Weekly Mortgage Applications Surge 30% – According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, homebuyer demand hit its highest level in 11 years. January continues to shape up to be a hot month for the housing market. Weekly mortgage applications jumped 30% for the week ending January 10th, a sign that home buyers are emerging. “The mortgage market saw a strong start to 2020,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA. “Applications increased across the board. Lower rates provided a larger incentive for borrowers to act.” Indeed, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased to its lowest level since September, averaging 3.87%, the MBA reports. Applications for home purchases, a gauge of home buying activity, jumped 16% recently, reaching the highest level since 2009.
Source and link to the full article: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Soar 30% as Homebuyer Demand Hits the Highest Level in 11 Years,” CNBC (Jan. 15, 2020) and “Falling Mortgage Rates Set Off a Stampede of Borrowing,” MoneyWise (Jan. 15, 2020)
Consumers Feeling Bullish on Home Buying & Selling – Based on the Homeownership Opportunities and Market Experience survey conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®, Americans are feeling upbeat about the housing market. More than half of Americans or 63% say now is a good time to buy a home, and 74% of sellers say now is a good time to sell. Low mortgage rates and a belief that the economy is improving may be helping to ignite some momentum in the housing market and finally motivating consumers to make a move. “The mobility rate has been very low as many have opted to stay put for longer,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “With mortgage rates low, the timing is indeed ideal for those who want to enter into homeownership and for those looking to move on to their next home.”
Source and link to the full article: “2019 Q4 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey,” National Association of REALTORS® (Jan. 9, 2020)
Higher Conforming Loan Limits Take Effect – The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s new loan limits for 2020 have gone into effect; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are operated by the FHFA, began backing larger loans recently when the new year started. The cap on Fannie and Freddie loans has increased to $510,400 from 2019’s $484,350 limit. This is the fourth consecutive year that the FHFA has raised conforming loan limits, which can stretch even higher in areas with expensive median home values. High-cost areas will be capped at $765,600, or 150% of the $510,400 limit. The maximum conforming loan limit is higher in 2020 for all except 43 counties in the U.S.
Source and link to the full article: “FHA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Are All Now Backing Larger Loans,” HousingWire (Jan. 2, 2020)
The Median Age of Repeat Buyers Is ‘Skyrocketing’ – According to research from the National Association of REALTORS®, the median age of a home buyer has risen from 31 in 1981 to 47 in 2019, But the median age of the segment of first-time buyers has actually changed very little over the past three decades, staying between 28 to 32. Instead, the number that has changed the most significantly since 1981 is the rise in the age of repeat buyers, Jessica Lautz, vice president of demographics and behavioral insights at the National Association of REALTORS®, notes in a post at NAR’s latest Economists’ Outlook blog. The median age of repeat buyers was 36 in 1981; it’s now 55.
Source and link to the full article: “Age of Buyers Is Skyrocketing … But Not for Who You Might Think,” National Association of REALTORS® Economists’ Outlook blog (Jan. 13, 2020)