For the first time in a year and only the second time in a decade, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policy making arm of the Federal Reserve, voted on Wednesday in its eighth and final meeting of the year to raise the federal funds target rate by 25 basis points up to the 0.50 to 0.75 percent range. Analysts in the housing industry have been speculating for weeks as to what the effect of a Fed rate hike would be on mortgage interest rates and overall affordability. In the month prior to the Fed voting to raise the federal funds target rate, the average 30-year FRM rose by more than 50 basis points to a level above 4 percent for the first time in more than a year.
“While the Fed’s hike of 0.25 point in short-term interest rates may trickle down to long-term rate products like 30-year mortgages, the more immediate impact will be felt by borrowers with variable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit who can expect an increase in their payments at their next rate reset,” said Tim Manni, mortgage expert at NerdWallet. “Homebuyers shouldn’t be particularly concerned with today’s Fed move. Even with rates hovering over 4 percent, they’re still historically low.
The Fed released a new forecast Wednesday and it projects U.S. economic growth this year to be 1.9% and next year to be 2.1%, both slightly better than the Fed’s previous projection in September. The rate increase indicate that the U.S. economy no longer needs the Fed’s crutches and consumers and businesses can afford to pay more to borrow.
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Student loan debt is playing its biggest role in the mortgage process yet, and it doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.
New data from NeighborWorks America’s fourth annual housing survey found that nearly one-third (30%) of Americans know someone who has delayed the purchase of a home because of student loan debt, up from 28% in 2015 and just 24% in 2014.
The data also cited that more than half (53%) of potential home buyers with student loan debt said the debt was somewhat or very much an obstacle to buying a home, down slightly from 57% in 2015, but above the 49% rate in 2014.
As a whole, to help put this perspective, borrowers are carrying the highest level of non-mortgage debt in a decade.
The National Association of Realtors recently released a survey with similar findings as NeighborWorks America, nothing that about 50% of Millennials, and about two-thirds of Millennial non-homeowners who have student debt, are uncomfortable taking on a mortgage. What’s more, this group was less likely to believe they could even qualify for a mortgage.
We are now seeing a changing trend in the Real Estate Market. Rising rental prices are encouraging the millennial’s generation to experience a nudge toward homeownership, and reports showed that First-time buyers are now at the front line of buying a home. The Zillow Housing Confidence Index also said that about 5.2 million renters are expected to purchase a house this year, up from 4.2 million a year ago. Where job growth is strong, the millennial who were once renting are ready and willing to buy.
The United States has about 75 million millennials — people born from 1980 and 1995 — and expected this year to surpass the baby boom generation according to a report released by the Pew Research Center. Buying a home can be terrifying, and even though this is a big step, many of us have taken it and enjoyed the comfort and security that homeownership has provided for our loved ones and ourselves.
The vacancy rates among single-family rentals remained relatively flat month-over-month despite a general trend of a rising number of lease expirations. This information is based on the June 2015 Single-Family Research Performance Summary covering all Morningstar- Rated Securitizations.
“Vacancy rates generally remain low, cash flows remain sufficient to cover bond obligations, and the asset class mostly shows performance in line with its recent history,” Morningstar said in this report.
Homeownership means you no longer pay monthly rent for the roof over your head. When you leave, you can sell it to recoup the purchase price and earn any profit that you may have accumulated through your appreciation in value.
But don’t kid yourself. Homeownership comes with a slew of disadvantages, responsibilities, and downright headaches. So before going any further, consider whether your lifestyle and finances make home buying a smart move for you.
Except in a roaring real estate market, it usually doesn’t make sense to buy a home you’ll stay for less than three or four years, because the cost of the process of buying and selling your property means that you could lose money from your equity. On the other hand, you will not pay capital gain taxes if you’re in the property for at least of 2 years.
One key question is whether it costs more, on average, to rent or own in your area. The rule of thumb is that if you pay 33% in rent than you would for owning including the monthly mortgage, property taxes, and any homeowner’s fees, then it’s smarter to own a home then renting it.
As always, get your finances in order before committing to buy a home, and stay informed of all the options, alternatives and programs that will fit your needs.
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Buying a house based on emotions is just going to break your heart. If you fall in love with something, you might end up making some pretty bad financial decisions. There’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts.
Going with your instincts means that you recognize that you’re getting a great house for a good value.
It’s an investment, so stay calm and be wise.