A Benefit of Brexit - United Kingdom leaving the European Union - Amazingly low 30 year mortgage rates. http://sullivanteam.com/pages/news
Here’s how existing-home sales fared across the country in May:
- Northeast: existing-home sales rose 4.1 percent to an annual rate of 770,000, and are now 11.6 percent above a year ago. Median price: $268,600, which is 0.1 percent below May 2015.
- Midwest: existing-home sales fell 6.5 percent to an annual rate of 1.3 million in May but are still 3.2 percent higher than a year ago. Median price: $190,000, up 4.8 percent from a year ago.
- South: existing-home sales rose 4.6 percent to an annual rate of 2.28 million in May and are now 6.5 percent above a year ago. Median price: $211,500, up 5.9 percent from a year ago.
- West: existing-home sales climbed 5.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.18 million in May but are still 1.7 percent lower than a year ago. Median price: $346,900, which is 7.7 percent above a year ago.
- Housing inventories: Total housing inventory at the end of May increased 1.4 percent month-over-month to 2.15 million existing homes for sale. That is 5.7 percent lower than a year ago. At the current sales pace, unsold inventory represents a 4.7-month supply.
"Existing inventory remains subdued throughout much of the country and continues to lag even last year's deficient amount," says Yun. "While new-home construction has thankfully crept higher so far this year, there's still a glaring need for even more, to help alleviate the supply pressures that are severely limiting choices and pushing prices out of reach for plenty of prospective first-time buyers."
All-cash sales: Buyers paying in cash accounted for 22 percent of all transactions in May, down from 24 percent a year ago. Individual investors account for the biggest bulk of all-cash sales. Investors purchased 13 percent of homes in May, down from 14 percent a year ago.
Distressed sale Foreclosures and short sales dropped to 6 percent of all sales last month, down from 10 percent a year ago. Foreclosures comprised 5 percent of sales in May while short sales represented 1 percent of sales. On average, foreclosures sold for a discount of 12 percent below market value while short sales were discounted 11 percent.
Days on the market: Properties spent less time on the market in May, selling, on average, after 32 days. That's below the average time on market a year ago (40 days) and the shortest time since NAR began tracking such data in May 2011. Forty-nine percent of homes sold in May were on the market for less than a month, also the highest percentage since May 2011. Short sales were on the market the longest, at a median of 103 days in May, while foreclosures sold in 51 days. Non-distressed homes took 30 days.
Millennials Choose Parents’ Homes Over Romance
Mom and dad must make cool roommates. Young adults between the ages of 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than to get married or move in with a romantic partner, according to a newly released analysis of Census data by the Pew Research Center.
This is the first time in more than 130 years in which young adults have chosen their parents’ homes over forming their own households, the study notes. In 2014, 32.1 percent of young adults were living with a parent. On the other hand, slightly fewer—31.6 percent—were living in a household formed upon a “romantic relationship,” either with a spouse or a partner, according to Pew’s analysis.
What do you think? The National Association of Home Builders recently issued a report, “Missing Young Adult Households,” which attributes the lack of demand for single-family homes to millennials opting to live with their parents longer.
The trend for young adults to live with their parents longer grew more pronounced after the Great Recession in 2008. Fewer job opportunities forced some young adults to move back home. Also, young professionals are delaying marriages longer (with one in four young adults who may never marry), and the trend of young adults living together has “substantially fallen since 1990,” according to researchers.
Young men are living at the family home at the greatest numbers. About 35 percent of young adult men were living with a parent compared to 29 percent of women. About 14 percent of 18 to 34 year olds live alone, the study shows.
Source: “Living with Parents Is Most Common Arrangement for Young Adults,” Chicago Tribune (May 25, 2016)
Phantom 4 Review: DJI’s New Drone Outsmarts Bad Pilots
The new Phantom 4 drone from DJI keeps pilots from getting into crashes with computer vision that can sense and avoid obstacles including trees, buildings and people. WSJ Personal Tech columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler takes it for a test flight, including a head-on game of chicken.
The first thing I did with DJI’s new Phantom 4 drone was fly straight toward a tree.
Not the best way to treat a $1,400 flying camera, sure. But this quadcopter can do something other drones can’t: keep you and me from being idiot pilots.
My Phantom 4 made a beeline toward a cypress, then screeched to a halt a few feet before it. A spider-like array of cameras built into its body can see obstacles in 3-D and make split-second decisions to pause or veer to a new flight path.
After a rash of drone crashes and injuries, these flying lawn mowers needed a breakthrough. It’s computer vision. The Phantom 4, arriving in Apple stores March 15, is the first consumer drone that can sense and avoid trees, buildings and moving objects. A novice can tap on an app and have it trail someone like a flying paparazzo. To put it to the test, I even challenged it to a game of chicken.
The Hottest Trend in Outdoor Living? Fireplaces and Fire Pits
As more homeowners seek to bring the indoors to the outdoors, fireplaces and fire pits are becoming an even hotter commodity — literally and figuratively.
Fire pits are one of the biggest trends in 2016 for homeowners wanting to upgrade their outdoor living spaces. In fact, landscape architects surveyed by the American Society of Landscape Architects identified fireplaces and fire pits as the number 1 outdoor design element for 2016.
Fire features such as fireplaces and fire pits “not only add ambiance to an outdoor space but also provide heat and light that allows you to use your deck later into the evening and into the year,” says design expert Kate Campbell, one of the stars of HGTV’s “Decked Out.”
For full article ... http://rismedia.com/2016-03-10/the-hottest-trend-in-outdoor-living-fireplaces-and-fire-pits/
Home Sizes Expand, Along With Prices
New U.S. houses are getting bigger in size and more expensive, but larger new homes do not necessarily mean strength in the housing market. Here's why.
The size of new homes rose last year, suggesting Americans’ love of space remains strong but making new homes less affordable for a bigger swath of buyers.
The average size climbed to about 2,720 square feet in 2015 from about 2,660 square feet the previous year, according to data released by the National Association of Home Builders at its annual trade show.
Almost half of the homes started last year had four or more bedrooms, and one out of four had garages with room for three or more cars.
That isn’t necessarily a sign of strength in the housing market, however.
Home sizes have grown lately because new construction has been tilted toward the high end. Builders do aim to draw young buyers in at lower price points, so that there is a market for some of their more expensive products over the long term. But they haven’t made more starter homes in recent years mainly because of land prices, construction costs and lack of available mortgages for less-affluent buyers.
Those potential buyers, who may also be younger, help bring down the average size of new homes because they tend to live in smaller spaces than their older counterparts. They have been slow to purchase homes because they are struggling to save for down payments or be approved for mortgages.
The average price of new homes for sale in 2015 climbed to $351,000, up $100,000 from 2009.
The average new-home size bottomed during the 2008 financial crisis at about 2,360 square feet and climbed sharply before leveling out in 2014 and then jumping again in 2015. Rose Quint, assistant vice president of survey research at the home builders association, said she expected square footage might begin to decline as more first-time buyers came back into the market.
“Last year I was expecting, and I wasn’t alone, that the average size of homes would actually fall … because there were new measures that were supposed to bring in a wave of first-time home buyers,” Ms. Quint said. “That didn’t happen.”
Measures to help entice younger buyers into the market included lowering fees on loans from the Federal Housing Administration, which tend to be more appealing to first-time buyers because they have lower down-payment requirements.
The share of first-time buyers of U.S. homes fell to 32% of all purchasers in 2015 from 33% the previous year, according to the National Association of Realtors, its lowest level in three decades.
A major topic of conversation at this year’s International Builders’ Show was how to entice younger buyers to begin purchasing homes again. Ideas ranged from more communal amenities, such as pools and clubhouses, to mimicking high-end rentals to smaller homes with more outdoor space that tend to be cheaper.
“It’s a little bit concerning,” said Jeff Roos, a regional president for Lennar Corp. He said the company is looking at integrating technology and designs that appeal to younger buyers. “As the millennials get older they’ll see the value of buying versus renting.”