Nearly 40% Of Renters Believe They’ll Never Own A Home

The number of renters who believe they’ll never afford a home has skyrocketed in the last year as rates rose and stock shortages lifted home prices out of their late-2023 spiral. A recent Redfin survey found that close to 38% of renters believe they are unlikely to become homeowners, up from 27% at the same time last year. Lack of affordability is the most cited reason for their pessimism, with almost half of respondents saying houses are simply too expensive. Trouble saving for down payments (35%), inability to afford mortgage payments (33%) and high mortgage rates (32%) accounted for the rest. Just 14% said they don’t want to own a home. The combination of price appreciation and near-7% rates has…

Analysts Anticipate A “Quieter” Spring Buying Season

Inventory and rate pressures are creating conditions for a “quieter” spring homebuying season. That’s according to HouseCanary’s March Market Pulse Report, which found that while inventory is up 12.6% YOY, total stock remains historically low. In March, net new listings slipped 4.4% YOY. For the entire last 52 weeks, net new listings were down 12.4%. HouseCanary says the decrease in net new listings was driven by a 2.5% drop in new listing volume, plus a 7% increase in removals compared to March 2023. “Over the past month, net new listings and contract volumes have continued to trend at multi-year seasonal lows. The interest rate shock is the biggest factor responsible for sustaining inventory scarcity,” said Jeremy Sicklick, Co-Founder and CEO…

Buyers Put Down More To Lower Monthly Costs

With home prices soaring out of reach and rates hot, Americans are doing whatever they can to lower their monthly payments, according to a series of new reports from Redfin. The typical monthly housing payment hit a record high of $2,721 in the four weeks ending March 24, up 10% YOY. A combination of prices and rates is keeping homeownership unaffordable for the average family, which earns $30,000 less per year than necessary to comfortably purchase a house.  First-time buyers have it even worse thanks to boiling competition for low-priced homes. To afford a starter home, they need to earn almost twice as much as before the pandemic. With these pressures on Americans’ wallets, buyers are looking for other ways…

Rates Back Up To Near 7%

Rates took a turn for the worse last week, rising back to nearly 7%, as economic data soured analysts’ moods on easing rates. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.87%, up from the week prior’s 6.74%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.42%. This breaks a two-week streak of declines. Mortgage applications slipped this week as rate-sensitive Americans backed away from the market.  The 15-year fixed rate also rose from 6.16% to 6.21%. A year ago, it averaged 5.68%. The Central Bank outlined cuts to come in 2024 but held the benchmark rate steady during their March meeting. Inflation has eased over the past year but committee members do not…

The Racial Homeownership Gap Is Worst For Black Millennials

While the racial homeownership gap exists in every generation, Black Millennials have it worse off than any other age group. That’s according to a new analysis from Redfin, which found that just one-third of Black Millennials own their home (33%), compared to 65% of white Millennials, the largest divide of any generation. By comparison, 52% of Black Gen Xers own their home, compared to 80% of white Gen Xers. Six in ten Black Boomers own their home, while 85% of white Boomers do. White and Black adult Gen Zers own their homes at rates around 30% and 16%, respectively – not as bad as the Millennial divide, but still significant. Black Americans face challenges ranging from the impact of racist…

Pending Home Sales Fell Off In January

Pending home sales contracted in January as rate-sensitive buyers skipped out despite increasing inventory. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index fell by 4.9% month-over-month to a reading of 74.3 in January. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, they were down 8.8%. “The job market is solid, and the country’s total wealth reached a record high due to stock market and home price gains,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “This combination of economic conditions is favorable for home buying. However, consumers are showing extra sensitivity to changes in mortgage rates in the current cycle, and that’s impacting home sales.” All four U.S. regions saw declines in year-over-year sales, while month-over-month sales actually…

Newrez Launches Home Rewards Program

Newrez announced a new incentive program offering homebuyers and sellers closing cost kickbacks and other white-glove services. Created with the help of Newzip, a tech-enabled real estate platform, Newrez Home Rewards gives homebuyers access to an advisor, moving assistance, and closing cost credits up to 0.5%. Those who are also selling a home can get up to 1% in credits. Buyers benefit both from savings and Newrez’s “unique concierge experience,” the company said. “In delivering a closing cost credit and a home concierge program through the Newzip partnership, we are furthering our commitment to our customers,” said Baron Silverstein, Newrez president. “Our holistic approach brings value to our clients not just when they buy their home but through the lifecycle…

Rates Jump After Dour Inflation Data

Tough inflation data led to mortgage rates increasing for a second straight week. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.77%, up from the week prior’s 6.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.32%. The 15-year fixed jumped to 6.12% from 5.90%. A year ago, it averaged 5.51%. “On the heels of consumer prices rising more than expected, mortgage rates increased this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The economy has been performing well so far this year and rates may stay higher for longer, potentially slowing the spring homebuying season. According to our data, mortgage applications to buy a home so far in 2024 are down in more…

Rocket Homes Search App Now On Apple Vision Pro

Tech-minded buyers can tour homes in virtual reality on the Rocket Homes app, now available on Apple Vision Pro. The app features a home search page and map of nearby listings. The listings fill the user’s entire field of vision and give a realistic sense of the location and layout of the home, including a “Look Around” option that lets them see the neighborhood and exterior. Listings that include 3D tours allow potential buyers to tour inside as well, seeing each room in detail. “At Rocket Homes, we know there are millions of people who are waiting for the right moment to buy a home. We also know that there are many ways to find and fall in love with…

Americans Touring Homes But Not Yet Buying

Potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork and touring homes, but that activity has yet to turn into a sales surge. Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index, which measures requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents, increased by 6% in the week ending January 28. Buyers are touring homes as rates hover in the mid-6’s, an exciting moment of stability in the wake of a rollercoaster year. Some are worried that rates will swing back up– or that ongoing home price appreciation will push their dream home out of reach regardless.  But the increase in touring has yet to translate into actual home sales. Purchase applications have actually declined, and Redfin says pending sales saw a huge drop.…