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Oct. 11, 2018

Loans To Buy Homes Up 2% From Last Year

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were up across all loan categories last week, including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The increase follows an upward trend that has been driven by economic improvement and a stronger job market. “Rates moved higher last week, driven by strong data on the job market, indicating that the Fed will continue to raise rates,” Joel Kan, an MBA economist, told CNBC. But despite higher rates and a weekly drop in application demand, requests for loans to buy homes is still up over last year, when rates were lower. In fact, the MBA's Purchase Index is now 2 percent higher than it was a year ago. The improvement, though slight, is a good indication that demand for homes remains strong, even while rates move higher. This is certainly true in Eastern, NC, where rates are up some but home and loan demand is still very strong. There are many new homes in this area and buyers are active. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. The MBA's weekly survey covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications and has been conducted since 1990. More here

Loans To Buy Homes Up 2% From Last Year

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Posted in Survey
Oct. 10, 2018

Economy Has Americans Thinking About Buying

Deciding to buy a house is mainly a money decision. You either feel secure enough financially to make a move or you don't. This helps explain the current real estate market. After all, survey after survey shows Americans think home prices and mortgage rates are moving higher and making it less affordable to buy. And yet, home buying demand remains high. Why? Well, mostly because, at the same time, people also feel more secure in their jobs and money due to a stronger economy and job market. Take Fannie Mae's most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index as an example. The survey found a rising number of respondents who said it was a good time to buy a home, despite increasing numbers who also say they believe mortgage rates and prices will continue to rise. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says the economy explains it. “Downside risk to housing is limited by broader economic strength, which helped boost perceptions of current home buying conditions,” Duncan said. “For consumers who say now is a good time to buy, the share citing overall economic conditions as a reason rose to a survey high.”

Economic conditions are also very good in Eastern, NC, where there is a good job market and many new homes being built. With a good number of homes on the market it has helped to keep prices moderate and with in reach for many people. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

Economy Has Americans Thinking About Buying 

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Posted in Buying
Oct. 9, 2018

Number Of Homes For Sale Sees Big Gain

Affordability is always a top concern for people thinking about buying a house. Of course, there are other factors that are important when deciding whether or not to move. But what you can or can't afford may be the biggest. After all, if you don't have enough for a down payment or couldn't keep up with the mortgage on a new place, it doesn't really matter how close to the office it is or in what school district. That's why a new report from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website is good news for prospective home buyers. The report shows that the number of homes for sale saw it's largest year-over-year gain in five years. Why's this important? Well, in today's market, the rate of home price increases is being driven by the fact that there are too few homes for sale. In other words, since there are more buyers than homes, sellers can demand a higher price. But as more homes become available, buyers will have more choices and price increases will begin to slow. The fact that inventory is up 8 percent over the year before and showing signs of additional gains means there may be relief on the way for buyers worried that they won't be able to find a home they like or one in their price range. Buyers in Eastern, NC are seeing just this. This area has built many new homes and that, along with existing homes, has given buyers wonderful choices and has helped to keep prices moderate. To see some of the homes available here go to: www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

Number Of Homes For Sale Sees Big Gain 

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Posted in Buying, Selling
Oct. 5, 2018

Green Features Add Value To Homes

In order for a home to be considered truly green, there are six elements it needs to contain, according to the Appraisal Institute, a professional association of real estate appraisers. These include water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, materials, and operations and maintenance. Put simply, to retrofit a home to meet those standards would require a lot of work. But that doesn't mean you can't improve your home's performance through smaller measures. And Appraisal Institute president, James L. Murrett, says, if you do, you'll not only be able to lower your bills but you may also be able to sell your house for more when the time comes. “The latest research shows that green and energy-efficient home improvements have the potential to pay dividends for buyers and sellers,” Murrett says. “However, it depends on the improvements made. Some green renovations, such as adding Energy Star appliances and extra insulation, are likely to pay the homeowner back in lowered utility bills relatively quickly.” Whether you're searching for a home to buy or thinking about selling one, a home's efficiency and performance is an important factor to consider. Many of the homes that are being built in Eastern, NC are “Green Homes.” These homes are very popular now and sell quickly. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More  here.

 Green Features Add Value To Homes 

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Posted in Report
Oct. 5, 2018

Higher Mortgage Rates Shouldn't Sway Home Buyers

If you're someone who's been thinking about buying a house, you've likely kept your eye on mortgage rates and home prices. Those are the two most watched affordability factors and, since both have risen over the past year, prospective home buyers have good reason to pay attention to which way they're heading. Home prices are still headed upward in most markets, though they're moving at a slower rate. And, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey – which covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications – there's some good news about mortgage rates too. That's because rates were virtually unchanged last week and long-term rates remain steady. “Short term rates have been increasing but long term rates have held steady, which should not pose too much of a headwind to home purchase activity, especially given the potential demand from demographic factors,” Joel Kan, an MBA economist, told CNBC. In short, though rates are higher than they were last year at this time, they are still historically low. Which means, unless conditions change, they shouldn't have much impact on home buyers' plans in the near future. Home buyers have not been swayed in Eastern, NC where many new homes have been built in many price ranges. This area has a good inventory of homes and with buyers having choices it has helped many to be able to find the right home. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

Higher Mortgage Rates Shouldn't Sway Home Buyers 

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Posted in Survey
Oct. 5, 2018

Which Cities Have The Country's Biggest Houses?

When looking for a house to buy, you aren't necessarily always looking for the biggest house. After all, the size of the home you choose will be determined, in part, by things like the size of your family, storage needs, how many bathrooms and bedrooms, etc. Mostly, though, it'll be determined by your budget. Because, when it comes down to it, we all would like a little more space. For that reason, a recent study looked at the largest 45 cities in the country and calculated the median home size and cost per square foot, in an effort to figure out which cities have the biggest homes and which give buyers the most space for the best price. The results show that the South has the biggest homes, with three of the top five cities located in Texas. In fact, Houston was the city with the largest median home size at 1,952 square feet, with Atlanta, Washington DC, Dallas, and Austin rounding out the top five. Southern cities also tend to have a lower price per square foot. For example, while Houston has the biggest homes, the median price per square foot was $100. By comparison, cities like San Francisco, Boston, and Denver have smaller homes but higher prices, mostly due to the fact that the housing stock in those areas is older. For areas in Eastern, NC, buyers are finding a good supply of homes in all sizes and price ranges, giving something for most people. This has kept this area a popular spot to live in. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

Which Cities Have The Country's Biggest Houses? 

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Posted in National Data
Oct. 4, 2018

Contract Signings Slow As Summer Season Ends

The number of signed contracts to buy homes fell 1.8 percent in August and are now down 2.3 percent year-over-year. The data, from the National Association of Realtors' most recent Pending Home Sales Index, shows slower activity from buyers at the end of the summer sales season. However, a closer look at the numbers reveals that most of the decline was in the West, where affordability is more of a concern for buyers. For example, pending sales – which are a good indication of future home sales, since they count signings and not closings – were virtually unchanged in the Midwest, Northeast, and South, but down nearly 6 percent in the West. Still, despite the overall decline, there was some good news in the report. For example, some of the largest increases in active listings were found in markets where additional inventory would help moderate rising prices, like the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area and San Diego-Carlsbad. Additionally, NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, says he expects next year to be more favorable for buyers. In fact, he is forecasting a 2 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes and only a 3.5 percent increase in home prices, which is an improvement compared to this year's nearly 5 percent gain.

For buyers in the east, home prices have remained moderate and inventory has been been very good. This has made this a very popular area to live in. To see some of the available in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

Contract Signings Slow As Summer Season Ends 

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Posted in Report
Oct. 4, 2018

More Americans Think Now's The Time To Sell

Nearly 80% of Americans say now is a good time to sell a house, according to a recent survey from the National Association of Realtors. This may be good news for buyers. These days, there are more home buyers than there are homes for sale, which is the primary factor causing prices to rise. But rising prices have also caused homeowners to think about the benefits of selling their home. And, if the results of the NAR's Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey are any indication, a growing number of them are beginning to consider putting their home on the market. If so, it'll help provide additional choices for home buyers while also slowing the rate at which prices move upward. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says he believes American homeowners were waiting to see if the gains got any better before making a decision. “With prices having risen so quickly, many consumers were deciding to wait to list their homes hoping to see additional price and equity gains,” Yun said. “However, with indications that buyers are beginning to pull out, price gains are going to decelerate and potential sellers are considering that now is a good time to list and bring more properties to the market.”

That is what buyers in Eastern, NC are seeing. There are existing as well as new homes on the market in this area creating a good home market and keeping prices moderate.  To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

 

More Americans Think Now's The Time To Sell 

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Posted in Report
Oct. 3, 2018

New Home Sales Rebound, Up 13% Over Last Year

Sales of newly built single-family homes rose 3.5 percent in August over the month before and are now 12.7 percent higher than they were at the same time one year ago, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The increase is welcome news at a time when the new home market plays an important role in balancing the overall housing market. Because building new homes is the quickest way to add inventory to markets where too few homes are available for sale, any increase in sales is encouraging, as it can help spur more residential construction which helps moderate prices. The increase was also better than expected. Economists polled prior to the release had predicted sales to be mostly flat in August. Regionally, sales were up in the Northeast, Midwest, and West, with only the South seeing a decline from the month before. However, since the South accounts for a large share of the total new home market, the decline helped hold back more significant gains despite notable improvements in the West and Northeast.

Although the South might not have showed as much of a gain in homes as other places, it could partially be due to the fact that this area has been building new homes for a while now. These new homes have given buyers many choices and has kept prices moderate. To see some of the homes available, go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here

New Home Sales Rebound, Up 13% Over Last Year

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Posted in Buying
Sept. 27, 2018

More Evidence That Price Growth May Be Slowing

Over the past few years, rising buyer demand combined with a lower-than-normal number of homes for sale has led to higher home prices in markets across the country. And, though the rate at which prices have increased may differ from one market to the next, affordability conditions aren't what they were just a few years ago. However, new data may indicate that change is on the way. That's because there is evidence that home price growth may be starting to slow. In fact, according to one recent analysis, price increases are slowing in almost 75 percent of the nation's largest markets, including Seattle, Orlando, Boston, Los Angeles, and Portland. In some cases, the drop has been dramatic. For example, in Seattle – last year's fastest-appreciating market – the rate at which prices grew fell from 14.2 percent to 9.1 percent. But, though this is undoubtedly good news for buyers interested in purchasing a home, it doesn't mean we're headed for a buyer's market any time real soon. That's because, year-over-year growth is still faster than historically normal. For buyers looking to live on the East coast prices have stayed more in the moderate range because of so many new homes being built on a continuous basis. This area has a good job market and a good inventory of homes to choose from and it has made it much easier for buyers to get into a home. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/  or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

More Evidence That Price Growth May Be Slowing 

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Posted in Buying