Mortgage Rates Hover Near All-Time Lows – Based on Freddie Mac reports, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched up recently to an average of 3.26%, but remains near its record low. “Mortgage rates stayed at or near record lows for the fifth straight week and homeowners are taking advantage with refinance activity remaining high,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
© REALTOR® MAGAZINE
Source and link to the full article: Freddie Mac
Homeowners Are Preparing to List After the Pandemic – According to a newly released survey from the National Association of REALTORS®, real estate professionals report that about 77% of potential sellers are preparing to sell their homes once stay-at-home orders from the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted. More than half of REALTORS® report their clients are taking on do-it-yourself home improvement projects in preparation, too. “After a pause, home sellers are gearing up to list their properties with the reopening of the economy,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Plenty of buyers also appear ready to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates and the stability that comes with these locked-in monthly payments into future years.” NAR conducted an Economic Pulse Flash Survey May 3-4 and asked about 2,500 members how the coronavirus has been affecting their real estate business. Home buyers are gradually re-emerging, but the pandemic has shifted some of their housing preferences, according to the results. Five percent of REALTORS® report that their clients have changed their neighborhood preferences from urban to suburban due to the pandemic. Also, one in eight REALTORS® surveyed say that buyers have changed at least one home feature that’s important to them since the COVID-19 pandemic. The most common features identified are home offices, yard space for exercising or growing food, and more space to accommodate their family.
Source and link to the full article: National Association of REALTORS®
More Than a Quarter of Properties Are Equity-Rich – Based on a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions, during the first quarter of this year, 26.5% of residential properties or 14.5 million were considered equity rich, meaning the owner had at least 50% equity in their home. “Homeowners’ balance sheets generally remained strong in the first quarter of 2020 across the U.S.,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “In the latest marker of the ongoing housing market boom, mortgage payers were four times as likely to have homes worth considerably more than what they owed on their loans than considerably less. But as with other rosy first-quarter reports, this one needs to be taken in context of the looming impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” Teta adds. Teta says it is possible that equity levels could drop over the coming months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the toll it’s having on the economy. So far, however, housing prices have stood firm during the pandemic.
Source and link to the full article: ATTOM Data Solutions
Homeownership Reached 8-Year High Before Coronavirus – According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the first quarter of this year, the homeownership rate reached its highest level since the third quarter of 2013. The percentage of people who own a home in the U.S. increased to 65.3%, a 1.1% uptick over the year prior. Homeownership has been on the upswing since 2016. While the pandemic that increased its presence in the U.S. in March and April may impact that movement going forward, many economists aren’t so sure that it will have that effect across all age groups. Indicators from the first quarter of this year show a strong housing market. Homeowner vacancy rates, the share of houses that are empty and for sale, dropped to the lowest level in more than 40 years, according to Census Bureau data.
Source and link to the full article: “Homeownership in the U.S. Reached a Nearly 8-Year High B.C. (Before Coronavirus),” HousingWire (April 28, 2020)