Real Estate Blog

Keeping Current Matters, 9/9/15

There is no doubt that home prices in the vast majority of housing markets across the country are continuing to increase on a month over month basis. The following map (based on data from the latest CoreLogic pricing report) reveals the appreciation level by state:

http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/1-month-price-change-KCM.jpg

These increases in value have caused some to be concerned about a new price bubble forming in residential real estate. Here are quotes from many of the most respected voices in the housing industry regarding the issue:

Nick Timiraos, reporter at the Wall Street Journal:

“Predictions of a new national home price bubble look unfounded for now, according to data.”

Michael Fratantoni, Chief Economist, the Mortgage Bankers Association:

“I don’t

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Keeping Current Matters, 8/31/15

The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment. In a New York Times editorial entitled, “Homeownership and Wealth Creation” they explain:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances. The study found that the average net

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Keeping Current Matters, 8/19/15

We are almost back to ‘pre-housing crash’ home values. The inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures & short sales) are shrinking dramatically. The economy is improving. The job numbers are headed in the right direction. The big question that still remains: Have Americans regained their confidence in real estate as a worthy investment? According to a survey conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, Americans have put real estate back into first place as the best of all investments.

Here are the results of the survey:

http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Best-Investment-KCM.jpg

Bottom Line

Homeownership never lost its place as a key component of the American Dream for a host of financial and non-financial reasons. It is good to see that it has

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Keeping Current Matters, 8/18/15

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.1% in 2015.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 18.1% by 2019.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.4% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are
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Keeping Current Matters, 8/13/15

People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent. The Census Bureau just released their second quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

http://www.keepingcurrentmatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Increase-in-rents.jpg

At the same time, a report by Axiometrics revealed:

“The national apartment market’s annual effective rent growth rate of 5.1% in June 2015 represented a 47-month high, and continued a streak of 5.0%-plus rent growth that is now the longest in at least six years, according to apartment market research. The effective rent growth in June 2014 was 3.7%, putting June 2015’s

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Mortgage Lending is NOT Out of Control

Posted: 12 Aug 2015, Keeping Current Matters

This year, both Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae have introduced new programs that only require a 3% down payment on a mortgage in order to purchase a home. Earlier this month, the Mortgage Bankers’ Association reported that adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) may be making a slow comeback as the share of ARMs increased to 7.4 percent of total mortgage applications. Some see this loosening of lending standards as a point of concern. We know that the ridiculously low lending standards of the early 2000’s were part of the reason a housing bubble formed and burst last decade. Some are worried that we are headed down the same road that caused that housing crisis. However,

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Many believed that when the housing market crashed, so too would the desire of American’s to own a home again.  Many reports have shown that, especially among younger generations, the American Dream of homeownership is still very much alive.  Julián Castro, Secretary for HUD, recently summed up what it means to own a home in a speech at the National Press Club.

"Homeownership is still the cornerstone of the American Dream — a fact you can see in the lives of everyday folks. It’s a source of pride. It’s a source of wealth, providing both a nest and a nest egg. And it strengthens communities and fuels growth in the overall economy."

Castro appropriately named his speech, “2015: A Year of Housing Opportunity”, a theme that rang true throughout.

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In the midst of the peak shopping season, houses in the Twin Cities metro sold at a record pace in June.

Both closed and pending sales reached 10-year highs and, with buyers outpacing sellers in some parts of the metro, houses on average sold in an unprecedented 66 days, according to a monthly report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

“Buyers are very motivated right now,” said Betsy Lucas of Coldwell Banker Burnet, who was recently involved with three lightning-speed sales. “When something really fabulous comes on the market, people are ready.”

In the 13-county metro area, there were 6,928 closings in June, a 22 percent increase over last year. New listings rose only 4.6 percent, leading the total inventory of listings at the end of the month…
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