August 9, 2019
Refinance orders continue to be a rising percentage of our own book of business. And with interest rates seemingly more likely to fall than rise in the short term, I won’t be surprised if this trend continues. Now is certainly a time to be paying attention to rates so that you will provide your clients with the best advice. It’s also an opportunity to do a few more loans this time of year than in recent past years.
Sales transactions were identical in July and June at 272 each month. Through the end of July the sale market is off about four percent at 1523 transaction this year compared to 1587 transactions the first seven months of 2018. I will be watching that difference the next few months to see if the market regains some of its positive momentum.
I’m proud of our team. In July we helped 487 people buy, sell or refinance their homes. For the year we’ve helped 2884 people with their transactions. Our Closing Team provided seller side closing statements an average of 3.5 days prior to closing. Even with an increasing number of last minute closings, they still provide the seller side statement two or more days prior to closing in 84% of our transactions. Our Title Team issued commitments within five days for 90% of our transactions and averaged a four day turnaround time.
Enjoy the remaining summer!
~ John Bethell
July 26, 2019
The number of recorded sale transactions in the 2nd quarter ended down considerably from a year ago (see graph page 13). The quarterly decline started modestly and accelerated in the month of June. In the first quarter, this year’s recording numbers showed a five percent increase over 2018. In April that positive margin started narrowing and by the end of the second quarter the deed recordings were down over five percent for the year. Perhaps the inventory issue is becoming worse. Or perhaps, the monsoons of May and June tempered demand. I will be watching this trend in the coming months.
An examination of sales disclosure data from the Department of Local Government Finance shows a continuing trend of property valuation increases (charts pages 14 & 15). Sales priced below $200,000 are declining while sales above that price are increasing for primary residences. Sales of non-primary residential properties are mostly unchanged. The numbers of mortgages securing loans in these price ranges also show the same increase at the higher end (see charts pages 9 & 10).
It was a busy month for us in June, as we expected. We helped 557 people buy, sell or refinance their properties. That brings our year to date total over 2300. In June, our closing team provided seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing in 91% of transactions. We averaged 4.28 days prior to closing for all of our transactions. Our title team issued title commitments an average of 4.58 days after receipt of the order and produced over 80% of our commitments in fewer than five days.
Enjoy the second half of summer!
~ John Bethell
June 15, 2019
It’s the middle of the home buying season. We’re all busy and juggling many transactions simultaneously. It’s a perfect time to remember to talk with your clients about wire fraud and business compromise email. Sorry for the buzz kill. Hardly a week goes by now that I don’t read a story about a victim or almost victim of real estate wire fraud.
Here’s a short list of ways to help your clients avoid a disaster.
• Coach them to be vigilant and suspicious of any email or text communication that requests actions regarding their money.
• Ask them to verify any instructions that they did not receive in person. They should call to verify wire instructions by using trusted phone numbers from an independent source.
• Explain what your process is and what you will do or never do with regard to their closing funds.
John Bethell Title is reaching out to consumers early in the transaction to explain our process. We can use your help. The more voices that communicate about wire fraud, the more likely a disaster will be avoided.
In May we helped 523 people buy, sell or refinance their homes. We furnished seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing in 90% of our transactions and averaged 4.6 days prior, overall. We issued title commitments covering Monroe County properties within four days of receiving the order 75% of the time and our average time was 3.81 days.
We appreciate the continued opportunity to help you and your clients through such an important event in their lives.
John Bethell Title will be closed for business Thursday and Friday, July 4th and 5th. Enjoy the summer!
~ John Bethell
May 23, 2019
Four things worth knowing:
1. If you’re counting Multiple Listing Sales, the Bloomington Board of Realtors® reported closed sales through April 30th are identical to last year ─ 591 sales.
2. The same BBOR reports shows a year over year increase of 16.2% in the medium sales price and 10.8% in the average sales prices.
3. If you’re counting recorded deeds, the market is almost identical thru May 10th at 793 to last year’s 787.
4. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that rates are at their lowest since January 2018. This has not affected purchase volume but the number of refinances continues to grow modestly.
Last month we helped 395 people buy, sell or refinance their home. Our closing team provided seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing in 90% of our transactions and overall averaged 4.0 days before closing. Our title team issued title commitments for new Monroe County orders within 4 days in 76% of our transactions and averaged 3.98 days. We appreciate the opportunity to help you and your clients!
~ John Bethell
April 17, 2019
Three things stand out to me after reviewing the recording statistics for the first quarter. First, none of us are as busy as we were six years ago, the last refi market. (chart page 7) Second, the purchase market is in its fourth consecutive year of steady volume. (chart page 13) Third, the lower price sector for non-residential property, mostly lots and land, is more active than last year. But property to be used as a primary residence is showing valuation increases. (charts pages 14 & 15)
With interest rates at 15 month lows, the second quarter is positioned to be remarkably similar to the last three years. I also noticed more vacant lot sales than in recent years. They’re mostly in Ellettsville or property platted some time ago.
After finally getting our internal reporting squared away, I am delighted to confirm what I was sure that I knew. Our team continues to do great work. In March we issued title commitments in four or fewer days from receiving the order 89% of the time. Our closing team provided seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing for 91% of our transactions. We helped 343 people buy, sell or refinance their properties.
May 7th will mark one year since we relocated to our new office. We truly enjoyed being able to focus solely on the title business this past winter. We improved our capabilities through training and fine tuning our internal workflow. I am proud of what we accomplished and you will be experiencing the benefits as we head into the spring home buying season.
Enjoy the warming (finally!) weather!
~ John Bethell