REAL ESTATE INSIDER

HOUSING NEWS

As reported in our “Mortgage Watch” section below, average mortgage rates are at a three-year low. This means buyers can afford to purchase a more expensive home–without increasing their monthly mortgage payment!
Black Knight, a research firm specializing in the real estate and mortgage industries, reports that homebuyers have seen “a 16% increase in buying power” in the past year.
They explain it this way: “prospective homebuyers can now purchase a home that is $48,000 more expensive than a year ago, while still paying the same in principal and interest.” That’s a nice hike in buying power!
 
MARKET VIEWS
According to the latest research, average U.S. rents continue to climb, while home price increases continue to slow. With today’s low mortgage rates, that’s a very good situation for first-time home buyers.
 
Home builders are cranking it up, as residential construction spending rose 1.4% nationally in December. Not surprisingly, the index that measures builder confidence hit a ten-year high!  
Homeowners with a mortgage saw their equity increase an average of $5,300 last year, a 5.1% gain–not a bad return on an investment you get to enjoy every day!
 
DID YOU KNOW?… In the last three months of 2019, the percentage of people who are homeowners rose to its highest level in six years, thanks to rising wages and falling rates. Great to see more folks living their dream!
 
MORTGAGE WATCH
The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit a three-year low in Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Remember, mortgage rates can be extremely volatile, so check with your mortgage professional for up-to-the-minute information.
 
BUYER TIP
Do you get impatient because real estate seems so old school? Just remember, you can’t put the product you’re buying into an online shopping cart. We use technology to streamline the process, but much still has to happen IRL–in real life!
 
SELLER TIP
It’s actually better to under price your home, than overprice it. An overpriced listing is easy for buyers to ignore. But an under priced home looks like a great value, gets more viewings, and could bring a higher price from competitive bidders.