Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that “eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.”
Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:
“Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, and 30% believe lenders expect a 20% down payment.”
These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners; 39% of non-owners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment and 30% of homeowners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment.
While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, they do not realize that programs are available that allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
Similar to the down payment, many either don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.
Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.
To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.
As you can see in the chart above, 53.5% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.
Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.
Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME!
And Bloomberg Business just reported:
“America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand is strong and lean inventory is keeping prices elevated.”
And the National Association of Realtors revealed that buyer traffic is stronger this winter than it was during the spring buying season last year.
The only challenge to the market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is less than a four-month supply of inventory. This represents a decrease in supply of 9.7% from the same time last year.
With demand increasing and supply dropping, this may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home. Let’s get together to see whether that is the case in your neighborhood.
In today’s housing market, where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values are increasing rapidly. Many experts are projecting that home values could appreciate by another 4% or more over the next twelve months. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal.
When prices are surging, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that recently closed) to defend the selling price when performing the appraisal for the bank.
Every month in their Home Price Perception Index (HPPI), Quicken Loans measures the disparity between what a homeowner who is seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.
In the latest release, the disparity was the narrowest it has been in over two years, as the gap between appraisers and homeowners was only -0.5%. This is important for homeowners to note as even a .5% difference in appraisal can mean thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller would have to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home)
The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last two years.
Bill Banfield, Executive VP of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans urges homeowners to find out how their local markets have been impacted by supply and demand:
“Appraisers and real estate professionals evaluate their local housing markets daily. Homeowners, on the other hand, may only think about their housing market when they see ‘for sale’ signs hit front yards in the spring or when they think about accessing their equity.”
“With several years of growth, owners may have more equity than they realize. Many consumers use the tax season at the beginning of the year to reevaluate their entire financial life. It also provides a good opportunity for them to consider how best to take advantage of their equity while mortgage interest rates and borrowing costs are still near record lows.”
Every house on the market must be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. If you are planning on entering the housing market this year, let’s get together to discuss this and any other obstacles that may arise.
Every month, CoreLogic releases its Home Price Insights Report. In that report, they forecast where they believe residential real estate prices will be in twelve months.
Below is a map, broken down by state, reflecting how home values are forecasted to change by the end of 2018 using data from the most recent report.
As we can see, CoreLogic projects an increase in home values in 49 of 50 states, and Washington, DC (there was insufficient data for HI). Nationwide, they see home prices increasing by 4.2%.
Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted their own analysis to determine the impact the new tax code may have on home values. NAR’s analysis:
“…estimated how home prices will change in the upcoming year for each state, considering the impact of the new tax law and the momentum of jobs and housing inventory.”
Here is a map based on NAR’s analysis:
According to NAR, the new tax code will have an impact on home values across the country. However, the effect will be much less significant than what some originally thought.
It is common knowledge that a great number of homes sell during the spring-buying season. For that reason, many homeowners hold off on putting their homes on the market until then. The question is whether or not that will be a good strategy this year.
The other listings that do come out in the spring will represent increased competition to any seller. Do a greater number of homes actually come to the market in the spring as compared to the rest of the year? The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently revealed the months in which most people listed their homes for sale in 2017. Here is a graphic showing the results:
The three months in the second quarter of the year (represented in red) are consistently the most popular months for sellers to list their homes on the market. Last year, the number of homes available for sale in January was 1,680,000.
With the national job situation improving, and mortgage interest rates projected to rise later in the year, buyers are not waiting until the spring; they are out looking for homes right now. If you are looking to sell this year, waiting until the spring to list your home means you will have the greatest competition amongst buyers.
It may make sense to beat the rush of housing inventory that will enter the market in the spring and list your home today.
Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:
“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”
When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”
The survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press release, explained:
“After about a two-year slowdown, rent growth is starting to pick back up across the nation…Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining.
More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward the relative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.” (emphasis added)
Owning a home always has been, and always will be, a crucial part of attaining the American Dream.
The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. It seems that the market will continue to strengthen in 2018.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.
“Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago.”
“The increases in single-family permits and starts show that builders are planning and starting new construction projects, that’s a good thing because it will help to relieve the shortage of homes on the market.”
“Inventory is tighter than it appears. It’s much lower for entry-level buyers.”
If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.
CoreLogic’s latest Equity Report revealed that “over the past 12 months, 712,000 borrowers moved into positive equity.” This is great news, as the share of homeowners with negative equity (those who owe more than their home is worth), has dropped more than 20% since the peak in Q4 of 2009 (26%) to 4.9% today.
The report also revealed:
The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and positive equity. (The states in gray have insufficient data to report.)
Significant Equity Is on The Rise
Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, believes this is great news for the “housing market.” He went on to say:
“Homeowner equity increased by almost $871 billion over the last 12 months, the largest increase in more than three years. This increase is primarily a reflection of rising home prices, which drives up home values, leading to an increase in home equity positions and supporting consumer spending.”
Of the 95.1% of homeowners with positive equity in the U.S., 82.9% have significant equity (defined as more than 20%). This means that more than three out of four homeowners with a mortgage could use the equity in their current home to purchase a new home now.
The map below shows the percentage of homes by state with a mortgage and significant equity.
If you are one of the many homeowners who are unsure of how much equity you have in your home and are curious about your ability to move, let’s meet up to evaluate your situation.