New Home Sales Continue to Slide

Published on September 28, 2011 by

New Home Sales August 2010 - August 2011

The number of new homes continues to slide in sales. The sales continue to slow and there were under 300 thousand new homes sold. The housing market is in trouble and will likely continue to be for the near term as well.

The new home sales are falling and the inventory is not being replaced. Builders are not building much during this time when so many homes are distressed and providing huge savings to the buyers and making up almost one third of the housing sales.

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The current inventory will take a bit more then 6 months to sell out with the current demand and sales. That is a very short amount of inventory but with the distressed homes providing such discounts it makes it very difficult for builders to want to take the risks right now.

If you are looking to take advantage of the buyers market know that interest rates are providing an improvement in your purchase power. If you have any questions call toll free for your free consultation (866) 825-6261.

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Building Permits Extremely Weak, Continue to Fall

Published on September 23, 2011 by

Housing Starts 2009-2011

Home builders and housing permits are not looking very encouraging. Latest reports show that home builders are not very positive on the outlook for the housing economy now or in the near future.

It should come as no surprise that the lack of confidence by the home builders has resulted in less and less housing permits being requested and granted. Home sales have slowed down so much currently and there is very little incentive for builders to be taking risks with the current housing crisis.

With the foreclosures and the deep discounts on distressed properties there are very few that are willing to compete with a new home. Until we see an improvement in the housing market and clear recovery you likely won't see new homes springing up.

Now if you are custom building and hiring out a builder then you are likely going to get a great deal and the builders don't take as many risks with a custom build job. Don't count on seeing too many new homes that are built on speculation in hopes that the perfect buyer will come by and purchase the home that is available.

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If you have any questions about the current status of the housing market and how you may be able to benefit from the buyers market then simply call toll free (866) 825-6261. There is a great opportunity for purchasing and refinancing with the record breaking low interest rates of today.

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New Home Supply Remains Consistently Low

Published on August 24, 2011 by

New Home Supply 2008-2011

New home sales are lower in July then they were in June. This report is the lowest since February earlier this year. The supply has remained flat as builders are hesitant to build too much during a very poor economic time and especially as distressed homes continue to be a big part of the purchases and offering such deep discounts.

New home sales varied around the country as well. The Northeast Region showed a strong increase in the number of sales and without that the numbers would have been much worse. Below you can see how New Home Sales changed since last month by region:

  • Northeast Region : +100.0% from June 2011
  • Midwest Region : +2.4% from June 2011
  • South Region : -7.4% from June 2011
  • West Region : -5.9% from June 2011

Now we must also keep in mind that the data is not the most accurate. Why it’s not accurate when it’s old information is the frustrating part. The margin of error for this report is ±12.9%. With mortgage interest rates at record breaking lows there is a great opportunity to purchase a new or existing home. If you are already a homeowner then simply take advantage of the low rates and refinance your mortgage today.

VA home loans don’t require many of the typical requirements for lowering your interest rate. If you have a VA Home Loan and you have not streamlined your loan in the last month or two then contact a VA Loan Specialist now by calling toll free (866) 825-6261 for a free no obligation consultation.

Low Mortgage Rates May Increase Due To Retail Sales

Published on May 13, 2011 by

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Retail Sales May 2009-April 2011

The retails sales numbers released are another report supporting the idea that the U.S. economy is recovering. Yesterday the Census Bureau showed that retail receipts rose for the 10th straight month and, at $321 billion, reached an all-time high.

The reason why this report is so important is that retail sales make up about a third of the economy as a whole. If the economy is healthy or begins to recover you will also see the mortgage interest rates begin to rise again.

If consumer spending is healthy you will also see employment rise to keep up with the demand of the consumers. It might be a scary concern to know that unemployment is higher then expected and quite high in general and job growth is slow yet we are at an all time high for retail sales.

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If the interest rates start to rise it will make a significant impact on home affordability which is extremely good currently. Higher interest rates may also be combined with higher home prices which will make it much more difficult for first time homeowners or those that are recovering from unemployment.

If interest rates begin to rise keep in mind that for every $100,000 borrowed you will pay an additional $64 per month more in your mortgage payment. It's a difficult balance and a lot of information to keep track of. If you have any questions or concerns about your specific scenario know that a consultation with a loan officer is free.

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Nationwide Building Permits On The Rise

Published on April 20, 2011 by

Housing Starts (Apr 2009 - Mar 2011)

The latest report from the Census Bureau shows that single-family Housing Starts are on the rise nationwide, increasing 8 percent over February's 2-year low.

While this all sounds good and promising keep in mind that this is the second straight month where the margin of error is 15 percent which is actually more than the reported measurement.

This is all very humorous considering that written in the footnotes, there's no “statistical evidence to conclude that the actual change [in Housing Starts] is different from zero.”

So, in reality the report even though it's slow and already out dated it's really worthless since the margin of error is so wide. We won't know for several months down the road what the accurate figures are. This is coming in a day after home builders have reported that their sentiment is down nationwide.

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The real value of this information will come when more data is gathered and the report is revised. For instance this past February the housing starts were revised higher by 4.5%.

The latest Census Bureau's report included information that the Building Permits were up in March in comparison to February by 6% nationwide. Statistically once a building permit is issued it will start construction within 60 days.

Building Permits increased in all four regions this past month:

  • Northeast : +2.6 percent from February
  • Midwest : +10.0 percent from February
  • South : +5.3 percent from February
  • West : +5.3 percent from February

If you are looking for a new home the timing is great with house prices and interest rates low. If you have any questions your first step is to contact your loan officer.

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How Does Your Commute Compare?

Published on April 1, 2011 by

Average Commute Times In The US, By County

So your commute to work is not necessarily directly a financial or mortgage topic. But with inflation being felt by everyone and especially at the pump your commute becomes a consideration. The Census Bureau collects data and produces man charts that you can view at http://census.gov.

Please do not confuse the reports and information with the Census 2010 which is a separate survey conducted every ten years. This report is the first time ever the Census has shared information on commute times. It’s five years worth of data and based on 3 million households with details from social, economic and demographic data.

You may also see additional survey results on the following:

  • Median Household Income, Inflation-Adjusted To 2009 Dollars (Chart)
  • Median Housing Value Of Owner-Occupied Housing Units (Chart)
  • Percent Of Households That Are Married, With Children Under 18 (Chart)

This report is nice because it breaks down the numbers specific to counties and ideally this will be specific enough to be of value to compare your personal commute with average commute time by county. The chart is shown at top.

Regardless of how long your commute is I’m sure we’ve all seen the increase in fuel prices and had conversations about that within our networks. Even businesses especially in transportation whether its air, land or water are having to deal with increased fuel expenses.

Typically you will see gas prices surge in April and June and this is on top of the rise that we’ve recently experienced. The data shows that gasoline is higher by 54 cents per gallon. This jump in prices is definitely affecting each household’s budget.

Perhaps it is time to consider also moving closer to your job location. Maybe the housing market will make that possible at this time. Contact a loan officer today and discuss your options. Perhaps a refinance with great savings in interest payments will be the solution to the increased inflation.

New Record Low For New Home Sales

Published on March 24, 2011 by

New Home Sales (2010 - 2011)

Earlier this week we shared with you that the Existing Home Sales was down significantly and unexpectedly since the National Association of Realtors were expecting it to actually increase.

Now you have the report this week that New Home Sales are down to the lowest ever. New Home Sales plunged 17 percent and the supply increased by over 1.5 percent since January.

This report is the lowest for New Home Sales in recorded history! According to the Census Bureau this is also the third straight report that home values are struggling and the housing crisis will be very slow to recover.

Additionally the Federal Home Finance Agency has reported that home values have slipped 0.3 percent between December and January. Hopefully the media is picking up on the trend and not buying and promoting a healthy recovery.

  • No Spring In Housing’s Step (WSJ)
  • Is Housing Really In Recovery (CNBC)
  • Experts See Weak Recovery (UPI)

The reports coming out this week may not necessarily be significant at all. The margin of error is +19 which really makes the report worthless. The simply test for individuals and to get the most relevant information is to simply look around your neighborhood and city and see what’s happening. Also you may choose to visit with a local realtor or contact a loan officer and get the information regarding the current mortgage market.

As lame as the reports are one can only imagine how bad they have been in the past. The good thing is that they are consistent……ly bad. So to gather value from the historical trends is still valid since it’s like weighing in on a broken scale but always using the same scale.

Your best bet if you’re planning to make a move on a house or a mortgage this year is to simply contact a loan officer for a free consult. There are so many changes actively taking place that it would save you a bunch of time and frustration to simply get a free consult.

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Building Permits Surge In December; Signals A Strong Spring Housing Market

Published on January 20, 2011 by

Housing Starts 2007-2010

Each month, in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Census Bureau releases its New Residential Construction report. The report is comprised of several sections, one of which counts the number of homes that have “broken ground” nationwide.

They’re called “Housing Starts” and, by most measures, they faded quickly as 2010 came to a close.

According to the Census Bureau’s report, Housing Starts of single-family homes fell to 417,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted, annual basis. The figure marks a 9 percent drop-off from November, and is the lowest reading since May 2009.

Not surprisingly, the press went bearish on housing post-release:

  • U.S. Home Building Stuck Near 50-Year Lows (AFP)
  • Housing Starts Slowed Sharply In December (New York Times)
  • Housing Starts Fall In December To One-Year Low (Bloomberg)

Despite being truthful, these headlines are somewhat misleading. They each ignore a key element of December’s New Residential Construction report — Building Permits. Building Permits rose 6 percent to an 8-month high last month.

A building permit is a local-government certification that authorizes home construction.

Permits are a precursor to Housing Starts with 82% of homes starting construction within 60 days of permit-issuance. More permits in December, therefore, should lead to more Housing Starts in January and February.

It’s unclear whether permits were up because the economy was improving, or because builders raced to beat new building code for 2011. Regardless, expect additional “new home” supplies this spring which would ordinarily help home prices drop if not for the normal surge in spring buyers to gobble those new homes up.

Look for home prices to stay flat, but with rising mortgage rates contributing to higher costs of homeownership overall.