Yes, You Can Still Afford a Home

The residential real estate market has come roaring out of the gates in 2020. Compared to this time last year, the number of buyers looking for a home is up 20%, and the number of home sales is up almost 10%. The increase in purchasing activity has caused home price appreciation to begin reaccelerating. Many analysts have boosted their projections for price appreciation this year. Whenever home prices begin to increase, there’s an immediate concern about how that will impact the ability Americans have to purchase a home. That thinking is understandable. We must, however, realize that price is not the only element to the affordability … [Read more...]

How Interest Rates Can Impact Your Monthly Housing Payments

Spring is right around the corner, so flowers are starting to bloom, and many potential homebuyers are getting ready to step into the market. If you’re thinking of buying this season, here’s how mortgage interest rates are working in your favor. Freddie Mac explains: “If you’re in the market to buy a home, today’s average mortgage rates are something to celebrate compared to almost any year since 1971… Mortgage rates change frequently. Over the last 45 years, they have ranged from a high of 18.63% (1981) to a low of 3.31% (2012). While it’s not likely that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate will return to its record low, the current … [Read more...]

Interest Rates Over Time [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: With interest rates hovering at near historic lows, now is a great time to look back at where they’ve been, and how much they’ve changed over time. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates are currently hovering near a five-decade low. The impact your interest rate has on your monthly mortgage payment is significant. An increase of just $20 dollars in your monthly payment can add up to $240 per year or $7,200 over the life of your loan. Maybe it’s time to lock in now while rates are still low. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

The #1 Misconception in the Homebuying Process

After over a year of moderating home prices, it appears home value appreciation is about to reaccelerate. Skylar Olsen, Director of Economic Research at Zillow, explained in a recent article:  “A year ago, a combination of a government shutdown, stock market slump and mortgage rate spike caused a long-anticipated inventory rise. That supposed boom turned out to be a short-lived mirage as buyers came back into the market and more than erased the inventory gains. As a natural reaction, the recent slowdown in home values looks like it’s set to reverse back.” CoreLogic, in their January 2020 Market Pulse Report, agrees with Olsen, projecting … [Read more...]

How Buyers Can Win By Downsizing in 2020

Home values have been increasing for 93 consecutive months, according to the National Association of Realtors. If you’re a homeowner, particularly one looking to downsize your living space, that’s great news, as you’ve likely built significant equity in your home. Here’s some more good news: mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2020 at an average of 3.8% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan. The combination of leveraging your growing equity and capitalizing on low rates could make a big difference in your housing plans this year. How to Use Your Home Equity For move-up buyers, the typical pattern for building financial stability and … [Read more...]

Forget the Price of the Home. The Cost is What Matters.

Home buying activity (demand) is up, and the number of available listings (supply) is down. When demand outpaces supply, prices appreciate. That’s why firms are beginning to increase their projections for home price appreciation going forward. As an example, CoreLogic increased their 12-month projection for home values from 4.5% to 5.6% over the last few months. The reacceleration of home values will cause some to again voice concerns about affordability. Just last week, however, First American came out with a data analysis that explains how price is not the only market factor that impacts affordability. They studied prices, mortgage rates, … [Read more...]

How to Determine If You Can Afford to Buy a Home

The gap between the increase in personal income and residential real estate prices has been used to defend the concept that we are experiencing an affordability crisis in housing today. It is true that home prices and wages are two key elements in any affordability equation. There is, however, an extremely important third component to that equation: mortgage interest rates. Mortgage interest rates have fallen by more than a full percentage point from this time last year. Today’s rate is 3.75%; it was 4.86% at this time last year. This has dramatically increased a purchaser’s ability to afford a home. Here are three reports validating that … [Read more...]

Home Prices Increase in Every Price Range

Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. CoreLogic analyzed four individual home prices tiers and shares the increase in each one. CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed, “National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.” They also analyzed four individual home-price tiers, showing the increase in each. Here’s the breakdown: To clarify the methodology, CoreLogic explains, “The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and … [Read more...]

Experts Predict a Strong Housing Market for the Rest of 2019

We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019. Here’s what some of the experts have to say: Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic “We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. … [Read more...]

3 Expert Insights On Inventory In The Current Market

The current housing landscape presents greater home values, low interest rates, and high buyer demand. All of these factors point to the strong market forecasted to continue throughout the rest of the year. There is, however, one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: an overall lack of housing inventory. Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but the current supply is not keeping up. Here is a look at what a few industry experts have to say: Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at National Association of Realtors “Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is … [Read more...]