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Brian Walsh ABR BPO's Blog

By Brian Walsh Buyer's Agent | Agent in South of Broad, Char...
  • Top City Again!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Charleston  |  July 2, 2014 8:41 AM  |  27 views  |  No comments
    Check it out!

    http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best-cities-2014-winners-list

  • Tight Inventory Deflates Home-Sales Expectations

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Mount Pleasant, Home Buying in Mount Pleasant  |  June 20, 2014 8:38 AM  |  60 views  |  No comments

    How much further will home prices and rents have to rise to motivate more home owners to sell? Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft asks the question in the mortgage giant’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for June.

    "We're nearly halfway through the year, and single-family housing remains weaker than we projected six months ago, while multifamily appears to be right on track," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, writes in the mortgage giant's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook report for June. “With vacancy rates moving back in line with historical averages — even falling below historical averages in some markets — and for-sale inventories remaining tight, U.S. home-price indexes are likely to continue their above-inflation growth for the remainder of the year, as will rent gains, albeit much slower than in 2013. The important question is how much further will prices and rents have to rise to give incentives for more existing owners to list their property for sale and developers bring more supply to the market. Construction has rebounded over the past two years but is still significantly below the levels one would expect to see given projections of household formations."

    In its latest report, Freddie Mac lowered its 2014 home sales expectations from 5.5 million to 5.4 million. Mortgage applications for home purchases are on the rise recently, but still remain 13 percent below last year levels, Freddie reports.

    Fixed-rate mortgages are expected to rise gradually during the latter half of this year as the Federal Reserve continues the "tapering" of mortgage-backed securities.

    Still, mortgage rates will remain low by historical standards, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage expected to end the year around 4.4 percent, Freddie Mac projects.

    Meanwhile, the total number of vacant units in the U.S. has fallen 4.2 percent between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2014. The number of for-sale vacant units fell by 24.2 percent in the same time period. 

    Source: Freddie Mac

  • Tight Inventory Deflates Home-Sales Expectations

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Charleston  |  June 20, 2014 8:37 AM  |  51 views  |  No comments

    How much further will home prices and rents have to rise to motivate more home owners to sell? Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft asks the question in the mortgage giant’s U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for June.

    "We're nearly halfway through the year, and single-family housing remains weaker than we projected six months ago, while multifamily appears to be right on track," Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, writes in the mortgage giant's U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook report for June. “With vacancy rates moving back in line with historical averages — even falling below historical averages in some markets — and for-sale inventories remaining tight, U.S. home-price indexes are likely to continue their above-inflation growth for the remainder of the year, as will rent gains, albeit much slower than in 2013. The important question is how much further will prices and rents have to rise to give incentives for more existing owners to list their property for sale and developers bring more supply to the market. Construction has rebounded over the past two years but is still significantly below the levels one would expect to see given projections of household formations."

    In its latest report, Freddie Mac lowered its 2014 home sales expectations from 5.5 million to 5.4 million. Mortgage applications for home purchases are on the rise recently, but still remain 13 percent below last year levels, Freddie reports.

    Fixed-rate mortgages are expected to rise gradually during the latter half of this year as the Federal Reserve continues the "tapering" of mortgage-backed securities.

    Still, mortgage rates will remain low by historical standards, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage expected to end the year around 4.4 percent, Freddie Mac projects.

    Meanwhile, the total number of vacant units in the U.S. has fallen 4.2 percent between the first quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2014. The number of for-sale vacant units fell by 24.2 percent in the same time period. 

    Source: Freddie Mac

  • Loan Demand Surges in Latest Week

    Posted Under: Market Conditions  |  June 11, 2014 1:18 PM  |  69 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage applications for both home purchases and refinancing increased last week, posting an uptick after several weeks of decreases in loan originations. 

    Mortgage application activity rose 10.3 percent in the week ending June 6, led by a large jump in refinancing applications, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported from its seasonally adjusted index. Applications for refinancings rose 11 percent last week while applications for home purchases, a leading indicator of future home sales, rose 9.3 percent, the MBA reports. 

    Still, the purchase index remains about 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago, the MBA reports. 

    “The jump in applications shows folks are taking notice of rates near six-month lows,” says Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield. “The jump in purchase applications is especially good to see, as home owners may finally be getting comfortable putting their home on the market with the level of inventory they see around them.”

    Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.34 percent, up 8 basis points from 4.26 percent the prior week, the MBA reports. 

    Source: “U.S. mortgage applications rise in latest week-MBA,” Reuters (June 11, 2014) and “Mortgage applications unexpectedly jump 10% for week,” HousingWire (June 11, 2014)

  • Loan Demand Surges in Latest Week

    Posted Under: Financing in Charleston  |  June 11, 2014 1:17 PM  |  68 views  |  No comments

    Mortgage applications for both home purchases and refinancing increased last week, posting an uptick after several weeks of decreases in loan originations. 

    Mortgage application activity rose 10.3 percent in the week ending June 6, led by a large jump in refinancing applications, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported from its seasonally adjusted index. Applications for refinancings rose 11 percent last week while applications for home purchases, a leading indicator of future home sales, rose 9.3 percent, the MBA reports. 

    Still, the purchase index remains about 13 percent lower than the same week one year ago, the MBA reports. 

    “The jump in applications shows folks are taking notice of rates near six-month lows,” says Quicken Loans vice president Bill Banfield. “The jump in purchase applications is especially good to see, as home owners may finally be getting comfortable putting their home on the market with the level of inventory they see around them.”

    Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.34 percent, up 8 basis points from 4.26 percent the prior week, the MBA reports. 

    Source: “U.S. mortgage applications rise in latest week-MBA,” Reuters (June 11, 2014) and “Mortgage applications unexpectedly jump 10% for week,” HousingWire (June 11, 2014)

  • The Kitchen is No Longer ‘Heart of the Home’?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Mount Pleasant  |  June 7, 2014 9:11 AM  |  86 views  |  No comments

    Saber Grills surveyed 1,500 home owners from across the U.S., and 83 percent said that outdoor living space is their favorite part of their home.

    As your clients are prepping their homes for the summer selling season, they may want to keep outdoor space in mind. According to Saber’s "Outdoor Living 2014" survey, approximately 81 percent of respondents called their outdoor space “the heart of the home.”

    The survey also asked about people’s outdoor recreation and decorating preferences, and 51 percent of respondents said they update their outdoor space as often as their favorite interior room.

    Topping the list of outdoor additions was a grill, followed up with “access to Wi-Fi.”

    Baby Boomers in the Southern and Midwestern U.S. are most likely to add TVs, Wi-Fi, and special lighting to outdoor space, according to the survey.

    “We’ve dubbed this group ‘super relaxers’,” says Rob Schwing, general manager of Saber Grills. “The outdoor space was a major factor in their home buying decision and they are very engaged in making it comfortable. This group leads the way in defining how an outdoor space can be used and decorated.”

    Here are some regional trends identified in Saber Grills’ survey:

    • Midwesterners are the most interactive with their outdoor space: They update and accessorize most often and 75 percent use it throughout the week.
    • Topping of the wish list of outdoor furnishings for all regions was a pool or hot tub. Southerners and Westerners are most likely to include an outdoor kitchen in the top three.
    • South and Northeast residents have the biggest outdoor parties, usually entertaining more than five people.  
    • Southerners are most likely to own two or more grills; Northeasterners, just one.
    • Northeasterners topped the list with nearly 30 percent considering themselves “confident” grillers. 

    Source: “Outdoor Living 2014,” Saber Grills

  • The Kitchen is No Longer ‘Heart of the Home’?

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Charleston  |  June 7, 2014 9:10 AM  |  82 views  |  No comments

    Saber Grills surveyed 1,500 home owners from across the U.S., and 83 percent said that outdoor living space is their favorite part of their home.

    As your clients are prepping their homes for the summer selling season, they may want to keep outdoor space in mind. According to Saber’s "Outdoor Living 2014" survey, approximately 81 percent of respondents called their outdoor space “the heart of the home.”

    The survey also asked about people’s outdoor recreation and decorating preferences, and 51 percent of respondents said they update their outdoor space as often as their favorite interior room.

    Topping the list of outdoor additions was a grill, followed up with “access to Wi-Fi.”

    Baby Boomers in the Southern and Midwestern U.S. are most likely to add TVs, Wi-Fi, and special lighting to outdoor space, according to the survey.

    “We’ve dubbed this group ‘super relaxers’,” says Rob Schwing, general manager of Saber Grills. “The outdoor space was a major factor in their home buying decision and they are very engaged in making it comfortable. This group leads the way in defining how an outdoor space can be used and decorated.”

    Here are some regional trends identified in Saber Grills’ survey:

    • Midwesterners are the most interactive with their outdoor space: They update and accessorize most often and 75 percent use it throughout the week.
    • Topping of the wish list of outdoor furnishings for all regions was a pool or hot tub. Southerners and Westerners are most likely to include an outdoor kitchen in the top three.
    • South and Northeast residents have the biggest outdoor parties, usually entertaining more than five people.  
    • Southerners are most likely to own two or more grills; Northeasterners, just one.
    • Northeasterners topped the list with nearly 30 percent considering themselves “confident” grillers. 

    Source: “Outdoor Living 2014,” Saber Grills

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