Monthly Archives: April 2016

Real Estate Mortgage Rates

Fixed-rate mortgages dropped this week, basically erasing last week’s spike. Thirty-year rates dipped below 3.5, its summertime average, offering even lower borrowing costs to would-be home buyers and refinancers.

“Mortgage rates continue to be relatively stable and at near record lows,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points week-over-week to 3.47 percent, erasing last week’s increase. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week relatively flat — up about 2 basis points.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Oct. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.47 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.79 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.84 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 2.85 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.89 percent.

The Biggest Kitchens

For your remodeling clients, they may want to make sure they don’t end up redesigning a kitchen that’s too small compared to other homes in the area. However, the size of the kitchen may vary drastically by geographic location, home size, and home style, according to new research from the National Kitchen and Bath Association, in which researchers evaluated more than 3,000 home plans.

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The average size of a newly built single-family home’s kitchen is 161 square feet, or just under 13 feet by 13 feet, the study shows. However, some regions tend to offer much bigger kitchens.

The Middle Atlantic region, which includes New York and Pennsylvania, has the largest average kitchen size at 170 square feet, followed by the South Atlantic, which includes Florida and the Carolinas, at 166 square feet, and the West-South Central region, which includes Texas, at 165 square feet. Meanwhile, the smallest kitchens may be found in the West-North Central region, which includes the Dakotas, at 153 square feet, the study shows.

While larger homes tend to have larger kitchens, the scale of the increased kitchen size is not proportion to the overall home, the report notes. Homes that have great rooms tend to have slightly larger kitchens, but only by an average of 5 square feet.

The study found that single-story homes tended to have kitchens with an average of 151 square feet. Kitchens in multi-level homes, on the other hand, tended to have kitchens that average 174 square feet.

Real Estate Hot List

The median list price of properties nationwide zoomed to a new record for the month of October, reaching $250,000. That is 8 percent higher than a year ago,

Read more: Home Buyer Advantage Starts Now

“We are seeing evidence of stronger-than-normal demand this off-season, as buyers remain eager to make purchases,” says Jonathan Smoke,®’s chief economist. “As a result, the number of homes for sale declined more in October than at any other point this summer, and left us with 11 percent fewer active listings than last October. That’s the biggest monthly inventory decline since July 2015.” Homes for sale in October are selling 2 percent more quickly than they did a year ago, according to®’s data.

And a handful of markets are seeing the majority of that activity.®’s research team compiled its monthly list of the 20 hottest markets in the country. In these markets, homes are seeing high demand (as measured by listing views by market on®) and getting quick sales (measured by days on the market).

California cities continue to dominate most of the top 20. However, a new city emerged this month’s list: Boston. The Boston metro area – which includes Cambridge, Newton, and parts of New Hampshire – leaped 17 spots this month to land in the top 10. Boston saw the median age of its inventory decrease by a full week.

The following are the 20 hottest U.S. markets in October, according to®:

  • San Francisco
  • Denver
  • Vallejo, Calif.
  • Dallas
  • Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • San Diego
  • San Jose, Calif.
  • Boston
  • Stockton, Calif.
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Modesto, Calif.
  • Detroit
  • Santa Rosa, Calif.
  • Sacramento, Calif.
  • Eureka, Calif.
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.