The 'shadow inventory' dropped 35 percent in the past year.
How healthy is the housing market? Data on prices and sales show a pretty nice recovery, but the standout stat is foreclosures: The "foreclosure inventory" dropped by 35 percent in the 12 months ended in February.
That's the number of homes in the foreclosure process or likely to be because homeowners are seriously behind in their payments. Because homes in or near foreclosure typically sell at a deep discount, a large foreclosure inventory, including a "shadow inventory" of homes that could tumble onto the market, puts damper on sales, which can hurt prices. So a reduction in the number of troubled homes is a force for the good.
Despite the week-to-week decrease, the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan is still higher than in 2013.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.34 percent in the week that ended April 10 from 4.41 percent in the prior week, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac.
A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 3.43 percent.
"Mortgage rates eased a bit following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie's chief economist.
The price per square foot now exceeds $1,000 for new units in San Francisco, according to a new report.
Few markets are more frenzied than San Francisco, where new condominium prices are now over $1,000 per square foot, according to The Mark Co., a marketing and sales firm in San Francisco.
Refis comprise 51 percent of all mortgage applications, down from 80 percent in 2012.
A large drop in refinances pushed the overall volume lower, but applications to purchase a home rose 3 percent from the previous week, on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase applications, however, are still down 14 percent from a year ago, when mortgage rates were a full percentage point lower.
Investors are flipping foreclosure homes into single-family rentals.
Nowhere has that been truer than in the suburbs ringing Atlanta, where rampant overbuilding and economic woes produced a flood of foreclosures.
At the same time, the local rental market couldn't absorb all the displaced owners. That combination proved irresistible to mom-and-pop investors, whose all-cash purchases stabilized the market: Atlanta home prices rebounded from a 12.7 percent decline in 2009 to flat in 2010.
The injured NBA star is now asking $7,999,999 for his half-acre estate.
The sidelined Los Angeles Lakers superstar has cut the price on his mansion-estate in Newport Coast, Calif., by $600,000. Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, asked $8.599 million when they first began shopping the luxury home in August. After the recent price cut, however, the mansion now lists for $7,999,999.
The Mediterranean-inspired home was built in 1997 and occupies a palm-lined, half-acre lot in the exclusive guard-gated community. Its two-story floor plan spans 8,500 square feet and features a range of luxury finishes, including walnut flooring, limestone-capped staircases and detailed molding.
Two middle-class incomes don't add up to a home, report says.
Home prices, which have seen two straight years of 13 percent increases, are rising again this spring. Meanwhile, median household income, when adjusted for inflation, is almost unchanged from 25 years ago. At the intersection of this stagnant wage growth and housing-market rebound is the middle-class homebuyer, who also has few homes to choose from thanks to a five-year low in inventory. From a first-year elementary school teacher to a tenured college professor, homebuyers are finding few affordable homes for sale.
Your new house or apartment may look great. But pay attention to these things to ensure you'll enjoy living in it.
You've checked out the schools and read neighborhood crime statistics. You've timed your commute and figured out where to buy groceries. But what are you missing when it comes to evaluating a new neighborhood?
Don't forget to check these seven neighborhood details before you sign a lease or buy a home.