“Is it a good time to sell a house” is the typical question asked by Fannie Mae in their consumer survey. “Five out of six people who buy a house have to sell one first” says Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan in Yahoo!Finance Daily Ticker interview. Month over month respondents show increasing optimism about the housing market, and the broader economy with “yes” answers.
A few savvy investors are taking advantage of refinancing, and redirecting the savings into further investment in cash flow rental homes.
The CoreLogic Home Price Index increased by 8.3% in December 2012 on a year-over-year basis, the biggest increase since 2006 and the tenth consecutive monthly increase. The Trulia Home Price Monitor indicates 0.9% monthly rise in asking prices for January 2013.
The NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index expanded from 242 metropolitan areas in January to 257 in February. The IMI identifies metro areas that have shown improvement in housing permits, employment and house prices for at least six months. Home Union’s cash flow zones – Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, San Antonio, Cleveland and Kansas City are in the list of improving markets. The Company suggests to its investors to focus on cash flow but any improvement in price is icing on the cake.
Weekly Jobless claims fell by 5,000 and Weekly Mortgage applications increased 3.4% from one week earlier (Source: Mortgage Bankers Association). The US Services sector expanded in January based on the Institute of Supply Management index. The Employment sub-index jumped to 57.5 in January from 55.3 in December, the highest jump in seven years. Job growth is one of the critical requirements for continuing the momentum in housing recovery.
Freddie Mac’s fourth quarter refinance analysis shows that the average interest rate reduction was about 1.8 percentage points and 33% savings in interest rate, the largest percentage reduction recorded in the 27 years of analysis.
Freddie Mac’s average for 30-year fixed rate is at 3.53%, and the average 15-year fixed is at 2.77%.