5 Housing & Mortgage Trends for Spring
For buyers, the low mortgage rates will likely spur an increase in home buying and refinancing activities, while the low inventory of homes on the market should make it easier for potential sellers to sell their home.
Here are 5 mortgage / housing trends to watch out for in the coming months:
1) Fewer options will create higher prices and bidding wars.
Buyers looking to purchase a home this Spring / Summer will likely be met with a lot of competition. Demand from home buyers is growing faster than the supply of homes for sale, and “It’s creating a little bit of a shortage and a mismatch between supply and demand,” says Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the National Association of Realtors.
2) Loan modifications made easier.
Homeowners who are behind on their mortgages may get a hassle-free opportunity to reduce their monthly payments. Beginning in July, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will require mortgage servicers to provide streamlined modification programs to buyers with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“Streamlined modification provides borrowers who face difficulty satisfying the documentation standards of traditional workout programs with a path to stay in their homes with reduced paperwork requirements,” says Meg Burns, senior associate director for housing and regulatory policy for the FHFA.
3) Mortgage rates are SLOWLY rising.
Although mortgage rates are expected to increase slightly in the coming months, the rates are still extremely low. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the 30-year fixed rate will likely reach 3.9% by the end of the first quarter this year. While that number is slightly higher than the record lows we saw at the end of last year, it’s still an excellent deal for most buyers and refinancers.
4) Equity Loans and Cash-Out Refis are making a comeback.
According to a recent study, 1.7 million homeowners regained equity in their homes last year, and an additional 1.8 million are close to it. As prices rise, many homeowners will likely consider turning to their built up equity as a source for a loan. Many mortgage bankers across the country are already seeing an increase in homeowners using their equity to pay for their children’s college tuition, credit card debt, etc.
5) FHA loans losing their appeal.
If borrowers do not get their Federal Housing Administration mortgages by June 2, they will be charged for mortgage insurance for the life of their loans. Currently, borrowers are only required to pay for mortgage insurance on FHA loans until the balance reaches 78% of the original value of the home.
“For borrowers who plan to stay in their homes for less than 10 years, the new rules won’t make that much of a difference”, says Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Discover Home Loans. “But for those who are planning to keep their houses for an extended period, this is a big deal. They can always refinance later, but who knows where rates are going to be 10 years from now?”
What housing and/or mortgage trends are you seeing for this coming Spring and Summer?