A different picture of the housing market is presented by data from an April survey of just over 1,000 Americans. In contrast to more upbeat recent reports, including from Freddie Mac as reported here last week, the ValueInsured Housing Confidence Index for the second quarter dropped almost five points to its lowest level since the inception of the index in Q1 2016.
High home prices, unaffordability cause confidence in housing health to drop to lowest levels in nine quarters since inception of ValueInsured’s Modern Homebuyer Survey
The desire to own a home remains high, currently at 79 percent among non-homeowners, however; 67 percent believe the American housing market is unhealthy, according to the latest ValueInsured quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey. In addition, the number of people who believe buying a home today is a secure and smart investment dropped to 52 percent. Despite reports of a strong sellers’ market, the decline in confidence is significant across the board among homeowners and non-homeowners alike.
Despite consumer demand for housing remaining high, homebuyers' confidence in their ability to save enough for a down payment fell in the first quarter, with some feeling less positive than others.
Millennials in particular saw declining confidence toward down payment affordability, with only 35% of millennial first-time homebuyers claiming they can afford a down payment, according to ValueInsured, a Dallas-based down payment insurance company. This is down nine percentage points from a year ago.
Despite an active Spring buying season, only 61% of homeowners say that the housing market is heading in a good direction “for people like me.” But why? Regardless of other positive or negative news surrounding market excitement or that it is a great time to buy or sell, first-time and upgrade buyers are still viewing the market with trepidation highlighted by a few key areas. This and other findings will be released next week as part of our latest housing sentiment survey - the quarterly ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey.
Anyone who has come across a “Home Buying for Dummies” or “Investment 101” type book or website should be able to recite this golden rule: don’t try to time the market. While applicable to most investors, this is likely truer for homebuyers, who need a place to live and probably shouldn’t wait. Increasingly, however, they appear to be deviating from the advice.
Perhaps the real surprise – homebuyers are not alone. Homeowners are also growing concerned with timing the market, according to ValueInsured’s latest Modern Homebuyer Survey…
According to ValueInsured’s Q1 2018 Modern Homebuyer Survey, 62% of interested first-time homebuyers – including 65% of Millennials – who plan to buy “in the near future” are concerned they cannot afford a down payment on a home they would like to live in.
But if you think the affordability challenge is exclusive to non-homeowners who wish to enter the elusive homeownership rank, think again. According to ValueInsured’s latest survey on American homebuyers’ confidence and sentiments, even existing homeowners are not immune.
We admit it, this headline may be a bit sensational; but if you consider the latest homebuyer reports, it may not be that far-fetched after all.
In 2017, 35% of all homebuyers made an offer on a home sight unseen, according to a Redfin report. The fear of missing out in some hot housing markets seem to have turned more otherwise rational, responsible Americans into risky homebuyers. Throw in sales contracts that also waive home inspections in order to win bidding wars, then yes, in essence, a sizeable number of desperate homebuyers have now been reduced to pretty much buying blind.
But that’s not the whole story. The latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey revealed that some homebuyers are also planning a purchase without having basic understanding of new tax laws, interest rate trends and how home value in the areas where they are shopping could potentially be affected.
The MBA forecasts refinance volume will decline by 30% in 2018. In other words, while homeowners have a lot more equity at their disposal, fewer will be accessing that available cash. Why?
Amid CoreLogic’s monthly reminders that nearly half of the nation’s top housing markets are overvalued, Fannie Mae’s latest HPSI continues to report housing sentiment “volatility”. According to Fannie Mae’s survey, the net share of respondents who believe home prices will go up in the next 12 months decreased 3 percentage points in March. The latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey echoes the same cautiousness in home price sustainability, particularly among homeowners.
Some experts have theorized that recent years of record-low mortgage rates contributed to reluctance to sell, as homeowners do not want to give up their newly refinanced low mortgages. This is certainly a factor, yet might not be as influential as previously assumed. ValueInsured found in its Modern Homebuyer Survey that only 18% of interested, but hesitant, sellers point to their low mortgage payment as a key reason they are putting off selling. On the other hand, 57% say they are not selling because they are concerned with buying high in today’s low-inventory, inflated market. Chicken, meet egg.
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc (PRMG) rolls out their PRMG Plus Down Payment Protection program. When it comes to putting borrowers first, PRMG has got you covered.
Where title insurance, private mortgage insurance and homeowner’s insurance each make lending more secure for the lenders, only PRMG Plus covers borrowers regardless of what happens in the housing market.
“PRMG understands that buying a home can be a big step for any borrower and that it takes a long time for a borrower to accumulate the necessary down payment to buy a home. As such, we are pleased to be able to offer PRMG +Plus to them. This is just one more way PRMG looks out for our borrowers, by providing them with the option to protect their initial down payment should they not be able to recoup it when they sell. This option gives them peace of mind as they invest into their new home, knowing that their down payment is safe, regardless of what happens in the housing market”, said Lara Rausch, PRMG Vice President of Products and Training.
Gender disparity in homeownership is not news. Latest available reports in 2016 showed female-owned homes are on average valued less than male-owned homes, and appreciate at a lower rate. Some suggested income disparity correlates with homeownership disparity – makes sense.
The latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey found a gender gap might exist not only where home values and ownership are concerned, but in homebuyer psychology and housing confidence as well - with female homebuyers’ pessimism jarring in some measures
Many lenders over the past few years have found themselves caught up in a "race-to-the-bottom" where technology and the "lowest rates" were king. This is a side-effect of a booming refi market that finally appears to be drying up. So what do lenders do now?
This WSJ article details some efforts many are taking at least at a high-level. Some are scrambling with more "exotic" loans types while others are repositioning themselves to get back to a traditional purchase operation. The challenge is that the infrastructure now in place - from systems, to 3rd party lead generation, to even the types of loan officers in place - are still in the quick and easy refi mode.
Last week, the housing industry celebrated a latest NAR report that Millennials are finally making a move into housing, surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest generational segment of homebuyers, and responsible for 36% of home purchases in 2017.
But upon further inspection, and as both NAR and National Mortgage News astutely called out, Millennials are still underperforming as homebuyers to their full potential. After all, when you represent the largest population segment in the country and are in prime life stage for marriage and family formation, it is not too hard to overtake Baby Boomers, many of whom are downsizing, shifting to rentals, or moving in with their family. Homeownership rate among Americans under age 35 is currently at 36% (not to be confused with Millennials’ home purchase share, which is also 36%) according to the latest U.S. Census report. It is a substantial drop from the same age group’s homeownership rate pre-2008 housing crisis, at 43%. In other words, the housing industry has lost 1 out of every 6 under-35 homebuyers in the past decade.
The good news: Millennials’ desire to become homeowners remains high. In the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey, conducted in February, 77% of all American Millennials who do not currently own a home want to become homeowners, and 72% who don’t own a home believe owning is better than renting. The less good news: as home prices heat up, Millennials’ enthusiasm to buy now and their confidence in buying as a smart investment have gradually dropped over the past year.
A new banking bill won’t just impact the big banks like Chase and Wells Fargo — if it becomes law, it will impact most Americans too.
The Senate approved a bill last week that will roll back some aspects of the Dodd-Frank banking reform bill, which was passed in 2010 after the financial crisis. It will make many small and midsize banks exempt from parts of Dodd-Frank. The bill was sponsored by Mike Crapo, a Republican senator from Idaho. It will now move to the House, where it could be amended further.
While they worry about affording the down payment, a survey of homeowners and buyers finds Millennial first-timers more eager to buy a house. The homeowners they might buy from, however, aren't so sure they can themselves.
According to ValueInsured’s latest quarterly results, 7% of all millennials first-time homebuyers, if given the option to choose, hope to put down zero percent down; another 26% ideally wish to put down 3-5%. In other words, 1 in 3 (33%) believe their ideal down payment is up to 5%. Most cite the eagerness to buy immediately as their motive, and express an understanding that they could potentially be paying a higher interest rate and will pay higher monthly mortgage payment after having a lower down payment commitment. To 1 in 3 next-gen homebuyers, that is considered the ideal trade off.
American Financial Network, Inc. (AFN) today introduced AFN Protection+, an innovative mortgage product that protects a homebuyer’s down payment and is available immediately on all applicable AFN mortgages. AFN Protection+ will include +Plus SM down payment protection by ValueInsured SM embedded directly into homebuyers’ mortgages.
More than one-third of Millennials looking to purchase their first home say they plan to rely on a loan or a gift from a relative to cover a key portion of their down payment, according to a recent survey.
DALLAS, March 6, 2018 – On the heels of the most recent Case-Shiller report, which again showed home prices on an upswing, ValueInsured’s latest quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey finds that confidence among current American homeowners has decreased for two consecutive quarters and is starkly juxtaposed by an increase in new homebuyer confidence.
On the heels of the latest Case-Shiller report which once again showed home prices on an upswing, our latest housing sentiment survey - the quarterly ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey - indicates homeowners’ and homebuyers’ housing confidence are trending in opposite directions, but the patterns may surprise many.
Most homeowners believe that low mortgage rates are a thing of the past. The ValueInsured survey indicated that 72 percent of existing homeowners believed the era of historically low rates and affordable mortgages was coming to an end. This sentiment was particularly acute among homeowners of expensive homes, with 95 percent of those who reported owning a home valued at $1 million or more expecting the end of low mortgage rates in their lifetime.
Evergreen Home Loans, a full-service direct home loan lender offering origination, funding and home loan servicing with offices in six Western states, announced today it will begin offering Evergreen +Plus down payment protection to its customers.
The general consensus is that interest rates are going up this year - perhaps quite a bit. Interestingly, this appears to be something existing homeowners are a lot more in tune with. One would think homeowner hopefuls – Americans who are in the market for a home and desire to buy in the near future – would also be more aware of upcoming rate increases, after all it could have certain implications on their budget and buying timeline. However, according to ValueInsured’s latest quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey, non-homeowners who wish to buy in the next three year report to have a lower awareness of upcoming rate hikes, or they are more optimistic that a rate hike way not happen.
In the latest ValueInsured Modern Homebuyer Survey, majority of Americans and Millennials believe more people will relocate to less expensive housing areas if home prices in their hometown continue to go up. Other factors are also causing them to consider fleeing hot markets.
While both have been effective wealth builders for Americans over the long term, neither stock nor home prices has historically gone up in an ascending straight line. The events in the past week were once again a reminder. As if flipping a switch, a strong equities market turned into a volatile, uncertain market overnight.
The same could happen to the housing industry. Up until now, the bullish stock and housing market were both in large part propelled by historically low interest rates. With more rate hikes on the horizon, the stock market got spooked. One could argue rising interest rates should have even stronger effects on the real estate market, after all, home prices are already high and considered "overvalued" in many major markets; rising interest rates could further strain affordability issues already plaguing homebuyers.
Most of us have heard this data point: more Millennials are now living at home with their parents than in any other living arrangements, or in any other time in modern history. Last year, the US Census estimated that one in three Millennials – or 24 million 18- to 34-year-olds – live in their parents’ home.
It’s fair to say Millennials’ parents have been generous with them. And that generosity extends beyond sharing their home well into a child’s adulthood. Sometimes, parents help their adult child buy a home by providing financial assistance. In ValueInsured’s latest (Q4 2017) Modern Homebuyer Survey, 17% of all surveyed Millennial homebuyers say they plan to rely on a loan or a gift from family member(s) to fund the majority of their down payment. It was recently reported that nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of all purchase loan originations in the U.S. now require a non-spouse co-borrower(s)’ – in most cases a parent’s – credit to afford the loan approved.
Earlier this week, a “rare bear” who caught national attention by accurately predicting the last housing crash in 2005 returned to the headlines. The famed money manager sounded the alarm that current housing "valuation extreme" looks a lot like it is 2005 all over. And he used the b-word, cautioning homebuyers are again in denial of a bubble just as they did before 2007.
There are no doubt both many bear and bull economists right now, each with their own opinions on the subject. But, to the non-economist homebuyers, this is all just more conflicting noise that impacts their confidence and decision making.