Real Estate in Brief: Americans’ confidence gets a boost, HUD initiative for veteran housing and more

by Sergio Valdes

Americans were more confident about buying a home in March than in April, according to the latest Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which increased 2.5 points in March to 88.3, a significant change compared to the 3.7 point decrease in February.

Meanwhile, the net share of those who said now is a good time to sell a home increased three percentage points to 39 percent. In addition, the net share expecting home prices to go up in the next 12 months decreased in March to 42 percent, and the net share who said mortgage rates will go down increased five percentage points.

In other national real estate news:

  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced that $43 million will be given to 325 local public housing agencies across the country to provide permanent homes to more than 5,200 homeless veterans with HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers.
  • An increasing amount of millennials now favor conventional financing over loans from the Federal Housing Administration, according to Ellie Mae’s Millennial Tracker. The report found that 68 percent of all mortgage loans in February were conventional, while FHA loans were unchanged from January at 28 percent, which is the lowest amount since 2016.
  • Keller Williams is extending its South American reach with a new office, KW Norte, in Argentina. The new franchise in Buenos Aires will have 25 agents and be led by Carlos Mayer, Keller Williams’ regional operating principal.
  • Property taxes across the United States increased by an average 6 percent in 2017. A recent analysis from ATTOM Data Solutions reveals that total 2017 property taxes hit $293.4 billion, up from $277.7 billion in 2016 for an average increase of $3,399 per home.
  • Quicken Loans’ recent National Home Price Perception Index reports that appraisal values in March were an average of 0.36 percent lower than homeowners expected. The average home value in March rose 1.84 percent from February and jumped 7.64 percent year-over-year.
  • Lennar Corporation announced that industry veteran Rick Beckwitt will take over as CEO, succeeding Stuart Miller, who will remain executive chairman. Beckwitt was previously on the Board of Directors of D.R. Horton, Inc., and held various executive positions, including president of the company.

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