More than 68 percent of home owners and renters in a recent survey say now is a good time to buy a home. In fact, one-third of renters and one in five home owners say they want to buy a home within the next two years.
“We thought people would be soured after watching home values fall, but instead we found the typical American still places high value on home ownership,” says Frank Anton, chief executive officer of Hanley Wood, which conducted the survey of 3,000 home owners and renters.
So where’s the buying rush?
The survey found that while buyers say they want to buy, they are hesitant because of the tightening of credit that is making mortgages harder to get, uneasiness about job security, and an overall bleak job picture.
Kent Colton, a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, told Reuters News he expects a big change for the real estate market, however. He notes that more Americans — about one-third of home owners and a quarter of renters — are moving in with family and friends, known as “doubling up.” This, he says, will be a major source of future housing demand as soon as the job market improves.
“It means you have up to 2 million people that are part of what can be easily considered a pent-up demand when the time changes,” Colton told Reuters.
Source: “Americans Want to Buy Homes But in No Hurry,” Reuters News (Oct. 4, 2011); Daily Real Estate News; Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
More people are applying for mortgages: Applications for home mortgages had their largest increase in three months due to falling record-low interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.
MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity increased 13 percent for the week ended June 10. That marks the index’s biggest gain since March. The index measures applications for refinancing and purchase demand.
Most of the spike was from refinancing applications, which increased 16.5 percent from last week. However, requests for mortgage applications for home purchases also rose 4.5 percent.
“Mortgage rates have declined for 8 of the past 9 weeks,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “Coming off of the Memorial Day holiday, refinance application volume increased significantly, as borrowers jumped to lock in the lowest mortgage rates since last November.”
Source: “Mortgage Applications See Biggest Gain in 3 Months: MBA,” Reuters News (June 14, 2011); Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
More people bought new homes last month with new-home sales rising 7.3 percent, the Commerce Department reported on Tuesday. It was the second straight month that new-home sales were up.
New-home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 323,000 homes in April, which is its highest level since December.
However, overall sales for the year still remain well below what economists consider a 700,000 healthy pace for the new-home sector.
The new-home market for the last five years has faced declines. It continues to battle against a glut of foreclosures across the country at ultra-low prices that have made competing a challenge.
Builders are keeping inventories low: A record low of 175,000 new homes were available for sale last month.
Meanwhile, the median price of a new home rose more than 2 percent in April, compared to the previous month, to $217,900. New-home prices are more than 30 percent higher than the median price of existing homes.
Source: “New-home Sales Up 7.3 Pct. in April After Sluggish Start to Year,” The Associated Press (May 24, 2011) and “U.S. April New Home Sales at 4-Month High,” Reuters News (May 24, 2011); Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, a proud member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
Housing starts in January reached their highest rate in four months, increasing more than analysts expected, the Commerce Department reports. Housing starts jumped 14.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 596,000 units.
Housing starts in January were helped by a 77.7 percent jump in multi-family homes. Single-family home construction, on the other hand, fell 1 percent.
Meanwhile, new home completions dropped to a record low of 512,000 units in January, falling 9.5 percent from the previous month.
And after housing permits surged in December by 15.3 percent, housing permits for future housing projects sank in January. New building permits dropped 10.4 percent to a 562,000-unit pace in January–mostly pulled down by a drop in multi-family and single-family unit permits.
Source: “U.S. Housing Starts Surge in Jan., Permits Tumble,” Reuters News (Feb. 16, 2011); Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee
The number of home sellers listing on Zillow.com who lowered their prices in August was unchanged from July, the first time in five months that price cuts weren’t on the rise.
The median price cut was 7 percent in August, unchanged from July, Zillow calculates.
The largest price cuts were in the Tucson, Ariz., and Portland, Ore., metro areas. Home sellers reduced prices 39.5 percent in Tucson and 38.7 percent in Portland.
Source: Reuters News, Julie Haviv (09/03/2010)
The prices of 29.1 percent of homes listed for sale on Zillow.com during July had been cut at least once, down from 30 percent in June, Zillow reported Monday.
The median price reduction also declined slightly in July to 6.5 percent from 6.6 percent in June.
The largest reductions were in Michigan, California and Florida, with prices in Flint, Mi., trimmed by 11.8 percent; Detroit homes cut by 10.7 percent; and prices in Merced, Calif. reduced by 10.5 percent.
Source: Reuters News, Julie Haviv (08/09/2010)
The number of vacant homes fell slightly in the first quarter to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent in the third quarter of 2009, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday.
Vacancies in the rental market fell to 10.6 percent in the first quarter from 10.7 in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Commerce.
Nicholas Tenev, housing analyst with Barclays Capital, says this downward trend is a sign the crisis could be over. “While vacancy rates are likely to remain elevated for some time, both home owner and rental vacancy rates seem to have peaked,” Tenev says.
Source: Reuters News, Corbett B. Daly (04/26/2010)