Monday, March 26, 2007

February 2007 Homes Sales Increase

I found an article in the Washington Post which sights unexpected jumps in the sales of existing homes in February 2007, the largest jump since March 2004. Read the article here.

Personally, I have seen an increase in buyer showings, and contracts on my listings. There are more buyers in the market. Statistics from NVAR (find the statistics here) says that there was a 6.87% increase in February 2007 sales of single family homes, townhomes, and condos compared to February 2006. In February 2007 there was actually 3% more inventory on the market for sale than in February 2006. The reason, I believe, that sales have increased 6.87% is because buyer demand has increased while interest rates are decreasing, despite 3% more homes on the market.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Hi-Tech Home Upgrades

Looking for the latest and greatest home products? From a fingerprint scanning deadbolt, to an oven which can cook a 12-pound turkey in 42 minutes, to residential elevators, listed ten new products which caught their attention at the 2007 International Builders’ Show. Click here to take a look at the list that would make any homeowner jealous.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Substaintial Risk with Subprime Mortgages

Subprime Mortgages, mortgages given to home buyers with risky credit histories, allowed buyers to purchase homes in the craze of the market boom of the last few years. The effect? Foreclosure rates are increasing, more than two dozen subprime mortgage companies are closing their doors for good, and home buyers with subprime mortgages are facing significant risk. According to an article by the Washington Post:
“4.95 percent of all home mortgages were delinquent, meaning they were at least 30 days late. The most dramatic rise among subprime borrowers. The survey also showed that lenders initiated foreclosures against 0.54 percent of borrowers – or about one in every 200.” read the complete article here
In my opinion, subprime mortgages are significantly risky for buyers who stretch themselves to the max to do a 3-year interest only ARM. While short term interest only ARMs are wonderful short term deals, buyers face serious danger if they do not refinance before the interest rate jumps. If you are in this situation, I strongly urge you to try refinancing to a 30-year fixed mortgage while rates are still low (around 6.25% today).

Also keep in mind that foreclosure rates are increasing, meaning that there is a higher supply of “bank owned” properties. Bank owned properties compete with sellers when they are selling their home, making it a much more difficult market for sellers.