Home prices nearing all-time peak
Home prices are heading towards a new national peak after rising 5.3 per cent in the past year.
The latest HPI (August) from mortgage data analysts at Black Knight Financial shows that the nationwide average price of $266,000 is just 0.7 per cent from surpassing the previous peak and is 33 per cent above the market bottom.
Of the largest states, New York saw the sharpest rise in prices at 1.4 per cent with New York City leading the largest metros with a 1.2 per cent rise in HPI.
Of the others in the top 10 largest there were gains for Texas and Florida of 0.5 per cent; Michigan 0.4 per cent; Pennsylvania and North Carolina 0.3 per cent; and Illinois 0.2 per cent. Prices were down in Ohio (0.2 per cent) and Georgia (0.1 per cent); and flat in California.
First-time buyers increasing as incomes rise
First-time buyers are increasing their buying power and their share of the market has rebounded from a near 30-year low in 2015.
A Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from the National Association of Realtors shows that first-timers made up 35 per cent of all homebuyers in 2016 and their average income rose to $72,000 from $69,400 in 2015.
Single women became owners of a larger share of homes (17 per cent) despite having a lower average income than single men ($55,300 vs. $69,600). Single men accounted for just 7 per cent of homebuyers.
Married couples made up the lion’s share of homebuyers (66 per cent) and had the largest average income ($99,200). The typical age of a first-time buyer was 32 while repeat buyers were 52.
"Even with the affordability challenges many buyers face, the allure of homeownership is not lost among the younger generation. Those under age 35 made up 61 percent of first-time buyer transactions," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.
On applying for a mortgage, 40 per cent of first-timers said it was harder than expected, but that was down from 45 per cent a year ago. An average downpayment for first-timers remained at 6 per cent for the 3rd straight year in the survey while for repeat buyers it was 14 per cent.
New ‘dating’ app launched for real estate market
Buyers, sellers and real estate agents can now find their perfect match based on custom personality profiles with the launch of a new app.
MySoldMate helps buyers and sellers find a compatible Realtor based on a short personality test. While it can be used by anyone, there is a particular focus on millennials, with successful campaigns on Snapchat.
"A growing share of homebuyers are millennials," said Maisha , Co-Founder and Co-CEO, MySoldMate. "Millennials are our primary target market," and Snapchat is a great way to reach them."
The MySoldMate team believe that being able to match with a real estate agent based on compatible personalities will enhance the homebuying experience.