It's harder to save for a down payment and compete with investors06/26/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
First-time homebuyers are finally making up a significant part of the housing market, but they are facing difficulty on several fronts.
A survey by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) quizzed Michigan consumers with annual household incomes between $50,000 and $125,000. It found many wanted to buy a home but more than half – 55% – expressed concerns about being able to come up with the down payment.
Nearly a third also expressed concern that they woul...
Prices were on the rise as well06/23/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
After April’s sharp decline, the Commerce Department reports sales of new single-family houses rose 2.9% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 610,000 -- 8.9% above the same time a year ago.
In addition, the government revised its April estimate higher to show homes sold at a rate of 593,000 instead of the 569,000 initially reported.
The median sales price of new houses sold in May 2017 -- the point at which half the houses sold for more and half for less -- wa...
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 ...
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...
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 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 mixed03/22/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
After rising for three consecutive weeks, mortgage applications have moved lower.
The latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows applications were down 2.7% in the week ending March 17.
The Refinance Index was also lower, dropping 3% from the previous week, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 45.1% of total applications from 45.6% the week before.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 9.0% of total applications -- ...
Contract interest rates were mixed04/05/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications were down again for the third time in as many weeks.
The Mortgage Bankers Association reports applications dipped 1.6% during the week ending March 31, with the Refinance Index down 4%. That took the refinance share of mortgage activity to 42.6% of total applications from 44.0% the previous week.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity was unchanged at 8.5% of total applications, the FHA share rose to 11.1% from 10.8% a week earlier, the...
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.