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April 1, 2020

S&P Index Finds Home Prices Rising

The S&P Case-Shiller Indices are considered to be among the leading measures of U.S. home prices. According to their most recent release, which covers data through January, home price increases were accelerating at the start of the year. In fact, their 20-city composite index was up 3.1 percent year-over-year, up from 2.8 percent the month before. Craig J. Lazzara, managing director and global head of index investment strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says the increases were broad based. “Results for the month were broad based with gains in every city in our 20-city composite; 14 of the 20 cities saw accelerating prices,” Lazzara said. “As has been the case since mid-2019, after a long period of decelerating price increases, the national, 10-city, and 20-city composites all rose at a faster rate in January than they had done in December.” In other words, high buyer demand combined with a lower number of homes for sale had begun to push prices upward after an extended downward trend. However, Lazzara cautions that their data predates the effects of the coronavirus and the impact that it may have on home prices. The Coronavirus has continued to have an impact on the country and the housing market but for buyers in Eastern, NC, the impact is not keeping them away from purchasing a home at this time. This area has a good inventory of new homes and this is keeping prices down so many people are trying to take advantage. 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/(source)

 

S&P Index Finds Home Prices Rising

 

Posted in Report
March 31, 2020

Pending Home Sales Up Nearly 10% From Last Year

The number of signed contracts to buy homes was up 2.4 percent in February from the month before, according to new numbers from the National Association of Realtors. The improvement puts pending sales 9.4 percent higher than they were at the same time last year. An important indicator for the housing market, pending home sales refer to sales that are under contract but not yet closed. They're a good predictor of future home sales, since contract signings typically take place weeks before closings. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says the improvement is evidence that the housing market was strong heading into the coronavirus shutdown. “February's pending sales figures show the housing market had been very healthy prior to the coronavirus-induced shutdown,” Yun said. “Numbers in the coming weeks will show just how hard the housing market was hit, but I am optimistic that the upcoming stimulus package will lessen the economic damage and we may get a V-shaped robust recovery later in the year.” In short, Yun believes buyer demand will bounce back and home sales missed during the spring will simply be pushed to late summer or fall.

The Coronavirus has had a big impact all over the country, but for buyers in Eastern, NC, it seems like they have not slowed down as much as in other parts of the country. This area has a good inventory of homes and prices are staying down, so buyers are still trying to take advantage. 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/(source)

 

Pending Home Sales Up Nearly 10% From Last Year

 

Posted in Report
March 30, 2020

The Most Likely New Home Features Of 2020

Home builders have to be tuned in to what potential buyers want. After all, if they're building homes that don't have the features and amenities that buyers desire, they're going to have a hard time selling houses. That much is obvious. The harder part is determining what will be the most sought after features from year to year. Fortunately, the National Association of Home Builders conducts a nationwide survey each year to drill down on what builders say are the most popular home features. For example, according to the most recent results, the number one feature most likely to be included in newly built single-family homes this year is a walk-in closet for the master bedroom. That shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, though. Storage areas are always big with buyers. Other features that made it near the top of the list include low-energy windows, laundry rooms, energy-efficient lighting, a central kitchen island, energy star appliances, and great rooms. At the bottom of the list, cork flooring, geothermal heat pumps, solar water heating systems, dual master-bath toilets, and laminate countertops were picked as the features least likely to be included in new homes this year.

Buyers in Eastern, NC are finding many new homes being built and these homes are hitting on the features that buyers are wanting in a home. With a good inventory of homes, prices are staying down, buyers are able to afford to buy and are finding the home that fits their needs in the area they are wanting to be in. To see some of the inventory in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/. (source)

 

The Most Likely New Home Features Of 2020

Posted in Survey
March 27, 2020

Owning A Home Costs 31% Of Average Wage

Numbers from the first quarter of 2020 show homeownership becoming more affordable for average wage earners. In fact, according to ATTOM Data Solutions' most recent Home Affordability Report, a median-priced home will cost someone earning the national average about 31 percent of their income – the lowest percentage since the fourth quarter of 2017. Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, says falling interest rates have helped keep homeownership within reach. “It seems bizarre that median home prices have risen 8 percent over the past 12 years while average wages grew by less than half that amount,” Teta said. “But falling interest rates continue making up the difference, dropping monthly homeownership payments in a majority of the country.” The counties where a median-priced home was affordable in the first quarter included Cook County (Chicago), Harris County (Houston), Dallas County, Wayne County (Detroit), and Philadelphia County. Also in the report, among 483 analyzed counties, 323 were more affordable than their historic average – which represents a nearly 12 percent improvement over the previous quarter.

Even with all the uncertainty in the country right now, there is still good news with the housing market, especially in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes, keeping prices within reach, and making it possible for so many more people to be able to get into the housing market. 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/(source)

 

Owning A Home Costs 31% Of Average Wage

 

Posted in Report
March 26, 2020

Mortgage Rates Increase For 2nd Straight Week

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were up last week for the second consecutive week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances rose from one week earlier, as did rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans. Mortgage rates for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration declined. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said the increases led to a big drop in refinance activity week-over-week. “The 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached its highest level since mid-January last week, even as Treasury yields remained at relatively low levels,” Kan said. “Several factors pushed rates higher, including increased secondary market volatility, lenders grappling with capacity issues and backlogs in their pipelines, and remote work staffing challenges. With these higher rates, refinance activity fell 34 percent, and both the conventional and government indices dropped to their lowest level in a month.” Kan believes actions taken by the Federal Reserve this week will help put downward pressure on rates in the week ahead.

Even though rates have gone up some, buyers in Eastern, NC are staying busy. This area has continued to build many new homes, giving buyers a good choice in homes and keeping prices down. To see some of the inventory of homes go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.  (source)

 

Mortgage Rates Increase For 2nd Straight Week

Posted in Survey
March 25, 2020

New Home Sales Slip From January's High

Sales of newly built, single family homes in February fell 4.4 percent from the month before, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The decline comes a month after sales hit a 13-year high in January. January's numbers were also revised upward to reflect more sales than previously reported,

which means February's number – even after the month-over-month decline – is still 14.3 percent higher than last year at the same time. But while the strong sales numbers would normally be a hopeful sign for the housing market heading into its busiest season, economists are forecasting fewer sales in the weeks ahead due to the coronavirus. There is reason to believe, however, that, while sales may slow, the housing market's fundamentals are strong enough to allow it to absorb some of the virus' impact on the economy. Also in the report, the median sales price of new homes sold in February was $345,900. The average sales price was $403,800.

Even with all the uncertainty at this time, Eastern, NC has been able to continue to build many new homes and has a good inventory which is keeping prices down. Buyers are taking advantage of this as well as the low rates. 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/. (source)

 

New Home Sales Slip From January's High

Posted in Report
March 24, 2020

What Might Be Ahead For Home Prices?

Home prices have been rising for several years now. A combination of increasing buyer demand and a lower-than-normal number of homes for sale led to more competition among home shoppers and put upward pressure on prices. That's why most of the discussion about where the housing market was headed this year focused on the number of available homes for sale. If more homes became available, it would help keep prices from climbing too quickly. If inventory stayed low or fell further, price increases might begin to accelerate. Now, due to the coronavirus, there is more uncertainty. But, according to some analysts, the housing market – and home prices – are well positioned to withstand the effects of any upcoming volatility. Mostly, this is because the market's main challenge was there not being enough homes to keep up with demand from buyers. If demand were to temporarily decline, price increases may slow but something similar to the crashing values seen during the financial crisis would be unlikely. Naturally, there are still a lot of unknowns but the strength of the market and the balance of supply vs. demand should help provide the real-estate market with some stability in the days ahead.

Even with all this uncertainly, Eastern, NC has been able to continue to build many new homes, helping to keep prices down and keep home prices affordable for most buyers. To see some of the inventory in this area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/. (source)

What Might Be Ahead For Home Prices?

 

Posted in National Data
March 23, 2020

February Home Sales Highest Since 2007

Sales of previously owned homes spiked in February, rising 6.5 percent over month-before numbers, according to new data released by the National Association of Realtors. The improvement made for the strongest month since 2007. “February's sales of over 5 million homes were the strongest since February 2007,” Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, said. “I would attribute that to the incredibly low mortgage rates and the steady release of a sizable pent-up housing demand that was built over recent years.” Home prices and for-sale inventory were also up. But while the gains show the housing market poised for further improvement, current events are expected to slow that progress in the weeks to come. Still, Yun expects demand to bounce back. “For the past couple of months, we have seen the number of buyers grow as more people enter the market,” Yun said. “Once the social-distancing and quarantine measures are relaxed, we should see this temporary pause evaporate, and will have potential buyers return with the same enthusiasm.”

The same thing is going on in Eastern, NC. Things in this area have slowed down but only because of the current distancing and quarantine measures people are having to take. Once this is over with, people will be out again looking at homes and buying homes. This area has a good inventory, making it possible to keep prices down and helping more people to be able to get into the housing market. To see some of the homes that are available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/.

(source)

 

February Home Sales Highest Since 2007

Posted in Report
March 20, 2020

Single Family Starts And Permits Up In February

Newly released figures from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development show that the number of single-family homes that were started or completed in February rose from the month before. The number of building permits also increased. However, though the gains are welcome news for a housing market suffering from low for-sale inventory, new residential construction is likely to slow in the coming months due to the impact of the coronavirus. Economist Matthew Speakman says, while that may be true, demand will bounce back. “This presents a conundrum for builders who will undoubtedly be trying to determine the best time to apply for new permits and/or resume construction so that homes are ready to sell once the market comes back,” Speakman said. “The coming months will very likely be tough sledding for builders, but longer-term market dynamics might result in some better-than-expected readings on the other side of this crisis.”

Buyers in Eastern, NC are seeing homes being built and with rates low they are out looking and buying. This is a good time to buy a home and get more home for the money. To see some of the inventory available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/. (source)

 

Single Family Starts And Permits Up In February

Posted in Report
March 19, 2020

Mortgage Rate Increase Slows Demand

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were up last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The increase caused a 10 percent decline in refinance activity, though it remains 402 percent higher than last year at the same time. Demand for home purchase loans is now 10 percent higher than year before levels. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said mortgage rates should remain low, despite last week's increase. “The Federal Reserve's rate cut and other monetary policy measures to help the economy should help to bring down mortgage rates in the coming weeks, spurring more refinancing,” Kan said. “Amidst these challenging times, the savings that households can gain from refinancing will help bolster their own financial circumstances and support the broader economy.”

Buyers in Eastern, NC are taking advantage of the lower rates and the inconsistent economy that the country is experiencing right now. Homeowners are refinancing, giving themselves more money in their pockets and buyers are able to get more home for their money right now. To see some of the inventory available 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 Rate Increase Slows Demand

Posted in Survey