Smart Security

Smart Security

Installing a home security system can ease a lot of homeowner worries, and many systems now offer even greater peace of mind with smartphone-ready features. With your mobile device you can stay connected to your home and monitor it whether you’re near or far.

ADT’s (www.adt.com) Pulse, an add-on to its standard security system, allows homeowners to arm or disarm the alarm system, control lights, and thermostats and obtain real-time video of security cameras from anywhere they have an internet connection. The system, which is available as an app for the android and iPhone, also provides a list of secure or unsecure areas, alerting users which doors or windows have been opened.

There will be more new security systems discussed in April from Honeywell to Goto Camera.

Buffalo, NY – Best Market to Watch in 2011

Buffalo, NY – Best Market to Watch in 2011

Buffalo, NY just became ranked as the second best market to watch for in 2011. It fell just behind Washington D.C and right before Des Moines, Iowa. This data, which was presented by Inman News on March 11, 2011, stated that out of the top 10 best markets to watch eight of them were located in the northeast. Another city close by that made the list was Elmira, NY.

One of the reasons for this is that the foreclosure rate in Buffalo dropped 43.5 percent in 2010, making it one of the lowest in the country.

“Buffalo is different than the rest of country. We have a very stable market. It didn’t go up dramatically, (and) didn’t go down dramatically,” said Susan Lenahan, an agent at MJ Peterson Real Estate in Buffalo.

Foreclosures Drop During the Month of February

Foreclosures Drop During the Month of February

RealtyTrac, the leading online market place for foreclosure properties, just reported the largest year-over-year drop in reported foreclosures since they began reporting in 2005. From Feb. 2010 to Feb. 2011 there was a 27% decrease and a 14% decrease from Jan. to Feb. 2011. Activity also hit a 36 month low in Feb. this year.

According to RealtyTrac, “While a small part of February’s decrease can be attributed to it being a short month and bad weather, the bottom line is that the industry is in the midst of a major overhaul that has severely restricted its capacity to process foreclosures. We expect to see the numbers bounce back, but that will likely take several months.”

In Erie County there were 392 foreclosures for the month of Feb. that being relatively high considering places such as Delaware County had only 3 foreclosures. However, on an overall scale that is relatively small compared to Nassau County that had 8,405 foreclosures for the month.

Know The Absorption Rate for Your Property Before You List It for Sale

Know The Absorption Rate for Your Property Before You List It for Sale

Wherever I go, people ask me, “How’s the market?”  I usually respond – “it depends.”

The real question and answer revolves around the absorption rate.

Certain segments of the market are healthier or weaker and the method of determining this is by calculating the absorption rate for the particular market segment.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR)  has determined that a market in balance between buyers and sellers has a 6-month supply of houses. This means that if no one else listed a house for sale, how long would it take for everything else to sell.

The formula is:

Total sales in the last 6 months divided by 6 = Monthly sales rate

Then take total houses for sale right now divided by the monthly sales rate and this equals the absorption rate

A current example would be:

Erie County housing listings between 80,000 and 120,000

Number of properties that are a closed sale or rented in the past 6 months: 779

Number or active properties: 567

779/6=129

567/129=4.39

Meaning there is a 4.39-month supply of houses or the percentage of homes that enter the market and actually sell.

A low number would represent that it is a seller’s market, where as, a high number would represent a buyer’s market.  You can apply this specific formula to a township, a price range, a county or an entire state. It is one of the key indicators used by Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR when he describes patterns of activity in our country.

Area Price Range Number of Properties Number of Active Listings Month Supply
Amherst 175,000- 225,000 107 64 3.5
Erie 500,000 – 1,000,000 48 120 15
Erie 175,000 -225,000 392 326 4.99
Phoenix       6.4
Las Vegas       3.2
Atlanta       6.4

When you are setting the asking price for a property, it’s a good idea to have your realtor perform these calculations. If there is a limited supply you can push the envelope and ask on the high end. If you’re fighting a large supply, you had better price it on the button.

Housing Sales Show Improvement

Housing Sales Show Improvement

It’s true; January sales are rising for the 3rd consecutive month, meaning that the uptrend for existing-home sales is continuing. The numbers are now at a pace above what they were a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This was the first time in seven months that the sales were up from the previous year’s level.

It’s believed that the improvement is good but it could be better. The trend is consistent with the improvements in the economy and the increased number of jobs, “but buyers have been constrained by unnecessarily tight credit. As a result, there are abnormally high levels of all-cash purchases, along with rising investor activity,” according to Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

January 2010 December 2010 January 2011
Seasonally adjusted annual rate 5.09 Million 5.22 Million 5.36 Million
First-time buyers 40% (extended tax credit in place) 33% 29%
Investor Purchases 17% 20% 23%
Distressed Homes 38% 36% 37%
30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage 5.03 4.71 4.76
Single-family Home sales 4.47 Million 4.58 Million 4.69 Million
Condominium and Co-op Sales annual rate 621,000 640,000 670,000

Existing-Home Sales by Region:

Northeast – Fell 4.6% in Jan. Median housing price – $236,500, 4% below a year ago

South – Increased 3.6% in Jan. Median housing price – $126,600, 2.1% below a year ago

West – Increased 1.8% in Jan. Median housing price – $193,200, 5.7% down from a year ago

Midwest –Increased 7.9% in Jan. Median housing price – $126,300, 3.2% below a year ago

Information taken from The National Association Of Realtors (http://www.realtor.org/)