Housing Affordability Dropped In 77% Of US Counties

America’s home affordability problem was bad in 2020, before COVID-19 hit. In 2021, it got even worse. In Q4 2021, median-priced single-family homes were less affordable in 77% of U.S. counties analyzed by ATTOM Data Solutions, a 13-year high, the company found. In 440 out of the 575 counties analyzed, the gap between incomes and affordable home prices was larger than their historical averages. This is a dramatic increase from Q4 2020 when only 39% of counties were less affordable than in the past. “The average wage earner can still afford the typical home across the United States, but the financial comfort zone continues shrinking as home prices keep soaring and mortgage rates tick upward,” said Todd Teta, chief product…

Rate/Term Refinances Reach Lowest Point Since February 2020

Rate lock volume fell 4.7% month-over-month in November, Black Knight’s latest Originations Market Monitor report found. It is the third straight month of overall declines. The drop was driven by rate/term refinance originations, which fell 9.4% from October and almost 65% year-over-year (YOY), its lowest level since February 2020. Rate/term refinance dropped in eight out of eleven months in 2021. Locks on purchase and cash-out refinance fell 3.9% and 2.5% from October, respectively. However, they are still higher than 2020, with purchase locks up 13% YOY and cash-outs up 36% YOY. “While 30-year rates ended November relatively flat from where they were at the start of the month, there was some volatility in rate offerings throughout the month,” said Black…

Millennials At Risk Of Becoming House-Rich, Cash-Poor

Millennials spend more of their monthly income on homeownership costs than other generations and are at the greatest risk of becoming house-rich and cash-poor, according to a new study from Hometap. The study, a survey of 1,000 US homeowners, found that 83% of millennials carry at least some debt, compared to 72% of baby boomers.  Of everyone surveyed, 47% were negatively impacted by the pandemic, and 77% carried some debt. More than a quarter of all homeowners say they plan to tighten their budgets until their debts are paid. But as homeownership costs rise, paying down the debts may become increasingly difficult. Hometap found that 52% of homeowners spend at least 16% of their monthly income on mortgages, and 46%…

Morning Roundup (11/30/2021)– Your Company’s Favorite Charity Could Receive $1,000!

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, November 30. The W.H.O called the Omicron variant a “very high” risk to global health. Jack Dorsey stepped down as Twitter’s chief executive. Barbados swore in its first president, officially becoming a republic and cutting ties with England. And in mortgage and housing news… Your Company’s Favorite Charity Could Receive $1,000: Across the country this December, mortgage professionals will be stepping up to help people in need, support community charities, and generally help make the season a little brighter. The Mortgage Note wants to celebrate those efforts by highlighting them in an upcoming edition of this newsletter. One office’s favorite charity will receive a $1,000 donation from The Morgage Note! Details here. SFRhub Teams Up With…

Economist: Build Back Better Will Put Downward Pressure on Housing Prices

By SCOTT KIMBLER The House version of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan includes about $170 billion for affordable housing and people are asking what that means. Biden’s spending plan includes $65 billion to preserve and rebuild public housing and another $15 billion to help build or preserve more than 150,000 rental properties for lower-income families. It’s part of the administration’s goal to build or preserve 1 million affordable homes. The bill is almost certain to change drastically in the U.S. Senate. But if the housing policies remain unchanged, what would this spending splurge mean for the overall housing market, at a time when prices are high and supply is low? The Mortgage Note spoke with Tom Smith, Ph.D. of…

Morning Roundup (11/22/2021)– Existing-Home Sales Up, Investors Sue Zillow

Good Morning! Today is Monday, November 11. Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted on all charges. An SUV that drove into a Wisconsin holiday parade killed at least five people and wounded 40. Two Fox News contributors resigned in protest of a Tucker Carlson documentary featuring debunked conspiracy theories. And in mortgage and housing news… Existing Home Sales: Existing-home sales rose in October for the second month straight, though sales year-over-year are down 5.8%. Zillow Lawsuit: Investors are suing Zillow, saying they made misleading statements about the financial security of Zillow Offers. The law firm helming the claim has put out a call for investors who lost big to join in. Auctions This Week: The Treasury Department is holding auctions for two-,…

CoreLogic: Double-Digit Rent Growth In September

Strong demand and the labor market are fueling single-family rent price increases which remain at record highs. September data from CoreLogic’s Single-Family Rent Index shows rents increased 10.2% year-over-year (YOY), compared to a 2.6% YOY increase in September 2020. Rents increased across all four tiers of rental prices used by CoreLogic. Lower-priced rentals (less than 75% of the regional median) saw an increase of 8.3% YOY, while rents in the lower-middle price range (75%-100% of the regional median) rose 9.3% YOY, both more than doubling their growth from the same time in 2020. Rents for higher-priced properties broke 10%, with higher-middle priced (100%-125%) rents climbing 10.5%, compared to 2.4% in September 2020. Higher-priced rentals (125% or more of the regional…

Home Prices Up 20% YOY

Home prices rose 5.3% last quarter and nearly 20% year-over-year (YOY), according to Clear Capital’s October 2021 Home Data Index. Western states led price growth once again, with prices rising 24.3% YOY. Phoenix continued to dominate with a 57% price increase, though the report noted that “COVID-related noise” may have inflated that figure. However, significant increases were confirmed by a 31% rise in price-per-square-foot. Las Vegas price hikes were close behind, up 26%, followed by Portland, up 21%. The South followed up the West in appreciation, showing price growth of 20.5% YOY. Tampa topped its list at 31%, followed by Raleigh and Orlando, both experiencing 25% increases. The Northeast saw prices up by 16.7%. Providence and Hartford saw the largest…

Home Prices Up 18.5% Over Last Year

House prices rose 1% in August and are now 18.5% higher than a year ago, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index (FHFA HPI). “Annual house price gains remained extremely high in August but the pace of month-over-month gains continues to decelerate,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.  “This does not mean house prices are at risk of declining—far from it, they continue to climb at a double-digit pace in all regions—but it does suggest we may have seen the peak in annual gains for the time being.” At the same time, First American released its Real House Price Index (RHPI), which showed similar results: Real house prices rose…

Mortgage Payments Up $50 Over The Last Six Weeks As Median Asking Price Hits Record

Monthly mortgage payments for the average homebuyer rose $50 over the last six weeks. Redfin’s Housing Market Update reported that, despite concerns about affordability and price, homes are still selling fast, with about half being sold within two weeks. The $50 increase is a result of prices increasing 12% year-over-year. Homes are on average selling about 1% above asking price, though listings with price drops are increasing slightly. The number of homes sold above list price was up 13% year-over-year to 47%, but the smallest share since April. “Mortgage rates and asking prices are both on the rise, which translates to higher housing costs,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  “For now, mortgage rates are still hovering near 3%, and…