Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, February 21-28, 2019

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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

2019 Homebuyer Report, Latino Homeownership, How to Renovate a Midcentury Modern House, and more…

2019 Home Buyer Report: Recent Home Buyers Stretched, Future Hunters Optimistic (NerdWallet, Feb. 26)

Key findings

  1. Upping the ante.Nearly half (45%) of Americans who’ve purchased a home in the past five years offered more than asking price before having their offer accepted.
  2. Feeling the pinch post-purchase.One-fourth (25%) of American homeowners say they no longer felt financially secure after purchasing their current home — and more than one-third (34%) of first-time home buyers identified with this sentiment.
  3. Missed savings by the millions.American home buyers could save $776 million in a single year by comparing mortgage rates among lenders before applying, according to NerdWallet’s analysis. That’s over $400 per borrower in the first year of a 30-year mortgage.
  4. More Americans looking to buy.Thirty-six percent of Americans plan to buy a home in the next five years, compared with 32% when we asked in December 2017. Of them, 24% say they’ll be making the purchase within the next 12 months.
  5. Some hesitancy after foreclosure.Thirteen percent of Americans have lost a home due to a financial event such as foreclosure in the past 10 years. More than 6 in 10 of them (61%) have not bought a home since, a.nd 20% of those who haven’t repurchased say they never plan to again.
  6. Down payment misconceptions.More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home. The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or less down on their home, according to census data.


Have we reached a tipping point in the rising costs of homes? (Housing Wire, Feb. 26)

Case-Shiller report shows lowest level of home price growth since Nov. 2016

The latest Case-Shiller Home Price Index from S&P Dow Jones Indices and CoreLogic, released Tuesday morning, shows that home prices continued rising in December, but that the rate at which they’re increasing is actually slowing down a bit.

According to a review of the data by CoreLogic Deputy Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin, thanks to a slower December, home price growth is now at its lowest level since November 2016.

“2018 was a turning point for home-price growth in the U.S. housing market. In 2018, we saw monthly over-the-year gains in home prices grow at the slowest rate for a calendar year since 2014,” McLaughlin said.

According to McLaughlin, this year should bring more modest and sustainable levels of price growth in the real estate market.

“With inventory now rising from historic lows and price gains continuing to outpace wage growth, we should see home price appreciation settle toward more reasonable levels throughout 2019 and the remainder of this economic cycle,” McLaughlin said.


Redfin: 2019 is shaping up to be a good year for homebuyers (HW, Feb. 27)

More Americans are slashing home prices than in previous winters

“More than any time in the past few years, 2019 is shaping up to be a good year for homebuyers,” Redfin writes. “One way the market has shifted to buyers: More price drops. As of mid-February, more than one in five homes for sale had a price drop—the largest February rate in at least 10 years.”


Latino homeowners getting ahead (The Portland Tribune, Feb. 25)

It took 19 years of salting away money for a down payment, plus help from her familia, for Jenny Soriano to buy her own home in Hillsboro. That enabled the former waitress, an immigrant from Mexico City, to reunite under the same roof with her three adult children, plus their partners and two grandchildren.

“My culture likes all family together,” said Soriano, 48.

More and more Latino families here are achieving the American dream of homeownership. But that’s in sharp contrast to African-American families, who are moving in the opposite direction.


Millennials have officially entered the housing market (HW, Feb. 22)

Millennial purchasing power heats up

It’s long been projected that Millennials are destined to dominate the housing market in upcoming years. Now, new data from reveals that it’s finally happening. Millennials are buying houses. Lots of them.

According to, in January 2017, Millennials surpassed Generation X as the group that was responsible for the most new mortgages. Since then, Millennials’ share of the mortgage market has continued to rise. By the end of 2018, Millennials represented 45% of all new mortgages, compared to 36% for Generation X, and 17% for Baby Boomers.

What’s new is that Millennials also finally surpassed older generations in the total dollar amount of those mortgages. According to the data, Millennials now represent the largest dollar volume by age group as well.


Homeownership is still financially better than renting (Urban Institute, Feb. 21)

Homeownership has traditionally been an important way to build wealth. The Survey of Consumer Finances shows that the average homeowner has household wealth of $231,420, while the average renter has household wealth of $5,200. But these numbers do not sort cause and effect, even though wealthier people buy homes and homeownership builds wealth. Many families lost their homes during the Great Recession, which had negative wealth effects. But numerous studies have shown that, on average, those who bought homes before the crisis built more wealth than similarly situated renters, even taking into account the wealth effects of those who could not sustain homeownership during the crisis.

Homeownership is not the universal panacea, but the financial returns on homeownership have been more beneficial than renting for most homeowners and will likely remain so if current patterns continue.


4 simple steps to take your credit score from ‘bad’ to ‘good’—or from ‘good’ to ‘perfect’ (CNBC, Feb. 27)

  1.  Understand Your Score
  2.  Make Payments In Full and On Time
  3.  Know How Much You’re Spending
  4.  Keep an Eye on Your Score


Oregon will impose nation’s first statewide rent control measure (Portland Business Journal, Feb. 27)

Oregon lawmakers have all but implemented what’s been called the first statewide rent control policy in the entire nation. Today, the state House of Representatives voted 35 to 25 to approve Senate Bill 608, which would cap annual rent increases at 7 percent plus inflation. Newly constructed residential units would be exempt for 15 years.


Just For Fun

How to Renovate a Midcentury Modern House (Curbed, Feb. 27)

9 Tips from an Expert



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