Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The fifth annual Neuse River Bridge Run will be held on Saturday, October 17 in New Bern. Be among the first to register online for the 10K Run or 5K Run and Walk at www.active.com. Gather family, friends or co-workers to register and participate in the team competition category. Early registration fee of $25 (by 10/01/09) guarantees a t-shirt with the colorful image created by local artist Donna Slade.The 10K participants will enjoy a breath-taking view from the Neuse and Trent River Bridges, while the 5K Run/walk will traverse beautiful and historic downtown New Bern. Both courses are USTAF certified. New this year is the “Kids Fun Run” which will be held inside Union Point Park. Creative costumes are encouraged for runners of all ages; winners of the costume competition will receive special awards.Once again an amazing raffle package has been donated by local merchants. The winner will receive a one night stay, double occupancy, at The Aerie Bed & Breakfast Inn of Distinction compliments of Marty and Michael Gunhus. Also included in this luxury package is a 30 minute Carolina Carriage Tour of Historic New Bern, 2 tickets to Tryon Palace, restaurant gift certificate, gift basket and a certificate for an in-room full body massage by licensed massage therapist Sue Jasinski. www.aeriebedandbreakfast.com Plan ahead and enjoy a special stay in New Bern during the 300th celebration. The raffle will be held the day of the event; you need NOT be present to win. Raffle tickets for $5 are being sold by representatives of the participating nonprofits which are listed below or call 252.636.3381 for more information.For additional event information, including accommodations at the Hilton New Bern Riverfront, the Official Hotel of the 2009 Neuse River Bridge Run, visit http://www.bridgerun.org.
A Day At The Farm's 3rd Annual Pumpkin Fun Day Saturday, October 17, 2009 (Rain Date Sat. Oct. 24) Come out and enjoy A Day At the Farm's 3rd Annual Pumpkin Fun Day on Saturday, October 17, 2009 from 10:00am - 3:00 pm. Activities include hay rides, animals, pony rides, pumpkin decorating, picnic areas, ice cream, pumpkins in the pasture, hot dogs including "Jimbo’s Texas Jumbos”and much more! Admission is $6.00 per person. Children age 2 years and under are admitted free. The admission fee does not include the price of the pumpkins, ice cream, lunch or pony rides. Active military discount is available with i.d. For reservations call (252) 514-9494 or (252) 514-3033. Please feel free to visit our website at www.adayatthefarm.com. A Day At The Farm is located at 183 Woodrow McCoy Rd. in Cove City, NC, approximately 15 miles West of New Bern off of US Hwy 70
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 4.46 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.47 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 5.77 percent. This is the lowest the 15-year FRM has been since Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1991.
The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 4.51 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 4.51 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.02 percent.
The one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.52 percent this week with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 4.58 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.03 percent.
"Mortgage rates held relatively steady at three-month lows this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Correspondingly, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications jumped 12.8 percent over the week of September 18th to the strongest pace since late May, boosted by refinancing activity."
"In its September 23rd policy statement, the Federal Reserve (Fed) indicated that it plans to keep its benchmark interest rate exceptionally low for an extended period. This will likely benefit consumers who opt for ARMs, because they are typically tied to shorter-term interest rates. The Fed also noted that activity in the economy and housing market has picked up and financial markets have improved.”
Monday, September 28, 2009
by Kenneth R. Harney
What type of investment real estate has been holding up best in tough economic times?
Everybody's heard of the problems in commercial and retail - but how about multifamily apartments?
You just might be surprised.
According to National Association of Realtors research economist George Ratiu, while almost every type of commercial or income property has had a rough going in the past two years, "the (rental) apartment sector continues to maintain a stronger performance compared with other sectors."
Those include office buildings, which have seen widespread property value declines -- and retail real estate, which has been particularly hard hit as consumers penny-pinched during the recession and stayed away in droves.
Multifamily, on the other hand, has done better holding value, keeping units filled and rent rolls stable or growing. During the second and third quarters of this year, demand for rental apartments as measured by net absorption, increased by more than 89,000 units nationwide.
Rental building owners have done particularly well in keeping vacancies low, with rates in some major metropolitan markets in the five percent range.
For example, apartment buildings in Pittsburgh, where the excesses of the real estate boom years never produced speculative overbuilding, had just a 3.5 percent average vacancy rate during the third quarter just ended, according to Ratiu.
In northern New Jersey, vacancies were four point three percent. In San Diego and Philadelphia, 5.1 percent. In Washington D.C., San Jose and Albuquerque vacancies averaged 5.5 percent.
Of course, not all apartment markets are doing that well: In Tucson and Phoenix, vacancies are expected to hit or exceed 11 and 12 percent, respectively.
The national vacancy rate stands at about 7.4 percent -- well below where it was in previous recessions and remarkable in view of an unemployment rate just under 10 percent.
Other evaluations of the relative performance of multifamlly investments have come to similar conclusions. The National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, which has no ties to any particular segment of the industry, reported earlier this year that multifamily investment returns exceeded all others during the 10-year period it studied.
Similarly, a report from Boston-based Torto Wheaton Research for the National Multi Housing Council, found that over the past 20 years, apartment building investments have averaged returns of ten point one percent compared with nine and a quarter percent for industrial real estate and seven point eight percent for office buildings.
Bottom line: There is no risk-free real estate investment. But apartments perform well even in bad times, so they're worth a look.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
New home sales in New Bern and the surrounding areas are off by about 18% year over year from 2008. Because banks are now very conservative about making construction loans to builders for spec houses, the inventory of new homes is dropping but there is still over a years inventory of unsold homes.
My recommendation to builders is that unless you have a niche product do not build any spec homes. Let the inventory work it way down to 6-8 months supply.
On a positive note for buyers, you can get some good deals on new homes. And of coarse interest rates are extremely attractive.
Never before has it been more important to choose the right Real estate team to help you with your real estate needs. the Tyson Group has the experience and resources to market your property or find the right home in the right neighborhood for you. With 100 million in real estate production in the past 6 years they know the local market like no one else.
Home sales are off significantly from 2008 which itself was a down year. My prediction is that nationwide 2010 will be marginally better than 2009, but the local market might under perform the national trend mainly because our market did not fall as fast or as hard as the national market in the early stages of the housing recession. I will keep you up to date and on top of the local market as we move forward.
I believe it is a great time to buy real estate largely because of interest rates. If home prices decline another 20% but interest rates went to 7.5% you are still ahead of the game buying now. If you need a home, buy now.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Next month the Mum Fest will be here and if you have never been you do not know what you are missing. This event is one of the best attended and fun filled events in NC.
There are many other exciting things to do in New Bern over the next 6 months. we don't let winter get us down here. And don't forget, next year is the 300th aniversary celebration. There will be exciting things going on every month.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Letter to the Editor
BY INMAN NEWS, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2009.
Re: 'Blame the market, not appraisers'
I’m amazed recently at the perception of both the real estate buying public -- and sometimes other real estate professionals -- as to what they believe the purpose of a list price is, and what role they believe an appraisal company, hired by the bank, serves in the sale and purchase of a home. I also wonder if buyers and sellers, prior to selling or purchasing a home, are provided with information from their real estate professional as to basic real property valuation techniques so that they (the consumer) can formulate a smart and informed offer
price or list price based on their own perception of value.
Real property valuation techniques haven't really changed over the years. When it comes to real property, there are five things that cause a home to sell and thus impact its value: Location, condition, market conditions, advertising and price. Out of these five elements, pricing is key. Most successful sales are a result of a property's list price being in proper alignment with the other four elements.
Is a home's list price reflective of its value? Absolutely not. A list price is only an offer from a seller to sell and is simply a "call to action" for all interested buyers to step forward and make a claim as to the property's worth. A home's true value is determined only by the worth, usefulness or utility to a purchase who may have a unique and special purpose for its use. This very simple sentence is essential in understanding value within the current real estate market and overcoming the current appraisal problems which are stifling sales from closing.
Does an appraiser determine a home's value? It's an interesting question in lieu of the current appraisal problems creating a burden for both real estate professionals and consumers. The answer to the question is no, an appraiser does not determine value. The purpose of an appraisal ordered by lenders is to provide an analysis as to whether or not the lender's funding decision is sound.
In a home purchase transaction, a lender will usually grant a loan to a buyer based on the loan-to-appraisedvalue ratio. A buyer may opt to modify the appraisal contingency paragraph in a purchase agreement, which eliminates the need for a property to appraise at the contractually agreed purchase price. Let's consider the following scenario: A home is offered by the seller at a "call to action" price of $500,000. Due to current high demand for affordable properties, the fortunate seller receives multiple offers, some over list price. The seller selects the best offer with a purchase price of $515,000, but unfortunately the appraised value comes in at $5,000 below the agreed-upon purchase price.
Now the real question of subjective value comes into play. Just how valuable is this property to the buyer? As it turns out, the buyer is willing to pay the difference in cash between the purchase price and the amount which the lender agrees to loan. Why? Because this property's location is closer to the buyer's employment location and the buyer sees better value in offsetting the monetary difference for the house rather than paying for the rest of his career in employment commute expenses and time.
Who determines value? If you guessed a listing agent or an appraiser, or even a home valuation Web site, think again. Value is initiated by a buyer who wants to buy and a seller who desires to sell. A home's true value is determined only by the worth, usefulness or utility to a purchaser who may have a unique and special purpose for its use. The true value of a home isn't known until escrow closes.