Housing Barometer Indicates Recovery

According to Trulia’s Housing Barometer, the housing market is recovering and has made a significant improvement over the last 12 months. The report shows that four out of the five housing indicators have improved from last year. The Housing Barometer is made up of five key factors: new construction starts, existing home sales, delinquency and foreclosure rate, employment rate for individuals age 25-34, and home price levels. More here

Fixed Mortgage Rates Increased Last Week

According to Freddie Mac, average fixed mortgage rates increased from the previous week. Mortgage rates are still considered historically low, but are expected to increase over time. Freddie Mac chief economist, Frank Nothaft said, “mortgage rates rose following the uptick on the 10-year Treasury note after comments by the Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen indicated a possible increase in interest rates as soon as early 2015,  also, the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite house price index rose 13.2% over the 12-months ending in January 2014.” The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged nationally at 4.4%, and the 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged nationally at 3.42%. More here

More Lenders Offering Subprime Mortgages

Many lenders are now beginning to offer subprime mortgages to those with credit scores under 640. After the housing bubble burst, many borrowers with poor credit scores were eliminated from the mortgage market, but according to recent data, many of these borrowers are now beginning to qualify for loans. Experts say it may be more difficult to get subprime loans than in the past as interest rates on these types of loans have increased and down-payment percentages have grown. More here

Consumer Confidence Jumps 4.4 Points

The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index increased by 4.4 points, averaging 81.7, the highest level seen since early 2008. This new data suggests that now is a great time for buying a home. The Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, Lynn Franco said, “while consumers were moderately more upbeat about future job prospects and the overall economy, they were less optimistic about income growth,” Franco said. “The Present Situation index, which had been on an upward trend for the past four months, was relatively unchanged in March. Overall, consumers expect the economy to continue improving and believe it may even pick up a little steam in the months ahead.” More here

Experts Give Spring Selling Tips

According to 2014 spring housing market data, this year will be prime time to sell. Mortgage rates are still historically low, and many sellers have been putting off selling their homes until the brutal winter has come to an end. Experts say there are a few things to keep in mind when selling your house this season, such as keeping the price right by researching homes that have sold in your area during the last 60 days, staying on top of your competition, and making your housing photo and description “pop” on mobile devices. More here

Reverse Mortgages Grow In Popularity With Baby Boomers

Many baby boomers are turning to reverse mortgages for extra income, according to recent data. Loan percentages are expected to increase over the next several years as 77 million baby boomers make their way into retirement, and new reverse mortgage rules have been put in place to preserve the safety of the borrower. The new rules have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option. Spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Melanie Roussell said, “as with any mortgage product, there is risk to financing a loan, but we have made, and continue to make, significant efforts to mitigate that risk.” More here

Mortgage Rates Decrease Slightly

Mortgage rates fell this week after last week’s increase, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell 0.5% averaging 4.32% nationally this week. While the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage also declined 0.6%, averaging 3.32% nationally. Both the 30-year and 15-year, FRM are still up from this time last year. Additionally, the 5-year treasury-index hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage also fell to a national average of 3.02%, and the national average for the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM increased to 2.49%. More here

More Consumers Make Paying Mortgage Debt A Priority

New data released by TransUnion states that, as hiring increases and the housing market continues to improve, more consumers are making mortgage payments a priority once again. An increasing number of homeowners are beginning to pay off their mortgages instead of making large payments on credit cards, showing evidence that more consumers are out of debt. The mortgage delinquency rate fell in December 2013 to 1.71%, and credit card delinquencies fell to 1.83%. Ezra Becker, vice president of research and consulting for TransUnion said. “as unemployment rose and home prices cratered, many borrowers chose to value their credit card relationships above their mortgages.” More here

Millions of Renters Want To Buy In the Next Year

The number of Americans who want to buy a home this year is growing, but following through with the act may be a difficult task. Zillow’s chief economist Stan Humphries said, “the dream of homeownership remains very much alive and well, but these aspirations must also contend with the current reality, and in many areas, conditions remain difficult.” According to a recent survey in 20 metropolitan cities, 5% of residents and 10% of renters want to buy a home over the next year. More here

Housing Market Index Increases In March

According to the National Association of Home Builders, home builder sentiment in the United States increased this month. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market index jumped one point from last month averaging 47, still lower than many economists had predicted for March. February was the first month the housing market index fell below 50, and many experts expect the number to continue to increase as we make our way into the spring buying season, though concerns are still abundant. More here