Falling mortgage rates and other housing news

As suggested in last week’s blog, mortgage rates have fallen back with the national average for a 30 year fixed rate loan at 4.32%, a level last seen in July.

While the 30 year fixed rate mortgage is the benchmark normally quoted, note that the average 15 year rate is 3.37%, while the 5/1 ARM is just 3.07%. Freddie Mac weekly mortgage rates

For my comments on Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) read Is it time to consider an ARM?. (more…)

Have house prices gone up too far?

I read yet another “warning” this week of an impending housing bubble and so I decided to put together a very simple table showing what has happened in recent years in the stock market compared with the housing market. I have used the Dow Jones 30 share index and the Case-Shiller 20 city index (which reports in arrears).

Here are the results:

Dow Jones vs Case-Shiller

The dates chosen represent the peaks and troughs in these indices.

Any one see a housing bubble there?

If you are considering buying or selling a home and have questions about the market and/or current home prices, feel free to contact me on 781.631.1223 or andrew@HarborsideRealty.com.

Andrew Oliver is a Realtor with Harborside Realty in Marblehead.


Mortgage rates drop as Fed blinks

On Wednesday, when it was widely expected that the Federal Reserve would announce plans to start reducing its purchases of mortgage backed securities (MBS)* this month, it surprised the market by announcing that the start of the slow down – the taper – would be delayed. The result was a drop of about 1/4% in mortgage rates. (more…)

Marblehead Oceanfront Open House Sunday 12-2

This spectacular oceanfront compound offers an elegantly restored, south facing, sun-drenched 6,265 sq. ft. main home with 15 spacious rooms including 7 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. Uniquely protected from coastal storms.

Plus Marblehead’s most stunningly located carriage house offers an additional 2,404 sq. ft., perfect for the extended family, nursing home alternative – or weekend retreat. Access to a private beach. Wonderful neighborhood and potential for a private mooring. (more…)

Signs of life at higher end of market

I have commented before that I have been surprised at the low level of activity at the higher end here on the North Shore compared with Boston and its immediate neighbors. I have pondered – hoped? – that maybe it was a timing issue.

Well there does seem to be some activity developing. Since the start of the third quarter (July 1), there have been sales in the $2-3 million range in Andover, Manchester and Swampscott; in the $3-4 million range in Manchester; and $4-5  million in Hamilton and Manchester. (more…)

Outlook for mortgage rates

I have commented before that HSH Associates (HSH.com) publishes very good commentary on the mortgage market.
In this week’s article (which will be on their website on Monday) they point out:

Marblehead: median list price $995,000; median sale price $532,000

The median list price of Single Family Homes (SFHs) in Marblehead currently available for sale is $995,000, whereas the median price of SFHs sold in the first 8 months of 2013 is just $532,000. Why the difference?

First the inventory numbers. It is very clear just how short of inventory the market is under $750,000 and under $500,000 in particular. These numbers were as of September 1st. This shortened week saw 4 more houses under $500,000 receive an accepted offer (including one that was listed this week), so there are now just 6 SFHs available in Marblehead under $500,000. And 106 have sold in the last year. Wow! (more…)

Condo market tightens

Overall supply for the North Shore condo market tightened as of September 1st to just 3.4 months of supply, down from 4.7 months earlier in the summer. As with SFHs, supply is tightest at lower price levels. (more…)

Massachusetts housing inventory: very little available at lower prices

August generally does not see a lot of new properties coming to the market, while anxious buyers are inclined to snap up what is available before the start of the school year. Thus, supply should tighten, at least in theory. And as the last table in this post shows, the inventory of SFHs under $500k for all 17 North Shore cities and towns I follow, represented just 2.1 months of supply at the beginning of September, whereas 6 months is generally regarded as being a market in equilibrium.