Seventy-four percent of home owners say they want more pops of color in their houses, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Sherwin-Williams.
Twenty-nine percent of home owners surveyed say the living room or family room are the areas of a home that they’re most looking to spice up with color, according to the survey. Nineteen percent of respondents said they want a more colorful bedroom, and 10 percent said the kitchen.
While grays and beiges are still the most popular choices, more home owners are reaching for colors like burnt orange and baked clay as well. They’re also showing more willingness to incorporate pops of color in social areas of the home “because it’s an environment you want to feel energetic in,” says Jackie Jordan, with Sherwin-Williams.
About 39 percent of home owners say the artwork is the most colorful element in their homes, not their walls. However, 23 percent of home owners polled cited the walls as the most colorful element in a home, making it the second most-popular response.
Source: “Bright Ideas for Colorful Homes,” The Wall Street Journal (April 15, 2013)
Home buyers want energy efficiency, according to a new study released by the National Association of Home Builders titled, “What Home Buyers Really Want.” Four of the top-ranked home features involve saving energy.
For example, 94 percent of buyers surveyed say they want energy-star rated appliances. Ninety-one percent said they want the whole home to boast an energy-star rating. What’s more, 89 percent said they wanted energy-star rated windows and 88 percent desire ceiling fans, according to the survey.
Home buyers are also paying more attention to the laundry room in homes. Fifty-seven percent consider a laundry room “essential” in a home and nearly every home buyer surveyed say they want one in their home.
Organization is also big for home buyers. All ranking high on their wish-lists: A linen closet in the bathroom, space in the garage to put sports equipment and gardening tools, and a walk-in pantry in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, what do buyers show little preference for? About 43 percent say they do not want a two-story family room, and 38 percent say they don’t want a two-story entry foyer. More buyers view these open spaces as less energy efficient, so they’re no longer as highly rated.
Source: “What Do Home Buyers Really Want?” RISMedia (March 3, 2013)
Moves across county and state lines are falling, with the 2007-2009 recession blamed for changing Americans’ moving patterns, according to an analysis of census data through 2010. The Great Recession caused more Americans to move because they could no longer afford to remain where they were. That’s a big change in what traditionally motivates Americans to move — a bigger home or higher paying job, USA Today reports about the analysis.
Nine percent of Americans stayed local with their moves during 2007-2009 period — the highest in a decade.
“Typically, over the last couple of decades, when Americans moved, they moved to improve their lives,” says Michael Stoll, author of the research and chairman of UCLA’s public policy department. “This is the shock: For the first time, Americans are moving for downward economic mobility. Either they lost their house or can’t afford where they’re renting currently or needed to save money.”
More than 23 percent moved for more affordable housing during the recession. Prior to the recession, that percentage stood at 20.8 percent.
Also, prior to the recession, 41.3 percent of Americans moved in order to own a home or settle into a better neighborhood. However, during the recession, that percentage dropped to 30.4 percent.
Source: “Americans on the Move Start Moving Down, Not Up; Setback in Upward Mobility Hits Blacks, Sun Belt Spots Hardest,” USA Today (Feb. 20, 2013)
30 year fixed-rate mortgages, the most popular among home buyers, reached their highest reading in eight weeks, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.
Here’s a closer look at national averages of mortgage rates for the week ending Jan. 10, according to Freddie Mac:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.40 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 3.34 percent average. The record low for 30-year rates was reached on Nov. 21, 2012, averaging 3.31 percent. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.89 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.66 percent, with an average 0.7 point, increasing from last week’s 2.64 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.16 percent.
- 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.67 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.71 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.82 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD recently released the 2011 American Housing Survey, a biennual comprehensive national housing survey that provides data on housing inventories, demographics, home improvements, mortgages, and more.
The 2011 survey indicates that almost 20 percent of new home owners chose their neighborhood based on convenience to the workplace.
The poll of the nation’s 115 million occupied homes also reveals the median size of single-family detached and mobile residences to be 1,800 square feet — versus 2,200 square feet for newly built homes — and the median year of construction for owner-occupied units to be 1976.
Sixty-four percent of homes have three or more bedrooms and 52 % have two or more bathrooms. In terms of accessibility, 64 % have floors with no steps between rooms, 48 % have entry-level bathrooms, and 36 % have entry-level bedrooms.
The survey also found that 20 % of recent movers located their current homes through a real estate agent, 17 % through Realtor.com, and 16 % by word-of-mouth. Additionally, households spend about 24% of their household income on housing.
This data and more is now available for the first time through the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder data access tool. Please review data and provide your comments!
Source: “HUD and Census Bureau Expand Access to Include Housing Info” National Mortgage Professional (01/04/13)
The buyer purchasing power index (BPI) decreased slightly to 7.7 in December 2012. This represents a 7.7% increase in mortgage funds available to today’s buyers over one year earlier. December’s BPI was down from 8.66 in December 2011. All figures remain positive for short-term upward price movement.
first tuesday forecasts the BPI will drop to zero by mid-2013 and remain there throughout 2014. The BPI will go negative in 2015 when long-term rates rise due to an improving economy. Sellers will then experience downward pressure on prices as buyers are able to borrow less with the same income.
Chart updated 1/2/2013
More information at source: http://firsttuesdayjournal.com/press-release-buyer-purchasing-power-index-remains-high/
Todays real estate update! The average FICO score for first-lien loans reached 750 in October, a rise from 741 in August, according to Ellie Mae, an analysis that encompasses about 20 percent of all loan applications in the U.S.
Meanwhile, the average FICO score on applications that were denied by lenders was 706. That is up from 700 compared to year ago levels and 697 in September 2011.
Last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that tighter lending conditions are contributing to a housing slowdown. He said that some tightening in mortgage lending was necessary following the housing crisis. But, he added, “it seems at this point the pendulum has swung too far the other way, and that overly tight lending standards may now be preventing creditworthy borrowers from buying homes.”
Source: “Average FICO Score Getting higher for Approved Mortgages,” HousingWire 11/19/12
California’s potential first-time homebuyers (aged 25-34) numbered 5,404,486 in 2011. At the same time, the state’s homeownership rate stood at 55.3%. California homeownership has dropped steadily during 2012. It will level off around 2016 as a wave of now-tenants enter (or re-enter) the market as buyers.
California’s homeownership rate continues its fall in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Will the next wave of first-time homebuyers bring a sea change?
Please view data and charts at: http://firsttuesdayjournal.com/will-first-time-homebuyers-save-californias-homeownership-rate/