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NAR Report: More LGBTQ Buyers Purchasing Older, Smaller Homes

The annual report compares LGBTQ buyers and sellers to the overall market. It found that LGBTQ buyers buy smaller and older homes, but they plan to move out five years earlier than other buyers. As a group, they tend to identify as male more than female, and be single and unmarried.

Home buyers from America’s LGBTQ community purchase older, smaller and less expensive homes than non-LGBTQ buyers, according to the 2021 Profile of LGBTQ Home Buyers and Sellers released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

Over the past five years, homes bought by LGBTQ buyers were 170 square feet smaller and 15 years older, typically, than those purchased by non-LGBTQ buyers.

“Understanding how buyers navigate the housing market is essential to Realtors®,” says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. “This report details the impact of the housing affordability challenges on LGBTQ buyers, who typically had lower household incomes and were more likely to be purchasing more affordable homes.”

NAR first added a question about sexual orientation to its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers study in 2015.

Characteristics of homes bought/sold
The median sale price for homes purchased by LGBTQ buyers was $245,000, compared to $268,000 for non-LGBTQ buyers. LGBTQ buyers were much more likely to have purchased in urban areas and less likely in small towns or rural areas. There was no purchasing difference in a suburb or subdivision.

LGBTQ buyers expect to spend 10 years in their new home – five years fewer than non-LGBTQ buyers’ expectations at the time of purchase.

While the study found no difference between LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ buyers as far as type of home – single-family, detached, condo, etc. – it did find a difference among sellers. LGBTQ sellers were less likely to sell a detached single-family home (69% LGBTQ vs. 81% non-LGBTQ), and more likely to sell a townhouse/row house (11% vs. 6%) or an apartment condo (8% vs. 4%).

Characteristics of buyers and sellers
Since 2015, the percentage of LGBTQ home buyers and sellers has been a steady 4%, with 51% identifying as male, 40% identifying as female, and 8% identifying as non-binary, gender-nonconforming or third gender.

Married couples made up 39% of LGBTQ buyers and sellers, 21% by unmarried couples, 22% by a single male and 15% by a single female. The median age (42) and annual income ($93,200) of LGBTQ buyers and sellers were slightly lower than non-LGBTQ buyers and sellers (46 and $97,000, respectively).

Of LGBTQ home buyers, 42% were first-time buyers, compared to just 32% for non-LGBTQ buyers. However, the two groups were about equally likely to be first-time home sellers – at 37% and 33%, respectively.

When examining demographics, NAR says the type of sexual orientation made a difference, notably between lesbian/gay buyers and sellers and bisexual buyers and sellers. The typical bisexual home buyer and seller was 34 years old, compared to 45 among buyers and sellers identifying as gay or lesbian – and 63% of bisexual buyers and sellers were female. They were more likely to report single-income households than other home buyers, even when controlling for age. Bisexual home buyers were also much more likely to be first-time homebuyers (61%) or first-time home sellers (50%) than other groups.

Considerations in a home search
When considering home locations, the three most important qualities – quality of neighborhood, convenience to job and overall affordability – were the same for all groups. However, LGBTQ buyers were less concerned overall about convenience to friends and family compared to non-LGBTQ buyers. They also placed more importance on convenience to entertainment and leisure and proximity to a veterinarian. Additionally, LGBTQ buyers were less likely to value local schools, convenience to health facilities and lot sizes than other Americans.

“All Realtors are obligated by NAR’s Code of Ethics to provide equal professional service without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” says NAR President Charlie Oppler. “As we recognize Pride Month and Homeownership Month this June, it’s important to continue the pursuit of equal housing opportunities for everyone. Our communities are stronger when we are more inclusive.”

Why are so many people moving to Florida?

Without a doubt, 2020 and 2021 have been very different, life-changing years for many of us. The pandemic changed life in many ways, for many people in both personal and professional respects. From a business perspective, for many, COVID-19 meant a transition from being required to go into an office every day to primarily working remotely from home.

As working remotely increasingly becomes the new normal for many, the question began to arise, “If I can work anywhere, do I want to stay here?” After all, until now, most people lived near their workplaces because they were required to be physically present in those workplaces for the majority of the time. Now, if work is remote, home could, in theory, be anywhere. People are thinking less about where they have to live, and more about where they want to live.

Of course, that means different things to different people, and many factors can make a particular place appealing — or not so appealing. For some, it’s being closer to family and friends. For others, it’s a certain kind of weather or scenery — maybe being close to the beach or the mountains. And for still others, economic considerations play an important role.

After all, if you can live anywhere, living in a place where you can keep more money in your pocket is appealing. As a result, the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately accelerated the migration of businesses, families, and individuals from states that are more expensive to others that are less so.

Florida is a popular destination. Here are a few reasons why:

More Tax-Friendly: One huge advantage is that Florida has no state income tax. While there are still other taxes like sales, and property tax, not paying income tax can ultimately result in significant savings, particularly in comparison with some states that have very high income tax rates in addition to being more expensive generally.

Affordable Housing and Rental Opportunities: Many of the cities in Florida offer more house for the money than what can be found in other locations. For many, location is everything – but for an equal number, location plus affordability is appealing. Many people like the idea of being able to afford a larger home or more land for a lower price. This is not to mention that from a business perspective, these states tend to offer more affordable rental prices for office space than some other states and cities do.

Mild Climate: Although weather often isn’t the only determinative factor in a move, it can definitely be a bonus. In addition to offering significant economic advantages, Florida offers plenty of sunshine, warm temperatures throughout much of the year, and plenty of beautiful scenery for residents to enjoy.

Each family, each person, each business is different, but for many, these are some of the primary advantages of making a move to Florida. Regardless of your reason though, when making a move, one thing you’ll always need to make that move successful is a talented Realtor.

South Florida Real Estate Market Still Booming in 2021

The Q1 preliminary Insight report from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services EWM Realty (BHHSEWM) reports a booming residential real estate market in South Florida during most of 2020 and continuing into 2021.

While the supply of private home inventory stayed at 5.1 months for properties up to $1 million when Covid 19 began more than a year ago, today that inventory is down to 2 months. For condominiums the overall supply of 13.5 months in 2020 is at 7.6 months in Q1 of 2021. Properties of $3 million plus used to linger at 71.4 months. Now that supply is 16.2 months.

Those numbers may become even more favorable for residential sales. “We expect more international buyers and more domestic buyers in 2021,” says Patrick O’Connell, Senior Vice President – Business Development, at the BHHSEWM Miami headquarters in Coral Gables.

“International buyers are attracted by low interest and a favorable exchange rate with the dollar,” explains O’Connell. As a result, while fewer buyers are expected from Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela which are enduring a decline in the value of their currencies, they may well be replaced by bargain hunters from Europe and Asia who currently enjoy a better dollar exchange rate.

The growth in residential sales is part of an overall economic boom in South Florida, led by technology and venture capital companies moving from more expensive sites in the Northeast or Silicon Valley to benefit from generally lower costs of labor and living expenses.

Florida draws the second highest number of immigrants from other states, following only Texas. According to the 2020 Census cited in the Q1 report, Florida gains a net 661 residents every day, one of 34 states where internal immigration is positive. Sixteen states including New York and California are losing population.

Among many reasons for increased immigration to the South and Southwest, state income taxes seem to be an important factor. Nine states, including Texas and Florida, have no state income tax. These charts illustrate the tax regime in eastern and western sections of the country.

The BHHSEWM report concludes with detailed breakdowns of submarkets in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Sales are up everywhere, reflecting the pull of South Florida’s economic development during the pandemic.

Spring is here again in the Sunshine State, and in a big way.

How so, you ask? Well, based on the newly released Florida Realtors housing market statistics for March, it looks like Florida’s annual spring *home buying* season has returned to us after a one-year hiatus.

We missed you, Spring Buying Season. Welcome back! For this month’s analysis, let’s start off by looking at the number of Florida home sales that closed in March. Starting in the single-family home category, we tallied 32,819 successful closings statewide. That’s the highest one-month total we’ve ever reported for this statistic, by the way, going back to January 2008 when our current data series begins. Compared to February, that’s a whopping 37 percent increase in closings, but of course, that’s not a particularly useful piece of information.

Why? Well, it’s because we *always* see a large increase like that from February to March, as the spring buying season starts kicking into gear.

Our housing market reports know that’s why we prefer to look at year-over-year changes in the monthly market statistics, rather than month-to-month changes. And when we do that here, we see that there were over 23 percent more single-family closings in March of this year than in March of 2020. That’s still *way* above historical norms. And, it’s the largest year-over-year percentage increase in this property type category we’ve seen since last October, so that’s an all-around great start to the 2021 spring buying season for single-family home sales. But let’s face it, it’s the rate of sales growth over in the *condo and townhouse* category that continues to steal the show. Although condo and townhouse sales were hit particularly hard early in the pandemic, year-over-year sales growth in this category has convincingly outpaced that of single-family home sales since last August. In March, though, this disparity reached a whole new level, with condo and townhouse sales registering a nearly *53* percent increase compared to a year ago. And yes, the 16,518 March closings in this property type category quite simply *obliterated* our previous single-month record of 12,752, which was only recently set back in December.

Why are condo and townhouse sales increasing so much relative to single-family home sales? Well, for one thing, there is just so little single-family inventory available, especially in more affordable price ranges. We have a very large population group, the millennials, who have moved into their prime home-buying years. However, in recent years, builders have not been building the classic single-family detached starter homes that young American families have long dreamed of one day owning–therefore, there aren’t enough of these homes available for resale to meet the overwhelming level of demand.

Those that *are* listed are frequently subject to bidding wars that price out many young prospective buyers, and so, it’s these buyers who are increasingly giving up on single-family homes and are turning to attached condo and townhouse units instead. Even though these buyers might have had their hearts set on a single-family home, they are realizing that mortgage rates aren’t going to remain this low forever, and they do not want to wait until they are well into their 40s or 50s to start building up home equity. So, more and more, they’re seeing that condos and townhouses are the properties that give them the best opportunity to do that right now.

Speaking of interest rates, Freddie Mac–which has conducted a weekly survey of mortgage lenders since the early 1970s–recently reported that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate in March was 3.08 percent nationally. This is 40 basis points above where we were in December, when we were at an all-time low of 2.68 percent. But while this increase has been far from insignificant, it’s worth noting that we’re still *well* below historical norms here. Prior to last year, there’s only been two occasions that the average monthly 30-year fixed rate reported by Freddie Mac has ever fallen below 3-and-a-half percent. The first was a four-month stretch from late 2012 into early 2013, where it bottomed out at 3.35 percent, and then again later during another four-month stretch in mid-2016 when it got as low as 3.44 percent. So at 3.08 percent, we easily remain in record-low territory for now.

Not only that, but it’s possible the recent rate increases we’ve seen are starting to wake up some of the potential buyers who’ve been sitting on the sidelines over the past year. They’re starting to realize that the time horizon to take advantage of these ultra-low rates is, in fact, shrinking. The immense demand and the resulting high level of home sales generated by these low interest rates continues to drive down inventory levels, to the frustration of potential buyers everywhere. As of the end of March, there were over 62 percent fewer unique active listings of single-family homes in Florida’s multiple listing services than there were a year ago.

The situation is only marginally better in the condo and townhouse category, where active inventory is down over 45 percent, year-over-year. The scarcity of available homes relative to the high level of demand continues to drive up home prices. The median sale price for single-family home sales closing in March was $327,000, which is up almost 19 percent from a year ago. Over in the condo and townhouse category, we’re up to $242,000, which represents an over 15 percent increase year-on-year. As we’ve seen in recent months, some of this rise in the median price is due to bona fide home price appreciation, but we also continue to see a heavier share of luxury properties in the sales mix compared to a year ago, which is also contributing to this rise.

One final note, if you’re checking out our statewide reports, you’ll notice that new pending sales were up 48 percent for single-family homes and over 126 percent for condos and townhouses in March. As awesome as those numbers are, try not to get *too* excited about them. Remember, new pending sales were the first statistic to feel the brunt of the pandemic last year, and they were *way* down last March. That’s the reason these year-over-year numbers are so huge. As an exercise, it might be more useful, then, to compare this March’s new pending sales to those of March *two* years ago, in 2019. And when we do that, we find that we were up by a very satisfying 14 percent and 47 percent in the two respective property type categories. So as I said at the beginning, spring is very much here again.

More Young Buyers Snap Up Homes They’ve Never Seen

In Dec., 63% of homebuyers made an offer on a house they didn’t visit, up from 45% five months earlier. Pandemic travel fears and today’s tech are part of the reason.

The first time Jason Mullan saw his new home was the day he showed up to move in. The 36-year-old from New York City bought the house entirely online, without ever seeing it in person.
He’s among a growing number of homebuyers, particularly millennials, investing thousands of dollars on Florida homes they’ve seen only on a cellphone or a computer screen.
Some 63% of homebuyers made an offer on a house in December that they had not seen in person, up from 45% in July 2020, according to discount real estate brokerage Redfin.
Almost 40% of millennials, ages 25-40, are open to buying a home just by viewing it online, according to research from online real estate marketplace Zillow. Fifty-nine percent of millennials would be somewhat comfortable buying it online without seeing it in person first, Zillow said.

The trend appears to be the result of reluctant pandemic travelers, the competitive housing market, the migration of people from other states and the technology mindset of young people.
“I think it’s a perfect storm. They don’t want to travel, and houses are going very fast. If they wait to get here, they will lose the house,” said Ellen Taracido of The Collection Realty in Fort Lauderdale.
Mullan, an engineer for Pandora radio, bought a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Loxahatchee for $575,000 after seeing it online through an email sent by his real estate agent, Taren Cassidy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Mullan wasn’t present for the inspection or walkthrough for the closing, instead relying on his brother and his father to be there in his place.
“I had to do this before I got priced out from the market,” Mullan said.
His first vision of the home came last week when he drove down for the big move from out of state. So far he has no regrets about the purchase, and he’s pleasantly surprised by the quality of the home, something he couldn’t see as well over a video call.

“I was also floored at the size of my standalone workshop,” he said. “I don’t even know what I am going to do with all that space.”
Technology does help with any concerns millennial homebuyers may have: 3D tours of the homes give them a sense of what the house will look like, and FaceTime calls with an agent in the home give them the ability to “see” the house.
Putting in an offer before anyone else, without waiting to fly down, gives them a leg up in the market.
“For the walkthrough and anything that needs a face, I act as it and include them as much as they want,” said Cassidy, the agent at Douglas Elliman.

Judy and Nick Peñaranda, ages 28 and 37, purchased a lot for a home in Lake Worth Beach in March after seeing it online or through video calls. Their original plan was to travel to Florida from the San Francisco Bay area in January to see houses in person. But with the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, they turned to looking for a home virtually, settling on new construction in the Fields of Lake Worth community.

Building their home from the ground up, they’ve picked out tiles over FaceTime calls with their agent and picked their floorplan virtually. The entire project should cost upwards of $800,000.
“We haven’t physically seen it,” Nick, a software engineer, said. So far, they have no hesitation. “We literally had our agent put us on FaceTime for those in-person meetings.”

Home inspectors say there are risks to buying a home while not seeing it in person, as things like home odor or odd noises don’t translate over video. Real estate agents say the inspection period, usually 10 to 15 days, offers some cushion if the buyer doesn’t like it, but inspectors stress that it’s better to see the home in person. And backing out of the contract after the inspection period can result in a lost deposit.
“You can’t get a sense of ‘wow, I feel good about this,’” Robert Melendez, president of RMI Home Inspections in Fort Lauderdale, said. “You need someone to go inside and take a look at all of the systems.”

Many millennials, accustomed to using technology, aren’t too worried about things going haywire. Young people tend to rely heavily on things like Google maps, neighborhood alerts and online research of the builders and developments they plan to buy from.

Jade Arias, 29, founder of a digital marketing agency in Texas, saw only a model of the studio she ended up buying at Natiivo Miami, a high-rise downtown.
She understood the risk involved with purchasing a property sight-unseen, but she got a sense of the neighborhood by setting up alerts on her phone and using Google maps to tour the surrounding area virtually.
Arias has not moved in yet because construction on her studio is not finished. But she’s satisfied with the way she bought it.

“I chose to do the process completely online because it worked for me,” Arias said. “I’m not sure if I would recommend this route for everyone. It does require some level of tech savviness.”

Fla.’s Housing Market: Sales and Prices Up, Inventory Tight in March

Florida’s housing market continues its momentum in March, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new pending sales and increased pending inventory compared to a year ago, according to Florida Realtors® latest housing data. The coronavirus was first detected in Florida on March 1, 2020.

“Even as we continue to deal with the pandemic and the real impact that COVID-19 has had on our lives, this spring is very different from what we saw last year,” said 2021 Florida Realtors President Cheryl Lambert, broker-owner with Only Way Realty Citrus in Inverness.“Intense buyer demand, combined with the high level of home sales sparked by very low interest rates, continue to reduce inventory levels, which is challenging for potential homebuyers. Due in part to this extreme shortfall of homes for sale relative to high demand, home prices keep rising, which also impacts the availability and affordability of housing options, especially for first-time buyers.”

Closed sales of single-family homes statewide in March totaled 32,819, up 23.3% year-over-year, while existing condo-townhouse sales totaled 16,518, up 52.6% over March 2020. Closed sales may occur from 30- to 90-plus days after sales contracts are written.

Spring buying season is back — and we’re seeing some of the highest numbers for closed sales in years, with the condo/townhome category leading the way.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes was $327,000 up 18.9% from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Research Department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. Last month’s statewide median price for condo-townhouse units was $242,000, up 15.2% over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

Florida’s housing market is off to a strong start for this year’s spring buying season, according to Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor. However, he explained that the rate of sales growth in the condo-townhouse category continues to “steal the show” – its year-over-year sales growth (up 52.6% this March) has outpaced single-family home sales since last August, even though condo and townhouse sales were hit particularly hard early in the pandemic.

Why are condo and townhouse sales increasing so much relative to single-family home sales?

“For one thing, there is just so little single-family inventory available, especially in more affordable price ranges,” O’Connor said. “We have a very large population group, the millennials, who have moved into their prime home-buying years.

However, in recent years, builders have not been building the classic single-family detached starter homes that young American families have long dreamed of one day owning – therefore, there aren’t enough of these homes available for resale to meet the overwhelming level of demand. Any that are listed frequently have bidding wars that price out many young prospective buyers.

“Increasingly, these buyers are giving up on single-family homes and are turning to attached condo and townhouse units instead. Even though these buyers might have had their hearts set on a single-family home, they’re realizing mortgage rates aren’t going to remain this low forever, and they don’t want to wait until they’re well into their 40s or 50s to start building up home equity. More and more, they’re seeing that condos and townhouses are the properties that give them the best opportunity to do that right now.”

In looking at March’s eye-popping positive numbers for new pending sales – up 48.2% for single-family homes and 126.4% for condos and townhouses – Chief Economist O’Connor noted that new pending sales were the first statistic to feel the brunt of the pandemic last year, and so were considerably down last March.

“That’s the reason these year-over-year numbers are so huge,” he said. “It might be more useful, then, to compare this March’s new pending sales to those from two years ago, in March 2019. And when we do that, we find that new pending sales were up by a very satisfying 14% for single-family homes and 47% for condo-townhouse properties.”

On the supply side of the market, inventory (active listings) remained constrained in February. Single-family existing homes were at a very low 1.2-months’ supply while condo-townhouse inventory was at a 2.8-months’ supply.
According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.08% in March 2021, significantly lower than the 3.45% averaged during the same month a year earlier.

What is BRRRR Real Estate Investing?

What the heck is a BRRRR anyway? Yes, it could mean you are chilly, but for real estate investors, it has a whole other meaning. The basic idea of the BRRRR method is that you buy a property, make improvements, and then refinance the property after you increase its value. BRRR stands for BUY / RENOVATE / RENT / REFINANCE. If you love real estate investing, and you want to own several properties, you can tack on an extra R for REPEAT. This investment strategy might seem complicated if you’re not familiar with it, but it is a very straightforward concept that allows you to continue to purchase more properties to add to your portfolio. Let’s take a quick look at each of the steps.

BUY – First, you buy an undervalued property and renovate it, just as you would with a fix-and-flip. The goal is to improve the condition and ultimately increase the value so that you have built-in equity when you refinance. When you purchase the property, you will typically take out a private short-term mortgage and then go to the bank later to refinance at much cheaper rates.

RENOVATE – In this step, you need to closely evaluate the renovations needed to give the best potential upgrade to increase the overall value and/or rental rate. For example, a simple 3-bedroom single-family home may benefit more from a basic new bathroom and kitchen, rather than expensive new floors and granite countertops.
*It is critical to keep your intended rental market in mind when planning renovations.

RENT – Know your market of renters. Who will live here? Is the home for a family or intended for students, or Airbnb, etc? Vet tenants thoroughly and charge enough to immediately generate positive cash flow.

REFINANCE – This step can be altered depending on changes with the market and/or the investor’s ability to get the refinance. If you cannot qualify for the refinance at this time, you can sell the property for a profit. You can also consider bringing on a joint venture partner, getting them to qualify for the new bank mortgage. If this is the case, any profits made with the refinance are now in your wallet, and on to the next project!
*It is very important to know and understand the various exit strategy options.

  1. Refinance
  2. JV partner to qualify for the refinance
  3. Sell instead of renting

The last R is REPEAT – Use the cash from your last project and start the BRRRR process all over again!

CONCLUSION – BRRRR and variations of it can be an excellent strategy for building wealth through real estate. And as for financing these projects, we can help at PRIVATE MONEY 4 MORTGAGES. We have great lending programs specifically designed to help investors doing “flips” and “brrrr” strategies.

This May Be the Best Month Ever to Sell a Home

April is the best month to sell a home – more buyer interest, less competition, higher list prices and faster sales – and given market conditions right now that strongly favor sellers, there may never be a better time for homeowners to post a for-sale sign in their yard.

In today’s market, it seems as if it’s always a good time to sell a home because they’re selling fast, often sight unseen. However, this month, depending on the city, may be the best time of the best times to sell a home, according to’s 2021 Best Time to List analysis.

From April 18-24, debuting home sellers should see more buyer interest, less competition from other sellers, a faster sale and a higher listing price, the study suggests.

To determine the optimum time to list, the study considered competition from other sellers, median listing prices, time it takes to sell, likelihood of price reductions and interest from buyers measured by views per property on’s website. Because of COVID’s disruption in 2020, the analysis included 2018-2019 listing data.

“Unlike 2020 when COVID upended the spring home-buying season and pushed buyer interest to later in the year, this year’s housing market is following more typical seasonal trends,” says Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “With half as many homes available for sale this year than last, sellers are well positioned for a quick sale at top dollar. However, for most sellers, listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sale price. They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”

However, while that April sweet spot for listing a home may be true for most Florida metro areas, it’s not so consistent in South Florida. According to’s analysis, the best day of the year for a seller to list a home in a major Florida metro is:

  • Jacksonville: April 4
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach: July 4
  • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford: April 25
  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.: April 25

What makes the week of April 18 stand out?

  • Higher price: Homes listed next week typically sell 2% higher than the average week and 10.4% higher than at the start of the year. If 2021 follows the typical seasonal trend, a median priced home listed next week could sell for $7,500 above the average week and $36,000 more than it would have in early January.
  • Strong buyer demand: Homes typically get 11% more views on than the average week throughout the year.
  • Less competition: Homeowners who listed during the week of April 18 in 2018 and 2019 saw 5% fewer sellers on the market compared to the average week throughout the year.
  • Faster sale: Historically, homes listed during this week sold 14.1% faster than the average week. In 2021 terms, this would translate to selling in just 59 days – eight days faster than homes listed in other weeks, on average.

A downside to waiting?

While waiting a few months to list a home may be fine, some potential housing market shifts could lessen homeowners’ current advantage. Rising mortgage rates, which forecasts will reach 3.4% by the end of the year, could dampen buyer demand later in the home-buying season.

In addition, improved vaccination rates could also bring more competition if an uptick in homeowners decides that it’s now safe to make a move.

“It’s a seller’s market right now, but you still need to ensure your home makes a great first impression, especially if you want to get the best price for your place,” says Rachel Stults, deputy editor for “The key is zeroing in on what buyers want. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, buyers are looking for more space – or flexible space they can transform into what they need.”

Mortgage Rates Fall Again – 30-year Loan Down to 3.04%

After two months of rising mortgage rates, they dropped lower for the second week in a row, with the average 30-year, fixed loan down to 3.04% from last week’s 3.13%.

Mortgage rates fell for a second straight week amid signs of economic improvement.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the benchmark 30-year home-loan rate declined to 3.04% this week from 3.13% last week. At this time last year, the long-term rate was 3.31%.

The rate for a 15-year loan, popular among those looking to refinance, dipped to 2.35% from to 2.42% last week.

Last week’s decline was the first in more than two months. Mortgage rates have been at historically low levels, but strong demand and low supply of available homes have pushed prices higher in recent years. The coronavirus pandemic has fueled demand for single-family homes as people look for more space.

Experts expect home-loan rates to increase modestly for the rest of the year, while remaining at low levels in light of the Federal Reserve’s stated intention to keep its principal borrowing rate near zero until the economy recovers from the pandemic.

A flurry of key U.S. economic data – on the pace of layoffs, retail sales and manufacturing – point to an economy that is steadily regaining its health as vaccinations accelerate, business restrictions are lifted in many states and Americans are increasingly willing to travel, shop, eat out and otherwise spend again. At the same time, the pandemic is holding back some areas of the economy, and many lower-income Americans are still suffering.

In another positive economic indication, the Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to 576,000, a post-COVID low and a hopeful sign that layoffs are easing as the economy recovers.


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Seagrave Group Realty Office is located in Wilton Manors Florida
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