home prices

Crying Wolf — Again — on Mortgage Rates

WSJ: “Average Rate on a 30-year, Fixed-Rate Mortgage was 3.75% Last Week, Down from 4.94% in November” Sooner or later, industry mavens predicting higher mortgage rates will be right. But not this year. From a peak of almost 5% late last Fall, rates fell to 3.75% last week. Count that the 4th (7th? 9th?) year...
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Appealing to Buyers’ Emotions (vs. Pocketbooks)

Playing Down the Price “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” –Samuel Johnson The real estate equivalent of Johnson’s line is, “when you’ve got nothing else (left?) to sell, sell price.” That’s not to say value is irrelevant. With ever-more discriminating consumers, online information, and high tech tools and savvy generally, value has never been more important....
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Home Prices Up, Affordability . . . Up, Too (??)

Affordability’s Three “Ingredients”:  Housing Prices, Mortgage Rates, & Employment Don’t rising home prices make homes less affordable? In general, yes. The exception is when interest rates are falling faster than home prices are rising — the case right now — and wages and employment are improving (also true). From 4.6% to ???? So, from a...
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Barron’s: ‘Home Prices Headed Up 7%’

Jack of All Trades Markets, Master of None? Next time you read a banner headline predicting homes prices — like the one on the cover of the Sept. 10 Barron’s (above) — I suggest you ask three questions:  1) “who says?”; 2) “where?”, i.e., which market(s) are they talking about?; and 3) “over what time...
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Toting Up the Equity Hit

The $7 Trillion Hole in the EconomyWould you be tightening your belt if your house had dropped $50k-$60k in value in the last four years? Probably. And if you’d taken out a home equity loan against your home when it was worth $50k-$60k more . . . almost definitely. Now, take that $50k-$$60k drop in...
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Price as a Function of Time

“For Sale” Homes, Wine, & First-Run Movies Some things become richer and more valuable with time. Fine wine. Love. Collectibles like antique cars or rare paintings. A home for sale isn’t one of those things. Rather, a home on the market is like a newly released movie. The most fanfare accompanies the “premiere,” when the...
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