Home prices gained 6.9% in the first quarter of 2018 compared to a year earlier and were 1.7% higher than in the last quarter of 2017. The FHFA released data Thursday showing a seasonally adjusted annual rate of increase of 0.1% for March, based on mortgage data from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
An overwhelming majority of Americans (85%) have a financial regret including student loans, credit card debt, and a too large mortgage. A new survey conducted at the start of May reveals the financial decisions made by more than 1,000 people which they now wish they had done differently.
The Federal Reserve’s governing board has released its decision on interest rates while acknowledging that inflation is closing in on its target without indicating any intention to veer from their gradual path of interest-rate increases.
“Inflation on a 12-month basis is expected to run near the committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term,” the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement Wednesday in Washington. “The committee expects that economic conditions will evolve in a manner that will warrant further gradual increases in the federal funds rate.”
Source: Fed announces rate hike decision
Cities in the West, led by Seattle, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, drove a further increase in home prices in February according to a leading index. The S&P CoreLogic Case Shiller NSA Index, which covers all 9 census areas, was up 6.3% year-over-year from 6.1% in January. There was a 6.5% rise for the 10-City Composite (up from 6% in January) and a 6.8% rise in the 20-City Composite (from 6.4%).
A new study suggests that a change in the information used for credit scores could enable millions of potential homebuyers to qualify for a mortgage. The Urban Institute says that while credit bureaus pick up missed rent payments, they do not generally record those that are made on time. But these payments are typically most consumers largest monthly expense, providing a good indication of their ability to meet a monthly financial commitment.
Issues surrounding supply levels and affordability in many US metros is getting worse, with more showing a decline than an improvement. A new joint-study by the National Association of Realtors and Realtor.com shows that, out of the metros analyzed, affordability worsened in 45 and improved in 34.
The rate of homeownership rose in the fourth quarter, signaling upward momentum after staying near 50-year lows in recent years. The homeownership rate was 64.2% during the quarter, up from the 63.7% rate in the fourth quarter of 2016 and an increase from the 63.9% rate in the third quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the US Census Bureau.
There was a decline in mortgage applications last week according to new data from the Mortgage Brokers Association. Its Market Composite Index was down 1.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis, and down 1% unadjusted, compared to the previous week.
While some classic home features are rarely out of favor, current trends can vary; and can add thousands of dollars to a home’s selling price. For spring 2018, sellers with heated flooring, a steam shower, or outdoor kitchen, could be achieving a sale price well above above asking.
The current state of the US housing market appears to be weighing heavily on potential homebuyers. With inventory tight, demand for homes in February was down 14% from January according to the Redfin Housing Demand Index.