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Real estate history repeats itself

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 @ 05:07 AM

Wage increases not keeping up with the rising cost of living has been plaguing the housing market for several years, but a new study of historical trends shows that this dilemma has been frustrating buyers for decades.

A report from Clever Real Estate shows that median home prices have surged 121 percent nationwide since 1960 while household income increased just 29 percent. Renters have also felt the pain of rising prices with a 72 percent increase since 1960.

Homes in the West have felt this problem more acutely as median home prices have risen 195 percent over the past five decades, compared to wages rising only 26 percent over the same time period.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.00 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Housing Market, Wages, Renters, household income, home buyers, median home price, Cost of Living, Historical Home Prices

Home buyers take housing-hunting break over 4th of July

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Jul 15, 2019 @ 06:07 AM

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported last week that it’s Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, declined by 2.4 percent during the week July 5. This includes an adjustment to account for the Independence Day holiday.

Refinances, which have remained elevated for several weeks as mortgage rates remain low, fell 7.0 percent on a weekly basis but remain 88 percent above last year’s levels when borrowing costs were higher.

A gradual decline in refinances is expected in the coming months as many homeowners have already locked in low rates while others may continue to hold-out in the hope that rates will decline further.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.875 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.375 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Mortgage rates, Home refinance,, home buyers, Refi, Refinance Applications

Agentless home buying

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, May 12, 2019 @ 07:05 AM

The vast majority of Americans, as many as 9 in 10, use an agent to help them in buying or selling a home. But online real estate brokerage Redfin is looking to shake things up. The company recently introduced Redfin Direct, a way to save on commission by buying a home without a representative.

The idea is to make home buying as simple as buying a product on Amazon. In fact, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman called it “a buy button for real estate”. But experts warn that this type of real estate transaction might not be for everyone. First-time buyers tend to rely heavily on their agent to help them navigate the process. Eliminating that personal interaction could lead to dissatisfied buyers.

A buyers’ agent also provide the added value of being able to negotiate and be familiar with a market – something Redfin’s new program doesn’t address.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home buying, Redfin, Mortgage rates, Realtors, home buyers, Real Estate Agent, Redfin Direct, Digital Home Buying

New report shows spring home-buying season in full swing

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Apr 1, 2019 @ 05:04 AM

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly Market Composite Index showed that the first week of spring brought with it a large gain in mortgage activity. Driven largely by a surge in refinances due to dropping interest rates, mortgage application volume increased 8.9 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is the third consecutive weekly increase and the largest in a non-holiday week since July 2015.

Refinances increased 12 percent and accounted for 40.4 percent of total mortage application volume. This is up from 39.2 percent the prior week. The Purchase Index rose by six percent.

Mortgage rates holding steady at their lowest point in a nearly a year will likely continue to drive up activity in the coming weeks and months. Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.125 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.625 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.00 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: home buying, Spring Homebuying Season, Mortgage applications, Mortgage Bankers Association, Refinancing, Mortgage rates, home buyers

Buyers’ make comeback in the West

Posted by Darius Aram on Wed, Mar 20, 2019 @ 07:03 AM

After years of shrinking affordability and limited choices, the housing market in the U.S. may be on the verge of normalizing. According to Zillow’s latest Buyer-Seller Index, home prices have cooled in 30 out of 35 major metropolitan areas. The top 10 are all in the West.

San Jose, often one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, is currently the fastest-cooling metro. In fact, Zillow says that the region has cooled off so much that it is now a cold market – favoring buyers over sellers.

Six of the top 10 cooling housing markets are in California including San Diego, San Francisco, Riverside, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, California Housing Market, home buyers

Prepping your home for a spring sale

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Mar 12, 2019 @ 05:03 AM

Clutter doesn’t sell. This is the simple advice offered by staging professionals to those who are listing their home for sale this spring. Open closets, stacks of boxes and trying to hide things in the garage are all things that make it more difficult for house hunters to imagine moving in. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of all buyers’ agents believe that staging has an effect on most buyers’ views of a property.

A poll of home buyers showed that 77 percent say a home that was carefully staged and looked like a family is living there made it easier to visualize it as their future home. Most found the living room to have the greatest effect, followed by the master bedroom and the kitchen.

In addition to increase the speed at which offers are received, one-third of buyers' agents state that staging a home increased the dollar value offered by as much as five percent. With the spring home buying season just around the corner, sellers may want to look around their home and consider the buyers’ perspective.

Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, home buyers, Home Sellers

Buyers responding favorably to stable and lower mortgage rates

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Mar 2, 2019 @ 06:03 AM

Mortgage applications appear to be on the rebound after several weeks of volatility. According to data released this week by the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Market Composite Index increased 5.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ended February 22.

This is the second week in a row where the index has increased following an extended period of declines and slight upticks that coincided with elevated mortgage rates. However, with a drop in rates earlier this year which currently remain stable, mortgage activity seems to be on the rise.

“Mortgage rates were little changed last week,” said Mike Fratantoni, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for the MBA. “Homebuyers are responding favorably to this more stable rate environment.”

Both the Purchase and Refinance Indices increased last week, 6 and 5 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates have dropped approximately .625 percent than they were last November, creating a positive outlook on the future of the housing market. Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Mortgage Bankers Association, Mortgage rates, low rates, home buyers

Could another recession rattle the housing market?

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Feb 26, 2019 @ 05:02 AM

It has been over a decade since the Great Recession shook the American economy and by some measurements, we’re still in recovery. However, some reports show that there are concerns we may be headed into another economic slowdown that could impact the housing market, again. According to a recent Gallup poll, about 39 percent of Americans think the economy is slowing down, while 17 percent think we’re already in a recession or depression.

Fortunately, many experts say the depth and impact of the Great Recession is unlikely to occur again due to new safeguards and regulations. If the economy does slow down by the end of this year as some predict, most economists believe it will be brief. Some high-priced markets may see some decrease in values, but new lending standards should prevent mass foreclosures as was seen in 2008.

Home buyers hoping that a recession would bring down home prices may not see this materialize next time around. Price appreciation may slow which could put buyers in the driver's seat, but a housing crash is unlikely.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Recession, Mortgage rates, home buyers

Buyers spending over 3 months to find next home

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, Feb 17, 2019 @ 08:02 AM

A shortage of homes for sale on the market is taking its toll on house hunters. A survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders showed that 58 percent of buyers actively searching for a home to buy in the fourth quarter of 2018 had been looking for at least three months.

When respondents to the survey were asked what the primary reason for the delay in selecting home was, they cited a lack of homes for sale in their price range (49 percent) followed by not finding a home with their desired features (44 percent) and not finding a home in the right neighborhood (43 percent).

Despite the hurdles to finding the perfect home for the right price, just 16 percent of those surveyed say could give up a new home purchase altogether if these conditions persist.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: Home Builders, NAHB, Mortgage rates, Housing Inventory, home buyers, Survey

Home buyer bidding wars at record low

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 @ 12:02 PM

In yet another sign that the housing market may be slowing down, online real estate brokerage Redfin reported this week that the number of home buyers who are facing bidding wars has decreased substantially over the last few months, reaching a near record low in January.

Just 13 percent of offers written by Redfin agents had multiple offers, little changed from December’s record low and down from 53 percent a year ago. Redfin reports that San Diego is one of the most competitive housing markets in the nation yet still saw a dramatic decrease in bidding wars over the past year. Eighteen percent of San Diego offers faced competition, compared to 63 percent in January 2018.

Only one in five San Diego buyers faced a bidding war last month, compared to over half last year.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.25 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.75 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Topics: San Diego, Housing Market, Mortgage rates, San Diego Housing Market, home buyers, bidding war