Redefy Housing News 12-12-2016
This week in housing news you can use, rates rise, the economy improves, US and world home prices compare, buyers research home loans, communities are rated for seniors and a magic kingdom is for sale.
Could rising rates threaten housing demand in 2017?
The Wall Street Journal speculates that rising rates could leave some homeowners reluctant to move. Rates went up about half a percentage point since the election, from 3.54 percent to 4.13 percent. On a $300,000 loan, a 30-year fixed monthly payment increases $101 from $1,354 to $1,455. A similar rate hike in 2013 caused an 8 percent decline in existing home sales from July to December.
Is this a disaster in the making? No. So far the market is showing that the increased payment isn’t enough to decrease the overwhelming demand, home prices are holding steady (and will increase a bit in 2017), and increased construction could easily offset any homeowners having second thoughts about selling.
Housing index shows the economy is improving.
Fox Business reports that the US home price index hit a new high, showing yet another sign of an improved economy. Prices rose 1.5 percent in the third quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This podcast, in conjuction with The Motley Fool, talks about the “underlying dynamics that cause home prices to rise and fall.”
How do US home prices compare to the world market?
Complaining about home prices in Denver, San Francisco or Seattle? Take a look at how the US compares to other markets like Australia and Canada. This graphic by Leonard Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, shows we still have it pretty good overall. Source: Urban Demographics
Buyers spend more time researching car purchases than home loans
A recent Zillow survey found that, on average, Americans spend more time researching a car purchase than a home loan. In fact, buyers spend just 8 hours researching a mortgage, compared to 11 hours for a car purchase. $400,000 purchase vs $40,000 purchase? Hmmm, that’s disturbing.
“When it comes to spending money on our daily expenses, we all understand the value in taking time to shop around…,” said Erin Lantz, VP of mortgages for Zillow Group. “Yet surprisingly, very few prospective homebuyers apply that same diligence to choosing a lender and a home loan, despite the fact that is likely the largest purchase they will ever undertake. Unfortunately, that mistake could be costly – a small difference in the interest rate can add tens of thousands of dollars to your mortgage.”
Is your community good for seniors?
The AARP Public Policy Institute developed a Livability Index to measure communities and neighborhoods based on seven categories: housing (affordability and access), neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement (civic and social), and opportunity (inclusion). The site is designed to show consumers and policy leaders whether their area is designed to meet the needs of aging residents and empower them to make change.
The tool lets you compare up to three locations. Some of the best communities for seniors are not where you expect. Featured communities with a 60 score or greater: Great Neck Plaza, NY; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Portland, OR; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, ME; Princeton, NJ; and Des Moines, IA. And senior mecca Florida? Depending on the community, you’ll find scores from the mid-40s to the upper 50s.
A Disney-imagineered magic kingdom for sale
For a mere $899,000 you can own Walt Disney’s four-bedroom desert getaway in Palm Springs. Built around the time when Walt Disney Presents transitioned from black-and-white television, this magic kingdom is a study in Technicolor interiors.
Redefy Real Estate is a full service brokerage for buyers and sellers. Sellers save thousands with a flat fee to list. Save that money for more important things (not real estate commissions!) — like a trip to THE magic kingdom!