Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ready for an upturn??

Well if you ask the media they will tell you that the real estate market is going to hell in a handbasket. If you ask most lenders they will tell you that it is the best time in the world to buy a house and they can give you the best rate in town! As a realtor, I'll tell you something a little bit in the middle. No the market has not gone to hell in a handbasket. And Yes it is a good time to buy a house. But now more than ever you need to become an educated buyer. With more inventory on the market and rates continuing to drop, do your homework. Now is a fantastic time to buy a house......if you know what to look for. With all of the inventory stacked up ( but slowly selling off) it is a good time to do some shopping. You have more time to look at your financials, talk to professionals that care about your investments, and most importantly way your options. There are some great deals to be made in today's real estate market. Especially in new construction. Don't be afraid to ask builders for closing costs, price reductions, and free upgrades. They have inventory and are trying to push their exsisting homes so they can start building new ones. I speak from experience. I am buying a home just outside of Nashville. I was bold yet respectful with my demands. The builder agreed, and now we have a win win situation for all.

So don't listen to the media's talking heads telling you that the sky is falling. It is a great time to invest in real estate, just make sure you are working with a trusted professional that has your personal interest at heart. There are deal out there, you just need to know how to find them. Thanks for stopping in and God Bless.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty
Franklin, Tennessee

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Williamson County Sales November

Williamson County Association of Realtors® Announces November 2007 Home Sales
Williamson County Association of REALTORS® Announces November Housing Numbers

December 10, 2007 (Franklin, TN)-The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® today announces the sale of homes statistics for Williamson County, Tn. for the month of November 2007. There were 278 residential and condominium closings reported for the month of November, according to figures provided by RealTracs Solutions, the multiple listing service used by REALTORS® in the Middle-Tennessee area.

Compared to November of 2006, the single family residential closings decreased 20 percent and the median price decreased by 9 percent. Condominiums closings have increased by 30 percent and the median price increased by 16 percent. The decrease in the median price appears to be tied to a decrease in the number of homes in the over $1 million range closing in November. The average days on the market (DOM) for residential homes have increased by 14 days and condominiums have increased by 17 days. Days on the market have been consistent since the onset of 2007, with the days ranging from 58 - 68 days. Median prices have remained consistent since January 2007, ranging from $365,000 to $391,200. The median is a typical market price where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

November 2007

Median Price
Average Price

$ 365,000
$ 427,205

$ 219,990
$ 227,241

November 2006

Median Price
Average Price

$ 401,700
$ 466,644

$ 189,890
$ 219,234

November 2005

Median Price
Average Price

$ 296,072
$ 370,150

$ 152,920
$ 167,229

"The National subprime mortgage crisis peaked in September when many of the sales closed in November were being negotiated, which may explain some of the market change. Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors recently predicated that high-cost markets with many jumbo loans would show a slow down due to the mortgage crisis. That certainly seems to be the case in Williamson County where the downward distortion of the median and average price seems to be due to a slow-down in the higher-priced market. After the holidays, the pent up demand for homes is expected to break so that sellers should be ready for buyers with sparkling clean, updated homes and appealing prices." said Kathie Moore, 2008 President of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rate Cuts???

Wall Street Awaits Fed's Rate Decision
Sunday December 9, 1:38 pm ET
By Madlen Read, AP Business Writer
Wall Street Waits for Federal Reserve's Rate Decision, Eyes Data on Inflation, Retail Sales

NEW YORK (AP) -- After two winning weeks on Wall Street, investors find out Tuesday if their wish for an interest rate cut -- the driver behind the rally -- will be granted.
Federal Reserve officials in recent weeks have indicated a willingness to cut rates further, so it's almost a foregone conclusion that the target federal funds rate is headed lower. The Fed has already dropped rates twice since the credit markets froze up over the summer due to surging mortgage defaults, and the only point of contention in the market seems to be the size of the next cut.

But there are three more weeks left in this rocky year, so investors aren't sighing with relief just yet. Wall Street remains uncertain if the Fed will keep lowering rates into the new year; at the central bank's last meeting on Oct. 31, policy makers said "the upside risks to inflation roughly balance the downside risks to growth."

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and others appear to have shifted their stance in light of recent market turbulence, but investors want to see it in writing. Furthermore, many are skeptical that rate cuts are enough to bring demand back into the worrisome areas of the credit markets, which has been seeing securities downgraded on practically a daily basis.

Wall Street has posted robust gains recently as investors grew more confident in the Fed's openness to loosening its policy again. They have also been relieved that some credit-loss estimates for banks have been milder than feared.

"The market has sort of changed its paradigm -- it's expecting the worst. So when it doesn't get the worst, it rallies," said Brandon Thomas, chief investment officer for Envestnet Asset management.

The Dow Jones industrial average has risen more than 640 points over the last two weeks, a rally that has brought the blue-chip index to less than 4 percent below the record close it reached Oct. 9.

Last week, the Dow ended 1.90 percent higher, the Standard & Poor's 500 index finished 1.59 percent, and the Nasdaq composite index ended up 1.70 percent.

Whether the Fed lowers rates in 2008 will depend not only on how the financial and housing industries weather ongoing mortgage problems, but also on inflation. Any higher-than-anticipated readings for November from the Labor Department's producer price index and consumer price index -- scheduled to be released Thursday and Friday, respectively -- could worry investors.

And with two weeks left until Christmas to shop, Wall Street wants to see a fiscally fit consumer raring to spend. The Commerce Department's retail sales report for November will be an important economic snapshot, especially after last week's mixed sales data from individual retailers.

There are not many earnings scheduled for this week, but there are a few that the market will be watching closely. Costco Wholesale Corp.'s quarterly results could give investors a clearer sense of how the average consumer is faring, while Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s report -- the first fourth-quarter report from the investment banking industry -- will offer some insight into how tough the credit markets have been for banks over the last few months.

Analysts are expecting Lehman to post a profit decline and Costco to report a profit rise.

Wall Street will also be monitoring data Monday on pending home sales in October and a Wednesday report on the October trade deficit, which could have implications for the tumbling dollar.

Nick Woodard
Keller Williams Realty Franklin, Tennessee