Housing News
More Home Sellers Offer Buyers Concessions
When the housing market was at its peak, home sellers had the advantage. It was common for a homeowner with an attractive listing to receive multiple offers from interested buyers. Put simply, it was a sellers' market. These days, things have obviously changed. Higher mortgage rates and more challenging affordability conditions mean home sellers have to work a little harder to entice potential buyers. It is leading more of them to offer buyers concessions.
But what are concessions? Well, they can be a lot of things, including mortgage rate buy-downs and covering closing costs or the cost of home repairs. They are becoming more common as the market begins to find better balance. In fact, according to one recent analysis, 42 percent of home sellers who sold a home during the final three months of 2022 gave buyers concessions. That is a high number and further proof that the housing market is beginning to tilt back toward buyers after many years of favoring sellers (from Money)
Number Of Homes for Sale Up 55% In December
Inventory has been one of the housing market's primary problems for years now. Too few available homes for sale, combined with an elevated number of buyers, pushed home prices higher and caused affordability issues, bidding wars, and frustration for home shoppers. But new numbers from the National Association of Realtors' consumer website show the market beginning to balance after years of imbalance.
In fact, the number of active homes for sale in December was 54.7 percent higher than it was at the same time the year before. And while inventory remains low compared to pre-pandemic averages, the improvement should be welcome news for anyone hoping to buy a home in 2023. Danielle Hale, the website's chief economist, says the gains will help moderate price growth and bring buyers back to the market. “Moderation in home price growth may encourage more buyers to return to the market in the months ahead and may also be welcome news for sellers aiming to sell and buy at the same time,” Hale said.(from Realor.com)
Mortgage Rates Fall to Lowest Since September 2022
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week. In fact, rates were down from the week before across all loan categories. Mike Fratantoni, MBA's SVP, and chief economist, says rates are now at their lowest level since last September. “Mortgage rates are now at their lowest level since September 2022, and about a percentage point below the peak mortgage rate last fall,” Fratantoni said. “As we enter the beginning of the spring buying season, lower mortgage rates and more homes on the market will help affordability for first-time home buyers.”
As it is, lower rates spurred demand for mortgage applications, with overall demand up 30 percent and demand for home purchase loans up 25 percent week-over-week. The MBA's survey has been conducted weekly since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.(from Mortgage Bankers Association)
The Real Reason Behind the Pandemic's Buying Boom
A lot changed when the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020. But while some of those changes – like remote work or the rise in grocery delivery services – made perfect sense, others were not as clear. Take the housing market, for example. Home buying demand skyrocketed during the pandemic. But why? What about a global pandemic would lead Americans to become more interested in buying a home? The initial explanation offered was that the pandemic caused us to spend more time at home, which resulted in people wanting more space. But was that really it?
Well, a new study from Fannie Mae looks at what drove the pandemic-era home buying boom. The study surveyed recent home buyers and asked if they accelerated their home purchase because of the pandemic. They found that most home buyers who moved during the pandemic bought when they did because of historically low mortgage rates, not COVID. In fact, 56 percent of respondents said the pandemic neither accelerated nor slowed their home purchase timeline. (from Fannie Mae)
If you are in the market to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC. Contact us today and we would love to get you going 
The Team USA Real Estate @ RE/MAX Executives 
Posted by Abuzar Waleed on
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