Choir Concert tonight at 6:15 p.m. at the Lincoln School in Hibbing.
The Hibbing Salvation Army will host a Christmas dinner (feeding program) Friday December 22 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Despite Fed Move, Mortgage Rates Hold Steady
Mortgage rates were in a holding pattern this week, even after the Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to hike its benchmark interest rate.
“As widely expected, the Fed increased the federal funds target rate this week for the third time in 2017,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist. “The market had already priced in the rate hike, so long-term interest rates—including mortgage rates—hardly moved. Mortgage rates held relatively flat across the board, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate inching down 1 basis point to 3.93 percent in this week’s survey. Mortgage rates have been in a holding pattern for the fourth quarter, remaining within a 10 basis point range since October.”
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 14:
30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.93 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.94 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.16 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, the same as last week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.37 percent.
5-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgages: averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.3 point, rising from last week’s 3.35 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 3.19 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
Daily Real Estate News | Friday, December 15, 2017
Study Reveals Best Real Estate Pricing Strategy
Set the asking price just below a round number – that’s the best technique for pricing a home for sale, according to new research published in the Journal of Housing Research.
Read more: Are Higher Home Prices Spooking Buyers?
Researchers found that buyers are more drawn to a house priced “just below” at, say, $199,000 than to a house priced at a rounded number like $200,000.
“Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers,” says Eli Beracha, one of the study’s author. “As a result, they end up selling their house for more.”
Indeed, researchers found that such a “just below” pricing strategy yields a selling price that is about 2.5 to 3 percent higher – or $5,000 to $6,000 more – on a $200,000 house compared with a rounded pricing listing strategy.
Still, rounded priced homes usually have a shorter time on the market and a lower discount relative to listing price, researchers found.
Yet, “sellers’ ability to set higher listing prices for properties using a ‘just below’ pricing strategy outweighs the lower discount and shorter time on the market associated with similar rounded priced strategy homes,” researchers found.
“We tested the age-old debate concerning the best technique to price a home when listing it for sale,” Seiler says. “We find that using a price just below a round number works best, particularly in connection to the left-most digit in the price. So, $199,000 works better than $200,000.”
Source: “Left Digit in Sales Price Affects Home Buyers Most,” BUILDER (Aug. 11, 2016)
Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, August 11, 2016
This year, give back Send in a donation of $30 to buy food for one family in need this Christmas!
States Focus on Helping First-Time Buyers
With rising home prices, more state lawmakers are proposing legislation to help home shoppers tackle the down payment obstacle. More states this year have considered or are considering passing laws to allow for tax-saving down payment accounts to aid first-time buyers.
Three states authorized such accounts this year: Iowa, Minnesota, and Mississippi. Colorado, Montana, and Virginia already have such accounts in place.
The established down payment accounts vary by state. In general, they allow first-time home buyers to save for a down payment or related expenses, like closing costs, in dedicated savings accounts. These accounts typically feature tax breaks for contributions, such as being able to deduct the amount saved that year from state income tax returns. In Minnesota, however, the contribution is not deductible, but savers can subtract the interest earned on the savings from their taxable income. Mississippi, on the other hand, offers a tax benefit in both contributions and gains.
States usually cap the amount that can be saved in these accounts per year. For example, in Mississippi, buyers can set aside up to $5,000 each year as couples, and $2,500 as individuals.
Down payment accounts can be helpful to first-time buyers, particularly with rising home prices, Adriann Murawski, state and local government affairs representative with the National Association of REALTORS®, told The New York Times. NAR has supported legislation to create these accounts within states. Murawski told The New York Times that she hopes other states will decide to follow suit in 2018, such as Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
Source: “How Some States Are Helping First-Time Home Buyers,”
The New York Times (Dec. 8, 2017)
Daily Real Estate News | Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Range of Voices concert Friday December 15th at 7 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church Hibbing.
4 Reasons December Is Favorable for Buyers
Many home shoppers don’t think about purchasing a house during the holiday months—many even put their home search on hold. But Desare Kohn-Laski, broker-owner of Skye Louis Realty in Coconut Creek, Fla., offers some points to pass on to your clients, letting them know this is one of the best times of the year to shop for a house.
Less Competition, Better Prices.
Let your clients know that the holiday months work in their favor. “Instead of competing with hungry buyers, eager to move in before the school year begins, the dip in demand actually drives prices down, and can create a mini buyers’ market,” Kohn-Laski says. In her experience, buyers often fare better in the negotiation process during the winter months.
More Time to (Home) Shop.
Time off around the holidays gives many buyers the opportunity to do some careful house hunting. Instead of giving up an entire weekend to open houses and showings, buyers can more leisurely tour homes during the week, Kohn-Laski suggests.
We still don’t know how the House and Senate tax reform bills will shake out in conference committee; however, if your clients purchase in 2017, they can still deduct property taxes, mortgage interest, and other costs. Learn more about how you can influence tax reform.
Move-In Ready Weather.
For a large part of the country, winter is a favorable season to move. The heavy lifting of furniture and home improvement projects are easier to perform without the heat of the summer months, Kohn-Laski says.
“There are numerous benefits and added perks to buying a house during the holiday season that make December arguably the best time to buy,” Kohn-Laski says. Happy house hunting…
—Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine
Daily Real Estate News | Friday, December 08, 2017
The Yuletide Festival is Thursday December 7th. scheduled for 6 to 7:30 at the Hibbing Public Library.
5 Most Common Reasons for Closing Delays
Seventy-three percent of home sales closed on time in October, but 25 percent of REALTORS® report a delay in getting to the settlement table, according to the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index, a survey based on responses from more than 3,500 real estate professionals. Only 2 percent say a contract was terminated completely.
What are the main problems encountered with delayed settlements? Real estate pros report the following:
1. Issues related to obtaining financing: 32%
2. Appraisal issues: 20%
3. Home inspection/environmental issues: 16%
4. Titling/deed issues: 11 percent
5. Contingencies stated in the contract: 6%
So when a delay happens to arise in your deal don’t get upset just talk to your realtor because usually these issues can be worked out.
Daily Real Estate News | Monday, December 04, 2017