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5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market | Simplifying The Market

Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream. 

Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual that impact tax reform has had on the real estate market.

1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.”

According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on...

Another Good Day for Mortgage Rates 5-10-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is up 7/32 (2.96%), which should improve Raleigh Area mortgage rates by approximately .125 of a discount point.

Yesterday?s 10-year Treasury Note auction went pretty well in terms of investor interest in the securities. We can?t call it a strong auction, but a little above average is fair. The bond market had little reaction to the results once they were posted, so there was not a change to mortgage rates either. Those results allow us to be somewhat optimistic about today?s 30-year Bond sale. If it goes very well, we could see improvements in bonds and mortgage pricing later today. They will be posted at 1:00 PM ET, therefore, any reaction will come during early afternoon trading.

April's Consumer Price Index (CPI) gave us some favorable news early this morning. The overall CPI reading rose 0.2% while the more important core data that excludes more volatile food and energy prices showed a 0.1% rise. Both readings fell short of forecasts...

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running | Simplifying The Market

Every year, Gallup surveys Americans to determine their choice for the best long-term investment. Respondents are given a choice between real estate, stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

For the fifth year in a row, real estate has come out on top as the best long-term investment!

This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26%. The full results are shown in the chart below.

Real Estate Tops Best Investment Poll for 5th Year Running | Simplifying The Market

The study makes it a point to draw attention to the contrast in the sentiment over the last...

Mortgage Rates Continue To Increase 5-9-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 8/32 (3.00%), which should push Raleigh Area mortgage rates higher by approximately .125 of a discount point.

April's Producer Price Index (PPI) kicked off this week?s calendar at 8:30 AM ET. It showed a 0.1% rise in the overall reading and a 0.2% increase in the core data. The overall reading fell just short of the 0.2% forecast but the more important core reading that excludes more volatile food and energy costs pegged expectations. The light overall reading allows us to consider the data slightly favorable. However, because the core data showed no surprises, it has had no impact on this morning?s mortgage rates.

The second event of the day will be the 10-year Treasury Note auction that will come into play this afternoon. Results of the sale will be posted at 1:00 PM ET. If it was met with a strong demand from investors, particularly international investors, we could see bond prices rise enough during afternoon trading to cause...

Home Inspections: What to Expect

Home Inspections: What to Expect | Simplifying The Market

So you made an offer, it was accepted, and now your next task is to have the home inspected prior to closing. Oftentimes, agents make your offer contingent on a clean home inspection.

This contingency allows you to renegotiate the price you paid for the home, ask the sellers to cover repairs, or even, in some cases, walk away. Your agent can advise you on the best course of action once the report is filed.

How to Choose an Inspector

Your agent will most likely have a short list of inspectors that they have worked with in the past that they can recommend to you. HGTV recommends that...

Slight Movement In Mortgage Rate New 5-8-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 6/32 (2.96%), which should push Raleigh Area mortgage rates to increase by approximately .125 of a discount point.

Today has nothing of importance scheduled that is likely to alter mortgage pricing. The major stock indexes being in negative ground is usually positive for bonds and mortgage rates. However, they don?t seem to be relevant this morning as the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield possibly looks to test 3.00% again in the near future. Because mortgage rates tend to track bond yields, this is a cautionary sign for mortgage shoppers who have not locked an interest rate yet.

Tomorrow brings us the release of April's Producer Price Index (PPI) at 8:30 AM ET. This index helps us track inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. If it reveals weaker than expected readings, indicating inflation is not of much concern in the manufacturing sector, we should see the bond market improve. The overall index is expected to rise 0.2%, while...

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home?

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy a Home? | Simplifying The Market

We recently shared that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. Over that same time period, interest rates have remained historically low which has allowed many buyers to enter the market.

As a seller, you will likely be most concerned about ‘short-term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, however, you must not be concerned about price, but instead about the ‘long-term cost’ of the home.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Freddie Mac, and Fannie...

No Change To May 7 Mortgage Rates 5-7-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is unchanged (2.94%), which should keep in Raleigh area mortgage rates unchanged.

There is nothing of relevance set for release today. In fact, the rest of the week brings us the release of only three pieces of monthly economic data that are likely to affect mortgage rates in addition to a couple of Treasury auctions. Two of the reports are important inflation readings, but they come mid-week. Despite the small number of releases, we still could see mortgage pricing move noticeably this week.

The first events will come Wednesday when April's Producer Price Index (PPI) is released and the Treasury holds a 10-year Note auction. The PPI will come at 8:30 AM ET, helping us to track inflationary pressures at the producer level of the economy. The auction is an afternoon event and can cause movement in bonds and mortgage rates during afternoon trading.

Overall, Thursday is the best candidate for most important day of the week due to the Consumer Price Index...

50% of Homes Sold in 30 Days in March

50% of Homes Sold in 30 days in March [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of REALTORS® recently surveyed their members for their Confidence Index.
  • The REALTORS® Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.
  • Homes sold in less than 60 days in 35 out of 50 states and Washington D.C.
  • Homes typically went under contract in 30 days in March!

No Change In Mortgage Rates 5-4-2018

By James Brooks

The bond market is down 1/32 (2.95%), which should keep Raleigh Area mortgage rates unchanged.

Today?s only economic news was a major release- April?s Employment report. The Labor Department announced early this morning that the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 4.1% to 3.9% last month, its lowest level since December 2000. They also said that 164,000 new jobs were added to the economy during the month, falling short of the 190,000 that was forecasted. The third headline number we watch is the average hourly earnings that came in .15% higher than March?s level. That equates to 0.1% or 0.2%, depending if you believe in rounding up or not. That is relevant because analysts were expecting to see a 0.2% increase. Rising wages are bad news for bonds and mortgage rates, so the lower the number, the more favorable the data is for mortgage pricing.

Overall, the report is fairly good news for the bond and mortgage markets, but not great news. The lower unemployment rate is good, although it...