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December 2016

Found 17 blog entries for December 2016. is projecting a slight slowdown next year; with many western metropolitan areas (11 of the top 25) projected to do the best next year, leading the country in price and sales growth.   The top 10 metro areas are forecast to see average price gains of 5.8% and sales growth of 6.3%, exceeding next year’s anticipated national growth of 3.9% and 1.9%, respectively.   Austin remains in the Top 20 with prices forecast to be up 3.5% and sales volume up 7.4%. What happens in 2017 remains to be seen locally as November sales had a surprise explosion in volume, up nearly 14% over Nov 2015. We're still waiting for December numbers. One thing we do know, it won't be dull ... inventory is still exceedingly low;…
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The share of new homes started with three or more full bathrooms is on the rise. That also reflects builders’ focus on the higher-end, larger homes since the end of the Great Recession.

Twenty-seven percent of new single-family homes started in 2015 had three full bathrooms and 10 percent had four or more, Census Bureau data shows. Fifty-nine percent of homes had two full bathrooms and just 4 percent had one – or less.

The South Atlantic region of the U.S. has the largest share of new homes with three or more bathrooms at 42 percent. Other regions with the highest shares of three or more bathrooms in new-home starts included the Mountain region at 39 percent, Pacific region at 38 percent, and West South Central divisions at 38 percent. Meanwhile, the East

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Equity Is Growing Home owners, on average, saw a gain in equity of $11,000 last year, according to data from CoreLogic. In states like California, Oregon, and Washington, home owners have seen average increases of nearly $30,000 per person.

Since 2011, the value of the nation’s single-family housing market has gone up 40 percent, with nationwide home equity doubling from $6.1 trillion to $12.7 trillion, CoreLogic’s data shows.

That has helped to rebuild the wealth of America’s home owners, writes Frank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s chief economist in his monthly column.

“Across the U.S., the value of the housing stock and the amount of home-equity wealth held by home owners have risen dramatically during the last five years,” Nothaft notes. The recovery in home equity “has helped

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At this special time of the year, our entire Select Austin team send you wishes for a wonderful holiday season. As we prepare for the upcoming New Year, may you and yours enjoy this special time.

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Home construction continues to boom across Central Texas.

The latest nationwide numbers show that the rest of the country is selling homes near record speed; the highest since 2007. Analysts say people want to take advantage of a healthy economy and low mortgage rates, which are expected to rise next year.

Demand in Austin is high. For sellers, that’s good news.

“We bought our house in 2006,” said Paul Smith. “At that time we paid $110,000 for the property which seemed expensive, but all the stuff going on in that neighborhood with tech industry, apple being within walking distance.”

So when he put it on the market two weeks ago, he hit the jackpot.

“We received 5 offers in the first 3 days and 20 showings so it was kinda very effortless,”

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What Really Makes Sellers Want to Move Home owners entering the market are motivated to sell desiring either an upgrade or a downsized home, finds a new survey conducted by®. Home owners looking to move due to retirement or to lower their cost of living were the two biggest increases this year in®’s survey revealing sellers' top motivations.

“This is a good sign that more home owners may be motivated in the year ahead to sell their homes,” writes Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist, in a recent column about inventory challenges plaguing markets. “A lack of inventory has been the biggest problem buyers faced for most of the past year.”

Indeed, in 2014, active inventory at® totaled 2.1 million residential listings. In August of this year, however,

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Big Expectations That’ll Drive Housing in 2017 />First-time home buyers are predicted to make up more than half of home buyers next year – up to 52 percent, surging from 33 percent in 2016, according to®’s Active Home Shopper Report, based on survey data from buyers who plan to purchase homes in the spring or summer of 2017. Also,® predicts that will spark greater demand for suburban homes in the new year.

Millennials are finally expected to unleash their buying arm in 2017. They are predicted to make up 61 percent of the first-time home buyers under age 35 in the new year. The top motivators getting millennials moving now are getting married or moving in with a partner, growing tired of their current living space, and planning to increase their family size.

"This represents

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Austin-area Realtors are experiencing a surprising holiday rush to end the year.

Single-family home sales across the metro area grew 15.8 percent in November compared to the same month in 2015, according to data released Thursday by the Austin Board of Realtors.

"This end-of-year surge in home sales is an unusual and welcome surprise to what’s typically the lowest months for Central Texas home sales volume during the year," ABOR President Aaron Farmer said in a statement. “Home sales throughout 2016 continue to be fueled by our region’s steady population growth."

Home sales in Austin proper were up 13.7 percent year-over-year in November, while sales also increased across Williamson, Travis and Hays counties, a rare surge during a time of year

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Austin's (unadjusted) unemployment rate dropped to 3% in November, a three-way tie for the state's best unemployment rate with Amarillo and Lubbock.

The Austin drop was likely due to the onset of seasonal temporary hiring.

But, after 118 consecutive months of being better than the US rate, the State of Texas' unemployment rate in November was equal to the national rate of 4.6 percent.

Statewide job losses can be attributed to the challenges in the oil industry, along with significant job losses in the manufacturing and mining & logging industries.

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Plumbing problems can become a disaster if they're not spotted early enough. A small leak, for instance, can grow quickly, with water leaking all over the hardwood floors. And the cleanup can be expensive. You can help avoid a plumbing disaster by being aware of the problem signs. recently highlighted some of those signs.

Beware of slow drains. A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems. Call in a professional to unclog it. A do-it-yourself repair can make the problem worse.

Get a maintenance check. Some home owners opt to have a regular maintenance check to address any ongoing issues. Have a professional plumber assess the system to see if it poses any future risk. A home with tree roots blocking outdoor drains, for

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