It’s been an interesting week in the real estate world, but before I share that, it’s been an equally interesting week for us, here at York Real Estate. We are now an independently licensed real estate brokerage firm. I’m excited about the autonomy this provides, as we strive daily to improve our service. We will be interviewed on the News 8 Austin morning show on Thursday, and then on Saturday will make our national TV debut on TLC at 7 pm Central time. Look for us on “Flip that House: Diary of a Flip.” We would love to see you at our viewing party/fundraiser at the Belmont Saturday evening!
Well, the depth of the mortgage crisis was exposed this week as the SEC stepped into stop investors from short selling Fannie Mae and Freddie MAC stocks. Fannie Mae, chartered by the government to promote the availability of home loans, is reeling from the loss of billions of dollars to bad home loans. Surprisingly, mortgage rates worsened by only a ¼ point, despite the looming potential of a fed bale out, to just over 6%. A reduction in crude oil prices had some positive effect, as inflation risks were abated slightly.
Locally, new home starts increased 22% from last quarter to 2,814, which is down 19% from the second quarter 2007. New home sales are down 18% this quarter from last year to 2,728. Though some buyers are reluctant to buy in the current environment, many are taking advantage of the increased inventory, attractive interest rates, and motivated builders and buyers.