Rising home prices and changes to tax law are major factors01/15/2018 | ConsumerAffairs
Rising home prices and changes to the tax law have combined to make renting a home a more attractive option, especially in some localities.
A new report by Attom Data Solutions shows that renting a three bedroom home makes more economic sense than purchasing a median-priced home in 46 percent of 447 U.S. metro areas.
The report is based on newly released fair market rent data for 2018 from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), wage information from t...
Housing costs continue to make some metro areas very expensive12/19/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
The official inflation rate remains around two percent, but the cost of living could be a lot higher than that next year depending on where you live.
A study by personal finance site GoBankingRates focuses on the 10 U.S. cities where costs are expected to rise the most in 2018. Topping the list is Portland, Ore.
In Portland, the price of the median home is expected to rise 2.81 percent, while the average rent could surge 5.34 percent. Second on the list is Seattle, where ...
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 ...
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 ...
The downward trend is expected to continue09/12/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Roughly 4.5% of mortgages across the U.S. were in some stage of delinquency -- 30 days or more past due including those in foreclosure in June -- according to property information provider CoreLogic, down 0.8% from the same month a year earlier.
Additionally, the foreclosure inventory rate -- which measures the share of mortgages in some stage of the foreclosure process -- came in at 0.7%, down 0.2 % from June 2016 and the lowest since July 2007.
“After peaking at 3.6% in...
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...
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 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....
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 ...
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...
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...
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...
Builder confidence was spooked by recent hurricanes09/18/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
There's been a drop in builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes -- and you can blame Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The Housing Market Index (HMI) calculated by the the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo fell three points in September to a level of 64.
At the same time, the August reading was revised down a point to 67.
“The recent hurricanes have intensified our members’ concerns about the availability of labor and the co...
Contract interest rates were mixed09/27/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Another decline -- the second in a row -- for mortgage applications.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest weekly survey shows a slight decline – 0.5 percent – during the week ending September 22.
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was up 3 percent from a week earlier, while the Refinance Index dropped 4 percent, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 50.8 percent of total applications from 52.1 percent the week before.
The adjustable-rate mortgag...
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...