There are many young people debating whether they should renew the lease on their apartment or sign a contract to purchase their first home. Based on a recent study, here are two reasons buying a home might make more sense:
Earlier this month, Zillow predicted that millennial buyers (under the age of 35) will become the largest group of buyers, overtaking Gen X (35-50 years old) by the end of 2015. Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow Chief Economist, explained:
“Roughly 42 percent of millennials say they want to buy a home in the next one to five years, compared to just 31 percent of Generation X, and by the end of 2015 millennials will become the largest home-buying age group. The lack of home-buying activity from millennials thus far is decidedly not because this generation isn’t interested in homeownership, but instead because younger Americans have been delaying getting married and having children, two key drivers in the decision to buy that first home. As this generation matures, they will become a home-buying force to be reckoned with.”
Two days later, Realtor.com also projected that Millennials will be a driving force in the housing market next year. In their 2015 Housing Forecast, they claim:
“Households headed by millennials will see significant growth as a reflection of economic gains. Millennials will also drive two-thirds of household formations over the next five years. Next year’s addition of 2.75 million jobs and increased household formation will be the two key factors driving first-time buyer sales.”
AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk also released their first First-Time Buyer Mortgage Share Index this month. The report revealed that the percentage of first time home buyers may have been underestimated in 2014. According to the report, the percentage of first time buyers “averaged an estimated 46 percent over the 12 months ending October 2014”.
That number far exceeds other numbers reported by the National Association of Realtors and others.
The Millennial generation is growing up, finding jobs, getting married and starting families. Homeownership will definitely be the next step.
The New York Times recently published an editorial entitled, “Homeownership and Wealth Creation.” The housing market has made a strong recovery, not only in sales and prices, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment.
The article explains:
“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”
Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.
The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).
One reason for this large discrepancy in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment and was explained by the Times:
“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”
“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”
“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.” If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!
11/3/2014 – Millions of Potential New Households Waiting Out the Recovery
11/11/2014 – Experts: First-Time Homebuyers’ Weak Finances Holding Back Housing Market
12/2/2014 – In 2015, Millennials Will Be Biggest Home Buying Group
It sure seems that the group that released the first two stories emphatically disagrees with the organization that published the last news release.
Amazingly, the same entity published all three reports. What?
It seems the company (a well-respected provider of housing information) reported that those forming new households are not looking to buy a home. They actually surveyed over one hundred housing experts who agreed. But 30 days later, they reported that millennials (most new households) will be the biggest group of home buyers this year. All in one month!!
All the headlines could actually be true. However, a consumer reading them might be misled. This is evidence of how difficult it is to actually understand the intricacies of today’s housing market. Even the experts can seem confused.
If you are thinking of either buying or selling a home, it is probably best to engage a local real estate professional to help you successfully navigate the ins-and-outs of today’s real estate transaction.
The Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are each projecting mortgage interest rates to increase substantially over the next twelve months. What will that mean to the housing market in 2015?
Last week, we posted a graph showing that home prices appreciated each of the last four times mortgage interest rates dramatically increased. Today, we want to talk about the impact higher rates might have on the number of home sales.
The reason many experts are calling for a rise in rates is because they see a stabilizing economy. With the economy beginning to improve, they expect the employment situation to regain some ground lost during the recession, incomes to grow and for consumer confidence to improve.
In its November 2014 U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook, Freddie Mac explains:
“While higher interest rates generally detract from housing activity, when they occur with strong job and income growth the net result can be increases in household formations, construction, and home sales. Our view for 2015 is exactly that, namely, income and job growth offset the negative effect of higher interest rates and translate into gains for the nation’s housing market.”
Even with mortgage rates increasing, home sales and home appreciation should be just fine in 2015.
Yesterday, HousingWire reported that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally announced their 3% down options on home purchases. Fannie Mae’s plan will be effective December 13, 2014 while the Freddie Mac plan will be available March 23, 2015. The HW article quotes FHFA Director Mel Watt:
“The new lending guidelines released today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.”
This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment.
Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern:
“To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”
We also recently addressed this issue.
Remember, as with any new program, there will be some confusion as it is unveiled. Contact a mortgage professional for a deeper understanding. Don’t have a mortgage person yet? Contact me for a referral.
CNBC’s Diana Olick recently reported that rents in the residential housing sector continued to rise in 2014. She interviewed Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Trulia, who revealed:
“Rents are rising because of strong demand that supply hasn’t kept up with. Nearly all the new households are renters, and young people moving out of their parents’ homes will keep fueling rental demand.”
The question now is where rents will be heading over the next twelve months. In a press release last week, Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries predicted residential rental prices will continue to climb in 2015:
“Home value appreciation will continue to cool down, from roughly 6 percent now to around 2.5 percent by the end of 2015. But rents will see no such slowdown, and will continue to grow around 3.5 percent annually throughout 2015. As renters’ costs keep going up, I expect the allure of fixed mortgage payments and a more stable housing market will entice many more otherwise content renters into the housing market.”
However, those potential buyers must make a decision quickly because, as Kolko explains:
“Paying more on rent makes it harder for would-be homebuyers to save for a down payment.”
Ryan Severino, a senior economist at Reis, in Olick’s article stated the obvious:
“Landlords should still be able to push asking rent increases on to their tenants.”
If you are thinking about buying a home in 2015 instead of continuing to rent, it probably makes sense.