1. Price it right
2. Price it right
3. Price it right
1. Price it right
2. Price it right
3. Price it right
A kitchen can be mostly white surfaces and still have a sense of life with just a few colorful accents. Notice the red dials on the range, which add personality, as well as the occasional accessory and plant life. These add up to a feeling of a more diverse palette without any single hue taking over from white as the focus.
U.S. house prices accelerated further in April, as low inventories and growing sales push costs higher, a leading data provider said Tuesday.
CoreLogic reported a 2.7% monthly advance to take the year-on-year gain to 6.8%.
The spring is traditionally the strongest portion of the year for housing, and data from CoreLogic and other providers suggest an upturn.
“Old-fashion supply and demand, fueled by historically low mortgage rates and improving consumer finances and confidence, continue to push home prices up,” said Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.
Dallas and Houston prices are showing few signs of let-up despite the collapse in energy prices. Dallas prices were up 10.3% in the 12 months to April, and Houston prices were up 9.5%. The Washington, D.C., area brought up the rear with just a 1.6% advance.
South Carolina was the strongest state, with an 11.4% advance, while Massachusetts saw a 1.7% drop, one of only four states to register a decline.
CoreLogic is the first of the three major house-price trackers to report results. The Case-Shiller/20-city composite rose 5% in the year to March, and the FHFA house price report showed a 5.2% gain in the 12 months to March.
Sales of new single-family houses in April 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 517,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This comes after a big drop in March which saw just 481,000 new home sales, the biggest drop in almost two years and primarily driven by a precipitous drop in sales in the Northeast in March.
This is 6.8% above the revised March rate of 484,000 and is 26.1% above the April 2014 estimate of 410,000.
The big driver of the gain was one of the smaller home regions, the Midwest, which saw a jump from 57,000 to 78,000 sales. In April the West and Northeast both saw declines.
The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2015 was $297,300; the average sales price was $341,500 – both up from March.
New York City may have nothing on Europe when it comes tohistoric architecture, but compared to the rest of the country, things here can be pretty darn old. The age between one building and the next on a New York City block can span a century, and to prove it, we’ve picked through the 15 oldest houses for sale in New York City right now with the help of StreetEasy. Here’s a hint about how old they get: the oldest house on this list is way older than Canada and lightbulbs, and was built the same year Thomas Jefferson died. Curious? Read your way through the list to find out just how old the oldest house on the market is.
Barring floods and asbestos, property taxes are the highest cost of homeownership after a mortgage — and taxes never end.
In 2013, the median U.S. property tax bill was $2,132, according to a Zillow analysis that used the most recent data available.
That’s a whole lot less than residents paid in Westchester County, NY, where the median tax bill was $13,842. In Tunica County, MS, the median tax bill was $216.
All 10 of the most expensive counties for property taxes, based on the median paid for single-family homes, are in the same vicinity:
Four of the 10 least expensive counties are in Alabama, with the other six scattered among several states..
Persistently tight inventories—not a good sign as the spring season nears—coupled with an uptick in sales pushed prices up 7.5 percent in February
The median existing-home price2 for all housing types in February was $202,600. This marks the 36th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains and the largest since last February (8.8 percent), according to the National Association of Realtors.
Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January. Sales are 4.7 percent higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month.
Total housing inventory at the end of February increased from January by 1.6 percent to 1.89 million existing homes available for sale, but remains 0.5 percent below a year ago (1.90 million). For the second straight month, unsold inventory is at a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.
Concerns are growing about the low inventory levels have persisted through the winter months. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said, “Insufficient supply appears to be hampering prospective buyers in several areas of the country and is hiking prices to near unsuitable levels,” he said. “Stronger price growth is a boon for homeowners looking to build additional equity, but it continues to be an obstacle for current buyers looking to close before rates rise.”
“With all indications pointing to a rate increase from the Federal Reserve this year – perhaps as early as this summer – affordability concerns could heighten as home prices and rents both continue to exceed wages,” adds Yun.
A NAR study released earlier this month found that the disparity between rent and income growth is widening in metro areas throughout the country and is making it harder for renters to become homeowners.
More than half, 56 percent, of the 3.3 million Home Equity Lines of Credit scheduled to reset over the next four years with fully amortizing monthly payments replacing interest-only payments are on properties that are seriously underwater, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.
With no equity remaining in the Bubble-era HRLOCs, the risk is high that the resets will trigger widespread foreclosures as owners struggle to meet the higher monthly payments.
A total of 3,262,036 HELOCs with an estimated total balance of $158 billion that originated during the housing price bubble between 2005 and 2008 are still open and scheduled to reset between 2015 and 2018. Of these, 1,834,588 (56 percent) are on residential properties that are seriously underwater, meaning the combined loan to value ratio of all outstanding loans secured by the property is 125 percent or higher.
“Homes purchased or refinanced near the peak of the housing bubble between 2005 and 2008 are much more likely to still be underwater despite the strong recovery in home prices over the last three years,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Furthermore, many homeowners with HELOCs who have positive equity likely already refinanced to mitigate the payment shock from a resetting HELOC — an option not readily available for homeowners still underwater.
“While these underwater homeowners experiencing payment shock from resetting HELOCs are at higher risk for default, the good news is that we’ve already seen a large wave of more than 700,000 resetting HELOCs in 2014 without a corresponding wave of defaults,” Blomquist noted. “The bad news is that a much lower 40 percent of those 2014 HELOC resets were on seriously underwater homes. We are entering a period of higher risk over the next four years when it comes to resetting bubble-era HELOCs — especially given slowing home price appreciation that offers underwater homeowners less hope of recovering their equity in the short term.”
States with most HELOC resets are California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and New Jersey
With 645,872 HELOCs scheduled to reset over the next four years, California led the way among the states in terms of sheer volume of resetting HELOCs. A total of 423,706 (66 percent) of those resetting HELOCs in California are on homes still seriously underwater, and the average monthly payment increase on HELOCs resetting in California over the next four years is $215.
Florida had the second highest number among all states of resetting HELOCs over the next four years, with 513,229, followed by Illinois with 158,199. In both Florida and Illinois, seriously underwater homes backed 71 percent of the resetting HELOCs over the next four years.
Texas had the fourth highest number of resetting HELOCs with 158,017 over the next four years — 36 percent of which were on seriously underwater homes, and New Jersey had the fifth highest number of resetting HELOCs with 145,312 over the next four years — 47 percent of which were on seriously underwater homes.
Mortgage applications decreased 13.2% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 13, 2015.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 13.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 12% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 16% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 7% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2% compared with the previous week and was 1% higher than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates increased to their highest level since the beginning of the year last week, and application volume dropped sharply as a result, particularly for refinances. The market index declined to its lowest level since the week ending January 2nd as purchase application activity decreased seven% and refinance applications decreased 16%. Refinance volume fell particularly for larger loans, as evidenced by the decline of almost $25,000 in the average loan size for a refinance loan,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 66% of total applications from 69% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.3% of total applications.
The FHA share of total applications increased to 15.2% this week from 14.1% last week. The VA share of total applications decreased to 8.0% this week from 8.3% last week. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.9% from 0.7% last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.93% from 3.84%, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 3.92% from 3.90%, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.73% from 3.72%, with points decreasing to 0.12 from 0.13 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.
The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.24% from 3.15%, with points increasing to 0.35 from 0.29 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.
Fed up, the couple met with interior designer Kelli Kaufer. After several conversations about their likes and dislikes, they handed the reins over to Kaufer. “We basically said, ‘We trust you. Build a kitchen that you think suits us,’” Ian says.
For example, repurposed bleacher seats form the honey-colored lower cabinets, while old schoolhouse chalkboards make up the countertops. There are also a black ceiling, pops of color and a funky, graphic floor pattern. But, above all, there’s finally function. “It looks like us, it’s functional, and it’s a delight to be in,” Ian says.
Flat-slab upper cabinets deliver a dose of modern, and the flooring plays on an old houndstooth print that’s been around for a century, Kaufer says. She enlarged the pattern and printed it in a funky color on tiles.She then painted the ceiling black as a visual trick that forces the eye up and makes people pay attention to the whole space.