Fixed Mortgage Rates Resume Decline

Fixed mortgage rates resumed their decline, aiding homebuyer affordability amid a tight supply of for-sale homes in many markets, according to the recently released Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®).

Survey results show the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.62 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending February 25, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.65 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.80 percent. 

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.93 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.95 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.07 percent. 
 
The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.79 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.85 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.99 percent.
 
"Yields on the 10-year Treasury continued their downward trend this week after a small rally the previous two weeks,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. “The 30-year mortgage responded, falling 3 basis points to 3.62 percent. Since the beginning of 2016, 30-year rates have fallen almost 40 basis points helping housing markets sustain their momentum into this year. Earlier this week, the National Association of Realtors announced existing home-sales were up 4 percent month-over-month in January and up 11 percent from last year."
 
For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.


Spring Buying Season Starts Early

Residential real estate is off to the races with spring home buying season velocity driven by strong demand and slight inventory growth, according to realtor.com®’s preliminary analysis of February data. Housing inventory is moving six days faster than last year and four days faster than January. Median listing prices are also up, clocking in at $230,000, an eight percent increase from last year and a one percent increase from last month.
 
“It looks like the groundhog was correct—spring is coming early this year, and not just when it comes to the weather,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®. Early readings on February inventory and activity indicate that the spring home buying season has begun. We don’t usually see this type of acceleration until March or April. On a local level, the acceleration is really dramatic with nine of the top ten hottest markets shaving three weeks or more from their median age in January.”
 
The median age of inventory is now estimated at 96 days, which is down six percent year over year and four percent from January. Median listing price for February is estimated at $230,000, up eight percent year over year and one percent from January. Listing inventory is down 4 percent year over year but has begun its seasonal increase of one percent month over month.

Realtor.com®’s Hottest Markets receive two to five times the number of views per listing compared to the national average.  In terms of supply, these markets are seeing inventory move 44-78 days more quickly than the rest of the US.  They have also seen days on market drop by a combined average of 32 percent month-over-month or an average of 22 days.
 

 
California dominates the list again this month with eight of the top 10 markets, while Florida, Texas and Colorado feature multiple markets.
 
San Francisco retains the first spot this month, as California maintains its dominance with eight of the top 10 markets and the majority of the top 20. Boulder, Colorado Springs, Portland and Eureka-Arcata-Fortuna are new entrants to the top 20.  Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Boulder, and Portland were the biggest gainers, moving up 11, 8, and 7 spots respectively.  Colorado joins California and Florida as having multiple markets in the 20 hottest markets.
 
For more information, visit www.realtor.com.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.


Home Gone Green? You May Be Eligible for Tax Credits

Did you make your home more energy-efficient last year? You may be eligible for tax credits when you file your return, according to home energy evaluator Homeselfe.

"If you upgraded your home in 2015 by adding insulation—one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can make—you already know you are saving on your utility bills every month, plus you may be eligible for a tax credit on that investment," says Ameeta Jain, co-founder of Homeselfe. "Not taking advantage of that is throwing away your hard-earned cash.”

Jain explains that there are two types of major tax credits available to homeowners: the Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit, which benefits those who have incorporated renewable energy features into their home, and the Nonbusiness Energy Property Tax Credit, which benefits those who have installed materials that meet the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy efficiency standards.

Homeowners who have invested in energy-efficient upgrades, such as fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, solar panels and solar-powered water heaters, may be eligible for the first credit. Homeowners who have invested in energy-efficient improvements like insulated roofing, windows and doors may be eligible for the latter.

Tax credits up to $500 are also available for some improvements, such as installing advanced, main air-circulating fans, a biomass stove, an energy-efficient HVAC system or water heater, insulation, or metal or asphalt roofing.

Source: Homeselfe

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.


Low Mortgage Rates Make Room for Refinances

Mortgage rates moved lower for the fifth consecutive week amid ongoing market volatility, according to a recently released Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The average 30-year fixed is at its lowest point since the week of April 30, 2015 when it averaged 3.68 percent.
 
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.72 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending February 4, 2016, down from last week when it averaged 3.79 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.59 percent.
 
The 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.01 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from 3.07 percent last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.92 percent. 

Additionally, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.85 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.90 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.82 percent.
 
"Market volatility—and the associated flight to quality—continued unabated this week. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dropped another 15 basis points, and the 30-year mortgage rate fell 7 basis points as well, to 3.72 percent,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. Both the Treasury yield and the mortgage rate now are in the neighborhood of early-2015 lows. These declines are not what the market anticipated when the Fed raised the Federal funds rate in December. For now, though, sub-4-percent mortgage rates are providing a longer-than-expected opportunity for mortgage borrowers to refinance."
 
For more information, visit www.FreddieMac.com.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.


Q: Should I Sell My Home First or Wait until I Have Bought another Home?

A: This is a tough decision, but the answer will depend on your personal situation, as well as the condition of the local housing market.

If you put your home on the market first, you may have to scramble to find another one before settlement, which could cause you to buy a home that does not meet all your requirements.  If you cannot find another home, you may need to move twice, temporarily staying with relatives or in a hotel.

On the other hand, if you make an offer to buy first, you may be tempted to sell your existing home quickly, even at a lower price.

The advantage of buying first is you can shop carefully for the right home and feel comfortable with your decision before putting the existing home on the market.

On the flip side, the advantage of selling your existing home first is that it maximizes your negotiating position because you are under no pressure to sell quickly.  It also eliminates the need to carry two mortgages at once.
Talk with your agent for advice.  Discuss the pros and of each and whether certain contingencies written into the contract can ease some of the pressures.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis and Market Area Statistics, please contact me at 866-977-7623.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.