Archive for May, 2017

The Top 10 Careers for First-Time Home Buyers

Posted on May 26, 2017 by Laura Lam

Although home prices continue to rise, one degree stands above the rest as being the best for those who wish to buy at home closer to the start of their career.  Of the top 26 degrees that would allow graduates to purchase a home in four years, 22 of them involve engineering, according to a recent study from Realtor.com.  The top degree enables buyers to purchase a home within 2.5 years of graduation. “When it comes to homeownership, degrees in engineering really pay off,” realtor.com Senior Economist Joe Kirchner said. “It shows just how powerful a high starting salary can…

Mortgage Delinquencies Hit 8-Year High In April

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

The delinquency rate on first-lien mortgages (30 days or more past due) stood at 4.08% as of the end of April – an increase of 12.93% compared with March but a decrease of 3.58% in April 2016, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ First Look report.  It was the largest monthly increase in the mortgage delinquency rate in more than 8 years, the company says. However, Black Knight notes that the increase was primarily calendar-driven due to both the month ending on a Sunday and March being the typical calendar-year low and largely isolated to early-stage delinquencies.  As of the end…

First-Time Homebuyers Deterred by Misconceptions

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

The lack of knowledge around the home purchase process was cited by 39% of mortgage executives as the leading barrier keeping potential first-time buyers from entering the market.  That topped a lack of inventory (29%), excess student loan debt (27%) and rising interest rates (6%), according to a survey taken during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Secondary Market Conference by Genworth Mortgage Insurance. The greatest cause of confusion among first-time homebuyers is the role of a 20% down payment.  Of those surveyed, 28% said consumers still mistakenly believe that a 20% down payment is a requirement for purchasing a home,…

Household Debt Hits New Record

Posted on May 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

Household debt is topping its 2008 peak prior to the housing crash. Total household debt has risen to $12.73 trillion in the first quarter, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported last week. However, Americans are handling their debt—mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and other forms of borrowing – much better, the report shows.  Americans were delinquent on 4.8% of total debt in the first quarter. For comparison, at the end of 2009, 11.9% of consumers were delinquent on their debt by at least 30 days. The increase in household debt may indicate that more Americans are confident about…

Switching Gears: Builders Turn to Starter Homes to Lure Millennials

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Laura Lam

First-time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines, promising to kick a housing market already flush with luxury sales into higher gear.  Tracking home sales to a particular age group is hard, but a series of data points form a mosaic of a generation of young people ready to buy: The number of new-owner households was double the number of new-renter households in the first quarter of this year, the share of first-time buyers is creeping back toward the historical average, and mortgages for first-timers are on the rise. “They’re crawling out of their parents’…

American Households Spend 53% of Its Income On These Expenses

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

If there’s one fairly steady theme over the past couple of decades, it’s that consumers are saving less of their income and their household budgets are being pushed to the limit.  According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s February data, the personal saving rating in America was a paltry 5.6%. Comparatively, U.S. workers were socking away more than 12% of their paycheck 50 years ago.  At the same time, a number of household expenses have largely outpaced the inflation rate and wage growth. These include healthcare costs, college expenses, and in recent years housing costs, since home prices have…

Consumer Housing Optimism Rebounds in April

Posted on May 18, 2017 by Laura Lam

Many consumers grew more optimistic about the housing in April, rebounding from March’s dip in confidence, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.  The index increased 2.2 percentage points in April to 86.7, and 5 of the 6 components saw an increase.  Americans who said now is a good time to sell a home was the only component to decrease, dropping 5 percentage points to 26%, however those who said now is a good time to buy a home increased 5 percentage points to 35%. Consumers were also more optimistic about the stability of their jobs, with that component increasing by seven…

Majority of Homes Priced Below Pre-Recession Peak

Posted on May 17, 2017 by Laura Lam

While many reports show that home prices in many markets surpassed their previous peak, Trulia’s new study shows this is just the average, and more homes than not have yet to recover their full value lost in the recession.  When it comes to individual homes, the U.S. housing market has yet to recover, according to the study. It shows just 34.2% of homes reached values surpassing their pre-recession peak. While a full 98% of homes in Denver and San Francisco surpassed their pre-recession peaks, this is not the case across other metros in the U.S. In Las Vegas and Tucson, Arizona,…

Millions of Homes Still ‘Seriously Underwater’

Posted on May 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

Since the housing recovery began a few years ago, millions of homeowners have gotten their heads back above water due to rising home prices.  That said, there are still millions who are still underwater. In its latest report, ATTOM Data Solutions found nearly 5.5 million homes in the “seriously underwater” category at the end of the first quarter. Homes in that grouping have mortgages that are at least 25% more than the homes’ current value.  The report says the number of homes seriously underwater actually rose from the number at the end of the fourth quarter, suggesting a worsening of…

Bank Card Default Rate Increases, Auto Loan Defaults Down

Posted on May 15, 2017 by Laura Lam

The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, shows the composite rate unchanged from last month at 0.94% in March. The bank card default rate recorded a 3.31% default rate, up 9 basis points from February. Auto loan defaults came in at 1.00%, down 5 basis points from the previous month. The first mortgage default rate came in at 0.75%, up one basis point from February and reaching a one-year high. The 5 major cities showed mixed results in March with two higher and three lower default rates. New York had the largest…