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REO Nos. Drop – Are Investors Ready for Change?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently reported favorable information on foreclosures and bank real estate owned or REOs.  Specifically, both lenders reported declines in their overall REO Inventories; Freddie Mac reported a more than 30 percent decline in inventory, while Fannie Mae reported more than 32 percent drop in inventory – as compared to Q2 2015.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also confirmed their REO inventory levels are now below the levels last seen in 2007 and 2008.  Fannie Mae realized a commendable drop of more than 70 percent from its 2008 inventories, where Freddie Mac is now sitting with an estimated 80 percent drop in its REO inventories since 2008.

What this Means for Markets:

The drop in the REOs of 2 of America’s largest home lenders is giving the residential real estate market the notion that banks now understand the importance of working with homeowners by providing principal reductions and modifications. Yet these numbers only represent the banks’ ability to move foreclosed homes (non-performing assets) from their balance sheets to real estate markets via successful sales.  This sub-market, engineered by banks to facilitate a leaning out of their balance sheets, subsequently created a niche for investors and savvy market professionals to develop a solid revenue stream in a non-traditional market.

The market niche unfortunately is coming to a new transition point as banks are now reaching sustainable and industry acceptable levels of REO inventories. The result – a smaller amount of REO properties being available to the recently create sub-market, potential forcing the return of a more traditional real estate market.  From this transition, banks will generate new obstacles to both investors and homeowners by instigating a negatively correlated market shift – via a lower foreclosure rates and a more reserved accounting of non-performing assets held on their balance sheets.

Changes for Investors:

For investors, this influx of previously non-performing owned assets gave many professionals the ability to acquire and package REO properties, and flip them at a profit.  Investors now are realizing this dance is coming to a close (at least for this economic cycle).

Savvy investors, specifically those who profited through the Recession, should prepare for a potential return to a more traditional market.  The traditional market may be several months out, if not more, investors who do not proactively begin considering options for re-aligning their portfolios [potentially] to a more traditional market might see their revenue streams run dry.

Homeowners Potential Return to a Traditional Market:

For homeowners and local real estate agents, however, this transition will bring a much need turn.  As a general practice with REO sales, banks do not utilize agents to list or facilitate the sale of a residential property Moreover, homeowners also suffer by way of listing price fluctuations created by each bank’s ability to sell property at a discounted rate – driving the average home price in a particular market lower, which in turn harms traditional sellers.

Thankfully, agents and homeowners alike should begin to see a flattening out of the market, resulting in more traditional transactions – in place of the discounted REO sales of the banks.  Allowing for the return of the age old real estate questions…what is the commission rate(s) I need to cover to complete my sale?

Selecting an agent and broker that can assist you in evaluating market trends as well as your property’s value is key. For market sellers and investors, Schwartz Realty is that professional.

At Schwartz Realty, we can help you understand the best course of action and guide you through the process with ease. Let the some of the top realtors and agents in Las Vegas help you make the right decisions. For more information or to set up a consultation, give us a call today at (702) 485-1400.


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Are Buyers Priced Out of the Market?

It is no secret that there is a growing concern on the supply of homes in residential real estate markets. Although the financial landscape is returning to steady employment and rising rents – with exceptionally low interest rates – home sales are running into a problem. The price of available homes are still rising due to low supply in the markets.

During each spring local and national real estate markets generally see an upswing in home sales. Unfortunately, as of January 2016, the current available home listings are down more than 2% as compared to the same time last year.

What does this mean for you as a buyer?

Currently lower valued homes are driving market sales. Those looking to find a bargain or enter the market as a first time home buyer, the time is now to consider making a purchase. If you have a diligent and resourceful agent – the perfect opportunity may only be a phone call away. Moreover, with low interest rates, supply and demand playing cat and mouse, and steady increases in the employment numbers, an agent could be the best opportunity to lower your rent and assist you in becoming a homeowner.

What does this mean for you as a potential seller?

The first order of business is understanding your potential equity and the value of your property or properties. Knowing these key details about your properties will help determine whether you want to list your home turn your home equity into cash, or not sell at this time due to a surplus of similar valued homes presently saturating your local market, or simply you want to wait for prices to rise.

Selecting an agent and broker that can assistance you in evaluating market trends as well as your property’s potential equity and value is key. Market professionals can share details with you about your potential sale in the local market – ensuring you properly manage your equity through both market swings and dead-zones.

At Schwartz Realty, we can help you understand the best course of action and guide you through the process with ease. Let the some of the top realtors and agents in Las Vegas help you make the right decisions. For more information or to set up a consultation, give us a call today at (702) 485-1400.

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Homeowners Enjoying Profits from Sales

Profit margins from 2007 are returning to Las Vegas homeowners who sell their properties. Between 2007 and 2013, however, Las Vegas homeowners primarily sold their homes at a loss. Now, homeowners in Las Vegas are seeing more than 22 percent profit margins over their initial purchase price on home sales, according to RealtyTrac. Put another way, Nevada home buyers are making money, and lots of it.

Las Vegas homeowners seeing green

The increases in profit margins might not match the once booming market upswings realized all around the country 10-15 years ago, prices appear stable. Specifically, the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors recently noted the median home sales price locally is unchanged at $220,000 since June 2015, which hints at a stabilization of home prices in the Las Vegas market.

Further guiding this welcomed profit uptick and stabilization is the comparison of Las Vegas’ profit margin percentage to the national average, which is a less than stellar 17 percent. Upon reflection, Las Vegas’ almost 6 percentage point lead on the average national home sale profit stands as a solid indicator that local real estate market trends are moving in a positive direction.

In other key hot-beds of home sales, such as Phoenix, Miami, and Riverside, California, homeowners see profit percentages closer to 30%. Taking into account the higher median home prices in these hot-bed markets, Las Vegas seems to again offer homeowners and potential investors alike strong returns on investment. Although the hand-over-fist profit margins seen in years past are not back, homeowners and potential investors are now seeing cause to step back into the market.

As this market trend develops, Schwartz Realty will continue to share the latest insights such sales trends that can potentially provide new revenue opportunities for both homeowners and potential investors. To stay informed, enjoy commentary from the top realtors and agents in Las Vegas  and please check out our blogs each week.

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Apartment Boom Transitions to Single-Family Homes

Economists have recently pointed out that residential builders are transitioning from rental apartment projects to single-family residential projects. This change is substantiated by the increase in single-family homes built, which comprised two-thirds of all the residential building projects in 2015. Forecasts from the National Association of Home Builders and housing-research firms such as Metrostudy are predicting an increase of more than 14% of single-family building projects, with only a low 2-5% growth in multi-family building projects throughout 2016.

Rise of Single-Family Homes

How will the industry continue to test these predictions? Enter the US Census Bureau’s construction spending reports. Industry regulars believe the data included in these reports should provide a solid indicator of whether residential building projects are swinging out of the rental market and into single-family market inventories for sale. A notable Census Bureau data point > 6 years of consistent rental rate increases in the United States drove many potential renters from the market, as disposable income during the same time period did not realize similar growth.

Although such increases in single-family building projects can drive home prices lower, subsequently having a negative correlation on rent can force potential homebuyers to miss out on purchasing a home during what might be an oncoming construction boom. The cause for this possible road block: homeownership is still subject to properly navigating (i) stringent lending standards and requirements, (ii) potential management of the borrower’s student loan(s) and (iii) time required for an upswing of residential inventory to enter their market and drive prices down.

Looking forward, Nevadans should keep in touch with their local realtor and broker and stay informed on options relating to rental properties and potential homeownership. In keeping this relationship strong, residents will have greater insight to capitalize on their real estate transactions throughout 2016. At Schwartz Realty, we have the agents and market insight to help you identify the right time to sell your home, or the right time to purchase a property. For more information, give us a call today at (702) 485-1400.