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Jan. 17, 2020

Builders Optimistic About New Home Market

The National Association of Home Builders conducts a survey each month to measure builders' confidence in the market for newly built homes. Because a builder's business depends on being able to accurately gauge consumer interest in buying homes, the survey is considered a good indicator of housing market health. In January, the NAHB's Housing Market Index hit 75 on a scale where any score above 50 indicates more builders view conditions as good than poor. Greg Ugalde, NAHB's chairman, says conditions are favorable and should lead to more gains this year. “Low interest rates and a healthy labor market combined with a need for additional inventory are setting the stage for further home building gains in 2020,” Ugalde said. This is good news for potential home buyers, as added for-sale inventory would help moderate price increases and provide more options for buyers to choose from. Regionally, the index found builders most optimistic in the West, where three-month moving averages rose one point to 84. The Northeast and Midwest also saw gains, while the South remained unchanged at 79.

Builders are a very good way to gauge what is going on in he home market. For buyers in Eastern, NC, they are seeing how good the home inventory is with all the new homes that have been built. These homes are in different sizes and price ranges offering something for most buyers. To see the inventory in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.

 (source)

 

Builders Optimistic About New Home Market

Posted in Report
Jan. 16, 2020

Mortgage Demand Hits 11-Year High To Start 2020

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage demand started the year off strong, rising 30.2 percent from the previous week. Survey results were adjusted for the New Year's holiday but, after adjustment, demand for loans to buy homes was up 16 percent from the week before and 8 percent over last year at the same time. Refinance activity also surged, increasing 43 percent from one week earlier. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said low mortgage rates are part of the reason demand has been so strong. “The mortgage market saw a strong start to 2020,” Kan said. “Applications increased across the board, and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit its lowest level since September 2019 … Low rates and the solid job market continue to encourage prospective buyers to enter the market.” The spike in activity brought demand for loans to buy homes to its highest level since October 2009.

A strong job market and low rates, along with a good inventory of homes is what buyers are seeing in Eastern, NC. This area has kept an inventory that will fit most peoples needs and wants so it has brought the lookers and buyers out and it has sold many homes in this area. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.

Conducted since 1990, the MBA's weekly survey covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. (source)

 

Mortgage Demand Hits 11-Year High To Start 2020

Posted in Survey
Jan. 15, 2020

The Most Common Words In Real Estate Listings

In an age of screens and cameras, do words still matter? Well, the short answer is yes. And that's true even for real estate listings, where photos and videos attract most of the attention. A home's description can help highlight features and add vital information that can't be conveyed in a photograph. How the home is described in the listing can also help sway a prospective buyer by adding details that may not have been obvious otherwise. So what are the most common words and phrases found in home listings these days? Well, according to one recent analysis, it depends on how much the home costs. For example, homes under $250,000 commonly emphasized a “new roof” or being “move-in ready,” while more expensive homes were more likely to mention “natural light,” a “gas fireplace,” and “vaulted ceilings.” Overall, the most frequently found phrases for homes under $5 million were: “granite countertops,” “hardwood floors,” “stainless steel appliances,” “open floor plan,” “fenced backyard,” and “covered patio.” Of course, common phrases for homes over $5 million were a bit different. In that price range, listings were more likely to advertise a “wine cellar,” “guest house,” or a “gourmet kitchen.”  

These phrases do help in giving descriptions and helping lookers and buyers visualize the home. All of the above descriptions are used in most of the posts you will see for homes in Eastern, NC. To see the inventory of homes for this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/(source)

 

The Most Common Words In Real Estate Listings

 

Posted in National Data
Jan. 14, 2020

The Waning Popularity Of Two-Story Foyers

Like anything else, residential architecture is influenced by popular trends. Builders, designers, and architects want to build homes people want to buy, after all. But trends come and go. So what's popular at one time is undesirable the next. Take two-story foyers as an example. A recent analysis done by the National Association of Home Builders looked at data from the US Census Bureau's Survey of Construction and found that the share of new homes built with a two-story entranceway has been falling in recent years. This isn't entirely surprising, as NAHB surveys since 2012 have shown builders and buyers both considered them an unwanted feature. The data confirms it, however. Two-story foyers aren't as popular as they once were. In fact, according to the analysis, the number of new homes built with a grand entranceway fell 3 percent in 2018 from the year before. Additionally, the share of two-story foyers fell in seven of nine regional divisions, with the feature found in as few as 12 percent of new homes built in New England. But though they've fallen in popularity, how much so depends on where and who you are. For example, two-story foyers were found in 42 percent of new homes in the West South Central division, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. They are also more popular with millennials than they were with older buyers.  It seems that the smaller, even entry level home is what is more popular now. Eastern, NC has been ahead of the curve on this size home and has built a good inventory of homes in different sizes and price ranges making this a very popular area to buy a home in. To see some of the homes 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.  (source)

 

The Waning Popularity Of Two-Story Foyers

Posted in Report
Jan. 13, 2020

Why Americans Are Staying In Their Homes Longer

The length of time the average homeowner lives in their house has been increasing over the past decade. In fact, one recent analysis found that the average length of homeownership has reached 13 years, which is five years longer than it was in 2010. So why are Americans staying in their homes longer than they used to? Well, one theory is that buyers who locked in a low mortgage rate are now reluctant to sell. But rates are still historically low. Not to mention, last year's refinance boom is a good indication that homeowners understand that the rate they lock in when they buy their home isn't necessarily going to be theirs forever. According to a new article from Housing Wire, there may be another reason. Logan Mohtashami writes that the reason people aren't moving as often as they used to may have more to do with their needs. “If it is generally true that people move when they need to, then it is also true that people don't move when they don't need to,” Mohtashami writes. In short, homes have been getting bigger for decades while families have gotten smaller. That means, homeowners – who, in the past, may've moved to accommodate a growing family – now stay put since they have enough space to satisfy their needs.  This may have been part of the reason the housing inventory has been off some, also. Many areas not building as many entry level homes as they are in Eastern, NC. This has made it hard for younger couples or smaller families to find the home they have been searching for. For buyers in Eastern, NC, this has not been the case. This area has many smaller homes and homes in different price ranges offering something for most anyone that is ready to get into the housing market. 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.  source

 

Why Americans Are Staying In Their Homes Longer

Posted in Report
Jan. 11, 2020

Is It More Affordable To Rent Or Buy?

It's often assumed that renting is cheaper than buying. After all, there are fewer upfront costs and less of a financial commitment. But is it really more affordable? Well, according to ATTOM Data Solutions, it depends. Their 2020 Rental Affordability Report looked at 855 U.S. counties to determine whether it's more affordable to buy a median-priced, three-bedroom home or to rent a three-bedroom property. What they found was that, in 53 percent of analyzed counties, buying was the better deal. “Homeownership is a better deal than renting for the average wage earner in a slim majority of U.S. housing markets,” Todd Teta, ATTOM's chief product officer, said. “However, there are distinct difference between different places, depending on the size and location from core metro areas.” In short, the more populated an area, the more likely it is that buying a home will be financially challenging. The good news for potential home buyers, though, is that falling mortgage rates are helping moderate affordability levels, even as home prices continue to rise.  

Buyers in Eastern, NC are finding more new homes being built in different sizes and price ranges. This area also has a good job market making it much easier for buyers to afford more home. To see some of the homes 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.  source

 

 Is It More Affordable To Rent Or Buy?

Posted in Report
Jan. 9, 2020

Mortgage Rates Down As New Year Begins

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell as 2019 came to a close. Rates were down at the end of the year for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. And while the decline wasn't enough to reignite refinance activity, demand for loans to buy homes was up after a seasonal adjustment. “The end of the year is the slowest time for home sales, so it is not at all surprising that activity was light,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA's senior vice president and chief economist, said. “However, after a seasonal adjustment, purchase application volume was up relative to the pre-holiday period and started off 2020 ahead of last year's pace.” Low mortgage rates, a strong job market, and increasing new home construction is expected to lead to favorable buying conditions and boosted demand this year. 

One area that has kept an active housing market is in Eastern, NC. This area has a good job market and has been able to continue to build many new homes which has kept prices moderate. To see why this area is so popular to buy a home in, go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.

The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.  source

 

Mortgage Rates Down As New Year Begins

Posted in Survey
Jan. 8, 2020

Americans Optimistic About Housing Market

Whether or not you feel like it's a good time to buy or sell a house depends a lot on your perception of the housing market. That's why Fannie Mae conducts a monthly survey to gauge Americans' feelings about current conditions, their financial situation, mortgage rates, home prices, etc. After all, if people have a positive view of the market, they're more likely to make a move. And, according to the most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index, Americans are feeling optimistic right now. Fannie Mae's chief economist, Doug Duncan, says the index remains near its all-time high. “The HPSI hit and remained near an all-time high in 2019, driven by the 16-percentage point year-over-year increase in the share of consumers believing it is a good time to buy,” Duncan said. In December, 59 percent of participants said they think now is a good time to buy a house. Additionally, 65 percent said it's a good time to sell. In other words, a majority of survey participants have a positive view of the market and – with mortgage rates low, prices slowing, and home construction increasing – optimism may grow even stronger as we approach the spring season. 

Buyers in Eastern, NC have certainly stayed very active in the housing market. This area has continued to build many new homes, giving something for just about anyone that wants to get into the housing market. There is a strong job market in this area and with rates low and  inventory good, homes area selling. To see what is available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.

source

 

Americans Optimistic About Housing Market

Posted in Survey
Jan. 7, 2020

Future Forecast Sees Affordability Improvement

Calculating whether or not you can afford to buy a home can be stressful. It's a major financial transaction and it's easy to become overwhelmed when considering all the costs, obligations, and responsibilities. The good news is that many affordability indicators are pointing in the right direction for prospective buyers. For starters, most analysts expect that mortgage rates – already hovering just above historic lows – will remain favorable in 2020. Additionally, Freddie Mac's most recent forecast says home price increases will continue to slow both this year and next. In fact, they're calling for annual home price growth to fall to just 2.1 percent next year. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, says the real estate market is in good shape for the foreseeable future. “A more accommodative monetary policy stance and robust labor market helped the U.S. housing market regain its footing in 2019,” Khater said. “Improved sentiment, lower financial market volatility, and trade headwinds are setting up a favorable economic environment for continued real estate market growth in 2020.”

With a good labor market, and low interest rates, and a good inventory of homes, buyers in Eastern, NC are finding it much easier to secure a loan and get more home for their money. To see why this is such a popular area to buy a home in and to see the inventory of homes go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/

Source

 

Future Forecast Sees Affordability Improvement

Posted in Report
Jan. 6, 2020

Which States Are Popular With Out-Of-State Movers?

People move for a number of reasons. Whether it's because they need more storage, better schools, a shorter commute, or a bigger kitchen, there's no shortage of factors that might have someone looking for a new place to live. But, when it comes to moving out of state, the list narrows quite a bit. In fact, out-of-state movers have two primary motivations: Retirement and work. Because of this, it's not that difficult to predict the states that see the most inbound migration. It's no surprise, for example, to see states like Florida, South Carolina, and Arizona on United Van Lines' recently released National Movers Study – which tracks where and why people move. Naturally, retirement destinations are popular

choices, especially since baby boomers were the most likely generation to move out of state. But some choices were less obvious. Would you have guessed that the Northwest would occupy three of the top five states Americans are moving to? Maybe not, but Idaho and Oregon took first and second place on this year's list. On the flip side, the states that see the most residents leaving included places like New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Connecticut, and North Dakota. Another area that gets people from other states is in Eastern, NC. This area has military bases which brings in a lot of people and there is the coast. Anytime there is water, you are going to have people moving in. This is probably mostly retirees looking to get close to the water and the ocean. Eastern, NC, has been able to continue to build many new homes in many different sizes and price ranges making it possible for many people to buy a home when coming to this area. 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 States Are Popular With Out-Of-State Movers?

Posted in Location