The Mortgage Rates Keep Steady

What are the interest rates right now? Check Zillow Mortgages for mortgage rate trends and up-to-the-minute mortgage rates for your state.Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages remained fairly stable this week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgages at 4.06 percent, down from 4.08 percent at this same time last week.Additionally, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate this morning was 3.12 percent, and for 5/1 ARMs, the rate was 2.79 percent.

Purchase Mortgage Application ActivityZillow predicts tomorrow’s seasonally adjusted Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Application Index will show purchase loan activity to increase by 2 percent from the week prior. To learn more about this Zillow analysis, click here.

“Mortgage rates dropped mid-week to their lowest level in two months on weak U.S. economic data and geopolitical concerns over the escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia,” said Erin Lantz, vice president of mortgages at Zillow. “This week, we expect rates to inch back up unless international turmoil continues to lead the news.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered around 4.08 percent for the majority of the week, falling to 3.97 percent on Friday before returning to the current rate.

  08-24-2014 | View(418)
Rental still remains expensive

Zillow’s July Real Estate Market Reports examined both mortgage affordability and rental affordability nationwide and in dozens of large markets. U.S. home buyers should currently expect to pay 15.3 percent of their incomes to a mortgage on the typical home, far less than the 22.1 percent share homeowners devoted to mortgages in the pre-bubble years between 1985 and 1999.The disparities between homeowners and renters are magnified among the millennial generation. Because a much larger proportion of millennials rent compared to other generations such as Generation X and baby boomers, the problem of saving up for a down payment and other costs associated with homeownership is much greater among younger potential home buyers.Buying a home remains a real bargain compared to renting in most areas nationwide, as the share of income typically needed to afford the average home is much lower today than it was in the past. But while buying a home is a great deal, for those current renters looking to buy — particularly millennials — saving up the necessary down payment can be a real challenge as rents keep rising.

“The affordability of for-sale homes remains strong, which is encouraging for those buyers that can save for a down payment and capitalize on low mortgage interest rates. But the health of the for-sale market is directly tied to the rental market, where affordability is really suffering,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. “As rents keep rising, along with interest rates and home values, saving for a down payment and attaining homeownership becomes that much more difficult for millions of current renters, particularly millennial renters already saddled with uncertain job prospects and enormous student debt. In order to combat this phenomenon, wages need to grow more quickly than they are, particularly for renters, and growth in home values will need to slow.”

But according to the Census Bureau, homeowners and renters make drastically different salaries — homeowners make $65,514 per year, while the typical renter in the U.S. makes just $31,888.The median annual income nationwide was $53,216 as of the end of the second quarter.

Still, there are some areas where buying and renting are affordable. In a dozen markets nationwide, the share of income needed to pay either a typical mortgage or the median rent in an area is lower now than it was historically, making these markets great for any generation of home buyer or renter.

As of June, home buyers in just six of the country’s 100 largest metro markets analyzed by Zillow were paying a larger portion of their incomes today than historically in order to buy their area’s median-priced home. This widespread affordability is driven largely by very low mortgage rates, which help keep overall monthly costs down for home buyers.

But mortgage rates are expected to rise in the coming year. When mortgage rates hit 5 percent, still very low by historical standards, the number of unaffordable metros for homeowners among the top 100 will more than double, to 13. At 6 percent mortgage interest rates, the number of unaffordable metros will almost double again, to 24.

As a result, renters signing a lease today should expect to pay about 29.5 percent of their income to rent, compared to 24.9 percent in the pre-bubble period. In 88 of the nation’s 100 largest metro areas, renters should currently expect to pay a larger share of their income toward rent than they would have historically.Renters, meanwhile, are facing a much different environment. Rents didn’t experience the huge drop seen in home values during the recession, and instead have just kept chugging upward for much of the past decade. Plus, renters can’t take advantage of very low mortgage rates, like home buyers can.

  08-24-2014 | View(413)
Real Estate firms sponsor

For example, law and accounting firms sponsor countless startup company events to form relationships early in order to ensure future business. How do I know this example works? It worked on my colleagues and me after we all hired the same law firm.

Relationships pay dividends, build referral networks and can last a lifetime. Leads, however, have an expiration date, are not personal and are sold to the highest bidder. Relationships act as a net to capture high-quality leads, and as time goes on that net only becomes larger.Relationships are the key to future success in the real estate business.

I believe it is important for agents to shift the way they look at technology from "How do I leverage technology to farm more leads?" to "How do I leverage technology to grow my relationships?" Looking at technology this way is much more calculated, as you are investing more in your sphere of influence rather than people you do not know. The concept of leveraging technology to learn more about the individual needs of your networks to better serve them is time and money much better spent than following up with random people.

Growing up in the real estate business, I witnessed this net expand firsthand as I saw agents who invested time and money into relationships with clients reap long-term success. The point I want to make is that agents should invest 80 percent of their time and money into relationships and 20 percent into leads, not the other way around.

Communicating your value proposition is becoming more difficult by the day as millennials, specifically, are looking to hire real estate agents to help them through the transaction and homeownership experience, not the search. Millennials, if not already, will become the most savvy real estate consumer ever, furthermore emphasizing the importance of real estate agents to connect with consumers on a personal level starting long before they make their first home purchase.With so much information on the Internet and 10,000 different ways for consumers to find an agent, the chances of a consumer selecting you are slim to none.

  08-24-2014 | View(457)
Property registration bureau in pipeline

CHINA’S Ministry of Land and Resources has finalized the framework for a property registration bureau, ministry officials said yesterday.

The bureau will undertake 10 key tasks with 24 staff in six offices, according to a ministry plan approved by the central authority for the organization of government departments.

The government has been trying to establish a national property ownership database to enable them to know who owns what.

The system will make it easier to levy property taxes, which is widely expected to curb speculation in housing market.

The State Council earlier this year asked the ministry to propose a property registration system by the end of June.

On July 30, the State Council said it discussed a draft of an interim regulation on property registration, which will be publicized to solicit public opinion.

  08-20-2014 | View(427)
Muted mood still clouds home sector

The sales volume of new houses in Shanghai last week stayed under the 150,000 square-meter level because of continued sluggish sentiment, latest market data showed.

The purchases of new homes, excluding government-funded affordable housing, rose 9.4 percent week on week to 131,000 square meters, Shanghai Deovolente Realty Co said in a report released yesterday.

“None of the residential projects across the city managed to register sales of more than 40 units last week, an indication of really subdued momentum among homebuyers,” said Lu Qilin, a Deovolente researcher.

“The comparatively favorable weather condition this summer didn’t help drive potential buyers to enter the market.”

The average cost of new homes fell 5.2 percent week on week to 26,267 yuan (US$4,274) per square meter as medium to low-end developments dominated the city’s top sellers, according to Deovolente data.

  08-19-2014 | View(415)
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