Housing Starts Lower While Permits Slightly Increase

Published on August 17, 2011 by

Housing Starts 2009-2011

The housing market is definitely in the dumps. Every part of the market is down, disappointed and not expecting any changes soon, meaning within the next couple of years. The only part of the industry that is improving is the financing side. With interest rates hitting all-time lows the applications for refinancing has picked up significantly.

The latest report which may altogether be completely worthless is the Housing Starts.  The results showcased an improvement of 4.9% with a margin of error at 8.9% so we won’t really know what is happening until several months down the road when they revise the data.

Perhaps the best way for you to know what is happening in your area is to simply observe as you go about your day. For example in my area I’m very surprised if I see a new construction project and it’s been many months since I’ve noticed any single family structures.

The reports are also saying that building permits were slightly higher and this is what was reported:

  • Northeast : +2.9 percent from June
  • Midwest : +0.0 percent from June
  • South : -1.4 percent from June
  • West : +4.9 percent from June

Permits are issued and usually have a good indication as to what the new home market may look like since majority of them will actually break ground and start building within a short time period. Bottomline is simply that the housing market stinks unless you are fortunate enough to qualify for a refinance during this difficult time or you work in the finance sector.

Housing Starts Ramp Up For Fall Season

Published on July 20, 2011 by


Single-family housing starts

First builder confidence was up and now they are backing it up with an increase in housing starts. The builders must be planning on a upcoming holiday sale or figured out how to build homes much cheaper. The report shows that Housing Starts increased to 453,000 which is a 9 percent spike and the busiest they have been in over 3 seasons.

For some reason the home builders are anticipating quite a few more sales even though the inventory available continues to increase with additional foreclosures. In addition to more inventory the foreclosures are dragging down the values of homes as well.

For those that are looking to purchase a home at this time with the great value and interest rates you should first get your finances in order and contact a loan officer so you may act quickly and effectively.

Looking at Mortgage Rates This Week : July 18, 2011

Published on July 18, 2011 by

Greece roiling mortgage markets

The mortgage markets are very sensitive currently with the growing concerns of Greece and the concerns of how to deal with their default as opposed to whether or not they will default on their debts. Growing concerns with other countries including Italy and the debt ceiling in the U.S. have continued to push interest rates lower.

The primary concerns that came up last week included the growing concerns of debt crisis into other countries beyond Greece. Some of the countries that were mentioned for concern include:

  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Ireland
  • Spain

The debts with those countries were down graded and the concerns continue for all of those countries.

The debt ceiling for the U.S. is coming closer and closer to the deadline of August 2 and this topic should impact the interest rates greatly and make them quite volatile. This week we will also get data specific to the housing industry including the Existing Home Sales report, Housing Starts, Builder Confidence and Jobless Claims.

If you have any questions about your opportunities to refinance or purchase a home during this time simply contact a loan officer where it will take just a few minutes and there is no cost or obligation. The home affordability continues to climb higher and higher even though we’ve been at a previous all-time high.

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Looking at Mortgage Rates This Week : July 11, 2011

Published on July 11, 2011 by

Net New Jobs 2009-2011

Mortgage interest rates improved for consumers this past week. The biggest impact was made by two primary concerns that were and are going to continue going forward. Greece is a big concern especially when you consider it could spread to other countries. Jobs were no where to be seen which was surprising since the analyst actually increased their estimate.In both instances, rate shoppers won. Conforming mortgage rates improved for the first time in 3 weeks last week.Talk like this triggers a flight-to-quality, and last week, it led mortgage rates lower.

Experts were initially expecting 80,000 new jobs and then the experts for some reason thought that was too low and increased it to 120,000. So, when the report came out with only 14,000 jobs the market tanked!

This week you can expect the following events to impact interest rates

  • Tuesday : FOMC Minutes
  • Wednesday : 10-Year Treasury Auction
  • Thursday : PPI; 30-Year Treasury Auction; Jobless Claims
  • Friday : CPI; Consumer Sentiment

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Interest rates continue to be incredibly low. If you are looking to take advantage with a new home then first contact your loan officer. If you still have not refinanced then take advantage of that now. You never know how long interest rates will stay low and they move very quickly when they are on the rise.


Before You Buy Know Your New Neighborhood

Published on July 6, 2011 by

When one looks to purchase a home, we are very good at doing our homework to make sure we get what we are looking for and the best value. We consider many things including the size and the upgrades and all sorts of other details and statistics. Most never consider how the home feels. It's often a very emotional decision as we validate reasons why one property is better than another. Remember once you find the home you prefer you will want to be able to move quickly and efficiently through the financing. Always remember the first step to purchasing is to get your finances in order, visit with a loan officer and have a pre-approval completed and ready.

Well, NBC's The Today Show has a quick video where you will learn more home-shopping techniques to consider when looking to purchase a home. The unique thing about the techniques is that they are focused on details that you don't see in listings or websites.
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One of the techniques that is revealed is when you go to take a second look at a home that you may be interested in. Don't go during the same time period as the first time you visited the home. If you went during the daytime perhaps you go back in the evening. Maybe if you saw the home initially during a weekday then consider going on a weekend for a 2nd visit to compare and contrast what may be happening around the home. When you see a home at two different time periods you will get a more complete impression of the home and the neighborhood.

A few more of the the tips from the video include:

  1. Visit during the busiest time of the day or week to get an idea of the sound levels experienced
  2. Go to Google Maps and see what else is around the property
  3. Take some time to visit with a neighbor or two about the area

When you decided to purchase a home you are also making an investment into the neighborhood. Don't only look at the property for sale, rather evaluate the neighborhood too and get a more complete idea about the home you plan to purchase. If you have any questions about your finances then check with a loan officer. With home affordability at an all-time high you will benefit greatly by having your finances in order prior to looking at homes.


Pending Home Sales Shockingly Increased

Published on June 30, 2011 by

Pending Home SalesNobody was expecting too much activity or increase in Pending Home Sales. Wall Street was only expecting an increase of half of a percent. So, when the report came out showing an 8% increase a lot of people were surprised.

How accurate the data is could be suspect due to the data not coming from an independent party or government agency. The Realtors Association puts out the stats and have a lot to gain by showing a healthy market to give their business a boost during what is typically the busiest time of the year.

Assuming that the data is correct it still represents a very slow market for purchasing homes. While there may be an increase the actual number of sales is still very poor.

The Pending Home Sales is a nice indicator of what to expect for sales going forward in the next two months. Unlike other reports that look backwards a month or two this report is a peek into the future. Typically 80% of the homes under contract will close within the next 3 months.

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The activity and response based on this report will still be trumped by what is actually happening in your specific neighborhood. If you are considering purchasing a home this season then contact a loan officer right away and get your finances in order so you may move quickly and efficiently with your time and money.

Remember that while the purchase activity may be slow we are currently at an all-time high for home affordability. There will be many people looking back to this time wondering why they didn't purchase a home during this time. The bargains in prices are significant and the interest rates remain low. Often times purchasing will cost you less money then it will to rent and rental prices are expected to continue to rise in the near future.


Are Home Values Rising In Your Neighborhood

Published on June 29, 2011 by

FHFA Home Price Index (From Peak To Present)

If you want to find something positive in the housing market and economic news in general then listen up. The latest report for home values is showing positive gains in comparison to last year. This is the first time in over a year that there has been a positive result on home values.

The reality is that home values are still down about 20 percent since they peaked about four years ago. The news is not necessarily coming from a very precise or exact source in that they are only comparing 20 metro areas across the country which is extremely limited and in most cases completely irrelevant to your neighborhood. If you are seeing signs of improvement in your area then congratulations. Remember that regardless of the statistics the home affordability is at an all-time high with low rates and prices. If you are considering purchasing a home in the near future simply contact a loan officer to complete the first step of the buying process.

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It is still very much a buyers market, so if timing is right for you then you should come away with a historical bargain! When you contact a loan officer you will get a up to date look at what is reasonable. There are so many changes happening within the industry and you will want to make sure your finances are in order before you start looking for your home.


Home Builder Confidence Slip Sliding Away

Published on June 21, 2011 by

Homebuilder confidence slips in June 2011

Just when you thought that the home builders confidence would increase it shocks us all and continues to go lower. Previously there were reports about new home sales increasing and building permits increasing and with those two things you would think the home builder confidence would have followed suit.

In addition to the lower confidence it was also the biggest one-month move since May of 2010 when the federal home buyer tax credits expired. With this in mind any one that is looking to capitalize on the opportunity for a new home may be in a much more superior position. Contact a loan officer and get your finances in order first, this should always be your first step when you consider purchasing a home.

Remember the Housing Market Index is compiled with three different and separate surveys to give us the best idea of the home builder’s businesses. The questions for the home builders are listed below:

How are market conditions for the sale of new homes today?
How are market conditions for the sale of new homes in 6 months?
How is prospective buyer foot traffic?
  1. How are market conditions for the sale of new homes today?
  2. How are market conditions for the sale of new homes in 6 months?
  3. How is prospective buyer foot traffic?

The report is scored based on responses and comes in the form of 1-100. Anytime the report is under 50 it is considered unfavorable conditions for the builder. The readings have been well below 50 for quite some time and the last time it was in favor of builders was more then five years ago.

Home affordability continues to improve as we see the prices and interest rates continue to drop. It was always more difficult to have it apply directly to the new homes but with the builder confidence down so low it may create the best opportunity ever to purchase a new home as well.

Foreclosures continue to slow down

Published on June 16, 2011 by

Foreclosures per Capita May 2011

Mortgage Interest Rates Climb Due To Retail Sales

Published on June 15, 2011 by

Retail Sales history

The economy is in a slump and the housing market is the worst it’s been in years. Somehow the Retail Sales report came out continuing to show consumers are spending more money.

The Census Bureau is reporting that for the 11th straight month in May Retail Sales have continued to improve. The report is trying to represent that consumer spending is at an all-time high and that the economy and the U.S. is showing off how resilient it is.

I’m not sure who is believing this report as we all continue to look around in our own network of people and see whether or not we are all spending money freely. For some reason Wall Street is taking this information and raising interest rates since Retail Sales was more positive then expected.

Often times the mortgage interest rates will be very similar to the Retail Sales as one shows improvements the other follows. It makes one wonder how accurate the Retail Sales report is.

While mortgage interest rates rose sharply towards the end of day yesterday it may very well simply be a temporary bump which often happens so that there is more room and time for interest rates to go lower slowly. With home affordability at an all-time high the slight rise in interest rates likely made very little impact on any current buyers in the process of getting a mortgage.

If you have any questions about interest rates or the options you may have available to you simply contact a loan officer for a free consultation. If you have not refinanced your mortgage recently the timing is perfect especially for those with VA Home Loans. If you have a VA Loan and have been unable to refinance due to your property value dropping simply contact the Best VA Loan Specialist’s in the country who will be able to assist you with that even if you are underwater with your property.