High housing costs are a drag on California's economy, report says
Source: L.A. Times
A shortage of housing – especially at affordable prices – is becoming a bigger drag on the state’s economy, according to a new report from forecasting firm Beacon Economics. That being said, the pace of home sales in California should pick up in the second half of this year and into next. The firm predicts annual price growth of 4 to 6 percent for the next two years, a more sustainable pace than the double-digit gains seen for much of the last two years.
States have been ranked by average closing costs, from most expensive to least expensive. To determine the rankings, Bankrate requested good faith estimates for a $200,000 mortgage loan from up to 10 lenders in each state. The hypothetical loan was for a purchase of a single-family house in the state's largest city, using a 20 percent down payment, with excellent credit. California ranked as the 22nd most expensive state for closing costs. Read the full story:http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/closing-costs/closing-costs-by-state.aspx
Homeownership at near 20-year low, but some bright spots Source:HousingWire
Homeownership in the U.S. continues to fall, down to a low of 64.7 percent, a level not seen since 1995. Despite low interest rates and expanding credit availability, affordability has remained an issue. Also, first-time home purchasers are declining as a share of total home sales. Experts have expressed concerns that loosening of mortgage credit and a reduction in home price growth won’t be enough to reduce the trend of declining mortgage origination.