By Christina Rexrode The Wall Street Journal Thu., Nov. 22, 2018 The decade of low mortgage rates is winding down. Its end will be particularly painful for the nonbanks that now control the bulk of the market. Nonbank lenders—less known and less regulated than their bank counterparts—have enjoyed a yearslong renaissance, with many springing up or expanding after the financial crisis. That also means some of those lenders have never navigated an era like today’s, marked by rising rates and cooling home sales. Many are dependent on refinancings, which are shrinking rapidly. And already some lenders are selling themselves, shutting down or laying off workers. It is a reminder of how rising rates are roiling the mortgage market in all corners. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.81%, according to data released Wednesday by Freddie Mac, up from 3.99% at the end of last year. For consumers, the higher rates have made homes less affordable … [Read more...] about Rising rates are roiling nonbank mortgage lenders
Cheap mortgage rates for first time buyers
HONG KONG (REUTERS) - Hong Kong private home prices fell for the first time in 29 months in August and are expected to soften further as interest rates rise and the US-China trade war clouds the outlook for the city's economy. Prices eased 0.076 per cent last month from July, government data showed. While slight, it marked first decline since March 2016, a cooling sign for one of the world's more expensive property markets. Still, prices have surged 11.7 per cent so far this year, and rocketed 16 per cent year-on-year, according to Reuters' calculations based on an index compiled by Hong Kong's Rating and Valuation Department. Ultra low interest rates, limited housing supply and large flows of capital from mainland Chinese buyers helped push housing prices up 165 per cent over a decade, prompting repeated warnings from authorities about the risks of an asset bubble. Soaring real estate prices have angered many Hong Kong residents and prompted the city's government to set aside plots of … [Read more...] about Hong Kong home prices fall for first time in 29 months
By Tess Kalinowski Real Estate Reporter Fri., Aug. 10, 2018 Three years ago, you could buy a house in London, Ont., for $234,000. Today, it will cost you $364,000. “I call it the Toronto migration ” said real estate broker John DeBlock. “It’s not only from Toronto, though. Toronto people have gone to Kitchener. Kitchener people have come to London.” The GTA’s housing fever may have broken in spring 2017, but its heat is still dispersing around the province. DeBlock predicts it will linger for at least another year, and it isn’t confined to London. In Windsor, realtors are seeing bidding wars on most listings. In Barrie, 38 per cent of home sales involve an out-of-district realtor, most of them representing Toronto-area clients. Retirees, move-up and first-time buyers are looking to get more for their housing dollars by migrating to smaller Ontario markets. Technology and strong provincial employment are helping. … [Read more...] about Toronto home search moves to smaller Ontario cities
HONG KONG: Ng Goon-lau pointed at a window inside a dark, tiny bedroom. The window was small and easily sealed, Ng explained, a perfect place for carbon monoxide poisoning.A man once burned charcoal to kill himself there. Another tenant, a policewoman, also hanged herself in the same apartment."That's why it was so cheap," said Ng, the silver-haired 66-year-old landlord, who bought the tiny 325-square-foot unit after the double suicides for just over HKUS$1 million (US$127,400) in 2010, 30 percent less than the then market rate.Eight years later, the apartment is probably worth around HKUS$4.4 million, Ng estimates.Dubbed the "King of Haunted Flats" by local media, Ng has made a name for himself for speculating on such "hongza", or haunted flats – defined here as the places where tragedies, such as suicides and murders, took place. He has been able to buy some of the homes at as much as a 40 percent discount.But Hong Kong's record-breaking property price surge over the past few … [Read more...] about Spooked no more? Hong Kong’s ‘haunted apartment’ prices levitate with white-hot market
Let's start by defining what we're talking about - how does the typical Singaporean use their first property as a pure investment asset? The simplest way to do this is to buy a private property, but not move into it. Instead, you continue to live with your parents, while renting out your private property. Ideally, the rental income from your property will more than cover the mortgage repayments - and when you sell the property in five to 10 years, you will profit as the property has appreciated. Another way to treat your first home as an investment is to still live in it, but simply hope that you've picked a property that will appreciate. An example of this is choosing to buy in a non-mature estate, where many amenities (shopping centres, train stations, hawker centres, etc.) have not yet been built. This is based on the theory that, as these amenities are built up, the property value will rise. Finally, some daring speculators will even buy an aging development (one with 40 years or … [Read more...] about How are Singaporeans using their first property as an investment?