Housing market expected to bloom in the spring
Experts anticipate that the housing market will blossom this spring. Between strong job growth and Freddie Mac's March 2015 U.S. Economic and Housing Outlook, real estate might hit a home run during the upcoming warmer months.
Freddie Mac anticipates 2015 to be a robust year for home sales. The government-backed enterprise believes the housing market will strengthen significantly this year. A large portion of yearly home sales occur during the warm months and this spring is expected to be particularly successful.
"This month kicks off the spring homebuying season," said Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac's deputy chief economist. "Between now and the end of June, we'll see about 40 percent of all home sales for the year."
The success of the housing market is largely dependent on the volume of real estate activity that occurs between March and August. Kiefer also noted that this season can serve as an indicator of how the market will fare for the rest of the year.
"Overall, we're feeling good about housing, and we expect this year to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007 when we saw total home sales about 5.8 million for the year," stated Kiefer.
A variety of factors will likely contribute to a stronger season for real estate. Homeownership might become more appealing due to increasingly expensive rental rates, improved accessibility to home loans and continual impressive job growth.
Rising lease prices will likely turn renters into buyers. Experts believe that the increasing cost of rental units will drive more individuals to apply for conventional home mortgages in lieu of signing another lease. Without a clear answer for when the rates of rent will plateau, more people might find homeownership to be an affordable option more conducive to their current financial situations than continuing to pay rental fees.
In conjunction with more lenient lending standards for qualified prospective homeowners and low down payment options, more people may decide to purchase residential real estate in 2015. Additionally, an improving economic situation may contribute to individuals becoming more comfortable with investing in a new home.
Strong job growth continues into 2015. While mortgage rates remain historically low, they have risen alongside an improving employment situation. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey indicated that the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage is continuing to climb in conjunction with steadier job growth.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll jumped 295,000 positions in February. In addition, the national percentage of individuals who were unemployed fell to 5.5%. In fact, the number of unemployed people has decreased 1.2 percentage points over the course of a year.
Industries that saw the most substantial growth included:
- Food services
- Drinking services
- Business services
- Professional services
- Health care
The food and beverage services industry saw the most substantial increase, with a total of 59,000 jobs added during February.
Also, construction employment added 29,000 jobs, and specialty trade contractor positions increased by 27,000. This may be largely due to the anticipation of more first-time homebuyers entering the housing market in upcoming years.
Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2014 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate or calculate your payment today.
Home equity improves for 1.2 million homeowners
More individuals who were impacted by the real estate crisis in 2008 have regained equity in their homes. According to the Fourth Quarter 2014 Equity Report from CoreLogic, a leading financial, property, and consumer information and analytics company, more than 1 million people who own homes saw their equity go up again after being underwater in 2014.
CoreLogic's report indicated an impressive number of borrowers regained equity in 2014. The data indicated that the national equity share climbed to 89%. However, number of homeowners now have positive equity on their houses. However, some properties remain underwater.
"Negative equity continued to be a serious issue for the housing market and the U.S. economy at the end of 2014, with 5.4 million homeowners still 'underwater,'" said CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi. "We expect the situation to improve over the course of 2015. We project that the CoreLogic home price index will rise 5% in 2015, which will lift about 1 million homeowners out of negative equity."
While underwater homes persist, progress among some homes is a good sign of a strengthening housing market. Based on CoreLogic's Home Equity Report from the fourth quarter of 2013, the results of the latest edition revealed notable progress in the volume of underwater homes. In 2013, 13.3% of homes had negative equity. The new report indicated that this statistic dropped 2.5 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Different regions have varying equity situations. While the share of properties with negative equity across the nation sits at 10.8%, certain areas of the country have varying portions of local homes that are underwater compared to the national figure. The top five states with mortgaged homes underwater included:
- Rhode Island
The top five states containing properties with mortgages that had positive equity included:
- North Dakota
In addition, the total value of the home seemed to impact whether the property had a positive equity position. A total of 94% of houses valued at more than $200,000 had positive equity, while only 84% homes worth less than $200,000 were above water.
Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2014 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.
BASIC TIPS for GETTING a MORTGAGE
A home purchase can seem like a daunting task, so it’s important to take it step by step and know that help is out there to streamline the process. Sure, you might have been saving money for years, but what else can you do to help fulfill your dream of owning a home? It starts by applying for a mortgage. Mortgages are designed to help individuals and families purchase a house when they otherwise might not have been able to.
Prepare to apply. In order to apply for a mortgage, you will want to do your homework first. This means knowing exactly where you stand financially. Assess your household budget and savings, seeing just how much you can afford to spend on a down payment. From there, you want to request your credit report. This will have a significant impact on what the interest rate will be on your home loan and whether or not you qualify for a purchase at all. Your credit score shows a lender essentially how trustworthy you are. While a poor credit score will hurt your chances of obtaining a low rate, don’t let it completely discourage you. There are ways to purchase a home even with a less-than perfect score and ways to raise your score.
Get pre-qualified. Once you know you want to purchase a home, you will want to consider getting pre-qualified for a mortgage immediately. This can help speed up the process, not to mention help you avoid potential headaches down the road. For example, you might have found the home of your dreams, but getting approved for a mortgage could take some time, something that could cost you an opportunity at purchasing. A pre-qualification will last 90 days, ensuring you are all set when you finally decide to pull the trigger on a purchase.
Finding a home. After you’re pre qualified for a loan, you’ll know how much you can afford. Now you can begin searching for the home of your dreams, without having to worry about whether you’ll actually be able to make a purchase.
Final loan approval. You will receive final approval for a home loan if you have a good credit score and debt-toincome ratio. Keep in mind that approval could depend on certain financial or property conditions that need to be met first.