Lumber Prices Are Dropping Fast – According to a newly released report from the National Association of Home Builders, lumber prices are falling quickly from record highs, and that may be happening at the right time for the new-home market. Home builder sentiment sank to its lowest level since August 2020, with builders blaming increasing material supply challenges for their outlook. Builders said that declining availability for softwood lumber and other building materials is pushing builder sentiment down in June, at a time when buyer demand is surging. Lumber prices have been increasing for months, prompting builders to raise their prices and, in some cases, to stop taking new orders due to the difficulty of pricing projects accurately during the course of construction. However, wood prices are coming down and they’re falling fast. For example, futures for July delivery of lumber were $1,009.90 per thousand board feet, a 41% drop from the record of $1,711.20 reached in early May, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Source and link to the full article: “Lumber Prices Are Falling Fast, Turning Hoarders Into Sellers,” The Wall Street Journal (June 15, 2021) [Log-in required.] and “Rising Material Challenges, Declining Builder Sentiment,” National Association of Home Builders (June 15, 2021)
Do Your Clients Check for Mistakes on Their Credit Report? – Based on a new study from Consumer Reports, more than a third of Americans say they have found at least one error in their credit report. The publication asked more than 5,800 study participants to get a copy of their credit report and check it for errors between February 1st and April 1st. A wide range of mistakes emerged. For example, 29% of respondents uncovered errors with their personal information, while 11% found mistakes regarding their account information, which could damage their credit score, Syed Ejaz, a Consumer Reports policy analyst, told CNBC. “Unfortunately, folks sometimes find out about these errors way too late when they are in the middle of getting a loan for a new house or car,” Ejaz said. “That is why it is really important to make sure you check your credit report and assess it for accuracy.”
Source and link to the full article: “More Than a Third of Volunteers in a Consumer Reports Study Found Errors in Their Credit Reports,” ConsumerReports.org (June 11, 2021) and “A Third of Americans Found Errors on Their Credit Reports. Here’s How to Fix Those Mistakes,” CNBC (June 11, 2021)
FHA Eases Requirements for Home Buyers With Student Loan Debt – According to the Federal Housing Administration’s recent announcement, it will be easing requirements for home buyers with student debt who are trying to qualify for a federally insured mortgage. As part of its ongoing observance of National Homeownership Month, the National Association of REALTORS® continues its push to address the persistent lack of available housing inventory in America. Last week NAR released a report illustrating just how dire the shortage is in this country, and its dramatic findings have gained the attention of real estate stakeholders and policymakers throughout the country. While NAR’s advocacy team works to find new, creative, and effective ways to increase housing construction and supply, the fight to expand access to the American dream of homeownership received a positive, critical boost recently. Last summer NAR joined a coalition of roughly 20 housing groups in calling on leadership at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the FHA to enact changes to its underwriting policies regarding the calculation of a borrower’s student loan debt. The issue of student loan debt has increased in significance and attention at NAR over recent years, as these burdens have had a significant, lasting impact on America’s next generation of home buyers. In fact, HUD has reported that more than 80% of FHA-insured mortgages are for first-time home buyers, while the FHA estimates that more than 45% of these borrowers also have student loan debt.
Source and link to the full article: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
More than 8 of 10 Homes Sold at or Above List Price – Based on a new survey of about 1,600 homeowners conducted by Homes.com, with a low supply of homes for sale, sellers are finding quicker sales and fetching higher offers. Eighty two percent of homeowners who sold in the last six months accepted offers at list price or above. What’s more, homes are selling fast too: A quarter of home sellers said they had five or fewer showings before finding a buyer. Twenty-six percent had between six and 10 showings before selling. Nearly 10% say they had no in-person showings at all and were still able to sell their home. Virtual tours have been increasing since the pandemic. Eighty-eight percent of the homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, according to National Association of REALTORS® data. Twenty-seven percent of sellers surveyed said they accepted offers $10,000 or even $20,000 higher than their requested sales price, according to the Homes.com seller survey.
Source and link to the full article: “How Are Sellers in the Current Market REALLY Doing?” Homes.com (June 8, 2021)