Category Archives: National Real Estate News

“Know Before You Owe”: How New Rules Could Impact Closings

house icon on grassIf you’re a home buyer, there have been recent changes to the closing process that you should know about.

New regulations went into effect October 3rd, providing new loan disclosure forms that are designed to help you better understand the terms of your home mortgage before you close on your new home. That means if you applied for a loan on or after that date, you will receive the easier-to-understand forms.

What You Need to Know About the New Closing Disclosures

To summarize, these new rules combine mortgage loan disclosures from both the Truth-In-Lending Act (which informs consumers about loan terms) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (which deals with closings) into one simplified set of disclosure forms for home buyers who are getting a mortgage.

The official title to these regulations is a mouthful — Truth-In-Lending Act / Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule— so the regulations are just referred to as TRID. (The enforcement agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also calls it Know Before You Owe.”)

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US Housing Market Well Positioned for Busy Summer Home Buying Season

home buying 20The summer months should be quite busy for home buyers, sellers and real estate agents alike!

As we head into June, real estate analysts are saying that the national housing market is poised for a successful (and busy!) summer home buying market.

Several factors are at play, experts say, including low housing inventory, pent up demand and increasingly optimistic sellers.

One thing’s for sure: The next few months should be very interesting from a national housing market perspective!

What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know About Market Activity

According to the latest sales figures released by the National Association of Realtors, sales of previously owned homes increased in March by the most in four years.

In fact, purchases increased 6.1 percent to a 5.19 million annualized rate, which is the highest level it’s been since September 2013.

On average, homes were being purchased in 52 days on average, which is the fastest sales rate the country has seen since July.

Here are some more highlights from the latest data report:

  • The share of first-time buyers increased slightly while distressed properties made up a smaller part of the market.
  • The number of homes for sale increased in March for a second month.
  • In fact, that gain was the biggest since December 2010.
  • Figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed that the group’s index of purchase applications increased in recent weeks to the highest level since June 2013.
  • The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.5 percent to 2,107.96 recently, which is within 12 points of a record high.
  • More sellers expressed confidence about buyers entering the market as the weather warms, further helping to increase the supply of properties for sale.
  • In fact, the number of existing properties for sale increased 5.3 percent to 2 million in March from a month earlier.

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US Pending Home Sales Rise for Third Month in a Row

home buying 18We have some excellent news to report from the national housing market: Evidently US pending home sales index increased for the third straight month in April.

This is a great testament that the national housing market is getting back on track and becoming increasingly stable.

If you’re considering entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this new trend.

The Latest Outlook from the Housing Market is Positive

Let’s take a closer look at the recent report from the National Association of Realtors.

According to recent data, the pending home sales index (which is based on contract signings for purchases of previously owned homes) increased 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted level of 108.6 in March.

This is also higher than in February, when the level was 107.4.

And evidently, the increase in the home sales index is higher than many economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal thought it would be. They had expected the increase to be 1 percent.

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5 Baby Boomer Housing Market Trends to Watch

boomersRegardless of where you live, experts are expecting that Baby Boomers will have a major impact on the local housing market.

That’s because this sizable portion of the population is comprised of 76.4 million individuals. And many of them are expected to make major moves over the next several years as they continue to retire.

To that effect, we wanted to share with you the top 5 Baby Boomer real estate trends to watch for in the coming months and years.

The Top 5 Real Estate Trends for Baby Boomers

Although many Baby Boomers plan to move to the Sunbelt when they retire, others may be motivated by different factors.

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Signed Contracts for US Homes Increase, Report Shows

Home contractIn the latest sign that the U.S. real estate market is improving, more Americans signed contracts to purchase homes in February than in nearly a year.

The National Association of Realtors released the data, which showed that the seasonally adjusted pending home sales index increased 3.1 percent to 106.9 in February.

That’s the highest it’s been since June 2013!

If you’re preparing to list your home anytime soon on the local housing market, we encourage you to continue reading to learn more about this trend!

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Shop Smart for Your Dream Home During the Spring Buying Season

Home Buying 14This is the time of year that has home buyers and home sellers alike excited: The Spring Home Buying Season!

For buyers, it’s a great time to purchase a home because the school year is coming to an end and residents have all summer to move before it’s back in session. For sellers, it’s a great chance to reach a lot of home buyers as they navigate the market searching for their dream home.

In preparation for the spring home buying season, we wanted to share with you some tips on how you can shop smart as a home buyer. Enjoy!

4 Home Buying Tips for the Spring Market

Don’t just rely on the Internet for your home searches. While you can certainly find a treasure trove of information on the Internet, it’s not the only way to find your dream home. In addition to searching real estate websites, you might consider also getting out and canvassing homes for sale the old fashioned way. After all, Internet pictures and listing information only tell part of the story. For full context, you need to view the home in person. And don’t hesitate, either! This year’s spring home buying market is expected to be particularly competitive and so you want to make sure you get to that home before other buyers do.

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Report: US Home Prices On the Rise

Home Buying 5The National Association of Realtors recently announced the latest US real estate figures and the numbers are encouraging for anyone considering selling their home.

Evidently, home price growth accelerated in much of the country during the fourth quarter of 2014.

This is a fantastic development for anyone hoping to get a good price on their home for sale. Continue reading to learn more.

What You Should Know About US Home Sales

Here is an overview of the highlights of the most recent real estate market report:

  • The median price of an existing single-family home increased year-over-year in 86 percent of 175 metropolitan areas.
  • 24 areas had price gains of 10 percent or more.
  • That figure is up from 16 regions during the third quarter.
  • Meanwhile, prices declined in 24 areas.
  • Experts credit the home price acceleration at least in part to low mortgage rates and improving employment conditions.
  • Still, home price gains are reducing affordability in areas across the country, which had 25 percent growth on average over the last three years.
  • At the end of the fourth quarter, there were 1.85 million previously-owned homes listed for sale, down from 2.01 million a year earlier.
  • The number of markets that saw year-over-year price gains in the fourth quarter has increased.
  • The median price for an existing single-family home in the three months through December was $208,700, which is up 6 percent from the fourth quarter of 2013.

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New US Home Sales and New Housing Starts See Major Surge

ConstructionRegardless of whether you’re navigating the new home sales market or the new construction market, you’ve likely heard some great news over the last few weeks.

That’s because both sectors of the national housing market have made gains recently, according to media reports.

If you’re planning on entering the market anytime soon as a buyer or seller, we recommend you continue reading to learn more about the latest trends on the housing market.

A Closer Look at US Single-Family Housing Starts

According to a recent Reuters article, groundbreaking for U.S. single-family homes increased to its highest level in more than 6 years in December. Continue reading

Young Buyers Returning to the US Housing Market En Masse

Home Buying 6A key factor in the housing market recovery is returning to the national market en masse, much to the elation of housing market analysts.

According to a recent Bloomberg article, more and more first-time home buyers are entering the market because they feel more confident about the economic recovery.

Faster economic growth and a labor market that’s approaching “full employment” (according to the Federal Reserve) are aiding in that rise in confidence among first-time home buyers.

Even if you’re not a first-time home buyer, this news is sure to benefit anyone who is navigating the national housing market right now.

Fannie Mae Economist Makes Positive Predictions for 2015

Douglas Duncan, a chief economist at Fannie Mae in Washington, made the following predictions about the year ahead:

  • There will be a 6.3 percent increase in mortgage lending for purchases this year.
  • This increase follows a 9.6 percent decrease in 2014.
  • Increasing confidence in the job market is the strongest indication that home sales will improve.

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Report: US Home Inventory Low, Making It a Great Time to Sell

Home RelocationHappy New Year! We hope you and your loved ones enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s Eve and that you’re as excited and hopeful about 2015 as we are!

And if you’re a prospective home seller, a recent report from the National Association of Realtors suggests that there’s a good chance you can get a great price on your home right now.

According to the recent report, US home sales recently hit a six month low, with inventory at a low point too.

While this may seem discouraging at first blush, this actually suggests that those homes that are being sold on the market are being met with increased demand. After all, home buyers have a smaller selection of available homes to choose from than in recent months.

The key to sealing the deal on your home for sale and getting a great price is expert marketing.

A Closer Look at This Recent Real Estate Report

Here are some of the highlights from the recent National Association of Realtors report:

  • Existing home sales decreased 6.1 percent to an annual rate of 4.93 million units.
  • That figure is the lowest it’s been since May.
  • Meanwhile, home inventories reached an eight month low.
  • Home sales were up 2.1 percent from a year ago during the month of December.
  • Meanwhile, the U.S. housing index was down 0.2 percent as shares in the largest home builder (D.R. Horton) decreased 0.4 percent. Lennar Corp fell 0.43 percent and Pulte Group decreased 0.19 percent.
  • Also, the inventory of unsold homes decreased 6.7 percent from a year ago, to 2.09 million.
  • At November’s sales pace, it would take 5.1 months to sell all homes currently on the market. A six month supply is usually considered a healthy balance between supply and demand.
  • The decreased supply of homes means that the median home price increased 5 percent from a year ago.

Experts say that fickle wage growth as well as higher home prices have kept a lot of first-time home buyers out of the market.

Still, experts also say that with job gains and wage growth expected in early 2015, more and more first-time home buyers are likely to enter the market in the coming months.

In fact, during the month of November, first-time home buyers accounted for 31 percent of all transactions, which is the biggest share they’ve occupied since October 2012.

For comparison purposes, first-time home buyers comprised 29 percent of all transactions in October.

Expert Real Estate Marketing is Key to Selling Your Home

As you can see, there is plenty of opportunity to get a good price on your home, you just have to make sure your home stands out to prospective and qualified home buyers.

That’s where working with an experienced real estate agent can help. A professional will be able to create a custom-made marketing plan for your home that will maximize its exposure to the right buyers. This will ultimately lead to you getting your home sold in a relatively short amount of time and for a great price! To find out what your home is worth in today’s local market, contact us at 734-761-3060 or info@bouma.com for a free market analysis.

Check back here soon for more expert insight on the national housing market and how it may impact you as a seller.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015 for you and your family!