Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017

Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017

To start the year, housing experts all agreed on one thing: 2017 was going to be the year we would see mortgage interest rates begin to rise. After years of historically low rates, and an improving economy, the question wasn’t if they would increase but instead how much they would increase. Some thought we could see rates hit 5-5.5% by the end of the year. However, the exact opposite has happened. Instead of higher rates as we head into the middle of 2017, we now have the lowest rates of the year (as reported by Freddie Mac). Here is a graph of mortgage rate movement since the beginning of the year:

Projections still call for an increase…

Four major entities (Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors) are still projecting that rates will increase by the fourth quarter of the year. Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017 | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

No one knows for sure where interest rates will be in six months. However, if you are thinking about buying your first house or trading up to the home of your dreams, you can still get a mortgage at historically low rates RIGHT NOW.

 

What Are the Experts Saying about Mortgage Rates?

What Are the Experts Saying about Mortgage Rates?

Mortgage interest rates have risen over the last few months and projections are that they will continue their upswing throughout 2017. What impact will this have on the housing market? Here is what the experts are saying:

Laurie Goodman, Co-director of the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center:

“In 1984, 1994, 2000, and 2013, every time we have rate increases, we have increases in nominal home prices. We expect this to be more pronounced, as there is a big demand-and-supply gap at the present time.”

Scott Anderson, Chief Economist for Bank of the West:

“The tightening labor market, rising wage growth, high levels of consumer confidence and a millennial generation with a pent-up demand for housing should allow the housing market to weather the storm of gradually rising interest rates.”

Ivy Zelman in her latest “Z” Report:

“Although we strongly believe that the housing supply-demand imbalance for single-family homes will continue to drive above-average home price appreciation, just as falling mortgage rates aided pricing power on the margin in recent months, we expect the opposite effect to become evident in the coming months. As such, we project year-end home price inflation of 4.8% for 2017 and 4.1% for 2018.”

Bob Walters, President & COO of retail mortgage lender Quicken Loans:

“A modest increase in mortgage rates won’t have much of an effect on home purchases. A buyer may need to slightly re-evaluate which homes they can afford, but it’s not likely to make an impact on qualifying, in most cases.”

First American Chief Economist Mark Fleming:

“Our survey data shows that mortgage rates would have to be significantly higher to have any meaningful impact. The house buying power that borrowers have, even with rates below five percent, still remains historically strong.”

Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward”

Housing Market Expected to “Spring Forward”

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2016 all fell in April, May or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

If you are planning on selling your home in 2017, let’s get together to evaluate the opportunities in our market.

Where Did Americans Move in 2016?

Where Did Americans Move in 2016?

Where Did Americans Move in 2016? | MyKCM

Some Highlights:

  • For the 5th year in a row, the Northeast saw a concentration of “High Outbound” activity.
  • For the first time ever, South Dakota held the top spot for “High Inbound” states.
  • Much of America’s outbound activity can be attributed to Boomers relocating to warmer climates after retiring.
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Listing in the Winter Attracts More Serious Buyers

Listing in the Winter Attracts More Serious Buyers

A recent study of more than 7 million home sales over the past four years revealed that the season in which a home is listed may be able to shed some light on the likelihood that the home will sell for more than asking price, as well as how quickly the sale will close.

It’s no surprise that listing a home for sale during the spring saw the largest return, as the spring is traditionally the busiest season for real estate. What is surprising, though, is that listing during the winter came in second!

“Among spring listings, 18.7 percent of homes fetched above asking, with winter listings not far behind at 17.5 percent. While 48.0 percent of homes listed in spring sold within 30 days, 46.2 percent of homes in winter did the same.”

The study goes on to say that:

“Buyers [in the winter] often need to move, so they’re much less likely to make a lowball offer and they’ll often want to close quickly — two things that can make the sale much smoother.” 

Bottom Line

If you are debating listing your home for sale in 2017, keep in mind that the spring is when most other homeowners will decide to list their homes as well. Listing your home this winter will ensure that you have the best exposure to the serious buyers who are out looking now!

The study used the astronomical seasons to determine which season the listing date fell into (Winter: Dec. 21 – Mar. 20; Spring: Mar. 21 – June 20; Summer: June 21 – Sept 21; Autumn: Sept 21 – Dec. 20).

Homeownership Offers Stability & Wealth Creation

Homeownership Offers Stability & Wealth Creation

The most recent Housing Pulse Survey released by the National Association of Realtors revealed that the two major reasons Americans prefer owning their own home instead of renting are:

  1. They want the opportunity to build equity.
  2. They want a stable and safe environment.

Building Equity

In a recent article by The Mortgage Reports, they report that “buying and owning a home is the essence of ‘The American Dream.’ Each month, your housing payments go toward owning your home instead of renting it; building your personal wealth and assets instead of someone else’s.

History has shown that homeownership is a clear path to wealth-building, with homeowners boasting a net worth [that is] multiples higher than the net worth of renters.”  

Family Stability 

Does owning your home really create a more stable environment for your family?

survey of property managers conducted by rent.com disclosed two reasons tenants should feel less stable with their housing situation:

  • 68% of property managers predict that rental rates will continue to rise in the next year by an average of 8%.
  • 53% of property managers said that they were more likely to bring in a new tenant at a higher rate than to negotiate and renew a lease with a current tenant they already know.

We can see from these survey results that renting will provide anything but a stable environment in the near future.

Bottom Line

Homeowners enjoy a more stable environment, and at the same time are given the opportunity to build their family’s net worth.

Love it or List it

Love It or List it is a home design TV show currently on HGTV. If you have ever watched it you would know the show is designed to help homeowners choose between keeping their newly renovated home or to buy a different home. Have you ever considered such a challenge?

Reconsider your home and what you love and what you wish you could change. You can draw a simple two column chart labeled, “Love it” or “List it”. First of all, do you love your location? Do you wish you could live in a different area of town, nearer to your child’s school, or your work? Obviously changing the location of your current home is very impractical. If living in a different neighborhood is important to you, make a check in the “List it” Column. Otherwise, if you love your location, check in the “Love it” Column.

Is your home big enough? Or too big? Adding an addition to a home is often a good way to improve your home for your needs. But practicality is depending on lot size, floor plan, budget, and vision. If you need more room for a growing family you can reinvent spaces too. For example, finishing the basement with egress windows for an extra bedroom. If there is no room to reinvent or you simply have too big of a house, consider checking in the “List it” column.

What current need isn’t being met in your house? Do you need main floor laundry? Or a place for coats and boots so they don’t litter the living room, possibly a garage? Explore ideas for how this could be added. Sometimes closets you have in your home already could be set up for laundry for a couple hundred dollars. But what about a mud room? Depending on your home and the space you have, this might mean an addition, or not possible at all. Reconsider how valuable it would be, whatever your need, and the difficulty/expense of implementing it in your own home. If you feel it isn’t a possibly to add to your home, put a check in the “List it” Column.

What about that layout? Do you dream of a open concept floor plan? Or a master bath? Sometimes a wall knock out can open up an entire home. Figure out what can be done to accomplish your dreams. And decide whether you feel it is feasible or not. Don’t forget to check the column that applies to your decision.

How do you like the style of your home? Floors, cabinets, doors? If you love your home but just wish it was more modern, go for the upgrades! If cabinets scream 90’s with golden blonde wood, you can ditch them all together, paint or stain them. Sometimes just new counter top, cabinet hardware and new flooring can modernize your kitchen while keeping your blonde cabinets. Install new paneled doors and replace your golden door knobs with oil rubbed bronze. These upgrades don’t have to break the bank and can be done over time as your budget allows. If these type of upgrades are all you need to Love It, then put a check in the “Love it” column.

Continue to do this for all of your needs/wants. You might find that your home just needs a few upgrades or that your home doesn’t work for you anymore and it is time to List It.


If you think it is time to List your home and find one that better fits your needs, Give me a call! Angie Uttecht 605-350-2553