Buyer foot traffic is on the rise again, sending positive signals about the direction of future contracts and home sales, according to the latest National Association of REALTORS® Diffusion Index.
Foot traffic was up 7.2 points in February after two months of declines. NAR collects foot traffic data from SentriLock LLC, which tracks the number of properties shown by REALTORS®. Read more from NAR.
In other headlines:
Cook County home prices show big gains in 4th quarter – Chicago Tribune
Buying a Home Less Expensive than Renting – by 38%! – KCM Blog
NAR Generational Trends Study Shows Confidence in Market, Some Challenges – National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)
A bigger home, a short commute and a location close to their favored school district are among the key things relocating employees are looking for when they shop for their next home, according to a survey by Cartus, a relocation service company.
What else makes their wish list? Upgraded kitchens, master bedrooms on the first floor and new construction. Get the details from NAR’s Daily Real Estate News.
In other headlines:
Champaign County home sales up 15% in February – News-Gazette
HUD: Market Improves, But Still Healing – REALTOR® Magazine
FHA Bounces Back – NAR’s Voices of Real Estate blog
IAR GAD Tom Joseph
In a win for homeowners and the real estate market, the city of Country Club Hills will no longer apply a $25 city sticker fee on each real estate “For Sale” sign.
County Club Hills was among a handful of municipalities in southern Cook County that required REALTORS® to buy and place a real estate sticker stamp on all “For Sale” signs before signs could be placed in a window or on the front lawn of a home for sale.
The Illinois Association of REALTORS® and local REALTOR® associations have long advocated against these punitive and unfair municipal fees. The village of Glenwood, Ill. rescinded its real estate sign fee about five years ago, but there are other municipalities that still have real estate sign fees in place.
REALTORS® oppose these sign fees and see them as another way that Home Rule communities can pass along another “tax” to taxpayers in the form of a mandatory municipal fee.
Tom Joseph, the IAR Local Government Affairs Director (GAD) representing the south suburban Cook County area, worked with local leaders on the issue and thanked them for deciding to eliminate the unnecessary fees.
“To the credit of Country Club Hills Mayor Dwight Welch, he viewed this as a hindrance that had a marginal financial incentive for the city. He and Glenwood Mayor Kerry Durkin want to promote real estate in their communities and after reviewing the numbers and everything else, they both agreed real estate sign fees did not make sense and were not needed anymore,” Joseph said.
Fixed mortgage rates dropped this week to 4.28 percent for 30-year, fixed-rate while the 15-year-fixed rate averaged 3.32 percent, also a decline, Freddie Mac reported today. Mortgage rates reversed course on news of slower economic and job growth, according to Freddie Mac.
In other headlines:
CoreLogic: 4 million homeowners back above water in 2013 – HousingWire
House Passes Bill to Halt Flood Insurance Hikes – REALTOR® Magazine
Buying a home still beats renting in all 100 large U.S. metros, according to a new Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia. In fact, in Chicago it is 47 percent cheaper to buy a home compared to renting while in St. Louis, it is 54 percent cheaper to buy.
In a blog post, Trulia Chief Economist Jed Kolko said that even though home prices have been rising around the country, low mortgage rates have kept homeownership affordable. Mortgage rates would have to rise substantially before renting would be cheaper in most markets, he said.
“Nationally, rates would have to rise to 10.6 percent for renting to be cheaper than buying – and rates haven’t been that high since 1989.” Kolko said.
Read the blog and find an interactive Rent vs. Buy map to learn more.
Mortgage rates rise slightly – Chicago Tribune
4 game changers for selling homes this tax season – HousingWire
U.S. sales of new homes up in January – Daily Herald