Category Archives: New Homes Industry

Home Sales Zoom to Highest Pace in Decade

This spring’s housing mantra: Going, going, gone! “Severe” housing shortages are prompting existing homes to sell significantly faster this year, propelling home sales to the highest pace in more than a decade, the National Association of REALTORS® reported Friday.

Strong sales gains in the Northeast and Midwest were behind most of the nationwide 4.4 percent month-over-month increase in existing-home sales in March. The West was the only major region of the U.S. to see a modest decline in sales activity last month.

Regional Breakdown 

The following is a closer look at how existing-home sales performed across the country in March:

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales jumped 10.1 percent in the region, reaching an annual rate of 760,000. Sales are now 4.1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $260,800, which is 2.8 percent higher than a year ago.
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales rose 9.2 percent to an annual rate of 1.31 million in March, and are 3.1 percent above a year ago. Median price: $183,000, up 6.2 percent from a year ago.
  • South: Existing-home sales increased 3.4 percent to an annual rate of 2.42 million, and are 8.5 percent above March 2016. Median price: $210,600, up 8.6 percent from a year ago.
  • West: Existing-home sales in the West dropped 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 1.22 million in March, but remain 5.2 percent above a year ago. Median price: $347,500, up 8 percent from March 2016.

“The early returns so far this spring buying season look very promising as a rising number of households dipped their toes into the market and were successfully able to close on a home last month,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Although finding available properties to buy continues to be a strenuous task for many buyers, there was enough of a monthly increase in listings in March for sales to muster a strong gain. Sales will go up as long as inventory does.”

Total existing-home sales—which include completed transactions for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March. The sales pace is 5.9 percent above a year ago. Further, existing-home sales are now the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

Here’s a closer look at some of the key indicators from NAR’s latest housing report, reflecting March housing numbers:

Home prices: The median existing-home price for all housing types was $236,400, up 6.8 percent from a year ago when it averaged $221,400.

Days on the market: Properties stayed on the market for an average of 34 days in March, down significantly from 47 days a year ago. Short sales took the longest to sell at a median of 90 days in March; foreclosures sold in 52 days; and non-distressed homes took a median of 32 days—which is the shortest length of time since NAR began tracking such data in May 2011. Forty-eight percent of homes sold in March were on the market for less than a month.

All-cash sales: All-cash transactions comprised 23 percent of sales in March, down from 25 percent a year ago. Individual investors make up the biggest bulk of cash sales. They purchased 15 percent of homes in March, up from 14 percent a year ago.

Distressed sales: Foreclosures and short sales made up 6 percent of existing-home sales in March, down from 8 percent a year ago. Broken out, 5 percent of sales in March were foreclosures and 1 percent were short sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 16 percent below market value; short sales were discounted an average of 14 percent.

Inventories: Housing inventory at the end of March rose 5.8 percent to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale. Inventory is 6.6 percent lower than a year ago (1.96 million). Unsold inventory is now at a 3.8-month supply at the current sales pace.

“Bolstered by strong consumer confidence and underlying demand, home sales are up convincingly from a year ago nationally and in all four major regions despite the fact that buying a home has gotten more expensive over the past year,” Yun says.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Check Out The Citrus Lane Brochure

We’re all so excited to part of Loma Linda’s newest community, Citrus Lane. There’s very little new construction in this area, so we’re receiving a wonderful reception from the locals and everyone is really anticipating a successful grand opening next month.

I wanted to give you a sneak peek at what is yet to come for Citrus Lane! Hot off the press is the sales brochure with floor plans and features. There’s a lot of amazing standard features for a house this size, meaning you won’t have to spend a ton in upgrades to get the home of your dreams! What a treat!

Please share your thoughts! We love feedback!

BLUEWATER AT SUMMERLY IS OPENING!

We’re putting the finishing touches on the model homes and marketing collateral is being delivered! SeaCountry Homes, Create-a-Buzz Marketing and the team of many are looking forward to a successful grand opening weekend on Saturday, August 13th.

These one- and two-story single family residences have as many as 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and 3 bay in the garage; but don’t be fooled by the space! Prices are projected to begin in the lower range of the mid-$300,000s! That’s VALUE when you consider all the amenities and benefits of living in a masterplanned community that is conveniently situated off I-15 in a very active region of Southern California. There’s so much going on in and around Lake Elsinore!

Feel free to come out and experience personally the BlueWater neighborhood! You’ll see right away why Summerly is becoming a favorite place to call home for so many.

Learn more at www.SeaCountry-BlueWater.com

BlueWater by SeaCountry’s Brand In Process

Team Buzz has been working with SeaCountry Homes to develop a new brand for their upcoming neighborhood in Summerly, Lake Elsinore. It’s a fun-loving, fresh community with a TON of lifestyle amenities in and around the community.

We started by developing a color palette that resonated all the fun to be had if you were to live in BlueWater by SeaCountry. Swinging at home plate, jumping dirt bikes, cooling off in a pool, water skiing being a boat or teeing off with a few friends…it what BlueWater is all about.

Stay tuned…next step is the logo design!

IBS in Las Vegas

2016 has definitely started off on a high pendulum swing in a few short weeks with no cool-down after the holidays! Team Buzz couldn’t resist a few days in Las Vegas to attend the International Building Show. The exhibit floor was MASSIVE and it was difficult to select which educational session was the best way to spend an hour or two. I signed up for a few Master Courses that complimented a new service Buzz is working on with a colleague that we’ll be debuting mid-year. We’re VERY excited to bring this to market and believe it will help the smaller to mid-size builders regain their market share in today’s diverse digital world. I know this is a tease, but I promise we’ll have a lot more to talk about in the upcoming months.

The photo tells it all! We at Create-a-Buzz LOVE Houzz! Their area was jumping the entire show and it seemed they were the talk of the town in several sessions we attended. So happy for this, as our clients were the first builders to jump on the band-wagon three years ago!

Different from BIS and PCBC shows, IBS brought in so many people from all over the world to the point that you couldn’t identify people you knew through the clutter. They were there, because I saw them in photos and on social media, but I didn’t see them walking the floor or in sessions I attended. This lent itself wonderfully to meeting new people and expanding our contact base.

Take aways from our time well spent was the importance of supporting the sales effort with better lead management and a robust online sales process. There you have it…a hint for what we’re developing in 2016.

Create-a-Buzz is SoCal Award Finalist!

It’s a great day when you find out your efforts have been acknowledged by your peers! Just to be in the same room with so many esteemed icons in the homebuilding industry is an honor for which we at Create-a-Buzz are so grateful! The team has worked hard, and I thank them all for their talent, creativity and dedication! SoCalFinalist

Case Study: Last Homes Standing

Building in a master planned community has it’s benefits…and shortfalls. As a guest builder, private builders like my clients participate in the marketing programs that includes advertising, signage and an identity on websites and collateral pieces. They drive traffic to our sales offices and it’s up to us to close the deal. It’s an upfront expense that a guest builder doesn’t have to take on, but rather pay at the closing escrow for each home between 1%-2% depending on the community.

But what happens when everyone turned off the lights and you’re still sitting there with a few homes remaining? For us, the directional signs were removed, the flags disappeared, the sales office moved on to bigger and better projects…like the new village about to open – along with the website and advertisements. As a guest builder, you’re already paying a nice sum of money for those programs whether they still there or not, so the money isn’t there to go and redesign, redevelop and reinstall what once was even if the developer would allow it…which they wouldn’t. Further the HOA now controls the community and you have to adhere to the rules on signs and such.

ARGHHH!

What we’ve done is market like you’re a real estate broker. Use their resources and play in their parks, so to speak. Become one of them.

We started by having a broker “soiree” with wine and cheese to re-familiarize them with the last remaining homes in the community. Resale opportunities are often priced higher now that the neighborhood is maturing, so we’re poised well in the value department. It’s just getting the traffic to the sales office!

Second, we started hosting weekend Open Houses with the little arrow signs allowed by the HOA. We advertise in the classifieds rather than the New Home Section and attend the weekly broker pitch meetings to get the top brokers excited about the 3% referral commission, explaining that they basically walk away once the contract is signed…easy money!

Social media gives allows us to continue with the messaging to our fan base and virtual tours with amazing photography provides a great touch point when you send a link as a follow up to visitors and inquiries.

Bottom line – you don’t to be scared of the dark and there is light at the end of the tunnel!