Interest rates might be higher than they were a year ago and inventory might be low but the purchase index for mortgage applications were up 3.2 percent from this time last year. People want to buy homes and they’re determined to do so. Mortgage Applications were overall up 5.1 percent last week. Housing is resilient and strong this summer despite Existing Home Sales reporting a decrease of 0.4 percent in May, missing the 1.5 percent gain expected, and down 3 percent from May 2017. Why we still consider this a strong report: it’s in the face of low inventory and higher rates—do we sound like a broken record player yet? Homes typically stayed on the market for 26 days in May. Thirty-one percent of sales were from first-time homebuyers.
Thirty-five percent of the U.S. labor force are millennials, the largest generation of workers during a time when a strong job market is expected to continue the downward trend of millennials living with parents. The long-term average of individuals aged 18 years to 34 years living at home is 28 percent. Last year it was at 31.5 percent, a slight dip from 2016’s over 32 percent.
Fun fact: apparently paint color can matter in bringing home a larger than expected sold price. That’s up for debate. Homes with front doors in dark shades—think black, charcoal, jet—fetched $6,271 more than expected when sold. Kitchen cabinetry with white or light-colored cabinets or dark navy or black islands brought in an additional $1,500. However, our recommendation: consult your realtor. These improvements aren’t set in stone to warrant a bigger sales price but rather a trend that Zillow happened to notice. Why spend time and money painting when the future homeowner of your home might simply paint it again?