Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Fed: Tight Inventory Still Dogs Housing Markets

  The Federal Reserve has released its first Beige Book of 2016, and despite existing-home sales falling to their slowest pace in 19 months in November, the 12 Federal Reserve Districts reported mixed but slightly improved housing markets for the six-week period leading up to January 4. Part of the reason that inventories remain low is that residential construction in the single-family home space “remains sluggish, with developers reluctant to build inventories,” according to the Fed. Multifamily construction, on the other hand, “continues to be brisk,” as most of the 12 districts reported modest or moderate growth in commercial construction. Overall, economic activity expanded in nine of the 12 districts since the previous Beige Book was issued in December.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Facebook’s 10-Mile, $10,000 Solution to Housing and Long Commutes

Source: KQED
  Tech workers who live in San Francisco and commute to work in Silicon Valley have been blamed for driving up rents in the area and causing congestion on local transportation corridors. Facebook is now offering payments of $10,000 and up to workers who relocate to within 10 miles of its main campus. However, there are concerns that residents in nearby communities — East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City, for instance — will be threatened by the announcement, as they will find themselves competing for housing with well-paid Facebook workers. The policy may add to tension in the region about the surge in housing prices and the lack of housing available in the area due to the dominant presence of tech companies.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

HUD Secretary Castro Chats Housing on Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Source: Reverse Mortgage Daily

  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Juli├ín Castro appeared as a special guest recently on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he discussed HUD’s role in the housing market recovery and those pesky rumors about the vice president nomination. Castro touted HUD’s efforts to decrease veteran homelessness and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program that helped revitalize neighborhoods across the U.S. that have suffered from foreclosures. Colbert also asked him to rate the likelihood that Clinton actually approached him about being vice president.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Interest Rate Update

Interest rates are still looking good. Even with the .25% hike in the Federal Funds Rate long term interest rates remain at historic lows.

30 Year Fixed up to $417,000 3.75% to 4.125%
30 Year Fixed “Agency” up to $625,500 3.875% to 4.25%
30 Year Fixed FHA up to $417,000 3.50% to 3.75%
30 Year Fixed FHA “Jumbo” up to $729,500 3.625% to 3.875%

Here We Go! Get Ready to Ramp it Up With the current struggles in the stock market the fixed interest rates have actually started to ease downward again. This is an election year and the people in power can’t afford to go into the election with a sluggish economy. Right now the housing industry is about the strongest sector of the economy and they can’t let that slow down if at all possible. The media news is all good for the continued strength of the housing market. The Orange County Register on Wednesday this week reported on the front page “Home Prices Edge Close to Record”. Fannie Mae also issued reports that the housing recovery “will continue to march on” and a new report out today says the sales of existing homes in December surged nearly 15% over November. The report says that is the largest monthly jump in history.

How Does This Affect You ? I have maintained for many years that the key component to the housing market is the media. In this case it is not just the local newspaper that is gushing about the strength of the real estate market but other creditable media and news outlets. So enjoy the ride and pass this information along.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Return of the Single Female Home Buyer

Source: Bloomberg

After the housing crisis, lenders made it harder to qualify for mortgages, and the percentage of single female buyers dropped from 21 percent of purchasers in 2009 to 15 percent this year. But it appears single women could be poised to make a comeback in the housing market. For instance, the majority of respondents to a prospective home buyer survey by real estate brokerage Redfin have been women. In addition, in many U.S. cities, the share of women earning more than $100,000 increased the most from 2012 to 2014. In urban areas, their incomes are rising faster than those of single men. Read the full story

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Market Matters

Homebuilders feeling happiest in 10 years
Source: Yahoo! Finance

U.S. homebuilder sentiment jumped 3 points in October to a level of 64 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which is proof that the single-family housing market is making lasting gains as more serious buyers come forward. An index rating above 50 is considered positive sentiment. Sales expectations in the next six months rose 7 points to 75, while current sales conditions rose 3 points to 70. Buyer traffic, however, didn't move, sitting at 47— the only component still in negative territory.
Read the full story
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Homeownership Help: The Growing Importance of the Bank of Mom & Dad 
Source: Zillow
Potential home buyers are increasingly relying on money from mom and dad as younger Americans look to secure the necessary funds for a down payment. The combination of rising home values, slow income growth, and still-tight credit markets has resulted in a growing reliance on intra-family loans and gifts meant to be used as down payments for younger home buyers. Overall, presumed first-time home buyers who bought in the years after the recession were roughly twice as likely to have received down payment assistance from friends and family as those who bought prior to the recession. The growing importance in the home-buying process of loans and gifts from family and friends underscores the challenge that securing a suitable down payment represents for younger home buyers.
Read the full story
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Home Construction Rebounds Amid Surge in Multifamily Units
Source: Wall St. Journal
A sharp increase in construction of apartments and other multifamily housing has led U.S. home building to rebound in September after two straight months of declines. Housing starts rose 6.5 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.21 million in September, and an 18.3 percent surge in multifamily units, which include apartments and condominiums, led the increase. Builders are confident home buyers will return to the housing market, drawn by an improved job market, higher rental costs, and continuing low interest rates from the Federal Reserve.
Read the full story
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Millennials’ top competition for condos might be their parents
Source: Washington Post
Roughly 10,000 baby boomers are retiring each day, and recent data shows that half of those who plan to move will downsize when they do. As a result, millennials have tough new competition for the condominiums and apartments that are heating up the nation’s housing market. In fact, boomers are renting apartments and buying condos at more than twice the rate of their millennial children. This means cash-strapped millennials may not be able to snag affordable units in buildings developed to house 20-somethings in urban areas.
Read the full story
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Millennials Less Likely to Identify Credit-Altering Life Events
Source: DSNews.comMillennials are less likely than baby boomers to identify milestone life events that could affect their credit, according to a new survey released by TransUnion. In fact, less than half of millennials surveyed could cite specific major life events that could negatively or positively affect credit, such as divorce (40 percent compared to 57 percent of boomers) or the death of a spouse (26 percent compared to 48 percent of boomers).
Read the full story

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