Home Mortgages: Rates Are Up And Requirements Easing. The media has extensively covered the rise in mortgage interest rates since last fall (from 3.42% last September to the current 4.1% according to Freddie Mac). However, a less covered aspect of the mortgage market is that requirements to get a mortgage have eased while rates have risen.
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) quantifies the availability of mortgage credit each month with their Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to the MBA, the MCAI is:
“A summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”
The higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage. Here is a chart showing the MCAI over the last several months as rates have increased.
Have requirements for attaining a mortgage actually eased?
Yes. Here are two examples:
- FICO® Score – the credit score which helps determine a buyer’s eligibility. The score required to attain a mortgage has been falling over the last five months:
- Down Payment Requirement – the percentage of the purchase price necessary to place as a down payment on a home. To make this point, let’s look at the percentage of first-time buyers who have put less than 5% down over the last several years as compared to the 1st quarter of 2017:
Whether you are a current homeowner looking to move to a home that will better serve your family’s current needs, or a first-time buyer looking for a starter home, it is easier to get a mortgage today than it has been at any other time in the last ten years.
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Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision.
Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious.
Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again, find out if you could use your housing costs to own a home of your own!
Homeowners have a much greater financial stake in their neighborhoods than renters. With the median national home price in 2015 at $223,900, even a 5% decline in home values will translate into a loss of more than $11,195 for a typical homeowner.
Real estate sales for zip code 92506, Riverside California were solid for January 2017. The biggest change is the number of homes listed for January 2017. That number increased 13.6% from 51 homes in January 2016 to 59 homes in January 2017
This is an Ikea and Target generation. They live minimally, much more so than the boomers. As a result, they don’t have the emotional connection to things that earlier generations did.