With home buyer demand starting to slow along seasonal trends, properties for sale are staying on the market slightly longer. For transactions that closed in July, the homes were typically on the market for 42 days, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index. NAR notes that the number of days on market typically rises after June because of seasonal changes and an overall slowdown in the housing market heading into fall.
But with inventory still tight, properties are moving faster than they did a year ago — when they averaged 48 days on the market, according to NAR. In July, 43 percent of sold properties spent less than a month on the market.
Short sales are on the market for the longest time, at 135 days, while foreclosed properties are staying on the market an average of 49 days. Non-distressed properties averaged 41 days, according to NAR.
Source: “In What States Did Properties Sell Quickly in May-July 2015?” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Sept. 1, 2015)
Starting Sept. 14, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is including a mandate that instructs lenders to inform borrowers when they first meet to get a home inspection prior to purchasing a home. The mandate will be added to the HUD/Federal Housing Administration Single Family Policy Handbook and will include a document called “For Your Protection, Get a Home Inspection.”
“We are proud to provide critical inspection information for this handbook to help home buyers protect themselves,” says Frank Lesh, American Society of Home Inspectors, executive director. “Owning a home is one of the biggest financial investments in a person’s life, and a home inspection can help prevent costly problems.” We agree!
Source: “HUD and FHA Urge Buyers to Have Homes Inspected Before Purchase,” RISMedia (Aug. 31, 2015)
Ordinarily under Proposition 13 in California, the value of a home for property tax purposes is re-assessed to market level whenever a change in ownership may take place. This usually results in higher property taxes on the home buyers new home.
In November 1988, the state‘s voters approved Proposition 90, which is designed to induce greater turnover of homes owned by senior citizens. Proposition 90 may provide anyone over the age of 55 with relief from Proposition 13 by allowing them to move from one county to another without undergoing a change in their basic property taxes. El Dorado County is one of only a few in California participating in this tax saving program.
For more information contact us or view the State Board of Equalization site at http://www.boe.ca.gov/proptaxes/pdf/lta06010.pdf
“Events in China generated eye-catching volatility in equity markets worldwide over the past week,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Interest rates also rocked up and down — although to a lesser extent than equities — as investors alternated between flights to quality and bargain hunting among beaten-down stocks. Amidst all this confusion, the 30-year mortgage rate dropped to 3.84 percent, the lowest mark since May and the fifth consecutive week with a rate below 4 percent.”
Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 27:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.84 percent with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.93 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.10 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.06 percent with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.15 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.25 percent.
- 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.90 percent with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 2.94 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.97 percent.
- 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.62 percent with an average 0.3 point, holding the same average as last week. Last year at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.39 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
Whether it’s for a starter home or a second home, some buyers take the idea of a “little place of their own” seriously. Houses that may be smaller than some living rooms.
The five featured build-to-order homes — many of which come on wheels — range in size from a cozy 140 square feet to an expansive 269 square feet. The colorful Toy Box Tiny House, for example, can be had for as little as $35,000 and features a “sliding glass door, built-in planters, reconfigurable storage/seating cubes, floating cabinet for cooking ingredients, [and a] loft big enough for a king-size bed,” reports Curbed’s Jenny Xie.
Because of the tight space of these floor plans, most units come with at least some custom amenities. But if your buyers want even more minimalism, Monarch Tiny Homes can supply a 170-square-foot “half and half” for only $22,000 with no interior furnishings. The structure, says Xie, includes “plywood flooring, recycled siding, self-contained composting toilet, LED lighting, [and] mostly bare interiors ready for your own vision.”
Source: “5 Impressive Tiny Houses You Can Order Right Now,” Curbed.com
Rising home prices tops the list of home buyer concerns this year, a shift from last year when nearly half of buyers said their chief concern was the limited number of homes for-sale, according to a new survey of more than 3,500 buyers released by Redfin.
The survey identified the following top six home buyer concerns this year:
- Affordability: “Prices are rising too high” – 27%
- “There’s too much competition from other buyers” – 17%
- “There aren’t enough homes to choose from” – 14%
- “I need to sell a home first” – 8%
- “I might not have enough for a down payment” – 6%
- “Mortgage rates will go up before I can buy” – 5%
Source: “Home Prices Weigh Heavily on Buyers as Mortgage-Rate Worry Recedes,” Redfin Research Center (Aug. 19, 2015)
For the fifth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged below 4 percent, as home buyers and refinancers rush to lock in low rates.
“Housing markets have responded positively to low mortgage rates,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The latest NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index for August 2015 was 61, the highest level in more than nine years. One-unit housing starts in July 2015 jumped to 782,000 units, up 12.8 percent from June and up 19 percent from last year. Overall housing markets remain on track for the best year since 2007.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 20:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.93 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.10 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.15 percent, with an average 0.6 point, falling from last week’s 3.17 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.23 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
A last-minute problem with financing can quickly delay a closing on a home sale. Here are two of the most common financing problems that can surface:
- Failure to disclose key financial information. One of the biggest reasons for a financial issue is the failure of the buyer to disclose key financial information, The New York Times reports. Buyers who are not forthright about their financial circumstances can face a delay. Lenders will quickly find borrowers who are behind on child support obligations or real estate taxes, for example.
- Running up credit as a mortgage application is pending. Buyers may go out and purchase new furniture or a car prior to closing on a home, but doing so, could cause them a delay to the closing of their home sale. Lenders will recheck borrowers’ credit right before the closing date. If new debt obligations suddenly appear, that can be a red flag to a lender. Prior to making any large purchases prior to closing, borrowers should check with their lender, says Douglas Rotella, an executive vice president and loan originator with HomeBridge Financial Services.
Source: “How Mortgage Problems Unravel Home Deals,” The New York Times (Aug. 14, 2015)
More Americans are getting excited about smart home technology. Millennials and parents in particular are expressing interest in having a connected home, according to the second annual State of the Smart Home Report from Icontrol Networks.
Personal and family security are the main drivers in smart home adoption – these two factors are identified as the top reasons to purchase a connected home, per the survey.
What’s more, consumers who actually see smart home technology in action are more likely to then adopt it. A new study finds that the likelihood a consumer will buy a smart home device climbs by 93 percent among those who have seen the technology in person.
The survey also found that 42 percent of respondents said they would be most likely to incorporate smart home technology into their home when they are making renovations or upgrades, followed next by when they buy a new home (26%) or move (25%).
Source: “Consumers’ Top Five Smart Home Products,” BUILDER Online (Aug. 12, 2015)
The lowest mortgage rates on record have lured buyers during the last few years, but the Federal Reserve has already given plenty of signals that will soon come to an end.
Mortgage rates are already inching up, ever-so-slightly. From January to June, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage climbed from 3.7 percent to 4.2 percent.
In this latest era of super-low mortgage rates, what’s normal? A 6 percent interest rate is “normal,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. He says mortgage rates likely won’t hit that point in the next two years, however.
“We will likely see less than a 100 basis point increase over the next two years, which would bring us to around 5.5 percent in 2017,” he says.
Source: “Just How High Might Mortgage Rates Go?” realtor.com® (Aug. 14, 2015)