Although it believes that home prices are still too high, Fitch Ratings analysts acknowledge the recovering housing market — and point out that it might not bode well for multifamily units. With investors snapping up single-family homes to rent out, mortgage rates low, and unemployment dropping, who wants to live in an apartment?
Looking forward, Fitch said it expects decreasing rent affordability for apartments and the increasing relative/absolute attractiveness of home ownership will cause multifamily demand and operating fundamentals to more closely track economic growth.
Fitch Ratings is trying to rein in the housing market bulls, saying in its latest report that it believes homes are still overvalued.
The reasons: A shortage of housing and still-low mortgage rates are artificially inflating demand.
Fitch contends that home prices remain overvalued and that price growth is not being driven by fundamentals but by technical factors that could easily change. As more homes move more quickly to final foreclosure, especially in states that require a judge in the process and have seen huge delays over the past few years, supply will expand, possibly dramatically in some regions.
Are you or someone you know under 30 and planning to stay that way till at least the beginning of June? If so, you’re eligible to be one of Realtor® magazine’s annual 30 Under 30 — “Rising stars in real estate,” as the magazine puts it.
To make the cut, you have to be a Realtor® (duh), and 29 or younger on May 31, 2013. (If you can’t do the math, I suspect you’re automatically ineligible.) Oh, and you can’t have been a previous winner.
Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey found that Americans are feeling more positive about the economy, and are happy to make predictions about it.
More people expect mortgage rates to go up and housing prices to go down over the next year, for example. And — based on what I couldn’t tell you — “51 percent of respondents now say it would be easy to get a mortgage.”
Here’s the good news: In its 2012 report on the National Mover Rate, the Census Bureau found that 1.4 million more people moved in 2012 than did in 2011.
Here’s the bad news: That’s only a 0.4 percent increase.
Here’s the good news: It’s still an increase, and the 2011 rate was a record low. Heck, 12 percent of Americans moved in 2012.
So think of it as yet another small sign of the housing rebound.
Who were the biggest movers?
According to this HousingWire story, a good portion of the nation’s homebuyers fall into one of two camps: first-time buyers with low-interest FHA loans, and investors looking for single-family homes to rent.
The battleground: the $225K to $400K price range.
Nearly one out of every 3 buyers was an investor, typically paying cash for houses with a median price of $245,000, according to DataQuick.
Simultaneously, 25.5% of mortgage originations with FHA financing were to first time homebuyers, down for the second time in two months.
The House of Representatives has been talking a lot about avoiding the fiscal cliff by reducing or eliminating tax deductions, and you know what’s going to be high on the list: the mortgage interest deduction.
That’s why NAR has put out a Call for Action — write to your representatives and tell them not to mess with the MID.
NAR’s position is that the mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy and we will remain vigilant in opposing any future plan that modifies or excludes the deductibility of mortgage interest.
If you have clients thinking about an FHA loan, you should tell them to act quickly. Not only is FHA going to be raising the cost of its required mortgage insurance, it’s also going to require that the insurance be kept for the life of the loan.
Today, once a home’s loan-to-value gets below 78%, mortgage insurance isn’t required; that takes 10 years or so. A homeowner will typically pay several hundred dollars a month for mortgage insurance — a cost that, soon, won’t go away.
When will this happen? FHA hasn’t said, only that it will happen.
Four solid pieces of good news about the housing market — today, and looking ahead.
1. The number of homeowners underwater has dropped below 30 percent for the first time in, well, forever. That’s in large part due to rising home prices values, thanks to reduced inventory. In short, it’s a decent barometer of the market’s overall health.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors has approved a $10,000 donation to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation to help assist those in areas severely affected by Sandy. Other state and local associations across the country have already contributed more than $750k to the Fund, earmarked for Sandy relief. As a Virginia REALTOR®, you can personally help those members of your REALTOR® family in need. Read on to learn more about the REALTORS® Relief Foundation and how you can donate today.
Below is an excerpt from a message written by NAR’s 2012 President, Moe Viessi: