Mortgage Rates Increase After Fed Hike –Based on the Federal Reserve’s announcement recently, mortgage rates surged t otheir highest averages since 2011. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage jumped to 4.72 percent, up from 4.65 percent last week. “The robust economy, rising Treasury yields, and the anticipation of more short-term rate hikes caused mortgage rates to move up,” says Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater. “Even with these higher borrowing costs, it’s encouraging to see that prospective buyers appear to be having a little more success. With inventory constraints and home prices starting to ease, purchase applications have now trended higher on an annual basis for six straight weeks.”
Bill Aims to Help More People Break Into Homeownership –According to the proposed American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2018, the purpose is to make homes more affordable for low-income and middle-class Americans. The bill calls for construction of new homes and more renovations of existing ones by removing some red tape for builders on regulatory costs and offering more incentives for them to build more affordable homes. For example, the bill proposes giving local governments incentives to remove or ease some zoning and land use regulations that have stood in the way of increasing building in recent years. The legislation also calls for providing assistance to low-income renters and home buyers, such as by offering greater down payment assistance to low-income, minority communities. The bill calls for $2 billion to be earmarked to help homeowners who are still underwater on their mortgages, even a decade after the financial crisis.
Homeowners Say They’re Finally Ready to Sell –Based on new findings from the National Association of REALTORS®’ second quarter Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey, seventy-seven percent of consumers say they believe now is a good time to sell a house. Fifty-three percent of survey respondents say they believe home prices will continue to increase in their communities over the next six months. “Though the vast majority of consumers believe home prices will continue to increase or hold steady, they understand the days of easy, fast gains could be coming to an end,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Therefore, more are indicating that it is a good time to sell, which is a healthy shift in the market.” Consumers are also upbeat about the direction of the economy, which may be making them feel wealthier and more willing to sell.
Fall Brings Price Drops for a Quarter of Homes –According to a new report by Redfin, the fall season is cooling down more than the temperature outside; it’s also putting a much-needed chill on hot housing markets, where home prices have become unaffordable to the average buyer. More than one in four home sellers dropped their asking price last month. With inventory starting to inch up, sellers are facing stiffer competition in the market and adjusting their price expectations, according to the report. “After years of strong price growth and intense competition for homes, buyers are taking advantage of the market’s easing pressure by being selective about which homes to make an offer on and how high to bid,” says Redfin Senior Economist Taylor Marr.