‘How Much Do You Pay for Rent?’ What TikTok Star Caleb Simpson Learned Touring 200-Plus Apartments

Caleb Simpson has become the internet’s favorite real estate looky-loo based on the millions of views his viral video series of apartment and home tours has racked up. But instead of filming formal open houses, the New York City–based content creator stops strangers on the street and persuades them to invite him inside their living space and open up about how much they pay in rent.

He’s had his camera rolling to check out more than 200 properties that range in size and price. The cheapest so far? A rent-controlled apartment in downtown Manhattan that goes for $350 a month. Then there’s the most expensive: a $10 million property that real estate mogul and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran owns.

“I like to call it this generation’s ‘MTV Cribs,’” Simpson says.

As he hits the road in December to film abodes in Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, and abroad, Simpson took time from touring to give us his insider take on what renting New York City real estate is really like, and what our personal spaces say about us.

In your videos, you begin by asking strangers on the street, ‘How much do you pay in rent?’ How do you convince them to share this private info, then give you a tour of their apartment on the spot?

When I first started, people didn’t really want to give away that information. But in New York City specifically, when you’re going over to a friend’s apartment, the first thing you ask is, “How much do you pay for this place?” Whether I run into someone on the street and we go do it right then or someone reaches out, I just show up at their home and I’m outside their door and I’m already filming. It’s very spontaneous.

You’ve toured over 200 New York City apartments, including Barbara Corcoran’s. How did that come about?

She shot me a DM; she reached out, which was pretty inspirational to see. She’s built so many amazing things in this world, and the fact that she still wants to be a part of things and show off her space, it was pretty cool.

Barbara Corcoran gives Caleb Simpson a tour of her $10 million apartment.
Barbara Corcoran gives Caleb Simpson a tour of her $10 million apartment.

Caleb Simpson

Of all the homes you’ve toured, which stand out?

There’s a former laundromat that this guy Sampson lives inside. He decorated it like an art gallery. It’s a ridiculous, fascinating place—the most interesting one I’ve seen. I’ve been inside [homes made from] an ambulance, a converted van, a tour bus, and then just a lot of really small apartments that are, like, 200 square feet, and that’s always shocking.

I actually traded apartments with somebody who lives inside a 200-square-foot apartment. I was like, “Hey, let’s trade apartments so I can see what it’s like to live in here,” and we made a video about it. And it is difficult.

Caleb Simpson meets a New Yorker who lives in a former laundromat.
Simpson meets a New Yorker who lives in a former laundromat.

Caleb Simpson

Which tenant’s story has been the most inspirational?

One person, J.R., has this tiny apartment that he pays, like, $689 for a month. He was just so grateful for his space and being able to come to New York. He found it [online], and it had a blurry picture. He just moved here; he drove a truck up from down South and just hoped it was a thing because he couldn’t afford more. He was just so energetic and positive and happy to be in New York City, to be able to experience it—and just the amount of joy and energy he had toward the world was a true reminder to me to always be grateful and thankful for what I have.

Caleb Simpson inside New York resident J.R.'s small apartment.
Simpson inside J.R.’s small apartment in New York City

Caleb Simpson

Turning the tables, how much do you pay in rent and what would we see on a tour of your apartment?

My apartment costs $7,000 a month. I have roommates, so I pay $2,000 for my share. My apartment is a gem. We have two outdoor spaces [and] a huge bathroom. The roof deck is the real highlight for me. When I first moved to New York City, I always said if I can walk outside and not be bothered by New York, then I’ve made it, and I can do that now.

Filming the inside of celebrities’ refrigerators was a hallmark of ‘MTV Cribs.’ What’s your signature move?

Trying out people’s beds. When I started doing the tours, I was like, “What’s the most ridiculous thing I can do in someone’s home?” It’s either take a shower or try out their bed. Sometimes I get a no, but a lot of times people see it coming so they’re mentally prepared.

Caleb Simpson tests out a renter's bed during an apartment tour.
Simpson tests out a renter’s bed during an apartment tour.

Caleb Simpson

Why is it so intriguing to get such an intimate peek inside someone’s home?

We’re all a bit curious. At first, people were more interested in the price point, but [more recently] someone commented, “I love how you’re highlighting all these humans, and we get to see how people live and what they care about in this world.” I think that’s what the series has really come to, highlighting a human and their life.

Do you think these videos can help people trying to find an apartment in New York?

The more neighborhoods I explore, the more people are getting to see, “Oh, you only pay two grand and you have three bedrooms?” I think it just opens up a wider conversation about what’s out there.

Which New York City neighborhood has the coolest places to live?

I’m going to get in trouble for this answer no matter what I say, [but] the Upper West Side is underrated and I really love going [there].

Caleb Simpson highlights the humans who are living in New York City through his unique home tours.
Simpson highlights the humans who are living in New York City through his unique home tours.

Caleb Simpson

What’s a unique perk of New York City living?

You can find almost any item you’ve ever wanted, especially on the higher end, for cheap because people will buy a $10,000 couch and put it on the 10th floor of a building, and then when they move out they’re like, “I don’t want to deal with this. Can someone just come and deal with this for me?” And you can talk them down to half off or lower.

What’s the biggest issue you’ve seen with New York City real estate?

How expensive it is. People have to sacrifice and make choices to live in New York, either having roommates or living really far away. Also, there’s a lot of empty apartments that people could fill but because everybody’s [out] just trying to make money, they leave them empty.

Which celebrities are on your wish list to film home tours with?

Oprah Winfrey, [Cristiano] Ronaldo, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian.

What location, real or fictional, would be your dream tour?

Whenever the first home is put on the moon or Mars, I’m going to be the first person to tour them.

Simpson’s home tour videos can be found at @calebwsimpson on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

The post ‘How Much Do You Pay for Rent?’ What TikTok Star Caleb Simpson Learned Touring 200-Plus Apartments appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Foreclosures Are Surging: Is a Repeat of the Great Recession Looming?

Foreclosure sign

Getty Images

Foreclosures continue to surge, but they aren’t a red flag for the housing market—yet.

In November, 30,677 properties across the nation received some sort of foreclosure filing, such as a notice of default because a homeowner is behind on the mortgage payments or an auction scheduled, according to a recent report from real estate data firm ATTOM. That was up 57% compared with a year ago.

There were 3,770 completed foreclosures during the month, up 64% versus last year.

While such big spikes might seem jarring, it’s not a sign of another foreclosure crisis about to hit. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there were foreclosure moratoriums put in place for those with government-backed mortgages for nearly two years. Many lenders extended these protections to other borrowers as well, to protect homeowners who lost jobs or other income during the pandemic.

The result is a higher number of foreclosure filings now because proceedings are going forward again. But foreclosures are still lower than in the pre-pandemic period.

Rick Sharga, ATTOM executive vice president of market research, says it will take until the middle to late 2023 for foreclosure activity to reach pre-pandemic levels. Even then, it shouldn’t represent a concern for the overall housing market—a big relief for anyone who remembers the foreclosure crisis of a decade ago.

“There’s no doubt that loan quality today is far superior compared to the loans that defaulted and triggered the housing market meltdown and Great Recession,” Sharga says.

In the aftermath of the housing crash, many of the bad loans that ballooned suddenly in size have since been eradicated, and it is now much harder to qualify for a mortgage.

Mortgage delinquencies are still lower than historical averages, the ATTOM report notes, and the job market is still strong.

Another big positive is the record-high level of homeowner equity, currently at $29 trillion. About 93% of borrowers in foreclosure have equity in their homes.

“This is a complete reversal from where things stood in 2008, when 30% of all homeowners—and virtually everyone in foreclosure—were upside down on their loans,” Sharga says.

Equity is important because homeowners who have it have the ability—and the incentive—to refinance into a different mortgage, which might be easier for them to pay. And if they have to sell, they have a shot at walking away with some money, rather than nothing.

ATTOM’s report also notes that foreclosure filings were down 5% compared with October. That month might represent a high point for the year, since lenders often pause foreclosure activities in December for the holiday season.

In November, the states where lenders started the highest number of foreclosure proceedings included California, with 2,244 starts; Texas, with 2,114 starts; Florida, with 1,709 starts; and New York, with 1,575 starts. That’s simply math, Sharga says: Those states have the highest populations.

In contrast, the highest foreclosure rates in November were found in Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey, and South Carolina.

The post Foreclosures Are Surging: Is a Repeat of the Great Recession Looming? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

An Eye-Opening Look at What Really Happened to Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall’s ‘Final Flip’

Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa discuss their final flip with contractor David Agaya.

HGTV

Even though HGTV superstars Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall separated in 2016 and divorced two years later, they continued to flip houses together on their hit show, “Flip or Flop,” up until their recent series finale, “Flip or Flop: The Final Flip.”

By now, El Moussa has a new wife, Heather Rae El Moussa of “Selling Sunset,” as well as their own upcoming show, “The Flipping El Moussas.”

Meanwhile, Hall and her new husband, Josh Hall, also have a new show, “Christina in the Country,” which is about design projects in the vicinity of her second home in Tennessee.

Despite their new lives and loves, Tarek and Christina decided to get together one last time to finish one more flip: a pricey home in Sunset Beach, CA, that they’d bought two years earlier.

What took so long to finish this house? Although this renovation is as illuminating and entertaining as always, the episode conveys no clear outcome on the sale.

“After going way over budget and taking a long time to finish, this house turned out fantastic,” Tarek says on the finale. “If we sell at our list price at $1.9 million, we stand to make a huge profit of $579,000. It’s fitting that our last home together might be our biggest profit to date.

“It sure has been a wild ride.”

Christina gives no clues on the outcome, either. Her parting words convey hope that they “go out with a bang.”

So why did HGTV leave us hanging?

While the answer remains unclear, we decided to do a little sleuthing on the fate of the house. And lo and behold, the listing reveals many juicy details.  Here’s some eye-opening info about Tarek and Christina’s final flip.

They bought the house two years ago

The listing clearly shows that Tarek and Christina bought the battered beach house on Oct. 15, 2020, for $925,000. That was likely back when they were shooting their penultimate season, No. 11.

The final flip original house before the renovation.
The house before the renovation

HGTV

“Oh my gosh, it’s ugly,” says Tarek when they first go to check it out on their last show, “The Final Flip.”

“It looks like mermaid tails,” adds Christina.

The single-family dwelling had been made into a duplex, with four bedrooms and three baths, measuring a little over 2,100 square feet.

Tarek and the contractor had agreed that remodeling the house with high-end finishes would cost about $200,000. After factoring in closing and marketing costs, their break-even cost will be about $1,175,000.

Tarek estimated the sale price could be about $1.5 million, so they could make a profit of at least $325,000.

Why did Tarek and Christina’s final flip take so long?

The long timeline stemmed from Tarek and Christina’s decision to go all out and make the house a stunner. They planned to expand the loft out onto the adjacent rooftop deck and finish that deck, which put them thousands of dollars over budget, but the ocean views were worth it.

Unfinished deck
Unfinished deck

HGTV

Then they decided for even better ocean views, they’d build a deck on the roof of the third-floor loft.

A double decker rooftop
Finished double-decker

Realtor.com

To do all this, permits were required from the city of Huntington Beach and the California Coastal Commission. And as anyone who’s ever applied for a permit knows, the permitting process can take months.

The city insisted that they bolster the foundation with additional concrete underneath the house. This alone proved to be a complicated, lengthy, and expensive process that cost at least $30,000.

“Sometimes when you spend a lot of money like $30,000, you can’t see where it goes,” says Christina on the show as she examined a gaping 5-foot-deep hole in the floor. “But in this case, you can actually see where it goes. This is huge. This is a big project.”

Five foot footing hole
5-foot-deep hole in the floor

HGTV

When did this flip go up for sale?

Renovated beach house
Renovated beach house

Realtor.com

The listing history reveals that the renovated house finally went on the market in May 2022, with a listing price of $1,899,900—quite a bit over what Tarek had originally anticipated the house would be worth. But then again, the house did end up looking great!

By that time, according to Tarek, they’d invested at least $1,321,000 in the property all told.

In July, the house sold for $1,850,000, rendering them an estimated profit of about $529,000.

It appears that Christina and Tarek’s willingness to take a risk with the highest of high-end upgrades really paid off!

High end upgrades
High-end upgrades

Realtor.com

Also, time was on their side. Housing prices had increased over the two years they worked on the project, and they sold just before the market started to cool off.

It seems that with hundreds of flips under their belts, Christine and Tarek know exactly when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.

We’ll miss watching them put their heads together—even if they often butted heads.

The post An Eye-Opening Look at What Really Happened to Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall’s ‘Final Flip’ appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Planning To Buy a Home Next Year? These Are the Top Real Estate Markets of 2023

The Top Real Estate Markets of 2023

Getty Images (4)

Just a few months ago, homebuyers were competing in knock-down, drag-out bidding wars for modest homes that were selling for six figures over their asking prices. Now, sellers are rapidly dropping prices and doing whatever they can to attract even a single interested buyer.

Call it the Great Real Estate Reversal.

As mortgage interest rates have soared, making purchasing a home significantly more expensive, buyers largely have disappeared from the market. It’s not that they don’t want to close on a home; it’s that they can’t afford to do so anymore. Home sales are down, prices have fallen, and properties for sale are beginning to pile up.

However, there are some real estate markets bucking the grimness that has overtaken the housing market in recent months. The Realtor.com® economic research team identified these metropolitan areas where sales and prices are anticipated to continue rising next year. These are the top housing markets of 2023.

“They are very affordable markets. These are areas where your housing dollars really stretch further,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “These places did not overheat during the [COVID-19] pandemic housing frenzy over the last two years. That puts them on more solid footing. Prices and sales still have more room to grow.”

To come up with the list, Realtor.com looked at housing and economic data in the 100 largest metropolitan areas. (Metros include the main city and surrounding suburbs and smaller urban areas.)

The top real estate markets of 2023

Realtor.com

These midsized metropolitan areas generally offer lower-priced homes that locals can still afford. All but one had median prices well under the national median of $417,000 in November because they didn’t experience the huge price spikes seen elsewhere during the pandemic. And buyers are still active in these areas, so sales are still happening.

They also tend to have solid economies and are located near big employment centers. They aren’t the latest tech hot spots and are far from the flashier, larger cities on the coasts. Several of the top 10 had military installations, ensuring a steady stream of people moving in and out of the area.

“These are the real estate markets that are going to be more active” next year, says Hale. “If you’re a seller, it means you can expect buyers. If you’re a buyer, you can expect competition. And if you’re a homeowner, you can expect prices to rise, which gives you more equity in your home.”

The Realtor.com 2023 forecast anticipates that home prices will rise 5.4% nationally, a departure from the big run-ups experienced during the pandemic. The number of sales, which was high over the past few years, is expected to drop 14.1% next year.

“They are really outliers, especially when it comes to sales,” Hale says of the top markets.

So what are the top real estate markets of 2023?

1. Hartford, CT

Median home list price in November 2022: $372,400
Price change in 2023: 8.5%
Sales change in 2023: 6.5%

Hartford has been bucking the slowdown happening in just about every other housing market. About 90 minutes southwest of Boston and 2.5 hours northeast of New York City, the state capital of Connecticut has seen home prices rising and the number of homes for sale dropping.

The “Insurance Capital of the World” was named one of the hottest markets in the nation in October. Companies such as Aetna, The Hartford, and Cigna are all headquartered in the area.

“We’re still getting people coming in from out of state,” says real estate broker associate Lisa Barall-Matt, of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England. She’s based in West Hartford, a more suburban city just outside of Hartford proper.

“Our [prices] are still attractive, but our market went up exponentially,” she adds. “We could handle it because we were so underpriced before the pandemic.”

As more people can now work remotely, buyers from pricey places like New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC, logged the most out-of-the-area views of homes in the metro on Realtor.com in the third quarter of this year.

Homes are still receiving multiple offers and going for more than the asking price. However, instead of 20 to 30 offers per property before selling for 20% over the list price, now homes are receiving about three to five offers, says Barall-Matt. And the days of six figures over the asking price are over. Homes are generally selling for 3% to 5% more than the list price.

“Prices are still rising,” says Barall-Matt. “The supply is short, and pent-up buyer demand is high.”

2. El Paso, TX

Median home list price in November 2022: $290,500
Price change in 2023: 5.4%
Sales change in 2023: 8.9%

El Paso, which sits at the western tip of Texas on the border of Mexico, is home to the U.S. Army installment of Fort Bliss. The constant movement of service people, affiliated companies, and contractors has helped to keep the local housing market brisk.

That may help to explain why more than half of those looking at El Paso listings on Realtor.com came from outside of Texas. Two-thirds of shoppers were from outside the metro area. The most out-of-the-area views of listings came from Phoenix, Dallas, and Salt Lake City.

Nearly 40% of buyers in the metro purchased their homes using all cash. About a quarter, 24.2%, used U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs loans. The VA loans are attractive because borrowers don’t have to put any money down to buy and can often score lower mortgage interest rates as well.

Buyers looking for a deal can check out this four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a carport near Fort Bliss for $141,588. Or they can look at this three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a pergola out back for sale for $235,000.

3. Louisville, KY

Median home list price in November 2022: $290,000
Price change in 2023: 8.4%
Sales change in 2023: 5.2%

The largest city in the state—home to the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Fried Chicken—has emerged in recent years as a big manufacturing center. Those jobs, plus the low home prices and cost of living, have made it an appealing place for homebuyers.

Nearly half of those looking at homes in the area were from other states, according to Realtor.com data. The area has some of the cheapest mansions in the nation for those looking for more space. It was also popular with investors during the pandemic, although that has since slowed as prices and mortgage rates have risen.

Buyers can find this brick, three-bedroom, 1.5-bath ranch home with a large deck for $275,000. Those on tight budgets can check out this newly renovated two-bedroom, one-bathroom house for under $200,000.

4. Worcester, MA

Median home list price in November 2022: $447,500
Price change in 2023: 10.6%
Sales change in 2023: 2.5%

Worcester has long been a significantly more affordable alternative to ultraexpensive Boston. Those lower home prices have made it a popular destination for cash-strapped families as well as investors. (Homes in the Boston area, about an hour east, were substantially higher at $739,900.)

However, the market has slowed from its peak since mortgage rates shot up. The combination of the higher rates plus high home prices has made it financially untenable for many folks to become homeowners in the area. And the number of folks moving in from other parts of the country has dropped off, says local real estate broker Nick McNeil, of McNeil Realty.

“For the first time in 10 years, I can no longer tell somebody it’s cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent,” says McNeil. “People who absolutely have to buy are buying whatever they can afford.”

The typical Worcester buyer is looking at units in two-family homes or cheaper starter homes with lower price tags between $300,000 and $325,000, says McNeil. They’re often first-time buyers.

“The people who are looking right now, a lot of them really can’t afford to buy,” he says.

5. Buffalo, NY

Median home list price in November 2022: $239,000
Price change in 2023: 6%
Sales change in 2023: 6.3%

The northern New York city, which sits on the banks of Lake Erie on the Canadian border, has been steadily on its way back up. The one-time manufacturing powerhouse fell on hard times when plants closed, but it has been undergoing a revitalization for years.

It got a boost during the pandemic as more folks who could work remotely returned to the area. Like the rest of the country, the number of homes for sale fell and prices shot up.

The real estate market now appears to be returning to something more normal, says real estate broker Ryan Connolly, of Re/Max Plus. Homes are sitting on the market longer, and sellers are cutting prices.

Generally, prices in the metro area rise about 3% to 5% annually.

“We’re going to go back to what we used to see a few years ago, which is a smaller increase in prices, not a big jump,” he says.

Most of his buyers now are trading up to larger homes because they want more space.

“Things have slowed right now, but I think that’s the time of year. Historically, we’re really, really slow once we hit Thanksgiving,” says Connolly. “But I have a number of people talking to me about purchasing next year, and their budgets are increasing.”

6. Augusta, GA

Median home list price in November 2022: $318,900
Price change in 2023: 5.7%
Sales change in 2023: 6.2%

Augusta, about two hours east of Atlanta on the border of South Carolina, is known to linksmen as the home of the Masters Tournament. It’s also where Fort Gordon, and the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, is based. And Realtor.com recently named it one of the cheapest places in America to buy a home.

While much of the rest of the country experiences a real estate slowdown, Augusta’s lower prices and the turnover generated from the U.S. Army installation are expected to keep the local real estate market busy.

“We are still continuing to see [home] appreciation. But it’s not as drastic as it had been,” says Carmen Blanchard-Stitt, an associate broker at Meybohm Institute of Real Estate. “We’re still experiencing multiple-offer situations, [just] not near as bad as they were.”

More than a third, 35.5%, of all purchases in the area were all cash. Nearly a quarter, 23%, were VA loans. VA loans don’t require a down payment.

The sweet spot in the market is homes priced between $150,000 and $300,000, she says. Buyers are looking for everything from townhomes to single-family homes.

“We see a lot of variety in what buyers are interested in,” says Blanchard-Stitt.

7. Grand Rapids, MI

Median home list price in November 2022: $358,300
Price change in 2023: 10%
Sales change in 2023: 1.6%

Grand Rapids, a Midwestern city just east of Lake Michigan known for its brewery scene, was turbocharged during the pandemic as more local, college graduates decided to stick around and folks who grew up in the area and could now work remotely returned. But higher mortgage rates caused many buyers to hit the pause button. That’s beginning to change.

“We were dead in the water, but in the last few weeks I have eight new buyer clients,” says local real estate broker Steve Volkers, of the Volkers Group. “All of them are first-time homebuyers who have been renting and don’t want to anymore.”

He’s seeing a lot of parents of grown children move to Grand Rapids to be closer to their grandchildren. Many are either buying in all cash or making substantial down payments so their monthly mortgage payments are low.

Local and first-time buyers have needed more time to accept that their monthly mortgage payments are going to be significantly higher than they were just a year ago due to those elevated mortgage rates. Many are coming to the realization that they’re going to have to purchase a smaller or older home than they had wanted.

“They’re adjusting their needs to match their goal,” says Volkers. “First-time homebuyers can’t skip the starter house anymore.”

8. Columbia, SC

Median home list price in November 2022: $300,400
Price change in 2023: 3.6%
Sales change in 2023: 7.7%

The capital of South Carolina, home to the University of South Carolina (go, Gamecocks!), is also located near a military base. About half of all soldiers are trained at nearby Fort Jackson.

The military base, university, and lower home prices have helped to keep the housing market strong. About 14.5% of all purchases in the metro were made with VA loans, according to Realtor.com data, and 15.8% were made with FHA loans.

Buyers can still find large homes for a reasonable price. This six-bedroom, four-bathroom house that is just under 3,000 square feet is on the market for about $300,000. Buyers looking to save some money can check out this brick, three-bedroom, one-bathroom house on nearly two-thirds of an acre for $150,000.

9. Chattanooga, TN

Median home list price in November 2022: $396,500
Price change in 2023: 8.2%
Sales change in 2023: 2.9%

About two hours southeast of Nashville, the Tennessee city’s downtown has undergone a revitalization in recent years that has helped it to attract startups and other tech companies. The metro, the smallest on our list, is known for its outdoorsy lifestyle, popular with bass fishers and mountain climbers.

The lower real estate prices in the area have made it an attractive destination for those looking for more square footage. It has plenty of larger, affordable homes for sale. About 35% of home sales in Chattanooga were all cash.

This move-in ready, three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom house is on the market for $230,000. This three-bedroom, three-bathroom house with a finished basement on three-quarters of an acre is for sale for $300,000.

10. Toledo, OH

Median home list price in November 2022: $161,100
Price change in 2023: 6.7%
Sales change in 2023: 4.2%

Toledo, about an hour south of Detroit on the banks of Lake Erie, is the cheapest housing market on our list. Those low prices have lured out-of-state buyers and investors to the Midwestern auto and glass manufacturing city.

“It’s slowed down since the rush,” says longtime local real estate agent Rick Turner, of Key Realty. However, “there are still buyers out here. The phones are still ringing.”

About 35.2% of purchases in the metro are all cash.

“We had such a large backlog of buyers this summer with these lower interest rates. Everybody was fighting over stuff,” says Turner. “Now the feeding frenzy is over. Sellers have to come to the realization that buyers are more selective, and they have to step their game up to be attractive to potential buyers.”

Investors are still looking for properties priced between $50,000 and $150,000 that they can rent out, says Turner. Out-of-state buyers are in search of lower-priced properties. And locals are realizing it might be cheaper to pay a mortgage than their rent every month, so they’re jumping into the market.

There are now more homes for sale in the Toledo metro area to choose from, but many buyers are struggling with high inflation, rising rents, and soaring mortgage rates.

“People are feeling pinched right now,” says Turner.

The post Planning To Buy a Home Next Year? These Are the Top Real Estate Markets of 2023 appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Exclusive: The Property Brothers Reveal the Wisest Homebuying Advice You’ll Hear This Year—or Ever

"Property Brothers" Drew and Jonathan Scott

Jonathan and Drew Scott

“Property Brothers” stars Jonathan and Drew Scott may make real estate look fun as they renovate houses on HGTV, but they also know that buying a house can be a daunting endeavor, especially today. Though many might worry that the current high interest rates and unpredictable market swings make this a terrible time to buy, the Scott brothers stand firm that it’s never a bad time—if you find the right house.

“You can make a good purchase in real estate whether it’s an up market, sideways market, rates up or down,” Jonathan says. “The big thing is you need all your information.”

To help shed light on exactly what info homebuyers need, the property brothers chatted with Realtor.com® as part of their partnership with Chase Bank to reveal some top real estate trends they’re seeing as well as their best advice for today’s homebuyers and sellers. They also shared some somewhat mortifying details about their own first foray into homebuying decades ago, as well as what they hope to do (and whom they hope to meet) down the road.

Can you tell us about your first time buying a home?

Jonathan Scott: We found a house that needed a ton of work. We didn’t have a bunch of cash lying around, so we saved a little bit of money. But really, the seller had to sell. He ended up doing a vendor take-back mortgage (aka owner financing) for a lot of his equity, which helped. It was a big eye-opener for us that there isn’t just one way to buy a house.

Drew Scott: We were students, and we were looking for a place specifically that we could get some roommates in to help offset our mortgage cost. We calculated how much we had to make, how many roommates we had to have, if we had to do any improvements, how we could keep the cost down. There was a basement room and another room, so we ended up making those bedrooms. We had six bedrooms and four of them rented out. We got into it as a way to figure out how we could keep banking a bit of money every month to get into a second property as investors.

Six students under one roof must’ve been interesting! Any stories to share?

Drew: Jonathan makes fun of me because I was like my mom. I would run around cleaning behind everybody, and I would make sure everybody put their dishes away, washed their pans, put the toilet seat down. I was like our own built-in maid service at the house.

Jonathan: Drew was easy to live with. Some of the other folks, not so easy to live with!

HGTV's "Property Brothers"
HGTV stars Jonathan and Drew Scott are housing market veterans.

HGTV

How should first-time homebuyers handle today’s housing market, with all its fluctuations?

Jonathan: Do the math. If you’re getting a good price on the house, it doesn’t matter what the market looks like. Right now is really a time where people should be extra cautious so that they are definitely making a good decision, not overpaying. And make sure that they’ve got a little flexibility so they have that buffer if they need some money for improvements.

What’s your best advice for homebuyers?

Drew: Take the emotion out of it. I have [clients] getting fixated on a kitchen because they’ve always wanted a dream kitchen, but they’re ignoring all the other aspects. They want a quiet yard, somewhere the kids can play, but it’s backed onto a train track, so you’re never going to get that when you have trains barreling through multiple times a day.

You need to be completely unbiased. Even if you get all worked up about a dream bathroom or a dream kitchen or some cool feature, don’t ignore all the other things you said were mandatory.

What’s the most common mistake you see first-time homebuyers make?

Jonathan: I see them underestimating what they’re going to need as their family grows. You’re better off to find a home that has the footprint you can grow into by finishing those spaces. Be realistic so you don’t have to move within five years, because every time you move, all the fees you’re paying to real estate commission, lawyers, transfer taxes—all of that stuff comes right out of your pocket and comes out of your equity.

HGTV's "Property Brothers"
The property brothes star in several popular HGTV series.

What’s your top advice for sellers?

Jonathan: It’s simple economics. When you’re trying to sell your house, the bigger the pool of people who might be interested in your product, the better a price you’re going to get.

Sometimes people will put in a really specific feature—a pool for example. Not a lot of people see a pool as a valuable asset. It’s either a maintenance or safety hazard. Maybe it’s the paint palette. If everything is greige and boring, it’s not what people are looking for right now, so you’re better off figuring out what the trends are. Paint is super easy to brighten things up. Decluttering and cleaning [are] so important. Make sure you’re appealing to the masses.

Drew: So many people [are] not realistic with pricing. Buyers want the cheapest price possible for a house. Sellers want to get the most possible. Working with professionals and real estate agents that understand how to value a home when listing is super important.

I also find a lot of people still just look at the tax value and say, “Oh, the tax value on this house is $700,000, so I’m going to offer $700,000.” But one thing for people to remember is, a tax value is a generic value based on the neighborhood, and it doesn’t always include all of the improvements that certain houses have had. That’s why working with professionals can help because they’re the ones who can say, “This improvement was done, so this will add more value. This house might be more like $780,000 instead of $700,000.”

Which features in your own homes are your favorites?

Jonathan: We enclosed the back patio to build this incredible solarium with a 26-foot glass roof on it. We have olive trees inside and a green wall. I remember as we were going through the process, several people were, like, “Is it worth it?” I was, like, “Yes, it will be worth it,” and now it’s our favorite thing.

Drew: I have to have a pingpong table at home. There has to be a spot for pingpong!

You’ve created so many different reality shows together. Got a favorite?

Jonathan:Brother vs. Brother” because Drew and I do a lot of pranking and we’ve been doing that our whole lives, so it’s always funny to see how we’re trying to one-up the other brother by coming up with a better prank.

Drew: I really love “Celebrity IOU” because you learn a different side of the celebrities during the renovation, have some good laughs, and see how much emotion and love they pour into these projects. It’s pretty cool.

What celebrity is still on your “Celebrity IOU” wish list?

Drew: I’d love to have Zac Efron on. Jonathan and I are big on sustainability and climate action and [Efron] does a lot to educate people on some of the wonders of the world. It’s stuff that’s really important for the health and longevity of life, so I think it’d be cool to pick his brain.

Jonathan: Jordan Peele. Jordan is just an incredibly creative guy, really funny, and I think he would be a blast to work with.

What was your reaction to Amy Schumer’s affection for you in her recent ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch that parodied ‘The Watcher’?

Drew: It was hilarious! I just started watching “The Watcher,” so going back and seeing that skit again after was even funnier.

Jonathan: All of a sudden people started texting me, “Is it the property, or is it the brothers?” and I was like, “What is going on with everybody? Why do they keep saying that?” And it turned out it was the “SNL” sketch. We’ve been fortunate enough that we’ve been parodied on “SNL” probably a dozen times, and so one of these days maybe we’ll get ourselves on there.

The post Exclusive: The Property Brothers Reveal the Wisest Homebuying Advice You’ll Hear This Year—or Ever appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

What Goes Up Must Come Down: The Pandemic Era’s Hottest Markets Are Leading the U.S. in Price Reductions

Real Estate Price Reductions Data

Photo-Illustration by Realtor.com / Getty Images (2)

For those looking to sell their home, many have been forced to face the fact that they won’t get the price they’d dreamed of receiving anytime soon.

To close sales, more sellers are dropping asking prices than at any point in the past few years. The portion of homes on the market with at least one markdown is now outpacing even pre-pandemic years. Buyers simply can’t afford these high price tags now that mortgage interest rates have shot up.

In some parts of the country, as many as half of the homes on the market have had their price cut, making up, at least partly, for the higher monthly payment resulting from the currently hiked interest rates.

So where can buyers find the most discounted homes? And where do sellers need to be more realistic with their asking prices?

The Realtor.com® data team dug into our listings to find out. It turns out, sellers are slashing prices largely in the areas that had been hottest for the past two years. Markets that had become magnets for those fleeing the coastal population hubs, mostly in up-and-coming metros in the West and the South, are now seeing record levels of listing price cuts.

“The unifying thread among these states,” says George Ratiu, senior economist and manager of economic research for Realtor.com, “is they have all seen a significant influx of buyers of the last 2.5 years.”

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Seven of the top 1o states seeing the biggest increase in home price reductions are in a contiguous chunk of the western United States: Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and California. The remaining three are Southern Sun Belt states that similarly drew lots of newcomers: Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina.

“By and large, they offer an ideal combination of quality of life and outdoor amenities,” Ratiu says. If buyers can afford them.

Post-pandemic, those elements brought people from heavily populated, expensive urban hubs like New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago to places like Boise, ID; Austin, TX; Atlanta; or Salt Lake City.

“These new buyers drove up local market prices,” Ratiu says, “in some cases, even beyond local residents’ ability to compete.”

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The other similarity in the places seeing the most price cuts is the prevalence of seasonal buyers—whether retirees shopping for a winter condo in the suburbs of Phoenix, or Seattleites looking for a second home in Boise. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many buyers rushed to purchase vacation homes. Now that mortgage rates are higher, the stock market is suffering, and inflation is high, many buyers are holding off on nonessential real estate purchases.

“When borrowing money is expensive, they tend to be the first to pull back,” says Ratiu.

Not all sellers have yet come to terms with a quickly shifting market, which demands lower prices.

And when sellers attempt to take advantage of the “aspirational pricing” that defined the past couple of years, but the property doesn’t sell, they’re left with only one option: Drop the price.

We used Realtor.com listing data, which comes from multiple listing services around the country, to see where the October year-over-year portion of homes for sale with a price reduction has increased the most.

These are the states where buyers can find the most price reductions.

Where home sellers are cutting prices - data
Where home sellers are cutting prices

Realtor.com

1. Arizona

Median listing price: $465,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction in October 2022: 40%
Difference since October 2021: +30%

Arizona has seen wild swings in real estate prices through the past few cycles: Values went through the roof in the mid-2000s, before becoming an emblem of the real estate crash in 2008. So dramatic was the fall in values and demand that entire neighborhoods in the suburbs on the edge of the Phoenix metro area were filled with brand-new homes that remained empty after buyer demand evaporated.

In the past few years, a feeling of déjà vu has been understandable, as listing prices again soared during the pandemic—up 60% for the Phoenix metro area between late 2019 and May of this year, according to Realtor.com data. 

“We’ve never experienced anything like we did in 2020 and 2021,” says Andrea Crouch, the Phoenix Realtors® board president, of the price run-up of the past few years.

So the current mass reduction in home list prices, Crouch says, is to be expected.

“It is a correction that needed to happen,” she says. “As soon as interest rates increased in April, our price reductions started going through the roof.”

Arizona has gone from 1 in 1o listings with a price reduction a year ago to now more than 1 in 3. Now, it’s a matter of getting sellers to understand that the market is not going to be as kind to them as it has been for the past few years, Crouch explains.

“Sellers have been shooting for the moon, and they could, but now they have to come down to Earth,” She says. “The reality is homes that sell are priced right.”

2. Nevada

Median listing price: $469,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 37%
Difference since October 2021: +23%

If there’s another market in the West that has come to define the current boom-bust real estate pricing cycle, it’s Las Vegas. And again, Nevada is at the top of the list of where the housing market has turned.

The many attributes of the state—as Realtor.com’s Ratiu defines them, “no state income tax, along with a low cost of living and relatively more affordable housing”—made it a natural place for a fast, seller-friendly market during the early part of the pandemic. It’s no wonder, he says, that prices rose quickly. And now they’re falling fast.

A year ago, only 1 in every 7 listings was marked down from their initial price, and now it’s more than 1 in 3. In just the past month, the portion of homes listed with a price reduction has jumped by 2.6%, and prices are down by around 7% since the summer.

For shoppers looking in the Silver State, it’s not hard to find homes with reduced price tags. These new three-bedroom townhomes in Sparks, east of Reno, for example, are marked down $44,000, or about 12.5% from their initial listing six months ago.

3. Utah

Median listing price: $560,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 32%
Difference since October 2021: +22%

Utah saw a massive influx of new residents in the past decade, with a population increase of around 17%. The state’s abundance of outdoor activities brought in even more demand during the pandemic.

But after the run-up in values, prices are down around 12% in a place like Ogden, the Utah city with the highest portion of homes marked down, at 42%. The metro, about 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City, saw prices rise by 75% between late 2019 and mid-2022. So even with the price reductions, homes are still well above their pre-pandemic price.

And it doesn’t take much searching to find the big discounts. This new, large four-bedroom home in Saratoga Springs, about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, is now listed for $654,000, after being listed for $730,000 in June.

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Watch: The 10 Best—and Most Affordable—Places To Retire in America in 2022

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4. Colorado

Median listing price: $585,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 29%
Difference since October 2021: +18%

Almost 30% of all homes for sale right now in Colorado, an outdoors and craft beer lovers paradise that became fantastically popular with buyers during the pandemic, have had their price chopped. That’s higher than it’s been anytime in the past five years.

In Colorado Springs, where the figure is even higher, at 39% of listings with a price reduction, this medium-sized, three-bedroom home is now listed with a 7% price reduction, which is just a little below the metro’s 9% decline in median listing price since June.

For those looking at high-end real estate at a discount, take this enormous ski resort Shangri-La that is now marked down by more than $700,000. The home, located in the posh Snowmass Village, located just outside Aspen, in the heart of the Rockies, can be yours for only $6.2 million, a 10% markdown.

5. Idaho

Median listing price: $539,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 37%
Difference since October 2021: +17%

Potatoes. That’s what Idaho used to be known for. The tubers were practically synonymous with the state. But not anymore.

Idaho’s population has grown by nearly 20% in the past 10 years, as more and more people have flocked to the state for its temperate climate, easy access to mountains and rivers, and historically affordable housing.

“Traditionally we’ve lagged in value,” says Bonnie Burry, a designated broker at Windermere Powerhouse Group in Boise. “It’s been a hidden gem, really, but then we got discovered.”

Sure enough, Idaho’s nickname is the Gem State, and prices there indeed dazzled during the pandemic. Median home prices in Boise, the epicenter of the state’s exploding demand, grew by a whopping 70% from late 2019 to early 2022.

“There was some making-up for us being underpriced,” Burry says. “Then we caught up, and more.”

Prices in Boise are down 13% since May, and Burry says she advises sellers to take what they think they might have been able to get in the spring or early summer, and cut 20% off.

“The seller might be up 40% since they bought,” she says, “so if they’re coming down 20% now, they’re still doing really well.”

6. Washington

Median listing price: $600,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 25%
Difference since October 2021: +15%

Washington has seen a huge surge in real estate valuations in recent years, with prices in the already expensive Seattle area shattering records and places like Spokane seeing their real estate markets go from mundane to frantic. But like other Western states on this list, Washington has seen its fortunes flip.

In Seattle, more than one-quarter of listings are marked down. To the southwest of Seattle, in Olympia, 30% of listings are discounted.

And whether you’re looking for a big upgrade or a starter home, price reductions are easy to find.

If you’re in the market for a high-end home on the edge of the Puget Sound, for example, but don’t want to pay full price, this three-bedroom farmhouse with views of the Olympic Mountains has been discounted $245,000 and can be picked up for just $1.95 million, an 11% markdown since it was listed April.

For the buyer looking for something less pricey, this two-bedroom, manufactured home in Everett, 25 miles north of Seattle, is now priced at $150,000. It was initially listed at $175,000, down about 14%.

7. California

Median listing price: $699,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 23%
Difference since October 2021: +15%

California has been one of the nation’s costliest real estate markets for years. Competition and prices are high for homes near the scenic coast. Plus the state has high taxes and a general lack of enough housing. But this could be the right time for buyers who have been waiting out the pandemic’s price pump to swoop in.

Fewer than 1 in 10 listings was marked down this time last year, but now it’s almost 1 in every 4.

This palatial five-bedroom, Mediterranean-style home surrounded by a dense canopy of palm trees in the city of Corona, about an hour east of Los Angeles, has had a cool $100,000 knocked off the top. It’s now priced at $1.35 million. Bargains in this state are relative.

8. Texas

Median listing price: $371,650
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 25%
Difference since October 2021: +14%

The Lone Star State has had a renaissance in recent years, with the capital and tech hub of Austin becoming a magnet for people looking for a vibrant urban scene, bustling with industry and culture, but with all the benefits that Texas offers compared with high-cost coastal cities—notably cheaper home prices and the absence of personal income taxes.

The whole state benefited during the pandemic, as people saw it as a place to bring their swollen equity from higher-priced areas and upgrade to something larger, on a bigger lot, with money left over.

But what goes up, must come down, and this real estate icon of the pandemic era has seen prices getting slashed. Fully one-quarter of all listings have had their price reduced.

This midcentury four-bedroom home in the Great Hills neighborhood north of Austin is being offered at $499,000, a $75,000 price reduction, or a 13% markdown, after going up for sale in August.

9. Georgia

Median listing price: $375,000
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 22%
Difference since October 2021: +14%

The real estate market is beginning to look peachier for buyers seeking discounts in Georgia. Buyers looking at new construction are getting massive discounts right now, says Maurice Royster, a real estate agent at Royster Realty Group with Keller Williams in Marietta.

“One person I was dealing with got a $45,000 price reduction on a home that was already under contract,” Royster recalls, and that was after the home had been marked down by the builder once from $428,000. They picked up some of the closing fees, too.

In the resale market in Georgia, Royster says he’s seen sellers who have been pricing their homes as though the conditions from six or 12 months ago are still in place, hoping they can be the last one to take advantage of that seller’s market.

The result, he says, is homes that end up being priced incorrectly, leading to price drops after the home is on the market for longer than the seller anticipated.

“If it’s priced higher than it should be, then you’re going to do a bunch of price reductions,” Royster says. “You can’t chase a ball down a hill.”

10. South Carolina

Median listing price: $354,230
Portion of listings with a price reduction: 22%
Difference since October 2021: +13%

South Carolina is another of the Southern states that saw pandemic buyers flocking there from more expensive, dense urban hubs.

“South Carolina is smack dab in the middle of the East Coast, but it’s got beautiful weather, low taxes, high quality of life,” says Owen Tyler, managing broker of The Cassina Group in Charleston.

That led to spiking demand and prices that climbed more than 30% during the pandemic. But in some of the Palmetto State’s bigger cities, prices are down close to 10% since the peak earlier this year.

For some sellers, the rapid decline in demand is a tough pill to swallow.

And while it might not be what sellers want to hear, for buyers, things are far easier now.

“If you’re a buyer, this is such a better time than 90 days ago,” says David Kent, owner and broker at The Real Buyer’s Agent, in Charleston. “I think the buyer has an opportunity to take a breath. They don’t have to waive inspections or appraisals. They don’t have to get into a bidding war.”

The post What Goes Up Must Come Down: The Pandemic Era’s Hottest Markets Are Leading the U.S. in Price Reductions appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

All Aboard! A Tiny Loft Once Owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

most popular homes

Realtor.com

A tiny, loft-style home once owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad in York Haven, PA, is this week’s most popular listing on Realtor.com®.

The historic, brick-front railroad depot has since been converted into a cozy single-family home. With just 722 square feet, the one-bedroom house sits on a generous 2.5-acre lot.

Other digs that drew your clicks include a Grecian-inspired castle in Nebraska, an affordable log cabin in New Hampshire, and a concrete fortress in Illinois.

For a full look at this week’s 10 most popular homes, keep on scrolling.

10. 12400 Cedar St, Austin, TX

Price: $35,000,000
Why it’s here: 
This megamansion debuted on our Most Popular List over the spring, then was taken off the market shortly after. It’s back again, with a $10 million reduction.

Even at the lowered price, the 15,394-square-foot estate known as Villa Del Lago still holds the title of the most expensive listing in Austin. Located on 21 acres overlooking Lake Travis, the six-bedroom home features every luxury amenity, including a home theater, wine cellar, massage room, piano area, and primary suite with steam showers.

Also included in the staggering price are a negative-edge pool, cascading waterfalls, a fish pond, and a custom boathouse with two slips.

Austin, TX

Realtor.com

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9. 626 Red Tail Ln, Ashland, NE

Price: $1,375,000
Why it’s here: 
It’s not every day you find a Grecian-inspired castle in the Midwest, but here is one with a recent $125,000 price reduction.

You can be the king or queen of this three-bedroom stone castle. It features a turret, three rounded towers, and a three-story spiral staircase surrounded by a stone wall.

Built in 2019, the 4,341-square-foot home has an elevator for easy access from the main level with a great room and stone fireplace to the second-level primary suite with a private two-tier balcony.

The 1-acre lot boasts rock walls and water features, along with a boat dock with two mechanical lifts.

Ashland, NE

Realtor.com

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8. 24503 Chris Dr, Evergreen, CO 

Price: $24,799,000
Why it’s here: 
From the mountain views to the 75-acre lot to the 50,275 square feet of living space, everything about this jaw-dropper is over-the-top opulent.

Built in 2004, the six-bedroom estate was designed according to the principles of feng shui.

The luxurious space features floor-to-ceiling windows, built-in aquariums, and a chef’s kitchen with two islands. A primary suite has a built-in bed, gas fireplace, and jetted tub where you can soak in the views.

It also comes with a spectacular home theater, wine room, beauty salon, and indoor pool with a waterfall and palm trees. An eye-popping, 27,000-square-foot auto showroom includes a one-bedroom caretaker space.

Evergreen, CO

Realtor.com

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7. 4626 French Rd, Knoxville, TN

Price: $700,000
Why it’s here: 
Overlooking the French Broad River, this four-bedroom retreat sits on 8 acres of privacy.

Built in 2002, the 3,003-square-foot home offers direct lake access. A country kitchen features a large island with a cooktop and sink. The sunlit family room has sliders, which open to the wraparound deck. Upstairs, an enormous primary suite features a cathedral ceiling, a fireplace, double closets, and a safe.

Potential buyers should note the chicken coop comes with the sale.

Knoxville, TN

Realtor.com

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6. 20 Granite Ledge Rd, Thornton, NH

Price: $300,000
Why it’s here: 
This affordable log cabin features a deck with access to a workshop above the one-car garage.

Tucked away on an acre lot, the two-bedroom home features a skylit kitchen with a wood island and built-in shelving. There is a wood stove in the living area for the chilly New England nights.

The house was built in 1969 and offers 1,375 square feet of living space. It comes with a greenhouse area for budding gardeners.

Thornton, NH

Realtor.com

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5. 20541 NE 150th St, Woodinville, WA

Price: $1,299,000
Why it’s here: 
Built in 1986, this Cape Codder was recently updated.

The open floor plan of the three-bedroom house features a sitting room with a bay window, a cozy living room with a fireplace, and an enormous kitchen with a dining nook and double-wall ovens.

Upstairs, the brand-new primary suite has a sitting room, two closets, and a gorgeous bathroom with a soaking tub.

A breezeway connects the 2,170-square-foot home to a two-car garage.

Woodinville, WA

Realtor.com

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4. 4909 Deep Branch Rd, Pembroke, NC

Price: $3,300,000
Why it’s here: 
This riverfront French country manor sits on a majestic 73 acres of natural beauty.

From the cherry hardwood floors to the 26-foot ceiling in the family room, the 8,593-square-foot floor plan features many luxe finishes. Built in 2008 and overlooking the Lumber River, the five-bedroom house flaunts a Mediterranean flair with its curved staircase, four fireplaces with ornate detailing, and palatial primary suite.

The backyard oasis boasts a heated pool and spa, a pool house with a built-in grill, and a three-bedroom guesthouse.

Pembroke, NC

Realtor.com

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3. 9111 W 126th St, Palos Park, IL

Price: $1,000,000
Why it’s here: 
Built in 2008, this concrete fortress has been on and off the market since 2009, when it originally debuted for $3,700,000.

The stark, 4,722-square-foot residence offers five bedrooms, four fireplaces, a wine cellar, and wet and dry steam rooms. You can take in views of the forest preserve from the wraparound deck.

The 0.8-acre wooded lot comes with a heated garage, which can hold four cars.

Palos Park, IL

Realtor.com

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2. 7638 Hall Rd, Cleveland, NY

Price: $420,000
Why it’s here: 
This 4,686-square-foot log home is an equestrian lover’s dream, with its 11-stall barn and many acres to roam.

The five-bedroom home features exposed wood logs and a two-story living area. The primary suite comes with an enormous private deck. The front and back porches run the length of the house, and you can take in views of the 11.5-acre property from there.

There’s also a hot tub located behind the two-stall garage.

Cleveland, NY

Realtor.com

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1. 479 River Rd, York Haven, PA 

Price: $144,900
Why it’s here: 
Now’s your chance to own a piece of history in the Keystone State. This affordable little loft was once owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad.

A former railroad depot, it was converted into a one-bedroom home and enjoys views of the Susquehanna River. Recently renovated, the 722-square-foot home boasts a stone interior wall, a spiral staircase, and a bedroom loft.

The 2.5-acre property comes with three sheds, a pavilion, and a basketball court.

York Haven, PA

Realtor.com

The post All Aboard! A Tiny Loft Once Owned by the Pennsylvania Railroad Is the Week’s Most Popular Home appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Mortgage Rates Dip Further—So Why Are Home Prices Still So High? The ‘Sticky’ Problem, Explained

'Sticky' Home Prices

Photo-Illustration by Realtor.com / Getty Images (2)

With Thanksgiving behind us and much Christmas merriment ahead, one might presume that home shoppers have shelved their house hunt until the new year. But no, the housing market is as hopping as ever—and even full of surprises of late.

“Housing data in the week that includes the Thanksgiving holiday show that the housing market continues to evolve, but not always as expected,” explains Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale in her weekly analysis.

In our column “How’s the Housing Market This Week?” we’ll break down what’s happening with the latest real estate statistics, and what it means for homebuyers and sellers.

Home price growth ticked up

In November, home prices hovered at a national median of $417,000, down from June’s record high of $449,000. And although home prices have been growing by double digits year over year for 48 straight weeks, that growth has been tapering off.

Yet for the week ending Nov. 26, home price growth resurged, with prices 12.2% higher than this same week a year earlier. (In the previous week, the growth rate was just 11%.)

“Growth in the typical asking price of homes picked up from last week for the first time in seven weeks,” Hale notes, but suspects this is likely to be an “aberration.”

Nonetheless, she says, “It’s a reminder that prices can be sticky.”

“Sticky,” it turns out, is a technical term economists use “to describe variables that are resistant to change, particularly when that change is to the downside,” according to Hale.

So just how sticky are home prices? And will they remain stuck for long?

“We noted a few weeks ago that home price growth could move back into single-digit territory just before the end of the year,” explains Hale. “It’s still possible that we’ll see that trend materialize before the end of the year. But this week’s data is a signal that single-digit home price growth may not be seen before the new year.”

What’s not stuck? Mortgage rates

The housing market has been red-hot for the past several years, but rising mortgage rates have recently pumped the brakes, nearly doubling over the past year and spiking in late October to a 20-year high of 7.08% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan.

Yet since then, rates for a 30-year fixed have been on a downward trend for the third week in a row, averaging 6.49% for the week ending Dec. 1, according to Freddie Mac.

But will these lower mortgage payments spur any buyers to make an offer? Probably not.

“This boost in affordability hasn’t yet been enough to draw in more existing homebuyers,” says Hale. Plus, even if rates are down, they could shoot back up again, and this unpredictability makes planning a challenge. It’s prompting many homebuyers to sit on the sidelines and wait until things settle down.

Listings continue to rise

The number of homes that buyers have to peruse continues to grow ever larger, increasing an astounding 53% above one year ago for the week ending Nov. 26. Yet many home shoppers will find that pool simply contains the same stale listings.

Sure, many sellers were on vacation last week and likely not thinking of listing their homes during a long holiday weekend. Yet the issue of rising active listings runs deeper than that.

New listings also plunged 17% for the week ending Nov. 26 compared with last year. This latest drop marks a grim milestone for buyers: It’s the 21st consecutive week of year-over-year declines in homeowners listing their homes, according to Hale.

“While conditions remain favorable for sellers, with home prices high and homes still selling relatively quickly, the affordability strain for buyers is weighing on seller confidence,” Hale explains.

And so what’s a frustrated buyer to do?

Some are looking to new construction to find the types of home features missing on the dusty listing pages.

“In fact, new home sales picked up slightly in October,” says Hale.

What increased days on market means for buyers and sellers

A typical property spent an extra week on the market, for the week ending Nov. 26. This marks an 18-week run with homes lingering longer compared with last year. (The average number of days a home spent on the market in November was 56.)

Homes lingering on the market means home shoppers have an advantage—even though in general homes are selling faster than before 2019.

But all in all, “Buyers are closer to the driver’s seat in the housing market than they’ve been in a long time,” says Hale.

And so sellers looking to close a deal before the end of the year should take a close look at their local market before pricing their homes too high.

“Even though housing markets are generally cooling, lower-priced markets in the Northeast and Midwest are seeing homes sell faster than in other areas,” says Hale.

The post Mortgage Rates Dip Further—So Why Are Home Prices Still So High? The ‘Sticky’ Problem, Explained appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Home Prices Fall and Listings Soar: Could It Be a Great Time To Buy Despite High Mortgage Rates?

Home Prices Fall and Listings Soar: Could It Be a Good Time to Buy Despite High Mortgage Rates?

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As the housing market barrels toward the end of the year and all of its holiday trimmings, potential homebuyers are likely wondering what’s in store for the coming season.

Home shoppers looking for lower asking prices can officially check that off their wish list. November’s median home list price of $416,000 was much more wallet-friendly than June’s record high of $449,000, according to a recent report from Realtor.com®.

Yet the volatile real estate landscape is not quite ready to bring only glad tidings. High mortgage rates—which, as of Wednesday, hover at 6.58% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan—are a stark reminder that many buyers might still struggle on the affordability front.

“Even though prices are down month to month, they’re still up by double digits from a year ago,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of Realtor.com.  “And with mortgage rates also up, buying a home is more expensive than last year.”

This deadly combo of high home prices and interest rates adds up to the fact that median mortgage payments are now about $900 higher each month than they were just one year earlier.

So, while all is not merry and bright in the world of real estate, there are inroads for intrepid buyers.

Inventory is soaring, but is that good news?

After the COVID-19 pandemic-fueled homebuying rush reduced the number of homes for sale to all-time lows, the inventory of housing has since rebounded. There were 46.8% more homes for sale in November compared with the same month in 2021.

That translates to a whopping 240,000 more homes for sale on any given day in November. Yet that massive increase in listings hides an important caveat: Fresh listings are down 17.2% on a year-over-year basis.

Put simply, many potential home sellers have decided to stay put rather than list. Many are locked into mortgages with extremely low rates that they’re reluctant to give up, and cash-strapped buyers simply aren’t making offers like they did even just a few months ago.

The result? Homes are simply sitting—and sitting—on the market, ballooning the total number of homes for sale.

“We’ll see fewer newly listed homes hitting the market now through the end of the year and possibly into early next year,” predicts Hale.

Real estate markets in the West have slowed down

Some areas in the United States are taking the brunt of the market downturn.

“Sales activity in the West has slowed more dramatically as the region’s high home prices are a daunting foe for buyers also contending with higher mortgage rates,” says Hale.

Case in point: Phoenix saw its inventory grow by 176% on a year-over-year basis. And while the average time a typical property spent on the market reached 56 days in November (up eight days compared with last year), homes in Pheonix lingered two additional days.

“Demand is low,” says Brandy Aguirre, a real estate agent at Home Key Realty in the metro Phoenix area. “From August 2021 to April 2022, the active listing count was stable with few changes. But in April, that quickly changed when interest rates started increasing.”

Can seller concessions balance out rate hikes?

Sellers might not think it’s the best time to list homes, but could it be a good time for home shoppers to buy?

More homes for sale and fewer buyers are helping to empower the few home shoppers out there, who can now hold out for a bargain. And sellers are caving: About 19.6% of all homes for sale were forced to reduce their asking prices to attract buyers in November. And while there likely won’t be an end-of-year buying bonanza, a few intrepid buyers might just score some deals.

“What does all this mean if you are looking to buy a home?” asks Aguirre. “That you’ll have all the leverage for negotiating with sellers. More sellers are willing to pay a portion of the buyer’s closing costs or pay money toward buying down their interest rate. Sellers are dropping prices an average of 3% off the list price—that’s $15,000 on a $500,000 home.”

And in addition to straight-out cash savings, Aguirre finds sellers are willing to make repairs and accept offers contingent on buyers selling their current home. And perhaps most importantly, sellers “no longer ask the buyer to make risky moves such as waiving the appraisal contingency.” (A contingency is simply anything a buyer or seller must do before closing the deal.)

So despite climbing mortgage rates, not all home shoppers need to sit on the sidelines wondering why they didn’t snag a home when rates were low. Instead, they should use their negotiating position with potential sellers.

“If you didn’t buy last year, you can’t go back in time and buy,” advises Hale. “You need to consider what’s possible now.”

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