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Homebuilders across the US feeling more confident about future: report

American homebuilders are feeling more confident amid a rise in consumer demand and a drop in lumber prices. The recent boost follows months of declining sentiment among homebuilders nationwide, according to a report by the National Association of Homebuilders and Wells Fargo. It was first reported by Bloomberg. The more positive feeling is in line with a rising six-month home sales outlook along with a jump in prospective buyer traffic. Improving market momentum could be attributed in part to a strong job market, benefits from tax cuts and lower lumber prices, which had briefly jumped to a record high in May amid a perfect storm of challenges. Those included U.S. tariffs on Canadian wood imports, wildfires and a shortage of freight trains to transport lumber. ...

Mortgage rates hit 7-year high amid slowing housing market

Would-be homebuyers have another reason to be concerned: mortgage rates rose to nearly 5 percent, the highest in more than seven years and the biggest weekly increase in two years. Rising mortgage rates slow the housing market, which is an indicator of the overall economy. Long-term rates are now up nearly a full percentage point from the start of 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.9 percent. Although rates have been rising for months, 5 percent isn’t that high compared to the decade before the financial crisis. “There’s almost a generation that has been used to seeing 3 percent or 4 percent rates that’s now seeing 5 percent rates,” Vishal Garg, founder and CEO of ...

Completed and nearly sold out, PB Gardens condo project generates $155M in sales

The Azure condo complex in Palm Beach Gardens The developer of a waterfront condominium complex in Palm Beach Gardens has finished construction and has sold almost all the units for a total of $155 million. Units at the condo complex, called Azure, have sold at prices ranging from $900,000 to $3 million. Two the 101 units remain unsold, including a 3,200-square-foot unit priced at $2 million and a 4,850-square-foot unit priced at $3.3 million. The developer, Tom Frankel of Frankel Enterprises, told the Palm Beach Post that most of the buyers who closed on their purchases of condos at Azure have moved into them. Azure is a five-story, two-building condo complex next to the Loggerhead Marina at Donald Ross Road and the Intracoastal Waterway in ...

Investors set their sights on home rentals in South Florida

Forget building equity over decades and decades. Increasingly, leasing a house over a much shorter span is the norm in South Florida, where the renting of suburban-style houses appears to be on an upswing, potentially leading to pressure on home prices. “The single-family rental market is extremely strong, and historically so,” said Yoni Dahan, the founder of World Class Realty, an Aventura-based firm that renovates and leases rental houses. “If the trend could be charted, it would show a curve that’s going up.” For many would-be buyers, housing prices are too steep and interest rates are climbing, while wages seem stuck, according to developers, investors and brokers. Such conditions make renting attractive. Adding to demand, brokers said that the new federal tax law — which ...