Leaders: There Are Still Potential Buyers Despite The Odds

By CHUCK GREEN Despite a plethora of obstacles, there are prospective buyers chomping at the bit to purchase a home, according to experts. On Wednesday, Zillow Home Loans Senior Economist Matthew Speakman released a statement on mortgage rates dropping after a report on inflation showed that price pressures may finally be easing. “The arrival of weaker-than-expected October Consumer Price Index data was just the sign investors had been waiting for, and markets viewed it as a signal that the Federal Reserve may finally take its foot off the brakes as it determines the path forward for monetary policy,” Speakman said. “Bond yields tumbled as a result and mortgage rates – which had spent the last few weeks oscillating at or…

Existing Home Sales Down 1.5% In September

Existing-home sales dropped for the eighth straight month in September, down 1.5% from August and 23.8% YOY, according to the most recent data from the National Association of Realtors. Sales fell to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million and declined in three of the four major regions. The West saw no change. “Despite weaker sales, multiple offers are still occurring with more than a quarter of homes selling above list price due to limited inventory,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun.  “The current lack of supply underscores the vast contrast with the previous major market downturn from 2008 to 2010, when inventory levels were four times higher than they are today.” Inventory of unsold homes fell 2.3% from…

Most Markets Still Favor Sellers, Especially Where Home Prices Are Lowest

Most housing markets still favor sellers despite increasing buyer-friendliness, especially in more affordable markets in the South and Midwest. Knock’s Buyer-Seller Market Index found that 71 of America’s 100 largest housing markets still remain seller’s markets. “Although the general consensus is the housing market is undergoing a much-needed reset, which is welcome news to many home shoppers who will have more choices and less competition for the foreseeable future, not all markets are seeing the same trends,” said Knock Co-Founder and CEO Sean Black.  “In reality, there’s a great housing divide taking place in the U.S., especially in the East and South, where despite a slowdown in sales and slower home price growth, many markets continue to favor sellers.” Fayetteville,…

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…

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…

Affordability Hits 15-Year Low

Affordability is at a 15-year low, with mortgage payments up in 45 of the 50 largest U.S. metros, according to Zillow’s latest market report. Buying a typical U.S. home with interest rates of 5.78% would result in monthly payments of $2,127. That’s up 36% year to date, and 51% YOY. Those monthly payments would account for 28% of homeowners’ monthly income, inching closer to the 30% benchmark that means homeowners are cost-burdened. The report noted that since rates have risen above the April data it references, homeowners may already be at that 30% threshold. Rising interest rates and soaring home prices have pushed mortgages out of reach for many Americans, leading to diminishing demand that has economists worried that recession…

Opinion: Black Mortgage Denials Are Increasing. We Need Tech-Based Solutions To Reverse The Trend

By KEVIN B. KIMBLE Editor’s Note: This article was written by a contributor and contains the individual’s views, opinions, or personal experiences. The Biden administration recently unveiled an action plan to address racial bias in home appraisals and other areas of the American housing system.  As new research from Zillow shows, this couldn’t come at a better time. Zillow found that there is a widening mortgage approval gap along racial lines.  Specifically, Black applicants are denied a mortgage at a rate 84 percent higher than white applicants.  This figure has been worsening, representing an increase of 10 percentage points since 2019.  The approval disparity has contributed to declining Black homeownership, a crucial aspect of wealth building.  The negative trend in Black mortgage denials is…

Mortgage Rates Up To 3.92%

Mortgage rates jumped to 3.92% from 3.69% this week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.96%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81%. “Mortgage rates jumped again due to high inflation and stronger than expected consumer spending,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is nearing four percent, reaching highs we have not seen since May 2019. As rates and house prices rise, affordability has become a substantial hurdle for potential homebuyers, especially as inflation threatens to place a strain on consumer budgets.” Demand remains high despite rising rates. Rate locks for purchase loans increased 19.9% month-over-month in January. “The…