Pending home sales increased in December for the first time since May 2022, after six consecutive months of declines, the National Association of Realtors found. RBFRIED / GETTY IMAGES

Austin Business Journal reports, "since the start of the new year, there's indications buyers may be — albeit slowly — reentering the housing market, owing in part to mortgage rates that've stabilized since 2022's volatility.

Redfin Corp. (Nasdaq: RDFN) found while pending home sales fell 26% year over year during the four weeks ending Jan. 22, that was the smallest drop in more than three months, and that metric had began rising on a month-over-month basis since December.

Separately, home tours and requests for service for Redfin remain down 23% and 27% respectively from a year prior, but both are an improvement from a November trough of that activity being down 40%.

Pending home sales increased in December for the first time since May 2022,…

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(Kirby Hamilton/iStock) writes, "consider a loan modification a lifeline for homeowners in trouble. If you’ve been hit with financial hardships that hamper your ability to pay the mortgage, there are options other than foreclosure or selling your home. One is to get a loan modification, which is basically an agreement with your lender to change the terms of your loan.

Loans can be modified in various ways. For instance, the lender may lower the interest rate; extend the length of the loan; or allow a homeowner to skip payments until he’s found a new job, adding those missed payments to the principal to pay later. The terms all depend on the homeowner’s specific circumstances, but the goal is ultimately the same: to provide financial relief for homeowners who…

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KXAN Austin writes, "just days after the Austin Board of Realtors said the local housing market is starting to “rebalance,” Zillow has released a much harsher outlook: the Austin market is now “ice cold.”

The characterization comes as Zillow released its market report for December 2022.

The report shows homes in the Austin area are spending a median of 68 days on the market, more than in any other major metro nationwide. Back in December 2021, Zillow reported homes in the area were on the market for a median of 22 days.

Another metric in the report shows homes aren’t selling for as much as they used to. In November, just 11% of listings sold for higher than the asking price, down from 47% a year before.

That may be leading some homeowners…

223 Views, 0 Comments writes, "the rent may still be too damn high, but at least it isn’t skyrocketing anymore.

That’s the message from the® monthly rental report, which shows a welcome cooling-off after the craziness of the COVID-19 pandemic period.

Rental prices in the largest metropolitan areas across the country rose 11.6% for the full year in 2022 but downshifted steadily throughout the year. By December, prices were only 3.2% higher, compared with the same month a year earlier.

Nationally, the median monthly rent was $1,712 in December—down $69 from the peak in July.

However, the national numbers mask enormous differences in metros around the country, where the locations people are moving to and from are reversing. And instead of…

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Masa y Más opened at 1817 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, on Jan. 6. (Courtesy Masa y Más)

Community Impact shares, "Buzz Burger, a new burger food truck, opened on Jan. 20 at The Buzz Mill in Riverside. Buzz Burger offers a half-vegan, half-omnivore menu with burgers, wraps, loaded fries and sides. Buzz Burger and The Buzz Mill are both owned by Austinite Jason Sabala and located at 1505 Town Creek Drive, Austin. Instagram: buzzburgeratx

Homie Fries—a new food truck from the team behind Burro Cheese Kitchen—opened at 75 Rainey St., Austin, in December. The food truck, owned by Justin Burrow and Aaron Ross, sells loaded fries with an array of toppings, including cheddar jack cheese, smoked brisket, bacon and more.

Masa y Más—a counter-style restaurant serving up birria, al pastor and other Mexican favorites—opened on 1817…

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2022 was another record year for Austin-area housing but recent inventory rise provides 'breathing room' MIKE CHRISTEN/ABJ

Austin Business Journal writes, "the Austin metro housing market set another sale price record in 2022 — but prices ended the year trending down, another sign of continued cooling and a possible return to more normal conditions.

The average median sale price of a home was $503,000 last year, an 11% increase from 2021, according to the latest data from the Austin Board of Realtors.

However, after peaking at $550,000 in April and May, prices have been steadily retreating — hitting $457,426 in December, a 3% year-over-year decrease and nearly $100,000 less than in the spring.

Some of that decline is likely tied to the time of year, as home sales typically slow in the winter months. But even that seasonality would be a welcome return after a…

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The Pros and Cons of a Mortgage Buy-Down for Homebuyers, According to Loan Experts (Getty Images) writes, "tough financial times call for creative financing. Historically high mortgage rates and a cooling housing market have caused buyers and sellers to look for novel ways to stretch their dollar and seal a deal.

Buyers, scared by lofty mortgage rates that threaten to add hundreds of dollars to their monthly housing bill, are seeking out mortgage buy-downs as a way to trim some of that excess. Sellers, desperate to unload homes, are often willing to help out.

Simply put, a mortgage rate buy-down is upfront money, often paid by the home seller (builders and lenders can also front the cost), to “buy down” the interest rate on the buyer’s loan for a period of time. This temporarily eases a buyer’s mortgage woes.

But just how…

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Downtown Austin (Getty Images)

KXAN reports, "the Austin housing market has “shifted and started to rebalance,” with homes now spending an average of more than two months on the market.

The Austin Board of Realtors President Ashley Jackson made the comments in the December edition of the board’s monthly housing market report, released Wednesday.

“December tells us a lot about how the market has shifted and started to rebalance as there was a sales price drop and a staggering increase in how long homes take to sell,” Jackson said.

Homes that sold in December spent an average of 73 days on the market, almost triple the average from a year ago. The average is the highest since March 2012 — almost 11 years ago — when homes took on average 83 days to sell, according to ABoR…

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Yahoo Finance writes, "while there is no clear consensus about what will happen to mortgage rates and home sales in 2023, the real estate experts from organizations like the Mortgage Bankers Association, Zillow, Taylor Morrison, and others surveyed in Point’s 2023 Real Estate Expert Survey agree 2023 will likely bring less volatility to the real estate market. But any improvement will be slow.

Point asked experts about where mortgage rates will land this year; what will happen to existing-home sales; and what advice they would give home buyers and sellers.

Key findings include:

  • About three-quarters of the respondents expect the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate to stay below 7% in June 2023. By December, every respondent believes rates…

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Getty Images writes, "The numbers: A dip in mortgage rates prompted mortgage demand to rise a seasonally adjusted 27.9%

As mortgage rates dropped across the board, demand for both purchases and refinancing increased. That pushed the market composite index up, a measure of mortgage application volume, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday.

The market index rose to 238.7 for the week ending Jan. 13, up 27.9% from a week earlier. A year ago, the index stood at 593.7.

Key details: The refinance index jumped 34.2% in the past week, but was down 81% compared to a year ago.

The purchase index—which measures mortgage applications for the purchase of a home—rose by 24.7% from last week.

Mortgage rates fell across the board.

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