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Dec. 13, 2019

Forecast Sees Good Years Ahead For Housing

Home buyers and sellers can have very different views when it comes to housing market conditions. Rising prices, for example, are bad news for buyers but good news for anyone thinking about putting their home up for sale. In other words, your perception of the current market will be determined by your position in it. One thing everyone can agree on, though, is volatility. No one wants to be active in the market when it's unpredictable. That's why Freddie Mac's most recent forecast is encouraging. Because, not only are they calling for a steady market in 2020, they also predict that conditions will remain stable through 2021. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac's chief economist, says housing will remain solid despite potential economic ups-and-downs. “The economy has seen increased volatility in November as hopes for a favorable resolution to the trade dispute have recently waned,” Khater said. “However, given low interest rates, modest inflation, and a solid labor market, the U.S. housing market continues to stand firm, and, our forecast is for the housing market to maintain momentum over the next two years.”

This is what is being seen in Eastern, NC, also. This area has been able to continue to build many new homes in all sizes and price ranges, and with the low rates and a steady, strong job market, it has made it possible for so many people to be able to get into the housing market that might not otherwise been able to. 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/. More here.

 

Forecast Sees Good Years Ahead For Housing

Posted in Buying
Dec. 12, 2019

Survey Finds Rates Mostly Flat Last Week

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were mostly flat last week, with rates seeing little change for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances. Rates were also flat for 15-year fixed-rate loans, though they fell for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Overall, rates are hovering just above historic lows and it's helped boost mortgage demand. In fact, refinance activity is up 146 percent from last year and demand for loans to buy homes is up 5 percent. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says favorable conditions should lead to more improvement in the coming months. “The November jobs data showed increased payroll gains and low unemployment, which means conditions remain favorable for steady purchase growth in the coming months,” Kan said.

With rates continuing to stay historically low, Eastern, NC has seen a boost in new homes being built as well as in homes being sold. To see what this area has to offer 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.

 

Survey Finds Rates Mostly Flat Last Week

Posted in Survey
Dec. 11, 2019

Are New Homes Getting Smaller?

Over the years, American homes have grown larger. In fact, the typical new home is about 1,000 square feet bigger than it was in 1980. But is the decades-long trend toward bigger homes coming to an end? Well, according to recent data, it may already have. That's because, though the median size of a new single-family home built in 2018 was 2,386 square feet – which is, by no means, a small home – square footage has been declining over the past few years. Part of the reason for the decline is growing demand for affordable homes. With the number of homes for sale lower than normal, new home builders are increasingly addressing home buyers' needs by building smaller, more affordable homes. The other factor is generational. Millennials have reached the age of the average first-time home buyer and, naturally, have different preferences than their parents. Spacious homes far from the city aren't as popular with younger buyers, who prefer a smaller, more manageable home closer to work and amenities. Whatever the reason, the trend toward smaller homes is likely to continue in 2020 and beyond.

The smaller home trend has been felt and acted upon in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes, especially in the smaller sizes and price ranges. This is making it much easier for more people to find a home with most of the features they are looking for and to be able to afford to buy it. 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.

 

 

Are New Homes Getting Smaller?

Posted in Buying
Dec. 10, 2019

Americans Say It's A Good Time To Buy

Each month, Fannie Mae conducts a survey asking respondents for their perception of the housing market, buying and selling a home, mortgage rates, their job, home prices, etc. Their Home Purchase Sentiment Index is meant to gauge Americans' interest in buying a home. In November, the Index improved, with a significant increase in the number of participants who said they thought now was a good time to buy a house. In fact, the percentage of Americans who think it's a good time to buy rose to 61 percent from 57 percent the previous month. That's the highest it's been since March 2018. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, says low mortgage rates have helped prospective home buyers, but inventory remains an obstacle. “Over the past year, a growing share of consumers say that they expect mortgage rates to remain steady,” Duncan said. “While low rates have helped boost housing affordability compared to last year, the HPSI has increased only moderately in that timeframe. This may be due in part to the ongoing challenge of tight housing supply, especially in the starter home market.” There is one area though that has shown a better purchase market than in a lot of other areas. That is Eastern, NC.  This area has built many new homes in many sizes and price ranges, but mainly in the entry level size. This has brought out the buyers and made it possible for so many more people to be able 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.  More here.

 

Americans Say It's A Good Time To Buy

Posted in Survey
Dec. 9, 2019

Speciality Rooms Are Popular With Younger Buyers

There are some rooms you'll find in every house. Kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms come to mind. Libraries, on the other hand, aren't as common. In short, some rooms are more essential than others. But these days, the list of essential spaces is expanding. And, according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders, buyers – and especially younger buyers – have strong feelings about which types of rooms they want in their next house. Among millennials home buyers, laundry rooms lead the list. In fact, 86 percent of millennial respondents said having a laundry room was either desirable or a must have. Other speciality rooms that were popular with large majorities of millennials included dining rooms, home offices, and great rooms. But naturally, millennials aren't the only buyers who have a preference for speciality spaces. After all, older buyers likely also prefer to have a laundry room in the house. However, there are some generational differences in which rooms were deemed most important to which buyers. For example, the survey found younger buyers were much more likely than other generations to say their next house needed to have an exercise, media, or game room.

Buyers in Eastern, NC are finding a large variety of homes that have many different features in them. This is making it much easier for a buyer to find exactly what they are wanting and finding it in a price range they can afford. 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.

 

Speciality Rooms Are Popular With Younger Buyers

Posted in Report
Dec. 6, 2019

Will Next Year Be Good For Home Buyers?

Home buyers have a lot to consider. They have to think about the size and location of the house they'll buy, how much storage it'll have, the school district, how many bathrooms, the kitchen, mechanical systems, the roof, the neighborhood, etc. It's a lot. But, if that weren't enough, it's also important to consider market conditions and what the financial side of buying looks like. So what can buyers expect to find when shopping for a house in 2020? Well, according to a new forecast from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website, there's good news and bad. More new homes, low mortgage rates, and slower price appreciation are all encouraging signs for hopeful home buyers. Add to that easier access to credit and it sounds like a good time to buy. However, challenges will remain. For example, low inventory remains a big issue for the housing market and, in areas where there are more buyers than homes for sale, it may take longer to find a home. This is especially true for first-time buyers. New home construction has largely been limited to higher-end homes, which means affordable homes in entry-level price ranges may be harder to come by.

There is one place though that buyers are finding a good inventory of homes, ranging from entry level to large and in all different price ranges. Eastern, NC, has become a very popular area to live in with all it has to offer and with the good inventory of homes. To see some of the homes being offered and to take advantage of the different sizes and prices go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/More here.

 

Will Next Year Be Good For Home Buyers?

 

Posted in Report
Dec. 5, 2019

Purchase Market Healthy As 2019 Wraps Up

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were mostly flat last week from the week before. Only rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans with jumbo balances and loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration saw much movement, with each seeing slight increases. Despite flat rates, however, the refinance index fell 16 percent and brought overall demand down. Purchase activity, on the other hand, saw a 1 percent increase. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said the purchase market looks healthy as the year comes to a close. “The purchase market overall looks healthy as we enter the home stretch of 2019,” Kan said. “The seasonally adjusted purchase index was at its highest level since July, as a combination of wage gains, slower home-price appreciation, and slightly easing inventory conditions continue to support increased activity.”

Areas of Eastern, NC are seeing this as well. There is a good job market in this area and there are many new homes in different sizes and price ranges, which is bringing the buyers out. To see some of the inventory 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. More here.

 

Purchase Market Healthy As 2019 Wraps Up

Posted in Survey
Dec. 4, 2019

More New Homes Could Spell Relief For Buyers

With the job market strong, mortgage rates low, and buyer demand up, the housing market seems ready for a boom. But because there's been fewer homes for sale than normal, it hasn't happened. Now, according to a new forecast from the National Association of Realtors, things may be starting to change. That's because, the number of single-family homes expected to be built next year should total 1 million, which is the highest number since 2007. And, with more new homes being built and put on the market, buyers will have more choices, affordability will improve, and sales will increase. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says inventory has been the primary factor holding housing back. “All the factors that contribute to higher home sales like the job situation are terrific, and of course mortgage rates are critical to buying a home and those are favorable,” Yun said. “All the factors are lined up in a way that means we should be having gangbuster home sales.” Skyrocketing home sales could be just around the corner, though, if new home construction increases as expected.

All of this is what is being seen in the areas of Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes in all sizes and price ranges and that combined with a good job market and low rates, is making it possible for many people to finally be able to buy a 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/More here.

 

More New Homes Could Spell Relief For Buyers

 

Posted in Report
Dec. 4, 2019

Winter Is The Best Time To Buy A Home

Though spring and summer are the housing market's busiest time, winter may be the best time for buyers. In fact, according to a new analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions, winter buyers have the best chance of buying a home at a price below its estimated market value. The analysis found that December is the best month for buyers and the day after Christmas and New Year's Eve are the days offering the biggest discounts. Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, says buyers willing to make a deal during the busy holiday season will be financially rewarded. “Closing on a home purchase the day after Christmas or on New Year's Eve can be one of the most financially beneficial holiday-season gifts you can get,” Teta said. “While lots of folks are shopping the day-after Christmas sales or getting ready to ring in the New Year, our data shows that buyers and investors are buying homes on those days at a discount. That's a far cry from buying during June, when they are likely paying about a 7 percent premium.” By comparison, December buyers pay about a 1.2 percent premium.

This is what is experienced in Eastern, NC, year after year. This area has such a good inventory of homes, and the holiday season seems to be the time to gift yourself as a buyer with a good savings on 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/.

More here.

 

Winter Is The Best Time To Buy A Home

Posted in Report
Dec. 2, 2019

What Pending Sales Are And Why They're Important

After a contract to buy a home is signed, that home's sale is considered pending until closing. This period usually last several weeks, while the home and its sale goes through all the necessary steps to confirm, verify, and ensure every part of the transaction. Because of that weeks-long gap between contract signings and closings, tracking the number of signings is a fairly accurate way to forecasting what upcoming sales reports will show. After all, since most contract signings end up as final sales, increasing sales numbers typically follow increasing signings. That's why the National Association of Realtors measures them monthly with their Pending Home Sales report. According to their most recent release, October saw a month-over-month decline but, overall, signings are up over last year's numbers. In fact, contract signings were 4.4 percent higher than year before levels. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says there are plenty of buyers right now but still not enough homes for sale. “We still need to address and, more importantly, correct inadequate levels of inventory across the country,” Yun said. “There is no shortage of buyers seeking homes, but a lack of available units continues to drag down the nation's housing market and overall economy.” As inventory levels rise and offer buyers more choices, sales will likely follow.

For buyers in Eastern, NC, inventory has not been as much of an issue. This area has continued to build many new homes in all size and price ranges, making it possible for many more people to be able to get into the housing market. To see some of the inventory 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.

 

What Pending Sales Are And Why They're Important

 

Posted in Report