Builder confidence back to boom levels
Home builders’ confidence in the housing market has reached a level last seen towards the end of the housing boom in 2005. The Housing Market Index from the Home Builders’ Association and mortgage lender Wells Fargo reached 64 this month and has been in the 60’s since June.
“With October’s three-point uptick, builder confidence has been holding steady or increasing for five straight months. This upward momentum shows that our industry is strengthening at a gradual but consistent pace,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “With firm job creation, economic growth and the release of pent-up demand, we expect housing to keep moving forward as we start to close out 2015.”
There are still some pockets of softness in the market though with availability of lots and labor continuing to present challenges for the industry. All four regions gained with sentiment in The West rising the highest with 5 points.
California announces new help for first-time buyers
First-time buyers in California are now able to get help with a downpayment or closing costs when purchasing a home. The California Housing Finance Agency has announced the launch of its MyHome Assistance Program with 5 per cent assistance, lower interest rates and deferred payments available.
“I’ve got families I’ve been working with for a year, and with MyHome they can finally purchase their first home,” said Ed Bañuelos of Academy Mortgage in Burbank. “This program is awesome, and has a lot to offer people looking to buy a mid-priced home.”
The new program adds to others available to help those in the state who can afford mortgage payments but may struggle with other costs of buying a home.
Britney buys 21 acre estate in LA
Britney Spears has bought a 21 acre estate in a neighborhood developed by two Hollywood A-listers. The Italian-style villa is in an enclave at Thousand Oaks which was developed by Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. The LA Times reports that Brit’s new pad includes a 12,464 main house with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms, 35 foot high ceilings and an elevator. If she’s feeling sporty there’s a pool, tennis court and three-green golf course. The pop star paid $7.4 million for the estate, $95,000 under the asking price.