Top News Of The Week

- Home Price Growth Slowing, Says Case Shiller
- NAHB Chief Says Labor Shortage Still Hobbling Construction Industry
- Fed Raises Rates, Mortgage Rates Hit Seven-Year High
- Cleveland’s Hot — But Not Everywhere
- The Next Big Thing? A Bigger Garage
- Eight-Legged Freaks Move In
- Florence Not Finished With Carolinas Yet
- Sellers Market Transitions to Buyers?
- Home Sellers Are Slashing Prices
- Nation’s Housing Market Still Underperforming
- Seattle Cools But Suburbs Continue to Boom
- Typical Mortgage Payment Rises Faster Than Home Prices
- Vinyl, Stucco Most Common Siding Choices


Home Price Growth Slowing, Says Case Shiller
The red-hot growth in home prices across America is starting to cool off.

The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Index finds that home prices in July were up 6-percent year-over-year, compared to 6.2% in June.

David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones, tells Yahoo Finance we’re moving into what he calls “a kind of equilibrium”…

This latest report shows that both year-over-year gains and monthly increases slowed in July.

NAHB Chief Says Labor Shortage Still Hobbling Construction Industry
The CEO of the National Association of Home Builders says America’s builders are optimistic right now — but they say an ongoing labor shortage is holding the industry back.

Jerry Howard tells Bloomberg News that tax reform and stabilizing lumber prices are cause for optimism, but finding enough skilled workers remains a huge concern.

Howard says the labor shortage will persist until the immigration laws permit a, quote, “a steady flow of legal people into the country.”

Fed Raises Rates, Mortgage Rates Hit Seven-Year High
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates, for the third time this year.

The federal funds rate will be raised a quarter percentage point

And while the Fed’s actions do not necessarily have a direct impact on mortgage rates, Freddie Mac reports that the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage reached 4.72%, the highest since April 2011.

Bloomberg News quotes Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com, as saying that we could see 5-percent mortgages before 2019.

Cleveland’s Hot — But Not Everywhere
Cleveland’s housing market is booming.

Well, parts of it are. A new study finds a much slower recovery on Cleveland’s eastside and in the inner ring suburbs.

A new report from the Western Reserve Land Conservancy is titled “Housing Market Recovery in Cuyahoga County: Race and Geography Still Matter,”

Frank Ford headed the study. He told Cleveland’s WKYC-TV the solution may be to simply demolish long-vacant homes:

Ford notes that Cleveland’s inner-ring suburbs are occupied primarily by African American families who were hit hard by the 2008 crash.

The Next Big Thing? A Bigger Garage
America’s love affair with SUVs and pickup trucks has given rise to a new niche market — garage remodeling.

The Detroit Free Press reports that many homeowners are finding that their vehicles are too tall and too long to fit in their garages. so they’re turning to contractors to remodel the garages to accomodate the larger vehicles while still keeping some room for storage.

It’s a trend that won’t likely be ending anytime soon. The Free Press quotes Eric Noble, a professor of vehicle technology at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, as saying, “The only thing that has grown as fast as American vehicles are American waistlines.”

Eight-Legged Freaks Move In
As the fall weather brings cooler temperatures, more spiders will likely be taking up residence inside homes.

Realtor Magazine reports that some spiders may already be in your home, and just more willing to show themselves in the fall.

Experts say most spiders you find in your home are harmless.

But REALTOR®.com says there are things you can do to control the arachnid population. The best way: regular cleaning.

Florence Not Finished With Carolinas Yet
Hurricane Florence is long gone, but flooding persists in the Carolinas, even as homeowners and government officials try to assess the total damage.

As to the real estate market going forward, Jeff Terry, who’s a home inspector as well as a real estate broker in the Cape Fear, North Carolina area told WECT-TV that Florence’s long-term effects may not be that bad.

Total damage loss from Florence, in North Carolina alone, is estimated at more than $1.1 billion

Sellers Market Transitions to Buyers?
Is the sellers market over?

First American chief economist Mark Fleming tells CNBC we are transitioning to a buyers market — especially in certain metro areas…

Fleming also says he does not think rising mortgage interest rates will have any significant impact on home sales.

Home Sellers Are Slashing Prices
It seems that price markdowns are not limited to your favorite department stores these days.

Many home sellers have been cutting prices, too. Real estate brokerage Redfin reports that in a four-week period ended in mid-September, more than one out of four of the homes listed for sale had a price cut of at least one percent.

Redfin says the price-cutting is happening at the highest rate in at least eight years.

The trend is especially apparent in the Western states where the price gains have been hottest.

Nation’s Housing Market Still Underperforming
Existing-home sales are 6 and a half percent below the market’s potential, according to the latest First American Potential Home Sales Model.

Blame the shortage of homes on the market, says First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming. He says, quote, “You can’t buy what’s not for sale.”

First American’s report finds that potential existing-home sales during August increased to a 6 point 13 million seasonally adjusted annualized rate.

Seattle Cools But Suburbs Continue to Boom
Home prices in Seattle are cooling. The Seattle Times reports that some homebuyers have even seen prices drop significantly from their record-setting spring highs.

But according to a recent article in The Times, buyers looking in the outer areas of the Puget Sound region — where homes have generally been cheaper — are still finding the same old competitive market.

A July increase of 12-percent in home prices across the greater Seattle region was driven largely by a 16-percent jump among those “cheaper” homes.

Typical Mortgage Payment Rises Faster Than Home Prices
The typical monthly mortgage payment paid by American homeowner is 15% higher now than it was a year ago.

And according to a recent blog post by CoreLogic, the trend in mortgage rates suggests there will be a 9% rise in the typical mortgage payment by next June.

The median sale price has risen by just over 6 percent over the past year.

Vinyl, Stucco Most Common Siding Choices
Vinyl siding is the leader.

New figures from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction show that vinyl siding was used on 27% of the new homes started in 2017.

But if your new home didn’t have vinyl siding, there’s a good chance it had a stucco exterior.Stucco was used on 25% of new homes.

Only 5% of the homes started last year had wood or wood product exteriors.

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