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Why Use a Realtor? The Latest Mortgage Information from Stuart Crawford

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Blog by Doug Ingersoll | March 21st, 2016

Good reasons to use a Realtor:

For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors' most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers that used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder's agent. Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn't know. Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), or to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%). The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to "connect the dots". This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.

From Stuart Crawford at VIP Mortgage:

Last Wednesday's Fed meeting resulted in positive news for mortgage rates.  Mixed economic data released over the past week was roughly neutral, and mortgage rates ended the week lower. 
As expected, the Fed did not change the federal funds rate.  However, the statement contained guidance which reduced the expected number of rate hikes in 2016 from four to two.  Reasons for this included a downgraded outlook for U.S. economic growth and inflation, as well as concerns about the pace of global economic growth.  The statement was good news for mortgage rates, as this guidance pushes tighter monetary policy further into the future, including the expected timeline for the Fed to begin to reduce its large holdings of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and Treasuries.  The added demand for MBS from the Fed helps to keep mortgage rates low. 
Fed officials have stated that they would like to see inflation rise to their target level of 2.0%.  After holding steady for most of 2015, core inflation has increased pretty quickly over the last few months.  In February, the core consumer price index (CPI), a widely followed inflation measure, unexpectedly rose to an annual rate of 2.3%, the highest level since May 2012.  
Looking ahead this week, Existing Home Sales will be released today, and New Home Sales will come out on Wednesday.  Overall it will be a light week for economic data. 

Stuart can be reached at 480.776.2954