Consumers Maintain Upbeat Housing Attitude – According to Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index, consumer optimism in the housing market is growing. The share of respondents who say now is a good time to buy a home increased 7 percentage points from October to November. Overall, Fannie Mae’s housing index in November neared its all-time high, which was set in September. “These results are consistent with our expectation that the housing market will continue its modest expansion going forward,” says Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. However, Duncan cautions that “next month’s survey should offer the public a first look at the influence that potential tax reform may have on consumers’ views toward housing and the broader economy.”
Deeper Debt Isn’t Stopping Millennial Buyers – Based on Realtor.com®’s research team, millennials are taking out the greatest share of all new mortgages and buying homes across price ranges. The research team analyzed records for more than 3.2 million mortgages originated from January 2013 to October 2017 and divided it by age groups. “It’s a mixed bag for millennials,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist. Young adults born between 1982 and 2000 continue to face not only student loan burdens but also higher home prices that are growing faster than wages. Compared to other generations, millennials are narrowing the gap in the price of homes they’re purchasing. In September, millennials obtained mortgages on homes with a median purchase price of $237,000. Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1981) purchased homes with mortgages on a median price of $280,000, and baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) purchased at $258,000.
Housing Trend to Watch: The “Surban” – According to McKissock Learning and Superior School of Real Estate, suburban and urban areas are combining to create a new kind of living style known as the “surban.” Many in the real estate industry are predicting it to be one of the hottest housing trends to watch heading into the new year. A surban offers greater walkability to retail and restaurants from a home or apartment, but in a suburban area. It’s a blend of both suburbia and city life. Previously, urban planners dubbed these areas “mixed-use.” These spots tend to be anchored by highly rated schools, low crime rates, and shopping areas within walking distance. Surbans are dominated by several housing options, such as single-family residences, condos, and townhomes, explains Len Elder, an instructor at McKissock Learning and Superior School of Real Estate, in a recent article at RISMedia.
FHA to Increase Loan Limits in 2018 – The Federal Housing Administration announced that it will increase its loan limits in most areas of the country in 2018, following on the heels of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The FHFA had announced new limits for loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on November 28th. In high-cost areas of the country, the FHA’s ceiling on loan limits will rise from $636,150 to $679,650, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, the national mortgage limit for FHA-insured reverse mortgages, known as home equity conversion mortgages, will rise from $636,150 to $679,650.