Morning Minute: Homebuilder confidence climbs in July as new home sales pick up

U.S. homebuilders are feeling optimistic about the new single-family home construction market and that can be seen in the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which rose in July to the highest level since January, the Associated Press reports. The improving U.S. job market is raising consumer, and potential homebuyer, confidence in housing, according the index.

In other headlines:

Open Houses Are Strikingly Underutilized – Daily Real Estate News

Blame It on the Rain: Slump in Housing Starts Driven by Record Drop in the South – Wall Street Journal

Morning Minute: Mortgage rates move back down this week

Good news to share with potential homebuyers: fixed mortgage rates moved lower this week and continue to be historically low, Freddie Mac reports today. The 30-year, fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.13 percent this week and the 15-year, fixed averaged 3.23 percent.

In other headlines:

Market a Smart Home Smartly – REALTOR® Magazine

Chicago slowly, but steadily, increasing construction activity – REJournals

U.S. foreclosures fall, but on rise in Chicago – Chicago Tribune


Morning Minute: Lower corn prices could affect farmland prices

Corn prices are trending lower this year and that could impact farmland property prices, which have been booming in recent years.

In a recent analysis, National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, said that while lower corn prices could negatively impact agricultural land, any declines are expected to be modest and most owners should be able to absorb the change. Read more.

In other headlines:

Mortgage default rate continues downward trajectory – HousingWire

Brokerage Giant Warns Agents Against Drones – Daily Real Estate News

In Case You Missed It: Top IARbuzz blog posts from last week

In case you missed it, here are four of the top IARbuzz blog posts from last week: