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Housing market changes affecting homebuyers and sellers

Natalie Mayrath
Producer/Reporter

Every Friday our Personal Finance team will round up consumer news you need to know ahead of the weekend, on a segment we call “Family First” for YFi PM. Read below for this week’s round-up.

Homebuyers and sellers could feel significant effects of some recent movement in the real estate market.

U.S. new home sales are up as February sales numbers are at an 11-month high. This could be due to lower mortgage rates -- as the average 30-year fixed rate fell to 4.06% for the week ending March 28. A year ago it was 4.4%.

For sellers, April is the hottest time of the year to list your property. List it next week and realtor.com says you’ll likely get 14% more online views and sell your home six days faster than any other time of the year.

With tax day right around the corner, owning real estate can impact your taxes. Homeowners in metro areas of rural states tend to pay less in real estate taxes. In more densely populated urban states, property taxes can be up to double the average U.S. rate. Homeowners who have high property taxes, mortgage interest or insurance could save by itemizing their tax return rather than taking the standard deduction. This isn't usually the case, especially given the newly implemented $10K SALT cap. Under this new change, property owners can no longer itemize state and local property, income and sales taxes in full on their tax returns.

Apple Card

We got a sneak peek at the new Apple credit card this week and looked at how it compares to other reward cards on the market. Credit experts are underwhelmed by the new card’s features – mainly because plenty of other cash back cards out there also also don’t have annual fees, and comparable rewards.

So who could benefit from the Apple Card? Consumers who struggle with debt -- monthly late payment fees are eliminated - and you get extra budgeting help in their app - both features are rare for cash back cards.

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