Self-Directed IRAs: A Smarter Way to Invest in Real Estate

For more than three decades, The Entrust Group has provided account administration services for self-directed retirement and tax-advantaged plans. The Entrust Group continues to assist people in purchasing alternative investments with their retirement funds, administering the buying and selling of assets that are typically unavailable through banks and brokerage firms such as real estate. The […]

Low Down Payment Drop: Share of Buyers Lands at 11-Year Low

Those using low down payment plans dropped last year, according to recently released news from RealtyTrac, who analyzed the size of down payments on nearly 20 million purchase loans for single family homes and condos nationwide from 2004 through 2014. Results show that in 2014 the share of buyers putting down 3 percent or less […]

New Research Highlights Finance Constraints on Housing Demand

An interesting new paper published by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York demonstrates the important role downpayment and wealth constraints play in shaping housing demand, particularly for lower-income homebuyers. Using survey data, the authors (Andreas Fuster and Basit Zafar) employ a strategy to measure housing demand impacts that contrasts with the often-used, user-cost model […]

Stock of Residential AD&C Loans Up 17 Percent over Last Four Quarters

One factor holding back a stronger rebound in home construction has been the tight availability of acquisition, development and construction (AD&C) loans. However, the stock of residential AD&C loans outstanding has been on the rise, posting a 17 percent gain since the third quarter of 2013. According to data from the FDIC and NAHB analysis, the […]

Existing-Home Sales Rise 2.4% in September

After a modest decline last month, existing-home sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September. Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 2.4 […]

Mortgage Rates Hit New 2014 Lows

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates hitting new lows for the year as 10-year bond yields briefly dipped below 2 percent. At 3.97 percent the average 30-year fixed rate is at its lowest level since the week of June 20, 2013 when it […]

Housing’s Share of GDP: 15.5 Percent for the Second Quarter

Housing is an important source of economic growth. As of the second quarter of 2014, housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) was 15.5 percent, with home building and remodeling yielding 3.1 percentage points of that total.   Housing-related activities contribute to GDP in two basic ways. The first is through residential fixed investment (RFI). RFI […]

New Home Sales in August – Back on Track

In a joint release the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that newly constructed single family homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 504 thousand in August, up 18 percent from July and 33 percent from August 2013. The supply of new homes available for sale inched up to […]

HomeServices of America, Inc. Announces Settlement of Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit

HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, has announced the settlement of a copyright-infringement lawsuit against American Home Realty Network, Inc. (d/b/a NeighborCity). Since 2013, HomeServices of America and two of its subsidiaries, Preferred Carolinas Realty, Inc., and Edina Realty, Inc., have been engaged in litigation with American Home Realty Network, Inc., in North Carolina […]

Interest Rates Little Changed on New Home Loans

On August 28, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported that, overall, mortgage interest rates were flat in July. To a large extent, the same was true for the subset of loans used to purchase new homes. Between June and July, the average contract interest rate on conventional mortgages for new homes ticked down, but […]