Available homes for sale well below a five month supply08/24/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
The number of existing homes sold in July fell for the first month since November 2015. It's not that fewer people wanted to buy homes. There were just fewer homes to buy.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports home sales fell in comparison to both June sales and July 2015. Notably, the month-to-month drop was 3.2%.
The homes that were on the market brought higher prices. The median sale price rose 5.3% year-over-year, to $244,100.
“The primary culprit behind t...
Contract interest rates were on the rise08/24/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Another drop for mortgage applications.
The weekly survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association shows applications were down 2.1% in the week ending August 19.
The Refinance Index was down 3.0%, dropping the refinance share of mortgage activity to 62.4% of total applications from 62.6% the previous week.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 4.6% of total applications; the FHA share dipped to 8.9% from 9.6% a week earlier; the VA sha...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
Contract interest rates were mixed12/02/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications dipped last week as consumers took a day off to observe Thanksgiving.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, applications were down 0.2% in the week ending November 27.
The Refinance Index plunged 6% from the previous week, sending the refinance share of mortgage activity down 2.1% -- to 56.6% of total applications.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was 6.1% of total applications; ...
Realtor.com sees strongest overall sales since 200612/07/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Despite the near-certainty of higher interest rates and a tight inventory of property, at least one housing forecast sees booming home sales next year – the highest since before the start of the Great Recession.
But in its 2016 outlook, housing marketplace realtor.com says it expects most of the growth in sales to come from the new home market, which has been nearly dormant for years.
Existing home sales and prices are expected to slow to 3% year-over-year due to higher m...
Realtor.com says 2016 off to a solid start02/02/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
The stock market got off to a rocky start in 2016, but, as January enters the books, it doesn't seem to have negatively affected the housing market. At least that's realtor.com's take.
The online real estate marketplace says a preliminary analysis of data shows the market turmoil hasn't dampened the pent-up demand that lifted sales in 2015. True, there was cooler demand last month, but the site says that's typical for January
“Our initial readings on January affirm the po...
There are more hurdles in their quest for homeownership, but there's an upside to the delay, experts say02/10/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Coming of age precisely as the housing market collapsed should, by all accounts, have caused millennials to become leery of mortgages — but it hasn’t. Despite the housing crash, research shows that more than 85% of the millennial generation still believe that owning a home makes more financial sense than renting.
It comes as a surprise to many that the generation known for choosing to buy the latest gadget rather than a big-ticket item would be interested in owning prope...
Survey finds widespread belief that builders can't be profitable with American workforce02/17/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Real estate marketplace Zillow has released a survey that may be seized as ammunition by both sides of the illegal immigration debate.
In a nut shell, it suggests that fewer people entering the U.S. illegally would likely raise the cost of home construction. The underlying premise, of course, is that residential home builders mostly employ people who are not in the U.S. legally.
Each year Zillow conducts a Home Price Expectations (ZHPE) Survey, asking industry experts whe...
Despite what they tell you on TV, it's best if you don't have to borrow the money07/22/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
In the wake of the housing crisis large institutional investors swooped into beaten-down real estate markets and bought up foreclosures, turning some into rental properties but “flipping” others.
Now, thanks to the popularity of cable TV reality shows like “Flip This House” the public has jumped into house flipping with both feet, hoping to make some fast money. And it's true that some people have made money flipping houses.
But like any get-ric...
Despite a wave of foreclosures, some homeowners have recovered nicely03/11/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The Great Recession was marked by a wave of home foreclosures. In fact, the recession was made worse by the collapse of the housing market and the financial crisis that event triggered.
The millions who lost their homes to foreclosure, or saw equity in their homes disappear, did in fact suffer a severe financial loss. But when you look at all Americans' loss of wealth since 2009, a different picture begins to emerge.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis a...
Climbing interest rates punctuated the week05/13/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
For a third consecutive week there's been a decline in applications for mortgages.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey shows applications were down 3.5% in the week ending May 8.
The Refinance Index posted a drop of 6%, with the refinance share of mortgage activity calling from 52% of total applications to 51% -- its lowest level since May 2014. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity, on the other hand, rose to 6.3%...
It's the fourth decline in as many weeks05/20/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
An increase in mortgage and Treasury rates pushed mortgage applications lower again last week.
Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey show applications were down 1.5% in the week ending May 15 -- the fourth consective decline.
“Mortgage rates increased last week, and Treasury rates increased to a recent high at mid week before falling at the end of the week,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “Overall purchase a...
Realtors' survey finds once-committed renters now embracing home ownership03/19/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
It was just a few short months ago we reported on a trend that seemed to suggest Millennials were not rushing to buy a home. It was seen as one reason the housing market had flattened out.
A Fannie Mae survey found the percentage of the younger generation preparing to buy a home fell from 35% to 26% in just 2 years. A panel of property experts assembled by Zillow concluded that, because Millennials were content to be renters, the rate of home ownership would probably dec...
More people should be able to afford houses but there are fewer homes for first-time buyers11/06/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
The surprisingly-solid gain in jobs in October's employment report sent a very strong signal.
No, not that the economy is improving – which it appears to be.
Rather, that the creation of 271,000 new jobs last month, when the expectation was for only 180,000, means the Federal Reserve is almost certainly going to raise interest rates next month.
The financial markets have been obsessing for years over what the Fed will do about rates, even though the anticipated increase wi...
This suggests more entry-level shoppers are buying homes06/05/2015 | ConsumerAffairs
Though the traditional down payment is 20% of a home's purchase price, down payments can be much smaller – 3.5% for an FHA loan and as little as 3% for some conventional loans. New programs can lower them even more.
As home prices creep higher, it becomes harder to meet the benchmark 20% down payment. So it isn't too surprising that homebuyers have been putting less down on recent home sales.
RealtyTrac, which collects and markets a wide variety of housing data, reports t...