Consumer Housing Outlook on the Rise


With the recent improvement in employment statistics, potential homebuyers are beginning to view the housing market with a more positive outlook.

As reported by Mortgage News Daily on Tuesday, average hourly earnings and personal income are on the rise, with nearly 28 percent of respondents in Fannie Mae’s May National Housing Survey reporting a significant increasing in their household income in the last months.

As a result, the number of respondents who feel it is now a good time to buy a home jumped to 66 percent this month, up from 63 percent in April. In addition, 49 percent believe it is a good time to sell, up from 46 percent last month.

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Down Payment Percentages on the Decline

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First-time homebuyers are making their mark on the housing market, and that has become particularly evident in the decline of down payment percentages.

According to Mortgage News Daily, the first quarter of 2015 saw the lowest average percentage for down payments that we’ve seen in three years.

“Down payment trends in the first quarter indicate that first-time homebuyers are finally starting to come out of the woodwork, albeit it gradually,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “New low down payment loan programs recently introduced by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the lower insurance premiums for FHA loans that took effect at the end of January are helping, given that first time homebuyers typically aren’t able to pony up large down payments. Also helping tilt the balances toward first time homebuyers in the first quarter is less competition from the large institutional investors that have been buying up starter home inventory as rentals.”

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Report: House Prices Up 6.8% Year-Over-Year in April


CoreLogic announced earlier this week that home prices were up 6.8 percent year-over-year in April.

Additionally, the average home price in the United State was up 2.7 percent in April from the month before.

“For the first four months of 2015, home sales were up 9 percent compared to the same period a year ago,” Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic, explained. “One byproduct of the increased sales activity is rising house prices, and, as a result, month-over-month home prices are up almost 3 percent for April 2015 and up more than 6 percent from a year ago.”

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Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch on the Market for $100 Million


Michael Jackson’s infamous Neverland Ranch has just hit the market in Los Olivos, Calif., for an asking price of $100 million.

The 2,700-acre estate – now known as Sycamore Valley Ranch – has 22 different structures built on it, including the main house, which boasts six bedrooms and has an attached staff quarters.

Some of the features that Neverland was known for – like the Neverland clock and train station – remain on the property. But the amusement park rides and animals are all gone.

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Renting Becoming Harder Than Ever in Major Cities

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It’s been pretty well documented in recent months that rents are rising steadily nationwide.

But in a new video report by CNBC, the network revealed on Thursday just how quickly prices are skyrocketing in some of the country’s most popular metro areas.

“At least six out of 10 people in Boston, L.A., New York and Miami now rent instead of own, and more than half of all tenants pay what experts consider unaffordable rents,” says Diana Olick. “The bottom line: To save money, stay put. The more recently a place came on the market, the less affordable it’s likely to be.”

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Freddie Mac: Nearly 80 Percent of Top 100 Housing Markets in the U.S. Improving


On Wednesday, Freddie Mac released some good news for individuals and families living in some of the country’s most popular metro markets.

According to the mortgage company, the U.S. housing market is continuing to stabilize nationwide, and nearly 80 percent of the top 100 housing markets in the country – including Portland, San Jose and Nashville, among others – are steadily improving.

“The West and Southwest areas of the country are showing some of the strongest housing activity, especially markets like Portland, Denver, Dallas, San Jose and Los Angeles,” said Feddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer. “Many markets in the South and Midwest, while improving, are still plagued by high rates of mortgage delinquencies, which are holding back these markets from recovering faster. The exception to this would be the Nashville-area market. It more closely resembles the housing markets in the West, such as those in Utah. These markets are experiencing double-digit annual growth rates in purchase applications and showing some of the strongest homebuying demand in the country.”

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Midwest Seeing Largest Gains as Home Sales on the Rise Again

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CNBC reported on Tuesday that home sales are on the rise nationwide once again, with the number of new homes sold in April up seven percent from the numbers we saw in March.

Additionally, the Midwest has experienced the biggest growth recently, with a 37 percent surge in sales.

And finally, housing supply is so tight in some markets that we’re now seeing an 8 percent increase in home prices across the board, with the median new home price clocking in at $297,000.

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Fannie Mae: Housing Market Faring Better Than Economy

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According to a new report published by Fannie Mae late last week, the housing market in the United States is currently faring better than the economy as a whole.

Although the GDP grew by just 0.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the housing market did a bit better, with March existing home sales at their highest level in two years.

Still, the numbers call for cautious optimism. As Mortgage News Daily points out, “Even though March sales were up, the first quarter fell short of fourth quarter 2014 numbers. New home sales retreated in March but the first quarter overall was the best for that sector since 2008 and pending home sales and purchase mortgage applications both portend a strong spring buying season.”

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Denver Housing Market Getting Hot, Sparking Bidding Wars


Potential homebuyers in the Denver, Colorado, area should be ready for a bidding war, as the real estate market continues to boom in the Mile High City.

According to CNBC, demand for homes is currently outpacing supply, and prices are skyrocketing.

“Apple and Google are bringing jobs here, home construction is very weak, and real estate experts tell me millennials love this market,” Diana Olick reported. “So what’s the result? Homes are flying off the shelves, and bidding wars are the new normal.”

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First-Time Homebuyers Returning to New Home Market

new house

Builders are starting to see more first-time homebuyers entering the new home market, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. revealed in a conference in New York City on Wednesday.

According to The Wall Street Journal, just over 15 percent of new homes were sold to first-time homebuyers in 2014, but so far this year, that number is up closer to 20 percent.

“We do see this as an expanding market,” said Meritage chief executive Steven Hilton. “We saw strong demand in that segment in the last quarter and even more so over the last two months.”

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