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Real Estate News 8/11/20

 With rates on home loans at record lows, it’s no wonder many Americans are refinancing their homes. Add to that the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession -- and the need to find extra cash or to cut expenses becomes even greater. In fact, refinance applications are 74% higher than a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. “We are telling everybody who has a loan over 4% to consider refinancing, if they still have income,” said Winnie Sun, president and founder of Irvine, California-based Sun Group Wealth Partners. While her clients get excited about the low rates and contemplate a 15-year fixed loan, Sun suggests stashing the extra money saved on those monthly payments into an emergency fund in case someone loses their job or the pandemic lasts longer than expected. If they are able, they can pay more each month to bring down the principal, but have the option to cut back, if needed. “We are in very unprecedented times and because most Americans don’t have emergency funds and many Americans are out of work, it’s important to be realistic about money,” Sun said. Source: CNBC

Just like summer’s soaring temperatures, new home sales are really hot right now, with no cooling off in sight. The experts at realestateconsulting.com revealed that June’s new home sales far surpassed those occurring during June of last year by more than half (55%). As for who exactly is making these home purchases, after analyzing statistics and data, experts found a trio of telling traits and criteria that kept coming up across the board. An analysis of the data shows that new home construction is among the few bright spots in America’s economy right now. Even amid the fallout from the pandemic that has been wreaking havoc on all sides, the housing industry seems poised to lead the nation forward in recovery. Experts attribute this resilience and uptick in new home sales much to the availability of all-time low mortgage rates for hopeful buyers. There is also the undeniable fact that the increased stay-at-home orders issued by the government have made many Americans begin to rethink and value their homes and living environments much more. First, the new American home buyer is seeking to purchase a new home in a suburban area. Experts attribute this desire to two main factors, which include that people are beginning to feel cooped up and are now wanting more space, as well as the rising trend of younger adults moving back in with their parents amid the pandemic’s increasing economic pressures. Source: MReport

A report from Zillow found that homebuyers and sellers are likely to purchase or sell a home entirely online. Digital tools are widely available and the coronavirus pandemic has given folks added motivation to buy or sell a home without leaving their current residence. That's not all, Zillow believes that consumer demand will likely keep those tools in place and drive more online real estate transactions in the future. According to a Zillow survey, 36% of Americans said they are more likely to buy a home entirely online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 30% said they are likely to do the same after the outbreak ends. On the sales side, 43% said they are more likely to try and sell a home entirely online and 33% would still do so once the pandemic ends. "The home shopping tradition of loading the family into the minivan and touring open houses all weekend may be over," said Zillow economist Jeff Tucker. "Now shoppers are realizing they can use virtual tours to either skip in-person shopping or at least to winnow down their options and visit fewer homes in person, making it easier and less time-consuming to find their next home. That speed advantage can give buyers a leg up in today's fast-moving market." Meanwhile, virtual home tours are on the rise with stay-at-home orders and overall concerns about the pandemic steering buyers away from in-person interaction. Source: Zillow 

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