3 in 10 Americans Looking to Buy

More potential home buyers are poised to enter the market this year, according a national survey by Chase, “Insights: From the Mind of the Homebuyer.” Three in 10 potential buyers say they plan to purchase a home in the next 18 months, with 32 percent of respondents citing low interest rates and 20 percent attributing rising rental costs as reasons for getting off the sidelines.

The survey also found that 62 percent of interested buyers believe that now is a better time to purchase a home compared to last year. And 20 percent of buyers surveyed say they want to upgrade from their current home.

But the survey did find concerns about affordability and competition. Nearly 70 percent of prospective home buyers say they worry that they missed the chance to buy at the best time because of rising home prices. Fifty-six percent say they are concerned about finding a home that fits within their budget and that’s located in a quality neighborhood. Bidding wars are also a concern, with three out of four buyers worrying they will be outbid by others.

“Buyers are clearly concerned about housing inventory and rising prices, especially during the competitive spring buying season,” says Cecelia Barbieri, senior vice president of marketing for Chase Mortgage Banking.  “But the research shows that interested buyers are optimistic and ready to act on their goals. In fact, 73 percent said they’d give up things like eating out and taking vacations in order to buy their dream home.”

Quick stats from the survey:

  • 43 percent of potential home buyers feel that getting a mortgage will be easier this year.
  • 49 percent of women surveyed say they are more conservative than their partner and don’t want to go beyond their agreed-upon budget, while 39 percent of men say they are less conservative than their partner and are willing to push their budget limit to get the home they want.
  • Only one in four interested buyers correctly answered a series of questions about home buying, including how annual percentage rates work, down payments, and lenders.

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Get ready: almost a million former home owners who…!!

Get ready: almost a million former home owners who underwent a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or short sale have already purchased a home again, and an additional 1.5 million are likely to become eligible to buy over the next few years:

Former home owners who lost their home to a foreclosure or a short sale are re-entering the housing market. Some housing analysts believe they could provide a big boost in housing demand for years to come.

Almost a million former home owners who underwent a foreclosure, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, or short sale between 2006 and 2014 have already purchased a home again, according to new research from the National Association of REALTORS®. An additional 1.5 million are likely to become eligible to buy over the next few years.

California, Florida, and Arizona are expected to see the largest number of return buyers within the next decade, according to NAR’s research.

However, damaged credit profiles will likely prevent millions more of the nearly 9.3 million home owners who lost their home to foreclosure or short sale between 2006 and 2014 to re-enter the housing market in the coming decade, NAR finds.

For many former home owners, the impact of a distressed sale on their credit score has limited their ability to return to the housing market.

“The extended time needed to repair credit scores or save for a down payment, combined with other overlapping post-distress factors on credit quality such as missed auto loan or credit card payments, will limit the ability for many to buy in the current credit environment,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

The use of new credit scoring models – such as Vantage Score 3.0 and FICO 9 – may help improve the ability of some of these buyers to become home owners again — particularly models that now take into account on-time rental and utility payments.

“The deep wounds inflicted on the housing market during the downturn are finally beginning to heal as distressed sales continue to decline and home prices in some parts of the country have bounced back to their near-peak levels,” Yun says. “Borrowers with restored credit will likely have the ability and desire to own again, encouraged by the long-term benefits homeownership provides in a stronger economy and more stable job market.”

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Fannie Offers Closing Cost Aid to First-Timers

Read this article and then call or text me at 732.670.6484 to help with your first time home purchase!

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae announced a new program that allows first-time home buyers of its properties to receive up to 3 percent of the purchase price in closing cost assistance. On a $150,000 priced home, for example, buyers could receive up to $4,500 in closing cost savings.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath Ready Buyer Program requires eligible buyers to complete an online home buyer education course as well as purchase a HomePath property – the branding that Fannie Mae uses for the foreclosed properties it owns.

“Purchasing your first home can be an overwhelming process,” says Jay Ryan, vice president of REO Sales at Fannie Mae. “We developed the HomePath Ready Buyer program to provide first-time home buyers with the knowledge to make informed decisions as they navigate the complexities of the home buying process. Closing cost assistance provides a cushion many first-time buyers need to more confidently face the financial responsibilities of home ownership.”

The education course buyers are required to take covers the responsibilities of owning a home and the home buying process. The course includes nine, 30-minute sessions and is offered exclusively online.

To be eligible for the program, buyers must:

  • Complete the online HomePath Ready Buyer training course on www.homepath.com and receive the Certificate of Completion.
  • Must be a first-time homebuyer (who has not owned a property in the past three years) and who has plans to reside in the property as the primary residence. Auction, pool and investor sales are not eligible.
  • Make their request for closing cost assistance at the initial offer, submitted on or after April 14, 2015.

Visit the Fannie Mae website for additional information about the HomePath Ready Buyer Program.

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Home Prices Heat Up for Spring

Home prices are on the move this spring, as many markets inch closer to prices they Tulip Househaven’t reached since the peak during the housing boom. Twenty-six states as well as the District of Columbia were at or within 10 percent of their peak home prices, according to the February 2015 CoreLogic Home Price Index, which has measured home prices dating back since January 1976.

Six states reached new price highs in January, including:

  • Colorado: +9.8%
  • New York: +8.2%
  • North Dakota: +7.7%
  • Texas: +8.5%
  • Wyoming: +8.4%
  • Oklahoma: +5.2%

NAR’s Existing-Home Sales Report: Home Prices Surge to Fastest Pace in Year

Nationwide, CoreLogic’s home price index, including distressed sales, showed home prices rose 5.6 percent in February year-over-year. That marks three years of consecutive year-over-year increases in home prices.

“This is the hottest home price appreciation prior to the spring selling season in nine years,” says Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic.

If interest rates continue to remain low and consumer confidence stays strong, CoreLogic housing analysts predict that home prices will rise an additional 5 percent over the next 12 months.

“Since the second half of 2014, the dwindling supply of affordable inventory has led to stabilization in home price growth with a particular uptick in low-end home price growth over the last few months,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

From February 2014 to February 2015, low-end home prices climbed by 9.3 percent compared to 4.8 percent for high-end home prices — a gap that is three times the average historical difference, according to CoreLogic’s housing data.

The following five states posted the highest home price appreciation (including distressed sales) year-over-year, according to CoreLogic’s latest index:

  • Colorado: +9.8%
  • South Carolina: +9.3%
  • Michigan: +8.5%
  • Texas: +8.5%
  • Wyoming: +8.4%
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Home Prices Over 30 Years [INFOGRAPHIC]


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NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

NAR’s Existing Home Sales Report [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Both Home Prices and Affordability on the Rise

The spring market will likely be a hotter one this year, as low interest rates and a healthier economy lure more home buyers to the marketplace.

“Interest rates below 4 percent, rising rents, and healthier local job markets are convincing more consumers to consider home ownership,” Chris Polychron, National Association of REALTORS® president, said in a recent news release showing fourth-quarter 2014 home prices moving up.

An increase in the national family median income (to $65,782) mixed with low interest rates slightly improved affordability in the fourth quarter compared to the previous quarter, NAR reports. Affordability improved despite the national median single-family home price moving up to $208,700 in the fourth quarter, an increase of 6 percent year-over-year.

“Low interest rates helped preserve affordability last quarter, but it’ll take stronger income gains and more housing supply to help meet the pent-up demand for buying,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

To purchase a single-family home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would need an income of $45,863. A 10 percent down payment would require an income of $43,449, and $38,621 would be needed for a 20 percent down payment.

The following were the five lowest-cost housing markets in the fourth quarter:

  1. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio: $78,000
  2. Rockford, Ill.: $86,800
  3. Toledo, Ohio: $87,100
  4. Decatur, Ill.: $90,400
  5. Cumberland, Md.: $90,500


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