Friday, July 25, 2014

Market Matters


Americans Shut Out of Housing as FHA Fees Jump

Source: Bloomberg

For many buyers seeking a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration, homeownership may no longer be attainable with increases in mortgage insurance fees, especially at a time when housing affordability remains a challenge for many Americans. The new FHA fees can tack on a couple hundred extra dollars every month, which experts argue has contributed to the decline in first-time buyers.
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Are Student Loans Really Killing the Housing Market?
Source: The Atlantic
 
Derek Thompson of the Atlantic points out that student debt is destroying demand among first-time buyers, but it's not affecting their share of the market. Examining the statistics, he argues, “First-time home buyers make up a historically normal share of new homeowner families, but a historically small share of new home buyers, because a big slice of the housing market is owned by big institutional investors who aren't living in the homes they buy.” He concludes that student loans are indeed depressing demand for homes, but only slightly more than the overall market for homes is already depressed.
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One in Three SoCal homes paid for with cash: Who's buying?
Source: KPCC

Around 33 percent of all home purchases in California were paid in cash in the first quarter, the highest level since 2011, according to RealtyTrac. Beverly Hills, Arcadia, and San Marino were areas with a high percentage of home sales paid in cash, with many all cash buyers coming from overseas.
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Market Matters

Wanted: Employed 25- to 34-Year-Olds to Buy Houses
Source: CNBC

According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor, the number of employed people aged 25 to 34 is lower now than it was in the 1980s, which spells trouble for the housing market since this demographic group will struggle to become prime candidates for buying houses. The economic impact of a lack of first-time buyer sales has caused some experts to describe the market as looking a bit soft.
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Home Builders Bidding Up Best Lots, Ignoring Outskirts
Source: Wall Street Journal
 
Builders are focusing on higher priced lots that are typically close to growing job and transportation centers. At the moment, these centrally located locations are fetching a historically high premium over more affordable areas, which indicates that builders would rather bid up the best lots than move to the outskirts. Undeveloped raw land has put added pressure on home prices.
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When home improvements offer the most bang for your buck
Source: CNBC

Remodeling is at its highest level since the spring of 2004, according to the National Association of Home Builders' Remodeling Market Index. When it comes to upgrades, homeowners can expect the average portion of costs being recouped at 66.1 percent. Entry door improvements and kitchen upgrades offer the most bang for your buck.
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