New-Home Sales Are 41.5% Higher Than a Year Ago – Industry Outlook

By December 7, 2020Industry Outlook

Many Americans Plan Move to Reduce Costs – According to LendingTree, nearly half of more than 2,000 Americans recently surveyed say they plan to move soon to reduce living expenses. Forty-six percent of respondents say they plan to relocate within the next year. The pandemic has motivated more Americans to consider a move. Sixty-four percent of remote workers say they are considering a move. Many consumers say the COVID-19 outbreak also has led them to change their living situation. “The economic crisis has adversely affected the finances of many Americans,” says Tendayi Kapfidze, LendingTree’s chief economist. “Even those who kept their jobs and added to savings, via stimulus and spending less due to staying home, are likely worried about the stability of their financial position.”

Source and link to the full article: “Nearly Half of Americans Are Considering a Move to Reduce Living Expenses,” LendingTree (Nov. 17, 2020)

FHFA Increases Conforming Loan Limits for 2021 – Based on the Federal Housing Finance Agency announcement recently, they will raise loan limits for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac due to rising home prices. In most of the country, the 2021 maximum conforming loan limit for single-family properties will be $548,250. That marks a 7.4% increase from last year’s limit of $510,400. The FHFA’s loan limits define the maximum amount that Fannie and Freddie can finance for a one-unit single-family home. In more expensive markets, such as California and New York, the new limit will be $822,375, up from $765,000 in 2000. “With home prices setting records in many U.S. markets, the National Association of REALTORS® is pleased to see the FHFA raise its national conforming loan limits for 2021,” NAR President Charlie Oppler said in a statement. “With an assurance that loan limits will align with home price growth, this decision will help ensure homeownership remains within reach for countless American families.”

Source and link to the full article: Federal Housing Finance Agency

New-Home Sales Are 41.5% Higher Than a Year Ago – According to the Commerce Department’s report, buyers are increasingly targeting new-home construction as they face a low inventory of existing homes. New-home sales in October are 41.5% higher than they were a year ago. “Buyer traffic remained strong in October even as the country’s attention was focused on the elections and policy issues going into 2021,” says Chuck Fowke, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders. “Mortgage rates remain low and builder confidence is at an all-time high indicating that demand remains steady and sales will remain solid.” Sales of newly built single-family homes in October were down only 0.3% compared to September’s revised numbers. But even with the slight monthly decline, new-home sales remain significantly elevated this year. According to the NAHB’s data, “the gap between construction and sales was at an all-time high in early fall,” says Robert Dietz, the NAHB’s chief economist. “Thus, the NAHB forecast contains an acceleration in single-family starts and some slowing of the pace of growth for new homes sales to allow a catch up. Demand remains strong as home buyers seek out lower density markets as part of the suburban shift.”

Source and link to the full article: National Association of Home Builders

Record Number of Homeowners Stand to Lower Mortgage Payments – Based on new research from Black Knight, many homeowners are in a position to save hundreds of dollars a month as mortgage rates dip to record lows. A record number of homeowners are eligible to refinance into a lower mortgage rate, saving an average of $309 per month. About 19.4 million homeowners are good candidates to refinance, the report notes. Black Knight considers the 19.4 million refinance-eligible homeowners to be “high-quality” candidates, which means they hold an existing 30-year loan with at least 20% equity in their homes and a credit score of 720 or higher. Of those, more than 4.5 million borrowers could shave at least $400 a month off their existing mortgage bill, and 2.7 million could save more than $500 per month at the current low rates, Black Knight notes.

Source and link to the full article: “A Record 19.4 Million Homeowners Can Save Big on a Mortgage Refinance, as Rates Hit Another New Low,” CNBC (Nov. 25, 2020)

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