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News

Could decline in median new-home size herald return of entry-level buyers?

November 21, 2014
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Newly built, single-family homes in the U.S. finally are getting smaller, a sign that a long-awaited shift of builders to slightly smaller, more affordable homes likely has started. Commerce Department data shows the median size of a single-family home built in the third quarter was 2,414 square feet, down 2.3% from the second quarter measure […]

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Gradual U.S. housing recovery on track as single-family starts rise

November 19, 2014
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Starts for U.S. single-family homes rose for a second straight month in October and building permits neared a 6-1/2-year high, suggesting the housing market was still on a recovery path. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday groundbreaking for single-family homes, which account for more than two-thirds of the market, increased 4.2 percent to a seasonally […]

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Expanding a kid’s ideas about ‘home’

November 18, 2014
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A classic theory of cognitive development says that as a kid grows up, her sense of membership in the world grows outward. A new app from Tinybop Inc encourages that growing worldview. Recommended for ages four and up, “Homes” invites open-ended exploration of how kids “live, sleep, eat, and play in unique households around the […]

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Housing markets inch toward full recovery

November 12, 2014
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Markets in 59 of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity in the third quarter of 2014, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index. This represents a year-over-year net gain of seven markets. The index’s nationwide score moved […]

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The Silver Economy: downsizers transform US housing landscape

November 3, 2014
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This new story from The Financial Times highlights how homebuilders are designing new homes especially for retirees. The article highlights Lennar’s Next Gen home, designed for multigenerational living situations. According to Lennar Regional President Jeff Roos, by far the biggest buyers of the 2,000 Next Gen homes sold to date have been families with grandparents […]

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Half-point drop in interest rates boosts homebuyers’ budgets

October 28, 2014
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Interest rates have fallen below 4 percent, meaning buyers can get a more expensive home for the same monthly payment. Since the beginning of the year, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow has fallen by more than a half point, from 4.3 percent to 3.8 percent. A half point may not seem like a […]

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These real-estate agents walked into real-life houses of horror

October 28, 2014
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It doesn’t have to be Halloween for real-estate agents to stumble into some truly creepy houses. In some cases, sellers haven’t taken the care to stage their home properly before listing. Foreclosures also often yield some rather odd showings. Here are some of their stories. In Colorado Springs, real-estate agent Willi Ellis, with ERA Shields, […]

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Consumer Confidence in U.S. increases to a seven-year high

October 28, 2014
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Consumer confidence advanced in October as Americans enjoyed further price drops at the gas pump and the job market continued to improve. The Conference Board’s index climbed to 94.5 this month, the highest since October 2007, from a September reading of 89 that was stronger than initially estimated. The gauge exceeded the most optimistic projection […]

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Why do people move: jobs or housing?

October 28, 2014
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It’s often assumed that people move to get better jobs. But Census data show the main people reason move is to gain access to better housing. The issue is sometimes posed as a chicken-and-egg question: What comes first, people or jobs? A new study published in the journal Urban Studies takes a close look at the […]

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Pending Home Sales Inch Up In September As Housing Market Normalizes

October 27, 2014
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The number of contracts signed to buy previously-owned homes inched up slightly in September, reaching its second-highest level since August 2013. The numbers are another indicator that the housing market is past the rapid recovery phase and is beginning to normalize. The Pending Home Sales Index, which tracks contract signings (as opposed to closed sales), […]

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