Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pending home sales are up significantly, 21.8 percent in the Midwest

With mortgage rates potentially increasing, now is the right time to buy a home

Some goods news for the housing market–pending home sales rose in February by 8.2%, possibly showing another surge of sales as the deadline draws near for many government assistance programs, including the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

Pending home sales rose in February, potentially signaling a second surge of home sales in response to the home buyer tax credit, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in February, rose 8.2 percent to 97.6 from a downwardly revised 90.2 in January, and remains 17.3 percent above February 2009 when it was 83.2. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months. In the Midwest the index jumped 21.8 percent to 97.9 and is 18.7 percent above a year ago.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the improvement is another hopeful sign. “The rise in buyer contract activity may signal the early stages of a second surge of home sales this spring. Also, we’re hearing about a rise of activity in recent weeks with ongoing reports of multiple offers in more markets, so the March data could demonstrate additional improvement from buyers responding to the tax credit,” Yun said.

Here’s another interesting take on the increase in home sales. According to Jean Folger of the Wall Street Journal, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) expects the rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage to increase to 6.1% by the end of the year. For the week ending March 19, the interest rate was 4.91%.

As an example, the monthly payment on a $180,000 30-year mortgage (excluding taxes and private mortgage insurance) at 6.1% will be a monthly payment of $1,091, with total interest paid equal to $212, 685.

The same loan at 4.91% rate will be a $956 monthly payment (saving $135 per month) with total interest equal to $164,305, which is a substantial savings of $48,380 over the course of the loan. Even the most insignificant mortgage rate changes can have a major impact on the total cost of a home.

This is just another reason to purchase a home this spring.

Written by Myra Vandersall

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Calendar of Events April 2010

Friday, April 9-Sunday, April 11
Used Book Sale
St. Charles Public Library
Friday, 2:30-7:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Sunday, noon- 2p.m.
Hardcover and paperback books available at bargain prices. Saturday is half price day and Sunday is bag day. Sponsored by the Friends of the St. Charles Public Library. For more information call 630-584-0076 or go to the Library’s website.

Friday, April 9-Sunday, April 11
Tartan Days
Frontier Park
Ceud Mile Failte! Get your caber on at the St. Charles Tartan Day Festivities. Learn about Scot-American culture, visit skilled artisans, musicians and animal experts. Read sheep. Enjoy the Gateway Cabermen competition and listen to Highland Reign, St. Louis Caledonian Pipe Band and the John Ford Highland Pipe Band. Miss Tartan Day will be crowned on Friday, a parade and music on Saturday and Kirkin of the Tartan ceremony on Sunday morning. The Missouri Tartan Day Festivities is pleased to once again host the Gateway Cabermen, St. Louis' only Scottish Heavy Athletics association. Each year, the Gateway Cabermen offer a series of clinics and demonstrations for both men and women.

Tuesday, April 13
Healing at Your Fingertips
10-11:30 a.m.
Java G’s Coffeehouse Café, Old Highway 94 South
Learn how acupressure works and help yourself deal with pain. Try pressure points in class and experience immediate relief.
Fee $9

Friday, April 23-Sunday, April 25
6th annual Builders St. Charles Home Show
St. Charles Convention Center
Friday, April 23, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, April 24, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, April 25, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The show includes speakers, seminars, children's entertainment, a sausage and wine tasting festival and about 350 booths from 200 companies featuring windows, doors, kitchen and bath products, pools and spas, home accessories and more. A Habitat for Humanity Restore offers new and used home-improvement merchandise at discount prices.

Sunday, April 25
St. Louis Earth Day Festival
1 a.m-6 p.m.
Forest Park, St. Louis
Earth Day 2010 features educational exhibits and hands-on activities, music and entertainment, an Earth Day café, locally produced foods and beverages and an all-species parade. For info, go to the event website.

Friday, April 23 – Sunday, April 25

Art Walk
Historic St. Charles Downtown District
Friday: 5 pm - 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 12 am - 5 pm
The annual Spring Artwalk features artists exhibiting along Main Street and at the Foundry Art Centre with music and flowers enhancing the ambiance. Mediums represented include photography, watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, earthen ornaments, blown glass, steel sculpture, drawings and pastels, clay and raku pottery, and more. For more information call 636-949-3231.

Written by Myra Vandersall