What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 5, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - July 5, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices and data on pending home sales. Readings on job growth and und unemployment were also released along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

S&P Case-Shiller: April Home Price Gains Reach Record Highs

Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said that April’s year-over-year national home price growth rate of 14.60 percent was “ truly extraordinary.” All cities included in the 20-City Home Price Index posted higher home prices;  five cities including Charlotte, North Carolina, Cleveland, Ohio, and Dallas, Texas posted their highest home price gains ever along with Denver, Colorado, and Seattle, Washington.  

Phoenix, Arizona, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington continued to hold the top three positions for annual home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index.

Realtors Report Increase in Pending Home Sales

Pending home sales rose by eight percent in May as compared to April. Analysts expected a one percent decrease in pending sales. Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®, said “May’s strong increase in transactions, as well as a sudden erosion in home affordability, was indeed a surprise. The housing market is attracting buyers b due to the decline in mortgage rates and an uptick in listings.”

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Show Mixed Results

Freddie Mac reported lower average rates for fixed-rate mortgages. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by four basis points to 2.98 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by eight basis points to 2.26 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by one basis point to 2.54 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.70 percent for 15-yar fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged0.30 percent.

First-time jobless claims fell to 364,000 initial claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 415,000 new claims filed. Continuing jobless claims increased with 3.47 million ongoing claims filed. ADP reported 692,000 private-sector jobs added in June; The federal Non-Farm payrolls report posted 850,000 public and private-sector jobs added as compared to 583,000 jobs added in May. The national unemployment rate ticked up to 5.90 percent in June from May’s reading of 5.80 percent unemployed.  

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include the minutes from the most recent meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee and the Labor Department’s report on job openings. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – June 28, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - June 28, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes.  Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

New Home Sales Fall in May

New home sales dropped to their lowest reading in a year in May with 769,000 new single-family homes sold on a  seasonally adjusted annual basis.  May’s reading was 5.90 percent lower than April’s reading of 817,000 sales but was 9.20 percent higher year-over-year.

May’s decline in new home sales was caused by a 14.50 percent decrease in sales in the South; Sales rose by 33 percent in the Northeast and 4.80 percent in the West. The sales pace for new homes in the Midwest was unchanged.

Multiple factors caused fewer new home sales during what is typically a busy home-buying season. Rising costs of lumber, along with high demand for homes and affordability challenges presented obstacles to first-time and moderate-income buyers in recent months, but lumber prices fell in May. High demand for homes created opportunities for cash buyers who sidestepped making purchase offers contingent on mortgage approvals.

Analysts said that falling lumber prices will eventually provide relief for homebuyers, but short inventories of available homes coupled with high home prices continued to sideline first-time and moderate-income buyers. The median price for new homes rose to $374,000 as compared to $369,000 in April. Real estate pros reported a 5.1 month supply of available homes in May, which was the highest reading in a year.

Existing Home Sales Lower in May as Market Slows

Sales of previously-owned homes also fell in May; this was likely due to low inventories of available homes and the covid induced home-buying frenzy easing. Would-be home buyers have also left the market due to affordability challenges.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors® said: “Home sales fell moderately in May and are now approaching pre-pandemic activity.” Mr. Yun identified low inventories of available homes and affordability as the main obstacles facing prospective home buyers.

Mortgage Rates Rise; Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week; average mortgage rates surpassed three percent for the first time in 10 weeks. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose nine basis points to 3.02 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 10 basis points to 2.34 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.53 percent and were one basis point higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell to 411,000 claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 418,000 first-time claims filed. Continuing jobless claims also fell with 3.39 million ongoing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 3.53 million continuing claims filed. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and reports on pending home sales, construction spending, and consumer confidence. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 28, 2020

 

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 28, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony on changing the Fed’s business loan policy. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Rise In August

New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million sales; analysts expected the sales pace to fall to 900,000 sales from July’s reading of 965,000 new home sales. Homebuyers turned to new homes as the supply of pre-owned homes dwindled. Homeowners stayed put as fears over COVID-19 contagion limited sales.

Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six million homes as compared to the expected reading of 6.03 million sales and 5.86 million sales in July. Previously-owned home sales rose by 2.40 percent from July to August and were 10.50 percent higher year-over-year. The sales pace from July to August was the fastest since December 2006.

The median sales price of pre-owned homes rose to $310.600 in August and the average price for pre-owned homes was 11.40 percent higher year-over-year. Inventories of available pre-owned homes were lower than the six months supply considered average; there was a three months inventory of unsold pre-owned homes in August.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages fell. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose three basis points on average to 2.90 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.40 percent and were five basis points higher. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was six basis points lower at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose to 870,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 866.000 initial claims filed. Continuing jobless claims fell to 12.58 million ongoing claims from 12.78 million ongoing claims filed in the prior week

In other news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the feasibility of the Federal Reserve offering smaller business loans for COVID-19 relief. The Fed’s current minimum loan amount is $250,000; Chairman Powell told the Committee that the Fed’s loan program had few requests for loans of less than $1 million. He also said that if the minimum loan amount was changed, the current lending program would have to be scrapped and restarted from scratch.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include Case-Shiller Home Price Indices,  pending home sales and reports on public and private-sector jobs, and the national unemployment rate.

 Last week’s economic news included readings on new and existing home sales and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s
testimony on changing the Fed’s business loan policy. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were
also released.
Sales of New and Pre-Owned Homes Rise In August
New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 1.01 million sales; analysts expected the sales pace to fall to
900,000 sales from July’s reading of 965,000 new home sales. Homebuyers turned to new homes as the supply of
pre-owned homes dwindled. Homeowners stayed put as fears over COVID-19 contagion limited sales.
Pre-owned homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of six million homes as compared to the expected
reading of 6.03 million sales and 5.86 million sales in July. Previously-owned home sales rose by 2.40 percent from
July to August and were 10.50 percent higher year-over-year. The sales pace from July to August was the fastest
since December 2006.
The median sales price of pre-owned homes rose to $310.600 in August and the average price for pre-owned homes
was 11.40 percent higher year-over-year. Inventories of available pre-owned homes were lower than the six months
supply considered average; there was a three months inventory of unsold pre-owned homes in August.
Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed
Freddie Mac reported higher fixed mortgage rates last week as the average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages
fell. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose three basis points on average to 2.90 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages averaged 2.40 percent and were five basis points higher. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate
mortgages was six basis points lower at 2.90 percent. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate
mortgages, 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.
New jobless claims rose to 870,000 new claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 866.000 initial claims filed.
Continuing jobless claims fell to 12.58 million ongoing claims from 12.78 million ongoing claims filed in the prior
week
In other news, Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified before the House Financial Services Committee regarding the
feasibility of the Federal Reserve offering smaller business loans for COVID-19 relief. The Fed’s current minimum
loan amount is $250,000; Chairman Powell told the Committee that the Fed’s loan program had few requests for
loans of less than $1 million. He also said that if the minimum loan amount was changed, the current lending
program would have to be scrapped and restarted from scratch.
What’s Ahead
This week’s scheduled economic releases include Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, pending home sales and reports
on public and private-sector jobs, and the national unemployment 

 

Six Key Questions to Ask when Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Market and Sell Your Home

Six Key Questions to Ask when Hiring a Real Estate Agent to Market and Sell Your HomeThe work of a real estate agent can make or break how a prospective buyer feels about the property. Now that it’s time to sell your home, you want to find the right agent to market it.

How do you find someone you can trust who will make you feel confident they can sell your home quickly for the best price possible? Here are the questions you should be asking.

Are They Licensed?

This one is the easy one. You should be working with a member of the National Association of Realtors®. It is also important that you check whether they have any complaints on record about their practices.

You can check with your state’s real estate department as well.

Are They Successful?

A successful real estate agent is more than the number of sales they have completed. You should also find out the average difference between listing and selling prices on their most recent sales.

If an agent is closing deals at far below the original asking price consistently, that might be a red flag.

How Busy Are They?

Make sure you ask in advance how often the agent will contact you and how they will keep you informed of potential buyers. If you’re going to be working with one of their associates at times, you should know.

How Familiar Are They With Your Neighborhood?

A real estate agent is not just marketing your home – they’re marketing your entire community. If they have closed nearby sales before, they are familiar with the selling points of the neighborhood as well as the right price range for properties similar to yours.

How Much Commission Do They Expect?

Normally you will pay the agent about 6 percent of the sale price. If you find one that offers their services for a low percentage, you should know why. Are they just trying to stay competitive? Or do they expect you to do a large share of the marketing yourself?

Do They Have A Plan?

The real estate agent should be able to tell you exactly which marketing techniques they would use for your home and how they plan to promote the listing. They should come to the table with ideas from the very beginning.

Now that you have a clearer idea of the basics, use the internet to find trusted real estate agents in your area. Then pick up the phone and begin your journey toward becoming a successful home seller today.

Three Key Tips for Assessing Value To Find Out How Much Your Home Worth in Today’s Market

Three Key Tips for Assessing Value To Find Out How Much Your Home Worth in Today's MarketIf you’re thinking about putting the house on the market, or are simply curious about its value in the current economic atmosphere, it’s essential to get an honest assessment of its value. An overly inflated figure won’t hold up and will only turn potential buyers away.

It’s best to get a fair assessment in order to ask a reasonable price or avoid over-extending oneself when it comes to taking out a home equity loan. Consider these three key tips to get a true assessment of a home’s value.

Identify Positive Features About The Home And Property

When seeking an appraisal for a home, it’s important to look at the big picture. While the neighborhood and specific location are important, as well as the size and condition of the home, it’s also essential to tally up any improvements or upgrades. Any recent renovations are a plus that are sure to give a boost to a home’s value.

Outbuildings and swimming pools add more positives that will increase the initial value of a home. The most important thing any homeowner can do is to stay on top of repairs and give the property a facelift periodically to keep things fresh. This will be taken into consideration during an appraisal.

Pay Attention To The Competition

Whether homeowners try to estimate their home’s value on their own or bring in the professionals, it’s important to pay attention to the surrounding real estate. Take a close look at other properties in the area and their price tags when they come up for sale. It’s especially helpful to look at properties that compare in size and condition. From that point, the most expensive and least expensive homes should be tallied as well, providing a price range for the concerned individual’s home.

Think About Present Circumstances

Be sure to consider if the area is in a recession or showing a period of strong economic growth. If a home is located in an area that is booming, this will inflate the value of the home. It is all part of the law of supply and demand. When buyers are coming in droves, home sales will be ripe for the picking and homeowners can ask a higher price.

However, if the population is dwindling and people are migrating elsewhere because job opportunities have fallen, there is a much greater chance that the home’s value will decrease. For those who want to sell, the best bet is to strike when the iron is hot and put the house on the market during a period of economic strength. If the economy is failing, it may be necessary to wait or cut ones’ losses.

Act Now To Learn More

There is no better time than the present to contact a name you can trust in real estate. Discover all the ins and outs of assessing your home’s value, discuss your options, and find out ways to boost your property’s potential as you seek a reliable assessment.

Considering a Major Home Addition? Why a Detached Garage Can Drastically Improve Your Resale Price

Considering a Major Home Addition? Why a Detached Garage Can Drastically Improve Your Resale PriceBefore you make a major structural change to your property, it is important to consider how this will affect your resale value. While there are many steps that you can take to improve your property, the addition of a detached garage may be beneficial to you and may drastically improve your resale price when you are ready to sell.

You can contact a trusted real estate agent today to obtain customized information about how the addition of a detached garage may affect your property’s value.

Adding Square Footage to Your Home

As a property owner, you may be well aware that one of the most common ways the value of your property is determined is by the market rate for price per square foot of homes in the area.

While factors such as age of the property, condition of the property and amenities in the neighborhood may affect whether your property’s price per square foot is above or below market average, the kind of the improvements has a direct impact on property value.

While adding a detached garage adds overall square footage to the property, it generally won’t be considered at the same rate as finished square footage within the home.  However, outbuilding improvements do add value to your property and a real estate agent can help you to determine the true financial gain you may experience through this addition.

Increasing Appeal to Potential Buyers

Properties that are more appealing to potential buyers may sell for a higher price. When you add a detached garage to your property, you may be adding style and function to the property by adding a place to park vehicles and to store items like seasonal items and lawn equipment. You can also create a detached garage with a workshop or another functional area for added appeal.

Transforming Existing Space

Some home additions will add a detached garage to a property because a garage was never constructed on the property, but others will be added because the homeowner wants to transform the existing garage attached to the home into a more functional area. For example, a new home addition, may turn the existing garage into a living room, a bedroom or another functional area. With the addition of a detached garage, the property owner can retain the benefits of having a garage while also improving the functional use of the main area of the home.

The addition of a detached garage can benefit you and your family in a number of ways, and it can also improve the resale value of your home. By speaking with a real estate agent, you can get a better idea about how this addition will affect your property.

Sound Advice From Successful Home Sellers

Sound Advice From Successful Home SellersThe real estate market and all the things involved in selling a home can seem complicated, and it can be very hard to know which tips to trust. While there’s plenty of great advice to go around from many knowledgeable sources, here are some of the best tips from home sellers who have made a successful sale.

Research Your Local Agents

When considering an agent that will meet your home-selling needs, it can be tempting to go with someone familiar or recommended through a friend who seems like a safe bet. However, it’s important to do some of your own research. Create a list of agents you’re impressed by and take note of their sales and agent fees. Keep in mind that you may want to lean towards an agent who has expertise in your neighborhood.

Get A Second Opinion On Price

Before you have an agent appraise the value of your home, it’s worthwhile to do some research on your end to determine the approximate value of your property. Once you’ve arrived at a figure, bring in the agents you’ve selected to appraise the value of your property. If one price is significantly higher than the other, it may be a sign that an agent is trying to win over your business. Most agents are in tune with the current market and should be able to guide you toward the most appropriate market price. 

Be House Ready At All Times

Having potential buyers view your home will certainly make the idea of selling it real, so make sure that it is ready for viewing at any time. If a potential buyer cannot view your property or has to work around your schedule constantly to arrange viewings, there’s a pretty good chance that you may lose out on some good home offers. Instead of missing out, provide a set of keys to your real estate agent so they can show people around your home when you’re not around. This should automatically increase the likelihood of an offer on your home.

Heading into the real estate market can be a matter of trepidation if you’re not sure what to do, but by doing some research and being prepared you’ll increase your chances of success.

As you are preparing to sell your home, be sure that you are also readying yourself for your next home purchase by making an appointment with your trusted mortgage professional to discuss your current financing options.

Inexpensive Updates That Will Appeal To Buyers

Inexpensive Updates That Will Appeal To BuyersWhile you could spend tens of thousands of dollars or more completing a home makeover, there are more than a few budget-minded ideas that you may consider.

Add Color To Molding And Trim

One cool idea in home décor and interior design is to get rid of the standard white trim and molding and to add color to these areas. Neutral hues like grays and browns have universal appeal, or you can give your space a more contemporary look by adding black to these areas. Generally, you will want a more neutral color like a creamy beige on the walls when executing a look with colored trim.

Another idea is utilizing a color consistent with your wall color as opposed to a contrasting or complimentary color. This helps the trim blend in and almost disappear. This is an especially effective concept when used in small rooms, narrow halls with several doorways or in rooms with low ceilings.

Update Light Fixtures

If you have a little more money to spend, you may consider updating your light fixtures. There are rather affordable yet stylish fixtures available in a wide range of finishes. When your rooms are empty or staged to perfection, the light fixtures can easily set the tone of the room and may be focal points. Outdated fixtures may have limited appeal to buyers who are looking for a home that is modern and current with today’s trends.

When thinking about lighting, don’t forget to consider updating your outdoor lighting. The right fixtures may add an additional element of curb appeal that many buyers appreciate.

Redefine Outdated Spaces

In some older homes, some of the rooms may have originally been built with outdated uses in mind. Today’s savvy buyers may be looking for a home with an exercise room, a media room or a study rather than a formal living or dining area. With this in mind, you may consider how you can stage your home to show that it can be used for modern purposes.

This may simply mean moving your formal dining room set into storage, adding French doors and investing in an affordable desk and side chairs for staging purposes. Murphy beds that offer space for guests that can be hidden away when not in use are a clever way to show dual purpose. Turning a closet or the area under the stairs into a small office is also a clever use of space. 

Whether you are interested in refinancing your current property or purchasing a new property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional for the most current financing options.

5 Simple Tips To Make Your Home Showings Easier

5 Simple Tips To Make Your Home Showings EasierYour real estate agent will likely give you 24 hours’ notice before bringing over interested buyers to see your home. Sometimes eager buyers may request less of an advance, or even ask for a last minute showing.

Since you’re eager to be accommodating, you may agree to consider such requests. Whether you have 24 hours to prepare for a showing or 15 minutes, these tips will make showings easier for your family.

Keep The Family Pet Carrier By The Door

Real estate agents advise not leaving your family pet at home during showings. Make it easy to bring along Fido or Fluffy by keeping their carrier right by the door. You’ll be able to quickly place him in the carrier and carry him out to the car with you.

Use Under-Bed Storage

The one place homebuyers won’t look is under your bed. Equip each bedroom with a large under-bed storage container; get the kind with wheels if possible. When you receive notice of a showing, just place any loose odds and ends, clothing, magazines, etc. into the tote and hide it under the bed. 

Have Extra Laundry Baskets On Hand

Invest in two or three extra laundry baskets and keep them near the door. When you have to leave for a showing, have each family member scour the kitchen and living room for things that are out of place. Fill the baskets and just bring them with you in the car.

Stock The Kitchen With Cleanup Supplies

The kitchen is the biggest challenge with showings. It’s both the place that gets messiest and the room that can sell your home. Get it spotless in a jiffy with popup wipes. Make it a habit to clean the kitchen immediately after meals, including sweeping the floor. Consider using paper plates to dine on while your home is listed. Keep a scented jar candle in the kitchen that you can light to mask odors.

Make The Car Comfortable

Your family will likely take a drive or go to a movie while the house is being shown. Stock it with a few snacks and bottles of water as well as any medication that a family member may need.

These tips will make house showings much easier no matter how large your house is, or how many family members you have. And one day, you just might return to find that you have a great offer on your house!

For piece of mind, be sure to be well prepared for your move. Contact your trusted home mortgage professional to secure your financing for your next home purchase!

5 Tips To Price Your Home To Sell For Top Dollar

5 Tips To Price Your Home To Sell For Top DollarMany home sellers are confused about how to price their home to sell. It’s definitely challenging to try and find that sweet spot between pricing it low enough so it flies off the market without undercutting the home’s value.

Emotions play into the decision, too. If the seller has a lot of sweat equity in the home, or the property is the only place the children have ever called home, owners may tend to place a higher value on the house.

Here’s how to correctly price a home to sell in any market.

Rely On Your Real Estate Agent

Your Realtor is an expert in all matters related to home buying and selling. They have a vested interest in selling your home within a reasonable time frame. As such, they provide a valuable, objective perspective that you should closely pay attention to in order to correctly price your home to sell.

Look At Comps In Your Neighborhood

One thing that your real estate agent does is analyze the comparable properties in your neighborhood. Remember, what a home sells for in a nearby city doesn’t impact how to price your home in a neighborhood far removed. Your prospective buyers will also compare your home’s price to others they could buy in the same neighborhood.

Consider Special Features

Don’t discount special features that your home has, such as built-in shelving units, out buildings, a home movie theater, etc. These give you an advantage in that you can safely set your price a little higher than comparable homes without those features. Be sure your real estate agent mentions them on your MLS listing so buyers understand the higher asking price.

Be Prepared To Make Price Adjustments

Remember that you might have to come down from your asking price, so keep that in mind when you and your real estate agent set that number. Don’t expect that you’ll get exactly what you’re asking for unless you’re in a high demand area. When you give yourself some margin, you gain negotiating power you can use to make a sale happen.

Consider Your Own Finances

Pricing your home to sell is only one factor to consider. The larger equation takes your entire financial picture into account. Figure out how much you owe, how much commission you’ll pay and any sales concessions, if any, you’d be willing to offer a prospective buyer. This due diligence ensures you’ll be satisfied with the outcome after all the money has changed hands.

Pricing your home to sell correctly is a critical part of making the transaction happen. Remember that your real estate agent is the best judge of the best price point, but you can always point out the reasons why you’d like it higher or lower.

It’s important to plan out where you will live once your current property has sold. A great place to start is by obtaining a current evaluation of how much you can afford for your new property and getting your new home loan pre-approved with assistance from your trusted home mortgage professional.