Weekly Mortgage and Real Estate Report – Week of August 28, 2017

ECONOMIC COMMENTARY
Fall Forward

 

Though the calendar states that fall comes later in September, Labor Day weekend is actually the real end of summer for most Americans. It means back to school for the kids and the end of vacation season. Congress is back in session after their August recess. Though many think that Congressmen go on vacation during recesses, most are back in their districts meeting with their staffers and gauging the temperature of their constituents.

Fall starts the second homebuying season of the year. Though not as strong as the spring season, the fall is a time that people list their homes and want to be settled in a new home before the holiday season arrives. This fall we are hopeful that more are listing their homes because the market has been constrained by a listing shortage.

Before we go out to enjoy the Labor Day weekend, we will have something of an economic report anomaly. Since the first day of September is on Friday, the employment report will be released early before the holiday weekend starts. Many will be on vacation this week and others will be leaving early for the holiday. Thus, the markets may be prone towards more volatility if there is a surprise in the report. If there is a surprise, it will be like saying — Surprise, we had ___ jobs added. Have a nice holiday weekend to think about it!

REAL ESTATE NEWS
  Parents who would like to see their adult children leave the nest are increasingly buying their offspring their own places. Once upon a time, Mom and Dad would wait until their kids were starting their own families to help them buy a house or apartment, if they offered any help at all. But now, that kind of assistance is coming earlier and earlier — and continuing longer and longer. Leonard Steinberg, president of the New York real estate chain Compass, sees this trend as the vanguard of an enormous shifting of assets that will happen over the next 20 years, as wealth accumulated by baby boomers is transferred to their heirs. How much wealth? A staggering $30 trillion, Steinberg says, adding that it will be “the greatest transfer of generational wealth ever.” And this isn’t an isolated occurrence — it’s a real trend, says Steinberg. While the trend is nationwide, Steinberg says it is more concentrated among larger cities where the cost of renting is sky-high. The reasoning: Why waste enormous amounts of money on rent — a “reckless” expenditure, in Steinberg’s words — if a parent can help a child get started in homeownership instead? Hopefully, doing so will give the children a leg up on all the financial benefits from building equity, and foster values necessary to homeownership, like commitment. It also helps grown kids who have gotten themselves into the financial netherworld of bad credit — perhaps due to the burden of scholastic debt — or who have no debt, or credit history, at all. In those cases, their debt-to-income ratio is either so high or so nonexistent that it’s all but impossible for them to qualify for financing on their own. It may sound as though this kind of maneuver is the exclusive province of millionaires, but Steinberg says he sees it over all niches of wealth. “A $50,000 cash infusion can make all the difference,” he says. Source: Lew Sichelman, Uexpress — Want an article which explains how parents can help their children purchase? Contact us.The vast majority of Americans say that homeownership is a good investment but many are concerned about affordability. A new survey from the National Association of Realtors shows that, while 84% of respondents agree that owning a home is a good investment, the highest level since 2007. Most respondents said that building equity in a home, rather than boosting the bank accounts of landlords, was their primary reason for viewing homeownership as a good investment. The second highest reason given was a debt-free home to boost retirement wealth. Affordability is an issue for many though, with 40% of white Americans and more than half of non-white Americans saying a lack of affordable housing is a big problem. The issue is bigger in the top 25 densest markets and among the working class (65%) and public servants (55%). “Despite the growing concern over affordable housing, this survey makes it clear that a strong majority still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home,” says NAR president William E. Brown. Source: National Mortgage Professional

If your home has two master bedrooms, you may very well have a highly desired feature that many couples want in their next home and are willing to pay extra for. Among the top 10 percent of markets nationwide, active listings that include multiple master bedrooms are priced, on average, about 9 percent higher than those with just one master, according to a realtor.com® analysis. Luxury home builders are taking notice of the growth in demand. A 2016 survey by John Burns Real Estate Consulting found that nearly one in three potential home buyers in the $2 million and above price range said they wanted dual master bedrooms. “This was the first survey where we asked about a dual master—prior to this year, it wasn’t on the radar at all,” says Pete Reeb, a principal with John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Some couples are finding separate bedrooms a must. “There has been this stigma about people sleeping apart,” says Wendy Troxel, a clinical psychologist and senior behavioral scientist at the Rand Corp. “But perhaps we are moving more toward this acceptance that there is not one-size-fits-all.” Some people desire two masters because they’re struggling to get to sleep, such as due to insomnia, snoring, or REM sleep behavior, says Rafael Pelayo, a clinical professor of psychiatry and sleep specialist at Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. Also leading to higher demand for extra masters: multigenerational living. Elderly parents and boomerang offspring are expressing more desires for larger separate bedroom areas, housing analysts note. Source: The Wall Street Journal

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