Posted on 17. Feb, 2014 by Marc Courtenay.
Housing affordability isn’t looking too promising as 2014 begins. If you listen to the National Association of Realtors the opportunity to be a homeowner hasn’t been this affordable in a long time. If you review Figure 2 below you’ll get the impression that American housing is now extremely affordable and the typical household can easily make the monthly mortgage payment on a home. Thanks to historically low interest-rates, fixed rate mortgages have become more affordable for some American families and many analysts expect that this cheap credit will fuel another housing boom.
Posted on 16. Dec, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Has the housing market begun to plummet due to rising interest rates? Are rental housing values about to crash? Those who read my articles know I’m frequently asking the questions that rental property owners and managers should also be asking. The answers are vitally important during these uncertain economic times. As of November 27, 2013 the yield on the 10 year Treasury bond sits at 2.74%. This is the benchmark interest rate impacting home mortgage rates, and it’s been stuck around this level for months.
Posted on 10. Oct, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
As I’ve anticipated for weeks the Federal Reserve said on September 18th that it would continue buying bonds at an $85 billion monthly pace for the time being. The Fed is concerned that a sharp rise in borrowing costs in recent months could hurt the housing market as well as the rest of the economy.
Posted on 16. Aug, 2013 by Tara Armbruster.
Across the country, the “rental rush” is starting to set in, and for the first time since the housing market bubble busted in 2008, home prices are at the highest ever. The housing prices are having an unintended effect on the rental market, which has led to a growth spark within the property management industry as a whole.
Posted on 08. Aug, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
When you make a big purchase, or an investment, buy a car, sign up for healthcare, etc. you do you “homework” to hopefully make a sensible decision that gives you good value for the money you are spending. When you buy real estate, which is likely to be the most expensive, most complex, and riskiest purchase you will ever make, there is an extraordinary amount of due diligence that you should do to reduce your risk and make a smart decision.
Posted on 30. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Recently I was perusing one of the online realtor association sites. There was a page lamenting that homes above a particular low price range weren’t selling. Alarming titles like “Shock Treatment May Dial in Price Reductions” suggest that home prices are often priced too high when put on the market. Is the next phase of the housing recovery lower prices? Perhaps so, depending on the area of the country and the number of foreclosed homes that are entering the supply of houses for sale.
Posted on 15. Jul, 2013 by Leonard Baron.
When discussing real estate investments, we often hear people say the three most important words in real estate are location, location, location. And while “3L” properties may be some of the finest looking and most prestigious properties to own, the reality is that they are generally very poor investment choices. The reason is that the investment returns on these location properties are typically very low; and one should strive for better investment returns to compensate for the risk.
Posted on 11. Jul, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
If you look at the latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index data released on June 25, 2013 it’s no longer a question that the trend for the price of an existing home is on the upside. Cities like San Francisco saw the largest year-over-year growth at 23.9%, while New York saw the lowest at 3.2%. Those rates compare with a 20-city average of 12.1%, the fastest annual pace in seven years.
Posted on 24. Jun, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Existing home sales in May were up 4.2% which is the highest level in over 40 months. Buyers were most likely motivated by a profound shortage of inventory in some areas as well as wanting to lock-in mortgage rates before they go any higher. Just in the past couple of weeks the interest rate on the 10-year Treasury bond, the benchmark for mortgage rates, has spiked up above 2.5%. No wonder the 30-year mortgage interest rates have leaped over the 4% barrier. Some are wondering is the Federal Reserve about to harpoon the housing recovery?
Posted on 05. Jun, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Those of us who bought our homes towards the top of the last housing bubble (2003-2007) are relieved to hear that the average price for houses is climbing steadily in most regions of the U.S. Yet for many the cost of buying a house is still making it difficult or impossible to become homeowners. Even though interest rates are still at all-time lows, it’s still tough to qualify for a mortgage.
Posted on 19. Apr, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Single family housing rents rose once again in the first quarter of 2013. Yet signs are beginning to reveal themselves that the seemingly endless months of rising rents may be coming to an end. The reasons are numerous but the biggest is a marked increase in the supply of rental units.
Posted on 05. Apr, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
Believe it or not the housing industry is making a stellar comeback. After a collapse in residential construction during The Great Recession which began in 2008, new home construction is leading the housing recovery. The Commerce Department reported on March 19, 2013 that housing starts rose in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 917,000.
Posted on 13. Mar, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
The home-buying market is on fire, especially for newly built houses. New home sales surged almost 29% in January compared to January 2012. This is the highest annual sales rate in four years according to figures released by the Commerce Department on Tuesday, Feb. 26th. Existing home sales also rose in January 2013 by 9.1%. Ironically, even though new houses (new construction) cost buyers approximately 37% more for the same square footage as previously owned houses, it’s the new homes that are selling at the hottest pace.
Posted on 30. Jan, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
It seems like every month we’re reading or hearing about the resurgence in home sales and prices. I’m confident that in most regions of the country the bottom has been established for the housing market, yet it’s good to see more clues (data) that confirm that the housing bust is over for now.
Posted on 22. Jan, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
It’s official! Home prices are on track to have their first yearly gain since 2006. This would make it the strongest year of price growth since home prices began to plunge, reaching their nadir in 2009.
Posted on 08. Jan, 2013 by Marc Courtenay.
An investor friend of mine called recently to ask if I could recommend some competent property managers in our area. Fortunately I knew of several so I gave him the names plus the pros and cons of each one (my way of being helpful and objective). In the course of our conversation he told me that mid-range houses were being snapped up by income-oriented investors the same day they were put on the market for sale.
Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
On almost a daily basis I hear anecdotal reports of syndicated investors as well as rogue opportunists seeking to find bargain houses that they can buy, fix up and rent out. At the same time the number of Americans who can’t qualify for a mortgage or don’t have enough money for a down payment is on the rise.
Posted on 29. Nov, 2012 by Leonard Baron.
If you are thinking about buying some rental properties as investments, you should probably understand how to project cash flows and evaluate the investment returns you hope to achieve on your hard earned invested cash equity.
Posted on 26. Sep, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
Just when the Federal Reserve needed some incentive to stimulate the economy or inaugurate a new and improved version of Quantitative Easing, the housing market showed yet another sign of rebounding. The S&P Case-Shiller 20-city housing report was issued on August 28, 2012 and it demonstrated yet another monthly improvement in the housing market across the U.S.
Posted on 21. Aug, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
Whether property managers and their clients will continue to see vacancies drop and rent prices go higher will be partly dependent on how easy it is for people to buy instead of rent. The big U.S. banks are reporting an improving number of applications for mortgages as the housing market searches for a bottom and interest rates hit new all-time lows.
Posted on 09. Aug, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a name you might not have heard of but they wield a good amount of influence and authority in the world of mortgage lending. That’s because they are an official part of the U.S. government and their site is an official government web site.
Posted on 01. Aug, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
There is plenty of good news in this exhaustive report. Home sales have risen, home prices have fallen, and so far the number of vacant rental units (supply) has kept up with the demand. If you’re a rental property owner this report is sure to please in many ways.
Posted on 10. Jul, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
According to Standard & Poor’s, home prices actually improved from year-ago levels in seven (7) metropolitan areas. Phoenix, Minneapolis, Charlotte, North Carolina, Denver, Detroit [after falling off a cliff] and Dallas, Texas all saw improvement from March 2011. Phoenix went up 6.1% and the other six areas inched higher by 1.5% to 3.3%.
Posted on 01. Jun, 2012 by Marc Courtenay.
Hundreds of thousands of families across the nation have been faced with the unseemly choice of giving their house back to the lenders or experiencing the dread of foreclosure. More evidence is mounting that less than half of the foreclosures and REO houses have hit the market yet.