How Old Is Your State’s Housing Stock?

More interesting details at:  “The Age of Housing Stock,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Jan. 5, 2017) and “Age of Housing Stock by State,” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing blog (Jan. 5, 2017)

More Equity Likely Coming to Home Owners

Spread this news: Home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, rose year over year by 7.1 percent in November 2016 compared to November 2015, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index shows.

Expect more price jumps ahead too, although at a more modest pace. Home prices likely will increase by 4.7 percent nationwide on a year-over-year basis from November 2016 to November 2017, according to CoreLogic’s forecasts. We believe our area will increase by over 6 percent.

Source: “Home Price Index Highlights: November 2016,” CoreLogic (Jan. 3, 2017)

Survey: Higher Rates Don’t Scare Buyers

Despite mortgage rates reaching a two-year high last week, home buyers say the increases aren’t scaring them away from their real estate search, according to a new Redfin survey. Only 2.6 percent of respondents say they have decided to postpone their search since rates rose above 4 percent.

Twenty-five percent of respondents say the rise in rates does not impact their homebuying decisions, and about 24 percent say they feel a greater sense of urgency to buy before rates go up further. However, 23 percent say the rate increases may prompt them to look in other areas or  buy a smaller home. About 26 percent of buyers say they might take more time with their search and see if rates go back down again.

Source: “Rising Mortgage Rates: Homebuyers Are More Resilient Than You Might Think,” Redfin Blog (Dec. 20, 2016)

Fed Hikes Interest Rates: The Mortgage Impact

The Federal Reserve hiked short-term interest rates Wednesday, in a move largely predicted by economists. So, what does this mean for mortgage rates and buyers?

“That means rates like we’ve seen for most of the past five years are indeed history,” writes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist, in his latest column. Rates in the 3 percent range are gone.

“Mortgage rates will move higher before the Fed acts again, so if the Fed carries out its three planned hikes in 2017, we could come close to 5 percent on 30-year conforming rates before the end of next year,” Smoke notes.

How big of an impact could rising rates have in the coming months? A median-priced home would be $978 per month payment at Wednesday’s rate of 4.2 percent (and assuming a 20 percent down payment), realtor.com® notes. Take that rate to 5 percent, the monthly payment jumps up to $1,074, nearly $100 more.

So, if you intend to buy next year and finance the purchase with a mortgage, now is a great time to begin!

Source: “Fed’s Rate Hike Confirms It: Time Is Running Out on Low Mortgage Rates,” realtor.com® (Dec. 15, 2016)

Mortgage Rates at Highest Averages of 2016

As we expected, for the fifth consecutive week, average fixed mortgage rates edged higher. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now averaging above 4 percent.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 1:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.03 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.34 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.25 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.16 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Loan Interest Rates Are Nearing 4%

Fixed-rate mortgages are climbing following a post-selection sell-off in the Treasury Market.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Nov. 17:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.57 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Owners Get More Realistic on Prices

Home owners’ perceptions of the value of their homes are starting to get closer in line to the opinions of appraisers.

The latest Quicken Loans Home Price Perceptions Index shows that the average appraisal was 1.15 percent lower than home owners’ expectations. In September, appraised values were 1.26 percent lower than home owner expectations — so the gap is narrowing between the two. This is the fourth consecutive month the index has moved closer in line between home owner and appraiser estimates.

View charts of the breakdown across the U.S. of home value expectations between appraisers versus home owners at: Quicken Loans

Home Loan Interest Rates Recede to Near-Record Lows

Great news! “Mortgage rates continue to be relatively stable and at near record lows,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points week-over-week to 3.47 percent, erasing last week’s increase. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week relatively flat — up about 2 basis points.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Oct. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.47 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.79 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

 

The Computer Keyboard Is Getting a Makeover

Apple wants to change that QWERTY keyboard you’ve grown accustomed to. Apple reportedly has teamed up with Australian start up Sonder Design Pty Ltd. to transform the standard QWERTY keyboard so that it will not only contain any alphabet but also special commands and symbols.

The keyboards are to use “E Ink” displays, which are similar to those on Amazon’s Kindle devices. The keyboards will be fully customizable, and reportedly will make it easier for those who use software programs to outfit it with specialized commands. It also will apparently make it easier to swap out emojis and other symbol substitutes for words.

The new keyboards are set to debut and become standard on new MacBook laptops in 2018.

Source: “It’s Goodbye QWERTY, Hello Emojis as Apple Rethinks the Keyboard,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 19, 2016)

Are Home Owners Looking for a Rescue Plan?

Half of Americans say they currently have a dispute with a neighbor, according to a new survey from North American Van Lines.

In fact, 13 percent of Americans say they have moved just to get away from their next-door neighbor.

Take a look at these interesting infographics to see the conflicts home owners are having with their neighbors at: North American Moving Services