Posted: 25 Aug 2015 04:00 AM PDT
“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)
Posted: 26 Aug 2015 04:00 AM PDT
"Our research found that unaffordable rents are making it hard for people to save for a down payment ... There are good reasons to rent temporarily – when you move to a new city, for example – but from an affordability perspective, rents are crazy right now. If you can possibly come up with a down payment, then it's a good time to buy a home and start putting your money toward a mortgage."
“For some renters there may be a way out: Buy a house. Mortgages remain very affordable.”
Author: Xhevrije West in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, Market Studies, News August 20, 2015 0
Existing-home sales increased in July, while low inventory levels and rising prices are the largest factors lowering sales to first-time buyers to their lowest share since January, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released Thursday.
Total existing-home sales rose 2.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.48 million in June. July sales were at the highest pace since 5.79 million in February 2007. Existing sales have now increased year-over-year for ten consecutive months and are 10.3 percent above the pace a year ago at 5.07 million.
The report also found that single-family home sales increased 2.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.96 million in July to their highest level since 5.08 million in February 2007. Single-family sales were 4.83 million in June, and are now 11.0 percent above the 4.47 million pace a year ago.
Many economists believe that the growth in existing-home sales can be mostly attributed to growth in the employment sector.
“In some markets, this boost has been led by job growth –a key sign that the recovery is on track,” said Selma Hepp, Trulia’s chief economist. “As millennial employment improves, young adults will continue to move out of their parent’s homes and form their own households, first as renters and then as homeowners.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist added, “The creation of jobs added at a steady clip and the prospect of higher mortgage rates and home prices down the road is encouraging more households to buy now. As a result, current homeowners are using their increasing housing equity towards the down payment on their next purchase."
According to the NAR, the median existing-home price for all housing types in July was $234,000, which is 5.6 percent above July 2014. This in increase marks the 41st consecutive month of year-over-year gains. The median existing single-family home price was $235,500 in July, up 5.8 percent from July 2014.
"Despite the strong growth in sales since this spring, declining affordability could begin to slowly dampen demand," Yun said. "Realtors in some markets reported slower foot traffic in July in part because of low inventory and concerns about the continued rise in home prices without commensurate income gains."
NAR reported that total housing inventory declined 0.4 percent to 2.24 million existing homes available for sale at the end of July. This total is now 4.7 percent lower than a year ago when inventory levels reached 2.35 million.
“Tight inventory across the country continues to put pressure on home prices,” Hepp said. “As more potential buyers are being pushed out of the market, home sellers may be reluctant to sell if there is a perception that they might not be able to find another home to buy–thus perpetuating the problem.”
Another decline was recorded in the percent share of first-time buyers in July for the second consecutive month. First-time buyers in July lowered to 28 percent from 30 percent in June, the lowest share since January of this year which was 28 percent.
"The fact that first-time buyers represented a lower share of the market compared to a year ago even though sales are considerably higher is indicative of the challenges many young adults continue to face," Yun said. "Rising rents and flat wage growth make it difficult for many to save for a down payment, and the dearth of supply in affordable price ranges is limiting their options."
Home ? Home Services ? Home Buying ? Buying and Selling “Off-Season”
There are many variables that determine what is considered the peak buying and selling season in real estate. It varies by geographical region and is affected as well by the economy. Generally speaking, for home sellers, many real estate experts have traditionally considered the “peak season” to be around late January to early May. Reasons varied from buyers wanting to close late spring or early summer when school ends, moving during good weather, and not wanting to interfere with summer breaks and vacations. The negative impact on buyers during this peak time can be more competition resulting in higher prices and lower inventory.
Times have changed and there ARE benefits to buying and selling “off-season”. Many of today’s buyers AREN’T shopping around school schedules, many are single first-time buyer’s, couples with grown children that are ready to downsize, job relocations, as well as investors in income property. Today’s buyers are savvy and use the Internet to preview listings year round, which means real estate can be very active outside the peak months. A serious buyer is always looking. With fewer houses on the market in the fall and winter, sellers have less competition. Also, selling in fall or winter could allow the seller to take advantage of the coming new spring inventory for buying a new home.
Additional off-season benefits for buyers and sellers can be a faster turnaround for services such as lenders, appraisers, settlement attorneys and inspectors. In many areas, the weather is better and scheduling is easier for showings, as fewer buyers are coming through.
Once summer ends, many sellers whose listings have stayed on the market will be more desperate for offers. They may have purchased a home contingent on selling their old home. If you are a buyer and are having difficulty finding the right house, ask your agent to look at listings that were recently taken off the market and request a showing if the owner is still motivated to sell.
To attract serious buyers, it is important to price your home to sell. Consider adding a home warranty to add value to your listing and give potential buyers confidence. Staging a home with the colors of the fall and winter season can create a warm and welcoming feel. Keep it simple, clean and uncluttered. When selling a home, you need to make the best first impression, no matter what the season!
Posted: 23 Jul 2015 04:00 AM PDT
“In the simplest terms, equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on your mortgage. You build equity by paying down your mortgage over time and through your home's appreciation. In a nutshell, your money is working for you and contributing toward your financial future.”
“Now, if you continued to rent, and made the same payment of $684.03 per month, you'd have zero equity and no means to build it. Building equity is a critical part of homeownership and can help you create financial stability.”
Home ? Home Services ? Finance ? New Report Finds Waiting to Buy a Home Could Cost Thousands
With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep, according to the inaugural Opportunity Cost Report released recently by realtor.com®, a leading provider of online real estate services operated by News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc.
The proprietary report examines a wide range of factors, including the long-term financial impact of owning versus renting a home, the likely monetary gain renters forego in waiting to buy and the financial benefits of homeownership by market.
“Current market conditions give buyers the opportunity to build substantial wealth in the long-term, compared with renters and later buyers, in advance of the projected increase in mortgage rates and continuing price appreciation,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. “The problem is inventory is low, which has many would-be home buyers –especially first timers – standing on the sidelines and missing out on potentially material financial gains.”
Nationally, the estimated wealth an average buyer would accumulate over a 30-year period based on today’s dollars totals $217,726. Although some markets are more buyer-friendly than others, national data shows homeowners see significant financial benefits as compared to lifetime renters. In 88 percent of MSAs, buying a home produces a financial benefit of at least $100,000 over 30 years.
Ten markets offer an especially considerable upside to owning, with estimated 30-year financial gains above $500,000, and opportunity costs of waiting three years as high as $200,000. These MSAs, in California and other Western states, are relatively expensive markets with strong housing demand and limited supply. The potential long-term wealth in these areas is the greatest nationwide, and likewise, the long-term financial penalty for delaying ownership is substantial, due to price appreciation, escalating rents, and higher mortgage rates on the horizon.
“This analysis looks solely at the financial reasons to buy a home, based on assumptions about rising mortgage rates and changes in home values,” Smoke says. “It’s important to remember that a home purchase decision is deeply personal. Potential buyers need to consider factors such as upcoming life events, job security and potential relocation, in addition to financial benefits, because they too can have a significant impact on ownership.”
Home ? Home Care ? Tips for keeping your home safe while away
Going away on vacation should be a tranquil experience, but worrying about the safety of your home while you’re away can defeat the reason you left in the first place. It only takes a little pre-planning to ensure your home is safe and sound when you return. If a house sitter is in your budget and you know someone responsible and trustworthy, it can be the best solution for taking care of your home while away. For many of us, this isn’t the case, so here are some measures that can help protect your home while away on vacation.
If you’ve got a helpful neighbor, ask if they will pick up your mail/newspaper daily. If not, contact the newspaper to stop delivery and tell the USPS to put a hold on your mail during the time you will be away. It’s a good idea to have a friend or neighbor come by and check periodically to be sure the newspapers and mail have stopped, just in case. Also, they can pick up any packages that have been delivered or materials that solicitors may have left behind.
If you have a gardener, keep them on schedule while you are away to water (or check sprinklers), mow, and keep your yard clean. Weather effects such as a broken limb in the driveway or knocked over pots, left for weeks, is a sure sign no one is home. If you live in a windy area, be sure all furniture and plants are secure.
Unplug computers and other expensive electronics that could be affected by power surges. Unplug all small appliances such as coffee makers, toasters etc. Many appliances use power even when turned off.
Install a timer switch for a few lights inside and outside your house. One or two lights on a timer will give the appearance of someone being home. Outdoor motion detector lights also work well for security. Leaving lights switched on the entire time you are gone is a waste of electricity, and having lights on all night may draw even more attention. Check out your local home improvement store or online resources for a variety of timer options.
Be aware of your chatter on social media. Letting everyone in your social network know you are gone for the month in the tropics could get the word out beyond your circle and potentially make your home a target.
Consider turning off the water lines to the inside of the house (unless you have appliances requiring water such as an icemaker.) A burst washing machine hose, leaky faucet, or cracked toilet tank could be disastrous while away. If you have a sprinkler system outside which you plan to keep on, have someone check on it periodically.
If your water heater has “vacation mode”, set it. It will run less and save energy.
If you have an alarm system, be sure you have a sign/sticker visible. This can act as a deterrent. Be sure to leave the code/key with someone you trust. Let the alarm company know you are away and give them the contact number of that person.
Posted: 27 Jul 2015 04:00 AM PDT
"So far in 2015, [sellers] are realizing the biggest gains in home price appreciation since 2007. In June, sellers sold for above estimated market value on average for the first time in nearly two years."
Posted: 22 Jul 2015 04:00 AM PDT
“Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future."