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Diana Hurst, Broker Owner
Heritage Realty & Management
96136 Piney Island Drive 
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 

(904) 261-0100 Office 
(904) 261-7393 Fax 

Diana@HeritageAmelia.com

Heritage Realty is a full service Real Estate company serving Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach and all of Nassau County since 1984. You can trust our experienced team of agents with all your Real Estate needs, residential, commercial or investment...from oceanfront homes & condos to new construction and resales.

Is Now a Good Time to Buy a New Home?

There are positive aspects to every market. 

Interest rates are on the rise, but that doesn't mean it's time to hold off. Rates are still much lower than in previous decades. Only five years ago, interest rates were at five or even six percent. If the current trend continues, you may end up wishing you acted sooner. After all, refinancing is always an option if rates drop, but if rates rise, there's nothing you can do to get a lower rate. 

In many areas, the market has changed to a seller's market, meaning there is a high demand for homes and fewer homes on the market. In a seller's market, homeowners selling their homes have the advantage. There are usually more buyers willing to pay higher prices and bidding wars can be common. 

If you're looking to sell your home, you may be in luck. Now may be the time to get a great price and sell quickly. 

Rates aren't the only thing on the rise. The basic principles of supply and demand are driving home prices up in many areas across the U.S. Does that mean you should delay your home purchase? Absolutely not. The sooner you buy a home, the more likely you are to leverage the pricing trend to start building equity. 

Real Estate News!!!

Latest Realty News from NAR

President’s Day 2019: How Does the White House Compare to the Average Home?

In the spirit of President’s Day we can use data from the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers to see how the typical home differs from the White House.

Typical Home Purchased in the U.S.

  • 86% of buyers purchased a previously owned home, with 82% of buyers choosing a detached single-family home.
  • Looking by first-time and repeat buyers, both also purchased detached single-family homes more often with 80% of first-time buyers and 83% of repeat buyers.
  • 51% of all buyers purchased their home in a suburb/subdivision.
  • The typical detached single-family home purchased was 1,980 square feet.
  • Recent homes purchased also had a median of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and were built in 1991.
  • Among all buyers, the expected length of tenure in the home purchased was 15 years.

The White House

  • The White House was built in 1792, and in comparison is located in an urban or central area.
  • The White House contains 6 levels, has 132 rooms, including 35 bathrooms.
  • It also includes features such as: a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, billiard room, movie theatre, and bowling alley.
  • While the median expected tenure in a home lasts around 15 years, in the White House the expected tenure is between 4 and 8 years.

 

For more information on this data check out the President’s Day Infographic and the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Home Buyer Households: Valentine’s Day 2019

Using data from the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers we can break down household composition, and the relationship it has to home purchasing choices.

  • Among all recent home buyers, 63 percent were married couples, 18 percent were single females, nine percent were single males, and eight percent were unmarried couples.
  • Four percent of recent buyers identified as gay or lesbian, and one percent identified as bisexual.
  • Among first-time buyers, 54 percent were married couples, and 67 percent of repeat buyers were married couples.
  • Among first-time buyers, 16 percent were unmarried couples, and five percent of repeat buyers were married couples.
  • Among all home buyers, 82 percent purchased a detached single-family home, eight percent purchased a townhouse/row house, four percent purchased an apartment or condo.
  • Eighty-seven percent of married couples, and 83 percent of unmarried couples purchased a detached single-family home.
  • Married couples were typically 45 years old with a household income of $106,300. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 2,070 sq. ft., for $289,000.
  • Unmarried couples were typically 34 years old with a household income of $88,800. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 1,630 sq. ft., for $219,000.
  • Single females were typically 54 years old with a household income of $61,400. They typically purchased a home that was a median of 1,550 sq. ft., for $189,000.
  • Single males were typically 52 years old with a household income of $73,200. They typically purchased homes that were a median of 1,590 sq. ft., for $215,000.
  • Fifteen percent of all buyers were influenced to choose their neighborhood based on the convenience to a vet or outdoor space for their pet. 20 percent of unmarried couples chose their neighborhood based on the convenience to a vet or outdoor space for their pet.

For more information on how relationship status and household composition affects homeownership choices, check out the 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and the Valentine’s Day infographic.

December 2018 Housing Affordability Index

At the national level, housing affordability is up from last month but down from a year ago. Mortgage rates were unchanged from last month at 4.99 percent this December, and up 18.2 percent compared to 4.22 percent a year ago.

  • Housing affordability declined from a year ago in December moving the index down 8.4 percent from 161.2 to 147.6. The median sales price for a single family home sold in December in the US was $256,400 up 3.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Nationally, mortgage rates were up 77 basis point from one year ago (one percentage point equals 100 basis points).
  • The payment as a percentage of income was down from last month at 16.9 percent this December and up from 15.5 percent from a year ago. Regionally, the West has the highest payment at 23.4 percent of income. The South had the second highest payment at 16.7 percent followed by the Northeast at 16.5 percent. The Midwest had the lowest payment as a percentage of income at 13.1 percent.

  • Regionally, the Northeast recorded the biggest increase in home prices at 9.2 percent. The South had an increase of 2.7 percent while the West had a gain of 2.3 percent. The Midwest had a modest decline in price of 0.1 percent.
  • Regionally, all four regions saw a decline in affordability from a year ago. The Northeast had the biggest drop in affordability of 14.3 percent. The South had a decline of 8.2 percent followed by the Midwest that fell 5.8 percent. The West had the smallest drop of 5.6 percent.
  • On a monthly basis, affordability is up from last month in all of the four regions. The Midwest region had the biggest increase of 4.7 percent. The Northeast had a decline of 3.1 percent followed by the West with a dip of 2.3 percent. The South had the smallest gain in affordability of 0.3 percent.
  • Despite month-to-month changes, the most affordable region was the Midwest, with an index value of 191.5. The least affordable region remained the West where the index was 106.9. For comparison, the index was 149.3 in the South, and 151.8 in the Northeast.

  • Mortgage applications are currently down while credit availability is up. Home prices are up 3.4 percent while median family incomes are growing 3.6 percent. Sales declined this year due to affordability issues, which has been more impactful than a healthy job market. Gains in affordability in all four regions are a good sign in the current market. Rate changes have an impact on the housing sector so small hikes can influence the effect on finances for potential homebuyers.

  • What does housing affordability look like in your market? View the full data release here.
  • The Housing Affordability Index calculation assumes a 20 percent down payment and a 25 percent qualifying ratio (principal and interest payment to income). See further details on the methodology and assumptions behind the calculation here.
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