Cities Where Homebuyers Are Deepest in Debt

Debt is almost one of those facts of life like death and taxes.  Recent data even show that Americans have over $13 trillion in household debt.  With that in mind the folks over at analyzed mortgages taken out in the first 8 months of 2018 and calculated the median debt-to-income ratio for borrowers in the 200 largest metropolitan areas (limiting it to two metros per state) to find those markets where buyers’ budgets are stretched the most.  Indeed….

“…make no mistake—the real estate implications of high debt loads can be huge, constraining buyers and potentially slowing price appreciation to a crawl. Correspondingly, lower debt levels can be a sign that a housing market has plenty of room to grow..”

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30-Year Mortgage Rate Highest in Eight Years

In case you haven’t been paying attention (which we highly doubt), interest rates have been creeping over the last several months and, according to recently analyzed data by the NAHB’s Eye on Housing, are now approaching an eight-year high.  They say that the 30-year FRM – Commitment rate, inched up considerably by 20 basis points to 4.83% from 4.63% in September, with October’s increase being the highest since early 2011.  Indeed….

“…As a result of rising mortgage rates, affordability is at the lowest level in a decade and new home sales have been soft in recent months…”

Click here to read the full report at the NAHB’s Eye on Housing.


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Zumper’s National Rent Report for December

Rental information site Zumper recently released their National Rent Report for December showing that the median national rent for 1-bedroom apartment was $1,212 and the median two-bedroom rent was $1,430.  Year over year, both one and two bedroom prices are up 1.9% and 3.9%, respectively.  Zumper analyzes rental data from over 1 million active listings across the United States. Data is aggregated on a monthly basis to calculate median asking rents for the top 100 metro areas by population, providing a comprehensive view of the current state of the market. The report is based on all data available in the month prior to publication… sure to check out their entire list of 100 cities.

As for 2019;  Zumper predicts:

“Rents in 2019 will most likely see accelerated growth due to pressure from a continued slow for-sale market, with continued interest rates hikes on the horizon, millennials favoring a sharing economy, so owning things, from cars to houses, is becoming less of a priority than it has been before, and an overall lack of available supply to meet a growing demand (U.S. rental vacancy is at 6.8%, which is the lowest it’s been since early 1990’s.”

Click here to read the full report at


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ABODO: Rent Prices Increasing Nationwide

National apartment listing site ABODO recently reported that the median nationwide rent price for one-bedroom units in December rose slightly to $1,025 (up .57%) with two-bedroom units coming in again at $1,279 (up .08%).  ABODO uses over 1 million listings across the United States to calculate the median 1-bedroom rent price by city, state, and nation and then track the month-over-month percentage change. To avoid small sample sizes, they restrict their analysis to cities meeting minimum population and property count thresholds.

Click here to read the full report at


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Opportunity Zones in Amazon HQ2 Markets

Now that Amazon has revealed the three locations of their second headquarters (aka HQ2), the folks over at ATTOM Data zeroed-in on those locations (New York, Washington, D.C., and Nashville) to analyze their markets vis a vis the new Opportunity Zones created by Congress last year.  Interestingly they found that homes located in Opportunity Zones nationwide and in each of these three markets consistently were sold at a discount but also have appreciated more quickly over the past five years compared to homes outside of the Opportunity Zones.  Their analysis looked at housing characteristics, such as home values and price appreciation for 7.4 million residential properties and 259k home sales in over 3k Opportunity Zones.

“The new Opportunity Zones created by the tax reform legislation passed in December 2017 provide real estate investors with prime, tax-incentivized investing opportunities, particularly if they can find zones that are in the path of progress,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. “The newly announced Amazon HQ2 markets certainly qualify as being in the path of progress.”

Click here to read the full report at


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Realtor Faces Backlash for Using Half-Naked Fitness Models to Promote Listing

BY  ON NOVEMBER 29, 2018

Earlier this year a realtor in Houston, Texas enticed buyers with “free tacos” with the purchase of a home.  Now we’ve come across another “innovative” realtor in the same market that used half-naked models to help promote a listed property.  According to the Houston Chronicle, with the approval of the homeowner, the realtor posted photos of scantily-clad fitness models posing throughout the home.  Of course as the complaints started rolling in they were promptly removed.  However the models helped garner over 20k views within the first 24 hours of its posting. The report also quoted the realtor as saying she’s always been known as the “potty mouth” real estate agent with an edge.  Indeed…

“The tattooed models are shown performing normal household tasks like changing a light bulb or cooking. The photos helped her book six showings the day after they went live, she said…She took photos of the models throughout the home to show a more realistic scenario of a young couple walking around partially clothed…”

Houston Chronicle: Photo Courtesy Of Kristin Gyldenege

Click here to read the full story at the Houston Chronicle.


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Are Your Ready for that 2nd Investment Property?

Hat top top FortuneBuilders.

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Yardi Says Multifamily Rents Flat for 2nd Month in a Row

According to the latest Yardi Matrix, U.S. multifamily rents were flat for the second straight month in October, dropping $1 to $1,420, while year-over-year growth was unchanged at 3.3%.  In addition they expect that the full-year rent increase for 2018 will remain near the year-to-date figure of 3.3%, with occupancy rates stable at current high levels.

Click here to read the full report at


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The Best Small Cities in America

Where are the best “small cities” in America?  Recently WalletHub put pen to paper and compared over 1,200 American cities with populations between 25k and 100k using 40 indicators of livability.  These include things such cost of living, housing costs, home ownership, income, school quality, restaurants per capita, coffee shops per capita and many more.  Indeed…be sure to click on the interactive map below.

“Small-city life can be best for those who appreciate more wiggle room, fewer degrees of separation and shorter commutes, to name just a few of its advantages. Granted, these little urban areas demand some tradeoffs, too, such as fewer restaurant options or shorter business hours.”

WalletHub’s top 20 cities are:

  1. Leawood, KS
  2. Carmel, IN
  3. Princeton, NJ
  4. Brentwood, TN
  5. Milton, MA
  6. Needham, MA
  7. Los Altos, CA
  8. Littleton, CO
  9. Newton, MA
  10. West Fargo, ND
  11. Arlington, MA
  12. Melrose, MA
  13. Fishers, IN
  14. Wellesley, MA
  15. Mason, OH
  16. Franklin, TN
  17. Southlake, TX
  18. Highland Park, IL
  19. Westport, CT
  20. Kirkland, WA


Source: WalletHub

Click here to read the full list on

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Mortgage Delinquencies Up Slightly in Q3 of 2018

According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Delinquency Survey, the delinquency rate for mortgage loans on one to four unit residential properties rose to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.47% of all loans outstanding at the end of the Q3 of 2018.  The delinquency rate was up 11 basis points from the previous quarter, but down 41 basis points from one year ago. The percentage of loans on which foreclosure actions were started dropped one basis point from the last quarter to 0.23% – representing the lowest level since the Q4 of 1985.

“Despite the small uptick this quarter, the healthy economy is overall supporting low mortgage delinquencies and foreclosure inventories,” said Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at MBA. “Unemployment is at its lowest level since 1969, wages have grown 3.1 percent year-over-year – the biggest jump in almost a decade – and job growth is averaging over 212,000 jobs per month thus far.”

Click here to read the full release at the Mortgage Bankers.

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