Shortages and rising costs continue to be a concern, though08/15/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
After falling in July to its lowest level since last November, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes is on the rise again.
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) shot up four points in August for a reading of 68.
“The fact that builder confidence has returned to the healthy levels we saw this spring is consistent with our forecast for a gradual strengthening in the housing market,” said NAHB C...
A dip in mortgage rates was offset by rising house prices08/11/2017 | ConsumerAffairs
Housing affordability dipped in the second quarter as rising home prices offset a quarter-point drop in mortgage interest rates, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
Between the beginning of April and end of June, 59.4% of new and existing homes that were sold were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $68,000. Three months earlier, 60.3% of homes were affordable to median-income earners i...
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 ...
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 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...
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 ...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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 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.