Consumers and their families are increasingly choosing to rent in the suburbs10/19/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Only a couple of decades ago, renters were typically people in their 20s who lived in dingy apartments in poorly maintained old buildings until they saved enough to buy a place.
Well, as Bob Dylan noted back in the 60s, the times, they are a changin'.
Today's renters are a different breed who want a place offering a convenient, quality lifestyle, a comfortable living space, a place to exercise, and a place to socialize -- all in one package.
A report from RentCafé points t...
The outlook for the months ahead is not all that bright10/18/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Consumers looking to buy a new home in the next few months will likely find a dwindling selection to choose from.
The Commerce Department reports construction of privately-owned houses fell 4.7 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,127,000. However, even with that decline, the annual rate of housing starts is 6.1 percent above the same month a year ago.
A closer look at the report shows ground-breaking for single-family homes was down 4.6 percent ...
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 ...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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...
Influx of international buyers keeps demand high05/22/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Home sales aren't going up, and from time to time actually go down. So why is the price of the average home still going up?
It's a classic case of supply and demand. There has been no let-up in the demand for homes but the supply is now declining at double digit rates because homeowners aren't selling and home builders aren't building at nearly the same rate as in the past.
And as U.S. consumers are being priced out of the housing market, the National Association of Realt...
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...
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...
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...
Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and Memphis top the list04/27/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
If you are contemplating a move to a new city, you no doubt are aware of the nation's hottest markets, where it is very difficult for a first-time buyer to purchase a home. Austin, San Francisco, and Denver come to mind.
So you might be interested in knowing the markets most friendly to first-time buyers. It turns out there are plenty.
To determine their ranking, real estate marketplace Zillow drilled down to those markets where a monthly mortgage payment averages less th...
Contract interest rates were on the rise05/04/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications continued their slide last week.
Figures released by the Mortgage Bankers Association show applications fell 3.4% in the week ending April 29. The Refinance Index plunged 6%, pushing the refinance share of mortgage activity down to 52.9% of total applications from 54.4% a week earlier.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 5.3% of total applications, the FHA share of went from 12% the week before to 13.5%, the VA share was 11.5...
Contract interest rates moved lower05/24/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications rose last week, despite a decline in purchase applications.
According to the weekly survey conducted by the Mortgage Bankers Association, overall applications were up 4.4% in the week ending May 19.
While the unadjusted Purchase Index was down 2%, the Refinance Index shot up 11% to its highest level since March 2017. That pushed the refinance share of mortgage activity to 43.9% of total applications from 41.1% the week before.
The adjustable-rate mort...
GoBankingRates measures the size and cost of one-bedroom apartments06/07/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Rent takes a big bite out of your paycheck each month, but the size of the bite depends on where you live. Where you live also determines what you get in return for that monthly rent check.
The personal finance website GoBankingRates.com has analyzed U.S. cities, identifying where rents are cheapest or most expensive, and determining what amenities are most often included.
As you might expect, the largest cities tend to be the most expensive, while medium sized cities in ...
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...