And 1 in 10 plans to sell this year, according to realtor.com economists. But a fear of finding a home in their price range is the top reason holding many of them back.
Friday, April 30, 2021
Thursday, April 29, 2021
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Total existing U.S. home sales were up 12.3% year-over-year while median price was up 17.2%. However, existing home sales fell (-3.7%) in March compared to Feb.
The 30-year rate was 2.97% this week, down from 3.04% last week. Despite these low rates, many buyers are unable to purchase a home due to the shortage of inventory.
McLEAN, Va. (AP) – Mortgage rates fell for the third straight week, dipping below 3% for the first time in two months.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the benchmark 30-year home-loan rate declined to 2.97% this week from 3.04% last week. At this time last year, the long-term rate was 3.33%.
The rate for a 15-year loan, popular among those looking to refinance, dipped to 2.29% from 2.35% the week before. Experts have expected home-loan rates to increase modestly in the short term, while remaining at low levels in light of the Federal Reserve’s goal of keeping its principal borrowing rate near zero until the economy recovers from the pandemic.
Even with historically low rates, buyers are having a hard time snatching up homes because there are so few for sale. Another report Thursday from the National Association of Realtors showed that sales of existing home sales fell for the second straight month in March because there are so few on the market. The coronavirus pandemic has fueled demand for single-family homes as people look for more space.
On the bright side, the Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of Americans applying for unemployment aid fell last week to 547,000, the lowest point since the pandemic struck and an encouraging sign that layoffs are slowing on the strength of an improving job market. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
Monday, April 19, 2021
By John Haughey | The Center Square contributor Apr 13, 2021
(The Center Square) – In 2019, Florida homeowners accounted for 8.16 percent of the nation’s property insurance claims, but more than 76 percent of property insurance lawsuits lodged against insurers.
Pointing to this “disparity,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier in a five-page April 2 letter to House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, outlined four proposals to reduce property insurance litigation.
Insurers cite rampant litigation, ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes and coastal flooding as a “perform storm” of coalescing factors leading to double-digit property insurance rate hikes that Florida businesses and 6.2 million homeowners are seeing or will see when renewing policies.
Several of Altmeier's recommendations are already being considered by lawmakers.
Senate Bill 76, filed by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, restricts awarding contingency risk multipliers only “in a rare and exceptional circumstance,” requires policy-holders file claims within two years, down from three, and creates a “reimbursement schedule” that allows insurers to sell policies with reduced payments for roofs over 10-years-old.
SB 76 was passed by Senate April 7 in a 27-13 vote and transmitted to the House where another insurance reform bill is headed to the chamber floor.
House Bill 305, sponsored by Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, does not address contingency risk multipliers or include the roof “reimbursement schedule.” It awaits a hearing before the Commerce Committee to advance to a House vote.
Florida law allows plaintiffs to collect attorney fees when they prevail in cases against insurers. Amounts are determined by the number of hours an attorney spent on a case and a reasonable hourly rate. But courts also can also increase fees through contingency risk multipliers.
Altmeier said the OIR reviewed a National Association of Insurance Commissioners Market Conduct Annual Statement (MCAS) Data Call spanning 2016-19 and verified that “in 2019, Florida accounted for 8.16 percent of all homeowners’ claims opened by insurance companies in the U.S.
“However,” he added, “in 2019, Florida accounted for 76.45 percent of all homeowners’ suits opened against insurance companies in the U.S.”
The MCAS documents the ratio of claims closed without payment to total claims closed, and the ratio of suits opened to claims closed without payment, Altmeier said.
Florida “trends along with the national average” in claims closed without payments, he writes but “Florida’s ratio of suits opened to claims closed without payment is eight times higher than the next highest state at 27.75 percent.”
• Reform Florida’s one-way attorney’s fees statute: “The current one-way attorney’s fees statute provides an incentive for litigation to come before our judicial system that may not always be legitimate,” he writes.
• Address contingency fee multipliers: Altmeier maintains 2017’s ruling in Joyce v. Federated Nat’l Co., which upheld Florida’s contingency risk multipliers, “highlights just how far Florida has diverged from the federal standard.”
• Address ‘concurrent causation’: The 2016 ruling in Sebo v. Am. Home Assurance Co. Inc. “has incentivized roof claim solicitations” under “the concurrent causation doctrine and held insurance coverage may exist when there are concurrent causes of loss and at least one cause is covered under the policy,” Altmeier writes.
Excluding “wear and tear” from concurrent causation “could also provide a disincentive for this behavior, while allowing consumers to keep replacement cost coverage for legitimate roof losses,” he suggests.
• Adopt provisions from Texas HB 1774: Texas lawmakers imposed inspection requirements for property claims and addressed attorney’s fees in the 2017 measure, which requires claimants to notify insurers of potential litigation at least 61 days before filing suit.
Monday, April 12, 2021
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Monday, April 5, 2021
Buyers often set their sights on spring, but unless sellers join in, this year’s shoppers will have 50% fewer homes, on average, to consider buying.
By Kerry Smith.
FEMA did not release a tool to answer the question on most Fla. homeowners' minds: “Will my flood insurance rate go up or down?” But overall, it says 1 out of 5 residents (19.8%) will see a reduction, and 3 out of 4 (76%) won’t see a change higher than $120 more per year.