Morning Briefing: Optimism for home buying rises

by Steve Randall21 Apr 2016
Optimism for home buying rises
There is increased optimism in now being a good time to buy a home. A survey from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices found that 76 per cent of prospective first-time buyers, mainly millennials and Gen-X, say that this year is an ideal time to buy with low mortgage rates a big incentive.

“Though no one can predict the future, we believe there’s a high probability that mortgage rates will remain low for the foreseeable future,” said Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices President Stephen Phillips.

There is also a drop in the concern of potential buyers that they will struggle to find a home due to low inventory. The figures show this worry declined by 17 per cent from the previous survey in December. However, 72 per cent said they were concerned that higher prices will stop them entering the market.
 
Home sellers pocketed $30k in March, highest in 9 years
Those who sold their homes in March saw an average appreciation of $30,500, the highest level of growth since December 2007. RealtyTrac’s figures show an average 17 per cent gain for sellers based on public figures in more than 900 counties nationwide.

Among 125 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 300 sales in March, home sellers realized the biggest average gains compared to purchase price in San Francisco (72 per cent average gain); San Jose, California (60 per cent); Boulder, Colorado (53 per cent); Prescott, Arizona (51 per cent); and Los Angeles (48 per cent).

The biggest annual increase in median home price were Philadelphia (up 29 per cent); Rockford, Illinois (up 22 per cent); and Jacksonville, Florida (up 22 per cent).

However, the report also shows that 17 per cent of markets showed a decline in prices in the past 12 months; including Washington, D.C. (down 7 per cent); San Francisco (down 2 per cent following 47 consecutive months of increases); and Baltimore, Maryland (down 6 per cent).
 
Credit scores concerning for millennials
Millennials are concerned that their credit scores will prevent them from obtaining a mortgage according to Experian. Its survey found that 45 per cent have delayed buying a home in order to improve credit scores and a fifth say they won’t even try for a mortgage for at least the next five to ten years.

The desire to become a first-time buyer is still high though with the survey finding that three quarters are working to improve their credit scores. Data shows that the proportion of first-time buyers was still well-below average in March at just 30 per cent.

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