Monthly Archives: July 2016

Women need for buying a home

Single-women increased their share in the market, hitting levels not seen since 2011, according to the National Association of Realtors’ annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers survey.

While married couples make up the largest share of homebuyers at 66%, and had the highest income at $99,200, single women are increasing their role. Last year the share of single women fell to its lowest point since 2002’s 15%, but this year they seem to be making a comeback. Single women represented 17% of the market this year, the highest point since 2011

“Despite having a much lower income ($55,300) than single male buyers ($69,600), female buyers made up over double the amount of men (7%),” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

“Single women for years have indicated a strong desire to own a home of their own, as well as an inclination to live closer to friends and family,” Yun said. “With job growth holding steady and credit conditions becoming somewhat less stringent than in past years, the willingness and opportunity to buy is becoming more feasible for many single women.”

What’s more, a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions, the new parent company of RealtyTrac, shows that women are better than men at paying their mortgages on time, and are better with finances in general.

However, while men may be slower to enter the market, homes owned by single men have a 10% greater value, and appreciate 16% more than homes owned by single women, according to an analysis released by RealtyTrac.

But single women aren’t the only ones increasing their share in the market – although first-time homebuyers have been decreasing every year for three straight years, 2016 seemed to bring an end to the trend, according to the survey.

The results of the survey, which dates back to 1981, do not include investors or vacant homes.

After a three-year decline, the number of first-time homebuyers increased to 35% of market sales, its highest since 2013’s 38%, the survey showed. This is up from last year’s 30-year low of 32%. The first-time homebuyer 35-year average rests at 40%.

“Young adults are settling down and deciding to buy a home after what was likely a turbulent beginning to their adult life and career following the Great Recession,” Yun said.

“Demand increased over the past year because of a robust job market for those with a college degree and renter fatigue at a time when homeowners continue to see their equity rise,” Yun said. “Even with the affordability challenges many buyers face, the allure of homeownership is not lost among the younger generation. Those under age 35 made up 61% of first-time buyer transactions.”

While the increase is encouraging, the lack of housing supply could still cause problems for first-time homebuyers if they continue to move towards homeownership.

“First-timers’ ability to enter the market more convincingly over the next year greatly depends on supply improvements at the lower end of the market and if wages can finally awaken from their sluggish pace of growth,” Yun said.

Equity wealth doubled

Home prices increased in September year-over-year and month-over-month, a trend that brought home equity wealth significantly higher over last five years, according to the latest Home Price Index and HPI Forecast released by CoreLogic.

Home prices, including prices on distressed sales, increased 6.3% from last September, and 1.1% from August 2016, according to the HPI.

“Home-equity wealth has doubled during the last five years to $13 trillion, largely because of the recovery in home prices,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said. “Nationwide during the past year, the average gain in housing wealth was about $11,000 per homeowner, but with wide geographic variation.”

Going into next year, CoreLogic predicts that home prices will only continue to rise, with the company estimating an increase of 5.2% from September 2016 to September 2017. Monthly, home prices are expected to increase 0.3%.

The CoreLogic HPI Forecast is a projection of home prices using the CoreLogic HPI and other economic variables. Values are derived from state-level forecasts by weighting indices according to the number of owner-occupied households for each state.

“Home-price growth creates wealth for owners with home equity,” CoreLogic President and CEO Anand Nallathambi said. “A 5% rise in home values over the next year would create another $1 trillion in home-equity wealth for homeowners.”

Housing burns to the ground

A massive fire destroyed several housing complexes in an area that desperately needs housing inventory, California’s Bay Area. Here are some of the pictures from the fire, and what was left at the end.

The fire completely destroyed several apartment complexes that were under construction, according to an article by Joseph Serna for the Los Angeles Times

The report of the fire first came in at about 5 a.m. this morning on the 300 block of Lester Avenue. The building, just months away from opening, contained 40 apartment units.

The fire came at a time when the city desperately needs more housing inventory as more people move out from San Francisco and into surrounding areas. In fact, Oakland, California, has surpassed surrounding cities to become the area’s most heated real estate market.

First and foremost, if you apply for a new credit card or higher spending limits on existing cards for the holiday season, the card issuers will probably request your credit score from one or more of the national credit reporting companies (CRCs), Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The same is true if a new car is on your shopping list or if you choose to open a store credit card account. Just as they would at any other time of year, those score inquiries from lenders can cause a dip in your credit score.

The shopping-season strategy here is twofold: You want to maximize your score before applying for this holiday-related credit, and you want to avoid having these holiday loans lower your score in advance of any major borrowing you may be planning in the early months of the new year.