- Maximize Harvests With Square-Foot Gardening
- Time to Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage?
- Can Local Governments Impede Housing Markets?
- The Housing Market Is Waving a Red Flag
- Homes Within Walking Distance of Outdoor Music Venues Command Higher Premium
- Bay Area Rent Prices Drop, Downward Trend Could Continue: Report
- Kitchen Confidential: A Guide to 6 Island Styles
Time to Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage? - Due to shifts in global bond markets, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49 percent Monday, which is down from 4.2 percent a year ago and 3.9 percent at the start of 2016. As a result, now may a good time to check the rate on your home mortgage, because borrowers could save money by refinancing. For that, American homeowners can thank British voters, central banks in Europe and Japan, and a global economy that just can’t get out of first gear. Furthermore, mortgage rates could fall further in the weeks ahead as banks start to pass more of the savings from low rates in the bond market through to customers.
Can Local Governments Impede Housing Markets? - Housing markets have been adversely affected by the addition of significant building costs that did not exist as recently as 15 years ago, according to a recent survey of more than 100 builders by John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC). Analysis of the top 33 markets in the country found that the number of new home communities has increased by only 4 percent in the last year, according to Burns. At that pace, the number of new homes permitted will not reach 1.1 million until 2023, which is consistent with historical averages. Local governments proved to be the primary reason that volume recovery was stronger in some areas than in others. The survey found that government attitudes toward housing tend to be either friendly and affordable or unfriendly and unaffordable.
The Housing Market Is Waving a Red Flag - Fervent speculation that abetted the housing bubble is showing up in the bloated share of foreclosures snapped up by third-party investors at auction—a record 31 percent in June, according to RealtyTrac data that starts in 2000. RealtyTrac senior vice president Daren Blomquist commented, “It's somewhat counterintuitive—as the market gets better and there are fewer foreclosures available, demand for those good deals, those bargains in the market goes up. When you see this high percentage of the properties going to third-party investors, that is a sign that these speculators may be over-inflating the market.” The third-party investors are gaining a bigger share of a shrinking pie, as foreclosure auctions made up 8 percent of all home sales in June, the lowest since August 2006.
Homes Within Walking Distance of Outdoor Music Venues Command Higher Premium - An analysis by Realtor.com and Vivid Seats found that homes within a one-mile radius of outdoor concert venues tend to command at least a 9-percent premium compared with the surround ZIP.
Bay Area Rent Prices Drop, Downward Trend Could Continue - Sweet relief has come to the checkbooks of folks looking for a place to live in the Bay Area. That's according to a new report published by the apartment listings website ABODO. Between June and July, rent prices fell five percent in San Francisco, eight percent in San Jose, and 11 percent in Oakland, SF Weekly reported.
Kitchen Confidential: A Guide to 6 Island Styles - L-shaped, galley, rolling or curved? See what kind of kitchen island might be right for you. Some of my faves: