Thanks to the new tax law, tax breaks are less important02/09/2018 | ConsumerAffairs
It may only be February, but the spring home buying season is getting underway. If you're trying to sell your home this year, it may be helpful to understand who is doing the buying and why.
It can no longer be assumed that homebuyers are motivated by tax reasons. The tax breaks for homeownership aren't nearly what they once were, thanks to the new tax law passed in December.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR), a group with a big stake in consumers continuing to p...
Millennials bucked the trend of rising prices and declining inventory01/31/2018 | ConsumerAffairs
A government report shows that despite rising prices and declining available homes, Americans are finding ways to purchase a home of their own.
The Census Bureau reports the percentage of Americans who own a home rose to 64.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year from 63.7 percent a year earlier. It's the first rise in more than a decade.
The report also shows that millennials, for the most part, are driving the home-buying trend. To do so, they have faced rising ren...
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 ...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
Contract interest rates were mostly lower01/18/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Applications for mortgages are up for the second week in a row, rising 0.8% during the weekend ending January 13. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey includes an adjustment for the New Year’s holiday.
The Refinance Index shot up 7% from the previous week, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity to 53.0% of total applications from 51.2% the previous week.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was 5.7% of total appl...
Young people, especially, find tiny homes fit their lifestyle and budget08/26/2014 | ConsumerAffairs
The U.S. housing market appears to have cooled a bit in recent months but one small segment – you might say tiny segment – is enjoying enthusiastic growth.
It's the “tiny house” movement, the exact opposite of the “McMansion” trend that lured so many people into buying more house than they could afford in the 1990s.
Tiny houses are just that – dwellings that range from 200 to 800 square feet. They are popular with singles, naturall...
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...