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Rates Hold Steady

In Freddie Mac’s results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® the average fixed mortgage rates held largely steady for the week.

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.44 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 29, 2018, down from last week when it averaged 4.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.14 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.90 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.91 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.39 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.66 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.68. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.18 percent.

According to Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist:

“Treasury yields fell from a week ago helping to drive mortgage rates modestly lower. The yield on the 10-year Treasury dipped below 2.8 percent for the first time since early February of this year.  The decline in Treasury yields comes as investors move into safer assets amid increased trade tensions. Following Treasurys, mortgage rates fell slightly. The U.S. weekly average 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell 1 basis point to 4.44 percent in this week’s survey.”

How Much Renting Is Costing Millennials

By the time millennials turn 30, they will have paid $92,600 in rent, according to a new study by RentCafe, a nationwide listing service for rentals. It’s more than previous generations paid when they were between the ages of 22 and 30. RentCafe researchers studied how much millennials, Generation X members, and baby boomers spent on rent during that eight-year time period of their life by using U.S. Census Bureau statistics dating back to 1974.

Millennials have been hit the hardest by rising rents, and Generation Z – the generation following millennials – may have it worse, according to the analysis. Researchers estimate that by the time Generation Z reaches age 30, its members will have paid more than $102,000 in rent.

Millennials may earn more compared with previous generations (earning $206,600 in the eight-year period), but they’ve had to spend more on rent, the study found. Millennials spent 45 percent of their income on rent between the ages of 22 and 30 – more than the 30 percent that most financial advisers recommend.

A Secret Amenity Couples Want: 2 Masters

If your home has two master bedrooms, you may very well have a highly desired feature that many couples want in their next home and are willing to pay extra for.

Among the top 10 percent of markets nationwide, active listings that include multiple master bedrooms are priced, on average, about 9 percent higher than those with just one master, according to a® analysis.

Luxury home builders are taking notice of the growth in demand. A recent survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that nearly one in three potential home buyers in the $2 million and above price range said they wanted dual master bedrooms.

“This was the first survey where we asked about a dual master – prior to this year, it wasn’t on the radar at all,” says Pete Reeb, a principal with John Burns Real Estate Consulting.

Separate bedrooms are a reflection of the fact that it’s an older population with more disposable income, and that they value their sleep more – and are ready to invest more in it

How to Secure Your Smart Home

Smart homes can be susceptible to viruses, if homeowners aren’t careful.

Spotting computer viruses is getting harder as threats spread from well-protected PCs and phones to cars and household appliances with fewer safeguards. Experts say it’s hard for consumers to detect all viruses, but users can still follow a few low-tech steps to protect their homes.

Many smart home devices are vulnerable, security experts say. A flood of inexpensive security cameras, thermostats, and other internet-connected devices have come to the market, and many of them are carrying minimal safeguards against remote hacking. What’s more, often times, many owners don’t realize their devices contain malicious software.

These threats are allowing hackers to do everything from peer into internet-enabled cameras to infecting digital thermostats to attacking computers where bank account information or sensitive data is available.

“The devices continue to function and that’s mostly what the owners are concerned about,” says Steve McGregory, a researcher at security firm Ixia. “Who’s responsible for it? There’s a line of people that you could look at and say, ‘You should probably do more.'”

The Wall Street Journal offers up some of the following tips from experts on how to better secure a smart home:

Do a hard reset: Some more basic computer viruses that lurk on home routers and digital video recorders are unable to survive a hard reset. If an infection is ever suspected, power off the machine.

Update your password: Don’t use simple passwords like “12345” or “admin.” Have a unique username and password to protect the machine from threats.

Perform updates: Some companies offer software patches if a security vulnerability threatens a device. But the user also is the one who has to initiate these updates. Enable automatic updates, whenever possible.


Written by Realty Times Staff for Copyright © 2018 Realty Times All Rights Reserved.