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Mortgage and Real Estate News from Peter Tront

More to Come from China

This blog just reported yesterday on the banner year it’s been for foreign investors in U.S. real estate, and for China in particular. Coincidentally, Sam Van Horebeek, a director at a U.S. real estate advisory firm based in China wrote about the effect of the Chinese stock market meltdown on interest in the U.S. real estate sector. Fully 50% of those they interviewed are considering acquiring overseas real estate — and it’s not just the mega-rich, it’s the “mass-affluent”, a group almost as large as the entire population of the U.S.

Chinese Turn from T-Bills to Real Estate, Surpass Canadians

Just done reviewing the 2015 National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buying Activity of International Clients. There are definitely a few interesting statistics in there. For example, while the number of units sold international slightly declined, the average purchase price was up — and at $499,600, if you’re a real estate agent who wants to up his average price, you may want to target foreign buyers. Also, for the first time, Chinese buyers surpassed Canadians, purchasing $28.6 billion worth of property.

Tax-Deductible Solar for Everyone!

Property taxes aren’t the purview of the Feds; however, the FHA opposed plans to make solar power tax deductible because tax assessments take precedence over mortgages in the event of a default, there was general opposition to so called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) programs from Fannie and Freddie in light of the 2007 recession. Now, that’s changing. The FHA just released guidelines that will enable the program pioneered in Berkley, CA, to be made available nationwide.

Housing Market to Drive GDP

Bill Greiner makes a fairly convincing argument in Forbes that the housing market will be driving real GDP growth upwards of 3% over the next 18 months. He distinguishes between existing home sales and new home sales, and gives an explanation of key factors: employment, confidence, affordability, alternatives, and tax impact. Additionally, he looks at the comparative value of owning vs. renting, and comes up with some compelling and surprising numbers (at least at the national-average level).


Closings May Get Slower before They Get Faster

The mortgage industry has been moving towards e-closings for quite a while now (as this blog has covered before), and there are great hopes that this will streamline and simplify the process. However, before we get all the way there, things may take a step backwards. New federal disclosure rules, though designed to simplify financial reporting, are likely to have a retarding effect on the speed of closings as we exit summer and head into the fall. The new changes go into effect October 3rd.

Thank China for Your Interest Rate

As this blog reported a few days ago, mortgage application rates were relatively flat in total, but underlying that data were some big swings that didn’t show up in the average. These changes are particularly surprising given the rate of home building starts and U.S. consumer confidence. The current thinking from the Mortgage Bankers Association ties those underlying moves along with the drop in long-term interest rates (the 30 year fixed rate was down to 4.11% last week) to the current angst in China. 

Price vs. Debt: An Anomaly

There’s a curiosity happening in the current mortgage market. More people are buying more homes, and they’re buying them at higher prices. However, the total amount of outstanding mortgage debt amongst U.S. homeowners is actually flat, or even marginally down. Perhaps this is related to the experience we described the other day on this blog, of Millennials buying, but doing it in a financially responsible way, with a larger down payment (amongst other things).

[OPINION] Have We Moved to A Socialist Mortgage Market?

Jeffrey Dorfman, a contributor to Forbes magazine, published an opinion piece yesterday afternoon title, “The Sneaky Path We Took To A Socialist Mortgage Market”. His essential premise is that when the Fannie and Freddie bailout occurred under the Bush administration, it was viewed as a first step towards fully privatizing the market; however, under the Obama administration, the conservatorship has been used both to drive social policy, and as a source of revenue for the federal government.

5 Things You Can Learn from Millennials about Home Buying

Despite their reputation as a generation of renters, the truth of the matter is that many Millennials are buying homes. And they’re not just buying, they’re buying smarter than a lot of people did in the past. To be sure, they seem to be taking longer than previous generations to buy their first home, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing — it often means they’re in a better financial position when they do. Here are 5 things we could all do well to understand before buying our first homes.

Feeling Down Because You’re The Only One Who Hasn’t Taken A Vacation Yet?

For professionals in the housing industry, from real-estate agents to loan officers, and everywhere in between, the more successful you become, the harder it can be to find time to take a vacation. But, you still really should. In April’s issue of Realtor Mag, Michelle Hoffman wrote a great article on how to plan (and take!) a vacation without your business suffering. If you haven’t gotten out of town yet this summer, then this article is a must-read. After all, what good is success if you can’t take any time off to enjoy it?



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About Me:

Peter Tront III is a New Jersey native who thoroughly understands the state's diverse and growing real estate market. He graduated from Eckerd College and has more than 24 years of experience in home financing. As REMN's Toms River Branch Manager, responsible for the Ocean and Monmouth Marketplace, Peter works hard to ensure his customers, as well as his employees, receive the highest level of service and professionalism. He enjoys helping families achieve the dream of home ownership, but also takes pride in training new loan officers to do the same. Peter's innovative approach to business, emphasis on working as an integrated team and high standards for customer satisfaction make the mortgage process easy for everyone involved. Active in the community, Peter is an affiliate member of the Ocean County Board of Realtors, the Women's Council of Realtors, Ocean County Chapter, the OCBR Realtor Community Service Committee and an avid boater. He's also the proud parent of three growing boys.