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April 25, 2014

Home Sales Fall Because Sellers Can't Afford To Sell

One culprit could be higher mortgage rates, which have been trending upward. BankingMyWay's Weekly Mortgage Rate tracker pegs 30-year fixed mortgage rates at 4.31%, slightly ahead of last week's figure of 4.30% but still significantly higher than… Low inventory is another problem, as not enough Americans are putting their homes on the market this year. It turns out too many Americans feel they can't afford to stick a "for sale" sign in their front yard and move on with their lives. According to research from Redfin, a Seattle real estate brokerage firm, only 49% of homeowners say they are in a "financial position to sell" their homes right now. That leaves 51% who aren't ready to sell, for a variety of reasons. Redfin lists three primary ones: Also see: Regional Real Estate Stands Out in Spring Selling Season>> No liquidity. 19% of homeowners say their homes have low equity, meaning the homeowners owe more than 80% of the value of their home. "No" to higher rates. 16% of homeowners are "locked in" with historically low mortgage rates. They don't want to give up those low rates by selling and moving on to a new home that comes with a higher mortgage rate attached to it. The seven-year syndrome. 14% of U.S. residential properties were bought less than seven years ago. Redfin has found that homes typically sell seven years or more after their purchase. Those concerns have led to a thin U.S. housing market in April, and buyers and their agents know it. "Competition can still get intense, but because prices have risen so much, my clients and I try to be more discerning about how far we should go to win a home," says Minni MacFarlane, a Redfin agent in Orange County, Calif. "The past two years we'd compete against people camping out in their cars or entering lotteries to win new homes. This year, a bidding war is more likely to drive the price of a home higher than it's worth competing for, and I think it will be easier for us to walk away from a situation like that."

Apple Preparing To Crush Competition Again (UPDATED)

I'm not sure how Cook stays focused. To maintain tight lips given what Apple's (AAPL) about to do in 2014. For goodness sake, I can hardly contain myself when I'm about to publish an article I'm fired up about. I often bean spill prior to… Unlike rumor mongers in the media and hacks in Wall Street analyst dystopia, I do not and will not claim to know Apple's exact plans. But they're starting to look obvious. And the funny thing is there's absolutely nothing anybody, from Microsoft (MSFT) to Google (GOOG), can do about it. It has come to a point where they're helpless, functioning as pawns in a game where Apple dictates tone and pace. We have already thoroughly covered the forthcoming Android killer, iPhone 6, in a series of articles: Apple's iPhone 6 Will Demolish Android; Call the Cops: Apple's About to Kill Android; and most recently Load Up on Apple Stock as Android Killer Looms. Even rumors that Apple might delay iPhone 6 until 2015 do not dampen my educated enthusiasm. In fact, rumblings that issues with suppliers have moved Apple off schedule embolden me. If the supplier can't get the state of the art battery or 5.5-inch display done the way Apple wants it, it's the Apple way to wait until it's right and ready. Apple works from a position of strength. It operates on its own timeline, not its copycats. When iPhone 6 hits, it will satisfy the desires of fanboys (myself included), millions of Apple holdouts and new smartphone adopters, putting even more hurt on Android, particularly in the U.S. But that's not even what I'm excited about ...

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