We publish a thrice yearly, lush looking, full color magazine featuring our Luxury Properties listed For Sale in The Woodlands and The Greater Houston Area. Here's our "Hot Off The Press" edition. Thought I'd share on-line, if you'd like more information about one of these beauties or if you'd like printed version, let me know.
Thanks - Ken
Unicorns, Leprechauns and WMDs are myths...so is the the notion of a National Housing Market.
Don't read me wrong. Yes, nation wide housing data can be lumped together like an overweight, crappy tasteing merry Christmas Fruitcake, but guess what? It's a myth and it's as useful as a Merry Christmas Fruitcake.
Real Estate markets are local and hyper-local, period.
Don't let the talking media bobble heads and jaded journalists hypnotize you into a depressing, misinformed stupor. Talk to a trusted, in-the-know, feet on the street, real estate agent about what exactly is going on in your community, neighborhood and street. It may or may not be what you want to hear, but it will be accurate, meaningful and useful.
Amen brothers and sisters....that's all I have to say about that.
PS. If you'd like to pursue a passel of real estate market statistics for The Woodlands, Texas, you can download this .PDF. I'll update these stats over the weekend
It’s official. Will buyers come out to play? What’s it mean to you and me? It all depends on where you live and what your situation is. One sure thing, although we are silly-putty pounded by media reports referring to the “National Housing Market”, there is no such thing. The national average for Month’s Supply of For Sale Listing Inventory is 11 months. In The Woodlands, it’s less than 5 months. Real estate markets are local, hyper-local in fact. For example, the Phoenix, Arizona housing market in not like the Austin, Texas market. Real estate sales and listing inventory in Stockton, California is not similar to San Francisco, California. Miami Beach, Florida is not comparable to Houston, Texas. Hyper-Local means that in township like The Woodlands, real estate market activity will be different that the entire city of Houston. Inside The Woodlands, the real estate market statistics are different from Village to Village, sales velocity, listing inventory, Days On Market and months supply of inventory also varies from individual neighborhood to neighborhood, street to street and even house to house.
What’s the take away. If you want to know where you stand, what your property is worth, how long would it take to sell, are prices going up or down, you will want to consult with your favorite, trusted Realtor. They can research and create an up to the minute hyper-local statistical report (called a CMA or Comprehensive Market Analysis) and share their real-time perspective, what the data means and what their interactive experiences are with the real clients and customers in today’s market place.
Back to the Housing Bill. It’s signed and it’s official. In my opinion it’s a big deal for citizens buying and selling real estate. Why? Because it bolsters Fannie and Freedie Mac, which provides consumer and institutional confidence and the assurance of mortgage money availability. It also raises the conforming loan limits from $417,500 to $625,500, providing lower interest rate loans to more people. It provides a Tax Credit for first time home buyers.
Bottom line, it provides confidence, security and cheaper mortgage money to more people, ergo consumers can buy homes at less expensive rates. All good and positive.
Want to read the whole CNNmoney.com article - Click Here
Here’s the summary
A stronger regulator for the GSEs. The new regulator will have a greater say over how well funded the two government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are - a major concern in the markets that has sent stocks in both companies plunging in the past two months.
A permanent increase in “conforming loan” limits. The law will permanently increase the cap on the size of mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie to a maximum of $625,500 from $417,000. The FHA maximum loan limits for high-cost areas would also increase to a maximum of $625,500. Higher loan limits will make it easier for borrowers to get mortgages, because those mortgages are more likely to be traded if they are considered conforming.
A new home-buyer credit. The new law includes a tax refund for first-time home buyers worth up to 10% of a home’s purchase price but no more than $7,500. The refund, however, serves more as an interest-free loan, since it would have to be paid back over 15 years in equal installments.
A ban on down-payment assistance from sellers. The new law eliminates a program that has allowed sellers to provide down payment assistance for FHA loans. The law would also increase to 3.5% from 3% the down payment requirement for borrowers getting FHA loans.
A new affordable housing trust fund. The law establishes a permanent fund to promote affordable housing. The fund will be paid for by fees from Fannie and Freddie.
Bolster Fannie and FreddieA late and controversial addition to the new housing law provides temporary authority for the Treasury to lend a financial hand to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if the Treasury deems it necessary to help stabilize markets ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ If we can help you with anything or you have questions, give me a call, Ken Brand 832-797-1779. If I don’t know the answer, I know lot’s of specialists and I will find out for you. Thanks
About 1/3 of all the home buyers who buy in The Woodlands, choose to buy a New Home. Our experience, about 76% of the home buyers who buy a property in The Woodlands, look at new homes and pre-owned homes.
Here's some 411 on New Home Inventory:
THERE ARE 248 SPEC INVENTORY HOMES AVAILABLE IN THE WOODLANDS – The Woodlands features a variety of new home choices from condominiums, townhomes, patio homes, single-family homes, active-adult residences, urban living, custom homes to golf course estates, priced from the $150’s to more than $3 million. There are currently 248 spec inventory homes available throughout The Woodlands. FYI, there are just over 900 homes listed for sale in The Woodlands, in all price ranges...this number includes new homes that are marketed through the MLS (note: not all new homes are listed in MLS).
62 custom inventory homes are offered in this master-planned community Ready for move-in is the custom estate at 35 Player Bend in the neighborhood of Gary Glen in the Village of Sterling Ridge. Built by Hahnfeld-Witmer-Davis, this home overlooks the Gary Player Signature golf course. At 7,070 square feet, this residence features five bedrooms; wood floors; library with a fireplace; gourmet kitchen; separate wine room; upstairs media room with a wet bar and a game room, both leading to a covered balcony; second utility room upstairs; five full baths with two half baths; and a four-car garage. Other amenities include a veranda with a summer kitchen. This home is priced at $1,899,000. For more information, call The Woodlands Custom Homes, Robyn Brand at 281-367-4550.
There are 16 inventory homes available in East Shore, the “Garden District” of The Woodlands Town Center, bordering 200-acre Lake Woodlands. Carmel Builders has seven, three-story townhomes (middle photograph), many with elevators, available in East Shore. Residences feature Southern Coastal architecture, 2,579 square feet of living space, and front porches and balconies overlooking Rafter’s Row Park and Lake Woodlands. These homes are priced from $437,590 and up. If you'd like more information about this one, give me a call, Ken Brand - 832-797-1779.
There are 154 inventory homes offered by production homebuilders throughout The Woodlands. Available now is the two-story Brazelton plan (model pictured, bottom photograph) at 79 Chipwyck Way in Montfair in the Village of Sterling Ridge. This home features four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, huge covered front and back porches, faux wood blinds, extensive tile throughout the downstairs, sod and a sprinkler system. This residence is priced at $248,990. For more information, give us a call @ 281-367-3531 any one of our smile wearing, world class Realtor Icons can help.
Wondering what's for sale in the Pre-Home market? Every home in the MLS can be viewed at TheWoodlands411.com. Need anything at all, questions, call me, Ken Brand @ 832-797-177
It's a Web 2.0, Social Media, Whiz-Bang, OMG, WTH, No Way, WOW, I Don't Get it, Gotta have IT, Real Estate Technology Conference. Tuesday - Friday. Lots of weird, cool, useful and useless stuff like we talked about last week.
Back in the Bee Hive on Monday.
Blogging will be light as a feather.
While away, I'll be jacked into the digital cloud. Email me @ Ken@Kenbrand.com or call @ 832-797-1779 or follow me on Twitter.
Here's an interesting quote: "I don't know whether this is the best of times or the worst of times, but I assure you it's the only time you've got." - Art Buchwald
Written Contracts for the month of July, based on current velocity, are projected to total 222 Listings Pended or Placed Under Contract. Last July (2007) there were 301 Listings Pended or Placed Under Contract. The difference is 26.24%. 26.24% fewer listing placed under contract than last year at the same time.
What else you should know. From here, sales will slow through February of 2009. Historically (see graph) the total number of contracts written per month declines. School begins anew, the holiday season kicks off and seasonally there are simply fewer buyers in the market place. Also, we expect that "For Sale" listing inventory will ebb for the same reasons. Sellers:Now is the time to make adjustments. Staging, merchandising, painting, interior and exterior cosmetic enhancements and price adjustments should be made now. The longer you wait, the harder it will become to sell your property. Want to sell your property? Take action now.
Buyers: The selection of inventory is healthy, interest rates are expected to climb. Yes there are fewer sales than last year, but The Woodlands and Houston real estate markets are not even in the same solar system as Florida, Arizona or California. Real estate markets are local, forget the national news, study local conditions. SOLD prices have NOT declined, prices have actually appreciated. It's not expected to change. When you find what you like, take action, buy it.
Realtors: Listing Inventory is up, sales are down. To thrive in this market will require extra effort and actions, actions that are dramatic and remarkable. More marketing, more connecting, more follow through, more follow up, more communication, more patience, more networking, more service. Time to step up everything, puny milk toast performance will be wheeled to curb like those big brown trash cans. If I can support your efforts to shine remarkably, let me know.
Want more market data: Months Supply Of Inventory, Average List Price To Sales Price Percentages, Days On Market, Average Sold Prices - Click HERE for all the gritty details Want more economic news the Greater Houston Area Economy and where we're headed? Click HERE.
If you have any questions about this material, I'd be happy to help, leave me a comment, or email me at Ken@KenBrand.com or you can call me on my cell phone = Ken Brand 832-797-1779. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
All this real estate market data for The Woodlands is complied from the Houston Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service. By Ken Brand