Monthly Archives: August 2015

Mortgage Rates Average 3.84% | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling to their lowest levels since May of this year amid substantial and ongoing global volatility out of China.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.84 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 27, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.06 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.15 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.25 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.97 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Events in China generated eye-catching volatility in equity markets worldwide over the past week. Interest rates also rocked up and down — although to a lesser extent than equities — as investors alternated between flights to quality and bargain hunting among beaten-down stocks. Amidst all this confusion, the 30-year mortgage rate dropped to 3.84 percent, the lowest mark since May and the fifth consecutive week with a rate below 4 percent.”

“Given the recent volatility, mortgage rates could change up or down significantly by the time this report is released. There are indications though that the unsettled state of global markets will make the Fed think twice before taking any action on short-term interest rates in September. If that’s the case, the 30-year mortgage rate may remain subdued in the short-to-medium term, providing support for continued strength in the housing sector. Just this week, new home sales were reported to be up 26 percent year over year.”

Homes for $350,000 | South Salem Real Estate

What does a $350,000 home look like? The image that pops into your head likely depends on where you live.

A San Franciscan may be hard-pressed to imagine even the smallest condo being sold for that price. But an Atlanta resident might have a variety of homes in mind, from the impeccably decorated bungalow down the street to the ritzy condo downtown.

Whether you’re searching for a smaller space in a big city or a bigger space in a quiet neighborhood, you have some great options. Check out the following 10 listings, all located in metropolitan locales across the country and priced at approximately $350,000.

Oakland, CA

2757 Parker Ave, Oakland, CA
For sale: $340,000

Oakland, CA

Featuring a kitchen worthy of any culinary adventure, this remodeled 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home is ready for cocktail parties and holiday dinners.

See more homes for sale in Oakland.

Memphis, TN

2344 Wood Bridge Cv, Memphis, TN
For sale: $345,000

Memphis, TN

Boasting major curb appeal with its storybook façade and setting, this 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom home is a sight to behold.

See more Memphis homes for sale.

Philadelphia, PA

605 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA
For sale: $335,000

Philadelphia, PAA modern kitchen, hardwood floors, and patio/garden area make this elegant, 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse a prime spot for entertaining guests.

See more homes listed in Philadelphia.

Minneapolis, MN

4745 Blaisdell Ave, Minneapolis, MN
For sale: $349,900

Minneapolis, MN

In addition to boasting a stunning interior, this fully renovated, 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home has a large, fenced backyard — perfect for kiddos and/or pets.

See more homes listed in Minneapolis.

Boston, MA

143 Forest Hills St UNIT 2, Boston, MA
For sale: $339,000

Boston, MA

French doors open to a sunlit living room, flowing seamlessly into a bright dining room. This 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo also boasts a large kitchen, hardwood floors, and two porches.

See more Boston homes for sale.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

732 SW 13th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL
For sale: $350,000

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nestled in a historic neighborhood, this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home offers desirable, tranquil living with tile floors, a modern kitchen, and a huge backyard.

See more homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale.

 

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http://www.zillow.com/blog/how-much-home-for-350000-182373/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ZillowBlog+%28Zillow+Blog%29

U.S. Home Prices Remain Flat in June, Case-Shiller Says | Cross River Real Estate

U.S. home price growth remained largely flat in June, according to a report released Tuesday, a further indication that the housing market is holding steady after years of turbulence.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, covering the entire nation, rose 4.5% in the 12 months ended in June, slightly greater than a 4.4% increase in May.

The 10-city index saw a slightly lower gain of 4.6% from a year earlier, compared with a 4.7% increase in May. The 20-city index gained 5% year-over-year, compared with a 4.9% increase in May.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 5% increase to the 20-city index.

This month’s Case-Shiller numbers are being closely watched after Monday’s stock market plunge has some investors eyeing real estate as a more stable investment. Another important indicator, sales of new homes in July, is also set to be released Tuesday.

But economists cautioned that the report reflects the state of the housing market a couple of months ago. It doesn’t take into account whether there will be any impact from the latest market news.

“If you’re uncertain about the economy you’re not going to take your money and buy a house,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research. “It’s just a question mark that we didn’t have before.”

David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, pointed to a major stock market drop as one potential factor that could cool off the housing market in the coming months.

“A stock market correction is unlikely to do much damage to the housing market,” he said. “A full-blown bear market dropping more than 20% could present some difficulties for housing and other economic sectors.”

Month-over-month home price gains were modest, according to the report. Not seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Index rose 1% from May to June. The 10-city and 20-city indexes saw a 0.9% and 1% change over the month respectively.

 

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/home-prices-remains-flat-in-june-case-shiller-says-1440507733

US home prices rise steadily in June | Waccabuc Real Estate

 

U.S. home prices rose solidly in June, another sign of health in the housing market.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 5 percent from a year earlier, a slight improvement on May’s 4.9 percent increase, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Prices rose 10.2 percent in Denver, 9.5 percent in San Francisco and 8.2 percent in Dallas. Chicago posted the smallest gain, just 1.4 percent.

Strong sales have been lifting prices. The National Association of Realtors said last week that sales of existing homes rose 2 percent in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the fastest pace since February 2007. The Commerce Department reported last week that U.S. builders started work on single family homes in July at the fastest pace since late December 2007, the month the Great Recession began.

“The missing piece in the housing picture has been housing starts and sales,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Down Jones index committee. “These have changed for the better in the last few months.”

Still, some uncertainties weigh on the housing market. The Federal Reserve is considering whether to raise short-term interest rates, a move that might send mortgage rates higher. For now, the average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remains below 4 percent. Blitzer says a modest Fed rate increase “won’t derail housing.”

Housing is also drawing strength from a healthy labor market. U.S. unemployment is at 5.3 percent, a seven-year low.’

 

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http://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2015/08/25/us-home-prices-rise-steadily-in-june-as-sales-pick-up

Brad Pitt Brings the Tiny Home Trend to New Orleans | Katonah Real Estate

The tiny home trend has taken off in recent years, and is now being championed by of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars: Brad Pitt. The actor-producer’s Make it Right foundation is partnering with FYI’s Tiny House Nation to build the organization’s very first tiny home to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. This most recent enterprise will be the organization’s 109th home built in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward, the neighborhood hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Pitt founded the Make it Right foundation in 2007 to provide residences for communities in need of affordable and sustainable housing. Make it Right seeks to fulfill its vision of having people all around the world “living in healthy communities and affordable, high-quality, environmentally sustainable homes.” All housing built by Make it Right follows the “Cradle to Cradle” philosophy, which was created by architect William McDonough and chemist Dr. Michael Braungart.

For a quick rundown of what exactly Cradle to Cradle entails, the organization’s website provides this helpful list:

• Materials are defined as biological and/or technical nutrients for safe use and reuse
• Products are designed for disassembly/recovery
• Uses renewable energy
• Maintains and enhances water quality
• Honors social fairness and human dignity
• Improvement is continuous and aspirational

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https://www.yahoo.com/makers/brad-pitt-brings-the-tiny-c1239214805033014.html

Barbados real estate | Bedford Hills Real Estate

Though perhaps best known for luxury resorts and beachfront villas, the Caribbean island of Barbados also has a historic side to its property market.

Across the island’s palm-covered interior are the remains of former plantation estates, relics of the Caribbean’s once-thriving tobacco and sugar industries.

Such properties sell from $500,000, or one million Bajan dollars, to over $10 million, depending on size and condition. (Real estate prices in Barbados are typically listed in United States dollars.) They date from the 17th and 18th centuries and would once have included up to 80 hectares, or 200 acres, of land.

Over time, many estate houses were abandoned because of the cost and effort of maintaining them, and land was sold for agriculture and development. Now, plots average between one and 16 hectares.

Holders House is a high-profile hub for many upscale social events in Barbados.

Traditional external features include wraparound porches and portico entrances with stone stairways and upper-floor verandas giving views across the estate.

Inside, ground-floor rooms are generally arranged on either side of a central hall from which a main staircase ascends to a galleried top-floor landing leading to the bedrooms.

The majority of plantations had sugar mills, often close to the great house and built from stone with canvas sails. Many estates retain the original towers, also called mill walls, which are sometimes converted for further accommodation.

One such house is Mangrove Plantation, a renovated great house on 16 hectares of land with a restored sugar mill, two-bedroom guest cottage and pool area, plus panoramic coastal views.

The house was once owned by the Skeete family, one of whom was island governor in the 1800s, and is listed with local agency, Bajan Services, at $6.95 million.

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http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/greathomesanddestinations/a-historic-side-to-the-barbados-real-estate-market.html?_r=0

Mortgage Rates stay at 3.93% | Bedford Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged from the previous week amid little movement in financial markets. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage has averaged below four percent for the fifth consecutive week.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.93 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 20, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 3.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.10 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.15 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.23 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.94 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.95 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.38 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

 

US Homes Sales soar in July | Pound Ridge Real Estate

Americans stepped up their home-buying for a third straight month in July, as sales accelerated to the strongest pace in eight years.

The National Association of Realtors said Thursday that sales of existing homes rose 2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.59 million, the fastest rate since February 2007. Sales have jumped 9.6 percent over the past 12 months, while the number of listings has declined 4.7 percent.

Steady job growth and relatively low mortgage rates have convinced current homeowners to purchase homes, while first-time buyers remain scarce. The housing market contains a mere 4.8 months’ supply of homes, meaning that prices are rising for an increasingly narrow set of properties.

The slow six-year recovery from the Great Recession has finally revitalized the housing market. Home sales have soared in recent months, as more current homeowners have returned to the real estate market for an upgrade or to downsize as they approach retirement. Yet the upswing also reflects increasing problems with affordability that have left first-time buyer on the sidelines.

“When first-time homebuyers compete with people who are more qualified borrowers that have additional cash, they tend to lose,” said Budge Huskey, chief executive of the real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker.

The median home price climbed 5.6 percent over the past 12 months to $234,000. Just 28 percent of the purchases last month went to first-time homebuyers, a group that historically accounted for 40 percent of sales. A more balanced market would contain six months’ of supply-instead of less than five-and provide potential homebuyers with a greater selection of homes.

Current homeowners with equity have been able to absorb some of that price appreciation as they’ve shopped for another home. But the recent sales explosion also reflects two critical factors: the economy adding a solid 2.9 million jobs over the past 12 months and the average, 30-year fixed mortgage rate staying around 4 percent. At roughly two percentage points below the historical level, mortgage rates have reduced monthly borrowing costs for buyers.

Still, the trajectory of mortgage rates- and sales- going forward is unclear.

It’s possible that a weakening global economy will cause more investors to buy U.S. Treasury bonds, a move that has historically held down mortgage rates. The average mortgage rate has slipped slightly as China has endured stock market volatility and reduced the value of its currency.

Yet the Federal Reserve is preparing to raise a key interest rate for the first time in nearly a decade. Economists say the Fed could lift its fed funds rate from near-zero as soon as September, an increase that would potentially cause mortgage rates to rise. When Fed officials previously announced plans in 2013 to pull back on other forms of economic stimulus, mortgage rates suddenly spiked and derailed home sales for several months.

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http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HOME_SALES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-08-20-12-08-48

U.S. home repossessions reach 30-month high | Bedford Corners Real Estate

The U.S. housing market appears to be shedding the last vestiges of the subprime mortgage crisis. As foreclosures reached their lowest level in nearly 10 years, home repossessions hit a 30-month high in July 2015, according to real-estate website RealtyTrac.

There were 45,381 U.S. properties that were put into foreclosure for the first time in July, down 8% from the previous month and 9% from a year ago, the lowest since November 2005, while banks repossessed 46,957 properties in July, up 29% from the previous month and 81% from a year ago, hitting the highest level since January 2013. (Foreclosure refers to the process your lender goes through if you stop making payments on your home or go into default. Repossession is when the lender takes ownership of your home. This can’t occur until a foreclosure is final.)

A decade-low in foreclosure activity shows that a recent surge in bank repossessions represents “banks flushing out old distress rather than new distress being pushed into the pipeline,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Properties that foreclosed in the second quarter had been in the foreclosure process an average of 629 days, the longest in any quarter since we began tracking in the first quarter of 2007,” he said. Some 61% of loans in the foreclosure process originated during the housing bubble between 2004 and 2008. That number was 75% two years ago.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-home-repossessions-reach-30-month-high-2015-08-20

China Home Prices Rise | Chappaqua Real Estate

Chinese cities where home prices rose exceeded those where they declined for the first time in 16 months in July, as authorities removed some property curbs and interest rates fell.

New-home prices rose in 31 cities of the 70 the government monitors, from 27 the previous month, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday. They dropped in 29 and were unchanged in 10.

Prices, led by some of the biggest Chinese cities, extended gains from the second quarter, spurred by the easing of mortgage policies at the end of March and four reductions in borrowing costs since November. The trend will continue this year as liquidity remains ample and expectations of rising prices further prompt more people to buy, overriding any potential impact from a devalued yuan and a stock-market selloff, according to Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd.

“The average price gains may accelerate in the second half as prices in the second- and third-tier cities are just starting to rise,” Alan Jin, a Hong Kong-based real estate analyst at Mizuho, said by phone. “The demand is still there.”

The average price of the 70 cities rose 0.17 percent from June, gaining for a third consecutive month, according to Bloomberg calculations of official data. Prices in Sanya, a tourist city on the southern Hainan island, climbed 0.2 percent, reversing declines since at least August last year.

 

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-08-18/