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Author Archives: Steve Cook

Apartment Demand Surged in Second Quarter

  Demand for apartments surged during the second quarter, gaining momentum after a sluggish performance in the first three months of the year and outstripping new units completed during the quarter. The occupied apartment count across the nation’s 100 largest metros increased by 127,402 units in the secone quarter, topping 2015’s second quarter demand volume by 23 percent. Demand surpassed … Read More »

Consumers Underestimate Cost of Low Credit Scores

A new national survey sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America found that consumers greatly underestimate the cost of low credit scores and a significant minority do not know that credit scores are used by non-creditors. Only about half (53%) know that electric utilities may use credit scores (for example, in determining the initial required deposit), while only about two-thirds … Read More »

New Study: Abolishing The Mortgage Interest Deduction Would Lower House Prices by Nearly 20 Percent

Abolishing the mortgage interest deduction would decrease the amount that homeowners would be able to pay for their homes by 17.65% and lower house prices by 19.94%, according to a new study recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Housing Economics. The study by three Belgian economists found that the MID is one of the several reasons why income … Read More »

Soaring Entry-tier Values and Weak Credit are Closing the Doors to Homeownership

Shortages, soaring prices, and credit histories significantly weaker than past generations are closing the door to Millennials’ dreams of homeownership.  The latest market data and analysis paint a bleak picture of the hurdles facing young buyers today. At 8 percent a year, entry-level home values rose at double the rate of top-tier homes over the past year, reaching $104,600 in … Read More »

Rental Cost Crisis Worsens as Ownership Improves

The percentage of renters paying more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs is increasing while cost-burned homeowners are decreasing, according to the 2014 State of the Nation’s Housing report released yesterday by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. On the owner side, the number of households facing cost burdens has fallen steadily as high foreclosure rates … Read More »

All You Need to Know to Master Market Literacy

  Perhaps the most valuable lesson that real estate consumers learned from the housing crash was that home values can fall as well as rise.  More than seven million families lost their homes to foreclosures and short sales; a brutal wake-up calls that though homeownership is safer than most investments it still involves risk.  Today’s buyers are very aware that … Read More »

Five Good Reasons to be Cool Over Higher Interest Rates

One of strongest drivers of demand in today’s housing markets is buyers’ fear that interest rates will rise, and they will never again see rates as low as they are today.  That’s one reason the first-time buyer volume of government-guaranteed mortgages, low down payment loans like FHA and Freddie Mac’s Home Possible Advantage program surged 18 percent in April.[1] Buyers … Read More »

Few New Home Sales Target Lower Price Tiers

Sales of new homes surged in April, jumping 16.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 619,000 units, the highest level since January 2008. The percent increase was the largest since January 1992, according to the latest data from the Department of Commerce. Sales were 16.6 percent (±15.4%) above the revised March rate of 531,000 and is 23.8 … Read More »

First-timers show signs of life

Since unexpectedly shrinking from a 40 percent to 30-percent share of home sales three years ago, the lowest level since 1987, first-time buyers have baffled the experts and raised questions about why Millennials are becoming homeowners at a slower rate than previous generations. This spring, as the clock ticks down on record low-interest rates and incomes slowly improve, first-timers are … Read More »

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