This week in housing news, lots of graphs tell the housing market story, open-house goers show their cards, mortgage rates inch up, and a homeowner builds an igloo rental.
More Americans able to afford housing
Lower- and middle-class buyers are starting to see some improvements in housing costs, according to a Wall Street Journal report of the recently-released American Community Survey (US Census Bureau).
Those “cost-burdened” (spent more than 30 percent of income on housing) went down to 33.6 percent in 2015. This percentage is part of a five-year trend, with more improvements expected for this year. The recovery is credited to lower mortgage rates coupled with record income gains higher than home price increases.
The percentages of those renting single-family homes decreased due to the biggest increase in home ownership since 2007. Rental apartments still saw the highest gains overall due to lack of inventory at lower price points. The overall home ownership rate decreased slightly from last year, with blame placed squarely on a decrease in new housing production.
What’s up with the bubble?
Despite talk of bubbles and subsequent bursting, the housing market continues on a steady upward trend year over year, according to the latest Case-Shiller index.
What kind of house do buyers want?
Condos, townhomes, single family homes. What reigns supreme? Despite increasing prices and a shortage of units, the National Association of Realtors says most buyers want single family homes. In addition, their recent Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey (and graphs!) showed 85 percent of home owners and 75 percent of renters prefer a single family home outside an urban area but withing easy driving distance.
Mortgage rates move up
Mortgage rates hit 3.5 percent for a 30-year fixed, the highest number since June, according to the latest graphs and report by Freddie Mac. This followed the 18-basis-points increase for the 10-year Treasury yield, the highest number since the Brexit drama began. Although rates increased, they are still lower than they were this time last year.
Don’t show your cards at an open house
Open houses are fun and those who attend them get chatty. They talk to the agent about the property, what they want, etc. What they don’t know is that at an open house, the agent represents the seller and can tell the them what you’ve said. Once your cards are shown, your negotiating power decreases.
Enter a new Maryland law. Beginning Oct. 1, agents at open houses must now post a disclosure provided by the Maryland Real Estate Commission: “This is to advise you that the agent who is conducting this open house represents the seller and is required by law to promote the interests of the seller. Any information you give this agent is not considered confidential and could be disclosed to the seller of this property.”
Your state may not have such a requirement (yet), so be forewarned not to divulge too much to the agent onsite. Instead, come with your own agent and play your cards close to the vest.
Source: Washington Post
Need an rental property? Build an igloo.
As we head into fall, you can’t help but think about what follows: winter. Don’t be sad. If you get a really big snowstorm, you can build an igloo and market it as a rental.
In the aftermath of Storm Jonas, a clever Brooklyn resident created an igloo “luxury rental” which he marketed on Airbnb for $200/night. Ok, they didn’t really let him keep the listing up, but he had a good time building it. If want you check out a real igloo rental, try Greenland.
The graphs have it — are you looking for a single family home in the ‘burbs (igloo not included)? Redefy Real Estate is a full service brokerage. Need to sell your property first? Our flat fee saves you thousands for the important things (not real estate commissions)… like fuzzy blankets and snow shovels.