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Home » Author Archives: Steve Cook

Author Archives: Steve Cook

New Studies Illustrate How Consumers Misjudge Home Values

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Encouraged by strong price increases and hot sales this spring, increasing numbers of owners are listing their homes for sale. But chances are good that millions of owners are making wrong assumptions about the value of their homes, according to two new studies. Wrong valuation assumptions can lead to bad decisions about whether to sell, when to sell and how ... Read More »

Nascent Demand, Tight Inventories Supercharge April Prices

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  Prices took an unexpectedly big leap upward in April as rising demand collided with tight supplies to propel sale prices. With headlines like The Re-Explosion of U.S. House Prices Is Over, most forecasts in January had prices rising 4-5 percent over 2014.  Only the CoreLogic and NAR were on the sunny side, predicting 5/9 and 6 percent respectively. Only ... Read More »

Rising Prices Encourage Homeowners to Inflate Value

Greedy Business Partners

Homeowners rated their home values higher than appraisers for the third straight month in April, with the gap widening to 0.69% from 0.40% in March as appraiser valuations also increased, according to Quicken Loans, evidence that homeowners over valuate their properties during time of rising prices as  is a described in detail by a new study published by the Journal ... Read More »

Cut in FHA Premium Reportedly Encourages First-time Buyers

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The January reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums increased the first-time homebuyer share of April closings by three points, according to one survey of Realtors, while NAR’s Realtor Confidence Index said the first-timer market share has remained unchanged for months due to difficulties getting financing. The First-time homebuyer share rose to 37.6 percent of home purchases in April, up from ... Read More »

Refi Closing Rates Soar

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Closing rates for conventional and FHA refinancings improved dramatically in April, while lending standards for purchase loans hardly burned and remained at virtually the same levels as three years ago despite housing industry complaints that overly restrictive underwriting rules are crippling sales to first-time buyers. The refinancing approval rate for all mortgage types jumped to 64 percent in April, up ... Read More »

Freddie Forecasts Higher Prices, Volatile Rates

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  Freddie Mac’s economists expect the balance of the year to be a hectic one as housing markets are likely to see increasing interest rate volatility for the remainder of the year and consumers try to anticipate the Federal Reserve’s timing around rising short term interest rates.  Home buyers may encounter “bouts of affordability shock” if rates rise suddenly. With ... Read More »

Rising Rents are Backfiring

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A new survey by Freddie Mac finds that soaring rents are not turning renters into homeowners, but actually delaying homeownership for many. Of those who experienced a rent increase in the past two years, 70 percent would like to buy a home but cannot afford to at this point. Half (51 percent) said that they now have to put off ... Read More »

Too Many Listings, Too Much Time

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A new study scheduled to be published by the Journal of Housing Economics found that agents who take on too many listings sell them for about 3 percent less and it takes 129 percent longer to sell than agents with modest listing inventories. The study looked at whether agents have an incentive to take on too many listings—at least from ... Read More »

Fed Analysis: Credit Box Still Tight

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An analysis of trends in mortgage originations by two economists at the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank found that even though the amount of credit available for mortgages have been improving since 2013, the “credit box” of mortgage origination data indicates that the process of getting a mortgage has not loosened up. Carl Hudson, director for the Center for Real Estate ... Read More »

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