Less new homes featuring fireplaces

With fall here and the cooler air coming‚ it’s time for many New Englanders to cozy up to their home fireplaces. Or is it? Take a look at this National Association of Home Builders survey1:

  • Of the single-family homes built in New England in 2018‚ less than half (48%) had fireplaces.
  • Nationwide‚ there’s also been a steady decline in fireplaces: just 41% of new construction had this feature. The Middle Atlantic (57%) built the most‚ followed by West North Central (56%).
  • Homes costing $500‚000–$999,000 had more fireplaces (65%) than $1 million-plus properties (60%).

I hope you find this information to be helpful. Here’s to a great week.

1Paul Emrath‚ “Share of new homes with fireplaces drops to record low‚” Eye on Housing Blog‚ last updated September 16‚ 2019.


Bidding wars on the decline

The Boston metro area may be one of the country’s most competitive markets‚ but compared to one year ago‚ late summer was significantly more buyer friendly. Here are the numbers from a recent Redfin analysis1:

  • Fifteen percent of Boston-area offers submitted by Redfin agents faced competition in August. However‚ in August 2018‚ a whopping 60.1% of offers were up against rival bids.
  • Competitive offers were down 3.7% from one month earlier.
  • Boston ranked fourth in the country for percentage of competitive offers‚ behind San Francisco (31%)‚ San Diego (18.4%)‚ and Las Vegas (17.1%).

Capstone Mortgage is here to help with your customers’ home financing needs. Please contact me if you have questions.

1Dana Olsen‚ “Ten percent of Redfin offers faced bidding wars in August‚ a new eight-year low‚” Redfin‚ last updated September 4‚ 2019.


59% plan to buy before age 30

Generation Z (those born after 1995) is not expected to enter the housing market for another five to 10 years.1 However‚ it’s apparent this demographic already has its eye on homeownership.2 Take a look:

  • This generation’s eagerness to buy surpasses that of preceding generations at the same age. More than half of those 18–23 say they are already saving for a home while 59% plan to buy before 30.
  • Roughly 14 million Generation Z members 18 and older are using credit‚ including some who already have mortgages.
  • Though the group still only represents 0.5% of current mortgages‚ the number of home loans is on the rise – up 112% over the last year.

As Generation Z continues to age – and spend – I hope to keep you updated on their preferences.

1Greg Sandler‚ “Beyond Millennials: Generation Z buyers are poised to upend the housing market‚”‚ last updated June 14‚ 2018.
2“Gen Z: They’re not too young to buy a home‚” REALTOR®Magazine‚ last updated August 16‚ 2019.


Tips from a body language expert

When you are immersed in the world of real estate‚ face-to-face interaction with customers and partners consumes a significant portion of your day. Being able to interpret – and demonstrate – proper body language is a useful skill.

At the recent National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Summit‚ body language expert Janine Driver provided physical prompts to keep an eye on1:

  • Crossed arms. Some may assume this position gives off a negative vibe. However‚ it means someone has both sides of their brain engaged. Said Driver: “You are 30% more likely to solve a difficult task or problem with crossed arms.”
  • Hidden lips. People tend to make their lips disappear when they are not pleased with what they are hearing.
  • The “navel rule.” Driver spoke of how people directly face those they like‚ admire‚ and trust.

As always‚ it is a pleasure staying in touch.

1Lauren Tussey, “How body language gives you nonverbal answers‚” REALTOR®Magazine‚ last updated August 13‚ 2019.


Northeast comes in at #1

Thinking about a home search is one thing – actively looking is another. Here in the Northeast region‚ the number of buyers deep into their house hunts is quite high.1 Take a look:

  • Forty-seven percent of buyers in the Northeast are already immersed in their search. That tops the West (43%)‚ South (39%)‚ and Midwest (39%).
  • Millennials and Baby Boomers (43% for both) are the age groups with the most buyers actively looking.
  • Nationally‚ 41% of buyers are actively looking – down from last year’s 50%.

The National Association of Home Builders’ full report can be found here. Please let me know if you have any questions.

1“Housing Trends Report‚ Quarter 2‚ 2019‚” National Association of Home Builders.