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Mortgage Rates Fall Again and Could Keep on Falling

The moribund housing market may be getting a much-needed jolt. New numbers indicate that mortgage rates have dropped to their lowest level since October 2016 due to weaker economic data. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.49% during the week ending Sept. 5, down 9 basis points from the previous week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage moved down 6 basis points to an average of 3.00%, according to Freddie Mac. According to Freddie Mac, “Mortgage rates continued the summer swoon due to weaker economic data. While economic growth is clearly slowing due to rising manufacturing and trade headwinds, economic fundamentals are still solid for U.S. consumers.” In addition, the Federal Reserve ma

Apartment Construction Takes a Dip in 2019

Things are slowing down in the apartment construction arena. New data on apartment construction from RENTCafe and Yardi Matrix shows activity is down slightly from last year. It’s estimated that multifamily builders across the U.S. will add 300,000 new units to the nation’s rental stock by year’s end as opposed to 326,000 last year. A major reason behind the slowdown is higher labor cost exacerbated by a shrinking labor force. According to Yardi Matrix Senior Research Analyst Tara Jeffcoat, “rising construction costs and a tight labor supply certainly contribute to a flattening and decline of expected completions, but 2019 is part of a larger trend of developers gearing up for next cycle. Al

2019’s Top 10 Indoor Amenities in Multifamily Developments

Most landlords are very conscious of how their apartments look, and what better way to showcase their residential units than by adding nice amenities? In a survey from Building Design + Construction, the number one amenity is a washer – dryer unit. Over 75% of landlords said they had installed one in their units. A third of all respondents claim they had put in water-saving tankless water heaters in the past two years. Other Top Ten amenities include reading rooms, coffee bars and movie screening rooms. “When you add wine bars (16.5%) and juice bars (14.0%), looks like most multifamily residents are getting caffeinated, inebriated, or juiced up” Read on HERE: Consider investing in a professi

Rental Vacancies Reach Historic Lows as Home Sales Slip

According to a recent report from Capital Economics, the slowdown in home sales is feeding the demand for rentals. The report forecasts that a slowing economy will also slow home purchase demand, but will give rentals a boost. The number of rental households increased by 600,000 in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Census Bureau, and accounted for the largest gain in three years. In the second quarter, the apartment vacancy rate was 4.7% and the multifamily rental vacancy rate had dropped to 7.9%,” the report said. “Multifamily rental vacancy rates are furthest below their long run average in the West, and only eight states had above average vacancy in the second quarter.” Zillow

Low-End Rentals Still Drive National SFR Growth

According to the latest CoreLogic Single-Family Rent Index, single-family rents are still rising but the pace continues to slow. The index analyzes rent price changes nationally and among 20 metro areas. The new data indicates that low-end rentals – those properties with rent prices less than 75% of the regional median – gained 3.6% year-over-year, down from 3.8% a year earlier. “Increases in single-family rent across the country are fueled by increases in the number of renter households,” said Molly Boesel, principal economist at CoreLogic. “While the number of households grew overall in the United States through June, the growth was higher for renter households than for owner households.”

Large Investors Increasingly Attracted to Single-Family Rentals

The SFR market is booming. And this boom is now attracting midsize and large real estate investors. Currently, single-family and two-to-four-unit residences make up more than 53% of U.S. rentals. In addition, estimates indicate that 13 million more rental households will be forming by 2030. The trends are very clear; people want to rent. What’s driving these investors to the SFR market? One reason is that it is an investment that offers a number of distinct advantages, particularly cash flow and long-term appreciation. It’s also a great alternative to stocks and bonds. Additionally, with better technology, SFR investors can invest and then manage their properties from afar. The boom is real;

Master-Planned Communities And New Build-for-Rent Homes

Master-planned communities were once the exclusive domain of people who could afford to buy their own homes. But the times, they are a-changin’. According to an article from John Burns Real Estate Consulting, more and more home developers are including build-to-rent homes (BFRs) in their plans. The renting culture continues to expand as Millennials age. Millennials like to rent everything and it’s reflected in the booming sharing culture. They don’t want to be tied down by car payments so they use Uber. And they don’t want to commit to a 30-year mortgage if they can rent a home instead. William Olson, senior vice president for community developer Newland Communities, says that BFR homes are

Chicago: Most Undervalued City in the US?

Most major cities in the United States are either overvalued or in danger of bursting their real estate bubbles; but not Chicago. According to UBS Group AG, the Windy City is the only undervalued market in its survey of 20 financial centers. One of the factors driving this undervaluation is Chicago’s rental prices, which are rising faster than its home prices. Chicago is “a wonderful city, but its fiscal challenges are well-known,” Jonathan Woloshin, head of Americas real estate at UBS’s global wealth unit, said Thursday in a phone interview. “When you factor in population flows, when you factor in income growth, when you factor in home price growth, that’s why Chicago scores where it does.’

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