Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Why new homes are about to get pricier

Source: Builder

With the cost of building materials jumping 25 percent year over year, according to the National Association of Home Builders' NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, builders are increasingly concerned about how this will affect home buyers in the new-construction market. In 2016, builders ranked the cost of building materials low on their list of concerns—but now it's one of their top five. The increased cost of lumber is a chief catalyst. "Negotiations on a new softwood lumber agreement between the United States and Canada ground to a halt at the end of 2016 and likely are stalled pending the results of an investigation into unfair import practices requested by the U.S. Lumber Coalition," the NAHB reports.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What home buyers wish they'd known

Source: NerdWallet
Nearly half of American homeowners recently surveyed said they would do something differently if they were to go through the homebuying process again, according to the NerdWallet’s Home Buyer Reality Report, which analyzed the steps more than 2,200 Americans took to homeownership. What are the top things consumers say they regretted?
  • 20 percent wished they had saved more money before buying a home
  • 13 percent would do more research on the mortgage-lending process
  • 14 percent would have shopped around more for a mortgage
  • 13 percent would research the homebuying process more

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Minorities increasingly priced out of housing market

Source: Marketplace

According to new report from real estate brokerage Redfin, it's getting harder and harder for middle-class families to afford housing in the U.S. In the nation’s 30 biggest metro areas, the number of home listings middle-class families can afford has dropped by 32 percent since 2012, and the shrinking pool of affordable housing is felt most acutely by minorities. According to the Redfin report, just 18 percent of new home listings were affordable for median-income Hispanic families, compared to 14 percent for median-income African-Americans. Both rates were down 11 percentage points from 2012. This is compared to 30 percent affordable for those earning the median income for white households.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Millennials are saving for financial freedom—not retirement

Source: Yahoo Finance

Millennials often get a bad rap when it comes to financial responsibility. But it turns out those stereotypes may be off base. Millennials are saving more money than any other generation, according to a new study by Bank of America and Merrill Edge. But it’s what they’re saving for that really sets them apart from older generations. Saving for financial freedom is the No. 1 priority for millennials — 63 percent of millennials said they’re saving a set amount of money to enjoy their desired lifestyle. This is a stark contrast to older generations: the majority of the Gen X and baby boomer generations prioritize their savings specifically to leave the workforce and retire. This shift speaks to the bigger differences in the ways millennials and older generations view money, and what they prioritize in their lives. While it may not sound surprising that younger workers aren’t thinking about nest eggs as much as older generations, what’s a little different here is that they’re not thinking about retirement as a phase of life, let alone working to afford it. Millennials listed personal milestones as their top priorities: getting their dream job and traveling the world trumped more traditional goals like getting married and having children.

Read the full story

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

With home prices out of reach, more buyers turning to parents for help

Source: KPCC Radio

In almost every metro area across the country, the number of people taking out new mortgages has fallen dramatically, but Southern California is a notable exception, according to a report by ATTOM Data Solutions. The report found that in the first quarter of 2017, U.S. new home loan originations fell 30 percent from last year and by 21 percent from the same period last year, to a three-year low. But in the Los Angeles metro area, mortgage originations were up by 4 percent, meaning more people have been taking out new home loans despite higher interest rates. More than 28 percent of loans in Southern California now have someone other than a spouse co-sign, such as a parent, compared with the national average of 22 percent. Among large U.S. cities, only Miami (40.2 percent), Seattle (37.4 percent) and San Diego (28.9 percent) have more co-borrowers.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Buying still beats renting

Source: CNBC

Home prices continue to rise at a fast clip, faster than incomes and faster than new employment, but it is still cheaper to own a home than to rent. So why are home sales falling? Because there are crazy few affordable homes for sale. The supply of listings in April fell 9 percent compared with a year ago, and, in turn, the number of days it took to sell the average home dropped to just 29, the lowest since the National Association of Realtors began tracking that in 2011. There was a big increase in the number of listings that came on the market this spring, but they were swept up so quickly that supplies were still lower. Unfortunately for buyers, the cheapest segment of the market is where supplies are lowest. Sales of homes priced below $100,000 fell 17 percent in April compared with 2016, and in the under-$250,000 segment they fell more than 6 percent. That is where the highest demand is from younger buyers.

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