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Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Spike In May - 06/30/11 05:29 PM
The summer housing market is heating up. According to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, the Pending Home Sales Index smashed analyst expectations, jumping 8 percent on a monthly basis in May. Wall Street calls were for an increase of just 0.5 percent. It was a surprise result that, coupled with the recent stronger-than-expected New Home Sales and Existing Home Sales readings, has sparked housing market optimism nationwide. The biggest reason for the optimism is because of what the Pending Home Sales Index measures. In contrast to "traditional" housing data which reports on how housing performed two months ago, for (1 comments)
Rehabilitating Your Dream Home - 06/30/11 05:26 PM
Home buying can be a nerve-wracking experience. You sift through multiple properties, visit the ones that grab your interest, and then finally decide on your dream home — but there's just one problem: it's a fixer-upper desperately in need of some TLC. That dilemma is not uncommon today. Perhaps the home was treated poorly by a long string of renters, the owner ignored a serious problem or key fixtures were even sold off. Whatever the case, don't be shocked or overly disappointed. Increasingly, home buyers are faced with the prospect of buying a fixer-upper in today's real estate market. Often, attractively (0 comments)
Maybe homes are holding value better than we thought. Between March and April of this year, home values rose 0.8 percent nationally, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Home Price Index. It's the index's first month-to-month improvement since May of last year. Values are down 19 percent since peaking 4 years ago. Private-sector data affirms the government's report. Tuesday, the S&P's Case-Shiller Index also showed home values higher by 0.8 percent in April, on a monthly basis. Led by Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, 13 of the Case-Shiller's 20 tracked markets showed improvement in April. In March, just 2 markets (1 comments)
A report issued Monday by the U.S. government showed core inflation rising 2.5 percent in the last 12 months for its biggest one-year gain since January 2010. Everyday living is becoming expensive, it seems. But there are some U.S. towns in which the cost of living remains affordable -- and downright cheap -- as compared to the national average. They're detailed in a BusinessWeek piece titled "The Cheapest 25 Cities In The U.S". In comparing costs across 340 urban areas as compiled by the Council of Community & Economic Research, cities in Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Oklahoma ranked consistently high. (3 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 27, 2011 - 06/29/11 12:44 AM
Mortgage markets improved again last week on a revised economic outlook for the U.S. economy, and ongoing concerns about Greece and its sovereign debt. Conforming mortgage rates fell last week and now hover near the all-time lows set last November. Adjustable-rate mortgages are especially low. There were three big stories last week that will carry forward into this week. First, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged in its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. This was expected. However, the Fed revised its growth estimates for the U.S. economy lower. This was not expected. Mortgage (0 comments)
A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (June 22, 2011 Edition) - 06/23/11 06:53 PM
Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within its current target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. The vote was 10-0 -- the fourth straight unanimous vote for the nation's Central Bank. In its press release, the FOMC said that the economy is recovering, although "somewhat more slowly" than what was expected. Labor markets have been weaker than anticipated and the Fed believes that is, in part, a result of higher food and energy costs, and supply chain disruptions as a result of "tragic events in Japan". Some economic bright spots identified by the Fed include (0 comments)
Despite rising new home sales and an increase in building permits nationwide, home builder confidence slipped to a 9-month low in June. The monthly Housing Market Index from the National Association of Homebuilders registered 13 this month -- three ticks lower than last month, and its lowest level since September 2010. June's 3-point drop from May is the biggest one-month move since May 2010, the month after the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credit. The retreat could signal favorable pricing for new home buyers in the months ahead. When builders get less bullish on housing, they may be (0 comments)
This week marks the official start of Summer. If your home's outdoor area has furniture in it, you'll want to make sure that your furniture is clean. In this 4-minute video from Lowe's, you'll learn tricks to keep your outdoor furniture clean, and protected from the elements. All types of outdoor furniture are covered in the lesson including metal, resin-based, and wooden. The offered tips include: Why you should never remove the "care tags" from a furniture pillow Choosing the proper pressure-washer tip for the job at-hand How to use car wax as a rust-preventative Furthermore, the instructional video includes (0 comments)
Housing Starts Climb Unexpectedly In May - 06/17/11 04:05 PM
The housing market received a jolt of good news Thursday. The Commerce Department reports that Single-Family Housing Starts improved in May. As compared to April, last month's Single-Family Housing Starts rose 4 percent to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 419,000 units, a figure slightly better than the 6-month average and the highest tally since January. A "housing start" is defined as a home on which new construction has started. In addition, Building Permits saw a boost in May, too, climbing nearly 9 percent overall. Building Permits are a gauge of future construction activity with 89 percent of permits leading to new (2 comments)
Mortgage Rates Surge On May Retail Sales Figures - 06/15/11 03:10 PM
The jobs market is recovering slower than expected, and so is housing. But neither condition has slowed U.S. consumers. According to the Census Bureau, Retail Sales rose for the 11th straight month in May. Excluding cars and auto parts, sales receipts climbed to $322 billion last month. It's an all-time high and another example of the U.S. economy's resiliency. Wall Street didn't expect such results. As a result, mortgage rates worsened Tuesday. By a lot. The connection between Retail Sales and mortgage rates can be fairly tight in a recovering economy. Retail Sales accounts for almost half of all U.S. consumer spending, (0 comments)
Mortgage rates are falling, falling, falling. On a wave of uncertainty about Greece and its debt; and weaker-than-expected economic data at home, conforming 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have fallen to levels not seen since December 2, 2010. Mortgage rates have dropped 8 weeks in a row. Not even last year's Refi Boom produced an 8-week winning streak. This season's streak is historic. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage now averages 4.49% nationally, down 42 basis points, or 0.42%, since early-April. For every $100,000 borrowed, that equates to a monthly savings of $25.24. Adjustable-rate mortgages have shed even more, giving back (1 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 13, 2011 - 06/13/11 07:11 PM
Mortgage markets moved in feverish fashion last week, changing with extreme frequency, and eventually ending slightly worse on the week. Conforming mortgage rates fell to a 6-month low Wednesday but, by Friday, they had retreated higher. Last week marked just the second time in 8 weeks that rates increased. During that span, Freddie Mac reports that mortgage rates have dropped 42 basis points, or 0.42%. That equates to a monthly savings of $25.24 per $100,000 borrowed. One reason why mortgage rates have been dropping is that the economy is growing more slowly than projected. In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Chairman (0 comments)
Moving To A New City? See How Much Your Cost Of Living Will Change. - 06/09/11 07:35 PM
It's a fact: It's more expensive to live in some cities than others. Beyond just the costs of buying a home, different cities also carry a different Cost of Living. For households relocating across state lines, the change in "life costs" can be jarring. Depending on where you live, everyday expenses -- from groceries to gasoline -- make a different-sized dent in a household budget. And now you can see in numbers by how much your expenses might change. Visit Bankrate.com's Cost of Living Comparison Calculator. The Cost of Living Comparison calculator is as basic as it is thorough. The calculator asks (0 comments)
Expect a Shift in Building Trends - 06/08/11 04:36 PM
When home building comes back, it will look much different than it does today as trends and needs have shifted. By 2015, housing development will see the following changes: Master planned communities will look different and be styled to appeal to more buyers. How planned communities look will depend on their location in the country. Builders will think more in terms of life style rather than type of buyer (first-time, move-up). Things to consider or multi-generational living, baby boomers that might want single floor living, low maintenance, and lots of amenities, etc. The bigger is better trend is declining and the (0 comments)
Temporary Conforming Loan Limits Expire September 30, 2011 - 06/08/11 04:35 PM
If you live in a high-cost area, keep an eye on your calendar. Effective October 1, 2011, temporary conforming loan limits will be lowered nationwide. Perhaps by as much as 14 percent. These limits range up to $729,750 currently. "Temporary loan limits" were enacted as part of the government's 2008 economic stimulus package. At the time, the financial sector was entering its crisis and private mortgage lending had all but disappeared. Financing was scarce for both homeowners and home buyers for whom loan sizes exceeded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's national $417,000 limit -- even for those with excellent credit and (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : June 6, 2011 - 06/06/11 12:17 PM
Mortgage markets improved last week, carried by the same stories that have led markets better since April. Worries of a Eurozone sovereign debt default mounted, and the U.S. economy's revival showed itself to be slower than originally anticipated. In Greece, the nation readied itself for its second bailout in two years. The austerity measures of last year have not worked as planned. There are concerns that a default would lead to contagion, delivering the Euro region into an economic tailspin. These fears spurred a flight-to-quality in bond circles to the benefit of U.S. mortgage rate shoppers. In addition, last week's U.S. jobs (0 comments)
Tomorrow morning, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its Non-Farm Payrolls report for May. If you're floating a mortgage rate right now -- or are in the process of shopping for a loan -- consider locking your rate sooner rather than later. The Non-Farm Payrolls report can be a major market mover, causing large fluctuations in both conforming and FHA mortgage rates. It's because of the report's insight into the U.S. economy. More commonly called "the jobs report", Non-Farm Payrolls is issued monthly. Sector-by-sector, it details the U.S. workforce and unemployment rates. Jobs momentum has been strong. (0 comments)
Mortgage Guidelines Start To Loosen At The Country's Biggest Banks - 06/02/11 02:08 PM
Another quarter, another sign that mortgage lending may be easing nationwide. The Federal Reserve's quarterly survey of senior loan officers revealed that an overwhelmingly majority of U.S. banks have stopped tightening mortgage requirements for "prime borrowers". A prime borrower is one with a well-documented credit history, high credit scores, and a low debt-to-income ratio. Of the 53 responding "big banks", 49 reported that mortgage guidelines were "basically unchanged" last quarter. Of the remaining four banks, two said mortgage guidelines had "eased somewhat", and the remaining banks said guidelines "tightened somewhat". It's the second straight quarter in which fewer than 5 percent (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.