I try to read about and stay on top of the news that matters to me and my business. I’m always looking for some good news in the real estate industry. As I was reading Inman News, which is big in our industry, 2 articles stood out to me that I think will effect our markets here in Hawaii.
“U.S. home prices fell for the seventh month in a row during February, although price declines are increasingly concentrated in sales of distressed properties such as bank-owned homes,” data aggregator CoreLogic said in releasing its home price index.
The CoreLogic home price index showed U.S. home prices down 6.7 percent from a year ago during February, a sharper decline than the 5.5 percent year-over-year drop registered in January.
Excluding distressed sales, the index was essentially flat, declining by 0.1 percent from a year ago, compared to 1.4 percent in January. Distressed sales include short sales and real-estate owned, or “REO” properties.
“When you remove distressed properties from the equation, weâ€™re seeing a significantly reduced pace of depreciation and greater stability in many markets,” said CoreLogic Chief Economist, Mark Fleming, in a statement. “Price declines are increasingly isolated to the distressed segment of the market, mostly in the form of REO sales, as the stock of foreclosures is slowly cleared.”
Mortgage Rates Keep Inching Up
“Mortgage rates continued a gradual climb this week for the fourth consecutive week with rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages approaching highs for the year registered in February,” Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
For the week ending April 14, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.91 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from 4.87 percent last week and 5.07 percent a year ago.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit an all-time low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 4.17 percent during the week ending Nov. 11. This year, rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans have ranged from 4.71 percent in early January to a high for the year of 5.05 percent during the week ending Feb. 10.
“Although rates on 30-year fixed mortgages have risen four weeks in a row, they have remained below 5 percent for eight straight weeks now, helping to maintain affordability in the housing market,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, said in a statement.
So, what does this all mean? Well, if home prices are starting to stabilize and interest rates are starting to creep back up, it can only mean that NOW is the best time you’re ever going to have to buy property on Maui. Get off the fence and call me. I can help.