Continued Growth Predicted for U.S. Housing Market

Continued Growth Predicted for U.S. Housing Market photo

As the summer winds down, typically, so does the housing market. But the first readings from August, which came in this week, point to continued growth in housing demand as the year progresses.

On the manufacturing front, Markit’s U.S. manufacturing index grew in August to 57.9 based on strength in new orders in exports and in higher levels of production and employment.

In a similar vein, the closely watched ISM manufacturing composite index increased to 59.0 from 57.1 in July. These two readings show that the manufacturing sector is indeed recovering, and that should bring employment and wage gains down the road.

The rest of the economy is also showing continued improvement, as reflected in the ISM’s non-manufacturing index. That composite rose 0.9 points to 59.6, from 58.7 in July.

Those measures of manufacturing and services led to high expectations on employment metrics for August. But the employment readings were not quite as strong as economists had expected. The initial nonfarm growth in jobs came in at only 142,000, after a 212,000 increase in July and a 267,000 jump in June.

The August reading broke a streak of six months with 200,000+ new jobs, but the long-term trend remains strong, and the growth in employment continues to be in sectors with higher average wages. In addition, average hourly earnings rose 0.2%, as expected.

Finally, mortgage rates remained largely unchanged, at levels lower than one year ago. For those who can qualify, rates continue to be at once-in-a-lifetime levels.

Next week will bring more employment data for August and an initial read on September consumer sentiment.

Jonathan Smoke is realtor.com®’s chief economist.

Lock in or Float?

What should a borrower do?

John Stearns, a senior mortgage banker with American Fidelity Mortgage near Milwaukee, expects rates to stay low through the fall and winter as a way for lenders to entice people to buy during the traditionally slow time of year. Already, demand is falling off.

The volume of loan applications dropped by 7.2 percent this week from the prior week, to the lowest level in almost 14 years, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Stearns’ advice is to lock any mortgage rate if you plan on closing in a week or two. “Anything longer than that, float,” he says. “I don’t see rates going up anytime soon.”

Pava Leyrer, manager of training and implementation for Northern Mortgage Services in Grandville, Michigan, and Norris both recommend a rate lock to keep the guessing and stress out of an already stressful situation, especially for those borrowers who have a payment that is at the upper end of their budget. One small move could mean a larger monthly payment or could require more cash at the table to close.

“If the market takes a dramatic change lower, most lenders will work with you if you’re in a lock,” says Leyrer. “You’re hedged each way. So move on and get your loan done.”

Hubdin App

Hubdin App is changing the way we search for homes

  on Tuesday, 02 September 2014      

Finding your next home is never an easy process. The real estate searching tools out there effectively provide users with the means to do just that, search. However, we believe that there is much left out in the experience of home-buying/renting.  Hubdin is introducing a better way to find a home, by making the experience a social one. This free app allows users to search for their next home utilizing social media metrics to match them with the perfect “Hub.”

The Hubdin App let’s you:

  • Home Search – View properties using search filters including price, bedrooms, bath, for sale/rent, etc.
  • HubGrade – Hubdin gives each home seeker a unique neighborhood or city score based on their lifestyle and social activity.
  • Connections – Users can see where in the area their friends have been and ask them about the local scene directly from the app.
  • Neighborhood Discovery – Hubdin shows important neighborhood information, like local job openings, nearby restaurants and average property values.
  • Accurate Listings – All homes listed on Hubdin come from MLS services and are refreshed multiple times a day, meaning they are 100 accurate.
  • Commute Times – Users can calculate what their commute time would be like from a potential new home to important places like work or school.
  • Tagging – Sharing homes becomes simple. Users can tag friends, family and roommates directly in a listing.
  • RelocateMe – Enter what’s important to you in a city and Hubdin will match you with the top 10 cities that are a match for you.

Avoiding A Low Appraisal On Your Home

Written by Sheila Newton

on Monday, 01 September 2014

There are things owners can do to avoid having their home appraised at a lower value than the selling price.  Owners should take the time to understand the things they can do to influence the appraisal and decrease the odds of a lower appraisal than selling price. Here are a few ways that home owners can help their appraisal instead of hurting it.
• Leave the home tidy. Having an unkept exterior or interior can cause an appraiser to decrease the value on the appraisal. Sellers should remember that  curb appeal is also important for an appraisal ( not just for the buyers).

 

• Complete all remodeling projects.  If there are any projects started, they must get done before the appraisal. If there is no way for that to happen, make sure to let the appraiser know what is being done and when it will be completed. Otherwise, the project will hurt the appraisal instead of helping it.

 

• List improvements or upgrades made to the home. Make a list of all upgrades and home improvements made to the home and make sure the appraiser has a copy of it. Some items, like a new roof, may not necessarily help raise the appraised value, it does help the appraiser to know how new an item is… also, other items might actually increase the value so it never hurts to include them.