Tag Archive: Conference Board


Tampa Safe Place

Being in a safe community is one of the most important factors that buyers consider when purchasing a home, condo or any other type of real estate. So where are America’s most secure places to live? The Farmers Insurance Group of Companies has released its third annual ranking of top 20 ‘Most Secure U.S. Places to Live’.

Bert Sperling, a database expert with http://bestplaces.net, compiled the Farmers rankings based on data from 379 U.S. municipalities. Factors such as crime statistics, unemployment rates and risks of environmental hazards, terrorism threats, natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, were taken into consideration.

The communities were divided into three groups – large metropolitan areas (above 500,000 residents), mid-size cities (between 150,000 and 500,000 residents), and small towns (fewer than 150,000 residents).

According to the survey, the most secure community to live in the U.S. among large metropolitan areas are the adjacent communities of Boise City and Nampa (both in Idaho), which topped all large metro areas. Located among the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, the area has one of the lowest unemployment rates and enjoys a wonderful climate.

Among the Mid-size cities, those with a population between 150,000 and 500,000, the safest community to live is Las Cruces, New Mexico. Las Cruces was the first among mid-size cities in low unemployment rate and favorable climate categories.

St. George in Utah topped all small cities with populations of 150,000 or fewer in the survey. The city has 110,515 residents who enjoy a mild climate, clean air and low annual precipitation. It also has the lowest crime rates of all the 379 communities surveyed. St. George stands first in employment rate among the 138 small towns in the Farmers study.

The following are top 20 communities of America’s most secure places to live among large metropolitan areas, mid-size cities and small towns:

The top 20 safest communities to live among the large metro areas are:

1. Boise City-Nampa, Idaho
2. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine
3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
5. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, California
6. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazelton, Pennsylvania
7. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, California
8. Bethesda-Gaithersburg-Frederick, Maryland
9. Syracuse, New York
10. Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, California
11. El Paso, Texas
12. Albany-Troy-Schenectady, New York
13. Rochester, New York
14. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, New York
15. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks- Ventura, California
16. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, New York
17. Nassau-Suffolk, New York
18. Harrisburg-Carlisle, Pennsylvania
19. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut.
20. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut.

The top 20 safest places to live among mid-size cities are:

1. Las Cruces, New Mexico
2. Rockingham County-Strafford County, New Hampshire
3. Huntington, West Virginia.-Ashland, Kentucky
4. Bellingham, Washington
5. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
6. Lynchburg, Virginia
7. Medford, Oregon
8. Prescott, Arizona
9. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California
10. Binghamton, New York
11. Provo-Orem, Utah
12. St. Cloud, Minnesota
13. Fargo, North Dakota
14. Hagerstown, Maryland -Martinsburg, West Virginia
15. Olympia, Washington
16. Charlottesville, Virginia
17. Chico, California
18. Richland-Kennewick-Pasco, Washington
19. Manchester-Nashua, New Hampshire
20. Duluth, Minnesota

The top 20 safest communities to live among the small towns are:

1. St. George, Utah
2. Bend, Oregon
3. Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, Virginia
4. Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
5. Ithaca, New York
6. Morgantown, West Virginia
7. Logan, Utah
8. Winchester, Virginia
9. Harrisonburg, Virginia
10. Idaho Falls, Idaho
11. Madera, California
12. Glens Falls, New York
13. Wenatchee, Washington
14. Bangor, Maine
15. Lewiston-Auburn, Maine
16. State College, Pennsylvania
17. Billings, Montana
18. Cumberland, Maryland
19. Lewiston, Idaho
20. Pocatello, Idaho

If you are looking to settle down in any of these great cities, contact a good real estate agent who will help you purchase the home or condo of your choice.

(ArticlesBase SC #84379)

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Are you on the search for a new home? Are you a first-time home buyer ready to enter the market? Then a buyers market is right where you want to be!

 

Recent years have turned many real estate markets on their heads. One-time hotbeds for rapid appreciation and booming sales have turned into areas rampant with dropping prices and foreclosures. Making matters even more complicated, is the realization that every market is different. Even neighborhoods within cities have varying markets.How can you tell if you are living in an area experiencing a buyers market?Key Indicators:

  • More than six month’s worth of inventory on the market 
  • Median sales price is down 
  • Fewer buyers on the market 
  • Relative large supply of homes and relative low prices

As a buyer, how can you maneuver yourself to take full advantage of a market which is stacked in your favor?All of the market indicators translate into more choice for buyers. Prices become more negotiable. You have more homes to choose from.One of your first steps is to hire a real estate agent. An agent can supply you with market statistics, including days on market, pricing, and neighborhood comparables. They can also direct you to home listings on the MLS.With such economic uncertainty today, buyers are scared to venture into the market. They fear prices may drop after they buy, leaving them upside down in a home. They fear the market will not pick up for years, leaving them stuck in a home. That fear works in your favor, should you choose to buy. Interest rates are at historic lows. And buyer fear actually translates into more homes for you to choose from. It means sellers may be more willing to drop their price to make a sale.In negotiating, foreclosures wreak havoc on a neighborhood. Foreclosures can lower values on an entire street. If a home has been sitting on the market for months, the likelihood that the seller will make concessions increases.And even when a price won’t budge, you can always discuss who will pay closing costs.Deciding when to buy can be a big decision, but buying during a buyers market can give you many advantages over other markets.

http://ping.fm/06vJ2

 

The National Association of Realtors released the Pending Home Sales Index for August today.

NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index measures the number of home purchase contracts that were signed in the monthly reporting period.  Once “pending” sales contracts are closed, they are considered an Existing Home Sale. Because the Pending Home Sales index tells us how many contracts were signed, it is considered a forward indicator of Existing Home Sales.  A signed contract is not counted as an  Existing Home Sale until the transaction actually closes. 

The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. However, many closings have been delayed recently from a rush of buyers into the system and slow processing of short sales, in addition to the heavy volume and a more thorough loan underwriting process.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August from a downwardly revised 78.9 in July, but is 20.1 percent below August 2009 when it was 103.0. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. “Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market,” he said. “However, the pace of a home sales recovery still depends more on job creation and an accompanying rise in consumer confidence.”

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE HIT A 7-MONTH LOW IN SEPTEMBER….this implies we shouldn’t be expecting another rise in Pending Home Sales when that data is released on November 5. It also means we should be expecting an uptick in Existing Home Sales. Get ’em to the table loan originators!

The PHSI in the Northeast declined 2.9 percent to 60.6 in August and remains 28.8 percent below August 2009. In the Midwest the index rose 2.1 percent in August to 68.0 but is 26.5 percent below a year ago. Pending home sales in the South increased 6.7 percent to an index of 90.8 but are 13.1 percent below August 2009. In the West the index rose 6.4 percent to 101.1 but remains 19.6 percent below a year ago.

Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. “Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates,” he said. “Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.”

30-Year Mortgage Rate Ties Low While 15-Year Sets New Record.

1917 photograph of the board of the Federal Re...

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30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.32 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending September 30, 2010, down from last week when it averaged 4.37 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.94 percent.

15-year FRM this week averaged a record low of 3.75 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.82 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.36 percent.

5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.52 percent this week, with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.54 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 4.42 percent.

1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.48 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.46 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 4.49 percent.

Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, says, “Confidence in the state of the economy fell among consumers and businesses, which led to a decline in long-term bond yields and brought many mortgage rates to record lows this week. The September Consumer Confidence Index by the Conference Board fell to the lowest level since February of this year, while the Business Roundtable CEO Business Outlook for the third quarter was the weakest in the past four quarters. Consequently, rates for the 15-year fixed mortgage and the 5-year hybrid ARM reached new all-time lows and rates for 30-year fixed mortgages tied its record set just four weeks ago.”

“Homeowners have regained $1.0 trillion in home equity as of the second quarter of 2010 after losing more than $7.5 trillion over the three-year period ending in the first quarter of 2009, the Federal Reserve Board reported. This, in part, strengthened household balance sheets and reduced serious mortgage delinquencies. For instance, first mortgages 90-days delinquent or worse fell to 3.16 percent in August from 4.76 percent a year prior and was the lowest rate since June 2008, according to the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices .”