Category Archives: Mortgage

July 2017 Real Estate Market Report

Existing-Home Sales Slide 1.3 Percent in July

real estate market update for July 2017Listings in July typically went under contract in under 30 days for the fourth consecutive month because of high buyer demand, but existing-home sales ultimately pulled back as large declines in the Northeast and Midwest outweighed sales increases in the South and West, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, slipped 1.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.44 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.51 million in June. July’s sales pace is still 2.1 percent above a year ago, but is the lowest of 2017.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the second half of the year got off on a somewhat sour note as existing sales in July inched backward. “Buyer interest in most of the country has held up strongly this summer and homes are selling fast, but the negative effect of not enough inventory to choose from and its pressure on overall affordability put the brakes on what should’ve been a higher sales pace,” he said. “Contract activity has mostly trended downward since February and ultimately put a large dent on closings last month.”

“Home prices are still rising above incomes and way too fast in many markets,” said Yun. “Realtors® continue to say prospective buyers are frustrated by how quickly prices are rising for the minimal selection of homes that fit buyers’ budget and wish list.”

According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate (link is external) for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.97 percent in July from 3.90 percent in June. The average commitment rate for all of 2016 was 3.65 percent.

To read the rest of this article, visit here

Money Monday: Financial priorities of the generations

Each generation has a different priority when it comes to their finances.

Our nation’s different generations (centennials, millennials, xers, boomers, matures) place five categories in different order of importance. While some focus on building a nest egg, others concentrate on paying down debt, keeping a budget and controlling spending, saving money for emergencies or what-ifs, or saving for something specific.

Financial priorities of the generations

This inforgraphic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Mortgage Lenders are Trying to Make it Easier to Buy

As prices rise, mortgage lenders are making it easier to buy a house.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Source: Los Angeles Times

Some prices are rising across the country and mortgage rates, though still historically low, are up since the presidential election.

Simply put, buying a home isn’t easy, especially in high-cost metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County, where the median price of a home hit $569,000 in June.

But changes in the mortgage industry are afoot, with the goal of loosening some of the strict standards established after the subprime crisis — rules some blame for impeding sales.

“The reality has sunk in that there are buyers out there who will be able to buy homes and make the mortgage payments,” said William E. Brown, the president of the National Assn. of Realtors. The industry is “trying to give them more options to buy a house.”

Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paving the way by rolling out new programs to encourage home ownership.

The companies, with their congressional mandate to promote home ownership, don’t originate loans, but purchase mortgages from lenders to keep the market moving. And any changes they make in the underwriting standards for the loans they buy can have a big effect.

Read the full story

Money Monday: Easy ways to save money

“While accumulating a large chunk of cash isn’t likely to happen overnight, if you start small, you can gradually build your savings so that you have a financial safety net in place. With that goal in mind, here are 10 ways you can save $300 a month — without having to make yourself utterly miserable in the process.”

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

  1. Refinance your mortgage
  2. Lower your housing costs
  3. Do it yourself
  4. Entertain yourself for free (often there’s some great free events happening in San Diego County!)
  5. Get a side job

This tips and quote is from CNN — find out five other ways you can easily save money here, on CNN’s article: “10 ridiculously easy ways to save $300 a month.”

Money Monday: Homeownership rates affected by student debts

Student debts have seemed to affect homeownership rates, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

student loan debt

About 32% of those in their 20s owned a home in 2007, but that’s fallen drastically to 21% in 2016.

While the poor labor market and memories of the housing bubble certainly played a role, student debt can explain up to 35% of the decline, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Thursday.

The results suggest that the rise in college costs will result in “weaker spending and wealth accumulation among young consumers in the years to come.”

It’s consistent with surveys that have asked those with student debt if it affected their decision to buy a home. Half of those under the age of 35 surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in 2016 said it had delayed their purchase. And 25% told Pew Research Center that student loans had made it harder to buy a home in 2011.

Read more of CNN’s article here: “Yes, student debt is delaying homeownership.”

Home Equity

Homeowners are tapping into equity

Because of the rising home prices, homeowners are cashing into their home equity.

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.