12/8/2017

  • Credit Suisse Real Estate Survey for November 2017
    • "We note that buyers are seeking more value and are motivated by the prospects of further price appreciation and the potential for higher rates...We believe the broader upturn in housing remains intact and look for the reemergence of entry-level buyers to drive much of the growth."
      Check out slide 28 for data on our local market.

11/17/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for October
    • "Although inventory levels are low in many markets, there has largely been enough listing and building activity, or at least conversation about future activity, to maintain a positive attitude about the prospects of buying or selling a home. Low affordability has started to become a recent topic of conversation and is worth watching. But with a healthy economy, level of demand and national unemployment rate, sellers are going to continue to see strong prices for their homes."

 

11/13/2017

10/24/2017

  • HOUSING FINANCE AT A GLANCE
    • The Housing Finance Policy Center’s (HFPC) mission is to produce analyses and ideas that promote sound public policy, efficient markets, and access to economic opportunity in the area of housing finance. At A Glance, a monthly chartbook and data source for policymakers, academics, journalists, and others interested in the government’s role in mortgage markets, is at the heart of this mission.

10/20/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for September
    • "[A]lthough mortgage rates have remained enticingly low, home prices have reached unaffordable levels for many new entrants into the housing pool at exactly the same time that established owners are proving to be less interested in moving."

10/17/2017

Today, October 17, 2017, the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency announced an expansion to the state’s Sewer and Septic Repair Loan Program.

This is a state loan program that provides low interest loans to cover repairs to residential septic systems and first-time connections to a public sewer. It now is being expanded to include loans for repairs to existing sewer line connections to home. Loan amounts can now be as high as $25,000.

The eligibility for these loans is as follows:

  • No restrictions on household income as of 1/20/2016.
  • Borrowers will be underwritten to determine ability to repay the loan.
  • Borrowers must be PA residents seeking to improve their primary residence which meets program requirements.
  • Project Location: for on-lot septic repair, all areas of PA are eligible unless a public wastewater collection and treatment system is either in place or will be constructed in the next five years. For sewer connections, any area of PA is eligible.
  • Allowable Project Types: rehabilitation, improvement, repair, or replacement of an existing septic system or a homeowners' lateral connection to a public sewer.
  • Financeable Project Costs: system design charges, construction fees and costs, inspection,  and permit fees, connection fees (also known as "tap-in fees"), and most loan origination fees.
  • Two unit dwellings deeded as one property are eligible unless the residence is a manufactured home, then one unit only.
  • Documentation: applicants must gather and provide for lender and PHFA review, all income and credit information, applicable permits, project specifications, connection fees for sewer connections, or, if you are replacing or repairing an on-lot septic system, verification from your local municipality that a wastewater disposal system neither exists nor is planned in the next five years. Additional information supporting the loan application may also be requested.

These loans are a great low-cost way to get your septic system up to snuff and provide you ease of mind. Nothing kills a sale faster than a failing septic or sewage disposal system.

The lenders who originate the Homeowner Septic Program loans are: Liberty Mortgage Corporation, Erie; The Muncy National Bank, Muncy; Widget Financial Credit Union, Erie; American Bank, Allentown; Erie FCU, Erie; and Members' Choice Financial Credit Union, Danville. Together they make the Homeowner Septic Program available statewide. You can also call PHFA at 1-855-U-Are-Home to be connected with the agency's Customer Solutions Center.

READ MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM HERE

 

10/6/2017

  • Credit Suisse Real Estate Survey - September 2017
    • Steady September—Inventory shortage discourages buyers
      • Demand remains high, but there are few viable options out there for cash-strapped buyers, and the sellers know it, and are less willing to take lower offers. Be prepared to face multiple bidders if you're just entering the market.

    

9/14/2017

  • Credit Suisse Real Estate Survey - August 2017
    • Home prices are still rising and will continue to do so until we get some more inventory in the market. Luckily, interest rates remain low to allow buyers a little extra room to work with. 

9/12/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for August
    • As the busy summer selling season dies down, the market is opening up a little for buyers willing to move during the school year. However, limited inventory, much of poor quality, is limiting buyer interest. Luckily, looking to the future, the report indicates "[r]ecent manufacturing data is showing demand for housing construction materials and supplies, which may help lift the ongoing low inventory situation in 2018."

9/11/2017

  • The Barclays Real Estate A.G.E.N.T. for August
    • The national headline is "Buyers Hesitant Due to Concerns on Pricing and Inventory Quality" however the demand for low priced housing is still strong and many first time homebuyers are trying to break into a crowded market.

8/15/2017

  • The Barclays Real Estate A.G.E.N.T. for July
    • "Prospective buyers are being deterred by a shortage of desirable, affordable inventories across markets. Buyers dissatisfaction with the quality of the home they can afford continues to be the most frequently cited challenge in the market. On the other hand, sellers generally continue to view the tight supply as a reason to hold or raise listing prices, despite the growing pushback from buyers."

8/14/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for July
    • "How long can the residential real estate market go on like this? We are about two years into a national trend of dropping housing supply and increasing median sales prices. There are some regional variations to the story, but the shift to a predominantly seller's market is mostly complete. Multiple-offer situations over asking price are commonplace in many communities, and good homes are routinely off the market after a single day. It is evident that a favorable economy keeps hungry buyers in the chase. New Listings decreased 4.0 percent to 1,048. Pending Sales were up 14.8 percent to 824. Inventory levels shrank 39.5 percent to 2,321 units. Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price increased 0.5 percent to $190,000. Days on Market was down 25.5 percent to 41 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 42.4 percent to 3.4 months. Although the unemployment rate remains unchanged at its favorable national 4.3 percent rate, wage growth has not been rising at the steady clip that would be expected in an improving economy. Sales activity manages to keep churning along despite looming shortages in new construction. Lower price ranges are starting to feel the effects of the supply and demand gap, as first-time buyers scramble to get offers in at an increasing pace." Click the link to read all their data!

7/13/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for June
    • Dwindling inventory is making it harder for buyers to find an acceptable property. If you're looking for a property, have a pre-approval in hand and be ready to move quickly and bid competitively, or else your dream home will get snapped up while you're still thinking about it.
  • The JUNE 2017 Barclays Real Estate A.G.E.N.T. (Analyzing, Gauging, & Exploring Neighborhood Trends)
    • Again, low inventory is creating stronger demand. If you're thinking of selling your property, now is the time. Turn to page 28 to see the Philadelphia/Southern NJ market details.

6/15/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for May
    • "...lending standards are now much stronger than they were before. Incomes must be verified, a reasonable amount of money must be paid toward the home prior to purchase and a more stringent loan approval process is in place to prevent a repeat performance of the Great Recession." This speaks to the necessity of obtaining a quick non-contractual pre-approval before going home shopping. Be prepared before entering this very competitive market!

5/12/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for April
    • With pending sales up almost 9% and actual closed sales up only 1%, it is vitally important to get a strong preapproval from a solid lender before you start looking. The market is moving fast and if you have to stop to get a preapproval, that house you've fallen in love with will likely have multiple offers. Get ready to bid competatively. If you're thinking of selling, the market is desperate for new inventory, with sellers receiving an average of over 97% of list price and sitting on the market for just over 60 days, now is the time!

4/13/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for March
    • With inventory still dwindling, the time to buy is now, before rates go up and before everyone else comes out of the woodwork trying to do the same thing. Call me!

3/16/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for February
    • "[B]uyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply." If you're looking to buy, don't hesitate, and be prepared to pay list price or above. The market is extremely competitive and will only become more so heading into the summer. If you're considering selling, now may be the time!

3/7/2017

  • The FEBRUARY 2017 Barclays Real Estate A.G.E.N.T. (Analyzing, Gauging, & Exploring Neighborhood Trends)
    • The latest trends in the Real Estate market. Rates are rising and inventory continues to dwindle with no clear reprieve on the horizon. Now may be the best time to buy for a while.

2/16/2017

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for January
    • Sale prices remain largely flat as inventory continues to plummet to lows not seen since the recent recession. Sale prices largely kept low as a result of cautious mortgage appraisals.

10/13/2016

  • Lvar.org Market Indicators for September
    • Interesting analysis of our current lack of inventory: "[I]ntriguingly low
      interest rates often prompt refinancing instead of listing, contributing to lower
      inventory. Recent studies have also shown that short-term rentals are keeping a
      collection of homes off the market." 

9/15/2016

  • Article from Members section of LVAR.org
  • "Closed home sales in the Lehigh Valley cooled off during August; could be the norm for remainder of 2016"
    • The Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS® (GLVR) reported August data that shows dwindling inventory numbers are beginning to adversely affect the valley’s real estate market — cooling down the sales hot streak the market’s been riding most of the year, but luckily not extinguishing rising prices.
      Nonmember Friendly link to full article.

9/15/2016

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for July
    • "Demand is certainly present and has created competitive situations that have kept prices up. Rental prices are also up, which may lure more toward homeownership." Inventory is down over 40% from last year. List now! Get a good price before trends reverse!!

8/16/2016

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for July
    • "With homes not staying on the market very long, buyers now need to move fast in order to get the home they want, and they may have to pay more for it. "

8/15/2016

  • Credit Suisse Real Estate Survey

    • "Most demand not actionable however as qualifying for a mortgage remains difficult." Speaks to the need of getting a pre-approval from a reputable local lender. A mortgage is much harder to get now than in 2006-2007. Make sure you can qualify for one before you fall in love with a home!

7/15/2016

6/15/2016

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for May
    • "Valley residents are buying. Homes are selling — often with quick multiple offers that are near, at or even above asking price...But inventory is still being stretched thin in many areas and without a fresh supply of homes due to the lag in new construction, there could be faced with some unfavorable buying conditions if the demand for homes remains high. "

6/10/2016

5/17/2016

4/15/2016

3/15/2016

  • LVAR.org Market Indicators for February
    • "Should the inventory numbers continue to dwindle, expect competition for the
      best available properties to heat up in the coming months — particularly when
      you consider the current favorable economic climate for home buying: low
      unemployment rate at or near 4.9 percent, an unprecedented 70 consecutive
      months of private-sector job growth, and mortgage rates below 4.0 percent"

3/8/2016

2/8/2016

1/12/2016