Guardian Residential Lending Industry News, January 16-23, 2020

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January 16, 2020
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In the Know: A Roundup of This Week’s Local and National Real Estate Stories 

Mortgage rates drop to a 3-month low; Housing starts jump to a 13-year high…

Mortgage rates drop to three-month low (HW, Jan. 23)

The average U.S. fixed rate for a 30-year mortgage now sits at 3.6%


First-time buyers catch a break, NAR’s Yun says (HW, Jan. 20)

Low mortgage rates are making up for lagging income growth

The cheapest financing in more than three years is making it easier for first-time buyers to afford a home. A tiny bit easier.


Hottest ‘Hoods 2019: Home prices were steepest in these 25 Portland-area ZIP codes (Portland Business Journal, Jan. 16)

  1. Lake Oswego (97034) = $814,500 median home price
  2. Irvington / Grant Park (97212) = $655,000 median home price
  3. Sylvan / Bridlemile (97221) = $628,999 median home price


Fewer U.S. homeowners moved in 2019 than ever before (HW, Jan. 16)

Remodel activity is up as people are staying in their homes

According to Buildfax, the housing data and analytics company, 2019 marked the lowest rate of mobility in the U.S. since the metric was first tracked in 1947. Only 9.8% of Americans moved last year. Though this marks a new low, it’s not terribly far off from the only 10.1% who moved between 2017 and 2018.


US housing starts soar 16.9% in December to a 13-year high (CNBC, Jan. 17)

U.S. homebuilding surged to a 13-year high in December as activity increased across the board.

The data suggested the housing market recovery was back on track amid low mortgage rates, and could help support the longest economic expansion on record.

Housing starts jumped 16.9% to an annual rate of 1.608 million units last month, the highest level since 2006.


Will 2020 be a good year to buy a home? Here’s what the experts say (MarketWatch, Jan 21)

Economists say that 2020 will be a positive — though not exactly stellar — year for the housing market. And that could be good news for renters and home buyers alike.


Share of First-Time Home Buyers Rises Significantly in the Final Quarter of 2019 (National Association of Home Builders, Jan. 21)

According to NAHB’s latest Housing Trends Report, the share of adults who are considering purchasing a home in the next 12 months fell to 11% in the final quarter of 2019, down from 13% a year earlier.  This decline marks the fifth consecutive year-over-year drop in the share of American adults planning to buy a home in the year ahead, a trend likely spurred by the low levels of housing inventory available in the market.

An important development in the fourth quarter of 2019, however, is that a significantly larger share of prospective home buyers are first-time buyers (63%) than the comparable figure a year earlier (53%).  Future polls will determine if first-time buyers will continue to grow as a share of all those looking to buy a home.


Fannie Mae’s Duncan: Low mortgage rates will boost prices (HW, Jan. 21)

30-year fixed mortgage rate likely will average 3.7%, down from 3.9% in 2019

Fannie Mae raised its forecast for 2020 home-price gains, saying low mortgage rates and a strong labor market will pump up demand for properties.

Single-family home prices probably will increase at a 4.6% pace this year, Fannie Mae said in a forecast on Tuesday. That compares with the 4.1% advance for 2020 the mortgage giant predicted a month ago.


Single Women Losing When Buying, Selling Homes (The M Report, Jan. 20)

A study from the Yale School of Management of more than 50 million housing transactions found on average, single women buying houses for 2% more than single men but sell them for 2% less.


Just For Fun

Here are 5 renovation mistakes to avoid for resale (HW, Jan. 15)

If you’re looking for a good ROI, you may want to steer clear of these.


Thanks for reading!