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Karen McGail | eXp Realty Blog

Wednesday, December 28, 2016   /   by Karen McGail

First-Timers Aren't Backing Down Yet

Higher mortgage rates and home prices aren’t deterring first-time buyers yet. Those new to the home-purchase game comprised 32 percent of the market in November, up from a 30 percent share a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report.
Overall, this has been a good year for this segment of the population. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in November, showed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent in 2016, which is the highest since 2013 (38 percent).
Still, “first-time buyers in higher priced cities will be most affected by rising prices and mortgage rates next year and will likely have to stretch their budget or make compromises on home size, price, or location,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. They’ll also need to be prepared to face tighter inventories of homes for sale. Total housing inventory at the end of November was at 1.85 million existing ; ...

Tuesday, December 27, 2016   /   by Karen McGail

Closed Sales Increase by Double Digits for the Month of November

Housing data released by MIBOR today shows a 22.8 percent increase in closed sales for the month of November and a 14.1 percent increase for the quarter ending in November compared to the same time periods one year ago. Pending sales decreased 1.3 percent in November, and decreased 1.5 percent for the quarter. For the fourth month, housing data from Bartholomew and Jennings counties has been incorporated into the full MIBOR service area as the transition of data from the Crossroads listing service to the BLC® listing service is now complete. While the addition of two counties does account for some increase, closed activity in Bartholomew and Jennings counties account for 103 of the 2,649 closings for the month.
Prices continue a consistent increase with median sales price up 4.8 percent in November to $152,000 and average sales price up 4.4 percent to $183,9882. For the quarter ending in November, median sales price is up 6.9 percent and average sales price has increased 6.6 perce ...

Thursday, December 22, 2016   /   by Karen McGail

Why Aren't Home Builders Building?


Home-builder confidence is at its highest level in years. But home building dropped 19 percent in the most recent month. These decreases come at a time when inventory levels are already severely constrained and many in the industry are calling for more new construction to alleviate shortages.With supply short and demand high, what is keeping builders from getting to work?

For now, builders remain happy with the market outlook. The NAHB released a survey last week showing builder sentiment at its highest level in 11 years.Home builders say it's new regulations that are holding them back from filling the void. CNBC reports that such regulations may cost builders up to a quarter of the price of a new home, and a recent National Association of Home Builders study found regulatory costs have increased 29 percent in the past five years. The builders also say labor shortages are holding them back. Finally, prices for land a ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016   /   by Karen McGail

Mortgage Rates Continue Upward Trend


Mortgage rates were on the move for the seventh consecutive week.

"As was almost-universally expected, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) closed the year with its one-and-only rate hike of 2016,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The consensus of the committee points to more rate hikes in 2017. However, the experience of this year combined with the policy uncertainty that accompanies a new Administration suggests a wait-and-see outlook. … If rates continue their upward trend, expect mortgage activity to be significantly subdued in 2017."

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 15:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.16 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.13 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages:&nb ...

Thursday, December 15, 2016   /   by Karen McGail

Here Come Housing’s Headwinds in 2017


Under a backdrop of rising mortgage rates and shrinking consumer confidence, expect modest gains in existing-home sales in the new year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 housing forecast, released Wednesday.
The decline in affordability in many parts of the country is taking a toll on the public’s outlook about their housing market, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
“Rents and home prices outpacing incomes and scant supply in the affordable price range has been a prominent headwind for many prospective buyers this year,” Yun says. “Making matters worse, the unwelcoming reality of higher mortgage rates since the election is likely further holding back confidence. Younger households, renters, and those living in the costlier West region — where prices have soared in recent months — are the least optimistic about buying.”
Still, a maj ...
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