News About Properties

News about properties and real estate
November 29th, 2011

Own vs. Rent: A Growing Reason to Buy

Home prices and mortgage rates have fallen so far that the monthly cost of owning a home is more affordable than at any point in the past 15 years and is less expensive than renting in a growing number of cities.

The Wall Street Journal’s third-quarter survey of housing-market conditions in 28 of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas found that home values declined in all but five markets compared with the second quarter, according to data from Zillow Inc. Meanwhile, rent levels have risen briskly across the country and mortgage rates, hovering around 4%, are the lowest in six decades.

As a result, monthly mortgage payments on the median priced home—including taxes and insurance—are lower than the average rent levels in 12 metro areas, according to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal by Marcus & Millichap, a real-estate brokerage that tracked 27 metro areas. It remains less expensive to rent than to buy in 15 cities. But affordability hasn’t done much to lift the sagging housing sector because many would-be buyers are unwilling to purchase a home or unable to qualify for a mortgage.

via Own vs. Rent: A Growing Reason to Buy.

November 29th, 2011

Condos: Buyers needing FHA loans shut out of buildings

Sellers of South Florida condominiums, buffeted by the devastating housing downturn, are bracing for another blow caused by prospective buyers’ problems getting mortgages.

Buyers who want loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration are being shut out of buildings that no longer qualify for FHA financing. That likely will slow the region’s recovering condo market and keep prices depressed in buildings not approved for FHA loans, analysts say.

Meanwhiile, owners in those buildings are sometimes stuck paying more in association fees to compensate for the unsold, often vacant units.

via Condos: Buyers needing FHA loans shut out of buildings – South Florida

November 29th, 2011

Farmers, outside investors bid up local ag land

Kern farmland has become one of the county’s hottest investments, due in part to broadly higher commodity prices and growing demand for land with vested water rights.People in the industry say large farming companies are taking advantage of low interest rates and bidding against institutional investors with few other attractive options for earning income.While some wonder whether the market has the attributes of a real estate bubble, others say rising ag land prices are rooted in long-term supply and demand projections. They note that farmers are driving the market more than people outside the industry are.

via Farmers, outside investors bid up local ag land.

November 19th, 2011

One Antidote to Foreclosures: Good Schools – Developments – WSJ

Highly ranked school districts may have been spared the worst of the foreclosure crisis, according to a new analysis, showing that the housing crash was akin to a tornado that tore through wide swaths, but hit with particular force in certain areas.

The analysis, conducted for Developments by Location Inc., a Worcester, Mass.-based company that mines local data for businesses and consumers, looked at six months of 2011 sales data collected by RealtyTrac Inc. It showed that the percentage of foreclosure (or “real-estate-owned”) sales went down as the school ranking went up in five metro areas – Jacksonville, Fla; Atlanta; Toledo, Ohio; Stockton, Calif.; and Seattle. Higher-rated school districts also maintained higher home-sale prices, and higher home prices per square foot.

via One Antidote to Foreclosures: Good Schools.

November 19th, 2011

South Florida attracts domestic home buyers, too

New Yorkers, Washingtonians and Atlantans are logging more and more internet searches for South Florida real estate, a sign that the region’s troubled housing market could receive even more outside investment in the future.

In the wake of a severe housing bust, Florida has become one of the most popular locales for Americans seeking low-priced real estate, according to a report released Wednesday by real estate website

“Despite the big price declines, and probably because of the big price declines, we’re seeing so much inbound search activity from people within Florida and especially from outside Florida,” said Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia.

via South Florida attracts domestic home buyers, too.

November 19th, 2011

The Benefits Of Buying A Home With Cash – Forbes

When a 62-year-old financial advisor bought a two-bedroom Manhattan co-op recently, he showed up at the closing with a check for the full $970,000 purchase price. No mortgage? “The money I had in cash was sitting getting 0% interest,’’ explains the man, who asked not to be named. “It made absolutely no sense to borrow.”There were other benefits as well to buying for cash, he says. He figures he got a “liquidity discount” for being able to close quickly—the asking price had been $1.05 million. And he avoided the hassles and paperwork that come with getting a mortgage these days. At the closing, he gloats, “they spent more time making photocopies than anything, so we sat discussing Broadway plays.”

via The Benefits Of Buying A Home With Cash.

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