Market Trends

Excellent Rates in a Leveling Market

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) reported in late November that recent problems within the mortgage markets have improved significantly, while lingering effects from overhauls to the subprime mortgage market were still being felt. Overall, October saw the national market for existing homes decrease by 1.2%, and lags behind 2006 levels by over 20 percent.

Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, explains how buyers are benefiting from stability in the mortgage industry. ” A trend away from subprime mortgages to FHA loans, which often carry much lower interest rates, is a positive development for consumers and the housing market going forward,” Yun said. “Still, it will take some time for the change to yield a measurably higher closed sales volume in the aftermath of the subprime collapse. In the near term, we expect home sales to remain fairly stable.”

NAR president, Richard Gaylord, emphasizes that the national market remains healthy, with home prices up in 93 out of 150 metro areas.

Are You Ready for Winter?

December is one of our favorite months of the year! We often associate this season with sharing, giving and being with friends and family. It’s often easy to overlook your home’s needs with so much going on. Here is a simple checklist of items that can save you money through the winter:

  • Check for leaks and drafts around the house. Replace weather stripping and re-caulk around doors and windows. Drafty doors and windows will cool off the house and cost you money in heating bills.
  • Inspect your attic’s insulation. Heat rises so adding good insulation can keep the heat from escaping.
  • Check your heating system. Sometimes something as easy as replacing your filter or having simple maintenance done can save on heating costs.
  • Consider changing from standard light bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Winter uses a lot of your electricity so even saving a little here and there will help.

Enjoy the holidays!

Susan Hintz
Traverse City Real Estate Agent