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Home buyers could find best deals in Fall.

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Oct 1, 2019 @ 06:10 AM

The days are getting shorter, school is back in session and the triple-digit heat is gone. Autumn has officially arrived. But while the weather is cooling, the housing market may not be. In fact, according to a report from Realtor.com, the best time to purchase a home is the first week of Fall.

After the summer, buyers tend to have less competition which often translates into greater leverage when making offers. Out of the 52 major markets in the U.S., 41 reported the last week of September is the best time to buy. Competition tends to be reduced by up to 26 percent and inventory increases by 6.1 percent.

Buying a home in the latter part of the year is also the last chance for buyers to add the tax benefits to the follow year’s return. Sellers are also more inclined to sell in the fall to avoid having to move during the holidays.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.75 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: home buying, home purchase, Mortgage rates, Realtor.com, home buyers, Competitive Housing Market, Home Buying Seson

New-home sales re-approaching 12-year high

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Sep 27, 2019 @ 06:09 AM

Low mortgage rates appear to be propping up the U.S. housing market as seen in a resurgence of new home sales in August. According to the Department of Commerce, sales of newly-constructed homes increased 7.1 percent on a month-over-month basis to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 713,000, just shy of the 12-year high of 729, 000 set in June.

A drop in mortgage rates over the summer bolstered what was expected to be an otherwise unremarkable home-buying season. In addition, the low rates led to an increase in home-building activity as builders see the lower borrowing costs as an opportunity to push sales.

Demand for new housing is expected to remain high as the supply of homes available for sale remains low.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.75 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: home buying, new home sales, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mortgage rates, low rates, Home Building, U.S. Housing Market, New Construction

Poll: Home buyers have no regrets

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 05:09 AM

Despite high prices, becoming a homeowner may still pay off. According to new data from Bank of America, 93 percent of renters who transitioned to homeownership have no regrets about their decision. They report being happier than they were leasing and 80 percent said they would never go back.

A whopping 88 percent stated that buying a home was the “best decision they ever made” and 79 percent of respondents say that owning has changed them for the better.

The data supports other studies that show that long-term, homeownership is more affordable that renting and is one of the primary ways American’s build wealth.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.625 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.125 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, homeownership, Mortgage rates, Renters, home buyers, Homeowner, Housing Poll, Bank of America

Home buyer deal breakers

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Sep 9, 2019 @ 09:09 AM

Just give the handle a jiggle. That window doesn’t open. The gate doesn’t latch. These not uncommon phrases may be a part of your everyday living but when selling your home, they can be deal breakers. Studies have shown that its these “nickel and dime” issues that really peeve home buyers, especially if they are not told about them ahead of time.

These small things, like a toilet that runs, a stuck front door or a wobbly ceiling fan are things long time homeowners have just learned to live with but experts warn that if home inspectors don’t catch them, they should be disclosed so as to not catch the buyer off guard.

To ensure a swift and smooth home sale transaction, agents advise sellers to make these minor repairs. Although they may not cost very much or be noticeable right away, they can go a long way when listing your home for sale. Homeowners are also like to save money by making the repair themselves than waiting for the buyer to ask for a credit in escrow at twice the price.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 3.625 percent and 15-year rates are near 3.125 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, Mortgage rates, home selling, Realtors, home buyers, Home Sellers, Home Listings, Real Estate Agent

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

Fannie Mae: consumers remain bearish about home buying

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, May 11, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

Inventory rates slowly climbing, and mortgage rates hold steady did little to turn consumers on to the idea of buying a home last month. Fannie Mae reported it its Home Purchase Sentiment Index this week that net positive responses to the question about whether now is a good time to buy a home fell 8 points in April. This is a significant 15 percentage points lower than the same month last year.

Despite the negative sentiment about buying a home, consumers seem optimistic that conditions will continue to improve in the coming months. The share of those who believe rates will decline over the next year climbed 12 points over between March and April.

Historically, the net percentage of American’s who feel conditions are ripe to purchase a home increases in the summer months which are traditionally known as “home-buying season”.

Meanwhile, 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, home purchase, Fannie Mae, Mortgage rates, consumer, Home Purchase Sentiment

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

Survey: Americans feeling confident about finances

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Feb 12, 2019 @ 05:02 AM

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index climbed 1.2 points last month to a reading of 84.7, a reversal of the 2.3 point drop in December but still shy of the all-time high of 89.5 reached a year ago. The Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) is compiled from a monthly National Housing Survey conducted by Fannie Mae.

The increase was driven by an 8-point increase in the net share of respondents who reported higher income levels and a 4-point increase in the net share of those who say now is a good time to buy a home.

However, the number of Americans who believe home prices will continue to climb has fallen 22-points since last year. This latest installment of the monthly survey is the first since the partial government shutdown that begin in December furloughed over 800,000 federal workers.

As for mortgage rates, today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.375 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 prices, home buying, Fannie Mae, National Housing Survey, Mortgage rates, Home Purchase Sentiment, Housing Sentiment

Closing escrow on the double

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 @ 09:10 AM

It can feel like the hardest part of the home buying process – waiting. You’ve found your dream home, you’ve crunched the numbers, it passed the termite inspection and you’ve already started packing your knick-knacks in bubble wrap. All you have to do now is wait for escrow to close and get your keys.

The typical time frame to close escrow is generally 30 days but hiccups in the process can stretch out the process to 60 days or even longer sometimes. Buyers may delay escrow to come up with the rest of the cash needed to close. Sellers may ask for additional time as they wait on their new home’s escrow to close. And even if both buyer and seller are on track, delays can be caused by issues with the HOA, lender, appraisals or any number of third-parties.

The important thing to remember is that all these issues can be resolved with a little patience and working with experienced lenders and agents.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 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 buying, escrow, Mortgage rates

Millennials showing preference for conventional loans

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 14:10 PM

Younger homebuyers turned more towards conventional home loans in August, so much so that it drove Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker to a three-year high. 69 percent of home loans taken out by Millennials in August were conventional loans - up 64 percent from August 2017 and the highest rate since February 2015. FHA loans, another popular option among first-time buyers, accounted for 27 percent of all closed loans during the month, down 32 percent from last year.

Lenders are competing for this growing segment of the home buying population including offering a variety of low-down payment options. Millennials have slowly grown to become a larger share of homebuyers and in part responsible for increases in the overall homeownership rate nationwide.

As with other age groups, millennial males represented most of the loans two-to-one with 61 percent of the total, while 32 percent were women. The remainder did not specify a gender.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 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: Millennials, home buying, first-time buyers, Mortgage rates, Home Loan, Conventional Loans