Category Archives: Government

For 19 Straight Quarters Average House Prices Have Inched Higher

U.S. house prices rose 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI). This is the nineteenth consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

House prices rose 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016. This is the fourth consecutive year in which prices grew more than 5 percent. FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for March was up 0.7 percent from February.

“While the overall appreciation rate was robust in the first quarter, home price appreciation was somewhat less widespread than in recent quarters,” says FHFA Supervisory Economist Andrew Leventis. “Twelve states and the District of Columbia saw price declines in the quarter—the most areas to see price depreciation since the fourth quarter of 2013. Although most declines were modest, such declines are notable given the pervasive and extraordinary appreciation we have been observing for many years.”

While the purchase-only HPI rose 5.7 percent from the first quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, prices of other goods and services were nearly unchanged. The inflation-adjusted price of homes rose approximately 5.6 percent over the latest year.

Home prices rose in every state between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016. The top five states in annual appreciation were: 1) Oregon 11.8 percent; 2) Florida 11.2 percent; 3) Washington 10.9 percent; 4) Nevada 9.4 percent; and 5) Colorado 9.0 percent.

Among the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the U.S., annual price increases were greatest in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Delray Beach, Fla. (MSAD), where prices increased by 16.7 percent. Prices were weakest in El Paso, Texas, where they fell 2.8 percent.

Of the nine census divisions, the Pacific division experienced the strongest increase in the first quarter, posting a 1.9 percent quarterly increase and an 8.1 percent increase since the first quarter of last year. House price appreciation was weakest in the Middle Atlantic division, where prices rose 0.6 percent from the last quarter.

For more information, visit www.fhfa.gov.

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.

VA Loans: What they Are and How they Work

By John Voket

Most active-duty service members and veterans and some National Guard members and reservists can seek out home-related loans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

VA home loan programs may be used to finance the purchase of homes, condominiums or manufactured homes, refinance an existing home loan, or install energy-saving improvements. The three main types of guaranteed home loan benefits are:

• Purchase Loans
• Cash-Out Refinance Loans
• Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans

Qualified vets need suitable credit, sufficient income and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. Private lenders underwrite and fund VA home loans according to VA standards. VA’s partial guaranty for these loans means that nearly 90 percent of all VA-guaranteed home loans are made with no down payment required.

If a VA-guaranteed loan becomes delinquent, the VA will work with the borrower to avoid foreclosure, including providing financial counseling and, in some cases, direct intervention with a mortgage loan servicer on the borrower’s behalf.

Any veteran or service member having difficulty making mortgage payments should call (877) 827-3702 to speak with a VA Loan Technician. More information about avoiding foreclosure can be found at: benefits.va.gov/HOMELOANS/resources_payments.asp.

Native American veterans who want to live on Federal Trust land can seek assistance through the VA’s Native American Direct Loan (NADL) program, which provides direct loans to eligible Native American veterans for the purchase, construction or improvement of a home.

The VA also offers grants to veterans with certain service-connected disabilities to build an adapted home or make modifications to an existing home. Three types of grants exist: Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptation.

Homeless veterans, or those at imminent risk of becoming homeless, are urged to contact their local VA medical center, call (877) 424-3838, or visit va.gov/homeless.

Consult your real estate professional to learn more about the VA’s home-related services, or visit explore.va.gov/home-loans-and-housing.

Thanks for visiting my Blog site. If you would like to discuss this topic with me or get more information please contact me by calling 919-247-4667 or emailing me at Tim@TheTrianglesBroker.com. And you can always visit my personal real estate website for lots of additional information and to search for homes at www.TheTrianglesBroker.com or www.BuyAndSelllingTriangleHomes.com McBrayer – The Triangles Broker.