Survey Shows More Reason to Buy Than Rent

Survey Shows More Reason to Buy Than Rent

Daily Real Estate News (Monday, May 07, 2012)… Thirty-three percent of Americans say they expect home prices to rise in the next 12 months, the highest level in more than a year, according to Fannie Mae’s March 2012 National Housing Survey of consumer attitudes about the housing market.

The number of people who say now is a good time to buy is also on the rise, increasing to 73 percent—also the highest level in more than a year. The percentage who said it’s a good time to sell a home also increased one point to 14 percent in March.

Meanwhile, more Americans expect rental prices to rise and are projecting an increase by 4.1 percent over the next year, the highest number recorded to date.

“Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “Americans’ rental price expectations for the next year continue to rise, reaching their record high level for our survey this month. With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that home ownership is more compelling house choice.”

Source: “Americans’ Expectations Align to Encourage Home Buying,” RISMedia (May 6, 2012); Daily Real Estate News (May 7, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

March Pending Home Sales Rise, Market Recovering

Article by: National Association of REALTORS®; Daily Real Estate News, Thursday, April 26, 2012

MARCH PENDING HOME SALES RISE, MARKET RECOVERING

Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, another signal the housing market is recovering, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1 percent to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February and is 12.8 percent above March 2011 when it was 89.9.  The data reflects contracts but not closings.

The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing.  “First quarter sales closings were the highest first quarter sales in five years.  The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said.

“The housing market has clearly turned the corner.  Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions around the county, which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses,” Yun said.

Pending Home Sales Index by Region:

  • Northeast: slipped 0.8 percent to 78.2 in March but is 21.1 percent above March 2011.
  • Midwest: declined 0.9 percent to 93.3 but is 16.9 percent higher than a year ago.
  • South: rose 5.9 percent to an index of 114.1 in March and are 10.6 percent above March 2011.
  • West: increased 8.7 percent in March to 108.0 and is 9.0 percent above a year ago.

Source: NAR; Daily Real Estate News (April 26, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

Greater Nashville Home Sales See Significant Increase for March and 1st Quarter 2012…

GREATER NASHVILLE HOME SALES SEE SIGNIFICANT INCREASE FOR MARCH AND 1ST QUARTER … Pending Sales Also Remain Strong

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 9, 2012) – There were 1,963 home closings reported for the month of March 2012, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®. This figure represents a 17.3 percent increase compared with 1,673 closings in March of 2011.

Numbers for the first quarter of 2012 were 4,855 closings, up 24.2 percent from the 3,908 closings during the first quarter of 2011.

“The encouraging trends in home sales for Greater Nashville this year continued in March with the number of home closings increasing more than 17 percent from this time last year, and with more than 2,200 pending sales for the month. The increase in the residential median price is also a welcome sign. Our expectation is that the positive trends will continue as we move into the spring and summer months,” said GNAR President Kendra Cooke.

“Though there are still significant economic challenges, it is clear that the Greater Nashville and Middle Tennessee real estate market is stabilizing and strengthening.”

There were 2,239 sales pending at the end of March, compared with 1,910 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 92 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during March was $168,500 and for a condominium it was $135,000. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $165,000 and $143,000, respectively.

Inventory at the end of March was 18,984, down from 21,647 in March 2011.

“Inventory is down from last year but up slightly from last month,” added Cooke. “With the traditional home-buying season underway, it is expected that more homes are becoming available. Right now there is less than 10 months of inventory overall. For single-family residential there is less than eight months of inventory available. It is good that more people are beginning to consider selling their homes, as the number of buyers is clearly increasing.”

The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.

Source: Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® press release (April 9, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

30-Year Mortgage Rates Slide Back Below 4%

30-Year Mortgage Rates Slide Back Below 4%

Mortgage rates were down across the board this week compared to last week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage market survey.

After posting a big jump last week, 30-year mortgage rates were back below the 4 percent mark this week, offering another boost in home affordability for buyers.

Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending March 29:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.99 percent, with an average 0.7 point, falling back from last week’s 4.08 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.86 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.23 percent, with an average 0.8 point, also slipping from last week’s 3.30 percent average. Last year, 15-year rates averaged 4.09 percent at this time.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.90 percent this week, with an average 0.8 point, dropping from last week’s 2.96 percent average. The 5-year ARM averaged 3.70 percent last year at this time.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.78 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.84 percent average. A year ago, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.26 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; Daily Real Estate News (March 30, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

FHA Loan Apps Rise as Borrowers Try to Beat Fee Hikes

FHA Loan Apps Rise as Borrowers Try to Beat Fee Hikes

Mortgage applications for Federal Housing Administration loans soared 11 percent from the previous week as borrowers try to rush their applications in to beat the higher FHA costs that will start rolling out on Monday, according to the U.S. Mortgage Market Index report released from Mortech Inc. and Mortgage Daily.

Starting April 1, the FHA will be increasing its annual mortgage insurance premiums on all FHA loans. The annual premium is paid with the monthly mortgage payment. The FHA also will be increasing the FHA mortgage insurance premium that is paid up front during closing, also starting April 1.

Borrowers who are trying to avoid the higher fees are trying to get their FHA mortgage applications approved before the changes take effect. The new fees also will apply to home owners who refinance their mortgages.

FHA loans have soared in popularity in recent years since they allow for smaller down payments, as low as 3.5 percent compared to traditional loans, and often carry less stringent credit requirements.

Source: “Mortgage Applications for FHA Loans Increase Ahead of Higher Fees,” Realty Times (March 28, 2012); Daily Real Estate News (March 29, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors

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Pending Home Sales Ease, but Solidly Higher Than Last Year

Pending Home Sales Ease, but Solidly Higher Than Last Year

Pending home sales were down slightly in February, but remain notably above the pattern in the first half of 2011, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 0.5 percent to 96.5 in February from 97.0 in January, but is 9.2 percent above February 2011 when it was 88.4. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” he said. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012.”

Pending Home Sales Index by region:

  • Northeast: slipped 0.6 percent to 77.7 in February, but is 18.4 percent above a year ago.
  • Midwest: the index jumped 6.5 percent to 93.8, and is 19.0 percent higher than February 2011.
  • South: fell 3.0 percent to an index of 105.8 in February, but are 7.8 percent above a year ago.
  • West: the index declined 2.6 percent in February to 99.3, and is 1.8 percent below February 2011.

Source: NAR; Daily Real Estate News (March 26, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee

30-Year Mortgage Rates Edge Above 4%

Article by: Daily Real Estate News (March 23, 2012)

30-Year Mortgage Rates Edge Above 4%

Mortgage rates moved up quite a bit this week, following higher bond yields and improving economic data, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.

“Mortgage rates are catching up with increases in U.S. Treasury bond yields, placing the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate above 4 percent for the first time since the end of October 2011,” says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Bond yields rose over the past two weeks in part due to an improving assessment of the state of the economy by the Federal Reserve, better than expected results of commercial bank stress tests, and the likelihood of a second bailout for Greece.”

The 30-year mortgage rate, the most popular choice of home buyers, took a big leap upward, after hovering below 4 percent and sitting at all-time record lows for weeks.

Here’s a closer look at rates for the week ending March 22:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.8 point, up from last week’s 3.92 percent. The 30-year rate has not been above 4 percent since Oct. 27, 2011, when it averaged 4.10 percent. Since then, it has hovered below 4 percent and at all-time record lows.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.30 percent, with an average 0.8 point, also rising from last week’s 3.16 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 4.04 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.96 percent, with an average 0.7 point, a rise over last week’s 2.83 percent average. Last year, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.62 percent at this time.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.6 point, rising from last week’s 2.79 percent. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 3.21 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac; Daily Real Estate News (March 23, 2012) | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee