Misconceptions & Half Truths in the Dane County Housing Market

We’re sure you’ve heard the stories.

Ridiculous offers by desperate buyers competing over the one house that seems to be available in today’s market.

In talking to homeowners and interested homebuyers there seems to be a number of common misconceptions, half-truths, and myths about the state of our local housing market.

We’re here to address these misconceptions and add some clarity to the wild Dane County housing market of 2017:

Misconception #1: Everything is Selling Overnight and For Way Over Asking Price

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February 2017 Update & Market Strategy

After a rollercoaster year in 2016 in which we saw inventory levels hit rock bottom, interest rates stay low, and record sales in Dane County there are many questions as we being to tiptoe into 2017.

Stark Company President Dave Stark outlines a number of factors that will affect our 2017 market in the most recent edition of the company newsletter found here, starting with the fact that our inventory levels are 27% below where they were a year ago.

With so few options available, and rates still relatively low, basic economics come into play and we can see that demand heavily outweighs supply. In other words, we’re in a strong sellers market.

So if there aren’t many homes to choose from, when should you put your current house on the market?

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How Rising Interest Rates Are Affecting Your Purchase Power

rates-risenIt’s no secret that the biggest story in the housing industry since the election has been the rapid rise of interest rates.

As recent as late October getting a 30 year mortgage at 3.5% was a realistic option. Almost immediately following the November election we saw rates jump and quickly hit 4%. As of today (12/6/16) we are currently sitting around 4.125% as the common rate for a 30 year mortgage.

But what does that really mean? What effect can a small change in rates mean for today’s home buyer? 

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Where Can Dane County’s Middle Class Afford to Live?

middle-classA few years ago I read the article “Where Even the Middle Class Can’t Live Anymore” by Emily Badger and grew curious about how local families were being affected by rising home prices.

I began to wonder, “Where Can Dane County’s Middle Class Afford to Live?”

Affordability takes into account a variety of factors so using the local median income of $83,900 with an online calculator to estimate home affordability I determined the maximum purchase price for the majority of Dane County residents to be around $375,000.

Keep in mind this is the maximum, not a recommendation, as this number was based around the assumptions of 20% down (not easy for many middle class families), 3.75% interest rate, $7500 annually in taxes, annual home insurance of $700, roughly $500 per month in additional debts, and no more than 30% of monthly income going towards housing costs. (more…)

Dane County Real Estate Update: November 2016

dane county market reportAs we head into what is typically considered the slow season in Dane County real estate, we may be left with more questions than answers when it comes to responding to the question of “How’s the market?”.

In our last quarterly market review Stark Company President, Dave Stark described the state of the market as “wild”. With the frantic pacing and unpredictable nature we saw through much of the spring, this was certainly a good term to characterize Dane County real estate in 2016. But where does that leave us heading into 2017?

Without a crystal ball we can’t speak in definite terms about what to expect, but we certainly know the following 3 factors will have a major impact on overall market health entering the new year.

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Stark Company Realtors Market Source Newsletter: Q3 2016

Q3 News 2016“How’s the market?”

When you’re in real estate it seems every conversation starts with that question. The problem is, that it’s not exactly an easy question to answer. In fact, the best answer really is, “it depends”.

It depends. Are you buying or selling? What price range are you in? What’s the location? Depending on how you answer these questions will affect the answer you get.

Today’s market is up and down and all over the place depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. However, generally speaking we can define today’s market as quick, active, and in the words of Stark Company President Dave Stark “wild”.

Let’s look at a few factors that affect the current pace of today’s local market… (more…)

Stark Company Realtors Market Source Newsletter: Q2 2016

newsletterAfter spending much of the last 2 years looking at pace of sales and predicting whether or not we would break the previous record for sales set in 2005, this year’s story is much different.

In 2016 the market discussion is all about lack of inventory and how strongly we are currently tilted to favor sellers.

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Oregon, WI Real Estate Market Update: February 2016

Oregon WI Real EstateHere is your monthly market update for the Oregon area (53575 zipcode). For more information about market trends give us a call or sign up for monthly notification in your area HERE.

Oregon Market by Price Point

Under $200,000

5 active homes (View Homes), 1 sold last month, 1.3 months of inventory. This market typically runs with 10+ active properties but the last 3 months have been in the single digits. This price point remains a great environment for sellers.  (more…)

Dane County Real Estate Market Update: February 2016

Market UpdateDon’t be fooled by the downward trend in homes sold. Dane County is a hot market today and strongly favoring home sellers. Seasonality will play a little with this months numbers, but available homes for sale dropped 5% despite a 25% increase in listed homes. We have a lot of homes out there today with accepted offers just waiting to close.

For more information about market trends give us a call or sign up for monthly notifications in your area HERE.

For access to all active listings start your search with us HERE. (more…)

Dane County Real Estate Market Update: January 2016

Market UpdateThe tale of the tape in Dane County continues to be low inventory, or a shortage of available homes, creating a seller’s advantage in most segments of our market. Today’s market benefits the “move up” buyer looking to sell in the lower price ranges and move into a more expensive home. But, buyer beware, with high levels of competition it’s important to get your ducks in a row before falling in love with your dream home.

For more information about market trends give us a call or sign up for monthly notifications in your area HERE.

For access to all active listings start your search with us HERE. (more…)

Oregon, WI Real Estate Market Update: January 2016

Here is your monthly market update for the Oregon area (53575 zipcode). For more information about market trends give us a call or sign up for monthly notification in your area HERE.

Oregon Market by Price Point

Under $200,000

5 active homes (View Homes), 2 sold last month, 1.3 months of inventory. With the lowest number of available homes in recent history this is a good market for sellers to be in. (more…)