Jim Chapman Blog

Atlanta One of Five Cities Seeing Soaring Home Sales

Jim Chapman Communities is excited to see an increase in home sales in the Atlanta area!

Last week an article was released on HousingZone.com, “5 major cities where home sales are soaring”. The article shows Atlanta as the second leading major city in the country with home sales more than 25 percent ahead of last year.

This is great news for the Atlanta housing market, but also for the rest of the country as “existing home sales took a surprising jump in October, rising 13.5 percent from 2010,” according to the article. Atlanta’s home sales are up 33.4 percent from 2010.

“All but two of the largest metro areas (New York and Washington D.C.) were up from a year ago,” including Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cincinnati and New Orleans. Several other cities saw sales growth of at least 10 percent including Phoenix, Philadelphia, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Portland, Indianapolis and Boston.

According to the Atlanta Real Estate Forum, “This is great news not only for existing home sales, but for new home sales, the real estate industry and the economy as a whole. Experts agree that an improvement in existing home sales will indicate an improvement in new home sales (as existing homeowners find buyers for their current homes, enabling them to purchase a newly constructed home), which will also positively impact the economy all together.”

To read the article, click here.

For more information on Jim Chapman Communities, visit JimChapmanCommunities.com

Jim’s Corner – Market Updates

Jim Chapman Communities President, Jim Chapman, regularly comes across interesting news about the market. For this reason, JCC would like to present Jim’s Corner, a division of our blog dedicated to interesting information Jim would like to share with our investors, homeowners and fans. Enjoy!

To help the economy succeed, the Fed is certainly using its ability to the max. Coming out of the FOMC meeting Wednesday, September 21st, the Fed announced “Operation Twist” – a strategy of selling its short-term securities to buy long-term bonds to drive down long term interest rates, especially for mortgages. This latest Fed effort to help the housing market is great news for anyone thinking of buying a home, as mortgage rates should stay very very low.

Wednesday’s other great news for housing was August Existing Home Sales came in UP 7.7%, to an annual rate just the other side of 5 million units, the best reading since March. This dropped the supply of existing homes to 8.5 months. Tuesday, August Housing Starts were down 5%, to a 571,000 unit annual rate. But, hey, dealing with a hurricane and floods, builders across a good part of the East were hesitant to break ground. Better news came with building permits – UP 3.2% for the month and now UP 7.8% versus a year ago. As for the long dormant consumer, here are some more good economic signs. Same-store sales were UP 3.4% versus a year ago, as measured by the International Council of Shopping Centers. Redbook Research reported an even better 4.1% boost in same-store sales. Then, some economists said they expect consumer spending to climb at a 1.5%–2% annual rate in Q3. The economy may not be booming, but it’s not double-dipping back into recession either.

For information on Jim Chapman Communities, visit our website. You can also “like” us on Facebook!

Jim Chapman Communities Named In Top 10 Atlanta Home Builders

The Atlanta Business Chronicle recently released its Top 10 Home Builders list for Atlanta and Jim Chapman Communities made the list at number 10!

Metro Atlanta home builders are ranked based on the number of homes closed in 2010. Jim Chapman Communities made the list among many national builders closing 52 homes in 2010.

To see all of the homebuilders who made the Top 10 list, click here.

For more information on Jim Chapman Communities, visit www.JimChapmanCommunities.com or “Like” us on Facebook.

Villas Under Construction But Still Selling in Brookhaven at Johns Creek

Jim Chapman CommunitiesBrookhaven at Johns Creek is already seeing success and sales with the newest villas that are under construction. One Atlanta real estate buyer has already purchased a villa as a presale. Only three more of these highly desired villas are now available. Upon completion, the villas will be low maintenance with versatile, open floorplans for active adults who wish to live in the exclusive Johns Creek area.

These villas are one-story and are designed with active adults in mind, giving residents true convenience and ease of access.

Brookhaven at Johns Creek

A gated community, Brookhaven at Johns Creek offers Atlanta real estate shoppers many different choices in terms of floorplans, building options and upgrades. In addition to villas, the builder also offers single family homes.

The community is located in North Fulton, close to shopping, restaurants and several well-respected hospitals including Emory Johns Creek and Northside Forsyth.

Community amenities include a 5,000 square foot furnished clubhouse for entertaining and events, a fitness center, heated pool and a catering kitchen. Two lighted tennis courts, paved walking trails and “garden patches” round out the lifestyle that many seek at Brookhaven at Johns Creek.

For more information about Brookhaven at Johns Creek, call 678-825-4510 or visit the community online. For more information about Jim Chapman Communities’ other projects in the Atlanta area, visit the Jim Chapman Communities website www.jimchapmancommunities.com

New Home Construction Continues at Brookhaven at Sugarloaf

Jim Chapman Communities announces the construction of eight Atlanta new homes at its award winning active adult community, Brookhaven at Sugarloaf in Duluth, Ga. where four homes sold in June. In fact, four of the eight homes under construction are already under contract.

“We are very pleased with the consistent traffic we are seeing at Brookhaven at Sugarloaf,” said Kelly Dempsey, vice president for sales and marketing. “This maintenance-free community, ideally situated in the highly sought-after Sugarloaf area remains popular with active adult buyers wishing to move closer to their adult children.”

Brookhaven at Sugarloaf features both the Westminster and the Oxford floorplans. The 2,500 square foot Westminster includes three bedrooms and two full baths and also has a breakfast nook off the kitchen area. This model is priced to sell at $267,790. The slightly smaller 1,600 square foot Oxford, priced at $246,430, includes two bedrooms and two full baths. Both models offer a 500 square foot bonus room/storage area upstairs.


North Fulton Brookhaven at Johns Creek Revamps for Success

North Fulton active adult community

In response to the recent increased Atlanta real estate market demand seen from the active adult community, we are revamping our popular North Fulton Jim Chapman Community, Brookhaven at Johns Creek. Jim Chapman has taken a personal role in this community by hiring Community One as the new Home Owners’ Association management team and Evolv as the new onsite marketing and sales team.

“Partnering with a Jim Chapman Community was an easy decision for Community One. To align ourselves with such a quality builder that provides the best possible product and service level to its customers is something Community One continually strives for in today’s market,” said Community One CEO, Matthew Phillips.

Community One, known for their quality service and maintenance, is being joined by Atlanta-based Evolv who will now be handling all marketing and sales.

“It is hard to find communities like Brookhaven at Johns Creek near Atlanta that offer all the conveniences and multiple home choices,” said Gigi Giannoni, President of Evolv. “In today’s market, even more important, is the fact that Jim Chapman is still personally committed to completing the community with quality construction while building trust with current and future homeowners.”

This gated community has only six homes remaining. With a number of unique and well-designed floorplans to choose from, homebuyers are sure to find their new home at Brookhaven at Johns Creek.  Homes are offered in both single-family homes with terrace level and bonus room options and one story villas for easy accessibility and convenience.

With Brookhaven at Johns Creek’s great location, residents have easy access to great shops, restaurants and medical facilities, including Northside Forsyth and Emory Johns Creek. They will also have access to the community amenities, which include the 5,000 square foot clubhouse that features a great room, fitness center, kitchen, tennis courts, walking trails and gardens.

To learn more about Brookhaven at Johns Creek and our other Jim Chapman Communities, please visit our website or call 770-623-9323.

Jim’s Corner – New Prices Firm Despite Volume

Jim Chapman Communities President, Jim Chapman, regularly comes across interesting news about the market. For this reason, JCC would like to present Jim’s Corner, a division of our blog dedicated to interesting information Jim would like to share with our investors, homeowners and fans. Enjoy!

The following is an article written by Jon Dienhart and Ken Lee.

Despite the continuing trend of new homes comprising a shrinking share of total home sales, builders have managed to strategically focus their efforts and firm up pricing on a price per square foot basis.  Our data feature this week, courtesy of Housing IntelligencePro, illustrates that after hitting a trough of $126 per square foot in 2009, new homes so far in 2011 are selling for $148 per square foot, a level not seen since 2007.  Meanwhile, the share of total home sales captured by new homes continues to shrink, falling to only 8.6% so far this year.  Typical resales have also declined from 63% in 2010 to 60% in 2011.  Both new and resales have been offset by the continual stream of distressed property sales,  with REOs growing from 27% of the market in 2010 to 31% so far this year, with pricing in the difficult-to-compete-with $90 per square foot range.

April comes to a close with a couple more bits of decent housing news.  Last week, data on both the existing homes market and the U.S. construction market were more positive and this week’s release of new homes data completed the trifecta.  New home sales increased 11% from record low levels in February to reach a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 300,000 units in March, although they are still down year-over-year.  All the other major indicators for the new homes market also incrementally improved.  We continued to saw a drawdown in inventory levels while median new home prices firmed.  While positive, these improvements are again coming off very low levels.

Not all housing news was positive.  Purchase mortgage applications declined this past week after reaching its highest levels since December.  Last week, we mentioned that the jump in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Purchase Index was a positive sign heading into the spring home-buying season.  However, new lending guidelines, which include higher premiums, on FHA loans resulted in a sharp drop in government purchase mortgage applications.  New FHA guidelines may hurt demand this coming home-buying season as less borrowers will qualify for these loans.

In broader economic news, equity markets continued to rally this week despite rising gasoline prices, an unexpectedly large increase in initial jobless claims, and slower GDP growth.  The uptrend comes as a bit of a surprise as gasoline prices near record-highs have heightened concerns over inflation.  Most indicators monitoring inflation and price levels have shown a steady rise over the past couple of months.  Exploding precious metals prices and persistently high commodity costs are warning clouds that not all is well with the economic recovery.

The Economy
Advance estimates for first quarter gross domestic product showed that economic growth slowed to begin the year.  The U.S. economy grew at only 1.8% during the first quarter, much weaker than the 3.1% pace in the final fourth quarter report.  This is the slowest pace of growth since the second quarter of last year.  However, this marks the seventh straight quarter that the U.S. economy has expanded.  Weaker government and consumer spending in the first quarter attributed to the slowdown in economic growth.

First-time unemployment claims surged by 25,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 429,000 in the week ended April 23rd from an upwardly revised figure of 404,000 last week.  This is the third straight week that initial jobless claims have remained above the 400,000 level.  It is also the highest the claims figure has been in three months which may suggest that improvement in the U.S. labor market is slowing.

Personal incomes in March increased to $13,042.4 billion compared to an upwardly revised figure of $12,975.4 billion in February.  This is the sixth straight monthly increase for personal incomes.  Personal incomes are up 5.3% from $12,389.4 billion in March of last year.  This is the strongest year-over-year increase for personal incomes in any month since June 2008.

Consumer confidence increased to 65.4 in April compared to a reading of 63.8 in March.  Although the consumer confidence index has posted increases in six out of the past seven months, it still remains at historically low levels.  The present situation index increased from the previous month to a reading of 39.6 from 37.5 last month.  This is the highest the present situation index has been since November 2008.  The expectations index increased to a reading of 82.6 from 81.3 in the previous month.

The number of people surveyed that plan to buy a home within the next 6 months increased to 5.5% from 4.1% while the portion that plans to buy a new home increased to 1.2% from 0.4% last month.

Housing Market
The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales index, which is a forward-looking indicator of housing activity based on sales contracts signed, increased 5.1% from the previous month to a reading of 94.1 in March from a reading of 89.5 in February.  This is the second straight month that the pending home sales index has increased.

New home sales in March rebounded from the record all-time lows that were set last month in February.  Sales activity jumped 11.1% from the previous month in March to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 300,000 units.  This is the first month since December that new home sales have recorded an increase.  New home sales for the previous three months were also revised higher by a combined 32,000 units.  However, new home sales are still down 21.9% compared to the same period last year although it is important to note that sales activity last year was artificially driven higher by the federal homebuyer tax credit.

New home prices also firmed up in March as demand increased.  Median new home prices increased to $213,800 in March from a February figure of $207,700.  New home prices are still down 4.9% from this time last year but 4.2% higher than they were this time two years ago.  This is the second straight month that median new home prices have recorded year-over-year declines.  The increase in new home prices pushed the new home affordability index lower to 59.7% in March from 60.6% in February.

New home inventory levels continued to decline in March to new record all-time low levels.  New home inventories declined to 182,000 units on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.  New home inventory on a non-seasonally adjusted basis have not recorded a monthly increase since May 2007.  New home inventory on a seasonally-adjusted basis declined to 183,000 units in March compared to a February figure of 185,000 units.  New home inventory on a seasonally-adjusted basis have not recorded an increase in 14 months.

National average mortgage declined from the previous week to 4.78% in the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released weekly by Freddie Mac on April 28th.  This is the second straight week that rates have declined.  They are now back down to their lowest levels since mid-March.  The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has still averaged below 5.0% for 10 consecutive weeks.

In the week ending April 22nd, the MBA’s seasonally-adjusted purchase index plunged 13.61% from the previous week and was down 29.39% compared to the same time last year.  This is the lowest the purchase has been since the first week of March.  Purchase applications fell mainly due to a sharp drop in government purchase applications as new FHA lending standards, which included higher premiums, went into effect this past week.

For more information on Jim Chapman Communities, visit our website. You can also follow us on Facebook!

Three New West Cobb Homes Ready for Move-In at Concord Mill

For homebuyers looking to buy a new home in the desirable West Cobb area, you are in luck; our small community at Concord Mill now has three homes available. Not only is this community Cobb’s best new home value but also the only community of ours with no age restriction, so homebuyers of all ages are welcome!

This community is a small enclave of 22 homes and is conveniently located in Austell off of the East West Connector, within walking distance of various shops, dining and other entertainment.

Our homes are designed with homeowners in mind; meaning spacious, inviting rooms built with only the best material and workmanship. Although we may have some of the lowest prices in the area, we build only the best in quality and style. With our large family rooms, covered patios and front porches, these homes are perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing after a busy day.  Another added bonus, lawn maintenance is included, so no need to worry about cutting the lawn!

These two-story homes starting at $179,900 have open floor plans with three to four bedrooms, three baths and two-car garages. Hardwood floors through the living areas and tile laid in all bathrooms and laundry room as well. The gourmet kitchens luxurious amenities include custom maple cabinets, abundant counter space with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and double sink with garbage disposal.

The large, relaxing master suite located on the main floor, features trey ceilings and large, walk-in closets. The attached spa bathrooms come with double vanity sinks and large separate showers and bathtubs. The additional bedrooms also come with both walk-in closets and adjoining, tiled bathrooms.

With the help of Wells Fargo, first-time homebuyers can receive up to $7,500 assistance for down payment and closing costs through the Wells Fargo Georgia Dream Homeownership Program.

For more information on these Concord Mill homes please visit the Jim Chapman Communities website.

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Instated

New Real Estate LegislationWhen President Bush signed the housing stimulus package to create the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, he instated a temporary tax credit of $7,500 for first-time homebuyers. This tax credit is the big hope for the real estate market, as it will, ideally, put more buyers in the housing market and give the economy a boost. To help give consumers a better understanding of the tax credit and everything it entails, the National Association of Home Builders has launched a new Web site, www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com.

If, as a home shopper of active adult communities, you think this first-time homebuyer tax credit does not apply to you, you may be mistaken. The criteria for being considered a first-time homebuyer is just that you’ve not had a mortgage payment in the past 3 years. So, if you’ve been renting your home for at least three years, you’re eligible for the tax credit. Of course, visit the Web site for detailed information and regulations, but do look for a brighter future in the real estate market.