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July 17, 2018

How Long Does It Take A Renter To Save For A House?

With rental costs and home prices both increasing, it's become more challenging for renters to save for a down payment. How much so? Well, according to one recent analysis, the typical renter will have to save for nearly six and a half years to come up with a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home. And, since the median home value is currently $216,000, depending on your prospective neighborhood, it could take even longer to save up for a house. Renters who aspire to homeownership shouldn't get discouraged, though. Despite the fact that a 20 percent down payment is the standard amount recommended by financial experts, it is not a requirement in order to buy a house. In fact, depending on the particular terms of your mortgage, you can put down as little as 3 percent. In 2017, for example, 29 percent of first-time buyers had a down payment between 3 and 9 percent. That's why it's important to explore your options before deciding homeownership is out of reach. That is what buyers are experiencing in Eastern, NC. This area has many programs in place so that buyers have a way to buy a home and not have to have such a large down payment. This has been very helpful for renters and first time buyers. 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.

 

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Posted in Survey
July 16, 2018

Majority Say They Want To Own A Home In Retirement

The vast majority of surveyed Americans say that homeownership is among their retirement goals, according to a recent survey. In fact, 85 percent of non-retiree respondents said they want to own their own home in retirement and believe they can pay off their mortgage before they retire. But, though non-retiree participants feel like they'll have their mortgage paid off in time, more than 25 percent of retired respondents said they're still paying off a mortgage and over half of those had a balance of more than $50,000. In short, Americans may be a bit too optimistic. But regardless of whether or not they make it, the debate about homeownership and retirement will continue. On the one hand, tax breaks and equity make a good case for the wealth-building benefits of owning a home. But, on the other hand, property tax, maintenance and potential renovation costs can add unpredictability to a household budget that may largely be fixed. In the end, which situation is the right one for you will ultimately depend on your personal finances, assets, and outlook – as there is no one-size fits all strategy for meeting your retirement goals. Americans will have to continue to save and strive to meet that goal, but in some areas like Eastern, NC, this goal may be a little bit easier to meet. This area has many new homes and has been able to keep a good inventory of homes in different sizes and prices so this has allowed many to be able to get into the housing market and by not have to spend as much on buying a house they are able to be much closer to paying off their home by retirement age. To see some of the homes available go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin.  More here.

Majority Say They Want To Own A Home In Retirement 

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Posted in Survey
July 13, 2018

This Summer's Luxury Home Market Is Hot

The challenge of finding an affordable entry-level home in today's housing market gets a lot of coverage. First-time buyers facing higher rent, difficulty saving for a down payment, and low inventory are an important demographic and their habits have implications for the overall health of the market. But, at the same time as the starter-home market has been hot, demand for luxury homes has also ramped up. In fact, new research shows sales of homes $1 million and higher are up 25 percent over last year – which represents the largest jump since January 2014. In short, the improved economy and job market has also led to an increase in demand for luxury homes, the same way it has elevated demand across all segments of the housing market. Among specific regions, northern California leads the pack with four of the top 10 fastest-growing luxury markets. Other fast-growing markets include Denver, Seattle, and Nashville, which all have seen homes on the high-end of the market going under contract in fewer days than at this time last year.

For buyers in the areas of Eastern, NC, they are finding that there are many new homes in various sizes and prices and this has made it much easier for the first time buyer to get into the housing market. There are also many luxury homes on the market for those that are looking at the high end of the scale. 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.

This Summer's Luxury Home Market Is Hot 

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Posted in Buying
July 12, 2018

Home Buyer Demand Shows No Signs Of Slowing

If you've been paying attention to this year's housing market, you already know that there's been a high level of demand and a lower-than-normal number of homes for sale. That lack of balance has led to rising prices and more competition. But, despite the challenging conditions in many markets across the country, home buyer demand has not let up. Mostly, that's due to an improved economy and job market. Mike Fratantoni, the Mortgage Bankers Association's chief economist, recently told CNBC the job market is the primary factor driving demand. “The strong job market continues to bolster demand for homes,” Fratantoni said. In short, prospective buyers feel more secure in their jobs and financial situation, which makes them less hesitant to enter the market. That's proven by new numbers showing a 7 percent surge in applications for loans to buy homes last week. But there's also evidence that more homes are being listed for sale and, though inventory hasn't yet rebounded, the trend may be starting to turn, which would be good news for buyers and the market overall. That is what buyers are already seeing in Eastern, NC. This area has continued to build many new homes and that along with existing homes has kept enough homes available for people to have choices and for prices to stay moderate. To see what is 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.

Home Buyer Demand Shows No Signs Of Slowing 

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Posted in Report
July 11, 2018

Are Waterfront Homes Selling For Less?

There are two reasons home buyers typically have to pay more for a house on the water. The first is that people want to live on the water. It's a desirable location. Secondly, there are a limited number of houses with water access. And when you combine high demand and low supply, you usually have a recipe for higher prices. But new research shows that waterfront property isn't selling at as high a premium this year. In fact, waterfront homes in the first quarter sold for a 36 percent premium, which is the lowest level since 2002. By comparison, the average premium since 1996 is 41 percent and in 2012 the premium was as high as 54 percent. In other words, the difference in price between homes on the water and those further inland is lower than normal. But since having an ocean or lake view hasn't become any less desirable, what might be behind this trend? Well one explanation is that a lower overall number of homes for sale has helped raise prices for homes all over, which has narrowed the price gap between waterfront and inland homes.

For buyers looking to find a home on the water in Eastern, NC, they will need to have their money right. This area has been able to build many new homes giving nice choices for home buyers but with this area being on the coast it has kept waterfront property very high. There is such a limited supply of homes on the coast and that along with new home prices has kept these prices high. 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.

 

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Posted in Buying
July 10, 2018

Americans Are Feeling More Confident Financially

When it comes to deciding whether or not it's a good time for you to buy a house, your personal finances are a big factor. After all, feeling secure in your job, income, and debts can make taking on a large financial transaction far less stressful. For that reason, Fannie Mae's most recent Home Purchase Sentiment Index may be encouraging news for the housing market. That's because, though confidence in most of the components – including whether this is a good time to buy or sell a home – was flat or down, those dealing with the direction of the economy and financial expectations for the next year were up. “Tight supply and lackluster income growth continue to weigh on housing activity, and consumer expectations for home price growth over the next 12 months have moderated,” Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae's senior vice president and chief economist, said. “However, consumers expressed increased optimism about the direction of the economy and their personal financial situations over the next 12 months, with both measures matching previous survey highs this month”

For one area, eastern, NC, the job market has remained strong and new homes have continued to be built and so buyers are not having as hard a time finding or getting a home as in a lot of areas of the country. With a good inventory of homes on the market it has helped to keep prices moderate and affordable for many people. 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.

Americans Are Feeling More Confident Financially 

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Posted in Report
July 9, 2018

Mortgage Rates Fall But Demand Stays Flat

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were down last week for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed rate loans. But despite falling rates, demand for mortgage applications remained flat, with refinance activity dropping 2 percent and purchase activity up just 1 percent from the week before. Michael Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist, told CNBC that, though a lower-than-normal number of homes for sale may be holding demand back, first-time buyers are still active. “A shortage of inventory remains a significant constraint, but it is interesting to note that applications for government purchase loans fared better on the week, indicating that first-time buyers remain in the market.” Government-insured FHA loans offer lower down payment requirements and are, therefore, more popular with younger buyers who may not have saved enough for a 20 percent down payment.

Eastern, NC, sees a lot of new, younger home buyers. This area has a large number of new homes being built and this has kept prices very affordable for first time home buyers and has kept an active market 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/?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 Fall But Demand Stays Flat 

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Posted in Survey
July 8, 2018

Affordability Perceptions May Be Holding Housing Back

Perception doesn't always match reality but, when it comes to financial markets, that doesn't necessarily matter. For example, if you've ever invested in the stock market, you know that a company's stock can rise or fall based on the day's news, even if the company's fundamentals and outlook remain the same as the day before. In short, perception matters. And, in today's housing market, there's a perception that there are few affordable homes available to prospective buyers. In fact, according to a recent analysis from Fannie Mae, though only 8 percent of homeowners consider their current mortgage unaffordable, 45 percent said that affordable housing is difficult to find in their area. Which provides a snapshot of what is going on in many markets across the country. Homeowners that want to sell may be waiting because they don't feel they'll find an affordable house to move into. The flip side of this, however, is that as long as current homeowners aren't selling their homes, inventory shortages will continue, which is the primary factor behind recent price increases.

This may be true in parts of the country but for buyers in Eastern, NC, they are finding that there are many new homes being built and that along with existing homes on the market has given many good and affordable choices for buyers. To see some of the homes available in the area go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

Affordability Perceptions May Be Holding Housing Back

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Posted in Report
July 6, 2018

Are Cities Becoming More Popular Than Suburbs?

Suburbs sprouted out of a desire to have the conveniences of urban life but also the space and privacy of living outside the city. In other words, the best of both worlds. And for decades, suburban areas, based on that promise, grew at a faster rate than the nation's cities. Americans spread out from city centers and moved further and further away. But, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute, we may now be starting to move back. In fact, between 2010 and 2015, dense urban locations saw their populations grow faster than the residential neighborhoods of their surrounding suburbs. There are a few reasons for this. One is that rental apartment inventory grew at about twice the rate of inventory in the suburbs. Also, there were more jobs created in city centers than in suburbia during this period. However, though there are many factors driving Americans back into the city, the report also notes that urban living costs more, which means younger Americans – who are most likely to desire an urban lifestyle – may be increasingly unable to afford it.

For buyers in Eastern, NC, homes are not as expensive and there is a good selection of homes in many different areas, giving buyers good choices in homes and locations. To see some of these popular homes and locations go to: https://www.firstcarolina.com/listings/ or join social media at: https://www.facebook.com/fcrhavelock/?notif_t=page_admin. More here.

 

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Posted in Report
July 3, 2018

Why Are Younger Americans Buying Fewer Homes?

In recent years, there's been a lot of discussion about millennial home buying preferences. Mostly, this is due to the fact that first-time home buyers have historically made up about 40 percent of the home sales in any given year. And, because they account for a large number of the homes sold each year, any fluctuation in those numbers is notable. That's why Freddie Mac recently took a look at why the homeownership rate among young adults has dropped 8 percent since hitting its peak in 2004. As you might imagine, there are a variety of reasons for this. Among them, affordability, not surprisingly, ranks highest. Concern about being able to afford homeownership is always an issue for younger buyers. But there are many other factors that have played a role in suppressing buyer demand among first-time buyers. Some of the other common reasons named included lower marriage and fertility rates, student-loan debt, borrowing constraints, and a preference for urban living, which tends to be more expensive. In short, young Americans – in addition to affordability challenges – have more debt and are starting families later in life. But, though lifestyle and demographic changes have influenced buying activity, Freddie Mac predicts homeownership rates will rebound, if the economy and wages continue to improve.

One place that it has rebounded very good is in Eastern, NC. This area is seeing many first time buyers out and they are able to secure a loan. The job market is good in this area and there is military in this area so that helps too. With a good inventory of homes on the market it has kept prices moderate and that has helped younger people to be able to get into the market also. 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.

 

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Posted in Report