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  • New Homes Median Price up 12% at 5-year High; Housing Market Showing Strength

     - 6/28/2013 4:26:50 PM
    The housing recovery seems to be in full force. The Commerce Department latest release shows that new home prices have risen to five-year highs. The annualized rate of 476,000 units would be the most constructed since July 2008--just ahead of the housing market collapse later that year. It is 29 percent higher over 2012.
    New homes sold for a median price of $ 263,900 in May-- a 3.1 percent decline from April. Monthly price data tend to be more volatile. The year-to-year increase of 10.3 percent provides a more accurate reading of the market.
     Read more
  • How Much Home Can You Afford?

     - 5/14/2013 2:07:44 AM
    The nation’s residential housing market is experiencing the best period it has in years. New home sales and existing home sales are on the increase; creating a seller’s market in some areas of the country.
    For most Americans, purchasing a home represents one of the most important decisions they will make in their life—financial or otherwise.
    Despite the significant financial investment, a survey conducted by the real estate website Zillow reveals that most people do not properly prepare themselves for the home buying process and later they don’t know when is best to mortgage refinance.
     Read more
  • Inventory Shortage Intensifies Bidding on Homes for Sale

     - 4/9/2013 2:11:14 AM
    Across the nation, real estate markets are experiencing tight inventories in the midst of increasing demand for homes. The once abundant supply of homes, especially foreclosures has virtually vanished. Potential home buyers and small investors must compete with international buyers—62% of who pay cash for all transaction according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Institutional investors and private equity funds also have the bankroll to pay cash and even bid up the price in some markets as they purchase properties by the hundreds. Read more
  • Most Existing Home Sales Since November 2009

     - 4/4/2013 11:44:22 PM
    Anyone question whether the housing market is actually in recovery may want to look at the latest existing home sales data for February. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that existing -homes sales increase 0.8% compared to January. The increase represents a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.98 million units.
    This volume of sales is also 10.2% higher than the 4.52 million unit rate reached in February 2012. NAR revised the January annual rate up to 4.94 million units.
    For 20 straight months, sales have exceeded year-to-year levels. February sales registered the highest volume for existing homes since November 2009 when the first time home buyer tax credit was in effect.
     Read more
  • Homes Prices: Biggest Increase Since Housing Bubble Burst

     - 3/28/2013 12:12:08 AM
    Housing market analysts have expressed concern about a supply shortage of existing-homes for sale. The volume of existing homes for sale has plummeted to the lowest volume in decades. The lack of sufficient inventory has a direct correlation with the number of homeowners who have been incapable or unwilling to sell their homes.
    Many of these homeowners have underwater mortgages—they owe the bank more than their home is worth or experienced a significant drop in the value of their homes over the past several years and want to try and regain some of the lost equity.
    Until recently, the glut of foreclosures on the market and slower mortgage refinance caused a housing glut and made it financially impractical for home builders to construct new homes.
     Read more
  • Big Investors Dominating Residential Real Estate Investment

     - 2/6/2013 1:52:37 AM
    Cheap foreclosed homes across the nation have attracted droves of investors to the recovering housing market. The traditional mom-and-pop investors who have always depended on real estate investing to fund their retirements no longer have this landscape to themselves. The chance to earn huge profits has gained the attention of big-time investors.
    Big investors see significant profit opportunities after five years of real estate values plummeting. Between 2007 and 2012, residential home prices plunged an average of 34% nationwide, based on the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index. In some areas like Las Vegas and Miami, home prices dropped 50% to 60%.
     Read more
  • Home Prices and Sales Affected by Low Inventory

     - 1/23/2013 1:38:41 PM
    The housing industry has been a major source of good economic news lately after five years of poor performance. Home values have appreciated across the country for five straight quarters through December 2012. Last year, home prices rose nearly 6 percent, which is twice the historical average. The average home price appreciation for a single year is 3 percent.
    Stan Humphries the chief economist for the real estate website Zillow, warns home owners to not expect the same rate of home value appreciation in 2013. Humphries states that he anticipates the market will slow to a more “sustainable pace. In 2013, “home prices will increase an average of 3.3 percent across the U.S., according to Zillow.
     Read more
  • New Home Sales Reach Two-Year High in November

     - 12/30/2012 11:23:34 PM
    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in November new home sales increased to the highest level in two years. For the month, new homes sales climbed 4.4 percent to 377,000. Year-over-year sales rose 15%. The last time the annual rate of new home sales reached this level occurred in April 2010. At that time, the temporary tax credit for home buyers was in effect.
    With existing home sales and home construction also showing improvement, the current data provide multiple signals that the housing market has entered into recovery mode. In addition, historic low mortgage interest rates, fewer foreclosures on the market, and a declining unemployment rate, has increased demand among home buyers.
     Read more
  • Flopping: Short Sale Scheme Swindles Mortgage Lenders

     - 10/25/2012 12:08:02 AM
    A short sale occurs when the homeowner list the property for sale but receives an offer that is lower than the balance on the home loan. The homeowner accepts the buyer’s offer and wants to get out with no foreclosure and $0 debt.
    However, to consummate a legally binding sales contract, the mortgage lender must agree to accept less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage and sign the offer to purchase. By signing off on the offer to purchase, the bank forgives the remaining balance on the home mortgage.
    The seller benefits by getting relief from a burdensome home debt and avoiding the negative ramifications of a foreclosure on their credit report.
     Read more
  • Home Prices Up, It Will Take Homeowners an Average of 11 Years to Regain Lost Value

     - 9/27/2012 9:26:50 AM
    In a report released this summer, the financial services technology company Fiserv states the U.S. housing market started to show signs of reaching a bottom in the fourth quarter of 2011, after five years of declining home values. Fiserv produces the Fiserv Case/ Shiller Home Price Index report.
    Of the 384 metro areas the Fiserv Case-Shiller index monitor, prices in 18 percent or 70 of the markets tracked remain stable or increased compared to the fourth quarter (Q4) in 2010. Another 122 metropolitan areas (32 percent) recorded price declines of less than two percent.
    During Q4 2011, the average home price in the U.S. fell to the lowest point since the residential real estate market collapsed in 2007.
     Read more
  • Housing Market Shows Strength for Mortgage Refinance and Buyers

     - 9/20/2012 10:59:46 PM
    News for the housing industry continues to deliver upbeat data. Existing-home sales, new housing starts, and permits increased in August. The National Association of Realtors reports that occupied-home sales grew at a year-over-year pace of 7.8%. This calculates to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million units and 4.47 million units compared to July.
    The existing-home sales figure represents a 9.3 percent increase over the 4.41-million rate in August. The last time the real estate market approached this high an activity level was May 2010.
    In addition, U.S. builders prepare ground for the most new home foundations at a pace unseen since April 2010.
     Read more
  • Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting For Most Households

     - 8/6/2012 10:41:41 PM
    According to an analysis performed by the real estate listing website Zillow, the average person who intends to remain in a home for 2 to 3 years, would come out better financially buying versus renting. The survey examined data from 200 metropolitan areas. According to the findings, 75% of homeowners would reach a “breakeven point” in three or fewer years.
    Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist commented that from a historical perspective, “levels of affordability make buying a home a better decision than ever, especially considering rents have risen more than 5% over the past year.”
    In Zillow’s first buy-versus-rent analysis, economists reviewed data that included down payment amounts, closing costs, mortgage refinance, utilities, monthly mortgage payments, real estate taxes and maintenance expenses.
     Read more
  • Zillow Survey Shows Home Prices at Best Level in Five Years

     - 7/26/2012 11:57:32 AM
    Recent data about homes prices reaching bottom and starting to trend up continue to grow. The real estate website report shows that home prices rose 2.1 percent for Q2 compared to the first quarter. Furthermore, the year-over-year increase of 0.2 percent -- a median price of $149,000, represents the first annual increase in five years.
    Even with four straight months of rising home values, prices remain 24 percent below April 2007 median price, according to the Zillow report.
    Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, pointed to the possibility of a bottom and some “organic strength” in the market because of the recovery despite a sluggish job market. In 2011, the real estate data firm predicted the market would turn up late this year.
     Read more
  • Home Buying Up in April, Housing Market Slowly Improving

     - 5/25/2012 1:52:05 AM
    According to the joint press release by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, new home sales increased a seasonally adjusted 3.3 percent in April compared to March. This percentage rate equates to an annual sale volume of 343,000 homes. The agencies revised the sales figure for March to 332,000 units. Home buying also came in 9.9 percent higher than April 2011, when the government estimated 312,000 units sold on an annualized basis.
    The report calculates the average sales price for homes sold at $282,000 and a median sales price of $235,000. In addition, based on the 146,000 unsold new houses counted at the end of April, and at the current sales rate, the inventory would take 5.1 months to sell. The available supply increased 1.4 % over the unsold inventory for March.
     Read more
  • Three Factors that Support Home Buying Now

     - 4/27/2012 2:22:57 AM
    In a recent JP Morgan report, entitled Market Insights, the authors say the United States has the "cheapest housing market in decades." The recent S&P/Case- Shiller Housing Price Index states that housing prices have fallen to the lowest prices since the market top occurred in mid-July. The figures support the claim of cheap housing prices, with price an average of 35 percent off their high.
    The report listed several characteristics of the current market that screams now may represent one of the best opportunities in recent history to become a homeowner.
    Following are three of the attributes evaluated in the JP Morgan analysis:
     Read more
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