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Housing market shifting in favor of buyers

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Jun 8, 2019 @ 08:06 AM

After years of record low inventory levels, an influx of homes on the market is helping solidify speculation made by experts that 2019 may be the year the housing market finally shifts in favor of buyers. As mortgage rates decline, homeowners are seeing an opportunity to move and listing their home for sale.

“The U.S. housing market has largely favored sellers over the last several years as a result of the record-breaking low inventory and red-hot demand that led to intense competition and fast-rising home prices,” said Realtor.com’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “Slowing sales and growing inventories have caused supply to increase in many markets across the country.”

With more homes expected to be listed for sale this summer, the prevalence of bidding wars that have been seen in previous years is likely to be lessened.

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: home sales, Housing Market, National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, Realtor.com, U.S. Housing Market, National Housing Market

Builder confidence gets a boost

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sun, Jun 2, 2019 @ 09:06 AM

Sales of newly built homes are on the rise, giving homebuilders a boost in confidence as the rest of the housing market seems to be in a slump. Builder confidence in newly built, single-family homes rose three points in May to a reading of 66. Anything above 50 is generally considered positive however this is lower than the reading of 70 in May 2018. This latest information comes from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index.

Demand for new homes continues to remain high. The index’s component measuring sales expectations for the next six months rose to a reading of 72 last month.

“This lower-interest rate environment, along with ongoing job growth and rising wages, is contributing to a gradual improvement in the marketplace,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.00 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: Housing Market, National Association of Home Builders, new homes, single family homes, NAHB, Mortgage rates, Home Builder Confidence

Pending home sales retreat for 16th consecutive month

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Jun 1, 2019 @ 08:06 AM

Even with falling mortgage rates in recent weeks, pending home sales, which are a measure of signed contracts to purchase existing homes, dropped 1.5 percent in April, compared to March. On a year-over-year basis contract signings fell by two percent – the sixteenth consecutive month of annual declines.

The decline in pending home sales, according to data from the National Association of Realtors, is not indictive of the health of the overall housing market and points to other, more positive trends.

“Though the latest monthly figure shows a mild decline in contract signings, mortgage applications and consumer confidence have been steadily rising,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “It’s inevitable for sales to turn higher in a few months.”

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.00 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: Housing Market, National Association of Realtors, Mortgage applications, NAR, Mortgage rates, Pending Home Sales, Existing Homes, Signed Contracts

Foreign real-estate investors continue to eye U.S. housing

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, May 20, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

Demand from foreign investors for American homes has not waned despite a strengthening U.S. dollar, rising prices and looming trade wars. According to a survey conducted by the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, 95 percent of foreign buyers stated they plan to maintain or increase their purchase activity in the U.S.

Chinese buyers, who surpassed Canadian buyers in 2014 as the largest block of international buyers, accounted for approximately 25 percent of total foreign investment in residential real estate in 2018. This is according to the National Association of Realtors. Canadians remain the second largest group of foreign investors with 9 percent.

While investment of homes in the U.S. by Chinese and Canadian buyers may seem like a sizable amount, foreign investment in the American housing market is less than 3 percent of total home sales.

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: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Foreign Investors, Foreign Real Estate Investors, Chinese Investors, American Housing Market, Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate, Chinese Buyers, Residential Real Estate Investors, Residential Real Estate

When bidding wars make sense

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 8, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

With the home-buying season among us, buyers will be flooding the markets in search of the perfect home. This often means competition among house hunters leading to bidding wars that can drive prices through the roof. While this sounds tedious and unappealing, there may very well be sometimes that engaging in a bidding war makes sense.

Although the tide seems to be turning, the fact remains that it is still a sellers market. Inventory levels are still below healthy levels meaning buyers are clamoring over the homes that are listed. Taking that into consideration, it might be expected that buyers will face a little competition.

Additionally, sometimes homes will be deliberately unpriced to lure multiple offers. Be sure to use a true market value to establish your baseline and not an artificially low starting point. And of course, if it is your dream home and you simply cannot live without it, it may be worth it to battle it out – if you can afford it.

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: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Realtors, Home Listings, bidding war, Home-Buying Season, House Hunters

Median list price of U.S. homes reaches new record high

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, May 7, 2019 @ 16:05 PM

Homes are being listed for sale at record prices according to a new report. Realtor.com reported last week that the median list price in the U.S. reached $310,000 in April. This is a record high, beating the previous record reached in March.

“The U.S. median listing price set another record this month, which we expect it to continue to do through the summer when prices typically hit their seasonal peak,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist. “Despite growing availability of total homes for sale, prices are rising in response to more high-end homes for sale.”

The majority of the price growth seen over the last few months has been focused in the upper tier of homes for sale. In San Diego, the median listing price was $692,550 as of last month, up one percent from last year.

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: Housing Market, Housing Affordability, median price, San Diego Home Prices, Median List Price, Record Home Prices

Home sellers' declining profits signal a market shift

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, May 2, 2019 @ 06:05 AM

So far, 2019 seems to be a continuation of the slow but steady decline in profits realized by sellers that was seen last year. Property owners who sold a home in Q1 2019 shows an average profit of $57,500 since purchase, down from $61,000 at the end of 2018. This is according to ATTOM Data Solutions' Q1 2019 U.S. Home Sales Report.

These latest profit figures represent an average 31.5 percent return on investment for Americans who sold a home last quarter, compared to their original purchase price. The report also shows that sellers owned their home for approximately 8.05 years before selling, down slightly from a record-high average tenure of 8.17 years in Q4 2018.

Experts suggest that declining profits are a signal that conditions may be shifting from a sellers’ to a buyers’ market.

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: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Home Sellers, ATTOM Data Solutions, Property Owners

Economists upbeat about housing market

Posted by Mehran Aram on Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 05:04 AM

Lower mortgage rates are sparking confidence in real estate experts about the future of the housing market. Realtor.com has revised its 2019 housing forecast to reflect a shift in attitude among economists who now that the year will end with mortgage rates averaging 4.5 percent – this is a full percentage point lower than what was previously expected.

Lower mortgage rates are countering high home prices, ultimately buoying home sales nationwide.

“The 2019 housing market is different than what we predicted in the fall of 2018, primarily due to an unexpeccted drop in mortgage rates” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.ccom’s chief economist. “This will create a slightly hotter, but still cooling housing market relative to the initial forecast five months ago.”

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: Housing Market, Mortgage rates, Housing Forecast, Economists

Home builder confidence remains flat

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Apr 19, 2019 @ 05:04 AM

The confidence level among homebuilders in the U.S. appears to be holding steady even in the aftermath of the government shutdown that kicked off the year and the lackluster pace of home sales that followed.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose by one point to a reading of 63 in April, bolstered by low mortgage rates. Builder confidence has held steady in the low 60s for three consecutive months.

“Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde. “Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term.”

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: Housing Market, National Association of Home Builders, Home Builders, single family homes, Mortgage rates, Housing Affordability, housing shortage, Affordability, Home Builder Confidence

Dirt lots being sold before homes are built

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 06:03 AM

The volume of homes being sold before they have even been built is increasing exponentially according to a new report. Data from the Commerce Department showed that more than 34 percent of newly built homes sold in 2018 was either before or while the property was under construction.

This comes as welcome news to homebuilders as it indicates a continued strong demand for new homes. Builders were challenged last year with flat sales and rising material costs causing big builder stocks to lose 20 percent on average.

Demand for new housing is expected to move higher as mortgage rates remain low. 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 sales, Housing Market, new homes, U.S. Department of Commerce, Mortgage rates