Here are some top articles with Real Estate quick stats and “should knows” if thinking of buying or selling this spring.
Single family starts were up a strong 6.0% in March and are up 9.1% over the last two months. The 5-month moving average is the highest since July 2008. Plus, the number of homes under construction (started but not finished) is up 21% over a year ago!
March listings on realtor.com were up 9.5% from a year ago. In addition to better selection, buyers get more time to decide. The median age of inventory was 102 days.
Good News!! So how about those loans?
While standards remain tight by historical measures, lenders have started to accept lower credit scores and to reduce down-payment requirements.
Another sign that banks could get less picky: Credit scores for borrowers seeking conventional mortgages also are easing. Scores on purchase mortgages stood at 755 in March, down from 761 a year earlier, according to data from Ellie Mae, a mortgage-software provider. Those on purchase loans backed by the FHA dropped to 684, compared with 696 one year earlier. …
Smaller lenders are accepting even lower scores. Average credit scores on purchase loans closed through a consortium called LendingTree fell to 679 in March, down from the year-earlier 715.
“Tiny fractions of borrowers can do things that they could not a year ago,” said Lou Barnes, a mortgage banker in Boulder, Colo.
No one wants a return to the loose lending standards of the mid-00s – and I hope we never see another Alt-A loan – but I expect standards to loosen over the next few years. From Nick Timiraos and AnnaMaria Andriotis at the WSJ
And finally are you thinking of buying or selling? Here are some great articles and information from Zillow.
Home Shopping Season is Here
Spring marks the start of the home shopping season, when more houses typically come on the market and more buyers are searching for a home. Check out our tips below to ease your home shopping or selling experience.
Strategies for Buyers
- The market isn’t the same as it was five years ago. Understand the top home-buying myths.
- Home loans aren’t one-size-fits-all. Determine the right mortgage for you.
- Small amounts can cost a lot over time. See the difference 1 percent interest makes.
- What if you don’t see “the one” or a home is not in your price range? Make a plan to find your home.
Advice for Sellers
- Hoping for a quick sale? Top agents and interior designers identified the most valuable home improvements to fight the competition.
- Even if sales are picking up in your town, your home may not receive multiple offers. See three must-haves to get more offers.