Renting Population Drops as Prices Bump Up –According to the Annual Rent Report from ABODO, an apartment listing service, the renter population decreased for the first time since 2004. Still, renters continue to outpace owners, according to the report. There are about 43 million renters in the U.S., which is more than a third of U.S. households, according to a report from Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Despite the decrease in renters in 2017, landlords continue to raise rent prices. The national median rent for a one-bedroom rose 2.4 percent in 2017 to $1,040. Rents for two-bedroom apartments rose 3 percent from January to December 2017 to $1,252.
Homes Selling Faster Than Ever –The National Association of REALTORS® reported the time homes spent on the market hit an all-time low in 2017 at just three weeks. A low inventory of homes for sale mixed with strong buyer demand has helped to keep market times low from 2014 to 2017. During the height of the housing boom from 2001 to 2005, homes sold within a month of being listed. But as the housing market began to slow in 2006, the median time jumped to six weeks, and then to 10 weeks by 2009. Tight inventories and a lack of construction of homes has helped to keep homes selling faster in recent years, NAR notes.
2018 Mortgage Rates to Surpass 4.5% – According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage rates will go up, but will stay below 5 percent. The recent tax bill could cause the Federal Reserve’s rate increases to come faster and mortgage rates are expected to go up three or four times in 2018. “The Federal Reserve has begun reducing its holdings of Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities, and this will put additional, modest upward pressure on mortgage rates,” said the MBA’s Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. “We expect that the 10-year Treasury rate will stay below 3 percent through the end of 2018, and 30-year mortgage rates will stay below 5 percent.” According to the MBA’s predictions, rates will increase to 4.6 percent in 2018, 5 percent in 2019, and 5.3 percent in 2020.
How Much Buyers Put Down on Their Home – Based on the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the majority of buyers who obtained a mortgage last year made a down payment of less than 20 percent. The median down payment in 2017 was 10 percent, according to the report. The bulk of buyers’ down payments came from their personal savings, but a fraction also came from the sales proceeds of a previous residence or assistance from family or friends. Among first-time buyers, 61 percent made an average down payment of zero percent to 6 percent, according to the November 2017 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey.