Morning Briefing: Inventory tightens says Zillow report

by 31 Jul 2015
Inventory tightens says Zillow report
There were fewer homes for sale in the US in June compared to a year earlier and first time buyers are finding low-value homes especially difficult to find. Zillow reports that in the lowest-priced third of homes for sale, the inventory homes on the market fell year-over-year in 28 of the nation's 35 largest metro areas. By comparison, among the highest-priced homes, inventory fell year-over-year in only 10 of the nation's largest metro areas. The total number of homes listed for sale on Zillow in June was down 6.5 per cent year-over-year but was up 2.1 per cent on a monthly basis. Large metros where inventory has increased the most annually include Austin (up 30.3 per cent), Atlanta (22.4 per cent) and Washington, DC (18.9 per cent). "Historically low mortgage rates continue to keep overall ownership affordability very good by historical standards, making it a great time to buy a home, especially with rent becoming increasingly unaffordable," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.
Katy Perry faces years of struggles to buy LA convent
Singer Katy Perry is locked in a legal battle in a bid to buy a hilltop convent in Los Angeles. The Los Feliz property has been in Perry’s sights for years and she plans to convert it to a luxury residence. However, in what sounds more like a Hollywood movie plot than a real estate deal, the convent’s former residents are not happy about the singer’s plans and made a quick sale of the convent to a businesswoman who wants to turn it into a boutique hotel. The Archbishop of LA meanwhile favors Perry’s plans and filed court papers claiming that the nuns’ sale was invalid. The judge in the case says he believes that the sale was invalid but has told the Archbishop and Perry that they will not be able to make a transaction anytime soon because the businesswoman, Dana Hollister, has already registered a deed for the property. It could take years of legal wrangling to resolve the case.
Mortgage rates lower this week
Mortgage rates have declined slightly this week according to the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey from Freddie Mac. 30-year FRM’s fell to 3.98 per cent for the week ending July 30, down from 4.04 per cent a week earlier. 15-year FRM’s were down to 3.17 per cent (from 3.21 per cent); 5-year ARM’s dropped to 2.95 per cent (from 2.97 per cent); and 1-year ARM’s were down to 2.52 per cent (from 2.54 per cent.)