Is the housing industry ready for this next generation of homebuyers?

Is the housing industry ready for this next generation of homebuyers?

Forecasts on their massive influence aside, is the housing industry ready for this next generation of homebuyers? Just as Millennials are different moviegoers than their parents, they will be different homebuyers. One of the starkest differences: Millennials shop for their homes differently. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of Millennials search online when shopping for a home. They are twice as likely as their parents’ generation to use a mobile device to look for a home. In fact, nearly 6 in 10 Millennials (58%) reported to have first found the home they eventually bought on a mobile device.  

Millennials also live and plan to own their homes differently than their parents. The average Millennial job tenure is 2.8 years. They make up 43% of all movers. But, many young people have moved throughout history. Do Millennials plan to settle down once they buy a home? One can expect they should, but they aren’t likely to own the same home for 30+ years as many in their previous generations do. According to the ValueInsured Survey, while “owning my own home” remains – just like for their parents – the top personal definition of the American Dream for Millennials, two other popular answers are “having the freedom to pursue opportunities wherever they are” and “being able to move and live wherever I want”.

Other latest findings that indicate Millennials may be a generation on the move include..

How can first-time homebuyers afford to buy in this heated market? Ask your parents.

How can first-time homebuyers afford to buy in this heated market? Ask your parents.

This may be what the gold rush felt like, except it is now a rush to buy homes. We keep hearing housing demand is high, inventory is tight. Some headlines even describe homebuyers as "panicking" to rush to buy homes, or rushing to lock in low rates. Yes, if you have been paying attention to recent reports, you may have seen the word “rush” used frequently when describing today’s home buying activities.

However, while many first-time home buying hopefuls wonder how they can save enough to buy at today’s sky-high prices, some may at the same time notice their own parents are selling. Baby Boomers are downsizing, and many are making bank.  And they can help...

How to give sideline homebuyers more confidence

How to give sideline homebuyers more confidence

What has been somewhat over-shadowed by the red-hot housing headlines are reports of unsustainable home prices, often by the same industry experts and forecasting models. According to the latest report by Fitch Ratings, home prices in Dallas are 10% –14% higher than what the market can sustain based on its economic fundamentals including population growth and inflation-adjusted income growth. Many of the largest and hottest real estate markets in the country are also over-heated by estimated 5% to double-digit percentage levels.

In ValueInsured’s latest quarterly Modern Homebuyer Survey, 3 out of 4 interested homebuyers– prospective homebuyers who plan to buy within the next 24 months – said they would buy a home sooner if they could have more confidence they would not lose their down payment after they buy, in the event home prices go down and they need to sell their recently purchased home resulting in a loss.

Homebuyers’ confidence on the rise as some anticipate correction on overheated prices

Homebuyers’ confidence on the rise as some anticipate correction on overheated prices

Homebuyer sentiment has always been a very interesting, dynamic and often unpredictable factor in the housing market. Take home prices, for example. According to the recently released S&P/Case-Shiller U.S National Home Price Index, home prices in December 2016 continued a record-breaking streak, having risen to a 30-month high. Previous all-time highs were smashed in seven major cities, including Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. By all account, inventory has been tight, and there is the looming threat of imminent interest rate hikes. You would think homebuyers would be deterred; some might even throw in their towels and decide to stay life-long renters.

However, homebuyer psychology is a funny thing....

Are we over-correcting from the mortgage crisis? More Americans now think lending is too strict than too loose

Are we over-correcting from the mortgage crisis? More Americans now think lending is too strict than too loose

Is mortgage lending too tight, or too loose? That seems to be a question the FHFA has been trying to answer since the housing crisis in 2008. Many factors led to the housing collapse, but no doubt the overly lenient mortgage lending practices were the biggest culprits. To make sure history does not repeat itself, mortgage-lending rules are now noticeably more restrictive compared to those in 2006, at the height of the housing bubble. On the other hand, there are indications lending standards might now be too strict, preventing further recovery of the housing market.

Housing outlook for 2017? More affluent does not equate more optimism

Housing outlook for 2017? More affluent does not equate more optimism

In January 2017, ValueInsured released its latest Housing Confidence Index that reported a slight decline in Americans’ overall housing confidence. The drop was driven by existing homeowners, who are not as confident now as they were in Fall 2016 that their home would be worth as much as what they paid for. This makes sense, since ValueInsured’s fall index was reported in early September, some of the country’s most overheated markets have stabilized and there were steady reports of cooling home prices throughout the remainder of 2016. This was partly driven by the fall 2016 interest rates hike, election uncertainty, and by buyers’ pricing fatigue.

Dissecting the January Modern Homebuyer Survey data further, what’s particularly interesting is that more affluent American households – typically more confident in housing given their stronger purchasing power – are not reporting the highest housing confidence

​​More first-time buyers confident homeownership is within reach in 2017

​​More first-time buyers confident homeownership is within reach in 2017

In the past two years, as the economy improved and home mortgage interest rates stayed in record lows, one key factor that had kept housing growth from kicking up to the next gear was the stagnation of entrance by Millennial first-time homebuyers. American homeownership rate in 2016 was lowest in five decades. The primary cause was attributed to Millennials – an age group that traditionally supplied a steady stream of first-time homebuyers – whose homeownership rate dropped to the lowest recorded at 34.1%. Well-documented explanations for this historically low rate include heavy student-loan debts, growing trend to boomerang back to parents’ homes, delay of marriage, increased career mobility and other factors that delay homeownership. 

However, Millennials have not lost their desire to own a home...