U.S. Housing Market Roars Into 2017

Case-Shiller Says Home prices shrug off higher interest rates to cap year of robust growth in 2016

Home prices jumped in December to their fastest full-year growth since 2013, as buyers shrugged off the effects of higher interest rates.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, covering the entire nation, rose 5.8% in the 12 months ended in December, compared with a 5.6% year-over-year increase reported in November.

The 10-city index gained 4.9% over the year, up from 4.4% the previous month, while the 20-city index gained 5.6% year-over-year, versus a 5.2% increase in November.

“The big takeaway from this report is that all signs that the housing market was going to cool in 2016 are now reversed,” said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia. “The spring selling season is going to be another doozy for home buyers.”

The hottest markets in the country remain concentrated in the northwest, as many buyers priced out of the Silicon Valley area flee to secondary technology hubs. Seattle led the way with a 10.8% increase, while Portland posted a 10% year-over-year gain and Denver had an 8.9% annual increase.

A number of markets that have seen prices grow modestly since the recession are starting to see much faster rates of increase than they had in the recent past. Tampa, Fla., jumped 8.4%, while Atlanta enjoyed a gain of 6.3% and Las Vegas increased 5.8%.

Nationwide, home prices hit a record in September and have continued climbing by more than 5% year-over-year since then, driven by strong demand and a shortage of homes for sale.

Housing inventory in December hit its lowest level since 1999, when the National Association of Realtors started tracking the data. The number of homes for sale was down 7.1% in January compared with a year earlier, the Realtors said.

“With all 20 cities seeing prices rise over the last year, questions about whether this is a normal housing market or if prices could be heading for a fall are natural,” said David Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

While Mr. Blitzer said the rate of appreciation is much higher than the average pace of 1.3% since 1975, it remains within the range economists consider normal. “Home prices are rising, but the speed is not alarming,” he said. Annual growth has ranged from -4% to 7% about two thirds of the time since 1975.

If mortgage rates continue to rise, economists said, the current rapid rate of home-price growth likely will slow.

“I’m not sure that it’s a bubble because demand is coming from solid job growth and improving demographics,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance. “I don’t think it’s a bubble, but I don’t think it’s sustainable, nor is it healthy.”

Wages increased 2.5% in the year ending in January, better than the 2% gains that were common earlier in the recovery but still much slower than the rate of home-price growth.

Month-over-month the U.S. Index rose 0.2% in December before seasonal adjustment, while the 10-city and the 20-city index increased 0.3% from November to December.

After seasonal adjustment, the national index rose 0.7% month-over-month, while the 10-city and 20-city index rose 0.9% month-over month. After seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities posted price gains.

December’s numbers reflect the peak of a sharp rise in mortgage rates since Election Day. Average rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose from roughly 3.5% around Election Day to 4.32% at the end of December, according to mortgage company Freddie Mac. In the past week they averaged 4.16%, Freddie Mac said last Thursday.

Purchases of existing homes increased 3.3% in January from a month earlier, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday, suggesting continued strong demand.

Looking for an experienced realtor who is an associate broker with 25 years experience and a strong negotiator call Lori Shaw 928-420-3013 Lori Shaw Associate Broker

How to become a real estate agent

What do you need to know to do this job?


By the end of 2015, the housing market looked more robust than it had in years, which means more people are turning to a career in real estate. When you get your real estate license, you become responsible for one of the biggest decisions your clients will ever make. In every state, the process for how to become a real estate agent is different, but there are some constants across the industry: you’ll need to use technology to keep up with the fast pace and consumer demands, you’ll need to be able to adapt; and you’ll need to develop people skills if you don’t already have them. It’s not an easy career, but it’s a rewarding one.

So how do you know if a career as a real estate agent is right for you — and what it takes to get there? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What do I need to know before getting into real estate?

What is a real estate agent?

In the U.S., a real estate agent is a person licensed to represent a buyer or seller in a property transaction. In exchange for representing the buyer or seller, agents are typically paid commission on the price of the property — though agent compensation varies from agent to agent and brokerage to brokerage.

Who licenses real estate agents?

Real estate agents are licensed by each state (and the District of Columbia). Although every state requires pre-licensing courses, the licensing requirements can vary widely from state to state.

How many real estate agents are there?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there are 337,400 real estate agents and 83,900 real estate brokers — a total of 421,300 operatives.

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

All real estate agents are licensed by the state, but not all real estate agents are Realtors. A Realtor pays dues to the National Association of Realtors(NAR) and is entitled to the benefits of membership, including access to different technologies and transaction management services, access to health/dental and personal property insurance, banking services and discounts.

Realtor listings are posted for free on realtor.com, and Realtors also have access to NAR’s training programs, statistics and research. NAR advocates politically on behalf of Realtors, as well; its lobbying group is considered one of the most powerful in the country.

NAR also has constructed a code of ethics and standards of practice. It asks Realtors to complete 150 minutes of ethics training that meets its guidelines within a four-year cycle. The current cycle ends Dec. 31, 2016. Realtors may complete their ethical training through classes offered at local Realtor associations, correspondence, online courses or home study.

How many Realtors are there?

NAR reported that it had 1,160,392 members as of Sept. 30, 2015.

That’s a lot more than 421,300. Why is that?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics number is a projection “predicated on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the projected period.” This estimate is based on the Occupational Employment Handbook, which relies on the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, “a semi-annual mail survey of non-farm establishments.”

On the other hand, NAR membership comprises people “who are involved in residential and commercial real estate as brokers, salespeople, property managers, appraisers, counselors and others engaged in all aspects of the real estate industry.”

What does the average real estate agent make?

The median pay for real estate brokers and sales agents was $43,430 per year in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Anything else I should know before I consider getting my license?

The real estate industry is facing some challenges — consumers are not required to use their services, for example, and some technological advances have made it easier for sellers and buyers to work without agents.

There are other threats to the industry, too. More than anything, real estate industry professionals themselves say that the biggest threat to the industry is low-quality agents.

How do I get my real estate license?

How long does it take to become a real estate agent?

It varies from state to state. Because the licensing requirements are different, in some states, the pre-licensing courses can be completed and the exam taken in a matter of weeks. For example, the pre-licensing courses can be finished in 63 hours in Florida. In California, three college-level pre-licensing courses must be taken — a total of 135 hours.

Are there pre-requirements?

Typically, you must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and complete the real estate courses and pass the exam.

How much does it cost to become a real estate agent?

New agents should expect to pay for their licensing classes and a fee for every time they take the real estate licensing exam. Again, those fees vary from state to state.

There are a number of other fees affiliated with becoming a real estate agent. These include MLS and/or Association fees, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, lockboxes, annual brokerage accounting fees, brokerage materials fees (for badges, orientation binders and so on).

And you will need to spend money in order to grow your business in real estate. You will need transportation and a cell phone at the very least — at best, you will have your own marketing budget and lead generation budget. There are office supplies and business cards to be considered, too.

What happens if I fail the real estate exam?

You can retake the real estate exam if you fail. Again, rules vary state by state, but there is generally no limit to the number of times you can take the exam before you pass it. You must wait until you have been notified that you failed the exam before you apply to re-take it in most states.

What happens if you practice real estate without a license?

Practicing real estate without a license — selling property that isn’t yours on behalf of a client — is illegal. If caught, at best, you will be fined. At worse, you will face jail time. Like licensing requirements, consequences vary from state to state.

What else do I need to become a real estate agent?

Real estate agents must find a sponsoring broker to supervise their sales. Some new agents choose to find a sponsoring broker before they take the licensing exam; others wait until they have passed the exam to find a sponsoring broker.

Do I need a broker?

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?

Real estate brokers are also licensed by the state. The licensing requirements are more rigorous for real estate brokers than for agents, but those requirements also vary state-by-state.

You must usually work for between one and three years as an agent before you can become a broker.

What should I know about my sponsoring broker?

New agents should ask their sponsoring brokers questions about trainingand support that the broker offers — mentoring or shadowing more experienced agents, for example. New agents will also want to ask about any monthly desk fees at the brokerage and the commission splits they can expect in their first couple of years on the job.

Other questions to ask include additional fees (transaction fees, association dues), marketing or advertising options (what will the brokerage provide, and what might you want to add yourself), the office culture and environment, referral policies, information about any regular sales meetings and how receptionists manage and distribute phone calls are all good things to know about your potential new brokerage.

Will I be considered a brokerage employee or an independent contractor?

This depends on the brokerage. Some brokerages (like Redfin) offer salaries and benefits for employees.

Most brokerages, however, hire real estate agents as independent contractors. This could mean that your health insurance coverage and other benefits that are typically picked up by full-time employers might be considered your responsibility.

What do I need to do to get clients?

Know your strengths and weaknesses, and act on that knowledge

If you make friends easily and have no problems approaching new people, but you aren’t very savvy about marketing, then you might want to look for a sponsoring broker who can help you market yourself but who’s relatively hands-off when it comes to generating new leads (finding new clients).

On the flip side, if you’re an introvert who finds it difficult to strike up conversations with people you don’t know very well, but you’re skilled at writing copy and putting together a marketing plan, then your ideal sponsoring broker will help you with lead generation or referrals but will let you manage your own marketing.

You will need to be able to provide advice about market conditions and listing price, host open house events, prepare documents and manage negotiations for your clients. Emotions can run high, so it will help to have skills solving problems and soothing ruffled feathers.

Choose the right technology

There are hundreds of tech tools available to help make your job as an agent easier. These include tools to help you manage your lead generation, client documents, listing videos, listing photos, open houses, business marketing and many, many more.

How do you know which technology is right for you? Pick tools that you will use. If there’s a free version or demo available, try it before you commit to spending money for something.



Sales and Active Listings for the past 6 months for Yavapai Hills


Yavapai Hills Real Estate Summary for past 6 months:

Active Listings 27

Average List Price $458,819

Average Days on the market 115

Sold in past 6 months 32

Average Sold Price $351,500

Average Days on the market 82

To get the stats for another subdivision Call the Experts at the Lori Shaw Group

928-420-3013 or check out all listings at http://weknowprescott.com/

Get your Real Estate License in Prescott

We have teamed up with Renewal Education in Phoenix to offer computer based New Agent and Broker licensing.

Our school has graduated over 300 students so far & is located in the HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land office situated at 140 N Montezuma Street, Suite 201 in downtown Prescott Arizona.

Prescott Arizona – Everyone’s Hometown

The Beautiful Central Highlands of Arizona

Here in the cool highlands of central Arizona awaits an experience that can become yours for a lifetime. Yavapai Hills has been master-planned and engineered to preserve the natural beauty of the land. Its paved roads curve gently around pinion pine and juniper. Comfortable suburban living is combined with all the facilities and conveniences of urban living.

Beautiful Central Highlands

Prescott, Arizona

Voted one of the top places to retire in the US, Prescott lies in a mountainous section of west central Arizona surrounded by 1.2 million acres of the Prescott National Forest. Prescott’s mile high elevation assures clean clear air and an ideal year round climate. The average daytime temperature is 70 degrees, with the summer daytime average reaching 89 degrees and the winter daytime average reaching 52 degrees. Prescott combines the charm of Arizona’s historic past with modern schools, shopping, medical facilities and community programs.

whiskey-row--prescott-saija-lehtonenThe hub of many cultural activities, Prescott is home to five museums, four art galleries and the dramatic offerings of Yavapai College and Prescott Fine Art Association. In addition, the city offers acres of parks providing such activities as tennis, softball and golf.


Cathedral Glow

More About Prescott, AZ

Things to do in Prescott

City of Prescott Trails System

See Homes for Sale in the Prescott Area

Surrounding Region

Distance to Phoenix: 100 miles
Distance to Tucson: 215 miles
Distance to Las Vegas: 250 miles
Distance to Los Angeles: 390 miles
Distance to Flagstaff: 90 miles
Distance to the Grand Canyon: 120 Miles
Distance to San Diego: 395 Miles

The Ranch at Prescott Homes from $350,000 to 1 Million Plus!

The Ranch at Prescott, surrounded by the Prescott National Forest, is a planned community three miles east of downtown Prescott. The site of the former Bullwhacker Ranch, the approximately 1000 acres allow for large, spacious homesites, many with breathtaking, panoramic views …over 1,100. The natural beauty of The Ranch is maintained and protected by the Homeowner’s Association, operated by the homeowners. Tennis courts, walking paths and other common areas are added benefits of living in this prestigious community of distinctive custom homes.

Very convenient location to shopping (Gateway Mall, Costco & Trader Joes), golf courses, local lakes and hiking.

Visit www.WeKnowPrescott.com  to see all active listings along with valuable Buyer and Seller information.

The Lori Shaw Group 928-420-3013 will give you the valuable local knowledge you need to make a smart purchase on any homes in the greater Prescott Area. Lori is an Associate Broker with HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land and has over 23 years of experience.

Are You Really Ready for Home Ownership?

5 Signs It’s Time

You think that you’re ready to buy a home, but how can you be sure? The thought of owning a home is an exciting one, yet not everyone is ready. If you’ve been considering purchasing your first house, here are five signs that you’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership:
1. You Stick to a Budget
Financial experts will tell you that creating and sticking to a budget is a sign of financial maturity. With the over 1.5 million foreclosures in the United States, it’s easy to understand why this is so important. If you have already created a budget and have stuck to it, you’re more ready than the next guy to own your own home. When you follow a budget, you know exactly where your money is going each month. When you know where your money is going, you know whether or not you can afford a home of your own.
2. You Have a Down Payment
The old rule of thumb still stands: Enough money should be saved for a 20 percent down payment on a house. When you put 20 percent down on a home, you immediately have equity built into the property and you negate the necessity of private mortgage insurance. Even with a 20 percent down payment, you should still stay away from home’s that are out of your realistic price range. If you’ve budgeted for a $150,000 house, having 20 percent to put down doesn’t mean that you should look for an $180,000 home.
3. Your Income is Stable
Finding a stable job can be tough to do in today’s economy, but if you have a stable source of income, you can feel relatively safe making an investment in a home. If you are reliably employed, don’t forget to factor in any life-changes that may crop up in the near or distant future. Do you plan to go back to school? Are you going to start a family? Budget for the home you can afford five years from now, not the one you can afford today.
4. Your Credit Score is High
The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate will be. The better your credit score, the more likely you are to be accepted for a loan. If your credit is in excellent shape, you’re ready to buy a home. If, on the other hand, your credit needs some work, whip it into shape before you being the home-buying process. Before you buy a house, your debts should be paid off, any collections accounts should be closed satisfactorily, and your credit score should be in the 700’s.