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G.I. Lawrie Lawrence-(704) 994-8641

By G.I. LAWRIE LAWRENCE, Realtor | Broker in Mooresville, NC
  • Buyers Feel Urgency From Price Appreciation

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Huntersville, Home Buying in Huntersville, Financing in Huntersville  |  March 26, 2013 9:50 AM  |  332 views  |  No comments

    Home prices are inching higher and mortgage rates are expected to soon follow, and more potential home buyers are weighing whether to jump in now or risk paying more by purchasing a house later, The New York Times reports. 

    Home prices are rising rapidly in some areas, particularly the Sunbelt states. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to also move from its 3.5 percent average to above 4 percent some time later this year, some economists say. 

    For buyers who are able to qualify for financing, “getting in a little earlier would be preferable before prices and rates rise too much,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®.

    Also creating a rush for some, the Federal Housing Administration will rise mortgage insurance premiums on its loans by up to 0.10 percent of the loan amount as of April 1. “To avoid a higher premium, borrowers would need to apply and obtain a case number before then,” The New York Times reports. 

    But with housing inventories so tight in many areas, some buyers may want to wait until more homes come on the market. Buyers may need to make a trade-off: Act now to get the best financial deal or wait for more homes to come on to the market but risk paying a bit more, Yun told The New York Times. 

    Source: “The Time, and Place, to Buy,” The New York Times (March 7, 2013)

  • 7 Metros With Fastest Rising List Prices

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Huntersville, Home Selling in Huntersville  |  March 25, 2013 1:04 PM  |  288 views  |  No comments

    Nationwide, median asking prices continue to rise, reaching $189,900 in February. Meanwhile, inventories of for-sale homes on the market are reaching record lows, Realtor.com reports in its latest analysis of February MLS data. 

    The markets seeing some of the largest increases in asking prices are the areas seeing some of the largest declines in inventories. California housing markets continue to post some of the largest price increases in the past year, but other strong performing markets also include Phoenix, Seattle, and Denver. 

    The following are the seven metros that have seen the largest increases in median asking prices in the past year: 

    Sacramento, Calif.

    • Median list price: $279,900
    • Year-over-year increase: 40.30%

    Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Lompoc, Calif.

    • Median list price: $689,950
    • Year-over-year increase: 38.01%

    Oakland, Calif.

    • Median list price: $419,000
    • Year-over-year increase: 30.93%

    San Jose, Calif.

    • Median list price: $607,000
    • Year-over-year increase: 29.45%

    San Francisco

    • Median list price: $769,000
    • Year-over-year increase: 25.71%

    Phoenix-Mesa, Ariz.

    • Median list price: $218,000
    • Year-over-year increase: 24.64%

    Fresno, Calif.

    • Median list price: $188,900
    • Year-over-year increase: 21.87%

    Source: Realtor.com

  • FHFA Reconsiders Mortgage Write-Downs

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Huntersville, Home Selling in Huntersville  |  April 11, 2012 10:53 AM  |  389 views  |  No comments
    Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could possibly curb its losses by $1.7 billion if the mortgage giants reduced the mortgage principal on about 691,000 underwater home owners, according to a newly released analysis.

    The finding has prompted the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, to reconsider its long-held stance on forgiving some mortgage debt of underwater home owners.

    Edward J. DeMarco, the FHFA’s acting director, said Tuesday that in some cases it might make sense for the GSEs to reduce the mortgage principal on some mortgages in order to prevent the home owner from defaulting on their loan.

    But such a move might come at an extra cost to taxpayers, DeMarco warned during a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday.

    “This is not about some huge difference-making program that will rescue the housing market,” DeMarco said. “It is a debate about which tools, at the margin, better balance two goals: maximizing assistance to several hundred thousand home owners while minimizing further cost to all other home owners and taxpayers.”

    DeMarco still has some concerns about reducing the principal on some mortgages.

    “Will some percentage of borrowers who are current on their loans be encouraged to either claim a hardship or actually go delinquent to capture the benefits of principal reduction?” DeMarco said.

    The Obama administration in recent weeks has been pushing the agency to reconsider its stance on principal mortgage reductions, arguing that it can save money, reduce the chances that underwater home owners will walk away from their mortgage, and help stabilize the housing market.

    The FHFA is expected to make a final decision in the next few weeks on whether to allow mortgage write-downs.

    Source: “New Stance on Forgiving Mortgages,” The New York Times (April 10, 2012) and “DeMarco Says Principal Write-downs May Save FHFA $1.7 Billion,” Bloomberg News (April 10, 2012)

  • Buyer Urgency Improves, More See Now Good Time to Buy

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Huntersville, Home Selling in Huntersville  |  April 11, 2012 10:52 AM  |  369 views  |  No comments

    Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    More home buyers may jump off the sidelines this spring as they get more urgent about purchasing a home, fearing that home price and mortgage rate increases are on the horizon.

    Housing surveys in recent weeks have shown that more Americans are seeing now a great time to purchase a home. In the most recent survey, 73 percent of Americans say now is a good time to buy, according to the latest Fannie Mae Housing Survey conducted in March. That’s up from 70 percent in February who said it was a great time to buy.

    "Conditions are coming together to encourage people to want to buy homes," says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. "With an increasing share of consumers expecting higher mortgage rates and home prices over the next 12 months, some may feel that renting is becoming more costly and that home ownership is a more compelling housing choice."

    Indeed, more buyer urgency is evident in the market. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed by Fannie say they expect home prices soon to increase, which is the highest percentage in a year. What’s more, nearly 40 percent say they expect mortgage rates to rise in the next year too, which is also up from previous surveys.

    Coupled with that, 48 percent of Americans say they expect rents to continue to climb, and 44 percent say they expect their financial situation to improve in the next year.

    Source: “More Americans Think It’s Time to Buy a Home,” MSN Real Estate (April 9, 2012)

  • How Do Men, Women Make Home Buying Decisions?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Huntersville, Home Selling in Huntersville  |  April 3, 2012 5:19 AM  |  341 views  |  No comments

    Daily Real Estate News | Monday, April 02, 2012

    While the price of a home and its square footage are important factors in judging a home, women and men also base their decision largely on how they “feel” and whether the home fits their lifestyle, according to a new survey conducted by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

    The survey of 1,000 men and women found that the sexes don’t differ too much when it comes to sizing up a home to buy.

    For more than a quarter of home buyers, the home’s “feeling” has to be just right to make them want to buy. Twenty-eight percent of women and 25 percent of men put more emphasis on their feelings about a home than they do the square footage, price, or even the layout, according to the survey.

    The survey also found that it doesn’t take multiple visits to a home to know if a home is right for them. Sixty-two percent of women and sixty-one percent of men knew within the first visit if a home was the right one.

    “A home is more than square-footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and this survey shows just how much emotion can play a role in home buying process,” says Jessica Edwards, Coldwell Banker Real Estate consumer specialist. “When two people are looking for a home together, there are many considerations to take into account. Of course, price and layout matter, but ‘feeling at home’ is an important factor.”

    Source: Coldwell Banker

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