Mortgage Rates Eclipse 7%

For the first time in two-plus decades, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) has passed the 7% mark, as Freddie Mac reported the 30-year FRM averaging 7.08% with an average 0.8 point for the week ending October 27, 2022, up from last week when it averaged 6.94%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged more than half … Continued

What’s Ahead for Home Prices?

As the housing market cools in response to the dramatic rise in mortgage rates, home price appreciation is cooling as well. And if you’re following along with headlines in the media, you’re probably seeing a wide range of opinions calling for everything from falling home prices to ongoing appreciation. But what’s true? What’s most likely to happen moving forward? … Continued

What Happens to Housing when There’s a Recession?

Since the 2008 housing bubble burst, the word recession strikes a stronger emotional chord than it ever did before. And while there’s some debate around whether we’re officially in a recession right now, the good news is experts say a recession today would likely be mild and the economy would rebound quickly. As the 2022 … Continued

Existing-Home Sales Decreased 1.5% in September

Key Highlights Existing-home sales sagged for the eighth consecutive month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million. Sales slipped 1.5% from August and 23.8% from the previous year. The median existing-home sales price increased to $384,800, up 8.4% from one year ago. The inventory of unsold existing homes declined for the second straight … Continued

Where Are Mortgage Rates Headed?

Mark Fleming got it right. Forecasting mortgage rates is an impossible task. However, it’s probably safe to assume the days of attaining a 3% mortgage rate are over. The question is whether that will soon be true for 4% rates as well.

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today

1. Home Prices
The most recent Home Price Insights report by CoreLogic shows home values have increased by 19.1% from last January to this January. That was one reason affordability declined over the past year.

2. Mortgage Rates
While the current global uncertainty makes it difficult to project mortgage rates, we do know current rates are almost one full percentage point higher than they were last year. According to Freddie Mac, the average monthly rate for last February was 2.81%. This February it was 3.76%. That increase in the mortgage rate also contributes to homes being less affordable than they were last year.

3. Wages
The one big, positive component in the affordability equation is an increase in American wages. In a recent article by RealtyTrac, Peter Miller addresses that point:

“Prices are up, but what about wages? ADP reports that job holder incomes increased 5.9% last year but rose 8.0% for those who switched employers. In effect, some of the higher cost to buy a home has been offset by more cash income.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) also recently released information that looks at income and affordability. The NAR data provides a comparison of the current median family income versus the qualifying income for a median-priced home in each region of the country. Here’s a graph of their findings:

Key Factors That Impact Affordability Today | Keeping Current Matters

As the graph shows, the median family income (shown in blue on the graph) is greater than the qualifying income needed to buy a median-priced home (shown in green on the graph) in all four regions of the country. While those figures may vary in certain locations within each region, it’s important to note that, in most of the country, homes are still affordable.

So, when you think about affordability, remember that the picture includes more than just home prices and mortgage rates. When prices rise and rates rise, it does impact affordability, and experts project both of those things will climb in the months ahead. That’s why it’s less affordable to buy a home than it was over the past two years when prices and rates were lower than they are today. But wages need to be factored into affordability as well. Because wages have been rising, they’re a big reason that, while less affordable, homes are not unaffordable today.

Bottom Line
To find out more about affordability in your local area, reach out to a trusted real estate professional. They can help you understand where home prices are locally, what’s happening with mortgage rates, and can connect you with a lender so you’re able to make an informed financial decision. Remember, while less affordable, homes are not unaffordable, which still gives you an opportunity to buy today.

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« How Global Uncertainty Is Impacting Mortgage Rates
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Win When You Sell (And When You Move)

As a homeowner, you have a great opportunity to get the best of both worlds this season. You can truly win when you sell and when you buy. If you’re thinking about making a move, meet with a real estate professional to learn how to get the process started.