MLS of Catawba Valley Gives Zillow & Trulia The Boot

The MLS of Catawba Valley, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Catawba Valley Association of Realtors®, recently informed their 600+ subscribers that they will no longer provide MLS data to Zillow Group.

 

The Zillow Group is perhaps best known as the provider of the “Zestimate”, a controversial valuation tool that has long angered many  Realtors® and property owners alike.  Despite this and other controversies, the Seattle based company founded in 2005 emerged as the leading real estate website and a dominant player in real estate listing syndication.  They are strategic partners with Yahoo, MSN, AOL and more than 180 United States newspapers as a part of the Zillow Newspaper Consortium.  They recently acquired their top competitor, Trulia.

 

The MLS of Catawba Valley, citing contractual concerns, joins an ever growing number of local and regional Multiple Listing Services across the country that have discontinued their relationship with the Zillow Group.  Despite this, local Realtor® firms will still be able to provide their listing data to Zillow and its distribution network.  Now that they have a choice it’s safe to say some firms will choose not to do so.  Maybe they will check the Zestimate and decide on a per listing basis?  Regardless, this is not good news for the Zillow Group.  They and their strategic partners are going to be less relevant resources for real estate listing information in the Catawba Valley.

Christie Oakley Becomes Director For The CVAR

Wednesday December 10th, 2014

CVARChristie Oakley officially took office as a Director for the Catawba Valley Association of Realtors® during ceremonies held Wednesday at the Lake Hickory Country Club.  Mrs. Oakley has spent more than twenty years serving the interests of property owners throughout the Catawba Valley.  She is the owner and Broker in Charge of Prime Properties Group in Hickory NC, a full-service real estate firm specializing residential sales and property management.

As a newly elected Director she joins a distinguished group of real estate professionals recognized as leaders among the Realtor® community.

Understanding Monthly Payments

There are four and sometimes five components of a typical monthly “mortgage” payment.

Principal

Is the amount of the monthly payment applied to reducing the amount owed on the loan.

Interest

The amount of the monthly payment applied to the actual cost of borrowing the money.

Taxes

With few exceptions a monthly payment includes 1/12 of the estimated annual taxes for owning the property.  Of course they don’t just collect this, they pay the borrower’s property taxes with it.

Insurance

With few exceptions a monthly payment includes 1/12 of the estimated annual premium for the homeowners insurance policy.  Once again, they don’t just collect it, they pay the borrower’s policy premium with it.

Insurance

Depending on the type of loan and amount of down-payment tendered, many loans include a mortgage insurance premium as a fifth component of the monthly payment.

Fixed Rate Loan Payments

A loan that has a fixed rate means the interest rate applied to the outstanding balance does not change over the life of the loan.  Therefore, the amount of the monthly payment collectively applied to the first two components, principal and interest,  does not change.  Property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums are subject to change yearly, therefore the amount collected in the monthly payment for these two components is subject to change annually over the life of the loan.  Lastly, some loans that include a mortgage insurance premium contain provisions for removing it when a prescribed threshold is reached.

Catawba County Home Sales 2012

Hickory NC Real Estate
To date 1052 Catawba County home sales are reported in the MLS of Catawba Valley for 2012.  Distressed sales, those that were foreclosures and or short sales, comprised 16.66% of the reported sales volume.  Regular sales, those that were not foreclosure or short sales, comprised 83.34% of the reported sales volume.  Here is break down of the data:

  • 762 regular sales for a volume of $128,348,638 with an average price of $168,437
  • 265 foreclosure sales for a volume of $22,697,859 with an average price of $85,652
  • 25 short sale sales for a volume of $2,953,200 with an average price of $118,128

2012 Compared To 2011

  • 2012’s 1052 homes sales was an increase of 12.75% over 2011’s 933
  • 2012’s overall home sales volume of $153,999,670 was an increase of 16.94% over 2011’s $131,690,766
  • The average price of a regular home sale remained about the same at $168,437 versus  2011’s $168,738
  • Regular sales increased in percentage of market share volume by 6.09% to 83.34% from 2011’s 78.55%
  • Foreclosure sales declined in percentage of market share volume by 21.51% to 14.74% from 2011’s 18.78%
  • Short sale sales declined in percentage of market share volume by 28.35% to 1.92% from 2011’s 2.68%

Note About Terminology

Foreclosure as it is used in this context refers to properties that entered the market as bank or credit union owned, or owned by HUD,  or owned by a government sponsored enterprise.  In North Carolina a true foreclosure sale is an auction held at the courthouse in the county in which the property is located.  No true foreclosure sales data is contained herein.  Instead, the data analyzed pertains to the foreclosed upon property’s subsequent resale by the bank, HUD, etc..

Note About The Data & Analysis

The data is from the MLS of Catawba Valley as it was reported on February 6th, 2013.  Data from the MLSCV is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.  The analysis of the data is the opinion of the author and is not the opinion of the source from which it was derived.  Consult your real estate professional for their own opinion before making any decision to buy or sell real estate.  If you do not have real estate professional contact us.

 

Hickory NC Tax Havens ~ A Comparison And Ranking Of Tax Burdens

RankingsThere were a lot of ways to attempt this analysis but the methodology adopted compares 2012 home sale prices with the corresponding assessed tax value of the property sold.   The sales figures were “cleaned up” to eliminate bank and government sponsored entity sales.  Short sales were also eliminated in an effort to avoid having distressed sales skew the findings.  The comparison was done based on elementary school districts.  The list is ordered from lowest burden to highest and includes Hickory addresses in Catawba County.

1.  Blackburn Elementary

19 sales with an average price of $183,854

Hickory’s southern and easternmost reaches, the Blackburn district edges out number two by the slightest of margins to claim the title of having the lowest tax burden,  and being Hickory’s #1 tax haven.

  • 99.09%  Sellers fetched on average 99.09% of the assessed value of their homes.  Hickory homeowners in this district pay only Catawba County taxes.

2.  Mountain View Elementary

45 sales with an average price of $226,027

Hickory’s southern and westernmost reaches, the Mountain View district placed a very close second.  By any measure it merits the distinction of being a Hickory tax haven.

  • 99.03%  Many homeowners in this district pay only Catawba County taxes.

3.  Webb A. Murray Elementary

11 sales with an average price of $117,877

One of Hickory’s easternmost reaches, the Webb A. Murray district barely had enough reported sales to warrant consideration.  Nonetheless it earned the Hickory tax haven designation.

  • 95.86%  Many Hickory homeowners in this district pay only Catawba County taxes.

4.  Clyde Campbell Elementary

48 sales with an average price of $182,824

The center of sprawling northeast Hickory, the Clyde Campbell district barely earned its Hickory tax haven designation.

  • 94.88%  With few exceptions, homeowners in this district pay both Hickory City and Catawba County taxes.

5.  Oakwood Elementary

28 sales with an average price of $167,354

A highly sought after downtown location home to many of Hickory’s most historic and architecturally significant structures, the Oakwood district is easily one of Hickory’s most tax-conflicted areas.  Some addresses in this district appear to be tax havens, while other homeowners here face a considerably higher burden.

  • 92.54%  Homeowners in this district pay both Hickory City and Catawba County taxes.

6.  Snow Creek Elementary

25 sales with an average price of $211,266

Hickory’s northern and easternmost reaches, the Snow Creek district is home to Hickory’s newest school, and is the most recent addition to Hickory’s school districts.  This district is another toss up.

  • 91.76%  Split almost evenly between homeowners that pay only Catawba County and those that also pay Hickory City taxes.

7.  St. Stephens Elementary

14 Sales with an average price of $110,371.00

From the eastern edge of Viewmont to the eastern edge of Hickory, the St. Stephens Elementary (not high school) district.

  • 91.29%  Some Hickory homeowners in this district pay only Catawba County taxes.

8.  Jenkins Elementary

53 sales with an average price of $220,721

Hickory’s northern and westernmost reaches in Catawba County, the Jenkins district includes waterfront properties and is home to some of the most expensive homes and most exclusive addresses in the Greater Hickory Metro.  It’s balanced by other more modestly priced homes.

  • 90.53%  With very few exceptions, homeowners in this district pay both Hickory City and Catawba County taxes.

9.  Southwest Elementary

18 sales with an average price of $113,114

South of downtown along the HWY 70 corridor and north of the Mountain View and Blackburn districts,  unlike these two neighbors on the list, the Southwest district is no haven when it comes to taxes.

  • 90.43%  With very few exceptions, homeowners in this district pay both Hickory City and Catawba County taxes.

10.  Viewmont Elementary

43 sales with an average price of $223,880

Just north of downtown, the Viewmont district includes waterfront properties and some of Hickory’s most established neighborhoods.  Its large but aging homes are selling for considerably less these days.  Homeowners here have Hickory’s highest tax burden.

  • 85.44%  Homeowners is this district pay both Hickory City and Catawba County taxes.

There You Have It

A comparison ranking of tax burdens for Hickory homeowners in Catawba County.  Those that pay only Catawba County taxes pay a millage rate of .53 plus a fire district rate of approximately .o6 for a combined rate of approximately .60 for simplicity’s sake.  Homeowners that pay Hickory City taxes pay .50, plus Catawba County taxes for a combined rate of 1.03 per hundred dollars value.  These are 2012 tax rates.

Catawba County NC Property Tax Information

The current ad volerom or property tax rate for real estate and other titled property (vehicles, watercraft, etc.) in Catawba County is (.53 ).  That’s expressed as mill rate, or per thousand of assessed value.  That is only one component of the combined rate.  The combined rate includes the county’s rate plus a municipal or fire district rate.  For example a property located in both Catawba County and the City of Hickory would have a current combined rate of .53 plus .50, or $1.03 per hundred dollars of value.  If this property has an assessed valued of $200,000 the formula for determining “how much” is to divide 200,000 by 100, then multiply the quotient by $1.03.  There are 2,000 hundreds in $200,000 so in this example the property’s taxes for the year are 2,000 x $1.03, or $2,060.  For comparison purposes there is an example of the anuual taxes for owning real estate valued at $200,000 in each of the municipalities listed below.

2012 Catawba County Tax Rates

Catawba County is .53 per thousand,  levied per hundred.  Municipal rates are:

  • Hickory .50          $2,060
  • Brookford . 52     $2,100
  • Catawba .48         $2,020
  • Claremont .46      $1,980
  • Conover .40         $1,860
  • Long View .40     $1,860
  • Maiden .38           $1,820
  • Newton .48          $2,020

Fire district rates apply to properties that are not located within city or town limits of the municipalities listed above.   These rates rang from .0546 to .07 and were not listed to avoid excessive detail.  If you need to know fire district tax rates:

Click here to download a pdf containing all Catawba County tax rates.

About Tax Rates

In North Carolina tax rates in counties and their underlying municipalities are required to be set by June 30th.  If there is any change in tax rates it will be known by this deadline.  Tax bills are usually mailed in July and include discounts for  payments made by certain times prior to December 31st.

The Machinery Act

In North Carolina counties and their underlying municipalities must reevaluate property values no less than every eight years.  Catawba County has demonstrated a trend of conducting reevaluations every fours years, with their most recent occurring in 2011 and their next scheduled for 2015.

 

 

Home Sales Trends 2007 – 2012

Single Family Home Sales As Reported In The MLS Of Catawba Valley

2007
2903 homes sold

2008
2252 homes sold

2009
1948 homes sold

2010
1828 homes sold

2011
1776 homes sold

2012
1914 homes sold
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Toggle over the columns for additional information.  Data includes all home sales in the MLS of Catawba Valley for Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties as reported on February 7, 2013.  Information from the MLS of Catawba Valley is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Market Insider June 2012

May’s home sales figures indicate a trend of slow and steady growth in the Hickory and Catawba County residential real estate market.  Although it is clearly still a buyer’s market, overall, values are improving.  This is welcome news to many homeowners who have been waiting to refinance.  Banks are covered up with loan applications and appraisers are booked.  This means it might take a little longer than usual to retire a higher rate mortgage loan.  Our preferred mortgage partner is pleased to report that despite heavy volume, Envoy’s closing and funding departments will continue working overtime to keep their turn around times the fastest and most reliable in the industry.

With gas prices declining I anticipate buyers will be out and about doing more “drive bys” and attending more open house events than they did last summer.  If you are contemplating buying, selling, or both, make sure you contact me. Now is an excellent time to get started!

Hickory NC Single Family Stick-Built Home Sales
Data for: 2012 2011 2010
Number of homes sold:  223  184  217
Average price:  $166,096  $158,423  $176,569
Median price:  $140,00  $126,150  $137,750
Total sales volume:  $37,039,441  $29,149,961  $38,315,504
Average # of days on market:  171  179  161
Average % of original list price paid:  92.62  92.64  93.53

 

Catawba County Single Family Stick-Built Home Sales
Data for: 2012 2011 2010
Number of homes sold: 366 304 334
Average price: $148,342 $146,067 $156,506
Median price: $125,875 $120,500 $123,450
Total sales volume: $54,293,532 $44,404,433 $52,273,204
Average # of days on market: 172 183 157
Average % of original list price paid: 93.07  92.92  94.01

 

About The Data

The data is from the Multiple Listing Service of Catawba Valley and reflects total sales reported January – May of each year.  It is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Market Insider May 2012

So the question is, how’s the market right now?  There’s a quick and easy answer, stable.  Better than it was last year and not quite a good as it was in 2010.  All indications are we witnessed the bottom of the market last year and are now experiencing modest and sustainable growth in 2012.  If you are buying, selling, or both…make sure to contact me when you are ready to make your move!

Hickory NC Single Family Stick-Built Home Sales
Data for: 2012 2011 2010
Number of homes sold:  166  149  168
Average price:  $167,686  $151,387  $173,160
Median price:  $140,000  $122,00  $130,750
Total sales volume:  $27,835,916  $22,556,674  $29,090,914
Average # of days on market:  164  176  172
Average % of original list price paid:  91.78  92.27  93.06

 

Catawba County Single Family Stick-Built Home Sales
Data for: 2012 2011 2010
Number of homes sold: 253 241 264
Average price: $153,731 $138,363 $156,152
Median price: $127,00 $117,400 $119,450
Total sales volume: $38,894,055 $33,345,681 $41,224,364
Average # of days on market: 167 177 168
Average % of original list price paid: 92.65  92.68  93.90

 

About The Data

The data is from the Multiple Listing Service of Catawba Valley and reflects total sales reported January – April each year. It is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed.

Perspective On The Catawba County Real Estate Market

Remember 2007?  The good old days when real estate values in Catawba County were reaching an all time high.  Back when getting a loan was painless and everyone qualified for something.  Back when you could borrow as much or more money than your home was worth.

In 2011 those that purchased or refinanced property at the peak of the market are faced with a harsh reality.  Their property is likely worth less than what they paid for it.  Less or little more than what they owe for it.

A glance back at Catawba County’s real state market for single family “stick-built” homes in 2007 shows 1327  sales with a sales volume $232,550,258.00, an average sales price of $175,245.00, a median sales price of $140,900.00, and homes sold after about 129 days on the market.

For comparison the first ten months of 2011 has produced 651 sales with a sales volume of  $99,307,284.00, an average sales price of $152,545.00, a median sales price of $122,000.00, and homes sold after about 179 days on the market.  Of course there are  still two months left this year, but there is no reason to anticipate November and December sales will significantly improve 2011’s numbers.

Based on the number of homes sold during the first ten months of 2011 there is enough existing inventory to supply the demand through most of January in 2013.  That’s if none are added.

The the fair market value of the average home in Catawba County has declined about 13% since 2007.

So what does all this mean?

Buyers

To buyers this means they are clearly in the driver’s seat.  Nonetheless, finding a fair market value won’t be easy.  The staggering inventory level suggests most sellers have no immediate need to sell.  Others simply can’t afford to sell their property for what its worth.  Buyers will continue to face competition from other buyers for the few attractively priced properties.

Sellers

To sellers it means times are tough.  In order to succeed at selling their property they will likely settle for less, some considerably less than what they had hoped for.  They face competition from others like them and increasing competition from lenders including banks, credit unions, and government sponsored entities.  In 2007  lenders disposing of properties they acquired through the foreclosure process accounted for about 6.31% of Catawba County homes sales.  In the first ten months of 2011 the market share for these “bank owned” homes was 17.72%.  That might sound bad, but it’s worse in some adjoining counties.

Both

Historically low interest rates favor both buyers and sellers.  Whether it’s increasing the purchase power of qualified buyers or providing qualified home owners the opportunity to replace or restructure their existing mortgages, low interest rates make home ownership more affordable.  Perhaps one day we will look back at today’s interest rates and realize, those were the good old days.

 

Data contained herein is from the Multiple Listing Service of Catawba Valley, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Catawba Valley Association of Realtors®.  Opinions expressed are solely the opinions of the author and are not the opinions of the Catawba Valley Association of Realtors® or its membership as a whole.