Existing-home sales increased in August, even with ongoing tight credit and appraisal problems, along with regional disruptions created by Hurricane Irene, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Monthly gains were seen in all regions.
What sells a home? Is it the price, location, or condition? The truth is that it takes a combination of all of these factors to make a sale in today's market. Unlike boom era transactions, the seller is now in the passenger seat. Buyers today have a great advantage. A glut of homes in many markets means that supply far outweighs demand. Buyers are able to be choosy and to negotiate sweet deals.
There's good reason that over half of all Americans are homeowners. Social and financial benefits are key factors when it comes to deciding to buy. Homeownership allows people to grow wealth slowly over time, to hold assets that build equity, and to bring stability into chaotic lives.
The Obama administration is expected to announce a new mortgage relief program next week to help struggling home owners stay in their home and reduce the number of foreclosures, Reuters reports.
While the exact details of the proposal are still unknown, analysts are speculating that President Barack Obama is likely to announce a plan that would help more borrowers to refinance loans, allowing them to lower their monthly payments and ward off possible foreclosure.
To help develop policies that will stabilize the nation's housing market and support an economic recovery, the National Association of Realtors® urges the White House to host a summit of policy makers, industry leaders and government stake holders focused on revitalizing the nation's housing.
Housing affordability continued to be near record highs in the second quarter, hovering near its highest level in the 20-plus years it has been recorded, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index.
About 72 percent of all new and existing-homes sold in the second quarter of the year were affordable to families earning the national median income of $64,200, according to the index. The record high remains 74.6 percent, which was reached last quarter.
In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending August 18, 2011, Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) for the Northeast fell to 4.15 percent with an average 0.6 point, dropping from 4.33 percent the week prior.
The 15-year FRM for the Northeast also fell, dropping from 3.5 percent to 3.38 percent with an average 0.6 point.
Nationally, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.15 percent, down from 4.32 percent the previous week, while the 15-year FRM fell from 3.5 percent to 3.36 percent.
In its mid-year 2011 metropolitan foreclosure market report, RealtyTrac, Inc. reported that all eight of New York's metropolitan areas with populations of 200,000 or more posted decreased foreclosure filings from the previous six months as well as the first six months of 2010. Additionally, the Utica-Rome, NY metropolitan area, with one in every 9,757 homes receiving a foreclosure in the first half of 2011, had the lowest foreclosure activity of all U.S. metropolitan areas. Of these 211 metropolitan areas in the country, Utica-Rome came in at number 211.
Any changes to the mortgage interest deduction now or in the future could threaten recent progress toward stabilizing the housing market, critically erode home prices and values, destroy middle-class wealth accumulation and hurt economic growth.
A new program is offering financial assistance to first-time homebuyers who are veterans or active-duty military members. The Pentagon Federal Credit Union Foundation, a nonprofit national organization, is offering the assistance through its Dream Makers program.