Record-High Down Payments See Moderation

Buyers are paying record-high down payments thanks to the combination of soaring prices and high competition, but they may see a reprieve soon, according to new data from Redfin. The typical U.S. mortgage borrower in July put down $62,500, up 13.6% YOY and nearly twice the growth in home sales prices. It’s also nearly double the median $32,917 down payment from July 2019, before the pandemic. Down payments have fallen slightly since peaking at $66,000 in May and June, due in part to the cooling market. Just under 59% of buyers who used a mortgage had a 10%-plus down payment, up from 57.5% a year ago but down from a peak of 60.5% in May. “Homebuyers don’t need to make…

CrossCountry Mortgage Expands Offerings For Hispanic Homebuyers

CrossCountry Mortgage is investing in the future of Hispanic homeownership through a new Spanish mortgage application and a focused Hispanic website. Leaders at the company announced their intentions on Tuesday. CCM is one of America’s largest retail mortgage lenders and has been included nine times on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private businesses.  The company is also a partner of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a trade association that works towards economic mobility for Hispanics, including homeownership. “Our support for the Hispanic community extends well past translated materials. This is personal,”  says CCM Chief Brand Officer Laura Soave.  “We have hundreds of Spanish-speaking loan officers with deep roots in the community. We’re partnering with organizations…

Buyers And Sellers Both Make Concessions As Market Rebalances

Housing inventory is increasing as mortgage rates are locking some buyers out of the market, but re-balancing comes with sacrifices for both buyers and sellers. Redfin reported that there were 2.9 months of home supply during the four weeks ending September 11. This is up from 1 month a year ago and the highest level since June 2020. Less than four months’ supply is typically considered a seller’s market, while four to six is a balanced market and six or more is a buyer’s market. The pandemic seller’s market peaked at a 1.8 months supply. In May, supply sat at 2 months, meaning the surge to 2.9 in September has happened quickly. Interest rates have skyrocketed since the beginning of…

Who Do 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages Work For?

Faced with inflation pressure and rising rates, many borrowers are seeking lower monthly mortgage payments in the form of ARMs or longer terms. But lower monthly payments come with a price. LendingTree analyzed 380,000 loans to determine how much more borrowers with 30-year loans pay than those with 15-year loans. They found that borrowers with 15-year fixed rate mortgages saved an average of $215,000 in interest across the loan’s lifetime. Of course, 15-year loans also required borrowers to pay an average of $572 more a month in order to rack up those savings. One reason shorter-term loans save borrowers so much money is that their interest rates are typically lower. The 30-year fixed rate averaged 5.89% last week, while the…

July Pending Home Sales Slip Slightly, Buoyed By Moderating Interest Rates

Following moderating mortgage rates, pending home sales slipped only slightly in July, down 1% from June. The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index posted a reading of 89.8 last month. A reading of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Pending sales were down 19.9% YOY, slipping from last month’s 20% YOY reading. It was the second consecutive month of decline and the eighth in the last nine months. “In terms of the current housing cycle, we may be at or close to the bottom in contract signings. This month’s very modest decline reflects the recent retreat in mortgage rates. Inventories are growing for homes in the upper price ranges, but limited supply at…

Home Sales Fall Nearly 20% YOY

Buyers are still fleeing the market in droves despite signs of cooling, driven out by rising mortgage rates and economic uncertainty. Home sales fell by 19.3% YOY in July, hitting their lowest level since the pandemic started, Redfin reported. It’s the biggest annual decline in U.S. home sales in more than a year. Sales also fell 4.1% from June. Redfin noted that while affordability challenges pushed some buyers out, others were concerned about the potential for home-value declines. Home price appreciation rose at its slowest pace since June 2020, up only 7.7%, and talk of price correction is everywhere. Fewer homeowners put their homes on the market, too. New listings fell 13.5% YOY, the biggest decline in more than a…

Rates Fall To 5.13%

Mortgage rates dropped to an average 5.13% last week from 5.22% the week prior, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.13%, following a rollercoaster couple of weeks that saw both a 30-point rate decrease and a 20-point increase. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.86%. “Inflation appears to be beyond its peak, which has stopped the rapid increase in mortgage rates that the housing market was experiencing earlier this year,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “The market continues to absorb the cumulative impact of the large price and rate increases that led to a plunge in affordability. As a result, over the rest…

Competition For Low-Priced Homes Heats Up

In a reversal of a pandemic trend, competition for low-priced homes has surpassed that for mid- and high-priced homes, according to a new Zillow analysis. July saw inventory rise 11% month-over-month and  19.3% YOY in the most expensive third of the housing market, while the middle third also saw a 12.7% MOM and 17.3% YOY increase. Inventory grew by only 11.2% MOM and 10.4% YOY in the lowest-priced tier. A year ago, the inventory of the lowest-priced homes was growing twice as fast as expensive homes, and the upper tiers saw the strongest competition, the reverse of this month’s trend. “Buyers are stretched thin when it comes to affordability, and they are flocking to the lowest-priced homes on the market…

Housing Market Cooling To Feb 2020 Levels

Zonda’s New Home Pending Sales Index for June 2022 finds the housing market cooling to levels seen in February 2020. The New Home PSI posted a reading of 125.5 for June, down 7.5% YOY and 27.9% below cycle highs. It measures new home orders and average sales rate per community. New home sales dropped month-over-month by 0.2%, the fifth straight month of declines. The new home orders component fell 10.5% YOY, while the average sales rate per community component fell 8.2% YOY. “Home sellers and home buyers are adjusting to a new reality in the housing market,” said Ali Wolf, Zonda’s chief economist.  “Home sellers are quickly understanding the days of frenzied demand are behind us and it takes an…

Inventory Rebounded In June

Housing inventory rebounded in June, rising 2% across the country, according to a new report from Redfin. This is the first annual inventory increase since July 2019. Rising mortgage rates, home price appreciation, and a looming recession have pushed some potential homebuyers to the sidelines. Home sales were down almost 16% YOY, the largest drop since May 2020. “The country’s economic woes have already cooled the housing market, and they’re likely to continue dampening demand,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  “The Fed has signaled it may increase interest rates further to combat stubbornly high inflation, which could harm consumer confidence, and lower stock prices mean fewer prospective homebuyers can afford a down payment.” Housing affordability is at its lowest…