Boomers Downsizing With Style

Many baby boomers are making the decision to downsize, according to research. An increased number of people born between 1946 and 1964 are trading in their hefty mortgages and oversized SUVs for smaller, more efficient homes and vehicles. Boomers may be downsizing, but research suggests that they are not sacrificing quality in the transition. Sheryl Connelly, the global consumer trends and a “futurist” for Ford said, “the boomer population has always set the trends,” she adds, “and now they’ve set a course for a more streamlined life that doesn’t sacrifice style and comfort.” More here

Economy Shows Further Signs Of Strengthening

Unemployment rates fell last week and consumer confidence improved. The number of people filing for unemployment payments fell, declining to levels not seen in approximately seven years. Firings are also declining as many companies are preparing for an increase in sales due to the recovering economy. Manufacturing has also improved, showing more signs of a healthier and continually improving U.S. economy. Brian Jones, senior U.S. economist at Societe Generale said, “the labor market is getting better, you’re going to see it improve further as we go through the balance of the year.” More here

Mortgage Rates Decrease

Average fixed-rate mortgages declined this week in the United States, according to Freddie Mac. The national average 30-year loan decreased 0.7% averaging 4.34% while the national average 15-year mortgage fell 0.9% averaging 3.38%.  Home prices are expected to rise by single digits this year, and inventory may fall after the spring buying season. Experts suggest that low inventory rates and rising prices may slightly hurt the market, but expect positive results as long as mortgage rates remain low. More here

Parents Advised To Educate Children On Reverse Mortgage Options

Reverse mortgage and elder law experts are saying that many children of parents who are considering a reverse mortgage are openly opposed to the idea, and influence their parents to decline the option. Experts say it is logical for children to be concerned with their inheritance, but many older adults have no other financial option. It is advised that parents, who choose to involve their children, educate them thoroughly about reverse mortgages. Elder law attorney, Deborah S. Ball suggests that when children are completely informed about reverse mortgages, they are more likely to support the decision. More here

Mortgage Rates Ease

According to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey released by Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have fallen slightly. The national average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 0.7% from last week, averaging 4.34% this week. The national average 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage decreased 0.9% from last week, averaging 3.38%. Additionally, the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.09%, and the 1-year Treasury-index ARM came in at 2.41%.  Frank Nothaft, the vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac said, “mortgage rates eased a bit following the decline in 10-year Treasury yields. Also, the economy added 192,000 jobs in March, which was below the market consensus forecast, but followed an upward revision of 22,000 jobs in February. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 6.7 percent.” More here

High-End Home Sales Increase

As consumer confidence continues to increase, and jumbo loan rates look more like conventional loan rates, expensive home sales are rising. According to the National Association of Realtors the number of home sales priced at $500,000 to $750,000 grew by 15% from January 2013 to January 2014. The time it takes to sell a house has shortened recently, making this an attractive time to sell for many.  Additionally, prices for high-end homes also remain lower than in the past, according to CoreLogic economist Sam Khater. More here

Boomers Aid Housing Market

A recent Realtor survey suggests that many older people in or approaching their retirement years are making plans to buy a new home. The survey found that 57% of baby boomers have plans of moving out of their current residence. Boomers have, on average, become more confident about their retirement and believe they can achieve their ideal retirement plans. The survey also states that many boomers are likely to buy a second home or vacation home. Boomers are expected to fuel the housing market over the coming years. More here

What To Do Before Selling Your Home

According to experts this spring is shaping up to be a highly competitive selling season as the economy improves, housing confidence rises, and a growing number of homes are expected to go on the market. Experts have compiled a list of valuable tips to take notice of when putting your house up for sale, such as pricing your home correctly, sharing your listing on online sites, making small improvements and repairs, and getting inspections and key reports in advance. Research suggests that once your house is listed, 80% of potential buyers will view your listing in the first four to six weeks. More here

Home Prices Increase In Many States

According to CoreLogic’s most recent report, home prices have increased in many States. In February, prices increased 12.2% when compared to February 2013, marking the 24th consecutive month that home prices have shown growth in the United States. Fourteen States have experienced double-digit price growth year-over-year. A few of the states with the most gains shown are California, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Texas and Florida. Additionally, home sales increased nationally by 10.7% from February of last year. More here

Housing Barometer Indicates Recovery

According to Trulia’s Housing Barometer, the housing market is recovering and has made a significant improvement over the last 12 months. The report shows that four out of the five housing indicators have improved from last year. The Housing Barometer is made up of five key factors: new construction starts, existing home sales, delinquency and foreclosure rate, employment rate for individuals age 25-34, and home price levels. More here