Home values rise 5% for sixth consecutive month

Julie C. Nichols General

MBA Newslink – Mike Sorohan For the sixth straight month, home value appreciation was at or exceeded 5%, according to data from Zillow. More specifically, home values rose in April to $158,300. Home values jumped 5.2% over year ago levels, Zillow ($59.22 0.7601%) reported, reaching their highest level since June 2004. A majority of the 365 metros — 55% to …

Mortgage Rates in U.S. Rise to Highest Level in Six Weeks

Julie C. Nichols General

Bloomberg – Prashant Gopal U.S. mortgage rates rose, pushing borrowing costs for a 30-year loan to the highest in six weeks. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage climbed to 3.51 percent in the week ended today, up from 3.42 percent and the highest since early April, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac (FMCC) said in a statement. The average 15-year …

Buying more beneficial than renting in 64% of metros

Julie C. Nichols General

HousingWire – The Ticker In 64% of metro areas nationwide, buying a home is a better financial decision than renting for residents planning to stay in their home for at least three years, Zillow claims in a new report. The study by Zillow ($57.76 0%) incorporates all possible costs associated with both buying and renting. These include upfront payments, closing …

Foreclosure Crisis Cost U.S. $192.6 Billion In Lost Wealth Last Year, Study Finds

Julie C. Nichols General

The Huffington Post – Jillian Bernman Americans lost $192.6 billion in wealth, or an average of $1,700 per household, last year due to foreclosures, according to a report released Thursday by the Alliance for a Just Society, a coalition of progressive grassroots organizations across the country. The report also found that the U.S. could lose $221 billion if officials don’t …

Home appraisals no longer derailing sales

Julie C. Nichols General

CNNMoney – Les Christie Consider this one more sign that the housing market is heating up: Appraisers are putting higher values on homes again, allowing for more deals to go through. During the housing bust, sales were often derailed by low-ball appraisals that fell far shy of a home’s selling price. For example, if a home cost $500,000 and required …

One-Third of Homebuyers Lack Basic Mortgage Knowledge

Julie C. Nichols General

The M Report – Tory Barringer According to Zillow, homebuyers participating in its Mortgage Marketplace Survey answered basic questions on mortgage information incorrectly nearly one-third (32.5%) of the time. For example, 34% of first-time homebuyers are not aware that they might be able to get a home loan with a down payment of less than 5 percent. According to Zillow, …

Borrowing Against The House, Once Again

Julie C. Nichols General

MortgageOrb.com – Nora Caley According to the Equifax March National Consumer Credit Trends Report, for home equity lines of credit, new credit originated in January 2013 totaled $6.2 billion, which was an increase of 20% compared to the $5.1 billion in January 2012. It was the strongest start to a calendar year since 2009. One reason why homeowners can borrow …

Survey Suggests Continued Shift Toward Urban Living

Julie C. Nichols General

MBA Newslink – Mike Sorohan A new Urban Land Institute survey, underscoring the influence of Generation Y roughly–those Americans born between 1983 and 2000–as well as the nation’s growing African-American and Latino populations. According to the results of the study, forget the cul-de-sac in the suburb; the fastest-growing demographic groups in the U.S. want to live compact, mixed-use communities with …

Dallas area lags in taking home mortgage tax deduction

Julie C. Nichols General

Dallas Morning News – Alexandria Baca About 22 percent of tax filers nationwide last year claimed the deduction for a total of $68 billion, making it the third-most-expensive tax break in 2011, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. But Dallas-area homeowners are lagging, a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts shows, and when they do take the deduction, …