As prices rise, mortgage lenders are making it easier to buy a house.
Source: Los Angeles Times
Some prices are rising across the country and mortgage rates, though still historically low, are up since the presidential election.
Simply put, buying a home isn’t easy, especially in high-cost metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles County, where the median price of a home hit $569,000 in June.
But changes in the mortgage industry are afoot, with the goal of loosening some of the strict standards established after the subprime crisis — rules some blame for impeding sales.
“The reality has sunk in that there are buyers out there who will be able to buy homes and make the mortgage payments,” said William E. Brown, the president of the National Assn. of Realtors. The industry is “trying to give them more options to buy a house.”
Government-controlled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are paving the way by rolling out new programs to encourage home ownership.
The companies, with their congressional mandate to promote home ownership, don’t originate loans, but purchase mortgages from lenders to keep the market moving. And any changes they make in the underwriting standards for the loans they buy can have a big effect.
Student debts have seemed to affect homeownership rates, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
About 32% of those in their 20s owned a home in 2007, but that’s fallen drastically to 21% in 2016.
While the poor labor market and memories of the housing bubble certainly played a role, student debt can explain up to 35% of the decline, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released Thursday.
The results suggest that the rise in college costs will result in “weaker spending and wealth accumulation among young consumers in the years to come.”
It’s consistent with surveys that have asked those with student debt if it affected their decision to buy a home. Half of those under the age of 35 surveyed by the National Association of Realtors in 2016 said it had delayed their purchase. And 25% told Pew Research Center that student loans had made it harder to buy a home in 2011.
Falling inventory forces homebuyers to move at fastest pace ever
Source: Housing Wire
Housing inventory fell 8.9 percent from last year in the second quarter of 2017, sending homebuyers scurrying to beat the rising competition.
Housing inventory dropped for nine consecutive quarters, and is currently down a full 20 percent from inventory levels five years ago, a new report from Trulia shows.
And now, homebuyers are snatching up homes at the fastest pace since Trulia began tracking in 2012. While 57 percent of homes were still on the market after two months in 2012, today that number shrank down to 47 percent.
Competition is so fierce, in fact, that 33 percent of Americans who bought a home in the last year made an offer without even seeing the home in person, according to a survey from Redfin, an online real estate brokerage.
This is up from 19 percent of buyers who placed an offer on a home without seeing it first last year. Among millennials, even more placed offers without seeing the home in person — a full 41 percent.