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Mortgage interest rates and monthly payments

Let’s say the rates bounced “all the way” up to 6%. What would that mean to the average homebuyer? To answer that, consider buying a $200,000 home (near the median in Austin), with a 3.5% down payment on a 30-year fixed rate FHA loan. Here’s what happens to the monthly payment (principal and interest only) as rates go up. Continue reading

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So what about the debt ceiling?

Politics aside, I don’t see any practical reason that interest rates should spike next week based on what happens in the debt ceiling debate. I certainly believe we will have higher rates over the next year or two, but that will have almost nothing to do with all the noise coming from Washington now. Continue reading

Case-Shiller — May data is in

Austin and Washington, DC continue to buck the trend, gaining value year-over-year. As I pointed out in my last post, the magnitude of the gain in Austin remains impressive, even compared to Washington, DC. Continue reading

Ausin continues to outpace Case-Shiller

The Case-Shiller indices have been losing ground year-to-year for several months. For much longer — about sixteen months — both Austin and Washington, DC have been gaining. And look at the magnitude of those gains — Austin vs. Washington! Yes, Washington home values have appreciated more than Austin since 2000, but it would have been very easy for five of those years to pay more for a home there than the current market would yield. Not so in Austin.
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Austin-area building permits — signs of confidence?

Builders’ confidence in the Single Family sector remains weak, but strong permitting activity in the Multifamily arena bodes well for the Austin/Central Texas residential market. Continue reading

What do you get for $200,000 in Austin?

Near the median sale price, we’re getting into “seller’s market” territory in many neighborhoods, but there is still a lot to choose from. Here’s an overview. Continue reading

What’s for sale for $1,000,000?

I wrote yesterday about some million dollar homes that have sold recently in the Austin area. Here are a few that are still available. Continue reading

What do you get for $1,000,000 in Austin?

The first thing you may notice is that this an over-inventoried market segmentThe difference in this high-end market segment, though, is that 126 available homes really isn’t that many in a metro area of 1.5 million people, and buyers in this segment may well be looking for THE house … Continue reading

“Under all is the land …”

“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization.”   So begins the Preamble to the National Association of REALTORS® Code Of Ethics.  Those are not just words, but an important statement of institutional values.  Everything members of the … Continue reading