March 2016

Found 36 blog entries for March 2016.

After plummeting in February due to a slow economic start to the year, consumer confidence turned in the other direction for March, according to data released by the Conference Board on Tuesday.

Whereas pessimism among consumers reigned in February’s report, March’s data showed signs that attitudes toward the economy are slowly improving after enduring such headwinds to start the year as lingering effects of the strong dollar and low oil prices. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index increased up to 96.2 (1985=100) in March from February’s reading of 94.0 and the Consumer Expectations Index jumped from 79.9 to 84.7 over-the-month in March.

“Consumer confidence increased in March, after declining in February,” said Lynn Franco, Director of

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Existing-home sales have suffered in recent months due to the continuous imbalance of extremely low inventory levels and rapid home price appreciation, and industry experts believe that this trend will not end anytime soon.

Ten-X's Residential Real Estate Nowcast expects existing-home sales to perform better in March with a 4.8 percent increase from the previous month and a 2.6 percent year-over-year increase. The company projects that sales will fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.15 and 5.55 million, with a targeted number of 5.32 million.

“Though U.S. home sales have seen significant volatility in recent months due to external factors, sales remain at a high overall level,” said Peter Muoio, Ten-X Chief Economist. “The housing

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The millennial generation has been dubbed the generation that is not interested in purchasing a home, whether it be due to renting, living with their parents, or because they are saddled with student loan debt. On the surface, it would appear that millennials are not interested in becoming homeowners.

According to an analysis from NerdWallet, the idea that millennials do not want to be homeowners is false, and in fact, the majority of this generation would prefer owning over renting, but they are holding off on homeownership because of real and perceived difficulties in affording it.

According to the report, millennials total 66 million individuals and 24 million independent households and the median age for first-time homebuyers has remained

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While the single-family rental market becomes an increasingly more popular alternative to homeownership, B2R Finance, a lender for rental property investors, announced earlier this month that it has become an approved supplier for real estate giant RE/MAX. The goal of the partnership is for B2R Finance to offer more financing solutions for rental property investors through RE/MAX’s sales associates network. About one out of every five transactions conducted by RE/MAX are with investors in the single-family rental space. DS Newsrecently talked with Fiona Simmonds, Chief Development and Administration Office for B2R Finance, and Mike Ryan, EVP for RE/MAX, to discuss the rental market, what investors need to know going in, and the role technology plays in

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The House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance on Tuesday afternoon held a hearing to examine the effect of government regulations on the cost of housing—and whether those regulations are hindering or promoting affordability.

Subcommittee Chairman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri) has been an outspoken critic of government regulation when it comes to housing and the financial industry. Last week, he told a group of bankers that they need to “find a way to neuter” Dodd-Frank advocate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and called her “the Darth Vader of the financial world.” Warren responded by saying if Republicans want to try to roll back Dodd-Frank, “Let’s have that fight. I’m ready.”

In Tuesday’s hearing, titled “The Future of Housing in

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The U.S. economic picture has been mixed as of late, as job gains were back up in February but the growth in financial markets such as stocks, U.S. dollar, and oil prices, has not been enough to offset the flatness in economic growth.

The economy received a slight boost Friday when the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) announced that the gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 1.4 percent in its third and final estimate for Q4—an increase from 0.7 percent in the first Q4 estimate released in January and 1.0 percent in the second Q4 estimate released in February.

“Final fourth quarter GDP numbers showed slight improvement over earlier estimates but represented a disappointment as a close to the year,” Fannie Mae chief economist Doug

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The Administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which was created in February 2009 to provide relief for homeowners facing financial hardship by reducing monthly payments to affordable levels through lowered interest rates and modified loan terms, is nearing its conclusion.

With HAMP Tier 1, homeowners receive a modification that reduces their interest rate to as low as two-percent for the first five years and then gradually steps up no more than a one-percent a year until the market interest rate at the time of the modification is reached. The median payment reduction for a homeowner in HAMP is about $500 per month (about 36 percent). The typical HAMP homeowner will experience two to three step-ups; the nationwide median payment

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While building credit and maintaining a good credit history remains a necessary tool for Americans in order to provide financial opportunities such as obtaining a loan for a mortgage or to make other large purchases, recent studies revealed that many Americans do not have any credit and in many cases do not even know what a credit score is.

In a recent survey of 668 Bay Area college studentscontaining questions about consumer credit and how it effects financial decisions conducted by LendEDU, the results revealed that 59.3 percent of respondents could not produce a broad definition of a credit score.

“Our survey wasn’t limited only to individuals with student debt,” LendEDU CEO Nate Matherson said. “Unfortunately, we found that the majority of

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A normalizing of the housing market in the last few years has meant a huge decline in distressed inventory available for sale—which has contributed to the low levels of existing homes for sale in recent months. Despite the lack of inventory, investors are becoming more involved in the market, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday

The short supply of existing homes combined with price appreciation and slow wage growth has resulted in an over-the-month decline of 7.1 percent for the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing-home sales in February, from 5.47 million down to 5.08 million, according to NAR’s February 2016 Existing-Home Sales Report. Over the year in February, existing-home sales were up by only

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The up-and-down existing-home sales market is expected to take another slight downward turn in February due to persistently tight inventory, but the market may turn around in the spring, according to First American Financial Corporation.

The industry is anxiously awaiting the existing-home sales report for February 2016, which will be released on Monday, March 21, by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  In January’s report, the pace of sales slowed to a crawl but still hit their highest level in six months at 5.47 million—but supply remained an issue as the number of existing homes for sale (1.82 million) for January was down 2.2 percent over-the-year, according to NAR.

Even with January’s slowing pace, existing-home sales have bounced back

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