Rents are being pushed up as fewer people can afford to buy the median-priced home07/20/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Extremely tight supplies of houses for sale and rental housing have pushed up the cost of both, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.
The Center reports that in 2015, nearly 19 million households paid more than half their income for housing. While home prices account for some of that, much of the increase is being driven by rising rents.
The Harvard researchers point out that slowing home sales may be driven in part by tighter inventories, but they sa...
Contract interest were mostly lower07/19/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
After dropping during the week that included the Fourth of July holiday, mortgage applications are on the rise again.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports loan applications rose 6.3% in the week ending July 14.
The Refinance Index shot up 13%, sending the refinance share of mortgage activity to 44.7% of total applications from 42.1% a week earlier.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 6.7% of total applications, the FHA share inched up ...
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 ...
After being slammed by the housing crash, this generation is back in the game03/08/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
For Generation X consumers, the timing couldn't have been worse. Many bought their first homes in 2007 and 2008, just as housing bubble prices were hitting their peak.
Baby Boomers had owned their homes for a lot longer and Millennials, by and large, had yet to enter the housing market. It was Gen X that got slammed the hardest when home prices plunged and millions of homeowners found themselves under water.
This year's Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, rel...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
Prices of all homes continued climbing10/26/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
New home sales have rebounded from the sharp decline they posted in August.
Figures released by the Commerce Department show sales jumped 3.1% in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 593,000. The increase also puts sales 29.8% above the rate of 457,000 chalked up a year earlier.
The median sales price -- the point at which half cost more and half less -- was $313,500, up $19,700 from August and $5,900 from September 2015. The average sales price was $377,700, ...
The median price dipped on an uptick in sales of less expensive homes02/21/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
As we reported in recent days, housing affordability in California's red hot real estate markets has improved over the last few months. Industry experts say prices have leveled off a bit while incomes have risen.
But that doesn't mean the market is slowing down. The California Association of Realtors (CAR) reports 2016 ended on a strong note and 2017 started the same way.
If 2017 sales follow January's path, CAR estimates more than 420,000 existing homes will be sold stat...
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...
Don't make an offer until you're sure you've checked for these things03/06/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
You're out with your real estate agent looking at houses, and in this market it's really tough. While you are considering whether or not to make an offer on a house, someone else snaps it up.
So you're eager to pull the trigger when your agent shows you a brick Cape Cod on a cul-de-sac that is in your price range. But before you leap, make sure you are getting what you think you are.
In its blog, real estate marketplace Trulia warns of the potential defects a seller is mo...
Contract interest rates moved higher as well03/08/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
It's now two gains in a row for mortgage applications.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications were up 3.3% in the week ending March 3, with the Refinance Index surging 5% from the previous week to the highest level since December. That advance helped push the refinance share of mortgage activity to 45.4% of total applications from 45.1% the previous week, which included an adjustment for the Presidents Day holiday.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share o...
Contract interest rates rose to three-year highs03/15/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Another increase in applications for mortgages -- the third straight.
Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association show applications were up 3.1% from a week earlier in the week ending March 10.
There was even better news for the Refinance Index, which rose 4%, increasing the refinance share of activity to 45.6% of total applications from 45.4% the previous week.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was the highest since October 2014 at 8.2% of total applicat...
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.