|Mortgage Rates Hit Another All-Time Low|
|Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.86 percent, the lowest rate in our survey’s history which dates back to 1971.|
“Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to a late summer slowdown in the economic recovery,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “These low rates have ignited robust purchase demand activity, which is up twenty-five percent from a year ago and has been growing at double digit rates for four consecutive months. However, heading into the fall it will be difficult to sustain the growth momentum in purchases because the lack of supply is already exhibiting a constraint on sales activity.”
30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending September 10, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.56 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.37 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.42 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.09 percent.
5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.11 percent with an average 0.2 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.93 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36 percent.
The PMMS® is focused on conventional, conforming, fully-amortizing home purchase loans for borrowers who put 20 percent down and have excellent credit. 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.
S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index Reports 4.3% Annual Home Price Gain In June
S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for June 2020 show that home prices continue to increase at a modest rate across the U.S. More than 27 years of history are available for these data series, and can be accessed in full by going to www.spdji.com.
Please note that transaction records for March, April, May and June 2020 for Wayne County, MI are unavailable due to delays at the local recording office caused by the COVID-19 lockdown. Since Wayne is the most populous county in the Detroit metro area, S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic are unable to generate a valid March, April, May and June 2020 update of the Detroit S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller indices for the August release.
When the sale transaction data flow resumes for Wayne County, S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic will provide estimated Detroit index values for months with missing updates.
The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 4.3% annual gain in June, no change from the previous month. The 10-City Composite annual increase came in at 2.8%, down from 3.0% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 3.5% year-over-year gain, down from 3.6% in the previous month.
Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa continued to report the highest year-over-year gains among the 19 cities (excluding Detroit) in June. Phoenix led the way with a 9.0% year-over-year price increase, followed by Seattle with a 6.5% increase and Tampa with a 5.9% increase. Five of the 19 cities reported higher price increases in the year ending June 2020 versus the year ending May 2020.
The charts on the following page compare year-over-year returns of different housing price ranges (tiers) for Phoenix and Seattle.
The National Index posted a 0.6% month-over-month increase, while the 10-City and 20-City Composites posted increases of 0.1% and 0.2% respectively before seasonal adjustment in June. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a month-over-month increase of 0.2%, while the 10-City Composite posted a decrease of 0.1% and the 20-City Composite did not post any gains. In June, 16 of 19 cities (excluding Detroit) reported increases before seasonal adjustment, while 12 of the 19 cities reported increases after seasonal adjustment.
“Housing prices were stable in June,” says Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director and Global Head of Index Investment Strategy at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The National Composite Index rose by 4.3% in June 2020, as it had also done in May (June’s growth was slightly lower in the 10- and 20-City Composites, which were up 2.8% and 3.5%, respectively). More data will be required to understand whether the market resumes its previous path of accelerating prices, continues to decelerate, or remains stable. That said, it’s important to bear in mind that deceleration is quite different from an environment in which prices actually fall.
“June’s gains were quite broad-based. Prices increased in all 19 cities for which we have data, accelerating in five of them. Phoenix retains the top spot for the 13th consecutive month, with a gain of 9.0% for June. Home prices in Seattle rose by 6.5%, followed by Tampa at 5.9% and Charlotte at 5.7%. As has been the case for the last several months, prices were particularly strong in the Southeast and West, and comparatively weak in the Midwest and (especially) Northeast.
Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.88 percent, the lowest rate in the survey’s history dating back to 1971.
“The resilience of the housing market continues as mortgage rates hit another all-time low, giving potential buyers more purchasing power and strengthening demand,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “We expect rates to stay low and continue to propel the purchase market forward. However, the main barrier to rising demand remains the lack of inventory, especially for entry-level homes.”
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 6, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 2.99 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.60 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.44 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.51 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.05 percent.
- 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.94 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.36 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.
A home in suburban Scarsdale, New York
If you live in the suburbs or you’re a city dweller eyeing a move to a quiet cul-de-sac where your kids can play outside, you need to know about Joe Biden’s plan for a federal takeover of local zoning laws.
The ex-veep wants to ramp up an Obama-era social engineering scheme called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing that mercifully barely got underway before President Trump took office, vowing to stop it.
Biden’s plan is to force suburban towns with single-family homes and minimum lot sizes to build high-density affordable housing smack in the middle of their leafy neighborhoods — local preferences and local control be damned.
Starting in 2015, President Barack Obama’s Department of Housing and Urban Development floated a cookie-cutter requirement for “balanced housing” in every suburb. “Balanced” meant affordable even for people who need federal vouchers. Towns were obligated to “do more than simply not discriminate,” as a 2013 HUD proposal explained. Rather, towns had to make it possible for low-income minorities to choose suburban living and provide “adequate support to make their choices possible.”
Had the rule been implemented nationwide, towns everywhere would have had to scrap zoning, build bigger water and a bigger sewer to support high-density living, expand schools and social services and add mass transit. All pushing up local taxes. Towns that refused would lose their federal aid.
The rule was one of the worst abuses of the Obama-Biden administration — a raw power grab masquerading as racial justice
In Westchester, County Executive Rob Astorino battled the Obama-Biden administration for years, successfully resisting the baseless smear of racism. Zoning laws limit what can be built in a neighborhood in neutral fashion, Astorino explained, not who can live there.
To be absolutely clear, denying anyone the chance to rent or buy a home because of their race is abhorrent and illegal. It should be prosecuted whenever it still happens.
African Americans have been steadily leaving inner cities and choosing suburban lifestyles, according to Brookings Institution data. Many families — of all races — want the peace of mind of letting their kids ride bikes around quiet neighborhood streets. That’s what zoning laws provide.
The real barrier to suburban living is money. Living in the ’burbs isn’t cheap. HUD Secretary Ben Carson told a House committee last May that “people can only afford to live in certain places.” It’s “not because George Wallace is blocking the door.”
Biden and the equality warriors are using accusations of racism to accomplish something different. Their message is: You worked and saved to move to the suburbs, but you can’t have that way of life unless everyone else can, too.
Count on Trump to make Biden’s war on the suburbs a key issue in the election. In his Rose Garden news conference Thursday, the president came out swinging, warning that Biden would “totally destroy the beautiful suburbs” by “placing far-left Washington bureaucrats in charge of local zoning.”
In response, the left and its media allies played the race card. As usual. On MSNBC, Princeton University Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. said, “I hear the words of a racist.” CNN accused the president of fearmongering “white suburban voters.” But it’s CNN that is being racist — by assuming that only whites own homes in the suburbs.
Trump is talking to suburban homeowners of all ethnicities. If you buy a house in a neighborhood with quarter-acre zoning, you don’t want a high-density housing complex built at the end of the street.
The president won the suburbs in 2016, but polls show Trump trailing in the suburbs largely because of opposition from women. They need to focus on what’s at stake for their families.
Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have fled the city in the past four months, many of them spending their savings and taking out a mortgage to buy a home in the suburbs. The same dynamic is playing out in many other regions nationwide. For these transplants, the stakes are high.
The outcome of the November election will determine the value of their new home, the size of their property tax bill and the character of the town they now call home.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.
In a sign that housing stands poised to lead a post-pandemic economic recovery, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes jumped 21 points to 58 in June, according to the latest National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). Any reading above 50 indicates a positive market.
As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward. Inventory is tight, mortgage applications are increasing, interest rates are low and confidence is rising. And buyer traffic more than doubled in one month even as builders report growing online and phone inquiries stemming from the outbreak.
Housing clearly shows signs of momentum as challenges and opportunities exist in the single-family market. Builders report increasing demand for families seeking single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs that feature lower density neighborhoods. At the same time, elevated unemployment and the risk of new, local virus outbreaks remain a risk to the housing market.
Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.
All the HMI indices posted gains in June. The HMI index gauging current sales conditions jumped 21 points to 63, the component measuring sales expectations in the next six months surged 22 points to 68 and the measure charting traffic of prospective buyers vaulted 22 points to 43.
Looking at the monthly average regional HMI scores, the Northeast surged 31 point to 48, the South jumped 20 points to 62, the Midwest posted a 19-point gain to 51 and the West catapulted 22 points to 66.
With the passage of the state budget and the long-awaited and hard-fought approval of congestion pricing for Manhattan, New Yorkers worn down by endless subway delays and clogged city streets may see some light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Congestion pricing, after all, has been promised as the silver bullet that will fix the subway and free Manhattan from the endless sea of cars that clog streets, crowding out pedestrians and polluting our air.
Advocates fighting for a traffic pricing plan have promised the world. A fee for cars entering Manhattan will clear the borough of crippling congestion while guaranteeing funding for Andy Byford’s comprehensive Fast Forward plan to fix New York City’s subways and buses. The dollars will unlock billions in capital spending, and limiting traffic will clear up the city’s air at a time when the catastrophic global impact of constant carbon emissions could not be more clear. (Or so the argument goes.)
But passing congestion pricing was just the first battle in a longer war, and for congestion pricing to be a success—for it to solve the problems it is supposed to solve—the next 21 months will be key as the MTA’s new Traffic Mobility Review Board develops the details of the plan, including any exemptions for those who drive into Manhattan but do not have to pay the fee. Congestion pricing will live or die by these carve-outs—and the board must ignore any political drum-beating related to them.
As I wrote in these pages last summer, congestion pricing is a progressive solution for New York City’s transit funding woes. Drivers in the city are wealthier than transit riders, and imposing a fee on them for access to limited road space to fund transit—whose benefits are enjoyed by millions in NYC—is the very definition of a progressive charging plan. But the benefits will take a few years to materialize. Fixing the subways—installing modern signal systems so that more trains can run through 100-year-old tunnels with fewer delays—is a multi-year (or multi-decade) fix, while congestion pricing will become a reality within the next two years. To successfully introduce congestion pricing, the MTA will roll out transit upgrades before the fee goes into effect, including more bus service and bus lanes, but in the near-term, drivers will face a new tax while high-capacity transit upgrades will be years away. And they won’t be happy.
As a rule, popularity for congestion pricing hits a valley in the period between approval and implementation as the narratives focus on fees rather than results. In recent polls, congestion pricing is already under water by 13 percentage points, and politicians may try to drive up approval numbers by kowtowing to groups seeking exemptions. But for New York City to experience the benefits of congestion pricing, politicians will have to provide cover for an initially unpopular plan.
Since the legislation authorizing congestion pricing punted on the details, special interests are going to push hard to shape the plan. To develop the details of a pricing scheme, the state mandated the MTA to charge for entry to Manhattan south of 60th Street beginning in 2021 and dictated how the pricing plan would be established. A six-panel Traffic Mobility Review Board with appointees from the city and the areas served by Metro-North and the Long Island Rail Road will recommend tolling amounts with a variable pricing structure, including any carve-outs or exemptions, to generate enough revenue to fund $15 billion in MTA capital spending between 2020-2024.
Yet Albany imposed some legislative limitations from the outset. Cars that enter the congestion pricing zone via the West Side Highway or FDR Drive and never exit those roads onto local streets will not be charged. Additionally, emergency vehicles and those vehicles transporting people with disabilities are exempt from the fee, and Manhattan residents who live within the so-called Central Business District and who make less than $60,000 per year will be exempted from the fee. Plus, the fee will be levied only once per day, so cars that repeatedly enter and exit the congestion pricing zone will not be charged multiple times. The remainder of the exemptions will be in the hands of the review board, and that’s where the fight will be.
Already, this battle is playing out in predictable and noisy ways. Take, for instance, State Senator James Sanders, a Democrat who represents the 10th district, who wants to have his cake and eat it too. The Senator represents parts of South Ozone Park, Jamaica, and the Far Rockaways, and very few of his constituents drive into the Manhattan central business district on a daily basis. In fact, according to an analysis of Census data conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, Sanders’ constituents in Queens are overwhelmingly notdriving into Manhattan. Only around 21 percent of workers in his district head into Manhattan every day, and of those commuters, a whopping 84 percent use the subways, the Long Island Rail Road, or buses. TSTC reports that just 3.1 percent of Sanders’ commuting constituents drive or take taxis into Manhattan south of 60th Street while nearly 50 percent are daily transit users.
Yet after voting for congestion pricing, Sanders is aiming to water down the plan. In a newsletter sent to constituents, Sanders stated that “more work needs to be done to lessen the impact on Queens’ motorists commuting into Manhattan, south of 60th Street.” Charitably, this could be read as a call to include more transit options for his constituents, but “lessen the impact” usually means create carve-outs so fewer people have to pay. This is, of course, self-defeating.
As congestion pricing guru Charles Komanoff detailed recently, even seemingly small carve-outs that exempt just 10 percent of all vehicles entering the pricing zone from the fee have a deep impact. Revenue declines by $100 million per year, and time savings from decreased congestion shrink by seven percent based off of his modeling for New York congestion pricing. Those benefits from the plan are precarious and can disappear in the amount of time it takes to exclude enough cars.
Queens isn’t the only source of lobbying for exemptions. The mayor has constantly pushed for what he calls “hardship exemptions” and has spent years creating the strawman argument out of New Yorkers who he thinks drive in great numbers to hospitals on Manhattan’s East Side. Without acknowledging the thousands of city residents who take subways and buses to their doctors each day, the mayor wants exemptions from medical-bound drivers. Meanwhile, commercial truckers who stand to benefit the most from increased productivity due to clearer streets want to avoid the fee, as do New Jersey politicians, tour bus operators, and motorcycle clubs. Who will pay if everyone gets an exemption?
A Miami-Dade neighborhood that relies on septic tanks experiences flooding during the 2016 King Tide. A new report commissioned by the county shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen.
Miami-Dade has tens of thousands of septic tanks, and a new report reveals most are already malfunctioning — the smelly and unhealthy evidence of which often ends up in people’s yards and homes. It’s a billion-dollar problem that climate change is making worse.
As sea level rise encroaches on South Florida, the Miami-Dade County study shows that thousands more residents may be at risk — and soon. By 2040, 64 percent of county septic tanks (more than 67,000) could have issues every year, affecting not only the people who rely on them for sewage treatment, but the region’s water supply and the health of anyone who wades through floodwaters.
“That’s a huge deal for a developed country in 2019 to have half of the septic tanks not functioning for part of the year,” said Miami Waterkeeper Executive Director Rachel Silverstein. “That is not acceptable.”
Septic tanks require a layer of dirt underneath to do the final filtration work and return the liquid waste back to the aquifer. Older rules required one foot of soil, but newer regulations call for double that. In South Florida, there’s not that much dirt between the homes above ground and the water below.
“All those regulations were based on the premise the elevation of groundwater was going to be stable over time, which we now know is not correct,” said Doug Yoder, deputy director of Miami-Dade County’s Water and Sewer Department. “Now we find ourselves in a situation where we know sea level has risen and continues to rise.”
A graphic explaining the relationship between groundwater levels and the effectiveness of a septic tank. A new report commissioned by Miami-Dade County shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen.
Sea level rise is pushing the groundwater even higher, eating up precious space and leaving the once dry dirt soggy. Waste water doesn’t filter like it’s supposed to in soggy soil. In some cases, it comes back out, turning a front yard into a poopy swamp.
High tides or heavy rains can push feces-filled water elsewhere, including King Tide floodwaters — as pointed out in a 2016 study from Florida International University and NOAA — or possibly the region’s drinking supply.
Neighbors on a Coconut Grove street worked with a landscape architect to come up with a list of ideas for how to keep their flooded neighborhood dry in the face of sea level rise. Now the city will decide what gets built and how it’s paid for.
In total, there are about 108,000 properties within the county that still use septic, about 105,000 of which are residential. The vast majority (more than 65,000) of the septic systems are in unincorporated Miami-Dade.
Miami Gardens, North Miami Beach, Palmetto Bay and Pinecrest have the most of any city, at about 5,000 each.
Some of those cities will see hundreds more septic tanks experiencing yearly failures within the decade, like North Miami Beach, which has 2,780 homes with septic tanks with periodic issues now. By 2030, that is expected to jump to 3,751.
The report did not forecast past 2040, when the region is expecting around 15 inches of sea rise, a number that is predicted to creep exponentially upward over the decades.
More than half of Miami-Dade County’s 105,000 residential septic tanks have annual issues. A new report commissioned by the county shows that half of the county’s septic tanks break down yearly, a problem that sea level rise will worsen.Miami-Dade County
“The best response is sewer extension, but obviously that infrastructure takes quite a bit of planning and time,” said Katherine Hageman, the county’s resilience program manager.
“And money,” County Chief Resilience Officer James Murley added.
Ripping out every septic tank and laying down new pipes to connect the homes to the county’s sewer system won’t be cheap. The latest estimate put the price tag at $3.3 billion.
“Who has that?” said Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, who called for the study. “We need to act as fast as possible. We need to get as much assistance as we can from the federal government, from the state.”
That $3.3 billion price tag doesn’t cover commercial properties, an estimated $230 million cost, Yoder said. The county’s current general obligation bond includes $126 million to extend sewer services to businesses. Yoder said the plans are in the design phase.
For now, anyone who wants to connect their property to the county’s sewer system has to pay out of pocket. The report cites the average price as $15,000, but Yoder estimated that in septic-reliant areas like Pinecrest, it could cost around $50,000 per home to tap into the sewer system.
That’s cash most residents don’t have on hand, Haggman said, which is why the county is exploring other ways to help residents out.
“We have options, but I think that’s a good area for more conversation,” she said.
Besides borrowing more money with another bond, the report pointed out the county’s best options would be continuing to collect the per-home fee or establishing special taxing districts and spreading the cost into a neighborhood.
Silverstein said the findings raise significant concerns about impacts from septic tanks not just in 20 years, but now.
New research by Freddie Mac Multifamily finds a large and growing segment of renters continue to believe renting is a more affordable option than owning, even as many of those same renters are feeling the squeeze of rising housing costs. The latest “Profile of Today’s Renter” reveals that all generations of renters continue to perceive renting as the more affordable housing choice and remain satisfied with their current situation.
According to the survey pdf, 78 percent of renters believe renting is more affordable than owning – up a stunning 11 points from just six months ago in February 2018. This is the case even as the majority of renters (66 percent) reported difficulty affording their rent at some point over the past two years. The survey found nearly 9 in 10 renters employed in the essential workforce, such as healthcare and education, had significant difficulty affording the rent over the past two years.
Affordability of Renting
While perceptions of affordability over owning increased by 11 points to 78 percent among all renters, the survey found this was evident across generations. In fact, millennials (up 14 points to 75 percent), Generation Xers (up 11 points to 70 percent) and baby boomers (up eight points to 81 percent) all saw marked increases in the perception that renting is more affordable than owning.
Rising Cost of Renting
The survey also indicates that a significant number or renters – 66 percent – reported having trouble affording their monthly rent in the last two years – significantly more than the 43 percent of homeowners who experienced similar difficulties. More than half of renters say these changes affected spending on food, utilities and other essentials (51 percent) – as well as savings (50 percent) and nonessential items (64 percent). For renters living in rural areas, the impacts were particularly stark, with 77 percent spending less on essential items versus 59 percent in urban and suburban areas. While a majority of renters across generations reported these difficulties, older millennials (aged 28-37) reported the greatest hardship, with 79 percent reporting trouble affording rent over the past two years.
As noted earlier, renters employed in the essential workforce – such as the healthcare and education sectors – had significant additional difficulty affording rent, with a staggering 88 percent reporting hardship affording rent over the past two years. This is compared with 65 percent of all other workforce renters and 61 percent of homeowners in the essential workforce. Approximately half (48 percent) of renters working in essential jobs believe it is difficult to find housing that is affordable close to where they work – compared to 39 percent of homeowners in the essential workforce.
A consistent number of renters – 63 percent – continue to express their satisfaction with their rental experience. In fact, 58 percent of renters believe that renting is a good choice for them now and do not have plans to buy a home at this time – up from 54 percent in February. Over the last three years there has been a gradual increase in the number of renters who are not interested in buying. This quarter shows a small increase in this trend, with 23 percent of renters reporting they have no interest in buying a home – up from 20 percent in February. In addition, 42 percent of baby boomers have expressed no interest in owning a home.
A total of 66 percent of renters plan to continue renting for their next residence – up 11 points from February. Consistent with this view, fewer renters (41 percent) believe buying a home will be equally or more affordable in the next 12 months – down from 46 percent in February.
Freddie Mac’s custom renter research is based on a survey conducted online between August 13-15 among 4,040 adults aged 18 and over, including 1,059 renters, by Harris Poll, on behalf of Freddie Mac, via its QuickQuery omnibus product. The previous survey was conducted between January 30-February 1, 2018 among 4,115 adults and 1,209 renters using the same methodology.
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.05 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending May 11, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 4.02 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.57 percent.
- 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.29 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.27 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.81 percent.
- 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.14 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.13 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.78 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.
“The 10-year Treasury yield jumped 8 basis points this week while the 30-year mortgage rate rose 3 basis points to 4.05 percent. Mixed economic reports over the last few weeks have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark.”
According to a recent NAHB article, open floor plans are popular among home buyers, and the design of new single-family homes tends to be, if anything, even more open. For example, in a 2015 NAHB survey, 70 percent of recent and prospective homebuyers said they preferred a home with either a completely or partially open kitchen-family room arrangement with 32 percent preferring the arrangement completely open).
When a similar question was asked in the September 2016 survey for the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, an even higher 84 percent of builders said that, in the typical single-family homes they build, the kitchen-family room arrangement is completely or partially open. Over half (54 percent) said it is completely open. Both surveys defined completely open as essentially combining two areas into the same room, and partially open as areas separated by a partial wall, counter, arch, or something else less than a full wall.
Of the remaining possibilities, 16 percent of buyers want the kitchen and family rooms in separate areas of the house, and 6 percent of builders say this is how their typical homes are designed. Eleven percent of buyers want the two areas side-by-side but separated by a wall, while only 2 percent of builders design their typical homes this way. And 4 percent of buyers prefer a home without a family room, while 9 percent of builders do not include a family room in their typical homes. If you are thinking about a home and flooring DIY project you can learn how you can make your house prettier.
The same surveys show that 45 percent of home buyers favor a completely open kitchen and dining area arrangement, while an even higher 51 percent of builders design their typical single-family homes this way.
However, 41 percent of buyers want a home with a kitchen and dining area that are partially open to each other, while only 24 percent of builders design their typical homes this way. As a result, the 86 percent of buyers who want either a completely or partially open kitchen and dining area is actually higher than the 75 percent of builders who provide the completely or partially open design. This occurs in part because 12 percent of builders locate the kitchen and dining rooms in separate areas of the house, while only 3 percent of buyers say they want their homes this way
There are no hard data on the openness of floor plans in existing homes. However, in the survey for the first quarter 2016 Remodeling Market Index, professional remodelers reported that 40 percent of their projects involved making the floor plan more open by removing interior walls/pillars/arches, etc., indicating that the floor plans of existing homes are often not as open as their owners would like.