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Pending home sales rebound in May

Posted by Mehran Aram on Mon, Jul 1, 2019 @ 05:07 AM

The National Association of Realtors reported last week that after a setback in April, pending home sales bounced back in May, increasing 1.1 percent. The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index is a measure of newly signed contracts for home purchases.

The increase was not enough to push home sales back to 2018 levels, making May the seventeenth consecutive month of year-over-year declines. With mortgage rates remaining low ahead of the busy summer home-buying season, some speculate that the slowing sales pace could reverse course.

“Rates of 4 percent, and in some cases even lower create extremely attractive conditions for consumers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Job creation and a rise in inventory will nonetheless drive more buyers to enter the market.”

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 purchase, National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, home purchases, Pending Home Sales

Home price growth slows in April

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Jun 28, 2019 @ 06:06 AM

The rate at which home prices in the U.S. continued to decline in April, the latest in a series of indicators that conditions are slowly changing to a buyers’ market. Average home prices rose 3.5 percent in April compared to the same month last year, down from 3.7 percent in March and 3.9 percent in February. This latest data comes from the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index.

Market experts are describing the slowdown as a moderation after years of rapid acceleration in home values that priced out many would-be home buyers. The effect of the more moderate price growth coupled with low mortgage rates was seen last month in a uptick in existing home sales as reported by the National Association of Realtors.

It is expected that buyers will continue to enjoy more modest price increases and low mortgage rates for the foreseeable future.

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 prices, National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller, Price Increases

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

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

Apps for a stress-free moving day

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, May 15, 2019 @ 05:05 AM

As excited as you are to finally get the keys to your new home, the dark cloud of needing to move is hanging over your head. It’s the feeling many people get that comes from the headache and stress of packing all your belongings and moving them to a new place. This is when technology can come to the rescue.

Realtor.com compiled a list of helpful smartphone apps that can help those who are moving save money, time and take the stress out of relocating. Sortly is an app that allows movers to compartmentalize every inch of their home and create a simple moving checklist which can be sent directly to your moving company. Speaking of which, Unpakt can take the guess work out of finding the right moving company and Dolly can help you find a team to help you unpack.

With this kind of digital help, it can help minimize the feeling of panic when moving day arrives and replace it with excitement.

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: National Association of Realtors, Mortgage rates, Realtor.com, Smartphone, Apps, Moving

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

Home sales retreat but could spring back

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Feb 23, 2019 @ 09:02 AM

Home sales fell in January on both a monthly and yearly basis but a recent decline in home prices and mortgage rates could equate to an active spring home buying season. Sales of existing homes dropped 1.2 percent last month from December according to the National Association of Realtors. This is the third consecutive month of declining sales and 8.5 percent lower than January 2018.

During the same month, the median sale price of a previously owned home increased 2.8 percent. While this is the 83rd month in a row of a year-over-year gains, it is the slowest annual increase since February 2012. Simply, although home prices are increasing, they are doing so at a slower pace.

Less dramatic increases in home prices, combined with lower mortgage rates is likely to spur home buying as the weather warms up in the coming months. 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, existing home sales, mortgage rat

December pending home sales drop to lowest level six years

Posted by Mehran Aram on Fri, Feb 1, 2019 @ 09:02 AM

Pending home sales declined on a monthly and yearly basis in December according to new information from the National Association of Realtors. The latest Pending Home Sales Index, released this week for the month of December, shows a 2.2 percent decline compared to the month prior and a dramatic 9.8 percent drop compared with December 2017. This marks 12 straight months of annual declines and the lowest December reading since 2013.

Contracts to purchase existing homes, frequently referred to as pending sales, are a strong indicator of future home sales. The end-of-year slump coincided with significant volatility on Wall Street.

“The stock market correction hurt consumer confidence,” said NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun. He added that mortgage rates, which have since declined, were elevated in October and November when these contracts were signed.

Today, conventional conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.375 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.875 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.375 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: Pending Home Sales Index, National Association of Realtors, existing home sales, NAR, Mortgage rates, Pending Home Sales, Existing Homes

Virtual staging could catch the buyers’ eye

Posted by Mehran Aram on Sat, Dec 1, 2018 @ 06:12 AM

It’s no secret that staging a home works. That’s why model homes have such a broad appeal. According to the National Association of Realtors, 77 percent of buyers’ agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in a home. But to save time and money, virtual staging is catching on.

As the name implies, virtual staging is when professional designers overlay images over a home with furnishings on a computer. In most cases, it is ideally done on a vacant home as it gives the designer the ability to lay out the virtual furnisher with more flexibility.

Virtual staging can cost several hundred dollars but because it only needs to be done once, can be less expensive that renting actual furniture to stage a home for several weeks. And dragging a sofa across a computer screen is certainly less labor intensive.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.5 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, Realtors, Home Staging, Virtual Staging

Smile at your next open house, you could be on camera

Posted by Mehran Aram on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 @ 15:11 PM

It’s called the “Internet of Things” or IoT. It’s the concept that the physical world around us – devices, objects, vehicles and even houses – are connected to the world wide web. As smart-homes have grown in popularity, home camera systems have grown more affordable and common in households. As a result, a growing number of realtors and house-hunters are reporting that these cameras scattered throughout some homes, make them uneasy.

When touring a home, buyers want to speak freely with each other and their agent, but an extra set of eyes or ears in a discreetly placed camera can keep them from doing so. Knowing your thoughts on a home can give sellers the upper hand in a deal or have personal information incidentally shared strangers.

The National Association of Realtors suggests brokers hang a sign in the home alerting visitors that they may be recorded while on the property.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.325 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.325 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, Internet of Things, open house, Realtors