US Housing Bust Is Over

US Housing Bust Is Over

The housing market has turned—at last.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing “experts” that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up. “We finally saw some rising home prices,” S&P’s David Blitzer said a few weeks ago as he reported the first monthly increase in the slow-moving S&P/Case-Shiller house-price data after seven months of declines…

…Economists aren’t always right, but on this at least they agree: A new Wall Street Journal survey of forecasters found 44 believe the housing market has reached its bottom; only three don’t.

Read Full Story on The Wall Street Journal…

 

Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Long-shrinking homes begin to grow again

Even as the U.S. economy struggles to rebound from the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans are living larger.

Larger, as in larger homes: two-story foyers, twin front staircases, children’s wings, dedicated man caves, coffee bars, four-car garages and bedroom closets large enough for a fifth vehicle.

The percentage of new single-family homes greater than 3,000 square feet has grown by one-third in the last decade, according to data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Slightly more than 1 in 4 new homes built last year were larger than 3,000 square feet, the highest percentage since 2007.

Read Full Story on the Seattle Times…

US Mortgage Rates Drop to New Record Lows

How low can they go? US Mortgage Rates Drop to New Record Lows

The average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages dropped again to record lows, giving would-be buyers even more incentive to brave the housing market.

Freddie Mac reported Thursday that average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 3.56 percent (down from 3.62 percent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s).

The average rate on the 15-year mortgage dropped to a record low of 2.86 percent (below last week’s previous record of 2.89 percent).

The rate on the 30-year loan has fallen to or matched record low levels in 11 of the past 12 weeks.

These low rates make it an excellent time to buy or refinance for those who are able. Check out our Homeownership Simplified section a for information & tips on buying a house in Washington State as well as our handy calculators to figure out potential mortgages, closing costs, and more!

Guiding you through foreclosure-compensation maze

Guiding you through foreclosure-compensation maze

If you’re a victim of banking abuses during the foreclosure crisis, the government says it will make sure you receive compensation from your bank. It’s a simple idea. But for victims, determining who’s eligible, how to apply, and when you might get a check in the mail isn’t simple at all.

There are two separate government efforts: the National Mortgage Settlement and the Independent Foreclosure Review.

While both share the goal of providing some compensation to homeowners who were harmed by their banks’ abuses or errors, the two have very different approaches.

Read Full Story on The Seattle Times…

Are you a struggling homeowner? Check out our Avoiding Foreclosure section for resources and tips.

Double digit rise in King County home prices

Double digit rise in King County home prices

King County house prices saw a double-digit increase in June — the first time that’s happened in nearly five years, according to statistics released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The median price of single-family homes sold last month was $380,000, up 10.1 percent from June 2011.

Read More on The Seattle Times…