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February 2017

Found 7 blog entries for February 2017.

Low interest mortgage rates can’t last forever, can they?
If you’ve taken out a mortgage or refinanced a mortgage recently, you may have done so because you anticipated that rates would rise.
Are rates rising, and are they expected to continue to rise? Let’s take a closer look at mortgage rates trends. 

 

When Mortgage Rates Rise

What causes mortgage rates to rise? The rates on mortgages tend to rise and fall in tandem with the yield rate of 10-year Treasury bonds. When the bond yield rises, mortgage rates tend to rise, too. So are mortgage rates and 10-year Treasury bond yield rates the same? Not quite.

Treasury bonds are seen as safer investments than mortgages (or securitized packages of mortgages) because the risk that the

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The Omaha tycoon referenced more acquisitions for the brokerage firm over the next 10 years

In Warren Buffett’s 2016 investor letter released this past weekend, the folksy tycoon called out HomeServices of America (HSA) and said to expect more acquisitions.

The company had $225 million in earnings last year, up from $191 million in 2015.

HSA is part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy.

“HomeServices may appear out of place in [this group]. But it came with our purchase of MidAmerican (now BHE) in 1999 — and we are lucky that it did.

“HomeServices owns 38 realty companies with more than 29,000 agents who operate in 28 states. Last year it purchased four Realtors, including Houlihan Lawrence, the leader in New York’s Westchester County (in a

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The majority of prospective homebuyers are worried about low inventory and rising interest rates impacting their ability to purchase a home, according to new data from Zillow. 

Mortgage rates increased last year following the presidential election and December’s federal funds rate hike. With more hikes expected on the horizon, rising rates may stifle homebuying ability, Zillow said.

Low inventory is still homebuyers’ number-one concern, with 65% saying they worried about their ability to find an affordable home. However, rising interest rates were in second place, with 53% concerned that interest rates could prevent them from buying. When Zillow conducted the same survey in 2015, interest rates ranked behind worries about both finding an affordable home and

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If you're shopping for a house in 2017, don't expect it to be easy.

If you're planning to buy a house in 2017, be prepared for a rough ride. A number of factors are coming together to make buying a house particularly difficult (and expensive). It's predicted to be an especially tough year for first-time homebuyers, who already tend to have a harder time than experienced homebuyers.

Here's why:

Prices are up almost everywhere across the country

As of October 2016, home prices nationwide had experienced a 5.6% year-over-year gain. The Pacific Northwest saw a particularly steep rise, with Seattle showing a 10.7% price increase and Portland close behind with a 10.3% increase.

"With the current high consumer confidence numbers and low

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Sales of  previously owned U.S. homes climbed for the fifth time in six months to the highest level since 2007, indicating housing-market momentum will extend into 2017, National Association of Realtors data showed Wednesday.

by Patricia Laya at Bloomberg


Key Points
Contract closings rose 3.3 percent to a 5.69 million annual rate in January (forecast was 5.55 million), the highest level since February 2007 Median sales price jumped 7.1 percent from a year earlier to $228,900, the fastest gain since January 2016 Inventory of available properties fell 7.1 percent from January 2016 to 1.69 million, making it the 20th consecutive year-over-year decline

Big Picture
Housing demand remained strong in January despite dwindling inventories of available homes.

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Key Takeaways

  • 'Greige' (subtle yet powerful) improvements pay off the best.
  • This year's report reflects continued optimism for the housing market.
  • Replacements beat remodels and exteriors beat interiors.


The 2017 Cost vs. Value report by Remodeling magazine documents the national and regional costs and ROI (return on investment) for 29 popular home improvement projects.

Overall, these 29 improvements paid back 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value.

What that says to the homeowner is that spending money to sell a home requires research.

The goal of improvements from a seller’s standpoint is to attract buyers and achieve top dollar on a listing. But finding the balance between updates and return isn’t that simple.

In

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Typically winter months have a higher number of housing bargains due to stressful weather conditions and lack of competition, with February coming out on top as the month with the most housing deals.

In fact, a recent study by Attom Data Solutions looked at the sales of 50 million homes from 2000 through 2016 and found that the median selling price during February was around $104 per square foot, a 6 percent discount over the rest of the months of the year.

With these housing bargains, why aren't more people buying this time of year? According to Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, besides the difficult winter weather, many potential buyers are cash-strapped after the holidays and don't want move during the middle

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