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IRVINE, Calif. – Dec. 8, 2016 – ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2016 U.S. Home Flipping Report finds an overall drop in the percentage of homes being flipped. ATTOM defines a home flip as a property sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period.

Florida saw a fair share of that declining number of home flips, however, with four metro areas making ATTOM’s top 10 list of “markets with the highest flipping rate.”

Among 92 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 90 homes flipped in Q3 2016, those with the highest flipping rate were:

1: Memphis (11.0 percent)
2: Clarksville, Tennessee (9.5 percent)
3: Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach (9.3 percent)
4: Tampa-St. Petersburg (9.3 percent)
5: Visalia-Porterville, California (9.3 percent)
6: York-Hanover, Pennsylvania (9.2 percent)
7: Lakeland-Winter Haven (9.0 percent)
8: Fresno, California (8.7 percent)
9: Miami (8.6 percent)
10: Las Vegas (8.2 percent)

“While the macro trends of low housing inventory and rising home prices are favorable for flippers, they are also a double-edged sword, attracting more competition and reducing the availability of deals – particularly in the most fundamentally sound local markets,” says Daren Blomquist. “This is chasing some investors into markets and neighborhoods that may be less fundamentally sound but also offer more value-add opportunities for flippers in the form of aging housing inventory.”

Home flipping profits

Homes flipped in Q3 2016 sold on average for $190,000, with an average gross flipping profit of $60,800 more than the average purchase price of $129,200. That’s down from an average gross flipping profit of $62,424 in the previous quarter, which was the highest going back to Q1 2000, the earliest historical data available in the report.

The average gross flipping profit represented an average gross return on investment (ROI) of 47.1 percent of the purchase price, down from an average gross flipping ROI of 49.5 percent in the previous quarter and down from 47.9 percent a year ago.

“While the high-level gross flipping profits are impressive, it’s important to note that they do not include all the costs incurred by flippers, including rehab, financing, property taxes and other carrying costs,” Blomquist says.

“It’s also important to note that the overall averages mask the fact that not every flip ends profitably for the investor,” Blomquist adds. “About 8 percent of the homes flipped in the third quarter actually sold for less than what the flipper purchased them for, and about 21 percent of the flips yielded a gross flipping ROI below 10 percent – likely meaning the flipper walked away with a net loss on the deal.”

Of all homes flipped in Q3 2016, the flipper bought the property at an average 25.2 percent discount below full “after repair” market value, and he sold the property for a 6.7 percent premium above market value.

Other takeaways

• Homes flipped in Q3 2016 took an average of 180 days to flip, down from a 10-year high of 185 days in the previous quarter, but still up from an average 176 days a year earlier.
• Flippers sold 53 percent of all homes in Q3 2016 for $200,000 or less; 33 percent were sold for between $200,000 and $400,000. Homes flipped for $500,000 or more accounted for less than 9 percent of all flips during the quarter, and homes flipped for $1 million or more accounted for less than 2 percent.
• Flipped homes sold by the flipper for between $50,000 and $200,000 yielded an average gross flipping ROI of 58 percent, the highest among price ranges in the third quarter. Homes flipped for between $2 million and $5 million yielded an average gross flipping ROI of 26 percent, the lowest among price ranges for the quarter.

Source: Florida Realtors®
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WASHINGTON – Nov. 14, 2016 – Can computers, big data and advanced analytics replace real live humans when it comes to accurately valuing the home you want to buy? One of the two largest financial players in U.S. real estate thinks so and is preparing to introduce changes that could prove momentous – and highly controversial.

Giant mortgage investor Freddie Mac plans to dispense with traditional appraisals on some loan applications for home purchases, replacing them with an alternative valuation system that would be free of charge to both lenders and borrowers. The company confirmed to me last week that it could begin the no-appraisal concept as early as next spring. Instead of using professional appraisers, Freddie plans to tap into what it says is a vast trove of data it has assembled on millions of existing houses nationwide, supplement that with additional, unspecified information related to valuation, and use the results in its assessments of applications.

For consumers, the company believes, this could not only eliminate appraisal expenses – which typically range from $350 to $600 or more ­– but could cut down on current closing delays attributable to appraisals. It could also relieve lenders of their current burdens of responsibility for the accuracy of appraisals – a major sore point with banks that sell loans to Freddie subject to potential “buy back” demands if significant errors are later found in appraisals.

But critics argue that Freddie is headed down a perilous road. Doing away with formal appraisals by trained professionals could massively increase the company’s exposure to future losses on defaults, they say, and would likely end up being paid for by American taxpayers. Reliance on publicly available data without careful physical inspections of properties verges on “craziness,” said Joe Adamaitis, residential lending manager for Insignia Bank in Sarasota, Fla. “We would never allow it here.”

Not surprisingly, appraisers who know about the plans are up in arms. The Chicago-based Appraisal Institute, the largest professional group in the valuation field, has written to Freddie Mac’s regulator, Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, urging him to take a hard look.

Freddie Mac’s “decision to veer away from fundamental risk management practices appears to harken back to the loan production-driven days in the years leading up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis” – abuses that “turned out to be disastrous for the entire economy,” the group wrote.

Veteran appraisers such as Pat Turner of Richmond, Va., believe that abandoning traditional valuation practices will leave Freddie Mac essentially “flying blind” in many instances.

In a phone interview, he said he has inspected houses where the interior damage and neglect have been so extensive – none of it on public records or visible to automated systems – that the differences in market value arrived at by a computer compared with a trained professional are potentially catastrophic for any investor. Similarly, without an inspection, an automated valuation might not reflect significant improvements that are not on any public records.

For years an outspoken critic of the popular but frequently inaccurate automated valuation systems offered free by Zillow and other websites, Turner asked: “When was the last time a Zillow computer walked into your house?” Computerized estimates “can’t tell you everything you need to know about value,” said Turner.

But Freddie’s idea has strong defenders in the mortgage industry. Jay Farner, president of Quicken Loans, headquartered in Detroit and the second largest retail mortgage lender, told me “we’re in support of doing something to alleviate the situation today,” where appraisal delays can cause rate locks to expire and closings to be postponed.

Though “a large percentage of loans do require an appraisal,” he said, others could be safely underwritten with a combination of strong previous valuation data on the property, possibly combined with a “walk-through” inspection.

Where’s this all headed? We’ll begin to know in a few months. But don’t expect appraisers to suddenly disappear. The best of them add essential value to the process of telling a lender or investor what a house is truly worth, based on up-to-the-minute market information and a hands-on physical inspection – services no computer can perform, at least not yet.

Source: the Boston Herald, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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WASHINGTON – Oct. 25, 2016 – Both government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – announced plans to simplify and speed up the mortgage underwriting process. Together the GSEs back more than half the mortgages in the U.S.

While Fannie and Freddie don’t loan directly to consumers, lenders often originate loans and sell them to the GSEs, which means those loans – over half of all U.S. mortgage lending – must adhere to GSE standards. If Fannie and Freddie ease their loan buying requirements, market lenders usually follow suit.

Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac says it will add new capabilities to its Loan Advisor Suite that reduce the cost of originating a loan. The new capabilities, slated to become effective in spring 2017, include:

• A no-cost automated appraisal alternative
• Automated borrower income verification
• Automated borrower asset verification
• Automated assessment of borrowers without credit scores

Loan Advisor Suite also plans to offer collateral representation and warranty relief in early 2017 to “significantly relieve mortgage lenders from the risk of loan repurchase due to appraisal defects.” Currently, Freddie Mac only offers collateral representation and warranty relief in select circumstances.

“As the cost of originating a mortgage has more than doubled since before the financial crisis, we’re collaborating with lenders to create innovative tools that reduce the costs of producing and selling high-quality loans to us,” says David Lowman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Business.

“By pairing big data with advanced analytics, we’re creating efficiencies and reducing costs for lenders and borrowers,” adds Andy Higginbotham, senior vice president of strategic delivery for Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Business.

Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae announced its “Day 1 Certainty” initiative. It says the program will provide its customers with “freedom from representations and warranties on key aspects of the mortgage origination process.”

Under its new program, Fannie Mae is offering:

• Income, assets, and employment validation services to lenders through Desktop Underwriter, its mortgage underwriting system
• Freedom from representations and warranties on appraised values through Collateral Underwriter and enhanced waivers of property inspection requirements on refinances

Fannie Mae says the changes will deliver greater speed, simplicity and certainty to lenders and borrowers, along with stronger risk management and more digitization of data.

“Ultimately, we want our customers to have the confidence to lend, so that more qualified borrowers have access to affordable mortgage credit,” says Timothy J. Mayopoulos, president and chief executive officer, Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae’s high-profile changes for borrowers

• Validates loan application data upfront and gives lenders faster verification of key loan data components, such as income, assets and employment information.
• Borrowers will save time using electronic data versus collecting documents, such as paystubs, bank statements and investment account statements.
• Income validation is available today. Asset and employment validation will be available on Dec. 10, 2016, as will Collateral Underwriter and Enhanced Property Inspection Waiver upgrades.
• When a property receives a qualifying score through Collateral Underwriter, customers will receive representation and warranty relief for the appraised value of the property.
• Refinance transaction customers are eligible for a waiver of the property inspection requirement if using Desktop Underwriter.

Source: Florida Realtors®
WASHINGTON – Oct. 25, 2016 – Both government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – announced plans to simplify and speed up the mortgage underwriting process. Together the GSEs back more than half the mortgages in the U.S. While Fannie and Freddie don't loan directly to consumers, lenders often originate
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WASHINGTON – Sept. 29, 2016 – The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state’s tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance.

Wyoming once again took first place with the most competitive tax code in the country, while New Jersey maintained its long-standing position at the bottom of the pack.

Overall, Florida ranked fourth. Only three other states were deemed to have a more business-friendly tax code. This year’s most competitive states include:

1. Wyoming
2. South Dakota
3. Alaska
4. Florida
5. Nevada
6. Montana
7. New Hampshire
8. Indiana
9. Utah
10. Oregon

This year’s least competitive states include:

41. Louisiana
42. Maryland
43. Connecticut
44. Rhode Island
45. Ohio
46. Minnesota
47. Vermont and D.C.
48. California
49. New York
50. New Jersey

States are penalized for overly complex, burdensome and economically harmful tax codes, and rewarded for transparent and neutral tax codes that do not distort business decisions. A state’s ranking can rise or fall in rank because of its own actions or actions taken by other states.

“Our goal with the State Business Tax Climate Index is to start a conversation between taxpayers and policymakers about how their states fare against the rest of the country,” says Tax Foundation policy analyst Jared Walczak. “While there are many ways to show how much a state collects in taxes, the index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems and to provide a roadmap for improvement.”

The index can also be used as a tool for identifying state tax trends. For instance, the report shows that a number of states are now opting to simplify their tax systems by consolidating individual income tax brackets or even moving to a flat tax.

Hawaii eliminated its top three individual income tax brackets in 2016 and reduced its top marginal rate from 11 to 8.25 percent, for example. That improved its overall rank from 30th to 27th. North Carolina moved to a flat individual income tax in 2014 and continues to phase in rate reductions, building on its 2013 reforms and shoring up its place at 11th overall.

Another trend is the tendency for states to shift away from taxes on capital. Pennsylvania, for example, has now completely phased out its capital stock tax, boosting its property tax component ranking six places, from 38th to 32nd, and improving its overall state ranking from 28th to 24th.

Source: © 2016 Florida Realtors®
WASHINGTON – Sept. 29, 2016 – The nonpartisan Tax Foundation released its 13th annual State Business Tax Climate Index, which measures how well-structured each state's tax code is by analyzing more than 100 variables in five tax categories: corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance. Wyoming once again took first place
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LOS ANGELES – Aug. 1, 2016 – To find out where homebuyers can work the fewest hours to afford homeownership, GOBankingRates looked at the home listing prices, mortgage rates and the household incomes in the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia.

Ranging from just 30.76 hours a month in Ohio to 88.13 hours a month in Hawaii, the amount of time Americans spend working to pay their mortgages is vastly different depending on where they live.

“It’s one thing to know the amount of money you’re paying each month to cover your mortgage, but thinking of it in terms of working hours gives that expense a whole new meaning,” says Kristen Bonner, research lead on the study. “Our research provides a fresh perspective on a topic so heavily discussed among Americans. Sure, high home prices are nothing new, but our data takes it one step further by displaying how many work hours a month go directly toward affording a home.”

A color-coded U.S. map broken down by hours-to-afford-a-mortgage is posted on GOBankingRates’ website.

Where you can work the least to afford a mortgage

1. Ohio, 30.76 hours a month

2. Michigan, 32.44 hours a month

3. Indiana, 32.72 hours a month

4. Iowa, 33.81 hours a month

5. Missouri, 34.13 hours a month

6. Kansas, 34.16 hours a month

7. Nebraska, 36.04 hours a month

8. Wisconsin, 37.20 hours a month

9. Pennsylvania, 37.41 hours a month

10. Minnesota, 38.26 hours a month

Where you’ll work the most to afford a mortgage

1. Hawaii, 88.13 hours a month

2. District of Columbia, 83.29 hours a month

3. California, 78.13 hours a month

4. Colorado, 67.02 hours a month

5. Oregon, 66.67 hours a month

6. Montana, 62.43 hours a month

7. New York, 60.70 hours a month

8. Massachusetts, 60.57 hours a month

9. Florida, 59.06 hours a month

10. Idaho, 54.41 hours a month

Source: Florida Realtors®
LOS ANGELES – Aug. 1, 2016 – To find out where homebuyers can work the fewest hours to afford homeownership, GOBankingRates looked at the home listing prices, mortgage rates and the household incomes in the 50 U.S. states plus the District of Columbia. Ranging from just 30.76 hours a month in Ohio
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The real estate market will always have its ups and downs, but real estate is an often-profitable investment. Real estate investors do their investing for various reasons. Some see a house as a place to hang their hats for years and years, while others look at properties as nothing more than investments.

Buying a home with the intent to fix it up and resell it is called a “fix and flip.” In such situations, investors buy homes at below-market prices before refurbishing the homes with the goal of recouping their initial investment and then some when the homes are ultimately put back on the market. Flipping has become popular for both expert remodelers and novice investors.

RealtyTrac, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, noted in its “Year-End and Q4 2015 U.S. Home Flipping” report that 5.5 percent of all single family home and condo sales during the year were flipped properties. This marked an increase from the same time the previous year.

Investing in a fixer-upper requires a leap of faith and a vision of what the home can look like in the future. Turning a real estate lemon into lemonade requires certain skills and a good measure of patience. The following are some guidelines to get anyone started.

• Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Make an honest assessment of your abilities and which renovations, if any, you can handle. If you are unskilled or inexperienced working with your hands, then it can be easy for an investment property to quickly become a money pit. Before purchasing a property, hire a trained home inspector to tour the home with you and point out all the areas that will need renovation. With this list, begin getting estimates on how much money the work will entail. Determine if this fits with your budget or not. You do not want to invest so much that it exceeds what you could feasibly recoup when it comes time to sell.

• Overlook cosmetic things when visiting properties. Cosmetic issues include all of the easily replaceable items in a home, such as carpeting, appliances, interior paint colors and cabinetry. Focus on the bones of the house, the architectural integrity and those little touches that you envision having a “wow” factor.

• Seek the help of experts. Some flippers think they’ll save the most money by doing all of the work themselves. This isn’t always the case. Professional architects, designers and contractors may help you save money. Contractors have an intimate knowledge of where to buy materials and may be able to negotiate prices based on wholesale or trade costs. In addition, experts can help you avoid common pitfalls because they’ve already done this type of work time and again. It’s smart to rely on expert advice, even if it means investing a little bit more.

• Save money by doing some work yourself. While the pros may tackle the more complex parts of a given project, such as rewiring electricity or changing the footprint of a home, you can still be involved. Ask to participate in demolition, such as taking down walls or removing old materials from the home. Such participation may be fun, and it can save you substantial amounts of money on labor.

• Recognize that not everything must be completely redone. In some instances, a coat of paint and some new accents may be all you need to transform a space. For example, if kitchen cabinets are in good condition, see if they can be refaced or painted instead of replaced entirely. Install new door pulls/handles to add visual interest. Look for some ready-made items, such as bookshelves, instead of installing custom carpentry.

• Think about what the buyer wants and not what you want. Renovate with an eye toward prospective buyers’ needs. Keep things neutral and accommodating. Research the latest trends to understand what buyers might be seeking in a home. You want potential buyers to envision themselves moving right in.

Renovating a fixer-upper takes time, but it can be a worthwhile project, and one that can help turn a profit in a booming real estate market.
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WASHINGTON (AP) – Dec. 1, 2016 – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates marked a fifth week of surges in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election win, reaching their highest levels this year.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan rose to 4.08 percent from 4.03 percent the previous week. The benchmark rate topped its 3.93 percent level of a year ago.

The rate on 15-year home loans, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, jumped to 3.34 percent from 3.25 percent.

Long-term mortgage and interest rates have climbed in the four weeks since Trump’s surprise victory on Nov. 9 to become the country’s next president.

Bond investors are looking toward tax cuts and increased government spending to upgrade roads, bridges and airports under a Trump administration, which could fuel inflation. That would depress prices of long-term Treasury bonds because inflation would erode their value over time. When bond investors foresee rising inflation, they demand higher long-term yields and pay lower prices for bonds. Bond yields move opposite to prices and also influence long-term mortgage rates.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond stood at 2.38 percent Wednesday, the same as a week earlier and up from 1.87 percent on Election Day Nov. 8. It climbed to 2.45 percent Thursday morning, its highest level since July 2015.

More immediately, Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to raise the central bank’s benchmark rate at their Dec. 13-14 meeting for the first time in nearly a year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen recently told Congress that the case for a rate boost has “continued to strengthen.”

The effect of advancing mortgage rates could be seen in reduced activity by prospective homebuyers. Applications for mortgage loans fell 9.4 percent in the week ended Nov. 25 from a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for refinancing dipped 16 percent.

Higher mortgage rates, along with rising house prices, could eventually reduce demand for housing.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week.

The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged this week at 0.5 point. The fee on 15-year loans also remained at 0.5 point.

Rates on adjustable five-year loans rose to 3.15 percent from 3.12 percent. The fee was steady at 0.4 point.
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 4, 2016 – A Florida Supreme Court ruling announced yesterday threatens more homeowners with foreclosure actions.

In general, lenders have five years to foreclose on a home thanks to the state’s statute of limitations. In some cases, however, the courts have dismissed a foreclosure action, making it difficult for banks to finalize the foreclosure in time since the process must begin again.

Yesterday, though, the Supreme Court ruled that the five-year timeline for a foreclosure “resets” when a case is dismissed. That means lenders now have another chance to foreclose on homeowners who had their case dismissed, providing they try again within the next five years. The case consolidated three separate cases involving “standard residential mortgages.”

Some foreclosure experts think the ruling will lead to a new wave of foreclosures.

“Basically, banks are getting a do-over,” says Jonathan Kline, a foreclosure-defense attorney in Westin, Fla. He predicts an uptick in state foreclosures over the next 12 to 24 months, and says it could affect “tens of thousands” of homeowners in South Florida alone.

“When a mortgage foreclosure action is involuntarily dismissed … the effect is revocation of the acceleration, which then reinstates the (borrower’s) right to continue to make payments,” Justice Barbara Pariente wrote in the opinion. Homeowners who missed a number of mortgage payments can then keep their home if they begin making payments again. But under the ruling, that also gives lenders the right to foreclose again “based on (any) subsequent defaults,” she wrote.

A bank’s “attempted prior acceleration in a foreclosure action that was involuntarily dismissed did not trigger the statute of limitations to bar future foreclosure actions based on separate defaults,” the opinion says.

Source: Florida Politics, Jim Rosica, Nov. 3, 2016
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 4, 2016 – A Florida Supreme Court ruling announced yesterday threatens more homeowners with foreclosure actions. In general, lenders have five years to foreclose on a home thanks to the state's statute of limitations. In some cases, however, the courts have dismissed a foreclosure action, making it difficult
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4 Florida metros at top of ‘best cities to invest’ list

LOS ANGELES– Sept. 28, 2016 – GOBankingRates surveyed 61 out of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. to find the best and worst cities to own investment property. And according to their analysis, Orlando ranked No. 1 as the top metro area in the U.S. to own investment property, with Tampa coming in second.

Overall, four Florida cities ranked in the top 15. Miami came in at No. 10 and Jacksonville at No. 13.

GOBankingRates offers a map of the best and worst investment cities on its website.

To create the rankings, the study analyzed the following factors:

• Employment growth: the percent change in the city’s number of employed people year-over-year
• Population growth: the percent change in the city’s population year-over-year
• Increase in home values: the percent change in the city’s median home value year-over-year
• Years to pay off property: the number of years it would take for rental income to pay off the median home value
15 best cities to own investment property

1. Orlando
2. Tampa
3. Denver
4. Seattle
5. Austin, Texas
6. Reno, Nev.
7. Dallas
8. Portland, Ore.
9. Raleigh, N.C.
10. Miami
12. Nashville, Tenn.
13. Jacksonville
14. Charlotte, N.C.
15. Richmond, Va.

15 worst cities to own investment property

1. Anchorage, Alaska
2. Pittsburgh
3. Chicago
4. Virginia Beach, Va.
5. Cleveland, Ohio
6. Honolulu
7. Detroit
8. Tulsa, Okla.
9. Omaha, Neb.
10. El Paso, Texas
11. Wichita, Kansas
12. Cincinnati, Ohio
13. Memphis, Tenn.
14. Baltimore, Md.
15. Winston-Salem, N.C.

“Growing populations in the top 10 cities on our list are fueling the need for more housing,” says Cameron Huddleston, Life + Money columnist for GOBankingRates. “That’s why these cities are such great places to own investment property now. On the other hand, the cities at the bottom of our list have seen little-to-no population growth, so the demand for housing isn’t as high – which means real estate investors won’t do as well there.”

Study insights

• Five out of the 10 best cities to own property are located in Florida and Texas.
• Population levels are declining in places like Anchorage and Cleveland, pushing them to the bottom of the list.
• When it comes to real estate investments, Midwest isn’t best – none of the Midwest states made it into the top 15 of the best states to own investment property.
• Seattle, Austin and Reno rank among the top 10 places to own investment property. However, it takes 17 to 19 years to pay off median home values in these cities based on yearly rents.

Source: © 2016 Florida Realtors®
LOS ANGELES– Sept. 28, 2016 – GOBankingRates surveyed 61 out of the 100 most populous cities in the U.S. to find the best and worst cities to own investment property. And according to their analysis, Orlando ranked No. 1 as the top metro area in the U.S. to own investment property, with Tampa
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5 Florida cities top fun-city list

ORLANDO, Fla. – Sept. 26, 2016 – Is your city fun? WalletHub wanted to define what it means to be a “fun” city and ranked 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on its fun factor. It took into account 51 metrics, including number of fitness centers per capita, movie costs, average open hours of breweries and more.

Top fun-list cities

1.Las Vegas

2.Orlando

3.Miami

4.New Orleans

5.Salt Lake City

6.Cincinnati

7.Fort Lauderdale

8.St. Louis, Mo.

9.Atlanta

10.Scottsdale, Ariz.

11.Tampa

12.Portland, Ore.

13.Tempe, Ariz.

14.Pittsburgh, Pa.

15.San Francisco

Source: “2016’s Most Fun Cities in America,” WalletHub (Sept. 19, 2016)
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Renters are taking a dimmer view of home ownership as concerns over housing affordability and student debt have a larger influence on their attitudes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR’s latest Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found a growing disconnect in the morale among home owners versus renters about home ownership. The share of renters who think now is a good time to buy a home dropped to 62 percent in the second quarter of this year — down from 68 percent in December 2015 — with those under the age of 35 expressing the least amount of confidence in buying. Eighty percent of home owners, on the other hand, believe now is a great time to purchase a home.

“Existing-home prices surpassed their all-time peak this spring and have climbed, on average, over 5 percent nationally through the first five months of the year — and even faster in areas with severe supply shortages,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Most home owners appear to realize that if they’re ready to sell, they’ll likely find a buyer rather quickly and be able to use the sizeable equity they’ve accumulated in recent years towards their next home purchase. Meanwhile, renters interested in buying continue to face minimal choices, strong competition, and home prices growing faster than their incomes. … Given these affordability pressures, it’s no surprise respondents earning over $100,000 and those living in the Midwest — the most affordable region of the country — are the most optimistic about buying right now.”

Student debt is making many people uneasy about taking on additional debt to purchase a home. Two-thirds of non-home owners and half of those under 35 with student debt say they aren’t comfortable adding a mortgage on to their debt load, according to the HOME survey. They also were less likely to believe they’d even qualify for a mortgage.

“It’s becoming very evident from this survey and our research released last month that the financial and emotional impact of repaying student debt is contributing to a delay in purchasing a home for many would-be buyers,” Yun says. “At a time of quickly rising rents, mortgage rates at all-time lows, and increasing housing wealth, a lot of young adults in their prime buying years are struggling to enter the market and are ultimately missing out on the stability and wealth accumulation that owning a home can provide.”

Economists are predicting that strong home-price appreciation will continue in the coming months throughout most of the country. As such, a growing number of current home owners — 61 percent — say they believe it’s a good time to sell compared to 56 percent who said so in the first quarter of this year. Survey respondents who live in the West were most likely to say now is a good time to sell but were also least likely to say now is a good time to buy, according to the survey.

“More home owners acknowledging this pent-up demand may perhaps mean we begin to see more supply come online in the near future,” Yun says.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®
Renters are taking a dimmer view of home ownership as concerns over housing affordability and student debt have a larger influence on their attitudes, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR's latest Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey found a growing disconnect in the morale among home owners versus renters
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Baby boomers and others aged 55 or older – several million current homeowners – plan to move to rental units in the next few years, according to Freddie Mac’s latest 55+ Survey of housing plans and perceptions of those born before 1961.

An estimated 6 million homeowners and nearly as many renters prefer to move again and rent at some point, the survey shows. More than 5 million say they are likely to rent by 2020.

“When a population this large expects to move into less expensive rental housing, we have to expect it will create significant new pressure on both the supply and cost of existing affordable rental housing,” says David Brickman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac Multifamily.

Seventy-one percent of nearly 6,000 homeowners and renters surveyed say they plan to rent their next home. The top factors that they say are “very important” in influencing their next move are: affordability (60 percent); amenities needed for retirement (47 percent), living in a community where they are no longer responsible for caring for the property (44 percent), and being in a walkable community (43 percent).

Respondents also say they don’t want to move far from their current location. Thirty-one percent say they would likely relocate to a different neighborhood in the same city, while 23 percent say they would like to move to a different property in the same neighborhood. Eighteen percent say they would like to move to a different city in the same state and 24 percent would move to a different state.

Nearly 60% of the 55-plus renters surveyed say they prefer to either move closer to their families or in with them. Hispanic single-family renters were most likely to say they would like to move closer to family, while Asian-American renters were the most likely to say they plan to move in with their adult children one day.

Source: Freddie Mac
Baby boomers and others aged 55 or older – several million current homeowners – plan to move to rental units in the next few years, according to Freddie Mac's latest 55+ Survey of housing plans and perceptions of those born before 1961. An estimated 6 million homeowners and nearly as many renters
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