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Aug. 15, 2018

Number Of Million Dollar Metros On The Rise

As everyone knows, real estate is mostly about location. What $500,000 buys you in one neighborhood will be far different than what it affords you in another. Put another way, your money will go a lot farther in the Midwest than it will on the West Coast. Which is why a recent analysis showing a growing number of cities where the median home value is $1 million or more isn't quite what it initially seems. Though it's true that the number of million dollar cities has doubled over the past five years and that, within a year, there will likely be 23 more, a closer look at where these cities are will help explain the numbers. That's because most of those new million dollar cities are located in areas that are already among the most expensive in the country. For example, more than half of the new metros added will be in the areas surrounding major cities like Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and San Jose. Which means, while it still represents an increase in home values across the country, the growing number of million-dollar metros doesn't necessarily reflect an acceleration in home price increases.

Though there are million dollar homes in Eastern, NC, the majority of new homes being built are smaller homes in a price range to accommodate 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.

Number Of Million Dollar Metros On The Rise 

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Posted in Buying
Aug. 14, 2018

Equity Rich Homeowners Double Those Underwater

It wasn't long ago that the housing market suffered a foreclosure crisis. Homeowners saw their home values drop and were in the unfortunate position of owing more on their mortgage than their home was worth. Today, however, home prices have rebounded and, in some markets, surpassed previous highs. One sign of that recovery can be found in ATTOM Data Solutions' Q2 2018 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report. The numbers show that there are far more homeowners who are equity rich – which ATTOM defines as owing 50 percent or less on your home's estimated market value – than there are homeowners who are underwater. Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM, says though there are more equity rich homeowners, the gains aren't necessarily evenly distributed. “Nationwide the number of equity rich homeowners is more than twice the number of seriously underwater homeowners, but the gap between home equity haves and have-nots persists because home appreciation is certainly not uniform across local markets or even within local markets,” Blomquist said.

Although there are a few people that are still  underwater after the housing crisis, they are few and far between, especially in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build new homes and prices are being kept in affordable ranges making it possible for many people to be able to buy a home. Also, with prices staying moderate it has made it where buyers are able to pay down their home much easier and sooner. 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. More here.

Equity Rich Homeowners Double Those Underwater 

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Posted in Report
Aug. 13, 2018

America's Homes Are Growing Older

You can tell a lot about the way an area grew by the age of its homes. The pace of suburban sprawl, for example, can be mapped just by observing the way homes get newer as you get further from the city's center. Houses built in the 1920s give way to homes from the '50s and '60s and so on. But that's not all you can learn from paying attention to the collective age of the country's housing stock. You can also tell a lot about the housing market's ups-and-downs. One example can be found in a recent analysis from the National Association of Home Builders. According to the NAHB, the median age of owner-occupied homes is now 37 years, which is up from 31 years in 2005. In fact, more than half of our homes were built before 1980 and 38 percent were built before 1970. In other words, America's homes are getting older. But why? One reason is that there have been fewer new homes built over the past decade, mostly due to the housing crash and financial crisis. That has caused an increase in the median age of the housing stock. It also has caused a boost to the remodeling industry, as older homes require more renovations to keep up with new technology and features desired by home buyers.

This is being seen all over the country but in Eastern, NC, not only are there older and modernized homes on the market but there are also many new homes on the market. This area has really been able to keep up with the times and it offers a lot 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.

America's Homes Are Growing Older 

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Posted in Buying, Selling
Aug. 10, 2018

Trade-Up Buyers May Be Waiting To Make A Move

The current real-estate market suffers from a lack of inventory. Fewer available houses for sale has led to higher prices and more competition for the homes that are on the market. Part of the reason for this is fewer new homes were being built in the years following the housing crash. But what about current homeowners? Why haven't more Americans been selling their homes and trading up in recent years? Well, according to Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, affordability conditions may have something to do with it. Their most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index found high home prices to be the most commonly cited reason for why Americans felt it was a good time to sell but not as good a time to buy. “A contributing factor to the low supply of existing homes for sale is that current owners are reluctant to trade up in a rising price market,” Duncan said. “Additionally, the shares of consumers citing favorable mortgage rates as a reason why it's a good time to buy or sell a home both dropped to fresh survey lows.” But though trade-up buyers have been hesitant to sell, recent data has shown an uptick in the overall number of homes available to buy, which could indicate that things are beginning to change. For buyers in the area of Eastern, NC, inventory has not been as much of an issue. This area has continued to build homes and there are existing homes on the market making it much easier to find a home and it has also kept prices moderate so that more people can afford to get into the 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. More here.

Trade-Up Buyers May Be Waiting To Make A Move 

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Posted in Survey
Aug. 9, 2018

Mortgage Rates Mostly Steady Last Week

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were relatively flat last week, including rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. But, despite the fact that rates were mostly unchanged from one week earlier, overall demand for mortgage applications was down from the week before. Joel Kan, MBA's vice president of economic and industry forecasting, told CNBC the economy has improved but buyers are still finding the market challenging. “Despite recent data indicating a strong U.S. economy and job market, including signs of wage growth, overall mortgage applications fell for the third straight week as housing continues to be hampered by the lack of homes for sale and crimped affordability,” Kan said. And while it's true that conditions may be keeping sales lower than they would otherwise be, demand for loans to buy homes is just 2 percent lower than at the same time last year.

For buyers in Eastern, NC, home inventory has stayed good with many new and existing homes on the market giving buyers a good choice of homes. This has also kept prices moderate and kept homes affordable for many people. To see some of the homes for sale in this area 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 has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.

Mortgage Rates Mostly Steady Last Week 

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Posted in Survey
Aug. 8, 2018

How Land-Use Regulations Affect A Home's Price

The value of a particular house has to do with many different factors. The condition of the house, the location, the school district, supply, demand, and the surrounding neighborhood's amenities are among some of the most well known. But a recent analysis has pinpointed another, less well known, factor that may help push prices upward. According to the study, areas that have stricter land-use regulations – such as density laws and permit review times – have seen much larger increases in home values compared to areas with less restrictive regulations. What does this mean? Well, it's fairly simple. In areas where builders have a more difficult time building new homes because of local laws and procedures, fewer new homes get built. And, during times when there are a lower-than-normal number of existing homes available for sale, that can cause price increases to accelerate, as there will be more buyers than homes for sale. However, it's important to note that the areas with the strictest land-use regulations also tend to be major coastal cities, where available lots are already hard to come by. In other words, there are a lot of factors that go into how a home is priced and the rate at which its value rises or falls. This is why some people go into sticker shock when looking a home on the coast. This is what is seen in Eastern, NC. This area has a beautiful coastal area and many people want to live close to it. Of course the closer you get the more you are going to spend. Sometimes it is better to get a few miles back and pay less and have a good inventory. That is what buyers in this area are seeing. 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. More here.

How Land-Use Regulations Affect A Home's Price 

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Posted in Report
Aug. 7, 2018

What Today's New Home Buyer Wants

Naturally, home builders need to keep up with what buyers want. If they're building homes without incorporating the features home buyers desire, they won't be in business very long. And that's why it's good to check in with builders if you're curious about the latest home design trends. For example, according to one recent survey conducted by home builder Ashton Woods, buyers no longer prefer an all-white kitchen. In fact, today's home buyer is more likely to choose natural wood cabinets, with white cabinetry coming in second followed by distressed wood. Other trends cited in the survey include buyers' desire for hobby rooms and home offices. Hobby rooms that provide a space for homeowners to pursue their favorite past time were named by 76 percent of participants, who said they'd pay extra for a home with a bonus space. Offices were similarly popular with large majorities of respondents. Today, we can work almost anywhere and that includes our homes. So it comes as no surprise that home builders are seeing an increase in the number of buyers who want a home office in their next house. Overall, respondents expressed a desire for customization, with two thirds saying they'd choose a builder who offers options over one that doesn't. For buyers in Eastern, NC they are finding too that most homes are being built with the features that are so popular. A lot of the coastal homes will have more of  the lighter and brighter beachy colors in them. 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.

 

What Today's New Home Buyer Wants 

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Posted in Report
Aug. 6, 2018

Where Homeowners Have The Most Extra Cash

Your financial health isn't really about how much money you make. It's more about how much you have left over once you've paid all your bills. After all, if you make $1 million a month but also spend $1 million, you're still struggling financially. And no one likes worrying about money. For that reason, a recent analysis took a look at the 50 biggest cities in the country and – based on household income, home prices, and cost of living – tried to determine where homeowners were able to live most comfortably. Fortunately, the results show that in 44 of the 50 cities included the average homeowner had money leftover at the end of the month. But surprisingly, the hardest places for Americans to put away a little extra cash weren't necessarily the most expensive places to live. In fact, cities in the Midwest and South were among the toughest, rather than pricier areas on the coasts. For example, Detroit, Memphis, New Orleans, and Cleveland were four of the six cities where residents showed a negative balance. Philadelphia also made the list. The number one spot, however, was Miami, where a high cost of living and a low median income make it a tough place to save. One area of the country that has a strong job market and very affordable housing is in Eastern, NC. That is part of the reason why this area is so popular and why many people are interested in living here. 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.

Where Homeowners Have The Most Extra Cash 

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Posted in Report
Aug. 3, 2018

Why You Should Be Optimistic About Homeownership

Home buyers this year have faced higher prices, more competition, and rising mortgage rates. In short, it's been a challenging year. But that's not to say it isn't a good time to buy a house. There are many reasons to be optimistic about homeownership, in fact – and a few that put current conditions in perspective. Take mortgage rates, for example. According to Freddie Mac, the long term average is 8.16 percent, which means today's rates are still low historically. Also, home equity is increasing. In fact, it's up 13% year-over-year. And rising home equity means today's homeowners are seeing their investment grow. There is also evidence that market conditions may begin to improve. For one, new home construction has been making gains and that means more homes for buyers to choose from. It also means buyers should begin to see prices moderate and competition wane, as more new homes are built to meet today's high level of buyer demand. In short, there are a lot of good reasons to be optimistic about buying a house this year, despite market challenges.

There is nowhere this is more true than in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build homes and with existing homes on the market this has given a very good inventory of homes for buyers to choose from. It has also kept prices moderate and this has helped many first time buyers and others to be able to get into the market or stay in the 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. More here.

Why You Should Be Optimistic About Homeownership 

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Posted in Report
Aug. 2, 2018

Mortgage Activity Slows As Rates Move Up

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates increased for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances last week. Loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration were virtually unchanged. Nevertheless, the increases led to a decline in mortgage activity, with both refinance and purchase demand lower than one week earlier. Joel Kan, the MBA's vice president of economic and industry forecasting, told CNBC slowing mortgage demand is in line with the overall housing market trend. “Application activity remained slow, which is in line with weak trends in other housing indicators such as home sales and housing starts,” Kan said. And it's true that the high level of home buyer demand this year has been slowed by low inventory and higher prices. But despite this, demand for loans to buy homes remains 1 percent higher than last year at the same time. Also, some recent indicators suggest both inventory and prices are starting to show signs of relief for hopeful buyers.

This is how it is in Eastern, NC, for buyers. They have a good inventory of homes to choose from and with such a good supply the prices have stayed moderate. Home buyers, especially first time buyers, are finding this is a very attractive area to buy a home 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. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.

 Mortgage Activity Slows As Rates Move Up

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Posted in Survey