Housing Still More Affordable Than Pre-Bubble Years

Home prices may have been on the rise the last few years, but homes are still more affordable now than they were in the pre-bubble years, according to the latest Mortgage Monitor Report released by Black Knight Financial Services.

Households are using 21 percent of the national median income to pay a mortgage on a median-priced home. In 2000-2002, the average payment-to-income ratio was 26 percent, and in 2006, it was 33 percent.

2497 Huntington Dr.However, Black Knight’s report warns that if home prices continue to increase – as they have year-over-year for 43 consecutive months – the affordability picture in home ownership could start to change in two years.

Black Knight factored in a continuing 5.5 percent annual home price appreciation as well as interest rate rises of 50 basis points a year. Under that scenario, “we see that in two years home affordability will be pushing the upper bounds of that pre-bubble average,” says Ben Graboske, senior vice president at Black Knight Data and Analytics. “At the state level under that same scenario, eight states would be less affordable than 2000-2002 levels within 12 months and 22 states would be within 24 months.”

Graboske notes that Hawaii and Washington, D.C., in particular, are already less affordable than they were during the pre-bubble era. On the other hand, he says, even after 24 months under this scenario, Michigan – and a few other states – would still be much more affordable by the end of 2017 than it was in the early 2000s.

Within 12 months, the average mortgage payment is expected to rise by $114, which would then require 24 percent of a household’s monthly income – still below the 2000-2002 levels, according to Black Knight. But by the end of 2017, monthly mortgage payments are expected to be $240 more than today, which would push the tally to 26.5 percent of a household’s income and the upper levels of the pre-bubble averages, the report notes.
References: Black Knight Financial Services, Daily Real Estate News, RealtorMag

Donald Horne, Team Success Listing
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Granite Counters, Stainless Steel Appliances or Pole Barns, What Home Feature Rules In Your State?

Diversity is one of the United States’ greatest assets—and that’s true even in home design! Especially in home design, in fact. From coast to coast, the way we like to live varies enormously. Sitting in a covered patio sipping cocktails after a refreshing dip in the pool, Texans may wonder what kind of house their Delaware compatriots live in. Are they chilling in their master rooms? Cowering in their storm shelters? Swinging on their gazebos?

Our data team took a deep dive into our 1.5 million active listings of single-family homes for sale and parsed out over 200 individual features from their listing descriptions. From there, we finalized the top five features and picked the one with real local flavor.

Let’s take a look at some features that leap out:

Kansas: Wet bar

Alcohol laws in Kansas are among the strictest in the U.S., which may explain why 7% of its homes currently on the market have a wet bar. Remarkably enough, the state banned the sale of liquor “by the drink”until 1987 (it’s still illegal in 10 counties), pretty much outlawing public bars—so it makes perfect sense to have one at home. Invite your friends! And you can be sure that everybody will know your name.

Oklahoma: Storm shelter

With an average of 55 tornadoes tearing through Oklahoma every year, storm shelters are an important feature. Our data show that 6% of homes in Oklahoma are marketed as having one. Why not more? Well, the cost of adding a storm shelter to an existing home starts at $2,500 and can exceed $20,000—which is not so financially appealing, considering that the median home price statewide is only $168,000.

Michigan: Pole barn

Pole barns are, well, barns that use large poles to provide vertical structural support. Pioneered in the 1930s, pole barns are still common in rural areas because they’re quick and cheap to build. You can find them in 5% of Michigan listings.

Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama: Traditional design

A love of history and tradition runs strong in the South. In Mississippi and Georgia, a typical home features elegant formal dining spaces with grand oak tables, antique chairs, and French linens. In Alabama, crown molding gives a luxurious and gracious feel to ordinary living spaces.

Montana and Utah: Vaulted ceiling

Inspired by ancient cathedrals and basilicas, vaulted ceilings have been trending in residential homes for quite some time, especially in Utah (10% of listings), Montana (7%), and other Western states. Vaulted ceilings are a dramatic feature, creating space and allowing tons of natural light to come in. On the downside, keep an eye on your energy bills: Heat rises, and the winters are long.

In the wilds of Alaska, a wood stove offers an off-the-grid option to beat the cold (5%). In urban Delaware, on the other hand, gas fireplaces (9%) warm people’s toes and hearts—no muss, no fuss. And Vermonters choose stone fireplaces (6%) to warm up rustic homes.
references: Yuqing Pan, Housing Trends eNewsletter, Realtor.com

Mortgage Rates Sink to New Low of…

Found this story on mortgage rates in RealtorMag, talks about rates being pushed lower for the 5th week in a row…

Fixed-rate mortgages pushed lower for the fifth-consecutive week, with low mortgage rates further driving the housing recovery over the near term.

15 year ratesThis week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered near its all-time record low, while 15-year rates set a new record.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending May 2, 2013:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.7 point, just shy of its 3.31 percent record set during the week of Nov. 21, 2012. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.84 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: sank to an all-time record low of 2.56 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s previous record of 2.61 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.07 percent.
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.56 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.85 percent.
  • 1-year ARMs: averaged 2.56 percent, with an average 0.3 point, dropping from last week’s 2.62 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.70 percent.

referances: realtor magazine, daily real estate news, freddie mac

Lake Orion Waterfront in Lake Orion Michigan

Lake Orion waterfront in Lake Orion Michigan
Oakland County, 48359

Judah Lake in Lake Orion! Waterfront home with 2,016 sq.ft, 3 bedrooms and 2 full baths. Was rental property, updating started but needs to be finished, this would be great for the handy man type. 2 car garage, large lot (100 x 691), wood floors, decks, basement and appliances. Contact listing agent for more information.

Donald Horne, Realtor, Team Success
Coldwell Banker Shooltz Realty
248-969-8065 or 810-338-0628

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More MI Cities Join “Improving” Market List

Article from RealtorMag about improving housing market list…

The National Association of Home Builders’ list of improving housing markets nearly doubled this month, as more cities showed signs of a rebound with their real estate markets.

The list now contains 76 improving markets, up from 41 in December, according to NAHB’s and First American’s Improving Markets Index, a monthly gauge that measures a city’s improvements in housing permits, employment, and housing prices for at least six months. 

“The fact that the list of improving housing markets nearly doubled this month shows that a significant, positive trend is developing, and is even more relevant when you consider the expanding geographic distribution of the list — which now includes 31 states and the District of Columbia,” NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen said in a statement. 

These cities were added to the list in January: 

  • Florence, Ala.
  • Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Denver, Col.
  • Greeley, Col.
  • Bridgeport, Conn.
  • New Haven, Conn.
  • Cape Coral, Fla.
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Punta Gorda, Fla.
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Ames, Iowa
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dubuque, Iowa
  • Elkhart, Ind.
  • Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Lafayette, Ind.
  • Lake Charles, La.
  • Worcester, Mass.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Lansing, Mich.
  • Monroe, Mich.
  • Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Columbia, Mo.
  • Joplin, Mo.
  • Fargo, N.D.
  • Manchester, N.H.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Tulsa, Okla.
  • Corvallis, Ore.
  • Erie, Pa.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Clarksville, Tenn.
  • Nashville, Tenn.
  • College Station, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Victoria, Texas
  • Madison, Wisc.

View a complete list of all 76 metro areas on the Improving Markets Index list at www.nahb.org/imi

Source: National Association of Home Builders
references: daily real estate news, realtormag