Confidence in housing market slips as income stalls
The slower pace of income growth compared to house price appreciation is of growing concern to home buyers and this has been reflected in new figures from Fannie Mae. Its Home Purchase Sentiment Index for January slipped 1.7 points to 81.5 as the proportion of consumers reporting significantly higher income compared with 12 months earlier declined 3 per cent.
“Housing affordability is being constrained because the pace of growth in real income has not kept up with gains in real home prices as demand has grown faster than supply,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “On the bright side, consumers have been increasingly positive about their ability to get a mortgage, suggesting that credit tightness is not the main issue limiting housing market activity.”
The net share of respondents who say that it is a good time to buy a house fell 4 percentage points to 31 per cent and an all-time survey low was equaled as only 61 per cent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a house. The net percentage of respondents who say it is a good time to sell a house rose 1 percentage point to 9 per cent.
Vegas housing proves to be a safe bet
Home prices in Las Vegas gained in the 12 months to January 2016 according to data from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors. The median price of a single-family home was $200,000, up 9.5 per cent from a year earlier; condo and townhomes were up 14.3 per cent to $119,990. Sales were higher too with realtors selling 2,348 homes in the month, up 4.5 per cent compared to January 2015. Vegas realtors are expecting continued buoyancy in the market during the year ahead.
Oprah adds California farm to real estate portfolio
Oprah Winfrey may have grabbed the headlines recently for taking a share of Weight Watchers but she’s also been busy buying real estate. The media mogul recently paid $14 million for a Colorado ski retreat and has now paid $28.85 million for a Californian farm. The property adds to another she already has in the Montecito area and realtor Dan Encell of Berkshire Property Services told Zillow that ““I think she has some pretty big plans for it.”