Half-Point Drop In Interest Rates Boosts Homebuyers’ Budgets

October 28, 2014

in News

Post image for Half-Point Drop In Interest Rates Boosts Homebuyers’ Budgets

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 lot, but it can translate into significant savings on a monthly basis and over the life of a loan. For example, mortgage rates have dropped off so much this year that a buyer who started shopping at the beginning of the year for a $375,000 house could buy a $400,000 house now for the same monthly payment - an extra $25,000 of spending power. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

These Real-Estate Agents Walked Into Real-Life Houses Of Horror

October 28, 2014

in News,Tips

Post image for These Real-Estate Agents Walked Into Real-Life Houses Of Horror

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, showed a pre-foreclosure home where most of the flooring was ripped out, exposing the plywood subflooring. A beat-up refrigerator was in the dining room, and clothes were piled in a bathtub. Her clients bought it anyway, seeing it as a diamond in the rough, but the problems continued – asbestos remediation was required and radon levels were well over the EPA’s limit. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

Consumer Confidence In U.S. Increases To A Seven-Year High

October 28, 2014

in News

Post image for Consumer Confidence In U.S. Increases To A Seven-Year High

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 in a Bloomberg survey of economists. More job security, declining gasoline prices, and a strengthening labor market are setting the stage for a stronger expansion. Bigger wage increases and a reduction in long-term unemployment would help keep sentiment improving and lay the groundwork for gains in spending, which makes up almost 70 percent of the economy. “The consumer really has the wind at their backs,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, said before the report. “The consumer at this point seems to have the wherewithal to power the economy forward.” [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

Why Do People Move: Jobs or Housing?

October 28, 2014

in News

Post image for Why Do People Move: Jobs or Housing?

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 connection between these two types of moves – moving for jobs versus moving for housing. The study, by University of California, Irvine, social ecologist Jae Hong Kim, covers 342 metropolitan areas and span two periods, before the Great Recession (2005-2007) and during (2008-2010), to deal with the effects of the economic crisis on mobility. Kim ran a series of statistical analyses to sort out the relationships between job and residential mobility. The upshot: the two are more closely related than we might think. Moving for a job is associated with moving to find new housing, though the reverse is less common. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

Pending Home Sales Inch Up In September As Housing Market Normalizes

October 27, 2014

in News

Post image for Pending Home Sales Inch Up In September As Housing Market Normalizes

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), rose 0.3% in September to 105.0, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. September also marked the first time in 11 months that contract signings were higher – by 1% – than their level one year earlier. Contracts for previously-owned homes have been down on a year-over-year basis since September 2013, when rising prices seemed to slow the pace at which Americans were purchasing homes. Now, with price gains slowing and inventory levels easing, buyers appear to be more confident about the market. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

Reframing Rays: Solar Companies Seek New Ways To Sell Panels

October 27, 2014

in Green Living,Lennar,News

Post image for Reframing Rays: Solar Companies Seek New Ways To Sell Panels

When Michelle Rose went hunting for a new home, she was looking for three bedrooms and baths, a nice floor plan and granite countertops. Solar panels weren’t on the list. Still, there they were on the model home in the Table Rock Ridge development being built by Lennar Homes in Golden, Colorado – at no extra charge. “I was excited,” Rose said. “I had looked at adding solar panels to my home, but the upfront expense was too high. When Lennar said they’d take care of the maintenance … it was a win-win,” said Rose, who expects to move into her new home with her two children in December. Lennar is installing solar panels on all the homes in new developments in Golden, Arvada, Castle Rock and Frederick. The solar panels add “to the curb appeal of a new home” and are an investment in “smart homebuilding,” said David Kaiserman, CEO of SunStreet Energy Group, the Lennar subsidiary managing the program. “This is just the beginning we see extending this program to more communities,” Kaiserman said. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

At Six-Year High, New-Home Sales Remain On Upward Track

October 24, 2014

in News

Post image for At Six-Year High, New-Home Sales Remain On Upward Track

Sales of new homes in September rose slightly and hit a six-year high even though purchases earlier in the summer were not nearly as strong as initially reported. The pace of new home sales edged up 0.2% last month to an annual rate of 467,000, compared to a revised 466,000 in August, the government said Friday. New home sales in September were the highest since July 2008. And sales of new homes are 17% higher now compared to the same month in 2013, a sign that the housing market continues to get healthier. Home prices are rising at a slower pace and 30-year mortgage rates have fallen back below 4%, making houses somewhat more affordable. New-home sales averaged an annual rate of 446,000 in the third quarter, up 15% from the same three-month period in 2013. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

U.S. Existing Home Sales At One-Year High, Prices Up

October 22, 2014

in News

Post image for U.S. Existing Home Sales At One-Year High, Prices Up

U.S. home resales raced to a one-year high in September, the latest indication the housing market recovery is gradually getting back on track. The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales increased 2.4 percent to an annual rate of 5.17 million units, the strongest reading since September of last year. That was above economists’ expectations for a rise to a 5.10 million unit pace and more than reversed August’s decline, which had pushed down sales to a 5.05 million unit pace. Housing is slowly regaining its footing after activity stalled in the second half of 2013 following a run-up in mortgage rates. While it continues to be hobbled by sluggish wage growth, a recent decline in mortgage rates should help support sales. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

The Need For Multigenerational Housing: The Numbers Are Growing

October 21, 2014

in Lennar,News

Post image for The Need For Multigenerational Housing: The Numbers Are Growing

In a recent article, Forbes highlighted the growing need for multigenerational housing in America today. Now, boomers have more attractive living options for sharing households, whether it’s to provide housing for their parents or to move in with their grown children and grandkids. The idea of multigenerational housing is as old as humanity. But mostly that has entailed sharing the same living space. According to a 2010 Pew Research report, 20% of people 65 and older live in a multigenerational household, and the numbers are growing. In response, major developers are getting into the multigenerational act. Lennar, a Miami-based developer, offers a line of homes with “NextGen” suites that include a private entrance, living room, eat-in kitchenette, bedroom and bath. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }

Nationwide Housing Starts Top 1 Million For Third Time This Year

October 21, 2014

in News

Post image for Nationwide Housing Starts Top 1 Million For Third Time This Year

For the third time this year, nationwide housing starts surpassed the million-mark, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Total housing production in September rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.017 million units. “These numbers show starts returning to levels we saw earlier this summer, where they hovered around one million units,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “We are hopeful this pattern of modest growth will continue as we close out the year.” According to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe: “I expect we will see a continued recovery as job creation grows and consumers gain more confidence in the housing market.” Single-family housing starts were up 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 646,000 units in August, while multifamily production climbed 16.7 percent to 371,000 units. [Read this article]

{ 0 comments }