend some time choosing a form liner pattern, weeds should be pulled, dropped fruit from fruit trees and nuts removed to deter wildlife and trees and bushes trimmed away from the home.

6)      HVAC check. Now’s a great time to make sure your hvac is working properly. Hire an air conditioning services contractor so that they can inspect your unit. If it is not working in great shape as before, then you should consider having a repair or a new residential air conditioning installation. As you can imagine, once the winter starts to set in, it will be harder and harder to find someone that can take care of any air conditioning repair or heating replacement you might need. A lot of people won’t check, turn it on when they need it, and notice it’s out. Get ahead of the curve and do a quick check to make sure it’s working come winter or better yet, schedule for some regular maintenance and other hvac services. Most importantly, make sure that your ac and heating contractor has the proper Heater Parts so that you will be assured that your heater will work for a long time.

Home Sales Continue to Improve

Although homes sales in July fell below the highs of June, July sales are still at their highest levels since the housing peak of 2007.

167 newly constructed homes were sold in the Boise area in July which is a 2 year high.  681 existing homes were sold which is slightly above the average for the year.

Ada and Canyon Counties also say home prices increased in July when compared to 2011.  In Ada County, existing homes sold for an average of $182,000—up 9% from 2011.  In Canyon County (has had less re-sales due to smaller existing inventory) the average existing home sale price was $108,000—up 22% from this same time last year.  Wow, the housing market is finally starting to mend!

Since January 1 of 2012, 157 new homes have changed hands in Canyon County.  This already surpasses home sales from all of 2011.  However, new construction sales in Canyon County (Idaho 2nd most populous area) are well below the pace of ’05 & ’06 when nearly 2000 homes were sold annually.

As of the first of August, Ada County had slightly more than 3 months inventory of existing homes at the current sales rate.  Canyon County has less than a 3 months’ supply of inventory.

**Interested in obtaining a free pricing evaluation for your home?  If so, please call or email me today!  208-869-3499 . . .


Home Values Increase for the First Time in 5 Years!

Home Values Increase for the First Time in 5 Years!

Home values are at the bottom and finally bouncing back, according to a recent industry report.

In the United States, values of homes increase .2% to a median price of $149,300 during the 2nd quarter of 2012.  This is the 1st annual increase since 2007 according to  Home pricing was also up 2.1% from the first quarter.

Although the month of June marked the 4th month in a row of home value increases, home pricing is still down nearly 24% since the first of 2007.

It is clear that the home values have hit bottom in the majority of the Nation.  Despite the lower than expected job growth, the housing recovery is doing very well.

Most “experts” were predicting a housing recovery late in 2012 so the new statistics coming in are better than expected news.

Also, the S & P/Case-Shiller home price index (an alternate source of information) also reported that prices of homes in 20 major markets increased 1.3% in April—the 1st monthly increase in 180 days.

Foreclosures remain the largest risk to the housing market recovery and the pace of foreclosure processing is expected to gain steam.  Most experts feel that the housing market will continue to recover yet at relatively marginal rate over the next year.

Home price increases will also cause some current homeowners which have been waiting for values to increase to place their homes on the market.  The additional inventory may cool the home price increase trend for some time.

Idaho’s foreclosure inventory lower than most of Nation

Idaho’s foreclosure inventory lower than most of Nation

Filings of foreclosures the first half of 2012 fell by nearly 11% nationally and over 54% in Idaho. Alternate states which have seen a reduction in foreclosures are:  Nevada (62%), Arizona (26%) and Florida (22%).   This is a great indicator or future stability in our local real estate market.

Mortgage lenders are modifying more loans w/in Idaho and instead of foreclosing on property, many lenders are not starting the foreclosure process due to the Idaho legislation which came into effect on Sept 1 which requires lenders to better inform home owners about their options—including the right to request a modification of their loan along with the right to obtain information on how the foreclosure process is progressing.

Short sales have become more prevalent as the housing market improves.  As you most likely know, a short sale is when the lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than what is owed on the property in order for it to sell.  A short sale is appealing to a lien holder since a short sale will sell more quickly than allowing the home to be foreclosed upon (gets the home off of the bank books  more quickly), and a short sale is less expensive than allowing the home to be foreclosed upon, as well.

Distressed property sales (short sales and bank owned homes) have been decreasing.  Distressed property was at 26% of re-sale inventory in the first ½ of 2012 in Ada County and 56% in Canyon County.  Both counties have seen nearly a 20% decrease in distressed property inventory in comparison to the same time last year.

Current foreclosure rates were at 1.1% last month and 1.6% in June for loans with IHFA.

Positive News for the Housing Market

Positive News for the Housing Market

There have been mixed signals within the local housing market . . . information providing “hope” mixed with a sudden mixture of bad news.  Although there is no true sign that a real recovery has taken hold, new statistical data points to a positive outlook.


Sales have increased year to date over 8%.  The average national sales price the past 30 days was just under $190,000—up 7K from a month earlier.


Shadow inventory refers to homes which are distressed (borrowers are very delinquent or already in the foreclosure process or the banks have already foreclosed on the property and it’s stuck in “legal limbo”) yet have not been listed for sale. Nearly 1.5 million properties are currently within the shadow inventory which equals a 4 month supply of homes.  However, the shadow inventory equaled a 6 month supply 1 year ago.  Obviously, the less shadow inventory the better for pricing due to there being less distressed homes coming to the market.


As you are most likely aware, the robo-signing scandal cut back on the processing of foreclosures which created a backlog of distressed homes.  Back in March, the major banking entities reached a settlement which has allowed banks to restart their foreclosure assembly line.  The increase in foreclosures obviously hurts those losing their homes yet helps the housing market’s recovery in the long run since it allows banks to weed through the backlog of distressed property.


Homeowners have made the largest jump in home equity in more than sixty years. Nearly ½ of the borrowers who have refinanced paid down some of their debt and reduced their current loan balance.  Some are also refinancing into shorter-term loans which typically have larger monthly payments yet provide the ability to pay down principle balances much more quickly.  In fact, National mortgage debt is down 7% since 2007.  Unfortunately, home prices are down 23% over the same period, though.

Unless something comes about which places a dent in the broad economy, the housing outlook should become even better.

Low Inventory Causing Prices to Increase

Low Inventory Causing Prices to Increase

The local real estate market provided a positive mix of data in May with non-distressed prices increasing and short sales declining.

From April to May, statistics show that the average price for non-distressed property (not a short sale or bank owned home) rose 1.7%.  The average price for short sales fell .7% and for REO’s (bank owned homes), the average price increased 1.6%.

The shortage of homes for sale or inventory w/in our local market has provided some stabilization in home pricing.  Most statisticians feel that the shortage of homes for sale is led by underwater home owners who are unable to sell at this time due to being underwater (home is valued less than what is owed).

Another factor contributing to the shortage of inventory may be due to the slower processing of foreclosures by servicers or the delinquent mortgages.

Ready to move into REO or bank owned properties are in high demand with the average days on market being just 10.6 in May.

Upon reviewing national statistics in May, the amount of distressed property currently on the market equals 46.1% which marks the 27th month in which the amount of distressed property on the market was above the 40% benchmark.

Current market conditions suggest that the shortage of homes for sale is prevalent in the Treasure Valley.  In fact, most homes which are priced appropriately typically have an offer (if not more than 1) submitted within 5-7 days.

Are you curious about what your home will sell for today?  If so, contact me directly for a free, no obligation market analysis.

Matt, 208-869-3469

Positive News for the Housing Market

Positive News for the Housing Market

There have been a number of mixed signals from the housing market—bursts of hope then a mix of sudden disappointing news. There has not been a solid indicator showing that a real recovery has taken place yet new data coming to the forefront makes me optimistic.

HOME SALES AND MEDIAN PRICING IS ON THE RISE.  Nationally, the average sales price w/in the past month (30 days) was nearly $190,000—up 7K from a month earlier. Home sale transactions were up 8.2% during this time.  All in all, the market is continuing its trek toward normalcy.

THE “SHADOW INVENTORY” IS DIMINISHING. The “shadow inventory” is a term for homes which have been foreclosed upon yet have not hit the public market or homes in which the owners are drastically behind on their payments and are on the verge of foreclosure. There were approximately 1.5 million homes which could be considered a part of the shadow inventory.  This equals a 4-month housing supply—down from a 6 month supply the same time last year.  A minimal shadow inventory is positive for hoem pricing since it means that there will be less distressed homes coming to the public market.

FORECLOSURES ARE UP. Late in 2010, the robo-signing scandal emerged over the banks faulty foreclosure filings which cut back on the processing of foreclosures.  This built up a backlog of distressed property.  Recently, banks agreed to a 25 million settlement and updated data is showing that lien holders are restarting the foreclosure assembly line.  In May there was  a 9% increase in foreclosure filings from April of 2012.  Obviously, the foreclosure up-tick huts those who are locing their homes yet helps the housing market in the long run.

BORROWERS ARE BUILDING MORE EQUITY IN THEIR HOMES.  Homeowners have made the largest jum in building equity within their home in more than 6 decades.  Nearly 50% of the borrowers which are refinancing pay down some of their debt. Some are also refinancing into 15 year mortgages that have higher monthly payments yet enable the loan to be paid much more quickly. All of this said, mortgage debt is down 7% since ’07.  This, of course, is just a small consolation for the overall decline in home values of 23% since that same time period.

Unless something comes along to dent the economy and housing market, the overall housing outlook should become even better.  Fingers (and toes) crossed!!