Having a good week? It has been for the housing market as well. Foreclosures are now at an eight year low according to RealtyTrac. Zillow is reporting a very slight uptick to interest rates, and the overall market is very stable. “Mortgage rates were flat last week as two highly anticipated announcements, the European Central Bank’s stimulus plan and the latest U.S. employment report, confirmed the outcomes the markets were expecting,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “Next week there is a limited number of market-moving news or events scheduled, so we expect rates to remain stable.” Talk to a professional loan officer to find out what rates you qualify for, and any other questions on mortgages.
Home sales are brisk. In fact, March inventories of unsold new homes hit the highest since Autumn of 2011. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal see new-home sales in April bouncing back to 420,000 when the data are released Friday. That still would be off by nearly 6% year over year, though. Unfortunately, new homes that were built in some geographic areas are still not selling. The chief culprit in the recent slowdown is affordability, with median new-home prices up by over 11% year over year and 30-year mortgage rates a full percentage point higher than in March 2013. Put the two together and monthly mortgage payments are about 25% higher. And in areas where there is a lack of homes for purchase or for lease, new homes are getting snapped up fairly quickly.
Suburbia fading as buyers yearn for city life
USA Today posted a video on how an increasing number of people want a more urban lifestyle rather than rural. IF you pause the video, you can read the transcript below. People want to be able to walk rather than drive. They want the amenities that a big city can offer like plays, restaurants, shopping, and sporting events. The video also mentions that the successful homebuilders are creating row style homes in the cities, and that there is an abundance of homes in suburbia that aren’t selling because people no longer want to live that far away.
8 Surprise Expenses for New Homeowners
Yes, even more surprise expenses for new homeowners. These costs aren’t all large but it’s good to plan for them.
- Changing the locks
- Maintaining the yard. Do you need to buy a lawnmower? Hire a gardener?
- Multiple appliances repair and replacement costs
- Cosmetic upgrades
- Furnishing the house (and as we said before, don’t go crazy. Live in the house for a little bit to see what furniture and remodeling you end up wanting.
- Window treatments and replacements
- Rising property taxes
- Tree trimming
Hope you have some fun plans for this weekend. Let us know what you’re up to in the comments.