Tag Archives: mortgages

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.

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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: Americans are paying more than they can afford for housing

Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans.

“Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

“But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

“One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs.”

Read more of Money.CNN.com’s article here: “39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford.”

 

Money Monday: Investing in real estate

As with all investments real estate investment has it own risks and the decision to invest should be carefully considered.

As a landlord there are certain costs that you will need to cover, potential vacancy problems that may strain your ability to pay your mortgages, and liability issues. It is important that you speak with an expert before putting yourself in a situation where you can potential over-extend yourself.

With that in mind, I have included some of the basic property types and benefits associated with real estate investment.

Single-family residence. First time real estate investors are usually advised to buy a single family detached home and rent it out as it’s market value appreciates. The reason for the popularity is that they are relatively easy. They are easy to buy, easy to finance, and they hold appeal to buyers and renters. Also, if you find that the real estate investment game was not the right choice for you they are relatively easy to turn over. Mortgage brokers know this-so these properties are also usually easier to finance and refinance.

Vacation property and second homes. Investment options in this category are myriad, from outright purchase to fractional-interest contracts and timeshares. Even if the property isn’t income producing, it can appreciate into a worthy investment, and mortgage interest is fully deductible. If you do rent the property when it’s not in use, realized income and tax obligations depend on what percentage of the year it’s kept for “personal use”-a tightly defined term you should discuss with a real estate attorney.

Apartment properties. Apartment properties require a long-term commitment, as well as a substantial investment of borrowed and equity capital, but due to the availability of professional managers they often don’t demand a lot of personal time. If you are the do-it yourself type then you might find yourself spending your weekends painting, advertising vacancies, and repairing faucets – though the higher return might be worth it for you. They can have mortgage loans of up to 100% of value, while other investment types may require all cash. Loans can be amortized or paid with the income generated by rents.

Condominiums. Condominium investments provide a bit of extra risk. Their market value appreciates more slowly than for detached single-family residences, and rental rates usually aren’t high enough to cover mortgage, property tax, and maintenance fees.

Vacant land. Vacant land is probably the least liquid and therefore usually the weakest choice for a profitable shorter-term investment. While undeveloped land is easy to maintain, it nearly always takes longer to appreciate and longer to sell.

Commercial property. To reduce personal liability and offset the greater expense of these properties, some investors form or join a limited liability company. Because of the extremely high risks involved with this type of agreement, consulting a real estate attorney is essential before taking this step. You probably shouldn’t consider this arrangement if you aren’t personally familiar with the other partners and their business expertise.

Money Monday: Mortgage rates decline for the third week

mortgage ratesMortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row after rising significantly after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, however, the 10-year Treasury did see an increase.

“After trending down for most of the week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose following the release of the CPI report,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased yet again to 4.09 percent for the week ending Jan. 19, 2017. This is down from last week’s 4.12 percent but still up from last year’s 3.81 percent.
The 15-year FRM decreased from last week’s 3.37 percent to 3.34 percent this week. This is still up from last year’s 3.1 percent.

Read the full story: www.housingwire.com/articles/38992-freddie-mac-mortgage-rates-hit-third-straight-week-ofdeclines

Money Monday: Rising mortgage rates

While mortgage rates are still low, they have been rising lately — but many experts are worried.mortgage rates and property taxes

“The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.16%, up from 4.13% last week, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago, rates were sitting around 3.97%.

“At the current interest rates, buyers will pay $21 more per month compared to a year ago, assuming a $241,000 price tag and 20% down payment.”

Read more of this article at Money.CNN.com.

Money Monday: Homeowners are twice as house rich as five years ago

After hitting bottom in 2012, home prices took off dramatically before leveling off a bit in mid-2014. In the last two months, though, they turned higher again. The amount of equity homeowners now have — the value outside their mortgage debt — has doubled in the last five years, according to CoreLogic.

money houseSeptember home prices showed a 6.3 percent annual gain, slightly more than in August and a clear sign that prices are heating up again after cooling through much of spring and summer. CoreLogic’s chief economist said that home equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, large because of the recovery in home prices.

While homeowners today show more wealth on paper, they are not extracting it at nearly the rate they did during the last housing boom. Near-record-low mortgage rates have certainly prompted thousands of borrowers to refinance and lower their monthly payments, but a very small share have extracted cash in these refinances and home equity lines of credit (HELOC).

Full story: www.cnbc.com/2016/11/01/homeowners-twice-as-house-rich-as-five-years-ago

Money Monday: Good news for home buyers

Incomes are finally rising faster than home prices.

Photo from Pictures of Money

Photo from Pictures of Money

“For the first time since 2011, incomes rose faster than home prices in the U.S., according to a new report from Zillow.

“The median home price climbed to $188,100 in August, a 5% increase from the same time a year ago.

“And last week, the Census Bureau reported that median household income increased to $56,516 in 2015, up 5.2% from 2014.”

CNN. “Here’s some good news for house hunters.”  http://money.cnn.com/2016/09/22/real_estate/incomes-rise-faster-than-home-values

Read more of this article at CNN here.