January 2014 Your Home Newsletter

Home Sales in 2013 Rise to Strongest Level in 7 Years

Daily Real Estate News | Friday, January 24, 2014
The housing market has been experiencing a “healthy recovery” over the past two years, with home sales last year rising to the highest level since 2006, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' latest housing report. 
“Existing-home sales have risen nearly 20 percent since 2011, with job growth, record low mortgage interest rates, and a large pent-up demand driving the market,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We lost some momentum toward the end of 2013 from disappointing job growth and limited inventory, but we ended with a year that was close to normal given the size of our population.”
Existing-home sales rose 1 percent in December 2013 compared to November and reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.87 million.
Existing-home sales for all of 2013 reached 5.02 million sales, 9.1 percent higher than 2012, and the largest rise since 2006 when sales were at 6.48 million at the close of the housing boom, NAR reports.  
Home prices were also on the rise in 2013, up 11.5 percent over 2012, with a median existing-home price of $197,100 last year compared to $176,800 in 2012. It was the strongest gain in home prices in a year since 2005, when home prices rose 12.4 percent, NAR reports.
NAR President Steve Brown says that with job growth expected this year, home sales should hold despite rising home prices and higher mortgage rates.
“The only factors holding us back from a stronger recovery are the ongoing issues of restrictive mortgage credit and constrained inventory,” Brown says. “With strict new mortgage rules in place, we will be monitoring the lending environment to ensure that financially qualified buyers can access the credit they need to purchase a home.”
Housing Recovery Regional Snapshot
Here’s a look at how existing-home sales fared in December and for the year across the country:
  • Northeast: Existing-home sales fell 1.5 percent in December but remain 3.2 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $239,300, up 3.6 percent from year ago levels
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales dropped 4.3 percent in December and are 0.9 percent below year ago levels. Median price: $150,700, 7 percent higher than December 2012.
  • South: Existing-home sales rose 3 percent in December and are 4.6 percent higher than December 2012. Median price: $173,200, up 8.9 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Existing-home sales increased 4.8 percent, but are 10.7 percent below a year ago. Median price: $285,000, up 16.0 percent from December 2012.
By REALTOR® Magazine Daily News

Fun Fact

In 1958 – the first year of the Grammy awards ceremony – “The Music From Peter Gunn,” by Henry Mancini, won Best Album.
Area Home Sales Statistics for Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati
If you would like more information about sales in your specific community, send me an email at mikebeckerhomes@fuse.net and let me know how I can help you.

Northern Kentucky 

Northern Kentucky continues the national trend of housing market improvement, experiencing the best year since 2007, posting almost similar numbers. Homes sold in 2007-5,841, in 2013-5,802;  Average selling price 2007-158,445, 2013-154,152; Median price, 2007- 137,620,  2013-134,500; average days on market 2007-82, 2013-84.  Perhaps the one statistic that is not following this trend is the number of homes in the active inventory. At the end of 2007 there were 3,770 homes for sale. At the end of 2013 there were 2,513 on the market, a reduction of 33%.  This lower supply coupled with continued increasing demand, would indicate we are into a sellers’ market.

  Year End 2012         Year End 2013 Percentage change
 Residences sold 4978 5802 16.6%
 Average price $145,454 $154,152 6.0%  
 Median Price $127,000 $134,500  5.9%
 Average days on market 95 84 

  Year End 2012 Year End 2013Percentage
 Residences sold 18,375 22,655 23.3%
Average price $156,152 $165,272 5.8%
Median Price $123,000 $130,000 5.7%
Average days on market 79 68 

Fire Fight

Tangled extension cords? Power strips galore? Your home’s wiring system might be working overtime with all of the new gadgets you received for Christmas — and it might be at risk for igniting a fire. Straighten out these wiring problems and more with tips from This Old House.
Have a licensed electrician walk through your home every five years to look at the wire insulation and the service panel and for any code violations. If you’re doing it yourself, start by turning off the circuit at the main breaker panel.
Code requires outlets within 4 feet of a door and every 12 feet after that. Extension cords can be useful, but keep in mind that smaller-gauged cords can overheat and start a fire if overused. Adding more outlets can run about $100 per outlet on first levels and $200 upstairs.
Another fire hazard is overlamping, in which light fixtures have a bulb with higher-than-recommended wattage installed. Check the fixtures’ wattage limit or use bulbs that are smaller than 60 watts.
Flickering lights aren’t just annoying, but they could be a sign of wire trouble, too. The outdoor fitting where overhead cables from the power line come into the house, or frayed wiring in the weatherhead, causes the short when the cable moves. Call your electric utility provider to have the weatherhead replaced for free.

Winter To-Do List

Kick off the New Year with a fresh attitude about home maintenance. After all, you don’t want to wait until the furnace conks out before you deal with it. Keep track of when you need to schedule service and how to keep things in good working order with The Weather Channel’s to-do list for January.
First, take a snow day to organize your files and review warranties and manuals for equipment, appliances and other tools. There you’ll find how often to check or replace items.
Need a new washer and dryer? Post-holiday sales this month can also help you snatch a bargain.
Take a room-by-room inventory with photos or video. In the case of fires, floods or other disasters, a record of your possessions can be helpful when filing insurance claims.
Examine furniture and cabinets for loose knobs and hinges, and repair as needed. Fix squeaks in floors and stairs.
Also this month, keep crawl space vents open to control condensation beneath the house, and check insulation around outside pipes that are exposed to freezing weather.