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Interest Rates

The FED raised rates by a half percentage point last week. This will certainly give some buyers pause as it reduces the price of the house they can buy. For example, in buying an $800,000 home, a half percentage point would raise the mortgage payment by $250/month. That is a pretty significant hit. The FED plans to raise rates by another percentage point over the next few months. Which means overall, buyers will pull back on the price of a house they can afford. However, with record-breaking absorption rates persisting in both the single-family and condo markets, prices are unlikely…

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Mortgage Rates – Week of March 4, 2022

Applications to refinance a home loan increased 1% last week but were still 56% lower than the same week one year ago. Mortgage applications to purchase a home fell 2% for the week and were 9% lower year over year. While mortgage rates rose to the highest level in two years last week, they have since fallen quite sharply due to the war in Ukraine. Mortgage demand stalled last week, as interest rates rose, but rates are now falling fast due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Mortgage application volume was essentially flat compared with the previous week, borrowers had…

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Welcome Rhoda Ostrer to the Company

We are delighted to have Rhoda join Michelle Lane Real Estate. Rhoda brings a wealth of experience to the company, selling throughout the Greater Boston area as an award winning agent for Century 21 and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. Rhoda currently specializes in luxury condo living. Her very early years were spent in Framingham until her family moved to Newton. Growing up in Waban overlooking the Charles River was a great experience. A graduate of Newton South High School, she went on to receive her BS in Special Education at the University of Hartford. After several years of teaching, Rhoda…

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Rising Interest Rates

The stock market was quite a roller coast ride last week. Jerome Powell announced that rates are going up 3-4 times this year beginning in March, which was a factor. He also indicated that there is a possibility that the first rate increase could be as high as .50bps (.50%). The announcement did send mortgage rates up to 3.99% that day, but it has calmed down since. Seeing rates back down to 3.50% for 30 year conventional and 3.375% on jumbo 30 year fixed.   Adjustable rates are becoming more attractive. Right now, you can still get 7/6 ARM at…

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Market Snapshot – Newton

Comparison to this time last year – Jan 7 2021 / Jan 2022 I am showing Newton numbers since that is where we sell most, but this is reflective of the Greater Boston market overall. Those numbers are 4,775 properties on today compared to 7.066 this time last year. As you can see, there is about half the inventory on the market as this time last year. So we are off to a slow start. It appears this will be tighter year of inventory and Buyers will still be fighting over properties. For Sellers, this does not mean that properties…

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Where are Rates Headed in 2022?

The bottom line for prospective homebuyers is this: The historically low mortgage rates of 2020 and 2021 are not coming back in 2022. But rates are likely to remain relatively low. Even a jump to 4% by the end of the year in 2022 would be on par with, or better than, where rates were in the years prior to the coronavirus pandemic. If the U.S. economy continues to recover from the pandemic volatility, and the shock of the delta variant, then it’s likely that rates will rise. Therefore, if you have been on the fence about buying a house,…

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Penny I (Seller – Newton)

We were referred to Michelle by a friend. She knows Newton and the surrounding areas.  She knows real estate, she knows everyone associated with real estate, including mortgage brokers, inspectors, and insurance agents. Michelle is very professional but also personable. She has a knack for explaining markets trends and is skilled at reading the psychological aspects of an offer/counter-offer. She was extremely responsive and helped us buy an incredible house in a great location – in the hottest market in history! In short, I recommend Michelle with great enthusiasm. She is the absolute best.

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New Newton Senior Center Coming

NEWTON, MA — The City of Newton will be breaking ground on a new center for older residents in summer 2023, according to a video announcement from Mayor Ruthanne Fuller. The new building, which city councilors on the Public Facilities and Programs and Services voted unanimously to move forward with on July 14, will be built at the site of the current Newton Senior Center on Walnut St. “What I really love most is that newtons older residents have given so much to our community and this project is our opportunity to proudly give back to them,” said Fuller in…

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Changes the Biden Presidency Could Bring

Policies that Biden is proposing: 1. Reinstate the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which had been repealed in July by Trump. The 2015 rule required local governments receiving federal housing financing to devise plans to address discriminatory housing practices in their communities. 2. Biden has pledged to spend $640 billion on affordable housing over the next decade. 3. A Biden presidency could also mean changes to 1031 exchanges: He has pitched making them available only to those making less than $400,000 a year. 4. Re-establish the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit, which was originally created during the Great Recession to help…

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The Pandemic and the Housing Market

I don’t need to tell you that the virus is back in full force with the largest number of new cases reported today. With regards to real estate this year, COVID has caused a flight from the city to the suburbs and an uptick in people buying vacation homes. Why is that? People are spending most of their time at home now – working from home, children remote learning and people bringing their parents into the fold so they can take care of them during lockdown have all caused a strain on everyone’s household. People need more space for home…

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