What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – November 30, 2020

Posted in Uncategorized by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 30th, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - November 30, 2020

Last week’s economic reporting included readings on Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, new home sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released. No readings were released on Thursday or Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Case-Shiller Reports Highest Pace Of Home Price Growth Since 2014

Case-Shiller reported higher home price growth in September with national home price growth of 7.00 percent on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. August’s national home price growth pace was 5.80 percent. Housing markets in many areas are seeing increased activity due to higher demand for homes.

While higher home prices appear counter-intuitive during the pandemic and related economic challenges, the coronavirus pandemic has created more demand for homes as buyers move from congested urban metro areas to less populated areas. Buyers continued seeking larger homes as working from home and remote learning increased.

Phoenix, Arizona, Seattle, Washington and, San Diego, California maintained the top three ratings for home price growth in the 20-City Home Price Index. New York, New York, and Dallas,  Texas reported the lowest rates of home price growth due to large numbers of Covid-19 cases reported earlier this year.

In related news, the Commerce Department reported 999,000 sales of new homes on an annual basis in October. The year-over-year gain was 41.50 percent higher than one year ago.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported no change in average rates for fixed-rate mortgages, which averaged 2.72 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 2.28 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. and an increase of 0.31 basis points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages, which averaged 3.16 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Initial jobless claims rose last week with 778,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 720,000 claims based on the prior week’s reading of 748,000 initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing claims fell to 6.07 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 6.37 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan reported a lower reading for consumer sentiment in November with an index reading of 76.9. Analysts expected a reading of 76.8 and the prior month’s reading was 77.0. Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases will likely cause further declines in consumer sentiment.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on pending home sales, construction spending, and labor-sector reports on public and private sector jobs and the national unemployment rate.

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New Home Construction Orders Lead To A Boom For Contractors

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 10th, 2020

New Home Construction Orders Lead To A Boom For ContractorsDuring the past few months, the housing market has been through a lot of changes. One of the biggest changes that have taken place involves new home construction demands.

While there are plenty of homes that have already been built and are ready to be sold, there are plenty of people who are deciding to build new homes instead of buy existing ones. Now, the demands for new home construction are at heights that have not been seen in close to 15 years.

This has led to a business boom for local contractors. While building a new home is a great option, it is also a choice that requires a team of professionals. Not only are construction professionals needed to build the actual structure but professional contractors are also required to handle the plumbing system, HVAC system, and electrical system. With the recent boom in demand for new homes, local contractors have been busier than ever.

There Is A Shortage Of Skilled Trade Workers

While having plenty of business is a great thing, this is also creating some challenges for those who work in this field. Some contractors are saying that they are having trouble finding enough skilled trade workers who can handle these tasks. When there is a shortage of skilled trade workers, home construction can take longer than planned. While some homeowners expect to have their home ready in around six months, it could take some homes as long as ten months to be completed. While contractors would prefer to shorten the construction cycle as well, there simply aren’t enough people.

Finding The Right Contractors For The Job

For those who are looking to build a new home, it is important to find the right team for the job. It is critical to make sure that all contractors are licensed and insured. While nobody wants to think about something going wrong on a new home construction job, this can still happen from time to time. When this happens, it is important to make sure that all contractors have insurance to cover the cost of any damage that might take place. This will ensure that the new home construction process goes as smoothly as possible.

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Ensuring Home Contractors Are Following The Rules Under HICPA

Posted in Uncategorized by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 6th, 2020

Ensuring Home Contractors Are Following The Rules Under HICPAThere are many homeowners who hire contractors to make repairs or upgrades on their homes. It is critical for home improvement contractors to follow all rules and regulations set forth by the law. These regulations have been set forth under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, or HICPA. 

An Overview Of The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act

The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act was put forth to ensure that homeowners and contractors come to an appropriate agreement. Some of the rule and regulations that are included in the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act include:

  • All contractors need to obtain a registration number
  • Home contractors are required to register with the Office of the Attorney General
  • All home contractors need to pay the required registration fees

Finally, the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act also specifies the various terms that need to be included in each agreement set forth by homeowners and contractors. Any contractors agreed to by contractors and homeowners need to comply with the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The purpose of this act is to protect homeowners against fraudulent contractors. 

What Happens If An Agreement Does Not Follow The Rules?

If an agreement does not abide by the regulations included in the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act, then there might be liability in a civil court. Furthermore, there could even be criminal charges that result. 

In the event that a homeowner enters into civil litigation against a home contractor, the first item that lawyers will look into include the regulations under the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. If the contractor violated any of the regulations, the HICPA may also specify penalties that might be levied against the contractor.

When Does The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act Apply?

There are only a few exceptions where the HICPA would not apply to a home improvement job. Even though the definitions under the HICPA are very broad, this act does not apply to contractors who earn less than $5,000 of taxable income in a given year. Finally, the HICPA applies only to home improvements. It does not apply to the construction of a new home. The act also does not apply to the sale of any home appliances.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional. 

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How To Cut A Great Deal On A New Home Construction

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 8th, 2019

How To Cut A Great Deal On A New Home ConstructionSavvy home buyers often get great deals on new home constructions by asking for deals and discounts and doing some up-front research. 

Home builders often dislike offering steep discounts in sales prices because they want everyone in the community to feel like they bought their property at a fair price. Maintaining sales prices also helps with future home appraisal values. It helps all of the buyers in a neighborhood to keep sales prices consistent and growing. 

Fortunately, you can still get great discounts that can reduce the cost of your new home.

Ask the builder if they can do the following:

Settle Closing Costs 

Closing costs vary depending on your state. On average, the costs can be as high as $10,000. In Colorado, for example, a standard closing is about 3 percent of the selling price.

It’s important to note that closing costs vary widely and can be structured in many ways. Make sure to consult a trusted mortgage finance professional to get the best information on your situation. But if the builder pays the bill, that money remains in your pocket. Isn’t that a great discount? 

Buy Down Your Interest Rate 

Although interest rates are low, if a builder is willing to buy down your rate further as part of the closing, it would reduce the amount you pay monthly in interest on your mortgage payment. That makes it manageable in the long run. Once again, your mortgage professional can give you the best details on this idea.

Offer Free Upgrades 

Most homes have standard built in appliances. To get high-end appliances, home buyers normally have to pay for upgrades. Ask your builder if you can get the upgraded home appliances or other upgrades without paying extra. It’s a great strategy to move into an improved new home. 

Additional Discounts 

To sweeten the deal, home builders can throw in additional discounts such as automated garage doors, landscaping, finished basements and window coverings. These discounts are worth asking about.

Although these strategies are great, there are some situations that make it more difficult to get sales concessions. Therefore, as you negotiate, keep the following in mind: 

  • If business is going great, deals become more unlikely as builders have little motivation to give discounts. 
  • You may not end up with the perfect home you want since you may be buying a home that’s near completion or already built. 
  • The best home locations may be taken because properties in prime lots are usually the first to sell. 

Knowledgeable buyers are most capable to cut great deals. Therefore, research new construction homes in your preferred neighborhood, visit some homes and compare what deals you can get. Above all, don’t hesitate to ask questions of your trusted real estate and mortgage professionals.


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