Mortgage Rates Continue to Offer Sweet Treat to Buyers – Based on Freddie Mac reports, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.47% this week, remaining an alluring incentive for buyers who want to lock in some of the lowest borrowing rates in years. “With mortgage rates hovering near a five-decade low, refinance application activity is once again surging, rising to the highest level in seven years,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This surge, coupled with strong purchase activity, means that total mortgage demand remains robust, reflective of a solid economic backdrop, and a very low mortgage rate environment.”
Source and link to the full article: Freddie Mac
Home Price Hikes Widen Sellers’ Advantage – According to the National Association of REALTORS® latest quarterly report, most metro areas saw home prices rise in Q4 of 2019 as housing inventories remained constrained and buyer demand stayed high. Median single-family home prices rose annually in 94% of the markets NAR tracked in the fourth quarter, or 170 of 180 metro areas. The national median existing single-family home price was $274,900, a 6.6% increase from the fourth quarter of 2018, NAR reported. “It is challenging especially for those potential buyers, where we have a good economy, low interest rates, and a soaring stock market, yet are finding very few homes available for sale,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “We saw prices increase during every quarter of 2019 above wage growth.”
Source and link to the full article: National Association of REALTORS®
Millennials Falling Behind in Housing May Cause Lower Lifetime Wealth – Based on data from the Federal Reserve, when baby boomers reached the median age of 35 in 1990, they owned nearly one-third of U.S. homes by value. In 2019, the millennial generation, now at the median age of 31, owns just 4%. As millennials enter more prime buying years, that figure is expected to rise by the time their median age reaches 35. But housing analysts warn that millennials aren’t likely to reach 30% of the market share or even 20%, like the smaller Generation X was able to do at that age. “We’re looking at a generation that will have lower lifetime wealth” as a result, Jenny Schuetz, a housing policy expert at the Brookings Institution, told The Washington Post. “That’s bad news for the economy overall, not just millennials.” Homeownership has long been a traditional builder of wealth to the middle class, she adds. Many millennials may be getting priced out of housing markets. The median home price is far beyond the typical salary. Plus, millennials carry a large amount of debt, which is preventing them from saving for a home. Households headed by someone younger than 35 saw debt rise from $21,000 in 1989 to $39,000 in 2016 (adjusted for inflation). Student loan debt has more than doubled, 17% to 45% in that time frame. Further, the median debt more than tripled, $5,600 to $18,500.
Source and link to the full article: “Millennials’ Share of the U.S. Housing Market: Small and Shrinking,” The Washington Post (Jan. 20, 2020)
Nearly Half of Homeowners to Move This Decade – According to a new study released by LendingTree, forty-five percent of homeowners have plans to move at some point within this decade. Sixteen percent of survey respondents say they plan on moving to a new house in their current city; about 15% intend to move to a new city in their state; and 15% plan to relocate to a new state. The key motivators to move over the next few years, respondents say, include the desire to live in an area with a lower cost of living (30%); an area with better job prospects (28%); and to be closer to their children (21%). The motivations for moving differ from generation to generation. For example, millennials are more likely to move for a larger house, while baby boomers are motivated to retire in a new area.
Source and link to the full article: “Nearly Half of Homeowners Are Moving to a New Home in the 2020’s,” LendingTree (Feb. 10, 2020)