Pending sales down as supplies get tighter
There was a dip in pending home sales across the US in March as tight supply continued to limit buyers’ options.
The National Association of Realtors says that only the South saw a rise in contracts as momentum slowed, with its Pending Home Sales Index losing 0.8 per cent.
Buyers are out in force though but for first-time buyers the competition in many markets is challenging their ability to afford a home.
"In most areas, the lower the price of a home for sale, the more competition there is for it. That's the reason why first-time buyers have yet to make up a larger share of the market this year, despite there being more sales overall,” explained Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.
Yun says that the rise in prices, although great for sellers, will have to ease at some point or sales will continue to slow.
“Sellers are in the driver's seat this spring as the intense competition for the few homes for sale is forcing many buyers to be aggressive in their offers," said Yun.
Overall existing home sales are estimated by Yun to hit 5.64 million for 2017, up 3.5 per cent from last year while the national median price is expected to rise 5 per cent.
Neat Capital launches mortgage platform, acquires lender
Neat Capital has acquired mortgage trading advisory firm Whole Loan Solutions and launched its new digital mortgage platform.
The firm believes its FinTech solution will appeal to borrowers by allowing the entire application to be completed in a single session and claims that it has been processing loans from application to close in just 12 days.
"Our application is unique in providing real-time underwriting and borrower feedback, eliminating weeks of unnecessary back and forth,” said Luke Johnson, Founder and CEO of Neat Capital.
While FinTech’s continue to challenge the market, a recent survey
by mortgage software firm Ellie Mae reveals that most mortgage applicants – including millennials – still want human interaction to guide them during the process.
Have the Russians found the future of construction?
Scientists in Russia have developed a new construction technology which could revolutionize buildings.
The building blocks created by Professor of the Institute of Civil Engineering of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University Andrey Ponomarev and a graduate student Alexander Rassokhin, increase load-carrying capabilities by more than 200 per cent and are resistant to corrosion, frost and “aggressive environments”.
Researchers calculate that buildings constructed with the blocks could last longer and be more resistant to earthquake activity than traditional structures.
"Such system allows to ensure the structure integrity even in conditions of seismic activity, since the load is distributed throughout the structure as a whole, and not by individual reinforcement bars. The invention can be used in the construction of bridges and pedestrian crossings, non-metallic ships, low-rise residential buildings" says Alexander Rassokhin.