But proximity to an urban core helps define a suburban hotspot02/21/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
A few years ago, Millennial homebuyers were eager to live in the city. They liked the idea that they could walk to movie theaters, restaurants, and shopping centers.
But as more of them have started families, the suburbs are looking a bit more attractive these days. Realtor.com reports a number of suburban communities have become real estate hot spots in their own right, fueling price rises outside the city core.
The housing marketplace singles out Northeast/Montebello, C...
It's the second decline in as many months02/21/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family fell for a second straight month in February, with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) declining two points to a level of 65.
“With much of the decline this month resulting from a decrease in buyer traffic, builders continue to struggle to minimize costs while dealing with supply side challenges such as a lack of developed lots and labor shortages,” said NAH...
After already steep climbs, Seattle renters could face another 7% rise10/07/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Home prices have risen the fastest in the major Western U.S. markets, so it shouldn't come as a shock that rents in these metros are rising as well. The latest report from real estate marketplace Zillow suggests there's no relief in sight for some of these Western renters.
Rents are up generally because more consumers are renting instead of buying. That increases competition for apartments and condos and single-family homes on the rental market.
In the West, there's anoth...
More are trying to buy homes but still face challenges10/19/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Since the housing crash eight years ago, it has been widely assumed that Millennials, who were just coming of age at that time, would be a generation of renters.
After all, lenders wanted sterling credit scores and ample down payments before agreeing to a mortgage. Many young people did well just to find a job.
But today, it's Millennials who are driving the housing market. A report by real estate marketplace Zillow shows first-time home buyers, overwhelmingly Millennials...
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 survey finds savvy consumers are keeping their options open11/02/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
If you are planning to rent a home, expect some extra competition. A new survey from real estate marketplace Zillow shows more potential homebuyers, perhaps growing frustrated at the lack of available homes, are considering renting instead.
That means consumers who have no alternative but to rent will go head to head with consumers who have the means to buy a home but have decided to keep their options open and rent a place for a while longer.
Zillow has broken down the i...
Zillow reports rents rose 1.7% compared to 5% for home prices09/23/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Many Millennials have been caught in a housing squeeze. Unable to buy a home, they've been forced to remain renters. But in the wake of the housing crisis, when demand for rental property skyrocketed, so did rents. And as rents rose year after year, it was harder to get ahead.
However, there's finally some good news. Real estate marketplace Zillow reports rents are still rising, but not as fast as home values are.
In August 2015, rents were up an average of 6% over 2014 l...
Rising rents and tighter inventory are big factors07/29/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Since the housing bubble burst, fewer Americans have been buying homes.
First it was because it was so much harder to qualify for a mortgage and so many people were out of work. Then it was because there were fewer homes for sale.
Now, the U.S. Census Bureau reports homeownership in the U.S. is at its lowest level since 1965, when the median priced U.S. home was $21,000.
The Census Bureau tracks the percentage, not the actual number. In the second quarter of this year, the...
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 ...
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...
Deduction for middle class homeowners would be capped at $5,000 per year05/04/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Suburban areas across America are dotted with one subdivision after another, where residents are required to belong to a homeowner association (HOA). Residents pay a fee and, in return, receive some level of services.
It might be something as simple as maintenance of common areas. In some communities, the fee might take care of amenities like swimming pools and tennis courts. In some developments, the HOA has responsibility for repairing and maintaining roads.
In other wo...
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...
Building permit applications, though, were lower08/16/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Construction of new homes in July built on the gains posted in June, although developers' plans for housing in the months ahead slipped a bit.
The Commerce Department reports ground was broken for privately-owned houses at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,211,000, up 2.1% from the revised June total of 1,186,000 and 5.6% above the rate posted a year earlier.
Starts on single-family homes were up 0.5% in July at a rate of 770,000 and a year-over-year advance of 1.3%....
Negative equity down sharply since the housing collapse, but still pretty high08/18/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
It's not as bad as it was, but it's still not very good.
That's the bottom line of Zillow's latest report on negative equity in residential real estate, the percentage of homeowners who still owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.
Nationally, 13.7% of urban homeowners are underwater, compared to 11.2% of homeowners in the suburbs.
The numbers, of course, present something of a “glass is half full/empty” scenario. While the percentage is double digits five ...
WeLive takes a dorm-style approach to apartment dwelling05/25/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
WeWork, an early purveyor of the co-working space movement, is taking the concept of shared office space and applying it to apartments.
In April, the office-sharing company launched WeLive: an apartment complex with an abundance of shared, open spaces. Renters can have their own private space, as well -- but the draw of WeLive is the sense of community.
Founding partner, Rebecca Newman, explains that WeLive is centered on community and “the belief that we’re basically a...
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...
Contract interest rates headed lower10/05/2016 | ConsumerAffairs
Mortgage applications have posted a solid gain after falling for two weeks in a row, rising 2.9% during the week ending September 30.
The Mortgage Bankers Association also reports the Refinance Index jumped 5% from the previous week, taking the refinance share of mortgage activity to 63.8% of total applications from 62.7% the week before.
The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity rose to 4.5% of total applications, the FHA share dropped to 10.0% from 10.2%, the...