Current Homeowners Optimistic About Buying A New Home In 2024

High rates and soaring prices are preventing many Americans from achieving the dream of homeownership, but current homeowners are optimistic about the housing market. TD Bank surveyed nearly 2,000 homeowners across the nation and found that a majority (67%) think buying a home is still attainable, while 38% plan to buy a new house in the next year. Millennial and Gen Z homeowners were the most optimistic about homebuying, regardless of the ongoing affordability crisis, lagging existing and new home sales, and 7% rates. “Although many of the challenges impacting homeownership are leaving some homeowners weary about the market, it’s great to see borrowers, especially younger generations, remaining steadfast in navigating the market to find a home that works for…

Zoomers, Millennials Prefer Suburbs To Urban Living

Urban living is taking a back seat to spacious suburbs for both parent-aged Millennials and affordability-minded Zoomers. A recent report from StorageCafe found that housing markets in exurbs and suburbs grew faster than in principal cities over the last decade, so fast that typical life changes in the largest homebuying cohort, Millennials, can’t account for it altogether. For Millennials, city living no longer makes sense. Many are in their homebuying and parenting years, making spacious suburban houses with plentiful outdoor areas important. The rise of remote work means many don’t have to sacrifice the perks of raising a family outside the city in order to be close to work, making these areas more appealing. For Gen Z, however, the reason…

Buyer Sentiment Falls To All-Time Low As Unaffordability Remains Problematic

Americans are increasingly pessimistic about their long-term prospects in the housing market, citing unaffordability as their main concern. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell 2.5 points in May to a reading of 69.4, a record low for the survey. Just 14% of respondents believe it’s a good time to buy a home, a steep drop from the month prior’s 20%. Altogether, 86% of Americans think it’s a bad time to buy. “Consumer sentiment toward housing declined from its recent plateau, as an increasing share of consumers struggle to find the positives in the current housing market,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “While many respondents expressed optimism at the beginning of the year that…

Southern States Double Down On Affordable Inventory

The South has lost its sparkle for American movers in the post-pandemic world, but that could change as the region doubles down on producing affordable inventory. More than half of all available inventory in April 2024 was concentrated in Southern states, according to an analysis by Realtor.com.  They also boasted the most new listings at 19.7%. In contrast, inventory rose by just 7.5% in the West and 2.9% in the Northeast. The Midwest came in a close second at 18.4%. “Sellers continued to list homes at a greater rate than last year. This has led to a promising increase in more affordable homes for sale, especially in the South,” Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale said. Florida metros saw the most…

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…

Rates March Toward 7% On Sticky Inflation Data

Mortgage rates are marching towards 7% again as inflationary pressures threaten their stability. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.88%, up from the week prior’s 6.82%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.27%. The 15-year fixed rate increased from 6.06% to 6.16%. A year ago, it averaged 5.54%.  Rates have primarily stuck between 6.5% and sub-7% as they moved up in the first quarter. Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater noted that rates moved up as inflation stayed sticky and the Central Bank’s monetary policy shifted. “While newly released inflation data from March continues to show a trend of very little movement, the financial market’s reaction paints a far different…

Foreclosures Up 3% In Q1 2024

Foreclosures increased nationwide in Q1 2024 as mounting affordability pressures push homeowners into situations where they are unable to pay their mortgages. According to ATTOM’s latest Foreclosure Market Report, a total of 95,349 U.S. properties had foreclosure filings during the first quarter. This is up 3% from Q4 2023, but down under 1% YOY. “Q1 2024’s foreclosure data reveals a market in transition, with slight increases in filings and starts, alongside a notable decrease in REO properties,” explained Rob Barber, CEO at ATTOM. “While foreclosures remain relatively stable, we’re closely monitoring these trends. Homeowners continue to hold significant equity, contributing to a persistently hot housing market.” REOs were up 7% from the previous quarter but plummeted by 20% YOY. Foreclosure…

Pending Home Sales Improved In February

Pending home sales increased in February as inventory loosened up and buyers became accustomed to the high-rate environment. NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index rose by 1.6% month-over-month to a reading of 75.6 last month. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001. Year-over-year, they were down 7%. “While modest sales growth might not stir excitement, it shows slow and steady progress from the lows of late last year,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Ongoing job gains are clearly increasing demand along with more inventory.” All four U.S. regions saw declines in year-over-year sales, while month-over-month sales rose in the Midwest and South. The Northeast and West saw losses from January. Southern states and…

New Listings Down 15% Compared To Last Year

Listings are down more than 15% from last year, another pain point on the market ahead of the typically zippy spring buying season. HouseCanary’s February Market Pulse Report found that net new listings were 15.3% lower than in February 2023. Overall, inventory is up 11.7% YOY but remains generally constrained, limiting new activity. This is yet another example of market pressures as spring approaches, usually a busy homebuying season. “In January, we saw net new listings and contract volumes trend at multi-year seasonal lows. Although those metrics are slightly up versus last month, the housing market is still facing significant pressures. The Federal Reserve has all but confirmed that rates will continue to hover around the 7% mark, continuing to…

Americans Willing To Think Outside The Box To Afford A Home

Nearly 80% of potential buyers are willing to get creative when it comes to purchasing a home. A new survey from RE/MAX found that homebuyers burdened by unaffordable listings and high interest rates are willing to consider atypical options to buy a home in the next 12 months. Those options include purchasing a home two or more hours away from the workplace and signing up for a super commute, buying a multi-family home, and moving into a tiny home. Purchasing a home in need of remodeling, for either cosmetic or structural reasons, is the most popular option with 56% of buyers saying they would buy a fixer-upper. Millennials in particular see buying a house in need of repairs as a…