One of the hottest months of the year in Wilmington, NC is almost over, but the housing market is still on fire! According to recent NC Regional MLS statistics, home sales in New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties combined have seen an 18% increase in home sales compared to last July’s home sales, and the median price of homes dropped about 3%. Similarly, Fannie Mae recently announced that it will maintain it’s forecast for 2016’s GDP at the same 1.8 percent forecasted in July after the second quarter growth was more than 1 point lower than predicted. So why didn’t America hit the predicted mark? According to the source, there was slowed growth in residential, non-residential, government and inventory investment in August. Fannie Mae is confident that August and September’s results will be different.
Now Trending: Roof Decks
What is one of the most popular trends we’ve seen this summer with real estate development? Rooftop decks in urban areas. As demand for rentals rises and space for outdoor yards decreases in more heavily populated areas, roof decks have become a very popular and sought out addition for renters and those searching for their next purchase. Not only do they provide tenants with a private area to enjoy the sunshine, but they are also usually combined with luxurious amenities like pools, incredible views, fire pits, grills, and most importantly of all- fresh air that many millennials look for when searching for a space to inhabit. So what’s to come with this trend? Expect it to stay for a while. We predict that rooftop decks will become even more popular and expected in urban areas. We also predict to see the trend start popping up in areas that have landscaping for added value.
8 Reasons to Move to Wilmington, NC
There’s never been a better time to relocate to ILM and its surrounding beaches. Between the bustling downtown river walk scene, the breathtaking beaches, the strong and connected community, as well as and the incredible year-round climate – Wilmington and its surrounding beaches welcomes and has something to offer everyone. What are your reasons to relocate?
- Beaches- Once you visit North Carolina’s coast, your life is changed forever. Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and beaches surrounding Wilmington, NC all offer spectacular views of the Atlantic paired with relaxed southern feel that makes anyone feel at home.
- Downtown- The bustling downtown scene provides Wilmingtonians with a taste of the city life, with incredible shopping, dining, and nightlife opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy. Take this and combine it with downtown Wilmington’s rich history and landmarks, and you are armed with activities to partake in for years!
- Community – Wilmington is home to both Cape Fear Community College and UNCW which gives locals opportunity to support the colleges in activities like Midnight madness, cheering on sports teams, and more! The tight-knit Wilmington community also provides many festivals downtown during the year, houses incredible music talent at spectacular venues like Greenfield Lake Amphitheater, and Azalea Fest itself is a great look into Wilmington’s amazing community!
- Incredible Shopping + Dining- From shopping centers, to one-of-a kind boutiques, Wilmington is an amazing shopping hub for the south east. Whether you are strolling down shops in The Forum, browsing at boutiques downtown, or hitting up one of the local surf shops, ILM loves fashion. Another thing that Wilmington loves is great dining. Fresh seafood and breathtaking views make Wilmington a desirable place for any restaurant to open, but Wilmington houses some of the best restaurants in the state.
- Proximity- Wilmington is close enough to bigger NC cities like Raleigh and Charlotte for an easy weekend trip, and just far enough to provide the perfect getaway from your friends. When you live in Wilmington, you’re never too far for friends and family to visit! (And once you move to the beach, they’ll want to visit all of the time!)
- Furry Friends are always welcome- Wilmington loves your four-legged friends! From the loop at Wrightsville Beach, to the many dog parks in the city, your pets are an extension of your family in Wilmington and are even welcomed at many outdoor restaurants! Bring your pup on the dog-friendly beaches, or Java Dog Coffee shop downtown- ILM knows your pets should enjoy the beautiful city as much as you do!
- Healthy Lifestyle- Wilmington loves being active. From stand up paddle boarding, or running clubs, to yoga on the pier, and everything in between, Wilmington loves supporting healthy and active lifestyles that take advantage of the amazing climate and views the town and surrounding beaches provide.
- Home Affordability – Not only does Wilmington and its surrounding beaches have a steady real estate market, but the options are endless. Wilmington has high-end homes and communities as well as more affordable options that are still in incredible locations.
Your dream house is waiting for you in Wilmington, NC, and once you find it, Alpha Mortgage will help you turn your dream house into a reality! Contact us today!
Americans’ attitudes towards the economy fell to lows not seen since November as higher heating and gasoline costs put a strain on household budgets. The March Consumer Confidence Index came in at 80.0, which was inline with estimates and the February reading. Economic data in 2014 has been a bit disappointing, but the harsh winter weather could have been the reason. As spring blooms, consumers will be looking for signs of more positive economic data, which would confirm that the weather had a big impact on the early year tepid economic numbers.
Consumer spending rose by the most in three months in February on services such as health care and utilities. Personal Spending rose by 0.3% last month, which was inline with estimates. Personal Income also rose by 0.3% last month, which also matched estimates. Within the data it showed that the personal savings rate edged up to a four month high of 4.3% from 4.2% in January. In addition, inflation remained tame as evidenced by a 0.1% rate in the Core Personal Consumption Expenditure, the Federal Reserves favored gauge for inflation.
In an effort to brew up some business, fast food giant McDonald’s will be offering free small cups of coffee at no charge during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13. The world’s largest restaurant chain is rolling out the campaign for the first time to lure in new customers and to get existing customers to come in more frequently. The company is figuring that it’s likely that those stopping in for the free coffee will purchase a breakfast sandwich or other items.
As the spring and summer driving seasons near, one thing is for certain – higher gas prices at the pump. The national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline is $3.48, up from $3.28 a month ago as prices have increased 28 straight days. AAA predicts that prices will rise an additional 10 to 20 cents this spring and could rise more if the tensions in the Ukraine ramps up. Russia is the third largest oil producing country behind Saudi Arabia and the U.S. and any disruptions could cause oil prices to increase.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that its JOLTS report, Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, revealed that job openings rose by 1.5% from December to January. The report may not have as much impact as the monthly Jobs Report, but it does give insight into the labor market on hires, quits, layoffs and job openings. The report is also closely watch by newly appointed Fed Chair, Janet Yellen.
Fast food chain McDonald’s reported a larger than expected decline in comparable global sales in February, once again hurt by slowing sales in the U.S. Reports from restaurants said worldwide sales for stores open at least 13 months fell by 0.3%, below the -0.1% expected. McDonald’s said that sluggish economic growth, internal missteps, rising record beef prices, along with higher labor costs, are the hurdles that are hurting sales.
Home prices continued to rise in the period from December 2012 to December 2013, but at a lesser pace than previous year-over-year readings. CoreLogic reported today that home prices, including distressed sales, rose by 11% in the period mentioned, but that is down from the 11.8% gain seen from November 2012 to November 2013. In addition, prices declined month-to-month by 0.1% from November to December.
Richmond Virginia Fed President Jeffrey Lacker reported today that U.S. growth could be muted in 2014, but the Federal Reserve will continue to taper its massive stimulus program, dubbed Quantitative Easing III. Mr.Lacker cited declining spending by both consumers and businesses. The Fed official went on to say he feels the growth will be closer to 2% in 2014, about the same rate that the country has seen since the end of the Great Recession.
Stock prices are rebounding today after yesterday’s steep plunge, which was touched off by a weaker than expected reading from a national manufacturing report, the ISM Index. The S&P 500 had recently lost nearly 6% from its record closing highs hit in late December and mid-January. The declines have come from profit taking, Fed tapering, a slowdown in China and on the notion that a small correction was due after the record levels recently hit.
The top spot at the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S. switches to former Vice Chair Janet Yellen from outgoing Chief Ben Bernanke today. Ms. Yellen is the first woman to be the Chairperson in its 100-year history and will guide the nation through the post recession era of the U.S. economy.
In economic news, the January ISM Manufacturing Index was released this morning and came in lower that expectations at 51.3 versus the 56.0 expected to the slowest pace in 10-months. Within the report it showed that the new orders component fell 13.2 points to 51.2, also the lowest since May. The hiring gauge fell by 3.5 points to 52.3. The decline was due in part to unusually poor weather in January.
The big economic report due for release this week is the January Jobs report, which consists of Non-farm Payrolls and the Unemployment Rate. Payrolls are expected to rise by 175,000, after the weak reading in December of only 74,000 jobs created. The Unemployment Rate is expected is expected to drop to 6.5% from 6.7%. The report will be released Friday at 8:30am ET.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported today that Existing Home Sales in December rose by 1% to an annual rate of 4.87 million units. That was slightly below the expectation of 4.90 million. In 2013, there were 5.09 million sales, up 9.1% from 2012. Within the report it revealed that the median existing home price was $198,000, up 9.9% from 2012. Inventories fell to a 4.6 month supply from 5.1 months in November.
Over in the jobs market, the Labor Department reported today that Americans filing for first time unemployment insurance rose by 1,000 in the latest week to 326,000, which was near the 327,000 expected. Taking out the weak December jobs report, which was attributed to a cold wave, the sector has been improving. But unseasonably cold weather has continued in January and the job numbers can be influenced when this month’s figures are released on February 7.
Fast food giant McDonald’s reported slightly better than expected earnings per share in its quarterly report. The company reported that it earned $1.40 billion in the fourth quarter on revenues of $7.09 billion. Global sales declined by 9.1%, while U.S. sales dropped 1.4%.
With little economic data this week to influence trading in the capital markets, Stock prices are mixed to start the holiday shortened week, while Mortgage Bonds are trading near unchanged levels. All markets were closed yesterday in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The two reports that will be released will be Thursday’s Weekly Initial Claims report and Existing Home Sales data.
In global labor news, the International Labor Organization (ILO) warned today that global unemployment is a current problem and it is set to rise. The ILO said that there were 202 million people unemployed in 2013, an increase of five million over 2012. The agency predicts that there will be 200 million new jobs created in the next four years, but the number won’t be able to keep up with unemployment that will exceed 215 million by 2018.
Several large banks across the nation are exiting from granting short term loans that carry high interest rates or so-called “Payday Loans.” Federal regulators are looking into whether or not these short term loans violate consumer protection loans. Instead of calling them Payday Loans, they have issued short term loans of several hundred dollars or less and are repaid from the customers checking account on payday. The loans often carry triple digit interest rates when calculated on an annual basis.
In its monthly National Housing Survey, Fannie Mae reported that home prices may enter the purchase market sooner rather than later as people feel that mortgage rates and home prices to rise. Within the survey it showed that those who feel that mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months rose by 11% to 57%, the highest level in the three-year history of the survey.
As the housing market continues to recover, delinquencies around the country have fallen 43% from the peak levels of 2010 as reported by Lender Processing Service (LPS). In addition, the number of borrowers who are underwater on their current mortgage has declined by 47% from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013. In addition, LPS reported that originations were up 1.8% in April from March to 835,000 new loans originated.
There are no economic data points set to be released today and the rest of the week’s economic calendar is on the light side this week. Stocks are starting the week to the upside ahead of the start of quarterly corporate earnings season begins today. The big event this week will be the minutes from the June 19 Federal Reserve meeting. The members most likely discussed the ongoing stimulus program dubbed QE III and how long the Federal Reserve will continue to stimulate the U.S. economy.
American Eagle airlines will fly two daily roundtrip flights between Wilmington and Chicago O’Hare, American Airlines said Monday.
The service by the American Airlines regional affiliate begins July 2 and will be operated with 44-seat Embraer jets.
One flight will depart from Wilmington to O’Hare (ORD) at 6 a.m. and arrive in Chicago at 7:20 a.m. The other will leave ILM at 5:15 p.m and arrive at ORD at 6:40 p.m.
Flights from O’Hare to ILM will leave Chicago at 1:35 p.m.and 8:25 p.m. and arrive in Wilmington at 4:45 p.m. and 11:35 p.m., respectively.
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