Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

"You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." – Cinderella, 1980s power-balladeers

This week's quote-of-note applies to the current situation of available inventory in the Twin Cities housing market. Our disappearing supply—down 21.4 percent from this time last year—is being caused by absorption from strong pending sales activity (up 18.2 percent year-over-year for the week ending July 18) and weak new listings (down 12.1 percent for the same time period comparison).

With a consistently shrinking inventory and more buyers this summer than we've seen since 2005, buyers who lack urgency could find themselves singing along to that sad classic Cinderella song.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Easy Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

Curb appeal can make or break a sale in today’s market.

If your sellers are willing to improve the outside of their homes, here are some low-cost ways to increase a home’s curb appeal.
• Clean up beds by weeding and pruning shrubs. Add mulch for a high-end look.
• Invest in pots. A couple of attractive ceramic (or ceramic look-alike) pots filled with attractive plants can really make an entrance look classier.
• Install landscape lighting on the path to the front door.
• Replace the mailbox with a newer one and put some nice plantings at its base to dress it up.

Source: Tribune Media Services, Cameron Huddleston (07/26/2009)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Open House Schedule for Sunday, July 26th!!!!

Come Visit Us at one of our great listings this weekend!

12-2 PM
2301 Boulder Road, Chanhassen $417,000
Amazing family home in the demand neighborhood of Stone Creek, walk to parks and the new Chanhassen High School.

12-2 PM
8016 Erie Avenue, Chanhassen $225,000
Freshly Painted and totally turn key! Everything is new and improved. This great twin home offers walking to shopping, dining, schools & parks.

2408 Hunter Drive, Chanhassen $572,000
A little piece of Seattle in Minnesota! Well appointed and amazing finished level in this home sited on a lush lot in the demand neighborhood of Longacres.

9801 Overlook Court, Chanhassen $499,900
A cul-de-sac lot in Springfield of Chanhassen. This home offers a Great Room floor plan with tons of open spaces for relaxing and entertaining. Enjoy the community pool just for residents.


Bake Sale Helps Mom Save Her Home

A Teaneck, N.J., mother of three advertised her plight and sold 500 home-baked apple cakes at $40 each to make the overdue mortgage payments that would make her eligible for a loan modification, saving her home from foreclosure.

Angela Logan’s story appeared first in The Record newspaper and then was widely promoted online and on television. Sympathetic readers and listeners sent in their orders.

Initially, disgruntled neighbors complained to health officials, who said that state law prohibited Logan from baking the cakes in her own kitchen, so the Hilton Hasbrouck Heights lent her their commercial kitchen. She filled the orders by baking for 10 hours straight.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (07/22)

Weekly Market Update from MAAR

As summer progresses, the Twin Cities housing market continues on a well-established pattern of shrinking supply and growing sales. New listings for the week ending July 11 were 1,867—a 13.7 percent decrease over last year but a nice pickup after the annual July 4 slowdown. Pending sales rose to 1,007, a year-over-year increase of 16.6 percent. That's not as much of a year-over-year expansion as the 30-plus percent growth this number has seen recently, but it still represents a trend of growing demand.

Active listings are at 26,279, a decrease of 21.3 percent from this time last year. Coupling this with a shrinking number for Months Supply of Inventory and a flattening of our Average Days on Market, it's apparent that the buyer advantage over sellers is waning, at least in the lower price ranges.

For more information please clickk on : http://ping.fm/w1MXq

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Check out the Cheapest Places to Live: Twin Cities ranked #1!!!!
Forbes magazine looked at the 100 least expensive places to live. It ranked all 380 metropolitan areas based on cost-of-living data from Moody’s Economy.com and home affordability from the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo.

The magazine also factored in four quality-of-life considerations, including the rate of violent crime, unemployment, average salary for college grads, and cultural opportunities.

The Twin Cities has the #1 spot for the Central Region followed by Omaha-Council Bluffs, Neb-Iowa and St. Louis, Mo.-Illinois.

Experts Say Now is the Time to Buy

Many investment experts advise it's time to buy. With prices falling, it is a once-in-a-generation chance to load up on property, they say.

How much of an investment portfolio should be devoted to real estate? David Swensen, who manages Yale University's endowment, says 20 percent is a smart number.

One possibility is real estate investment trusts (REITs), which, despite the fact that they are slashing dividends to conserve cash, are still paying average yields of 7.3 percent. That’s double the yield on Treasurys.

Should a home be part of the equation? Michael Kirby, founder of Green Street Advisors, says no.

"You should own a house to provide shelter," says Kirby. "In a way, it's not an investment, and it's not part of your investment portfolio. It's really just a living expense. By owning a house you are prepaying rent."

Source: Forbes (08/03/2009)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Open Houses for Tuesday, July 21!!!! 2408 Hunter Dr., Chanhassen 11-2 & 1115 Cove Cir. Minnetrista – 11:30-2 – Come for LUNCH!
Introducing 2408 Hunter Drive - Check out our new listing in the #2 Best Place to Live! http://ping.fm/5o8pD
Introducing our newest listing!!! 2408 Hunter Drive, Chanhassen. This amazing home in demand Longacres is nestled on a private lot covered with mature trees. The open and spacious floor plan offers many great options for relaxing and entertaining. From the spectacular 4 Season Porch and the charming gardens to the finished Lower Level with it’s wet bar, there is no better place to call home! http://ping.fm/3jxyo

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stafford Family Realtors have a new listing: Check it out at - http://ping.fm/lby03 - 8016 Erie Ave. CHAN!
First-Time Buyers: Hurry for $8,000 Tax Credit

It’s time to remind all you first-time home buyers that in order to qualify for the government’s $8,000 gift in the form of a tax credit, you must close on your home by Dec. 1.

Purchase contracts need to be signed by early October, so you have 45 to 60 days to arrange financing and safely close on your new home!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

The Twin Cities housing market experienced its annual pre-Independence Day drop in activity as fireworks, barbeques and lake cabin excursions preoccupied the minds and schedules of many Twin Citizens. New listings took a steep dive prior to the holiday, dropping to 1,482 for the week ending July 4. This is an 8.3 percent decrease from the same week in 2008.

Pending sales also dropped to 989 for the week ending July 4. Fortunately, this stat is still a healthy 34.6 percent above where it was last year, when there were just 735 pending sales reported.

Further metric watching:

  • Housing Affordability Index – 192. While astoundingly high, the index has dropped since January due to price rebounding and higher mortgage rates.
  • Months Supply of Inventory – 7.3. This is a 31.1 percent decrease from the 10.6 figure posted last year at this time.

The market is showing signs of slowly moving back towards balance.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Chanhassen made the list yet again!

Money Magazine has released their Best Places to Live issue and guess who’s on the list:

Coming in at number 2 is our very own Chanhassen!

Money cites decreasing property taxes, low unemployment stats, and the increasing property values as a few of the reasons Chanhassen landed on the list once again.

Residents of Chanhassen love the small town feel this city has. Chanhassen is home to 11 lakes and 34 parks along with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Other Minnesota cities that made the list:
#20 Chaska (#8 in 2007)
#36 Lino Lakes
#97 Owatonna

This is the second time since 2005 that Chanhassen has made the list.

For more information on Real Estate in Chanhassen from the #1 Coldwell Banker Burnet Agents in Carver County, please contact us today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Weekly Market Activity Report from MAAR

Welcome back from the 4th of July weekend. Our post-4th news is remarkably the same as our pre-4th news. New listings continue at an atypically slow pace but pending sales are robust.

The 1,719 new listings for the week ending June 27 is 18.9 percent less than a year ago. The 26,043 total listings available is 21.3 percent less than last year. However, the 1,121 pending sales for this week excels last year by a giant 31 percent.

Additional metrics worth paying attention to this month:
  • Supply-Demand Ratio: 4.9 homes per buyer; 32.6 percent below last year; lowest since 2005.
  • Days on Market Until Sale: 140; seemingly high but crawling down to a pre-bubble level.
Housing market improvement has been significant in the lower price ranges, while homes priced above conforming loan limits still face significant challenges. With fewer homes available than last year, the number of days on market dwindling, and the clock ticking on government incentives, the buyer advantage is not as great as it once was.

PMI Predicts Where Prices Are Likely to Fall

Mortgage insurer PMI Group predicts that home prices will fall through the first quarter of 2011 in about 30 of the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.

“The housing market has been hit by a demand shock of high unemployment and a supply shock of distressed foreclosure sales,” LaVaughn Henry, senior economist at PMI.

The areas PMI says have the highest probability of lower prices in 2011 are:

  • Miami
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Orlando
  • Tampa, Fla.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Riverside, Calif.
  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Ana, Calif.
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego
  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Detroit

Cities with the lowest probability of falling prices are:

  • Cleveland
  • Pittsburgh
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • San Antonio
  • Houston
  • Dallas
  • Fort Worth

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Stafford Family Realtors

In 1777, the first Anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence was celebrated with 13 gun salutes, speeches, parades and fireworks.

Celebrate in the tradition of our forefathers at the Excelsior Commons this Independence Day! This year, Stafford Family Realtors have donated to help fund the Excelsior Bay Firework display.

Come out to historic Excelsior and enjoy the music of the Minnesota Orchestra and one of the best firework displays in Minnesota!

We wish you and your family a safe and happy 4th of July!

Eric & Sharla Stafford