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Trends in the Real Estate Market

10 Trends Driving the Housing Market Now
© Larry Downing / Reuters
By Beth Braverman

real estate
 

April showers bring May home sales? That’s the hope for homeowners listing their properties this year.

Experts think this spring will be busy as a strong job market continues to fuel an already heated housing market. Whether you’re buying or selling this year, here are the trends you need to know about.

1. Homes are getting less affordable.

Home prices are continuing to rise in most parts of the country far faster than wages, making it harder for the average American to afford a home. The average wage earner in the first quarter of this year had to spend more than 30 percent of his income on mortgage payments, up from 26 percent the year before and 22 percent in 2012, according to RealtyTrac. “Buyers are going to have a tougher time than they did last year affording homes because prices have gone up again,” says RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist.

Despite the higher prices, buying a home looks more attractive when compared to the cost of renting today. Rents have gotten so high that buyers will save money compared to renting within two years of purchasing a property in 70 percent of U.S. housing markets, according to Zillow.

2. Mortgages are getting (slightly) easier to get.

The days of crazy, strict underwriting standards and low-ball appraisals killing deals seem to have finally passed. More than three quarters of purchase loan applications in March closed, up from just two thirds in 2015, according to Ellie Mae. Thanks to relaxed guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lenders are also now able to offer conforming loans to borrowers who haven’t been able to scrape together a 20 percent down payment.

3. Mom-and-pop investors are in (and institutional investors are out).

Large institutional investors, who really drove the market for the past few years, have finally slowed their purchasing, as rising home prices have made the math less appealing. Given the high rents, however, they’re opting to remain as landlords rather than selling their properties just yet. Meanwhile, mom-and-pop investors, many of whom have abandoned the stock market, are also getting into the landlord game, purchasing single-family homes or vacation rentals as investments.

4. You’re less likely to compete with all-cash buyers.

Last year cash buyers accounted for just a third of home sales, the lowest level since 2008, according to a March report from CoreLogic. Cash sales peaked in January 2011, when they made up nearly 47 percent of the market, and they’ve been trending lower since then. CoreLogic projects that cash purchases will fall to 25 percent of sales — their historic average — by the middle of next year.

 

5. Inventory is still really tight.

While rising home values are pushing more sellers to start listing their properties, inventory is still tight, particularly for starter homes. That’s because there are fewer distressed properties coming onto the market for sale. Builders put up about 650,000 new single-family homes last year, the highest number since 2008 but far below the historical average. “We’re just not building enough homes,” says Mark Dotzour, chief economist at Texas A&M’s Real Estate Center. “That industry hasn’t recovered enough to meet demand.”

6. Townhouses are having a moment.

Thanks to an increased demand for new walkable, “urban villages” among both first-time buyers and Boomers looking to downsize, there’s growing demand for high-density housing such as townhouses. The number of townhouses build last year increased 18 percent over 2014, and they now comprise nearly 12 percent of all new home construction, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

7. The prospect of rising rates isn’t spooking buyers.

After years of worries that rising rates would tank the housing markets, the Fed has moved at such a glacial pace that the real estate market has steadied itself and consumers are in a better position to absorb rate increases, especially ones that occur gradually. Rates for a 30-year mortgage are currently at around 3.6 percent, their lowest level in three years. “In most markets, rates would have to double in order to wash out the benefits of home ownership, and that’s just not going to happen anytime soon,” says Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin

8. The hottest markets may have peaked.

As we all learned in the housing crisis a decade ago, long-term, double-digit growth in home prices just isn’t sustainable. After several years of such growth, the country’s hottest markets, such as San Francisco and Boston, seem to finally be leveling off. There’s less concern of a bubble this time around, though, since the buyers of homes in those markets either bought their homes with cash or with carefully vetted loans, meaning that a return of mass foreclosure is unlikely.

9. Good homes are going fast.

Nationally, homes are still moving quickly. A new report from Trulia finds that a third of properties sell within 30 days of hitting the market. Starter homes are moving the fastest and seeing the biggest uptick in prices, making it even more difficult for first-time buyers to get a foothold in the market. In March 62 percent of agents who wrote offers say faced bidding wars, according to Redfin.

10. The suburbs are staging a comeback.

The cost of both renting and buying a home in urban centers has gone up so quickly that many buyers are expanding their searches to the ‘burbs. More than half of today’s buyers are looking for a single-family home in the suburbs, according to the Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report. However, there’s an emphasis on closer-in suburbs with city-like amenities such as downtowns and public transportation. Today’s buyers are willing to sacrifice the size of their home and live in denser communities in order to cut down on commute time.

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fresh air fund

Fresh Air Fund in the Tri-town

Fresh Air Fund gets children out of the city, into the tri-town

By Tanner Harding | Jul 24, 2016
fresh air fund

Photo: Tanner HardingTracy Fiore, Ella and Lilah Gendrea, Faust Fiore and Ella in front enjoy the Harbor Days festivities in Mattapoisett.

MATTAPOISETT — Many people remember spending the summers of their childhood playing outside with their friends or swimming in the pool in their backyard. But in cities like New York, many children don’t get the opportunities to enjoy their summer vacation in those ways.

However, since 1877 the nonprofit organization Fresh Air Fund has been working to get kids out of busy cities during the summer months. The Fresh Air Fund was created to get inner city children from New York out of the hot city and into fresh air, particularly children hit by the tuberculosis epidemic, as fresh air was seen as a cure for respiratory diseases.

Today, families throughout the East Coast and southern Canada continue to host inner city children ages 7 to 18 for a week or two during the summer. In Mattapoisett, Tracy Fiore and her family are hosing Ella, a 7-year-old from New York City, for the second summer in a row.

“She’s a very bright little girl, very inquisitive, she loves doing anything,” Fiore said.

Ella was a bit shy around this reporter, but it was clear that she’s enjoying her time outside of the big city.

One of the goals of the organization is to expose the children to things that they wouldn’t necessarily get to experience in a city environment.

“[We do] things like walking barefoot on the grass, feeding the birds,” Fiore said. “I have chickens, so we check for eggs.”

Despite Ella’s young age, Fiore said she handles being away from her family well.

“She’s really brave and independent,” she said. “She’s very well behaved, very smart, very helpful.”

Parents hear about the program through television advertisements and can sign up through social service agencies or churches, and the children are then paired with a host family in a more suburban or rural area.

Fiore said she knows of families in Dartmouth and Rochester as well who are doing the program. Many people are like her, and host the same children multiple years in a row.

“When I picked Ella up,” Fiore recalled, “there were people with signs that said ‘welcome back…for the fifth summer.’”

Families interested in hosting a child next year can visit www.freshair.org to learn more.

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Gypsy Moths Invade the Tri-Town

Gypsy moths invade tri-town

By Tanner Harding and Douglas McCulloch | Jul 20, 2016

Courtesy of: Konrad Lackerbeck

The moths are everywhere. Fluttering around trees in your backyard. Flying into your windshield. Beating on the back door. But the big problem, experts say, is likely yet to come.

The fluttering horde is made up of gypsy moths, newly hatched from what is being described as the worst outbreak of the leaf-eating caterpillars since 1981.

Now, emerged from their cocoons, the moths are looking for mates and laying eggs – so that even more little worms can chomp on your trees next year.

The moths begin their lives as larvae, according to the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment. A female gypsy moth typically lays about 600 eggs at a time, and the eggs usually hatch in early May.

The larvae complete several moults, then pupate toward the end of June. They emerge two weeks later as adult moths. The gypsy moth mating season usually continues until late July to early August.

The main reason for the severe outbreak this year is a lack of rain, causing the biggest gypsy moth outbreak since 1981, according to University of Massachusetts Amherst entomology professor Joseph Elkinton.

Gypsy moths are not indigenous to North America, and were brought here by a French scientist in 1869. The moths escaped from a laboratory in Medford and have been causing trouble ever since. While most insects play a vital role in our ecosystem, the gypsy moth has no ecological benefit. They’re strictly pests, according to Mattapoisett Tree Committee Chair Sandy Hering.

“Gypsy moths have been a real problem in various spots in the state,” she said. “I would say here on the South Coast we have pockets that are very bad.”

And residents have taken notice.

“The Tree Committee hasn’t received any specific complaints about it,” Hering said. “But at Harbor Days I heard people complaining about them flying around.”

While Mattapoisett hasn’t had any official complaints, Marion Tree Committee Chair Margie Baldwin said she had.

“I’ve had a few calls,” Baldwin said.

At Marion’s Fall Town Meeting, voters approved spending $10,000 in the event the Tree Committee needed to spray trees to kill larvae. However, according to Baldwin, the committee decided that wasn’t necessary this year.

The one natural enemy of the caterpillars is the fungus entomophaga maimaiga, one that grows naturally and affects the gut of the caterpillars, thus acting like a natural insecticide to control gypsy moth outbreaks.

“We asked for money to monitor the eggs, and it wasn’t as bad as last year,” she said. “But the problem is we haven’t had any rain, so the fungus can’t grow. It could be bad next year.”

According to Hering, the moth outbreaks in the 80s were horrible, but got better as the fungus started to affect them.

“Now, for whatever reason, it has gotten bad again,” she said.

At this point in the season, it’s too late to control the outbreak. Once the caterpillars turn into moths, they stop eating and concentrate on laying eggs, which will hatch in the spring.

“We can’t do anything until next spring when they hatch,” Baldwin said. “You have to exactly monitor the time of it.”

Baldwin anticipates that the committee will again ask for money in case it needs to spray the trees to combat the moths come spring.

There are several options for homeowners to protect their shade trees from gypsy moths.

Elkinton recommends hiring a professional to apply pesticides to trees in early May just before eggs begin to hatch. It can be pricey, however.

“It’s expensive, but so is cutting down a dead tree,” Elkinton said.

Experts recommend inspecting trees for signs of gypsy moth egg masses during the fall and winter and removing them.

Officials in Rochester could not be reached in time for printing.

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BOLDIES

BOLD Moves Real Estate Celebrates 10th Year Anniversary

BOLDIES

BOLD Moves Real Estate celebrated their 10th Year Anniversary this month with a wonderful party for all the BOLDIES and their families hosted by Michelle Saltmarsh at her beautiful home in Mattapoisett.  Broker/owner Kate Lanagan MacGregor stated two main reasons for their success.  Professionally, she credits a deep commitment to excellence.  Personally, she shared that BOLD Moves Associates, affectionately called BOLDIES, are like a tribe, protecting one another and supporting the common goals.  With almost no turnover, she believes the culture of   ‘loving what you do’ and associates’ encouragement for their own authentic branding are the strategic differentiators of BOLD Moves Real Estate!  Each BOLDIE knows they are not alone in their career.  Everyone looks out for one another and has ‘each other’s back’.  There is nothing this tribe cannot accomplish together.

Visit our website at www.boldmovesrealestate.com and learn more about what makes BOLD Moves Real Estate BOLD!   Meet the team of BOLDIES and see how they can help you with your real estate needs.

horse show

Marion 4th of July Horse Show

Washburn Park sees 69th 4th of July Horse Show

By Tanner Harding | Jul 04, 2016

Photo by: Tanner HardingRiders display their command of their horses at the Fourth of July Horse Show.

MARION — The Marion Horse Show Committee put on its 69th Fourth of July horse show this year at Washburn Park.

The show featured 78 different classes, ranging from miniature horse jumping to novice riding.

“We have all different types of horses here,” committee secretary Melissa Weigel said. “It’s open to anyone.”

People of any age and experience could register to participate in the events, which were judged by Tom O’Neil from Chester, New Hampshire and Marissa Wolk from Saundertown, Rhode Island.

New this year in the show was the Cowboy Classic, which was an event strictly for rescued horses.

“Many of the horses were rescued from kill farms,” Weigel said.

The event was named after a rescue horse, Cowboy, that participated in the show last year and died shortly after. Cowboy was rescued from a kill farm in Nevada prior to competing.

“It’s really special,” Weigel said of the new event.

There was a large crowd all throughout the afternoon, with the committee estimating around 200 people at any given time.

“I love how it’s open to the public,” Weigel said. “Maybe people who aren’t familiar with horses will see it and want to start riding. I love that the community can be involved.”

The committee also had a fundraising “Chinese auction” set up, which is run like a combination of a raffle and auction. All money raised will be used to host next year’s show.

There was also face painting and pony rides as well as food available.

Riders walk their horses around the ring. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

The riders line their horses up for judging. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

Olivia Peters, 7, from Marion gently plays with the mane of a pony. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)

The revived 4-H club Tails ‘N Trails had a tent at the show. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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Fourth of July

Marion Fourth of July Parade 2016

The Marion Fourth of July Parade went off without a hitch yesterday.  The weather was hot and sunny and perfect for a parade.  The parade stepped off at 9 am and there was a great turnout standing along the route to cheer on their favorite participants.  The parade included our honored Veterans, local bands, floats of area businesses, Girl,  Boy and Cub Scouts, lots of new and antique tractors and also vintage cars.

There was lots of candy throwing and kids scrambling to pick it up as well as well as floats covered in bubbles.  Of course the parade always ends with all the local fire department trucks and vehicles with their loud sirens blaring. It really was a great end to a special parade.  It’s a local tradition that everyone always enjoys.

BOLD Moves Real Estate is vested in their community.   Visit them at www.boldmovesrealestate.com 

Summer 2016.

Real Estate Market Trends for Summer 2016

Real Estate Market Trends For Summer 2016

by MATTY BYLOOSJUNE 20, 2016

Real Estate Market Trends for Summer 2016

Another spring is over, another summer just begun. As we head into the warmest months of the year, the real estate market typically tends to cool a bit, following the hottest buying season of the year. But with everything that’s happened in the housing market over the last few years, 2016 may be anything by typical. So let’s take a look at what may be in store for this summer.
real estate market trends 2016

Lack of Available Homes to Purchase Likely to Remain an Issue

As the rental market has continued to heat up over the last few years, a general lack of inventory has slowed sales in many markets nationwide. This has been a primary driver of prices post-crisis, but with prices likely to “normalize” or at least slow their steady climb over the course of the summer, lack of inventory may be less of an issue than it has been recently.

Trouble With Financing for Younger Buyers Likely to Remain an Issue

Millennials, the second largest generation in the history of the United States and the largest living generation, are still having a difficult time making it into the market. Despite their expressed desire to own their own homes, many younger buyers are having trouble getting the funds together to meet the current down payment requirements for financing a home.

This is primarily due to a combination of massive student loan debt, rising rents, and stagnant wages. The federal government may ease some financing restrictions put in place following the recession, but announcements have not been forthcoming.

real estate trends 2016

Rising Rents, Lack of Rental Inventory, and Stabilizing Home Prices

The rental market will most likely continue to heat up through the summer, making rental inventory an even greater issue as home prices continue to stabilize, following a period of significant growth. This will likely provide incentive for a great many buyers who may not otherwise have entered the market this summer.

However, mortgage rates are also expected to continue to climb. This will drive up debt-to-income ratios, especially in areas with the highest home prices, keeping some out of the market for credit issues mentioned above while driving others into the market looking to capitalize on lower rates than they will be able to get for what may be a very long time.

The Bigger Picture

So, what does it all mean? Despite, the challenges to many hoping to enter the market as buyers this year, rising rental rates coupled with moderate growth in home prices and rising mortgage rates should drive a busier than typical summer buying season. However, lack of available homes in some areas will present an issue to many buyers.

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Rochester

RMS Sixth Graders Graduate

 

Rochester RMSMemorial School Sixth Graders ended their year on a fun-filled week.  The last week of school for RMS Sixth Graders was filled with many fun-filled activities.

On Tuesday, the sixth graders visited the Mattapoisett YMCA for a day of casual fun activities such as a rock wall.

Wednesday brought the Martha’s Vineyard field trip.  The weather was great for the trip and most parents joined their kids and enjoyed a beautiful day on the Vineyard.

Thursday brought a trip to Old Rochester Regional Junior High to check out their new school for next year.  The cafeteria food was mentioned as a highlight of the day.

Thursday night brought the Sixth-Grade dance.  The students were treated to a wonderful nautical theme for the dance, with pizza, a photo booth and great dancing with DJ MK.

Friday included a great slide show of the students throughout the year and the year ended with Graduation on Monday morning.  Awards were given out and thank yous read by all the sixth-grade students and with a last sad look, they said  “goodbye” to their days at the elementary school.  We wish them all the best at the Junior High next year.

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Agent Rising

Agent Rising Real Estate School Classes

Agent Rising Real Estate School

Become a real estate agent with Agent Rising Real Estate School.  Classes have just started but Agent Rising has a rolling admission policy.  Don’t despair if you missed the latest start-up date.   You can start your classes to becoming a real estate agent at any point.

Visit the Agent Rising Real Estate School  to experience the most convenient and flexible school available. Workshops, and independent learning at our BOLD Welcome Center can help you create the perfect schedule and learning opportunities.

We make use of IPad, Video, Power Point, Audio, Hands On, Flash Cards, and other learning tools to fit your learning style and ensure your success!

We also invite you to total immersion by being part of the BOLD Moves Real Estate culture, joining us for Sales Meetings, and working your independent learning hours in the hub of activity. Start your business building from day 1! See first hand what it feels like to be in this amazing profession!

Just give Marie a call at 508-207-3186 or visit www.agentrising.com for more information.

Visit www.boldmovesrealestate.com for great properties or information on buying a home.

This blog was posted on www.agentrising.com on June 24, 2016.

 

survival

ORRJHS Seventh Grade “Survival”

Seventh graders ‘survive’ wilderness trip

By Tanner Harding | Jun 19, 2016

Photo by: Tanner HardingFamily members wait for the seventh graders to arrive.

MATTAPOISETT — The families of 120 seventh graders waited excitedly outside of Old Rochester Regional Junior High on Saturday afternoon. Some had signs while others had balloons. All were waiting to welcome the students back from the 44th annual Survival week.

The students spent seven days in a field in Northfield. Three of those days were spent on outdoor education, such as learning navigation, learning the history of the environment around them and studying the mountains. The rest of the days were spent hiking.

Their first time out of the wilderness in almost a week, the students all seemed to agree on two things: Survival was a lot of fun, and the hiking was really hard.

“We hiked all day,” Jared Achorn said. “We didn’t get a lot of breaks.”

Ultimately, toughing it out is what Survival is all about.

During the hiking part of the trip, “the kids get limited food,” one of the organizers, Rory McPhee, said. “They get an apple in the morning and a cup of soup in the evening.”

But on top of learning wilderness skills and how to go to bed hungry, Survival also serves as a way for students to bond as the school year comes to an end.

“My favorite part was definitely the campfires,” Achorn said. “All the singing, getting to become closer with your friends, the whole experience was cool.”

Survival was started in 1972 by science teachers who wanted to teach students about the local environment. At the time they only went as far as Rochester. That field trip turned into an overnight trip, and continued to grow and evolve. The trip, as it currently operates, is more educational than the militaristic vibe it used to have.

The students were accompanied by 55 chaperones of all ages, including police officers, college students and eighth graders who participated in the trip the year before.

“I would definitely want to come back and chaperone,” seventh grader Carly Drew said. “It was fun.”

The packs the students lived out of for the week. (Photo by: Tanner Harding)
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