Survey suggests the housing market is far from normal10/31/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
At first glance the U.S. housing market appears to have recovered from the 2008 financial crisis. Home values are up, foreclosures are down, and homes in most markets are selling quickly.
But new research from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has revealed some trends which show this is not exactly a normal housing market. The first one that stands out is a slight decline in the number of first-time homebuyers, largely made up of millennials.
This group makes up ...
Consumers and their families are increasingly choosing to rent in the suburbs10/19/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Only a couple of decades ago, renters were typically people in their 20s who lived in dingy apartments in poorly maintained old buildings until they saved enough to buy a place.
Well, as Bob Dylan noted back in the 60s, the times, they are a changin'.
Today's renters are a different breed who want a place offering a convenient, quality lifestyle, a comfortable living space, a place to exercise, and a place to socialize -- all in one package.
A report from RentCafé points t...
Apartment List report predicts that trend will continue over the next few months07/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The cost of putting a roof over your head continues to go up. Not only are home prices still rising, but the cost of rent rose 0.5% in June, according to a report from Apartment List.
"Our national rent index was essentially flat from June to December of last year, but has been steadily climbing since then," the authors write. "Rents grew at a rate of 0.5% between May and June, which is generally in line with the monthly growth that we’ve seen over the course of this yea...
Your fellow consumers' concerns might be your opportunity01/08/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Let's start by conceding that buying a house these days is a lot different than it used to be. Before the housing crash, you could be pretty confident that if you purchased property it would rather quickly appreciate in value.
It was looked at as an investment, a smart place to put your money. But a lot of people who purchased a home at the top of the market in 2007 owe a lot more on their mortgage than their homes are worth.
Today, people can still make money buying ...
June's increase was the first in three months07/19/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
After two consecutive monthly declines, developers were able to turn things around in June.
The Commerce Department reports construction of privately-owned houses shot up 8.3% last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,215,000.
Starts on single-family homes were at rate of 849,000 up 6.3% from May's revised rate of 799,000, while the rate for apartments was 359,000 a surge of 15.4%.
“We are seeing housing production return to trend after a softer reading last mon...
Have an open house but don't hang around for it05/15/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Lettiann Southerland is a Kansas City area real estate agent and a foodie. Despite the fact those two things have little in common, she has combined them in a new book, "Homes that Cook: Best Kept Secrets for Buying, Selling and Creating a Home."
The book offers tips for selling your home but also includes more than 100 pages of recipes and cooking tips.
"I have taken two very happy areas of my life and combined them in a book of real estate buying and selling tips along ...
Stress is the theme of this year’s spring real estate season, says Owners.com04/03/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Stiff competition in the real estate market may lead many home buyers to go over budget this spring buying season, according to a new study by Owners.com.
More than half (55%) of consumers who responded to a survey by the online real estate brokerage said they were willing to go beyond their budget on a home purchase. Those who were willing to shell out extra for their dream home stated they would go an average of nearly 40,000 over budget.
The survey suggests potential ...
It isn't coming up with the down payment07/15/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Two numbers go a long way toward explaining the U.S. housing market this summer.
The first number is 13, as in an additional 13% of consumers were actively shopping for a new home last month. The second number is five – there are 5% fewer homes available for sale.
The result of those two numbers, says realtor.com's chief economist Jonathan Smoke, is an ever-tighter housing market that is pushing up home prices. Prices are rising, he says, because demand far outpaces suppl...
There are plenty of buyers, but not sellers08/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Home sales have slowed in recent months, but not because of a lack of buyers. The problem has been a lack of sellers.
In a new report, real estate marketplace realtor.com says the U.S. housing market is in the midst of its biggest inventory shortage in two decades. The reason, it says, is two-fold.
First, Baby Boomers aren't putting their houses up for sale. The report found 85% of Boomers don't plan to sell their homes in the next year. Since Boomers make up the nation's...
Zillow reports that in many markets, sellers remain firmly in control03/29/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Sellers remain firmly in the driver's seat in most real estate markets across the country as the 2017 home shopping season gets underway.
That's because in most housing markets, the inventory of available homes for sale continues to fall. Zillow reports the average home value was up 7% last month, when compared to February 2016. At the same time, the average inventory of available homes was down 3% year-over-year.
Tampa, Seattle, Dallas, and Orlando saw home values rise t...
Contract interest rates were on the rise05/04/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications continued their slide last week.
Figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association show applications fell 3.4% in the week ending April 29. The Refinance Index plunged 6%, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 52.9% of total applications from 54.4% a week earlier.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 5.3% of total applications, the FHA share of went from 12% the week before to 13.5%, the VA share was 11.5...
Contract interest rates were mixed08/24/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
A drop in mortgage applications last week following two consecutive increases.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications were off 0.5% for the week ending August 18, 2017.
The Refinance Index inched up 0.3%, taking the refinance share of mortgage activity up to 48.7% of total applications from 47.8% a week earlier.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity dropped 6.4% percent of total applications, the FHA share of total edged down to 10.1% from 10....
Contract interest rates were mostly lower08/16/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Another increase in mortgage applications -- the second in as many weeks.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed applications edged up 0,1% during the week ending August 11.
The Refinance Index was up 2% from the previous week increasing the refinance share of mortgage activity 47.8% of total applications -- the highest level since February -- from 46.7% a week earlier.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity fe...
That could be bad news amid falling inventory levels06/20/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Data released by ATTOM Data Solutions, a subsidiary of RealtyTrac, shows fewer real estate investors were "flipping" single-family homes and condos in the first quarter of the year.
A piece of property is considered "flipped" if it is sold in an arms-length transaction for a second time within a 12-month period. ATTOM Data Solutions' Q1 2017 Home Flipping Report shows 43,615 single family homes and condos were flipped nationwide in the first three months of 2017, down 8%...
A combination of factors is keeping many would-be buyers on the sidelines06/12/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The home ownership rate has fallen to a 50-year low, at a time when interest rates are extremely low and unemployment has fallen to 4.3%.
What's wrong with this picture?
The real estate industry has been asking that question for months, and has now come up with five answers, and lack of interest is not one of them. Most people still want to buy homes, Realtors say, it's just really hard right now.
A study commissioned by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has ident...
Experts see continued growth in the sector01/16/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Industry experts attending the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders' Show in Orlando, Fla., expect the 55+ housing market will continuing growing in the years ahead.
"We know, anecdotally, over the past few years that the 55+ housing market has been growing and is likely to continue to grow for the next decade, and now we have new numbers that back that up," said Paul Emrath, NAHB's vice president of survey and housing policy research. "The...
Home plan selection shows generations moving in different directions09/11/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
One way to get a read on where the housing market is going is to look at what kinds of houses are being built.
Not so much what builders are putting up – those tend to be driven by what's efficient and what's profitable. But if the homeowner is the one choosing the design, what are they choosing?
Houseplans.com gets about 8 million visitors a year who browse among the home designs and, if something strikes their fancy, they can purchase the plans. CEO Jamie Roche...