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Mortgage Delinquency Rate Declines at Unprecedented Pace

The mortgage delinquency rate is improving at an unprecedented rate, researchers say. That’s thanks in large part to a gradually recovering labor market.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Q1 report, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one-to-four-unit residential properties decreased to a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.38% of all loans outstanding at the end of the first quarter. The MBA includes loans in forbearance if the payment was not made based on the original terms of the mortgage. The research shows the delinquency rate dropped 35 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2020. Experts at the MBA say there has never been such a substantial decline in the delinquency rate over such a short period of time.

Marina Walsh, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis attributes the rapid improvement to an increasingly positive employment outlook and government stimulus programs.

“Mortgage delinquency rates continued to decrease in the first quarter of 2021, as a rebounding job market and stimulus checks helped borrowers stay current on their mortgage payments,” Walsh said. “Mortgage delinquencies track closely to the U.S. unemployment rate, and with unemployment dropping from last year’s spike, many households appear to be doing better.”

In April’s employment statistics report, jobs gains came in at 266,000. The U.S. has now regained approximately 63% of the jobs lost at the start of the pandemic. It’s still “far below consensus expectations,” says First American Economist Odeta Kushi, but homeowners seem to be suffering slightly less, fiscally.

“As of the first quarter of 2021, low-earning job losses were down 7.8% year over year, while high-earning job losses were down 1.9%. This is one reason why housing has been resilient – this service sector-driven recession has disproportionally hurt younger, lower-wage workers who are less likely to be homeowners or homebuyers,” Kushi said.

That said, the mortgage delinquency rate, which peaked at 8.22% in the second quarter of 2020, has dropped by 184 basis points to 6.38% within three quarters. In addition, this quarter’s earliest stage delinquencies— the 30-day and 60-day delinquencies combined—dropped to the lowest levels since the inception of the survey in 1979, Walsh said.

Read Full Article [Source: www.dsnews.com]

What Not To Do In A Hot Housing Market

Tips From Flippers

In a highly competitive real estate environment marked by a shortage of homes and escalating prices, many hopeful homebuyers are willing to do or pay almost anything to win the deal.

But for real estate experts who have been buying and selling homes for decades, including personal investments, they advise people to take a more prudent approach to home buying.

“In this market, you’re getting 30 minutes to make a $500,000 decision,” says Mindy Jensen, author of “First-Time Home Buyer: The Complete Playbook to Avoiding Rookie Mistakes” and real estate agent in Longmont, CO. “Homebuyers are making a very emotional decision based on being in the home for a few minutes. That’s not the best situation.”

Lately, the pace of home buying is so furious that consumers have gotten caught up in the pandemonium—some of which is fueled by FOMO (fear of missing out), says Jensen. This collective desire for homeownership has incited people to move across the country, raid their retirement savings, waive contingencies meant to protect them and stretch their budget to lock in a home. But when the dust settles, some people will likely be left with a big mortgage and a lot of regret.

And then there’s the Cabbage Patch doll dilemma: what Louise Rocco, a real estate agent at Exit Bayshore Realty in Tampa, Florida, refers to from the 1980s when a high demand for Cabbage Patch dolls outnumbered the supply, leading to underground sales and even riots.

“People will pay just about anything. They’ll put in an offer without seeing the house. It’s like the Cabbage Patch doll craze, but eventually, prices will level off,” Rocco says. “And we still don’t know what will happen when the eviction moratorium is lifted. Will those landlords sell? If they do, that could have an effect on prices, too.”

5 Homebuyer Pitfalls in a Hot Market

If you are looking for a house in today’s wild market, real estate veterans urge shoppers to avoid making major mistakes that can hurt them down the line. Here are five mistakes to avoid when your dream house is just one big offer away.

1. Don’t Buy Just Because It’s Pretty (Buy Ugly)

A key difference between a flipper and someone who’s buying to live in the house is emotion.

A real estate investor looks at everything with potential price tags on it. Meanwhile, a live-in buyer wants to picture themselves in the new home, cooking breakfast, entertaining friends, lounging in the backyard, etc. But for major upgrades like an updated kitchen, it can mean thousands of dollars more on the purchase price. For buyers on a budget, looking beyond new countertops and floors could mean getting a house that you can afford and will still have value over a long period of time.

“The secret to getting the most value is to buy something ugly,” says Smike Wallen, a real estate investor in Los Angeles. “When you buy done, you buy high. But if you look for raw structure, you can do the rest yourself if you have patience.”

2. Don’t Ignore the Roof and Windows

Echoing Wallen’s mantra of “buy ugly,” Jensen says that things like dirty carpets and weed-ridden yards don’t matter, but what does are windows and roofs. Depending on the roof, the cost can be $15,000 or more. For windows, buyers are not only paying for replacements, but they’ll also have to cover the energy bills if they do a poor insulation job.

“People see an old kitchen and say ‘I could never live there.’ Of course, you can,” says Jensen. “A gallon of good paint at Home Depot is $35-$30 if it’s on sale. You can get a brand new kitchen at Ikea for $5,000. But, you don’t want to ignore bad windows and a bad roof; those things will really set you back.”

3. Don’t Start Out Underwater

A unique, and perhaps troubling, feature of the current housing market is that people are paying above the appraised value of a home. Essentially, this means that they’re starting out underwater.

For folks who plan on staying in the home long-term, this situation might not have a material effect on their bottom line because time is the friend of equity. The longer you stay in a home the more value you accrue. However, if you buy above the appraised value and you sell in a few years, it’s likely your purchase price has not caught up with what the home is worth on paper. You could then end up paying more money just to sell it.

“I had a seller, a husband and wife, who emptied their 401(k) to buy their dream home. Eventually, they had to sell, and it cost them money to sell their house,” Rocco says, warning interested homebuyers not to purchase above the appraised value. “If you have to sell, the next buyer might not be willing to go above the appraised value and then you’re left holding the bag.”

4. Don’t Waive an Inspection Contingency

Unless you’re buying a fixer-upper or are a seasoned real estate investor who can spot black mold and isn’t intimidated by big repairs, the average homebuyer should not throw an inspection contingency out the window.

Waiving the inspection contingency means you lose your right to walk away from the deal or negotiate repairs if the inspection comes back with major problems. Not only will borrowers have to pay for repairs but in some cases, their insurance can go up.

Essential things such as “old wiring, like aluminum wiring or cloth wiring, can make your insurance costs triple,” Rocco says.

5. Don’t Bypass Condos

Location matters in real estate. So for buyers who want to be in the middle of the action but can’t afford to pay the real estate prices in those hot locations, condos are a good option.

“My team and I have doubled our money on condos in 40- and 50-year-old buildings,” Wallen says.

Wallen recommends looking at older properties because buyers can get more out of their dollar in terms of size and value. The important thing is to be in an area you enjoy living in, which is easier to do on a condo budget.

“If you buy older, you have more options as to where you live. And you can use the extra money you saved and redo it to your liking,” Wallen says. “In a few years, you can rent it out or sell it, and take that money and buy a house.”

[Source: www.forbes.com]

Best Places to Invest in Real Estate Now

With high buyer demand, decreased supply, and low mortgage interest rates, the housing market looks good in 2021. So, let’s dig into some of the best places to invest, along with how to get your foot in the door in an in-demand real estate market. We’ll also be looking at tools to identify properties, investment strategies, and some of the tax deductions you should expect to make use of in your first year of rental property ownership.

What are some of the best places to invest in for 2021?

Dallas, Texas

  • High availability of housing
  • High rental rates relative to housing prices
  • Diverse economy offering employment opportunity at every income level
  • Dallas has the lowest homeownership in the U.S. because it’s more affordable to rent than buy
  • In 2018, the Dallas City Council unanimously voted for a comprehensive housing policy that would produce 20,000 new homes in three years to lure the middle class back to the city.
  • Since 2016, Dallas has added 50,000 new apartment units.
  • From 2020 through 2029, the Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) area is projected to add almost 1.4 million people!

Houston, Texas

  • 4th largest city in the US
  • From 2020 to 2029, Houston is expecting a population growth of 1.24 million residents.
  • Lots of industry! Houston is home to the busiest port in the U.S. in terms of foreign trade; Amazon is building a one-million-square-foot distribution center there in 2021.
  • Home values went up roughly 26% over the last five years and are expected to grow 9.9% during 2021.

Atlanta, Georgia

  • 4th fastest-growing region in America according to the 2020 Census.
  • Atlanta is expected to add 1.2 million jobs over the next 30 years and 2.9 million new residents.
  • In November of 2020, the median home price was up 15% from the same time last year. Homes priced below $200K are selling “6 or 7 times faster” than homes greater than $350k.
  • One of the most landlord-friendly states.

Las Vegas, Nevada

  • A diverse economy serving the health, tech, tourism niches, and more.
  • Property prices are up 10.2% since this time last year. Although the cost of homes is not expected to remain this high throughout 2021, Las Vegas is still a city to watch because of high demand, low inventory, and low mortgage rates.
  • Working remotely has inspired renters from more expensive areas to move to Las Vegas, mainly from Southern California.
  • In 2020, builders signed contracts for over 10,000 new homes.
  • Nevada has no income tax.

Read Full Article: [Source: www.mynd.co]

America’s Top Ten Hottest Housing Markets Right Now.

Should Homeowners Sell High Or Stay Put?

Everyone wants to get in early on the next big thing, whether it’s the latest electronic gadget or an online currency that’s about to take off. And real estate is no different.

All across the country, prices are rising to new heights as the number of homes for sale has dwindled to new lows. While offers of over asking price have become practically standard in this turbocharged market—one in which the COVID-19 pandemic has led many folks to seek out larger homes with more land—some housing markets are still doing better than others, and are likely to remain the places to be even when the worst of the pandemic has passed.

The Realtor.com® economics team and the Wall Street Journal’s data team identified the top markets of 2021, and beyond, in the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com Emerging Housing Markets Index. They identified the areas with strong housing demand and rising prices combined with robust economies, lots of good-paying jobs, and the amenities that make a place desirable. These markets have lots of restaurants, bars, and shops as well as reasonable commutes to work. The quarterly index looked at a pool of the country’s 300 largest metropolitan areas, which include the main city and surrounding suburbs, towns, and smaller urban areas.

The top markets are a mix of higher-end, outdoorsy, resort areas; smaller cities that have been growing at a breakneck pace; and places that provide a more affordable alternative to larger urban areas that are still just barely within commuting distance. Coeur d’Alene, ID, a popular vacation spot, topped the list, followed by Austin, TX, an emerging tech hub that is growing by leaps and bounds.

“The areas that top our emerging housing markets list are places that have weathered the pandemic relatively well,” says Realtor.com’s chief economist, Danielle Hale. “Their economies are generally doing better than other markets, and they’re attracting a lot of home shoppers from other areas—likely in part due to the relatively widespread work-from-home flexibility in response to the pandemic.”

Note: Homes in the top 10 markets aren’t bargains. Median list prices have appreciated by an average 27% in the past year—compared with 14% across the rest of the nation. Prices were an average $519,100, about 42% higher than the $366,100 median price tag across the 300 metros that were analyzed.

For example, in the Coeur d’Alene metropolitan area, the median home list price was $799,000 in March, according to Realtor.com data.

These top markets can command these higher prices because there are buyers who can afford them.

Unemployment is lower in these metros, at 5.54%, than the rest of the country, at 6.3%. Median wages are also a little higher, likely to compensate for the higher cost of living. Many also appeal to buyers from other states and even other countries.

“By design, these are areas that are great places to live,” says Hale. “Many of these areas are smaller, and they all boast great nearby activities—places for hiking, boating, and enjoying the outdoors.”

The problem is these markets, like the rest of the country, simply don’t have enough homes for sale to meet the demand from buyers. That means prices are more likely to stay high—and even continue going up.

“Housing trends in these markets have fundamentals that should mean buying a home is a good investment,” says Hale.

The top real estate markets of 2021

  1. Coeur d’Alene, ID, $799,000
  2. Austin, TX, $520,000
  3. Springfield, OH, $144,900
  4. Billings, MT, $428,500
  5. Spokane, WA, $434,900
  6. Lafayette, IN, $297,450
  7. Reno, NV, $562,000
  8. Concord, NH, $362,450
  9. Manchester, NH, $419,950
  10. Santa Cruz, CA, $1,222,000

Read Full Article: [Source: www.realtor.com]

Metros Most Vulnerable to COVID-19’s Fallout

States along the East Coast, Connecticut through Florida, as well as Illinois, are more vulnerable to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic and its continuing impact on the U.S. economy, according to a Q1 2021 Special Coronavirus Report published by ATTOM Data Solutions, while Western States seem better prepared to withstand a downturn.

Markets were considered at greater or lesser risk based on the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with underwater mortgages, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for major homeownership expenses. (More about ATTOM’s methodology is available at ATTOM.com.

The researchers showed 33 of the 50 counties most vulnerable to the economic impact of the pandemic in the first quarter of 2021 were in FloridaIllinoisNew JerseyConnecticut, and North Carolina. 

The only three western counties in the top 50 during the first quarter of 2021 were in northern California, while Louisiana was the only southern state outside of the East Coast with more than two counties in that group.

According to ATTOM, first-quarter trends generally build on those found in 2020, but with smaller concentrations around several major metropolitan areas.

Read Full Article [Source: www.dsnews.com]

Remodeling? Avoid These 10 Home Improvements That Do Not Add Value

Americans spend $400 billion annually on remodeling, but they’re not all adding value to their homes in the process. Whether you’re dreaming of adding a big-ticket item like solar panels or a swimming pool, or you simply want to upgrade your kitchen, gauge how your project will impact your property value before you commit.

We crunched ROI data and spoke with two top real estate agents to round up 10 home improvement projects that do not add value to your home. We’ll break down why these common home improvements won’t increase your property value as much as you expect.

Tools used to complete home improvements.

  1. DIY home improvement projects
  2. Garage conversions
  3. Solar panels
  4. Quirky wallpaper
  5. Custom luxury upgrades
  6. Wine cellars
  7. An oversized home edition
  8. Remodeled basements and attics
  9. New windows
  10. Swimming pools

The Bottom Line: Not all home improvements add value

A final word to the wise: Consider your selling timeline before you embark on a home improvement that does not add value to your home. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, it’s best to spruce it up with a new coat of neutral paint and other improvements proven to add value and increase marketability.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay awhile, Suits shares it’s okay to focus on home improvements that bring you joy, even if they don’t add significant value to your home:

“Do whatever makes you happy. To me, that is really what homeownership is all about. Just realize you might not get every dime back, or you might have to make a modification to it. Chances are, if you love something, someone else might too.”

Read Full Article [Source: www.homelight.com]

What Are The Top 10 Real Estate Markets for 2021?

What Are The Top 10 Real Estate Markets for 2021?

Every year the Urban Land Institute and global consulting and tax firm PwC lists the top housing markets for the upcoming year. According to the 117-page report on Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2021 the top 10 markets with the best overall prospects for real estate in 2021 are:

  1. Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina
  2. Austin, Texas
  3. Nashville, Tennessee
  4. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
  5. Charlotte, North Carolina
  6. Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida
  7. Salt Lake City, Utah
  8. Washington, DC – Northern VA
  9. Boston, Massachusetts
  10. Long Island, New York

Realtor Magazine took a deeper look at these emerging real estate trends and created a list of the top housing markets for 2021 based on year-over-year sales growth and price growth for real estate investors to watch in 2021.

Homebuilding Prospects

Markets with the best homebuilding prospects are those that have enough affordable land for new development and growth as the community attracts more people and jobs:

  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Austin
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Jacksonville, Florida
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg
  • San Antonio
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Atlanta
  • Denver
  • Nashville

Magnet Markets

Cities in the magnet category are those that are growing more quickly than the U.S. average, acting as magnets for both people and companies:

  • Atlanta
  • Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Houston
  • Phoenix
  • San Antonio
  • Tampa/St. Petersburg
  • Austin
  • Charlotte
  • Denver
  • Minneapolis
  • Nashville
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Raleigh/Durham
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Jacksonville
  • Miami
  • West Palm Beach

The Establishment

These markets are “tried and true”, with established economic, government, and cultural powerhouses that have been providing real estate investment, development, and redevelopment opportunities over the years. Establishment markets include large metro areas, cities with specialized economies, and suburbs that are ascending:

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • New York
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose
  • Washington, DC – District
  • Inland Empire
  • Long Island
  • Orange County
  • Northern New Jersey
  • Westchester, NY – Fairfield, CT

Niche Markets

Niche markets are not necessarily large or economically diverse. Instead, they have a dominant economic driver that supports stable economic growth over the long term:

  • Boise, Idaho
  • Des Moines, Iowa
  • Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Madison, Wisconsin
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tallahassee, Florida
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Las Vegas
  • New Orleans
  • Orlando
  • Virginia Beach/Norfolk

Backbone Markets

Backbone markets don’t usually rank high in the national surveys. However, they are great places to live and work, and often offer good opportunities for real estate investment and development. Although growth is slower, housing and business costs are more affordable than many other real estate markets in the U.S.:

  1. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  2. Sacramento
  3. Tucson
  4. Birmingham, Alabama
  5. Indianapolis
  6. Kansas City, Missouri
  7. Louisville, Kentucky
  8. Cincinnati
  9. Detroit
  10. Milwaukee
  11. St. Louis
  12. Cleveland

Read Full Article [Source: www.roofstock.com]

DAWGS Rescuing Dogs

Door and Window Guard Systems (DAWGS) doesn’t just keep vacant properties secure, they have saved and rescued dozens of dogs while out in the field installing their steel door and window guards.

Some of the dogs were found roaming the streets near properties DAWGS was securing, others were found inside the vacant properties. The DAWGS employees were able to rescue the dogs and take them to safe no-kill animal shelter. In some cases, the rescued dogs were adopted by the DAWGS employees who saved them.

Two of the dogs rescued were chained up in the backyard of abandoned properties. These poor dogs were just left behind when their owners moved out of the property. If it were not for the DAWGS team’s kind actions these dogs most likely would not have survived.

Rescued dog – Roxy

DAWGS followed the story of these two abandoned dogs and learned that they were adopted into good and loving homes. One of the rescued dogs, Roxy is pictured here.

The dog-loving DAWGS team will continue to rescue and save homeless, abandoned, forgotten dogs they encounter on and off the job.

 

 

 

 

Foreclosures Low in 2020, But a Backlog Is Awaiting

The Year-End 2020 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report from ATTOM Data Solutions shows that foreclosure filings were reported on 214,323 U.S. properties during the year, which was down 57 percent from 2019 and 93 percent from a peak of nearly 2.9 million in 2010, to the lowest level since tracking began in 2005.

Those properties with foreclosure filings (default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions) represented 0.16 percent of all U.S. housing units, down from 0.36 percent in 2019 and down from a peak of 2.23 percent in 2010.

“The government’s moratoria have effectively stopped foreclosure activity on everything but vacant and abandoned properties,” explains Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac, an ATTOM Data Solutions company. “There is a backlog of foreclosures building up – loans that were in foreclosure prior to the moratoria; loans that would have defaulted under normal circumstances; and loans whose borrowers are in financial distress due to the pandemic.

“While it’s still highly unlikely that we’ll see another wave of foreclosures like the one we had during the Great Recession, we really won’t know how big that backlog is until after the government programs expire,” he says.

Lenders repossessed 50,238 properties through foreclosure (REO) in 2020, down 65 percent from 2019 and down 95 percent from a peak of 1,050,500 in 2010, to the lowest level as far back as data is available (2006).

Counter to the national trend, there were metropolitan statistical areas with a population greater than 200,000 that saw a year-over-year increase in REOs, including Lake Havasu, Ariz. (up 30 percent); Champaign, Ill. (up 29 percent); Chico, Calif. (up 26 percent); and Bremerton, Wash. (up 25 percent).

Lenders started the foreclosure process on 131,372 U.S. properties in 2020, down 61 percent from 2019 and down 94 percent from a peak of 2,139,005 in 2009, to a new all-time low.

“The impact of the government foreclosure moratoria and mortgage forbearance programs is nowhere more obvious than in the foreclosure start numbers from 2020,” Sharga remarks. “We ended the year with a near-record number of seriously delinquent loans, but historically low levels of foreclosure activity.

“The good news is that the government and mortgage industry succeeded in working together to prevent unnecessary foreclosures; the question remains how many homeowners whose finances have been affected by the pandemic will ultimately default on their loans, and whether the strength of the housing market will help cushion the fallout,” he says.

States that saw declines in foreclosure starts from last year included Oregon (down 79 percent); Kansas (down 77 percent); Arkansas (down 77 percent); Nevada (down 71 percent); and Massachusetts (down 70 percent).

Counter to the national trend, Idaho saw a slight uptick (up 4 percent) from last year.

Read Full Article [Source: www.mortgageorb.com]

DAWGS Expands Operations to the Memphis Market

DAWGS Expands to Memphis

Door And Window Guard Systems Inc. (D.A.W.G.S), a provider of steel window and door guards for vacant property security, announces expansion of operations to the Memphis, Tennessee market.  Memphis and the surrounding areas have long been plagued by vacant properties and the dangers associated with them. Vacant properties depress property values, de-stabilize neighborhoods and if not properly secured, they attract a criminal element.

As a leader in vacant property security, DAWGS impenetrable, proprietary door and window guards are uniquely designed to prevent theft, vandalism, and uninvited occupation. DAWGS steel door and window guards keep vacant and abandoned property secure, while providing managed access to the building as needed and keeping crime at bay.

DAWGS door and window guards also fight blight.  They blend in with the surroundings and provide an aesthetically pleasing alternative to other board-up options. According to Brandon Buhai from DAWGS, “DAWGS is excited about their expansion into Memphis and the surrounding areas. The expansion will also bring employment opportunities to the area.”

As DAWGS continues to expand their operations into new markets – they help to stabilize and revitalize blighted communities across the country.

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