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Central Ohio Real Estate News

by Teresa Butler; Signature Real Estate

By Teresa Butler | Agent in Gahanna, OH
  • Happy Spring!

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Columbus  |  March 20, 2014 12:14 PM  |  273 views  |  No comments

  • Happy Valentine's Day!

    Posted Under: General Area in Columbus  |  February 14, 2014 10:50 AM  |  261 views  |  No comments

  • NAHB: Housing Recovery Threatened by Flat Wages

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Columbus  |  February 6, 2014 2:08 PM  |  275 views  |  No comments

    While job growth is picking up across the country, wages remain flat, which is holding back a more robust recovery, the National Association of Home Builders wrote in a recent blog post.

    “A significant amount of pent-up housing demand exists, but for it to be unlocked more rapidly, additional gains in wages must be realized,” NAHB economists wrote.

    During the recession, all age groups saw a decline in incomes, with the exception of the 65-and-older cohort. Since 2000, those under the age of 24 have seen the largest reductions in income, followed by people ages 45 to 54 (the top-earning age group), NAHB’s analysis shows.

    First-time home buyers remain a shrinking number in the housing market. They accounted for 27 percent of existing-home purchases in December, down from 30 percent a year earlier, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

    Many young adults are facing high student loan debt that is stifling their wage growth and ability to qualify for a mortgage.

    “Student loans are one of the fastest rising sources of debt,” according to a recent post on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog. “Student loans are of increasing concern in light of the regulations pertaining to qualified mortgages that require a consumer to have a debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43 percent.”

    NAHB says that income growth will be a key metric to watch for the future of new and existing home sales. While home sales are looking up for 2014, NAHB notes that any additional gains in median incomes will help the recovery stretch further.

    —By REALTOR® Magazine

  • 9 States With Lowest Foreclosure Inventories

    Posted Under: Foreclosure in Columbus  |  February 6, 2014 2:07 PM  |  287 views  |  No comments

    The foreclosure picture is improving across the country. Completed foreclosures fell in December by 14 percent compared to a year earlier, according to new data by CoreLogic. What’s more, the national foreclosure inventory dropped 31 percent year-over-year in December, the 12th consecutive month of declines.

    Thirty-six states now have foreclosure inventories that are below the national rate. Here are nine states with the lowest foreclosure inventories in the country, all of which are less than 0.7 percent:

    1. Wyoming
    2. Alaska
    3. North Dakota
    4. Nebraska
    5. Colorado
    6. California
    7. Minnesota
    8. Montana
    9. South Dakota

    On the other hand, Florida, New Jersey, and New York have the highest foreclosure inventories, according to CoreLogic.

    Source: “Top 12 States With Healthiest Foreclosure Markets,” USA Today

  • Wells Fargo Lowers Credit Requirements for FHA Loans

    Posted Under: Credit Score in Columbus  |  February 6, 2014 2:06 PM  |  281 views  |  No comments

    Wells Fargo has announced that it will accept lower credit scores for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

    “We have dropped our FICO minimum for FHA from 640 to 600,” says Wells Fargo Executive Vice President Franklin Codel, adding that the move is a way for the bank to start “opening up our credit box more.”

    Codel says the bank is looking to expand mortgage-credit availability now that it has significantly reduced its repurchase risk. Wells Fargo was among several banks that had to pay millions to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to resolve repurchase claims from loans that were bought by the GSEs and then went sour during the housing bust.

    Codel says that Wells Fargo also implemented the qualified mortgage underwriting requirements a month before the Jan. 10 deadline.

    Codel says Wells Fargo was “monitoring the production flows” to determine which loans would be rejected under the new QM rules. “We found very, very few,” he adds.

    Source: “Wells Fargo Lowers Credit Scores for FHA Loans,” National Mortgage News 

  • More Young Adults Stick With Parents, Delay Buying

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Columbus  |  February 5, 2014 2:46 PM  |  283 views  |  No comments

    The percentage of young adults ages 18 to 34 living with parents or parents-in-law has risen sharply since the late 2000s, according to the most recent American Community Survey. One in three young adults – or more than 24 million – lived in homes of their parents or their parents-in-law in 2012. In 1990 and 2000, only one in four young adults lived with parents.

    “Young adults aged 25 to 34 traditionally represent about half of all first-time home buyers,” notes the National Association of Home Builders in its blog, Eye on Housing. “Their delayed willingness and ability to leave parental homes and strike out on their own undoubtedly contributed to suppressing housing demand further during the Great Recession.”

    Rising college costs, high unemployment, and unstable incomes are all sending and keeping more young adults home.

    States with largest unemployment rates tend to have the most young adults living with their parents, according to the study. But even as unemployment rates began to decline, the percentage of young adults living at home remains high in states such as California and Florida.

    Three Northeast states have the nation’s highest share of young adults living with their parents: New Jersey (45 percent); Connecticut (42 percent); and New York (41 percent). California and Florida follow with just slightly under 40 percent.

    Meanwhile, the District of Columbia – known for having a stable job market – and North Dakota have some of the lowest percentages of young adults living at home, both under 20 percent.

    “Declining shares of young adults living with parents in some states – Rhode Island, Montana, Wyoming, Maine, Delaware and New Mexico among others – could be one of the early signs that pent-up housing demand may finally start turning into realized housing demand,” the NAHB notes.

    Source: “Young Adults Living With Parents Up Sharply,” National Association of Builders’ Eye on Housing

  • 'Green' Saved Some Homebuilders From Recession

    Posted Under: Going Green in Columbus  |  February 5, 2014 2:45 PM  |  298 views  |  No comments

    Homebuilders are finding that betting on green features could be the key to rescuing an ailing business. A new study finds that builders with energy-efficient and green home construction experience remained in business during the Great Recession at higher rates than those who did not have any knowledge or experience with green housing.

    In 2013, green homes comprised 23 percent of overall residential construction. It is expected to rise to one-third of the market by 2016, according to the newly released Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study by McGraw Hill Construction.

    More communities have adopted green principles into building codes, ordinances, and regulations, which is helping to spur their adoption. Also, more products are becoming affordable, which helps more home owners incorporate them.

    About half of builders and remodelers in 2013 said it’s easier to market green homes, up from 40 percent in 2008. What’s more, 68 percent of builders say their customers will pay more for green. Twenty-three percent say their customers are willing to pay more than a 5 percent premium for a home with green features.

    "Green experience was a significant part of what kept builders in business during the recession, and now those same firms are embracing the competitive advantage they earned by deepening their delivery of energy-efficient and green homes," says Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw Hill Construction. " We also see firms reentering the market that are using traditional home building practices versus green practices because that's what they know. However, the broader availability of green building products and practices, a more educated consumer and an increase in activity at the regulatory level will also encourage this group of builders to learn green practices over time."



    Source: “Builders With ‘Green Experience’ Fared Better During Recession,” Mortgage News Daily 

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