This month’s report includes the quarterly market recap that I was unable to include last month.
The purchase market is a bit down from 2016, but not significantly. (chart page 7) Existing housing inventory is still tight, and that’s probably what’s holding the market back. Given the low inventory levels, it’s somewhat remarkable that sales are not off more. Sales of non-owner occupied properties were actually better that a year ago. (chart page 9) After a closer examination of the sale disclosure data though, that appears to be a result of an increase in higher end vacant lots being sold this year.
Overall the market for the last two years seems to have arrived at a point of equilibrium between transactions and inventory. (Factoring in seasonal differences, of course). As always, our market is at risk from events happening outside of Bloomington, in Indianapolis, Washington D. C. or elsewhere. But absent any such shocks, it looks to me like its “steady as she goes.” That’s good thing!
We are delighted to have helped 1089 people buy, sell, or refinance their properties during June and July. For all of 2017 we’ve helped over 2700 people so far. During the same two-month span, our closing team produced seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing for more than 95% of our transactions. Just outstanding! Our title team kept up too and averaged 5.4 days turn time on Monroe County transactions in June, and 4.5 days in July.
~ John Bethell
John Bethell Title and Hoosier Hills Food Bank have teamed up for a Food Drive in the month of July.
Please stop by and help us fill our food drive bins with non-perishable food such as: soups with beans/meat, boxed pasta, mac & cheese, protein or other granola bars. Monetary donations are also accepted.
Summer is typically a slow time for food donations. Please join JBT in helping our neighbors and community!
We’re at the height of the homebuying season. Buyers, sellers and bad guys are out in abundance.
Attempted wire fraud against realtors, lenders and title companies continues to increase. The bad guys now know there’s lots of money moving around before a closing. This is a real problem and people are losing real money.
John Bethell Title encrypts all emails including wire instructions, account numbers and other personal private identifying information. Most of the time, our emails will be delivered as normal with a header that the email was encrypted. Users with older email platforms may receive a link to a secured website from which our email may be downloaded.
Most wire fraud attempts involve compromising email accounts hosted by public domains such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail. Bogus wire instructions are then forwarded to the party suggesting that the real wire instructions have changed. We are aware of at least one attempt involving a BBOR member. If you use a public domain for your business, I’d suggest that you reconsider.
This is a friendly reminder about ways to protect yourself and your clients when working with John Bethell Title.
- Do not forward wire instructions via unencrypted email.
- Direct buyers to call us for wire instructions. We will send the instructions to them via an encrypted email.
- Advise your clients that John Bethell Title will never ever ever change its wire instructions for a transaction already in process.
- Advise your clients to treat any communication purporting to change wire instructions as highly suspicious.
If we all stay vigilant, the bad guys will look elsewhere!
Effective July 1, 2017, the fees for recording documents with county recorders will finally be predictable regardless of the number of pages the document contains. Recording deeds on or after that date will be a flat $25. (This does not include any fees charged by the county auditor or other offices.) A mortgage will in most instances be a flat $55. Other documents, such as powers of attorneys, will in most cases also be $25. This will make determining final cash to close figures much easier for you and for us.
During the four weeks ending May 26th, our team helped 420 people buy, sell or refinance their property. Our closing team produced seller side closing statements two or more days prior to closing 93.6% of the time. Our title team produced 83% of our Monroe County title insurance commitments in four days or less with an average turn time of 3.6 days. Thank you for your continued confidence. We greatly appreciate your referrals.
~ John Bethell
June 13, 2017
May 8, 2017
On May 10th, we are making a change to how our closing and client services groups are organized. I’m excited about it. I believe the changes will allow our team to provide an even better closing experience to you and your clients while at the same time offering our team members a chance to grow.
We will continue to have two closing teams.
Our “Green” Team includes Rebecca Spencer, Real Estate Closer, Amy Thomas, Closing Processor and Willow Spencer Transaction Coordinator.
Our ”Purple” Team includes Sarah Doering, Jackie Warren and April Saft. Jackie will be Sarah’s Closing Processor and April, her Transaction Coordinator.
Sarah is now managing the workflow and timelines for both teams in addition to her closing role.
Rose Henry will be joining Mike Duncan’s Client Services team with, Lori Manville, Kathy Shipley and Gloria Britton. Rose will still be conducting closings when Sarah and Rebecca are already assigned a closing. Rose will also add a level of experience to Mike’s team that we think will be most helpful to our clients.
For transactions that we currently have in process, we’ll update you via email with your new closing contacts over the next week or so. Let us know if you have any questions or need any clarification.
In April our team helped 357 people buy, sell or refinance their properties. The closing team provided seller side closing statements three or more days prior to closing 74% of the time and two or more days 96% of the time. The title team produced new Monroe County title commitments in an average time of 4.6 days.
~ John Bethell
No doubt that the inventory of homes for sale is extremely tight. Most Realtors® that I talk with are scrambling trying to get offers in on properties as soon as they hit the market. It’s probable that some sellers are holding back knowing that their house will likely sell immediately and they’ll have to relocate quickly. Regardless though, during the first quarter the overall purchase market (as measured by recorded deeds) was up 7 ½ % when compared to the first quarter of 2016. (chart page 13)
Where that increase in coming from is interesting. The state sales disclosure data base shows that the number of properties designated to be the buyer’s primary residence was the same this past quarter as the first quarter in 2016. (chart page 14) Properties not designated as the buyer’s primary residence however showed an increase of 35%. (chart page 15) So the overall market increase is coming from investment, commercial and vacant land transactions.
On a sour note, new foreclosures spiked to high level. (chart page 16) The reason for that is not clear. Nevertheless, it’s a trend to follow.
Were you ever wondering about which of our team members to contact about your transaction? No worries. We maintain a companywide email box. Everyone here has access to that inbox and it’s checked regularly throughout the day. When in doubt just send your email to:
March was a great month for our team. The average turn time for new Monroe County commitments was 3.73 days with 80% issued in four days or fewer. Our closing team issued sellers side closing statements two or more days prior to closing 96% of the time. We helped 368 people buy, sell or refinance their property.
~ John Bethell