Archive for December, 2014

The Housing Market is Back
December 23, 2014

Great News! The following article projects the moving forward market for both existing and new construction sales for 2015 and 2016. The upcoming years will be an excellent opportunity for those clients of ours who have been waiting for the market to bounce back.

Photo - The Housing Market is Back

As we finish 2014, it appears the real estate market is once again on solid footing and ready to advance forward over the next few years. The strength of the market can be viewed using two metrics: projected home values and projected house sales.
We recently reported that the Home Price Expectation Survey revealed future home values will continue to appreciate nicely. Today we want to look at projections on the number of home sales (existing and new construction) we will see over the next two years. We researched what the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA) are projecting for the housing industry going forward.
Here is what we found:
Projected Home Sales GraphAll three entities see the number of home sales increasing in both 2015 and 2016. This is further proof the housing market is back.

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Where Are Prices Headed Over the Next 5 Years?
December 19, 2014

Home-Price-Expectation-fbshare

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.  

The results of their latest survey

  • Home values will appreciate by 4.8% in 2014.
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 23.5% by 2019.
  • That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
  • Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 15.1% by 2019.

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

New York Times: Homeownership is Best Way To Build Wealth
December 16, 2014

Money House

The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creation.” The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment.

The article explains:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:

“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

Breaking News: Fannie and Freddie formally announce 3% Down Programs
December 10, 2014

Homeowners can now obtain a new home with only a 3% down payment amount by utilizing the new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 3% Down Payment Programs.

Saving

Yesterday, HousingWire reported that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally announced their 3% down options on home purchases. Fannie Mae’s plan will be effective December 13, 2014 while the Freddie Mac plan will be available March 23, 2015. The HW article quotes FHFA Director Mel Watt:

“The new lending guidelines released today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.”

This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment.

Will these programs create future challenges?

Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern:

“To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”

Here are the direct links to the guidelines for each program:

Fannie Mae 3% Down Program

Freddie Mac 3% Down Program

Remember, as with any new program, there will be some confusion as it is unveiled. Contact a mortgage professional for a deeper understanding. Don’t have a mortgage person yet? Contact your local real estate agent for a referral.