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Sunshine and Low Mortgage Rates not Cheering up Home Builders

Posted in Mortgage News, Real Estate | May 20, 2014

Things should be looking up for America’s home builders, but so far their mood has not improved any. The May release of the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) showed that pessimism remains the prevailing sentiment among home builders, with little change in mood since February. This gloom persists despite the fact that some conditions seem to be moving in favor of home sales, raising the question of just what it will take to improve the outlook of home builders. Sunshine and low mortgage rates You might think that new home builders would have a spring in their steps and a song in their hearts right about now. After all, a long, hard winter which undoubtedly suppressed home shopping activity is behind us. With the weather improving after so

Are 6% Real Estate Commissions a Rip-Off?

Posted in Real Estate | April 18, 2014

  Photo: Sean Dreilinger There’s nothing especially hard about selling a home. Early on in what he laughingly refers to as his “career,” this writer was a real estate agent (a reasonably successful one, actually), and if he can do it, anyone can. So why do so many homeowners pay professionals up to six percent of the market value of their properties to find a buyer and help transactions reach fruition? The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR’s) 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reveals that a whopping 88 percent of vendors reported using the services of an agent for selling, when asked in July last year. Many of those who didn’t, already knew the buyer (as a friend, relative, colleague or whatever) before offering the home. The same percentage

The Latest on New Home Sales: More Questions than Answers

Posted in Real Estate | March 27, 2014

The market for new homes is proving as unpredictable as an upset-laden NCAA Tournament bracket. The latest report on new home sales from the US Census Bureau brought doubly disappointing news: a downward revision of the original estimate for January’s sales, and a slowdown of sales in February. This is just the latest reversal in the course of the market for new homes. The Latest on New Home Sales The US Census Bureau reported that new homes sold at an annual pace of 440,000 in February, a level below both January’s figure and the pace of sales from a year ago. That January figure, in turn, was revised downward from the original estimate. With a drop of 13,000 from the original estimate of new home sales, January’s pace of 455,000 went from

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