Top News Of The Week

– Case Shiller: Prices Rise at Slower Pace
– Fed is ‘Patient,’ Does Not Raise Interest Rate
– New Home Sales Rebound
– Strong Charlotte Market
– Super Bowl Weekend as Housing Market Prognosticator
– SoCal Home Sales Plummet in December
– Home Remodeling Growth is Slowing
– Move More, Make More, Study Suggests
– Housing Market is ‘Acting Rationally’ Says One Expert
– Banker Sees Strong 2019 Economy
– The Growing Call to ARMs
– California Offers Help to Fresno
– Multifamily Leads The Way as Construction Spending Rises
– Western States Lead Nation in Population Growth
– Top Home Repairs If Time or Money Are Short

Case Shiller: Prices Rise at Slower Pace
Home values continue to rise nationwide, but at a slower pace, according to the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

Their data show that prices increased 5.2% year over year in November. The October rate was 5.3%.

David Blitzer is Managing Director at S&P Dow Jones Indices. He spoke to Yahoo Finance.

And Blitzer says he does not think it has turned into a buyers market yet, largely because the inventory of homes for sale is still too tight.

Fed is ‘Patient,’ Does Not Raise Interest Rate
Patience will be the key word going forward, as the Federal Reserve considers future interest rate hikes.

At its January meeting Fed Chairman Jerome Powell explained why the decision was made not to raise rates right now.

The Fed’s actions don’t directly affect mortgage rates, but can influence the direction they take.

New Home Sales Rebound
New home sales took an unexpected turn upward in November.

The latest figures from the government show that contracts for new, single-family home sales rose almost 17%.

And thanks to upward revisions for months going back to June, year-to-date new home sales are 2.7% higher than the same period in 2017.

Strong Charlotte Market
Charlotte has a strong housing market right now, says a leading real estate broker.

But don’t call it a bubble.

REALTOR® Nancy Braun, owner of Showcase Realty in Charlotte, told WCNC-TV.

Braun says she anticipates that 2019 will see a continued shortage of homes for sale in Charlotte, and some affordability issues.

Super Bowl Weekend as Housing Market Prognosticator
While you were watching the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl 53, one real estate pro was watching different numbers rack up.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of online brokerage Redfin, recently spoke on NPR about the significance of last weekend.

Kelman said he’ll be poring over the numbers from last weekend, to see how many people took a house tour, and by Sunday night how many had decided to make an offer.

Kelman told NPR that within weeks, it’ll be apparent — from the Super Bowl weekend numbers — what the overall 2019 housing market will look like.

SoCal Home Sales Plummet in December
December was a discouraging month for home sales in Southern California. Sales of new and existing houses plunged fell 20-percent year over year, according to figures compiled by CoreLogic.

The December sales pace in the region was the slowest since 2007.

Experts blame higher costs as the main factor in the low sales.

Normally, sales in Southern California rise as much as 12-percent in November and December.

Home Remodeling Growth is Slowing
The home remodeling market is expected to shrink this year, as homeowners reconsider pumping more money into their homes.

Rising interest rates, and a slowdown in home values, are among the reasons property owners are slower to undertake a remodeling project.

Alvaro Lecayo, an analyst at G. Research, said on CNBC despite slowing home appreciation, homeowners will still be spending on upgrades:

Lecayo says the average age of the U.S. housing stock is now over forty years.

Move More, Make More, Study Suggests
Can you maximize the profits from selling your home, by moving more often?

A new study by Lending Tree suggests that those who stay in their homes the shortest time realize larger profits when they sell, than homeowners who stay longer.

The Lending Tree study found that cities where people keep their homes for the shortest time can see more than double the price appreciation of homes where people stay the longest.

On average, homeowners stay in their homes for about 7 years.

Housing Market is ‘Acting Rationally’ Says One Expert
In many markets, homes are not selling as quickly and not fetching the prices they once did.

And that’s good, says former Fannie Mae executive Tim Rood.

Rood spoke on Fox Business.

Banker Sees Strong 2019 Economy
One banker sees a continued strong economy in 2019 — good news for housing.

Shawn Snyder, head of Investment Strategy at Citi Personal Wealth Management, told Yahoo Finance that the slowdown in the housing market right now is “not worrisome yet”…

Snyder says “the bull will keep running” on Wall Street in the months ahead, as long as we don’t see what he calls “a deep contraction in growth.”

The Growing Call to ARMs
As the average interest on fixed-rate mortgages rises, more Americans are turning to adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs.

Ellie Mae reports that the share of December originations that were adjustable rate mortgages was the highest it’s been since they started tracking it in 2011.

Ellie Mae’s December Origination Insight Report notes that the share of ARMs reached 9.2%, up from 8.9 in November.

California Offers Help to Fresno
San Francisco and Los Angeles may get most of the attention, but cities elsewhere in California are also facing an affordability crisis.

California State Treasurer Fiona Ma met recently with officials in the Fresno area, encouraging them to take advantage of tax credits and other incentives.

The head of the Fresno Housing Authority says the market needs some 40-thousand affordable housing units.

Multifamily Leads The Way as Construction Spending Rises
After three straight months of decline, private residential construction spending rose 3-and-a-half percent in November.

That gain is largely thanks to steady growth in spending on multifamily construction, according to an analysis of Census Bureau figures by the National Association of Home Builders.

That analysis shows that multifamily construction spending was up 2.6% in November, hitting an annual pace of 64-billion dollars, a record high.

Western States Lead Nation in Population Growth
If you want to move to one of the states that is growing the fastest, head to Idaho or Nevada.

New Census Bureau data show that those two states are adding new residents the fastest.

Each state’s population grew by about two-percent between July 2017 and July 2018.

Rounding out the top five fastest-growing states: Utah, Arizona, and Florida.

Top Home Repairs If Time or Money Are Short
You’re selling your house, but it’s not exactly in market-ready condition. Are there repair or maintenance tasks you can do that won’t take much time or money, but will help sell the house?

HouseLogic has narrowed the list of most important items to address before selling your home.

Topping the list: fix the flooring.

The HouseLogic article notes that, quote, “Scratched-up wood flooring, ratty, outdated carpeting, and tired linoleum make your home feel sad.”

HouseLogic says you should also repair water stains, and touch up yellowed or cracked grout.

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