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Author Archives: Steve Cook

Flippers Flop Back Five Years


Flipping has flopped to its lowest level since the second quarter of 2009, accounting for only 4 percent of all sales in the third quarter. Only 26,947 single family homes were flipped nationwide in the third quarter of 2014 representing 4 percent of all U.S. single family home sales, down from 4.6 percent in the second quarter of 2014 and ... Read More »

Starter Homes are Still Scarce

Starter homes

  National web sites report inventory remains tight, especially among lower priced starter homes popular with first-time buyers and investors. The October National Housing Trend Report shows that inventory remains tight as total listings have decreased 2.9 percent month over month and 4.8 percent year over year. In October, homes spent approximately 92 days on the market, which is ... Read More »

Purchase Mortgage Approvals Break Record!


The approval rate for purchase mortgages hit new heights in October as more than two thirds (66.1 percent) of all applications for loans to buy a home were approved. The approval rate for October was the highest recorded by the four-year old  Ellie Mae Originations Insight report; the previous high was 65.1 percent in August.  Last year the average approval ... Read More »

New Mortgages Sank This Year


Mortgage originations are down by 39 percent so far in 2014, with one in 79 households securing a new mortgage (compared with one in 48 in 2013), according to the Experian credit reporting service. However, credit scores and card lending both experienced more positive signs of growth since 2013. While these categories are showing upward growth, fewer people have opened ... Read More »

Freddie Mac: Get Ready for 5% Rates in 2015

mortgage on

    Rates on a thirty-year fixed rate mortgage will hit 5 percent by the end of next year, according to the latest forecast from Freddie Mac’s economists.  Expect to see interest rates climb throughout 2015, with yields on the 10-year Treasury averaging about 2.9 percentage points, up from about 2.6 percentage points in 2014, and rates on the 30-year ... Read More »

Rents Rose for Eight Straight Months

Rents rise

The national annual effective rent growth reached 4.33% in October, a 2 basis point (bps) increase from September’s 4.31% and the highest point of the year to date, according to the latest data from Axiometrics.. October marked the eighth straight month in which effective rent growth has increased. The continued strong effective rent growth indicates that the national apartment market is ... Read More »

Multigenerational Living Loses Luster


Is the three generational household leaving 21st Century America and returning to life on Walton’s Mountain? For several years housing experts have watched with concern as American families adopted a very old way of living that includes grandparents, adult children and even their offspring living under the same roof.  The phenomenon of “Boomerang Kids” who bounce back home when the ... Read More »

Median Income Americans Can’t Afford Median Homes in Most Metros

american dream

A median-income household can only afford a median-priced home in 10 of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, which is actually an improvement over last year despite the fact that home values are rising faster than income levels in most markets.  In 2013, the median-income household fell short in all but eight of the 25 metros. Baltimore was the biggest ... Read More »

Application Frustration Drives Away First-timers


Lack of understanding, inexperience and uncertainty about the process of applying for a mortgage is keeping large numbers of potential homebuyers out of homes because lenders often fall short in providing advice and guidance. Some 58 percent of prospective home buyers in a recent J D Powers surrey were first-time home buyers. Lack of experience among these customers and uncertainty ... Read More »

Is a New Horizon for Home Values only Four Months Away?


  In just four months, in February 2015, national median home values will rise higher than their pre-crash peaks in 2007 and begin setting new heights for the first time in eight years, according to a survey of 107 expert panelists in the latest Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey.  The February prediction—that national values will exceed the 2007 peak of ... Read More »