Suffolk County NY home sales are beginning to look like the start of a perfect storm for real estate. A combination of frustrated buyers from a lack of inventory, and sellers starting to put their homes on the market may mean the spring selling season could poised for a surge… one for the record books.
Typically, the spring selling season (March through June) is when more than half of all homes in the U.S. are sold. The market is getting a later start than usual this spring due to the bad weather all over the country.
Suffolk County NY home sales declined in February to the lowest level since mid-2012, with the number of contracts signed with the intention of buying falling to the lowest level since 2011.
Applications for mortgages to purchase homes dropped in February to the lowest since 1995, according to an index from the Mortgage Bankers Association that is seasonally adjusted. By mid-March, the gauge regained about 12 percent from that low, while remaining about 17 percent below the level it was during the same week in 2013.
Nationwide, U.S. home prices rose 12.2 percent in February compared to February 2013, up slightly from January's year-over-year pace of 12 percent. The number of available homes remains below the level typical of a healthy market.
Suffolk County NY Home Sales May See Exaggerated Bounce
Fannie Mae and the Mortgage Bankers Association are predicting 2014 Suffolk County NY home sales to see a bit of an exaggerated seasonal bounce due to so many eager buyers wanting to purchase homes.
Lenders expect Suffolk County NY home sales to pick up because so many potential home buyers want to lock in a mortgage ahead of any possible uptick in mortgage rates.
Borrowing costs have risen as the Federal Reserve continues tapering stimulus efforts that have kept interest rates low. Policy makers cut monthly bond purchases to $55 billion this month, from $85 billion last year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the program could end this fall and that the benchmark interest rate, which has been close to zero since 2008, may rise six months after that.
Nationally, the supply of homes for sale is bigger than last year, according to the National Association of Realtors. At the current sales pace, it would take 5.2 months to sell the properties on the market in February, compared with 4.6 months a year earlier.
Suffolk County NY home sales are expected to pick up momentum as we head into the second half of April and into May and June. Watch for the housing market, like the rest of the economy, come to live in the next couple of months.
For more on Suffolk County NY home sales, including other news relating to Suffolk County NY real estate, visit our Suffolk County NY Real Estate News section of articles under our Suffolk County NY Real Estate Categories to the right.
Declining Suffolk County NY home sales doesn't seem to be worrying the Federal Reserve any these days. Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated recently, the government is keen to continue its support of the economy via purchases of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. However, the amount of which it invests is being gradually phased out.
After the recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Yellen said that the Fed could start raising short-term rates "about six months" after it completed its ongoing tapering of Treasury and bond purchases, which most expect to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014.
Suffolk County NY Home Sales Dependent on Jobs
With Suffolk County NY home sales largely dependent on good employment numbers, and with Yellen seemingly changing her tune on where the economy is as far as employment numbers are concerned, she gave four reasons why she thinks the employment numbers are still soft.
1 – The large number of part timers working who would prefer full time jobs, but just can't find them.
2 – Stagnant wages where compensation has increased an average of only a little more than 2% per year since the recession.
3 – The large number of long-term unemployed who have been out of work for six months or more.
4 – The historic low rate of labor market participation–the proportion of working-age adults that hold or are seeking jobs. This number now stands aat 63%, about the same as it was in 1978.
New home sales of single-family houses in February dropped 3.3% to 440,000, reaching a 5-month low, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Fed often cites improving economic benchmarks, such as the nation adding more jobs, as necessary to justify the reduction of monetary support.
With spring comes new homebuyers into the market, and declining Suffolk County NY home sales should turn around. But Yellen's comments about the nation needing to add more jobs as necessary to reduce the monetary support, seems to suggest that declining Suffolk County NY home sales is actually one negative the Fed is willing to live with and is likely to continue on its path of pulling support for secondary markets.
We'll keep you posted on any further news coming from the Fed that may, or may not, affect not only Suffolk County NY home sales numbers, but the nation as a whole.
Get further news as it affects Suffolk County NY home sales by clicking the Suffolk County NY Real Estate News link to your right under Suffolk County NY Real Estate Categories.
Finally spring is here. Time to start working on getting your Suffolk County NY yard ready for the coming summer weather. It's always great to see green grass again when all you've been looking at all winter is dormant grass (unless you planted winter rye and have been seeing green all winter.)
With spring comes a greening of your Suffolk County NY yard and the hope and promise that there will be plenty of yard work for months to come.
Tips for Getting Your Suffolk County NY Yard Back in Shape
Stay off the grass. Wait for the ground to dry before walking on it to pick up branches and other debris. When it's wet, footprints can damage turf and give weeds a chance to take hold.
Keep an eye on that tree. Feeling a little iffy about that big old oak tree that's next to your house? A tree with a pronounced lean to one side signals a problem and so do unhealthy or off-color leaves, a branch without leaves in summer, or little bark. Most roots are within a foot from the surface, so any activities that affect the soil, such as a new driveway, often affect the roots. To learn whether your trees are at risk of failing, find a certified arborist at the site of the International Society of Arboriculture.
Sharpen those blades. Dull mower or tractor blades stress the grass, making it more prone to disease. Sharpen them and they'll cut cleaner and faster. Experts suggest having the blades sharpened and balanced three times during the growing season.
Test your soil. Why guess what your soil needs when you can spend as little as $10 for the experts at your local cooperative extension to test it and provide solutions. Some even come to your house. You'll find out if limestone is needed to raise the pH of acidic soil or sulphur for lowering the pH of alkaline soil. A complete test analyzes nutrients and offers a fix. You'll find your local extension here.
Find out which weeds are trouble. While you have your co-op extension expert on the phone, ask which weeds and pests your Suffolk County NY yard can tolerate. Dandelions may improve the soil structure, but if you're not wild about them, you might want to cut off their heads before they go to seed or use a special fork-like tool to pull them out, removing the entire root. Clover takes nitrogen from the air and nourishes the soil.
Just these 5 Suffolk County NY yard tips for spring can mean a big difference in the look of your lawn during the summer months.
These are just a few of the many ways to get your Suffolk County NY yard ready for summer. For more home improvement tips, visit our Suffolk County NY Home Improvements section under Suffolk County NY Real Estate Categories to your right for more articles and information.