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.”

Image via flickr/Charleston’s TheDigitel

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Experts Suggest: Homes Should No Longer Be Viewed as an Investment


In a new report published by MarketWatch on Thursday, experts are cautioning homeowners to no longer view their properties as an investment.

“If you’re going to live in a home for many years, it generally beats renting as a financial proposition (especially since rents have been skyrocketing), but don’t expect the house to produce significant appreciation relative to inflation,” reporter John Coumarianos suggested.

As an example, Coumarianos then went on to explain that a home purchased for $180,000 30 years ago, which may sell for as much as $780,000 today, has only risen in value by a 5% compounded annual gain after taking inflation into account.

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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

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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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McMansions Making Their Way Back Into the Market


From each quarter to the next in 2014, the median size of newly built homes in the U.S. dropped steadily.

But now, in the first quarter of 2015, that number is up significantly.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the median home size in 2015 Q1 shot up to 2,521 square feet, up 3 percent from 2014 Q4.

Steven Hilton, Meritage CEO, these numbers could suggest the return of the McMansion to the new homes market.

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

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Ocwen Financial Corp. in Negotiations to Refinance Debt


In an attempt to avoid a cash crisis, Ocwen Financial Corp. disclosed on Monday that it is currently negotiating with lenders to extend and refinance some of its debt.

If the company is unable to change some of its debt arrangements – particularly ones that are set to amortize this year – it could face a liquidity crunch.

“Due to the significant level of cash requirements related to servicing advances, we may not have sufficient levels of liquidity to fund the operations without our advance financing facilities,” Ocwen said in the filing.

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Portland Housing Market Driven by Water, Millennials


Portland, Oregon, has recently become one of the hottest spots for millennials on the West Coast. But according to real estate experts, it has nothing to do with jobs and everything to do with water.

“We’re on the West Coast, and we have water,” said Brian Ramsay, a real estate agent with Hasson Company Realtors. “They’re moving here in preparation for lack of water.”

And, unlike California and Seattle, home prices still remain relatively low – which means the market in Portland is currently red hot.

“You’re lucky if you can be one of the first 15 offers in 24 hours,” Ramsay added. “That’s how hard it is for buyers to get a house now.”

Image via flickr/Michael Silberstein

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