Morning Briefing: Academics question ability of first-time buyers

by Steve Randall01 Jul 2016
Academics question ability of first-time buyers
The desire to buy a home may remain strong but an academic study questions whether first-time buyers will be able to enter the market in the future as home prices continue to rise.

The State of the Nation’s Housing report from Harvard Research Center highlights the slide in homeownership to 63.7 per cent in 2015 – a decade low – and the increase in income equality with households earning under $25,000 rising to 45 per cent of the net growth in US households from 2005-2015.

“The question is not so much whether families will want to buy homes in the future, but whether they will be able to do so,” commented Chris Herbert, the managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

While there are some positive factors which show that the national housing market has regained enough momentum after the crash to once again be a driver of US economic growth; the unaffordability of homes, including rental homes, is a concern.

“Tight mortgage credit, the decade-long falloff in incomes that is only now ending, and a limited supply of homes for sale are all keeping households—especially first-time buyers—on the sidelines. And even though a rebound in home prices has helped to reduce the number of underwater owners, the large backlog of foreclosures is still a serious drag on homeownership,” said Herbert.
Home prices up 5.4 per cent says mortgage lender
The latest data from mortgage lender Black Knight Financial shows a 5.4 per cent rise in home prices nationwide in the year to April 2016. Monthly prices rose 1 per cent from March to reach an average $260,000.

Washington was once again the metro with the largest appreciation in home prices, up 1.9 per cent in the month while all states and metros experienced positive price movement in April, with 5 of the 20 largest states and 14 of the 40 largest metros hitting new peaks.

Seattle and Walla Walla in Washington state; and Cheyenne, WY saw the largest gains in home prices in April, all up 2 per cent.
Diddy to sell NJ home listed in 2007
Sean “Diddy” Combs has finally found a buyer for his New Jersey home, which has been on the market for almost a decade.

The New York Post reports that the rapper’s 207 Anderson Avenue mansion, with 7 bedrooms and 9.5 bathrooms was considered overpriced for the Alpine market with an original listing price of $8.99 million rising to $13.5 million in 2011.

The home was bought by Combs in 2004 with a $3.9 million mortgage and is believed to be in contract for below $7.98 million.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?