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How to Make Money in a Housing Slowdown

Posted in Market Trends, Mortgage Rates | April 23, 2014

The US Census Bureau just released data on new home sales that showed an abrupt slowdown in March. Is this a warning sign for would-be home buyers, or a golden opportunity? To help you understand what the report might mean to your home buying plans, there are five questions you should ask about the significance of the latest data. First though, here are some details from the report. New Home Sales Fall to an 8 Month Low According to the latest report, new homes sold at an annual pace of 384,000 in March, down 14.5 percent from the previous month, and 13.3 percent from a year earlier. This weakening of new home sales is not just a decline from recent levels, but it marks an abrupt reversal of the positive momentum new



Housing Study: U.S. Home Equity Distributed Unevenly

Posted in Market Trends | March 28, 2014

According to a study by the Demand Institute, a non-profit group, over half of U.S. housing wealth is concentrated in 10 percent of communities. Although housing has been credited with leading the nation’s post-recession economic recovery, regional data show significant differences in average home prices and local housing markets. The February 26 study reviewed home prices for owner-occupied single family homes in 2200 largest cities and towns in the U.S. The study found that 10 percent of communities held about 52 percent, or $4.40 trillion, of U.S. home equity. The Washington Post reports that the lowest 40 percent of communities in the study  held about eight percent, or $700 billion in home wealth. Although U.S. home prices  increased between 2000 and 2012, home price gains for the top 10 percent of communities totaled $2 trillion, while the lowest 40 percent



Mortgages, Real Estate and Bitcoins? Maybe not Yet

Posted in Market Trends | March 10, 2014

Peter G. Miller is a nationally-syndicated columnist, speaker and writer whose work appears in a variety of outlets online and off. He is the author of the Quick & Dirty financial eBooks (SilverSpringPress.com) and operates the consumer real estate site,OurBroker.com. More than 250,000 Miller books are in print. Real estate purchasing and financing is so paperwork-burdened and full of middlemen that many would prefer to conduct their transactions with a form of secure digital currency outside the orb of traditional banking, a form of finance that can be used worldwide without steep transfer fees. Manhattan-based real estate firm, Bond New York is among those forward-thinking firms that accept Bitcoins for real estate transactions. Oops The idea had been gaining momentum until it was recently discovered that Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox lost artificial currency



Despite Low Mortgage Rates, Home Ownership Continues to Slip

Posted in Market Trends | February 14, 2014

The last four years would seem like an ideal buyer’s market for homes. And yet, renting continues to replace home ownership as the reality for more and more families. However, if current trends continue, it could swing the pendulum back in favor of ownership. It was a different story a decade ago, of course. From the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, home ownership rates soared, and landlords suffered as rental vacancy rates climbed steadily. Now, home ownership is down and rental vacancies are harder to find. The ideal situation would be to restore previous home ownership rates without the risk and speculation that went with the housing boom. Low mortgage rates may still be part of that solution. Home ownership returns to 1995 levels According to a recent report by the US



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