Interest Rates on New Home Loans Remain Stubborn

Eye on Housing

Earlier today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported a 4 basis point decline in mortgage interest rates for the month of October.  However, the decline was driven entirely by loans on existing homes.  The average contract interest rate on conventional mortgages for new homes stubbornly refused to follow suit, moving instead in the opposite direction from 4.30 to 4.32 percent.  Although this technically continues the upward trend of the previous four months, October’s 2 basis point change is small and represents a substantial leveling off from the June-September increases that averaged 22 basis points a month.Contr Rate Oct 13Initial fees have the potential to offset a small increase in the contract interest rate, but the initial fees on mortgages for new homes also increased in October, from 1.14 to 1.30 percent.  This is the fourth time fees on new home loans have hit 1.30 percent (or higher) since October of last year (following…

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REFINANCING: Why Mel Watts Heading Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Will Push HARP 3.0 To The Forefront


Waiting for HARP 3 to pass Congress? Your wait may be just about over.

Within days or weeks, congressional representative Mel Watts is expected to be confirmed as the new head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The controls Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and administers the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).

HARP was expanded once under current FHFA director, Ed DeMarco but little progress has been made with the program since. With Watts at the helm, the FHFA is expected to overhaul HARP a second time to provide additional aid to troubled U.S. homeowners.

HARP 3 could be here in December.

What Is HARP?

HARP is an acronym. It stands for Home Affordable Refinance Program.

HARP is an economic stimulus program. It was first launched in March 2009 using monies from the Housing and Recovery Act. The premise of the program was to help U.S. homeowners whose homes had…

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Construction Job Openings Ticked Up In September

Eye on Housing

September saw another slight rise in the number of unfilled construction sector positions according to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).

While the increase of unfilled positions in 2013 is consistent with the increase in construction sector activity, particularly for home building, the data continue to reflect only modest growth in total employment thus far. The rise in the count of open positions is thus consistent with reports of local labor shortages.

For the construction sector, monthly gross hiring was relatively unchanged, falling from 298,000 to 295,000 from August to September. The hiring rate, as measured on a 3-month moving average basis, was also unchanged at 5.2%. Nonetheless, the pace of construction hiring has slowed since the end of 2012, and this trend has continued into the fall of 2013.

constr labor mkt

Consistent with reports of some labor shortages for builders, the number of open, unfilled positions in the construction industry remains at levels last seen five…

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The Cost of Waiting To Buy Could Cost You $18,000 Over a 10 Year Period!

Salem Oregon Homes For Heroes

I get this question a lot: “Should I buy now, or wait to see what home prices and rates do? My answer is always the same; we can’t predict the future, if you find a home  you love and rate you’re comfortable with….then make an offer and lock in that rate! 

KCM Blog just posted a great info chart that easily explains the “cost of waiting”. In this scenario, you may be paying $18,000 more over the next 10 years if you wait just a year to buy. 

Is now the time to buy? Well, with interest rates still very low, and home pricing trending upwards, now IS the time to at least look into your options. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help!

By the way, If you would like more information about Homes for Heroes program please contact Travis Newton…

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How Long Does It Take to Build Multifamily Housing?

Eye on Housing

The 2012 Survey of Construction (SOC) from the Census Bureau shows that on average it takes about 12.5 months from obtaining a building permit to completing construction of a multifamily building.

In a previous post, we examined the average time it takes to build a single-family home (7 months). In a question posed on NAHB’s Facebook page, a reader asked for the comparable data for multifamily construction.

MF build time_2012

The SOC data reveals that the average time for multifamily properties is 12.5 months, and it varies with the size of the building. For 2012, buildings with 2 to 4 units had an average of 11.2 months from time of authorization to completion. Buildings with 5 to 9 units had the highest average (14.5 months), while 10 to 19 unit properties came in at 11.9 months. The largest properties, those with 20 or more units, had an average of over a year, at…

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Housing’s Contribution to GDP: 3Q13

Eye on Housing

Housing is an important source of economic growth. As of the third quarter of 2013, housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) was 15.6%, with home building yielding 3.2 percentage points of that total.

housing share of GDP_3q13.png

Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways.

The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI is effectively the measure of the home building and remodeling contribution to GDP. It includes construction of new single-family and multifamily structures, residential remodeling, production of manufactured homes and brokers’ fees. For the third quarter, RFI was 3.2% of the economy.

Over the last two years, the pace of RFI has grown by $119 billion while GDP has grown by $728 billion (as measured in 2009 dollars). Thus, home building growth has been equal to more than 16% of GDP growth. Over just the last year, the figure is even larger: 26% of GDP growth. It should be noted that GDP is a measure which includes both…

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SG22: Builders looking for Residential Lots in Portland Oregon.

Oregon Real Estate Wanted



Status: Active

Buyer  SG22

Price: Will Depend On Property

Type: Buildable Residential  Lots only

Size N/A

Bed: N/A

Bath: N/A

Lot Size: Any Size

Style: Infill/Urban Lots and Land


All Cash, Seller Carry Options (Land Sales Contract and Personal Deed of Trust).


All Cash or Seller Carry.   Will depend on the sales price and zoning of property.


Portland Metro Area,  Close in North, Northeast, Northwest,  Southeast and Southwest Portland

Must Haves:

Property must be zoned residential.

Must be a build able lot.

Will consider Flag lots

Will consider properties with homes or structures located on it


Will Consider:


Homes with large lots

Multi Family properties on large lots



Will Not Consider:

Farm or Forrest Land.

Will not consider commercially zoned properties

Will not consider lots in which structures cannot be built on..

If you have a home…

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