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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Pending home sales index falls for first time in months, performs unequally across regions

Although pending homes (contracts signed) increased for the last five months, in June, they fell slightly (1.8 percent), remaining near May’s level. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is an indicator put out by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) who is quick to point out that May’s level was the highest in over nine years, so it is our assessment that there is no need to panic or get cynical about the market.

Further, the West and Northeast actually saw gains for the month, but were offset by larger declines in the Midwest and South. The PHSI is now 8.2 percent above a year ago, also making June the third highest reading of 2015.

NAR’s Chief Economist explains

Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, says although pending sales decreased in June, the overall trend in recent months supports a solid pace of home sales this summer. “Competition for existing houses on the market remained stiff last month, as low inventories in many markets reduced choices and pushed prices above some buyers’ comfort level.”

“The demand is there for more sales, but the determining factor will be whether or not some of these buyers decide to hold off even longer until supply improves and price growth slows,” added Dr. Yun.

He also notes that existing-home sales are up considerably from last year, despite the share of first-time buyers improving only modestly, giving credit for the boost to pent-up sellers realizing their equity gains from recent years.

“Strong price appreciation and an improving economy is finally giving some homeowners the incentive and financial capability to sell and trade up or down,” adds Yun. “Unfortunately, because nearly all of these sellers are likely buying another home, there isn’t a net increase in inventory. A combination of homebuilders ramping up construction and even more homeowners listing their properties on the market is needed to tame price growth and give all buyers more options.”

Regional performance varied wildly

The PHSI in the Northeast inched 0.4 percent to 94.3 in June, and is now 12.0 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 3.0 percent to 108.1 in June, but is still 5.0 percent above June 2014.

Pending home sales in the South also decreased 3.0 percent to an index of 123.5 in June but are still 7.8 percent above last June. The index in the West increased 0.5 percent in June to 104.4, and is now 10.4 percent above a year ago.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types in 2015 is expected to increase around 6.5 percent to $221,900, which would match the record high set in 2006. Total existing-home sales this year are forecast to increase 6.6 percent to around 5.27 million, about 25 percent below the prior peak set in 2005 (7.08 million).

Why this time of year is tough to gauge

According to realtor.com Chief Economist, Dr. Jonathan Smoke, “This is a tricky time of year to assess housing trends as the housing market is very seasonal. The seasonal trend varies by market so a general interpretation of these numbers should be treated with skepticism.”

He adds, “The underlying data was a mixed bag: the Northeast and West had slight increases on the seasonally adjusted index while the South and Midwest experienced declines. Even more confusing is the fact that the non-seasonally adjusted rate actually increased 2.6 percent in June over May, and only the Northeast and West had declines in the nonseasonal index.”

Dr. Smoke concludes by noting, “Regardless of what reading you prefer, the level of sales remains high. You have to go back to 2006 to see better readings on both indices.”

Blog post via The Real Daily

Illinois Home Sales and Prices Heat Up in June [Infographic]

MRED Goes Live With Green Information in Realtor.com and Homes.com

Providing Another Great Benefit to Real Estate Brokers and their Customers

LISLE, ILLINOIS (July 21, 2015) – Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicagoland’s multiple listing service (MLS), announced that Realtor.com and Homes.com, two of the nation’s largest homes for sale web sites, are now displaying Green and energy related information made available to them from MRED and its real estate professionals.

This is the latest in efforts by MRED to increase the availability of Green data. Consumers today are demanding greater access to this information to make more environmentally informed choices about homes to purchase. Brokers having this information available on their listings helps to promote the sale of those properties. Specifically, data regarding the Green Features of homes and energy/green ratings, available in homes listed in MRED’s MLS system, is now displayed on two of the most visited real estate sites in the country.

This is also about the bigger picture. MRED recently entered into the Home Energy Information Accelerator Partnership Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, supporting the national initiative to improve energy efficiency via the distribution of energy information. This will eventually result in even more information available through MRED’s MLS system as well as for distribution to real estate web sites.

“MRED sets the standard for MLSs in many ways,” said MRED President/Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Jensen. “We’ve challenged ourselves to step up and lead the way on Green and energy information as well. This is a great benefit to our own real estate professionals, but I’m proud that this is also a public service for the many consumers interested in Chicagoland real estate.”

About MRED

Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED) is the real estate data aggregator and distributor providing the Chicagoland multiple listing service (MLS) to more than 40,000 brokers and appraisers and nearly 8,000 offices. MRED serves Chicago and the surrounding “collar” counties and provides property information encompassing northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin and northwest Indiana. MRED delivers over twenty products and services to its customers, complementing connectMLS™, the top-rated MLS system in the country for two years running according to the WAV Group MLS Technology Survey. MRED is the 2013 Inman News Most Innovative MLS/Real Estate Trade Association, and for five consecutive years the MRED Help Desk has been identified as one of the best small business centers in the United States and Canada by BenchmarkPortal. For more information please visit MREDLLC.com.

MRED Chicagoland Report for June, 2015

The curtain closes and the first half of 2015 is a finished act. Monthly market analysis helps nudge the real estate story forward for a final bow. The orchestra (consumers) and conductor (the REALTOR®) are thanked. Metropolitan operas, er, markets across the country continue to improve and further perform at peaks not seen in years. Bad memories from that one lousy show known as the Great Recession are pushed even further into the past.

New Listings in Chicagoland were up 4.9 percent for detached homes and 5.5 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 22.2 percent for detached homes and 22.0 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 4.9 percent to $235,950 for detached homes and 8.3 percent to $195,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 13.3 percent for detached units and 12.0 percent for attached units.

Having six months of 2015 data in the books is great, but it is still just intermission at this halfway point of the year. Forecasting market trends can be as dicey as the weather, but with interest rates managing to remain low into the summer months, the outlook is promising, even if rates go up later in the year. Metrics like inventory and percent of list price received at sale are two of the better understudies to watch this year.

MRED real estate professionals can log into MREDLLC.com and click on the Statistics tab to get the latest Lender Mediated and Monthly Market Indicators Reports.  You can also click on the Local Market Updates choice under the Statistics tab and use our Interactive Market Analytics map for the latest local market metrics.

Any questions?  Please contact MRED’s Help Desk at 630-955-2755 or help.desk@MREDLLC.com.

#1 Reason to Sell Your House Now!

#1 Reason to Sell Your House Now! | Keeping Current Matters

If you are one of the many homeowners out there who are debating putting their house on the market this year, don’t miss out on the great opportunity you have right now!

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR), reveals that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped to a 5.1-month supply.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ market, explained below:

Inventory & Pricing | Keeping Current MattersThere are more buyers that are ready, willing and able to buy now, than there has been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in this seller’s market. Listing now will give you the most exposure to buyers who will be competing against each other to buy your house.

Blog post via KCM Blog