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Lake Travis Real Estate News

National Market Update

Note December data below is the most recent published by the National Association of Realtors®.

National Association of Realtors® (NAR) data shows that sales of existing homes relaxed in most of the U.S. in December, but for all of 2017 sales grew 1.1%  -- in fact 2017 turned out to be the best year for sales in 11 years. December's existing-home sales slipped 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million from a 5.78 million in November.
 Existing Home Sales By Region

NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said the housing market performed well in 2017, with notable wealth gains for homeowners and historically low distressed property sales. “Existing sales concluded the year on a softer note, but they were guided higher these last 12 months by a multi-year streak of exceptional job growth, which ignited buyer demand,” Yun said. He added, “At the same time, market conditions were far from perfect. New listings struggled to keep up with what was sold very quickly, and buying became less affordable in a large swath of the country. These two factors ultimately muted what should have been a stronger sales pace.”

Housing Data Takeaways

  • December's median existing-home price for all housing types in was $246,800, up 5.8% from December 2016 ($233,300). December’s price increase marks the 70 consecutive months of year-over-year gains.
  • Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 11.4% to 1.48 million existing homes available for sale; this is 10.3% lower than a year ago (1.65 million) and has dipped year-over-year for 31 straight months. Unsold inventory offers a 3.2-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.6 months one year ago -- the lowest level since NAR started tracking in 1999.
  • First-time buyers drove 32% of U.S. sales in December, up from 29% in November and the same as a year ago. For all of 2017, first-time buyers drove 34% of sales.
  • According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage inched higher for a third straight month to 3.95% in December from 3.92% in November. For all of 2017, the rate was 3.99%.

Regarding first-time buyers, NAR's economist Lawrence Yun suggested that, “Rising wages and the expanding economy should lay the foundation for 2018 being the turning point towards an uptick in sales to first-time buyers,” adding that “...if inventory conditions fail to improve, higher mortgage rates and prices will further eat into affordability and prevent many renters from becoming homeowners.”

Make Your Offer Count!

With today's competitive housing market, it is more important than ever that home buyers get their financial house in order when applying for a loan! Be sure to review your credit report with your mortgage professional and get pre-approved for your loan before making an offer on a home.

A little preparation goes a long way and can mean all of the difference when it comes to closing on that dream home. Having a trusted mortgage professional can make a huge difference in your home-buying experience -- don't underestimate the significance of this choice.

Contact us today to get the right loan for your current needs! We can recommend proven lending professionals who can help you position yourself for your next home purchase.

Wake Up at the Best Coffee Shops In Austin

There's no better way than to start your day at one of Austin's great coffee shops.  Austin's outstanding coffee shops are the perfect way to sit and enjoy your favorite hot brew while you converse with friends and neighbors.  You'll soon find out that local Austin roasters are obsessive over making the perfect roast.  So if you're looking for a new place to start your day, here are some of the top spots in Austin to find the perfect cup of coffee, teas, and pastries.

Cuvée Coffee

Cuvee Coffee's flagship cafe serves some of the best coffee in Austin, along with beer and pastries.

Patika

Another unique coffee house that also serves wine, beer, cheese and charcuterie plates, housemade baked goods and breakfast/lunch/brunch dishes. They feature sweets such as carrot cake s'mores, root beer float cookies, and peach amaretto pecan doughnuts that are sure to add something new to your morning routine.

Caffé Medici

This Austin staple has 5 branches around town, with makes them more convenient.  They also feature a walk up window and sidewalk cafe. The Clarksville shop offers a warm and homey vibe, while the downtown store boasts a massive espresso bar.

Houndstooth Coffee

If you're a real coffee fanatic, then try Houndstooth. They feature a rotating selection of beans that are carefully prepared. They have two locations in Austin that provide a clean and welcoming atmosphere.

Fleet Coffee Co.

This tiny coffee shop is where you go to try a new specialty drink, such as "The After School Ritual" made with Oreo-infused milk and cookie, or try the "E.T." made with tonic water, espresso, lime, and simple syrup.

Looking for more great things to see and do in Austin? Check out our blog every week for more great reasons to buy a home in Austin and Lake Travis!