Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

Hey, Millennial Homeowners!! It May Be Time to Sell

 

Hey, Millennial Homeowners!! It May Be Time to Sell | MyKCM

Contrary to what many believe, Millennials are not the ‘renter’ generation. Millennials purchased a larger percentage (34%) of homes in the U.S. than any other age group in 2017 and the most recent Census Bureau report shows that the homeownership rate among Millennials is finally on the rise.

Many Millennials took advantage of post housing crash prices and the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit and jumped into homeownership in 2010. If you are one of these buyers, now may be the time to sell for many reasons. Here are a few:

1. Equity Build-Up

Home prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2012 and your house may have appreciated by more than you think. ATTOM Data Solutions, in their Q2 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report revealed that:

“…homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase — the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000.

The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent.”

2. Projected Home Price Increases

If you just got married or just found out you are about to become a parent, you may have plans to move up a bigger home or perhaps move to a different area. Waiting to buy a more expensive home in this market probably doesn’t make sense. The experts contacted for the Home Price Expectation Survey are projecting home prices to increase by nearly 5% over the next year. Yes, your house’s price will increase but not as much as a home currently valued higher than yours.

3. Projected Interest Rate Increases

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors are each projecting mortgage rates to increase over the next year.

Higher PRICES + Higher INTEREST RATES = LARGER MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.

Bottom Line

If you are lucky enough to be one of those Millennials who purchased a house in 2010 (or even later), now might be the perfect time to move up to the home of your dreams!

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power

 

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

According to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at 3.96%, which is still near record lows in comparison to recent history!

The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.

Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.

The chart below shows what impact rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a home within the national median price range, and planned to keep your principal and interest payments between $1,850-$1,900 a month.

The High Impact of Low Interest Rates on Your Purchasing Power | MyKCM

With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000). Experts predict that mortgage rates will be closer to 5% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

Rates Are Actually Much Higher This Week. Here’s Why

After spending more than a month holding fairly steady near 8-month lows, rates are moving quickly higher this week. Not only are the underlying reasons somewhat opaque but there are multiple media outlets reporting the “lowest mortgage rates of the year.” What’s really going on here?

The discrepancy between actual mortgage rate movement and certain news stories is easy to explain (as seen in a past newsletter), so let’s start there.  At issue is the fact that Freddie Mac’s weekly rate survey is a longstanding industry benchmark for mortgage rates.  It’s heavily relied-upon by analysts working in the secondary mortgage market as well as journalists who simply use it as their one source for a weekly mortgage rate update.

Because the report is released at 10am on Thursday morning, we tend to see a glut of news stories offering similar conclusions about mortgage rate movement.  This seemingly unified message only adds to the confusion.  After all, if all these big news organizations are telling us that rates are at the lowest levels of the year, it must be true, right?

WRONG!

Freddie’s data is GREAT for long-term analysis of general mortgage rate trends but it does a GREAT DISSERVICE to prospective borrowers keeping an eye on day-to-day changes.

The reason is strikingly simple: rates can move every day, but Freddie’s survey only covers the first 3 days of any given week.  Moreover, most of the responses tend to come in on Monday and Tuesday.

In other words, Freddie’s survey is best described as “Monday/Tuesday rates vs last Monday/Tuesday’s rates.” This creates obvious problems if rates are making bigger moves in the second half of any given week–especially if they moved in the opposite direction during the first half of the week.

Here’s how all of the above played out this time around.  Mortgage rates were indeed in line with the year’s lowest levels on Monday (only June 14th was any better as far as individual days are concerned).  But the next 3 days all saw rates move convincingly higher.  Freddie’s survey responses–being weighted toward the start of the week–simply didn’t capture the magnitude of the rate spike (it will be reflected in next week’s numbers unless we get a friendly bounce between now and then).

The bottom line is that rates are definitely not at 2017’s lowest levels.  In fact, in terms of day-over-day changes in actual lender rate sheets (remember, humans respond to surveys, and they might not all be cross-checking actual rate sheets before firing off their responses to Freddie), rates are as high as they’ve been since May 16th.

A major caveat is that the recent range of mortgage rates has been exceptionally narrow by historical standards.  It’s also been holding fairly close to the lowest levels in 8 months.  Still, the amount of movement over the past few days adds up to hundreds, even thousands of dollars for some borrowers’ loan quotes.  That could be quite the surprise if they’ve just heard about the “lowest rates of the year” on the evening news.

2017-6-29 nl1

What’s Moving Markets?

Now that we know WHAT mortgage rates have actually been doing, let’s talk about WHY.  If you remember the so-called “taper tantrum” in 2013 (the market reaction to the Fed signalling its intent to buy fewer bonds), then you’re halfway there.

This time around, the focus is on the European Central Bank (ECB), whose bond buying puts it in the same league as the Fed in terms of impact on financial markets.  Whereas the Fed has long since stopped expanding its balance sheet (they may even begin shrinking it later this year), the ECB continues adding more bonds to its balance sheet every month.

Given the huge impact of the taper tantrum in the US, investors are on guard for any indication of tapering in the EU.  ECB President Mario Draghi gave just such an indication in a series of comments earlier this week.  He spoke of deflation being replaced by reflation, above-trend growth, and the need to gradually adjust bond-buying parameters.

ECB Officials would subsequently try to explain that Draghi was aiming for comments that balanced positive developments with the ongoing need for substantial bond buying.  But the takeaway for market participants was that the ECB is moving closer and closer to tapering.

Why should rates in the US care about what’s going on with the European Central Bank?  To make a long story short, global bond markets (which drive interest rates) are interconnected and interdependent to a certain degree.  US rates might not respond to European rates in lock-step, but they definitely respond.  As such, it’s no surprise to see European benchmark rates surging and US rates following with a more measured version of the same move.

2017-6-29 nl2

Is this the end of low rates forever?  Not by a long-shot.  First of all, we’re only a few days into a move that took several months to play out in the US.  We can’t yet know if European rates are embarking on a similar journey.

Even if that happens, it’s good to keep in mind that rates generally move higher when central banks are actually in a bond-buying cycle.  True, that sounds terribly counterintuitive (after all, if the Fed/ECB are buying bonds, rates should be going down), but the following chart with QE time-frames in the US doesn’t lie.

2017-6-29 nl4

Don’t read too much into this chart because it could be competently argued several ways.  The point of posting it is to offer perspective.  What might seem like a surefire reason for rates to move higher could merely be the catalyst for a temporary correction in the bigger picture.  After all, most economists and analysts thought low rates were a thing of the past by the end of 2010 and 2013.  The subsequent years were the best 2 years of the recovery.
Housing-Specific News

There were several interesting developments in housing this week.  2 weeks after comments on a potential “housing emergency” due to tight inventory, The National Association of Realtors (NAR) now says the perception of a seller’s market could provide motivation for owners to list their homes, thus relieving some of the inventory pressure.

As for the month of May, there was no such relief in sight.  The NAR blamed lopsided supply and demand for the lowest Pending Home Sales levels since January.  Despite the justification, it’s worth noting that this index hasn’t been able to get back above its current range since the meltdown.

2017-6-29 nl3

Both Black Knight and Case-Shiller released their monthly home price indices.  Both set record highs at the national level, and both reports agree that the national numbers are being dragged higher by several outstanding regional markets.  Of the two, the Case-Shiller report did more to provide a counterpoint to the positivity, citing some signs of deceleration.

Pre-Approval Should Always Be Your First Step

 

Pre-Approval Should Always Be Your First Step | MyKCM

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”

One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” 

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings, and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.

The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate

 

The TRUTH Behind the RENT vs. BUY Debate | MyKCM

In a blog post published last Friday, CNBC’s Diana Olnick reported on the latest results of the FAU Buy vs. Rent Index. The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major markets for comparison. The researchers at FAU use a “‘horse race’ comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar-quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.”

Having read both the index and the blog post, we would like to clear up any confusion that may exist. There are three major points that we would like to counter:

1. The Title

The CNBC blog post was titled, “Don’t put your money in a house, says a new report.” The title of the press release about the report on FAU’s website was “FAU Buy vs. Rent Index Shows Rising Prices and Mortgage Rates Moving Housing Markets in the Direction of Renting.”

Now, we all know headlines can attract readers and the stronger the headline the more readership you can attract, but after dissecting the report, this headline may have gone too far. The FAU report notes that rising home prices and the threat of increasing mortgage rates could make the decision of whether to rent or to buy a harder one in three metros, but does not say not to buy a home.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates are Rising

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage interest rates reached their lowest mark of 2017 last week at 3.89%. Interest rates have hovered around 4% for the majority of 2017, giving many buyers relief from rising home prices and helping with affordability.

While experts predict that rates will increase by the end of 2017, the latest projections have softened, with Freddie Mac predicting that rates will rise to 4.3% in Q4.

3. “Renting may be a better option than buying, according to the report.”

Of the 23 metros that the study reports on, 11 of them are firmly in buy territory, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and more. This means that in nearly half of all the major cities in the US, it makes more financial sense to buy a home than to continue renting one.

In 9 of the remaining metros, the decision as to whether to rent or buy is closer to a toss-up right now. This means that all things being equal, the cost to rent or buy is nearly the same. That leaves the decision up to the individual or family as to whether they want to renew their lease or buy a home of their own.

The 3 remaining metros Dallas, Denver and Houston, have experienced high levels of price appreciation and have been reported to be in rent territory for well over a year now, so that’s not news…

Beer & Cookies

One of the three authors of the study, Dr. Ken Johnson has long reported on homeownership and the decision between renting and buying a home. The methodology behind the report goes on to explain that even in a market where a renter would be able to spend less on housing, they would have to be disciplined enough to reinvest their remaining income in stocks/bonds/other investments for renting a home to be a more attractive alternative to buying.

Johnson himself has said:

“However, in perhaps a more realistic setting where renters can spend on consumption (beer, cookies, education, healthcare, etc.), ownership is the clear winner in wealth accumulation. Said another way, homeownership is a self-imposed savings plan on the part of those that choose to own.” 

Bottom Line

In the end, you and your family are the only ones who can decide if homeownership is the right path to go down. Real estate is local and every market is different. Let’s get together to discuss what’s really going on in your area and how we can help you make the best, most informed decision for you and your family.

4 Reasons to Buy This Summer!

 

4 Reasons to Buy This Summer! | MyKCM

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 7.1% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.9% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgageeither yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you? 

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017

 

Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017 | MyKCM

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:

Mortgage Interest Rates Reverse Course in 2017 | MyKCM

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 | MyKCM

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.