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24 September 2011

The REport

As rumors of a 50th anniversary tour next year for The Rolling Stones swirled around this week in the U.K., a lot of people here in the U.S. were screaming “Gimme Shelter” for a different reason.  CNN reports that this year’s deadly weather disasters have storm shelter companies seeing record sales.  In fact, the owner of Arkansas Storm Shelters said he’s had more inquires for shelters this year than in the previous seven combined.  In some regions, a storm shelter on the premises could be a strong selling point for homes.

It could turn out that baby boomer fans of The Rolling Stones might have other plans for their cash than attending a reunion tour next year.  AOL Real Estate reports that Walt Molony of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), believes people ages 47 to 65, may be in a better position to buy than they have been in years.  The article points out that boomers are poised to reinvigorate the housing market because they have a home equity cushion to fall back on and, as a group, boomers like to change their lifestyle.  Are you beginning to see any “change of lifestyle” boomer sales?

It was once considered a good deal when mortgage rates dipped below seven percent.  This week, news came of 30-year fixed mortgages hovering around four percent.  However, the low rates have yet to translate into home sales, as about four-fifths of loan applications are for refinances according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.  Hopefully a robust refinance market will create some equity that moves the housing market in the future.

Do you have clients looking to learn more about the home buying process?  Tell them to “get on the bus” – literally.  The NAR national bus tour called “Home Ownership Matters” is making stops in Jacksonville this week to help educate consumers about the real estate market and changes that could be coming to the industry.  For a schedule of where the bus will be appearing next, refer to the NAR website.  It could be good information to reach out to potential clients with.

And finally, in Philadelphia a student housing boom could get busted.  As a result of complaints from residents that neighboring students have been an unlawful disturbance, the city councilman representing the area around Temple University proposes to expand the zone prohibiting student housing.  Do you think student housing in your area helps or hurts home sales?

Have a great weekend.

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