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Economic News

Consumer & Realtor Corner

This news is designed to help you by providing information that will be helpful to provide to your previous clients and other segments of your sphere. Feel free to forward these to your database, post on blogs, websites and more.

The Value of Staging

Sixty-two percent of listing agents say professional staging decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, while 40 percent of buyer’s agents say their clients are more willing to walk through a home that has been staged, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging. “Realtors® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home, and staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers,” says NAR President William E. Brown. “While all real estate is local and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are willing to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value.”

Thirty-one percent of respondents to NAR's survey say staging increased the dollar value of a home they sold by 1 percent to 5 percent; 13 percent of respondents say it increased a home’s dollar value by 6 percent to 10 percent. Agents on both the buying and selling side agree that the living room is the most important part of a home to stage; followed by the master bedroom, the kitchen, and outdoor space. Thirty-eight percent of listing agents say they stage every one of their sellers’ homes before listing them. Fourteen percent say they will only stage homes that are difficult to sell, while 7 percent say they only stage homes in higher price brackets. However, 37 percent of listing agents say they do not stage homes at all before listing them. Instead, they say they make recommendations to sellers to declutter their homes and fix any issues.

Source: NAR

The Markets

  • Last week, 30-year fixed rates fell to their lowest level in the past six weeks.

  • For the week ending August 10, Freddie Mac announced that 30-year fixed rates fell to 3.90% from 3.93% the week before.

  • The average for 15-year loans remained at 3.18%, and the average for five-year adjustables moved down slightly to 3.14%.

  • A year ago, 30-year fixed rates averaged 3.45%.

  • Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac -- "After holding relatively flat last week, the 10-year Treasury yield fell 4 basis points this week. The 30-year rate on home loans moved in tandem with Treasury yields, dropping 3 basis points to 3.90 percent. Earlier last week, Federal Reserve officials highlighted the influence of continued weak inflation data on rates."

Note: Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.

Real Estate News

Breaking. The National Association of Realtors released a report that said foreign buyers and recent immigrants spent an estimated $153 billion on American properties in the year ending March 2017. That was a 49% increase over the previous year and the highest level since record-keeping began in 2009. The purchases accounted for 10% of the total value of existing home sales in the U.S. The report did not include new homes. America's neighbors to the north were one big factor behind the surge. Canadian real estate investors nearly doubled their purchases of American homes over the period because of the relative affordability of properties in the States. Many Canadians have been squeezed out of property markets in cities like Toronto and Vancouver that have experienced rapid price gains. Canadians were the second biggest foreign purchasers of homes after the Chinese. Buyers from China shelled out nearly $32 billion over the period, while Canadians spent $19 billion. Foreign buyers had to brush off U.S. political turmoil in order to make their purchases. "The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. Source: CNN/Money

A typical home in the US was worth $200,400 in June, smashing through the $200K barrier for the first time. The record was set following a 7.4% year-over-year rise in the median home value according to Zillow, as the number of homes available to buy dropped 11%, the biggest drop in inventory since July 2013. "The national housing market remains red hot and shows no signs of slowing, even as some local markets like the Bay Area have noticeably cooled," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. He added that even in the cooling areas, tight supply and strong demand is leading to fierce competition. Source: Mortgage Professional America

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Articles and commentary are provided for general information only and should not be relied on as legal or financial advice. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Landmark Mortgage & Associates.

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