In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, average mortgage rates rose for the first time in five weeks.
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.03 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending April 27, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.97 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.66 percent.
- 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.27 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.23 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.89 percent.
- 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.12 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.86 percent.According to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac:
“The 10-year Treasury yield rose about 10 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved with Treasury yields, rising 6 basis points to 4.03 percent. Despite recent swings in mortgage rates, the housing market continues to show signs of strength — both existing and new home sales in March exceeded expectations, and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted another solid gain.”
Outdoor Kitchens Making a Comeback
A few years ago, outdoor kitchens were considered a hot amenity, but they began to fall out of favor. In fact, in a December 2015 survey by the National Home Builders Association, builders indicated that outdoor kitchens would be one of the least likely features to be added to new single-family homes in 2016. But now, architects say homeowners and prospective buyers are showing resurgent demand for outdoor cooking spaces, according to the American Institute of Architects’ most recent Home Design Trends Survey.
“Homeowners continue to find ways to add value to their homes by creating more functional space, which is apparent in the rise in popularity of outdoor kitchens,” says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the AIA. “Kitchens have become a hub for the home. Now homeowners want to bring some of that activity to their outside space.”
Many buyers will even pay a premium for outdoor kitchens, according to a realtor.com® survey last year. Researchers found that buyers were willing to pay up to 26 percent more for a home with an outdoor kitchen compared to a similar home without one in the same ZIP code. The study revealed Naples, Fla., to be the most popular metro for outdoor kitchens.
When it comes to indoor kitchens, homeowners continue to eye certain upgrades, with the most desired being a charging station or computer area, a double island, high-end appliances, and sensory faucets, according to the AIA survey.
2 Common Mortgage Deal Delays
A last-minute problem with financing can quickly delay a closing on a home sale. Here are two of the most common financing problems that can surface:
Failure to disclose key financial information. One of the biggest reasons for a financial issue is the failure of the buyer to disclose key financial information, The New York Times reports. Buyers who are not forthright about their financial circumstances can face a delay. Lenders will quickly find borrowers who are behind on child support obligations or real estate taxes, for example.
Running up credit as a mortgage application is pending. Buyers may go out and purchase new furniture or a car prior to closing on a home, but doing so, could cause them a delay to the closing of their home sale. Lenders will recheck borrowers’ credit right before the closing date. If new debt obligations suddenly appear, that can be a red flag to a lender. Prior to making any large purchases prior to closing, borrowers should check with their lender, says Douglas Rotella, an executive vice president and loan originator with HomeBridge Financial Services.
Homeowners Don’t Want Cookie-Cutter Lawns
Homeowners today are focused on making changes to their front yards so they’re markedly different from their neighbors’ yards and easier to maintain, finds the 2017 U.S. Houzz Landscaping Trends Survey.
Homeowners want their yards to look distinct. Only 6 percent of homeowners reported front yards that were nearly identical to those in the neighborhood after their outdoor project, compared to more than a third before the update (36 percent), the Houzz survey shows. Two in five owners say they wanted to make a statement with a new front yard that was “very” or “extremely” different from others in the neighborhood following their update.
More homeowners are turning to low-maintenance plants to enhance their front yards, along with native plants and those that attract insects and birds. More than half of those who updated their front yard say that beds or borders, shrubs, and perennials were the most important to improving curb appeal.
Some owners are removing their front yard lawns altogether, citing environmental considerations as a strong motivator, the survey also showed.
Lighting is also growing in popularity among outdoor upgrades, particularly LEDs, low voltage, solar, and wireless lighting. Nearly one in five homeowners reported installing lights that could be controlled from their mobile device.
“Home renovation activity is benefiting from the significant increase in home sales in 2015 and 2016, which is reflected in our findings on motivations for starting a landscape project,” says Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Since housing inventory has remained low, recent home buyers likely consider their homes less than ideal, leading them to prioritize upgrades like outdoor projects more than ever, with emphasis on low maintenance.”
Written by Realty Times Staff