Average Mortgage Amount Increases to $410,000 – Based on recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average amount for a mortgage averaged $410,000, marking the highest average mortgage amount since May. Buyers will need to set a budget and stick to it as they continue to face competition for homes. Most financial experts recommend homeowners allocate no more than 30% of their take-home pay for housing. It is important to note that the 30% should also include the other additional expenses of homeownership, like property taxes, homeowners’ insurance, private mortgage insurance (if applicable), and homeowners association fees.
Source and link to the full article: “This Is the Average Mortgage Borrowers Are Taking Out. Can You Afford It?” The Ascent/Motley Fool (Sept. 30, 2021) and Mortgage Bankers Association
Builders Seek Alternative Materials for Faster Construction – According to a recent survey by The National Association of Home Builders, more than 90% of builders say they have faced a shortage of appliances, framing lumber, and plywood, while 80% have cited a shortage of windows and doors. Builders are up against short supplies of a variety of necessary materials needed to build homes. While they are willing to search for substitutes to keep up, the process is also substantially adding to their costs. As the demand for new homes surged, material shortages that began during the pandemic further led to factories temporarily shutting down, staffing shortages, and other challenges. “I’ve been in the industry for 30 years and never seen anything like this,” Parker Young, president of Straub Construction, told The Wall Street Journal.
Source and link to full article: “Builders Hunt for Alternatives to Materials in Short Supply,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 6, 2021) [Log-in required.]
Why This Fall Is a Big Opportunity for Buyers – Based on a recent realtor.com® report, while the housing market has been fiercely competitive over the last few months, housing analysts are noting several signs pointing to improved opportunities to purchase this fall. Competition is cooling and more listings are coming to the market. Housing inventory is now at a high for 2021. Home inspectors are also reporting a decreased demand for abbreviated home inspections as buyers are increasingly requesting more comprehensive ones. Buyers should pay attention to how long a home has been on the market. Terri Robinson, a real estate professional with RE/MAX Distinctive in Ashburn, Va., told NerdWallet. “If things are staying on the market a little longer versus staying for a couple of days, then it might be time for [buyers] to get back in the market.”
Source and link to full article: “Hopeful Home Buyers: Here Are Some Signs That You Should Make Your Move,” NerdWallet (Oct. 4, 2021)
Most Popular Reasons for Homeowners to Refinance – According to a recent Lending Tree survey, more homeowners have refinanced over the past year to take advantage of ultra-low mortgage rates. While many are motivated to obtain a lower monthly payment, it is not the only reason. Homeowners also said they refinanced to pay off their mortgage faster, to get cash-out refinancing, to change an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage, and to lower monthly housing payments.
Interestingly, reasons also varied depending upon where people live. While borrowers in larger cities in the west were motivated by lowering their monthly housing expense, borrowers in the northeast were motivated to pay off their mortgage faster.
Source and link to full article: “Most Popular Reasons Why Homeowners in the Nation’s Largest Metros Are Considering Refinance,” LendingTree (Oct. 12, 2021)