Rising prices and low inventory are blamed09/20/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Once again -- for the fourth time in five months -- sales of existing homes are headed lower.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports previously-owned home sales -- completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops -- fell 1.7% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million. Even with that decline, sales were 0.2% above the same time a year ago.
Despite what the NAR calls “a solid level of demand for bu...
Down payment requirements and student loans pose a double whammy09/20/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Over the last decade, first-time home buyers have struggled more and more to purchase a home, according to a new survey from Unison Home Ownership Investors.
Qualifying for a mortgage immediately after the financial crisis of 2008 was very difficult, and unfortunately that hasn’t improved much. The survey identifies today's biggest barrier to homeownership as saving for a down payment.
While 77 percent of consumers agree that buying a home is a good financial decision, 41...
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 ...
The future also shows promise11/17/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
It's almost as if you could hear the hammering and earth-moving without let-up last month.
Figures released by the Commerce Department show construction of privately-owned housing shot up 25.5% in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,323,000. That rate is also 23.3% higher than October 2015.
The increase was broad-based, with the Northeast, Midwest, South, and West rising 44.8%, 44.1%, 17.9%, and 23.2%, respectively.
Groundbreaking for single-family housing ju...
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...
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 ...
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 ...
Real estate marketplace Trulia warns it's gotten a lot more challenging04/10/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
If you stuck your toe in the housing market last spring and ended up deciding to wait, and plan to try again this spring, there's something you should know.
In its blog, real estate marketplace Trulia says this spring's housing market is different from last spring's in several different ways -- none of them particularly helpful to buyers.
The first challenge is the inventory level. While it is true that not all housing markets are the same, the number of homes for sale ...
It could be, but renters/buyers should exercise caution04/17/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Home sales have slowed in recent months for two main reasons. First, there just aren't as many homes for sale.
Second, first time buyers who are now renting are having a hard time scraping together the down payment. In a recent report, real estate marketplace Zillow found nearly 70% of renters said the inability to put their hands on a down payment was the biggest thing keeping them from buying a house. Not surprisingly, the homeownership rate is at its lowest point ever...
Influx of international buyers keeps demand high05/22/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Home sales aren't going up, and from time to time actually go down. So why is the price of the average home still going up?
It's a classic case of supply and demand. There has been no let-up in the demand for homes but the supply is now declining at double digit rates because homeowners aren't selling and home builders aren't building at nearly the same rate as in the past.
And as U.S. consumers are being priced out of the housing market, the National Association of Realt...
Zillow reports inventory of available homes is down 38% from 201107/27/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
The couple had looked at five houses for sale and really liked one. But they told their real estate agent they would like to keep looking.
“If there's a house you really like, you should put in an offer today,” the agent advises. “Otherwise, you'll miss your opportunity.”
The agent isn't just blowing smoke. In today's real estate market, the low inventory of available homes has made it a seller's market, and desirable homes are selling quickly.
“Days on market” can be a st...
Zillow reports most negative equity found in industrial Midwest and northeast06/13/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Buying a home in California is pretty expensive. Seven of the ten hottest real estate markets happen to be in that state.
Rising prices returned billions of dollars in equity to homeowners who spent years owing more than their homes were worth, following the financial crisis. While there is less negative equity in booming California, it's a different story in the Rust Belt.
The latest Zillow Negative Equity Report shows most of the underwater homeowners in the U.S. live i...
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...
Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Memphis top the list04/27/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
If you are contemplating a move to a new city, you no doubt are aware of the nation's hottest markets, where it is very difficult for a first-time buyer to purchase a home. Austin, San Francisco, and Denver come to mind.
So you might be interested in knowing the markets most friendly to first-time buyers. It turns out there are plenty.
To determine their ranking, real estate marketplace Zillow drilled down to those markets where a monthly mortgage payment averages less th...
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...
Survey finds 41% of Millennials make a temporary move to a new city before settling down04/11/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Millennials who are considering relocating to a new city might make a temporary -- or “vacation” move -- to the city in question before permanently putting down roots there. That’s a key takeaway from a new survey conducted by moving company Mayflower.
Findings from Mayflower’s poll of 1,000 Millennials revealed that two in five have moved to a new city without the intention of staying permanently. Upon arriving in their vacation city, 74% of respondents said they had a...
Contract interest rates were headed lower last week04/26/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
A rebound in mortgage applications from the previous week's decline.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications were up 2.7 percent in the week ending April 21, following a 1.8% dip a week earlier.
The Refinance Index shot up 7% taking the refinance share of mortgage activity to 44.0% of total applications from 42.4% the previous week. The average loan size for refinance applications increased to its highest level since September 2016, $266,900.