Wells Fargo boss forecasts improving housing, mortgage market
The boss of one of the largest mortgage lenders in the US says he expects the housing and home loan
markets to improve but says there won’t be a ‘boom’. Wells Fargo’s John Stumpf told CNBC that there is still a perception that getting a mortgage is hard but that availability and great rates are the reality. On interest rates he expects the Fed to make the first increase, of 25 basis points, in September but does not predict that rates will increase much in the short term.
Oil prices fail to dent demand in Houston’s hot housing market
Analysts have been calling for the weakened oil prices, which have been a thing now for almost a year, to put a dent in the demand for property in Houston but so far that hasn’t been the case. Builders in the area have reported mixed results with some seeing a slowdown while others have experienced a hike. Allan Merrill of Beazer Homes USA told the Wall Street Journal that so far sales are holding up. The data could be masking a later issue with real estate lagging the wider economy and many analysts still expect the market in parts of Texas to decline by around 10 per cent in the coming months.
Renters using half their household income for housing
A quarter of US families are spending at least half of their household income on rent and utilities. The non-profit Enterprise Community Partners, which helps low-income families access mortgages, used census data to discover that the number of households in that situation has jumped 26 per cent since 2007 to a total of more than 11 million. In California, Florida, New Jersey and New York state the issue is worse than the national average with 30 per cent using more than half their income for rent and utilities.
Canadians sell-up in Florida
House price increases in Florida and the weak Canadian dollar mean that ‘snowbird’ owners from north of the border are cashing in their investments. Those who bought when prices were in a slump and the greenback was weaker are viewing now as the ideal time to sell. Simon Plump, head of Currencies Direct exchange told the Orlando Sentinel that he is seeing a “big shift” in Canadians selling their vacation homes and realtors in the area are reporting a similar trend.