Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Increase Maximum Loan Amounts

Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency  (FHFA)announced that effective January 1s, 2021, the maximum loan amounts for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans will be increased from $510,400 to $548,250.  Once a home buyers loan amount exceeds the Fannie and Freddie limits, their loan is considered a “jumbo” loan and typically less attractive terms, so an increase in the Fannie and Freddie limits is definitely helpful to home buyers in higher price ranges.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also increasing the loan limits for loans to purchase multi-family properties as well.  The multi-family property limits for 2021 are:

  • Two Units – $702,000
  • Three Units – $848,500
  • Four Units – $1,054,500

Mortgage Interest Rates Expected To Continue Falling Until Hitting 2.9 Percent Next Year

Fannie Mae issued their monthly housing forecast for April which includes, among other data, a forecast of what mortgage interest rates will be in the coming months.  Last months forecast had projected that mortgage rates would continue to decline moving forward but only to a low of 3.1% before the end of 2021 while the April forecast predicted the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would fall to 2.9% in the 2nd quarter of 2021 and stay there through the balance of the year.

If you’re able, now’s the time to buy!

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as job loss, is going to take some would-be home buyers out of the market, for those that are still able to buy, now is a great time to buy a home.  There are many factors that play in favor of buyers today, such as the fact that there are about 1/3 fewer of them (buyers in the market) now than this time last year, sellers that want to have fewer people coming through their homes and interest rates.  As our chart below shows, not only are rates low now, they are projected to go much lower even.

Why not wait until next year when the rates hit their lowest?

Good question, but there are several reasons not to wait.  First off, the rates shown on my chart are “projections”, or to put it another way “an educated guess”, so there is no guarantee rates will actually come down as predicted.  In addition, once the stay at home orders go away and we start moving back to something closer to normal, I anticipate there will be a flood of buyers to the market which, along with lower interest rates (if that happens) will likely drive home prices up.  So, for buyers that are able, they may get a better buy today, with less competition, still get a good interest rate and then if rates do fall as predicted can easily refinance to take advantage of lower rates.

Fannie Mae Mortgage Interest Rate Forecast April 2020 (Chart)

Fannie Mae Mortgage Interest Rate Forecast April 2020 (Chart)

Data source: Fannie Mae – Copyright ©2020 St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

HUD To Allow Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 To Defer House Payments For Up to a Year

As a result of the COVID-19 National Emergency Servicing and Loss Mitigation Program declared by President Trump, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sent a letter yesterday to its loan servicers making them aware of new COVID-19 National Emergency Loss Mitigation Options.  HUD told the lenders that the new options for borrowers go into effect immediately but the lender must implement them no later than April 30, 2020.

Highlights of the new forbearance plan:

  • The Mortgagee (lender)  must not deny COVID-19 National Emergency Home Retention Options to Borrowers that experience an adverse impact on their ability to make on-time Mortgage Payments due to the COVID-19 National Emergency and satisfy the loss mitigation criteria set forth in this section.
    • (A) Forbearance for Borrowers Affected by the COVID-19
      National Emergency If a Borrower is experiencing a financial hardship negatively impacting their ability to make on-time Mortgage Payments due to the COVID-19 National Emergency and makes a request for a forbearance, the Mortgagee must offer the Borrower a forbearance, which allows for one or more periods of reduced or suspended payments without specific terms of repayment.
    • The initial forbearance period may be up to 6 months. If needed, an
      additional forbearance period of up to 6 months may be requested by
      the Borrower and must be approved by the Mortgagee.
      The term of either the initial or the extended forbearance may be
      shortened at the Borrower’s request
      .
      (B) COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim
      The Mortgagee must waive all Late Charges, fees, and penalties, if
      any, as long as the Borrower is on a Forbearance Plan.

For any homeowners with an FHA loan that are struggling to make their house payments, they should contact their loan servicer to see if they are eligible for relief under this plan.

 

 

 

Payments On Typical St Charles County Home Over 13 Percent Cheaper Today Than Year Ago

The typical median-priced existing home sold for $233,000 in February 2019 and a year later, as the chart below shows, in February 2020 the typical median-priced home sold for $235,000, an increase of just under 1%.  Here’s the beauty though, thanks to interest rates dropping from an average of 4.41% a year ago to 3.29% today, even with the slight increase in price, the typical St Charles County home costs less today than a year ago!  Not just by a little either as the payment on the median price a year ago (no money down) would have been $1,178.18 at the current rates at the time, the payment today, at the higher price but lower rates would be just $1,019.15, a savings of $159.03/month or 13.5%!  Oh, and just to show the “compound effect” of this, over the life of the loan, you will save $55,249 in interest.

So, what are you waiting for?  Buy a house!

St Charles County Existing Home Sales – Past 13 Months

(click on chart for live-interactive chart)

St Charles County Existing Home Sales - Past 13 Months

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit All-Time Low!

Mortgage interest rates hit a record low this week with an average interest rate of 3.29% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.  As the chart below shows, interest rates came close to this level at the end of 2012 but then quickly shot up to over 4.5% shortly after.

Now is the time to buy or at least refinance!

Anyone that has been thinking of buying a home should, if able, shift into high geat and find one now to take advantage of the low rates and the increased buying power that comes with it.  The first step would be to get yourself pre-approved and, for that, I would recommend Michael McCarthy with Flat Branch Home Loans…he’s great and our firm does a lot of business with him.  You can find his info at STLBestLender.com.  If you a homeowner with a mortgage and no plans to move, I would also suggest you get in touch with Mike to see how much money you can save by refinancing your existing mortgage at a lower rate.

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Year Fixed-Rate

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Year Fixed-Rate

 

Mortgage Interest Rates….How low can they go??

For quite a while now we have enjoyed the positive effects on the real estate market from low mortgage rates but it looks like it’s going to get even better!  Yesterday’s announcement by the Fed of the emergency step of lowering the benchmark U.S. interest rate by one-half of one percent, in an effort to offset the negative effect tot eh financial markets from the coronavirus will likely lead to even lower mortgage interest rates.

What’s the connection between the federal funds rate and mortgage interest rates? This is something often asked not only by homebuyers but is even within the real estate community as since the Federal Reserve doesn’t “set” mortgage rates, the connection is not always clear.  I’m not an expert in this area by no means, but I have a decent understanding of it and will share it from the perspective of the most popular home mortgage, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.  First, we have to understand where the money for those mortgages comes from.  It comes from investors, investors that compare an investment in 30-year mortgages to other comparable investments.  One of those comparable investments would be the 30-year treasury.

Why I’m Bullish On Real Estate For 2020

As you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty optimistic about the outlook for the real estate market this year however, that is not always the case as I call it like I see it.  The reason for my optimism is based upon what a true data geek like myself would base it upon, data!  So, what’s the data that has me believing 2020 will be a good year for the housing market in St Louis and beyond?  Several things:

  • As I have been reporting here for the past couple of years now, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates have continued to decline which show the strength of the economy as a whole as well as the housing industry.
  • As the US Economic Indicators charts below show, since peaking around 2010, the unemployment rate, 30-year mortgage rate and mortgage delinquency rates have all steadily declines to either record lows or at least the lowest rate in recent history.
  • As the St Louis unemployment, home prices and rent chart below shows, unemployment in St Louis has fallen to the lowest level in decades and the relationship between home prices and rents show home prices lagging behind rents indicating that we’ll likely see continued, good housing appreciation rates.
  • As the 30-year fixed rate mortgage chart below shows, mortgage rates are at near record low rates giving buyers much more buying power.  In my market update video I shared here a day or two ago I illustrate just how much more buying power this translates into.
  • As I reported last week, St Louis home sales last year managed to top the prior year slightly, in spite of the low-inventory market we have been stuck in.  This shows the demand that is out there.
  • As I reported earlier this week, the home sales trend for 2020 in St Louis is in positive territory has well.

FHA Loan Limits For St Louis MSA Increase to $331,760 January 1st

The maximum loan amount for an FHA-Insured home loan on January 1, 2020, will increase from $314.827 to $331,760 for a single-family home purchased in the St Louis metro area.  FHA insured home loans have lower credit standards than a typical conventional loan, require a downpayment of just 3.5% and allow all of the purchasers closing costs to be paid by the seller (up to a limit) thereby extending the opportunity of homeownership to a wider audience.

Below are all of the FHA Mortgage Limits for the St Louis MSA for 2020:

  • One-Family dwellings – $331,760
  • Two-Family dwellings – $424,800
  • Three-Family dwellings – $513,450
  • Four-Family dwellings – $638,100

To find out more about FHA home loans, or to get pre-approved for an FHA home loan click on the button below to connect with Mike McCarthy.

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Hits Lowest Level 20 Years

The good news just keeps coming for the residential real estate industry!  The most recent is from a report just released by CoreLogic showing the mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S. was at 3.8%, the lowest rate in at least 20 years!  In addition, not one state in the country had an increase in overall delinquency rates in September.

Foreclosure Inventory Reaches Low as well…

The foreclosure inventory rate for September was 0.4%, another 20+ year low!

Mortgage Delinquency Rates Hit 14-Year Low In August

In August, the overall mortgage delinquency rate (30 or more days past due) was 3.7% for the U.S. which is a 0.2 percentage point decline from a year ago and is the lowest overall delinquency rate in 14-years, according to date just released by CoreLogic.  The delinquency rate for August of 3.7% marks the lowest delinquency rate during the month of  August in 20 years.  The serious delinquency rate (120+ days late) decline of 1.2% a year ago to just 1.0% in August 2019, nearly a record low.  The Foreclosure Rate fell in August 2019 to 0.4% from 0.5% a year ago.

Missouri mortgage delinquency rates are low as well…

During August 2019, the overall mortgage delinquency rate for Missouri was exactly the same as the national rate, 3.7%.  The serious delinquency rate in Missouri was 1.1%, just slightly above the national rate, and the foreclosure rate was 0.2%, half of the national rate.

See the current mortgage interest rates here.

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – November 2019 – Low-Interest Rates And Consistent Sales Trends

The St Louis real estate market trends remain steady and consistent! The St Louis home sales and price trends give me an optimistic outlook for next year.  Low-interest rates continue to offset some of the cost of the increases in home prices that have occurred. Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

Mortgage Interest Rates Drop to Lowest Rate In Over a Year

After mortgage interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage nearly hit 5 percent back in November, they have steadily declined and this past week fell to an average of 4.37% according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.  Last weeks 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate of 4.37% was the lowest average rate report by the survey since Feb 8, 2018, when the average rates were 4.32%.

The outlook for mortgage interest rates looks promising as well with the most recent Fannie Mae Housing Forecast predicting the 30-year fixed rate will stay at 4.5% through the end of 2020.

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average In The U.S.

click on chart for live, interactive chart
30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average In The U.S.

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Falls To Lowest Level In More Than 12 Years

The overall mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S. fell in August to the lowest level in over 12 years, according to a report just released by CoreLogic.  According to the report, 4.2% of all St Louis home mortgages were 30+ days delinquent in August 2018, a decline of over 14% from a year ago when the rate was 4.9%.  During the same period, seriously delinquent mortgages, those that are 90+ days late, in St Louis dropped from 1.8% a year ago to 1.4% in August 2018, according to the report.

 

Mortgage Bankers Forecast Five-Percent Mortgage Rates Next Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), in their Mortgage Finance Forecast released this week predicted that interest rates on home mortgages will continue to rise this year and will hit 5% early next year.  According to the report, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is expected to come in at an average of 4.6% for the 3rd quarter, which just ended and then rise to an average of 4.9% during the last quarter of this year.  Interest rates are then forecast to hit 5.0% during the 1st quarter of 2019, rise to 5.1% by the second quarter, then stay around 5.1% through the end of 2020, according to the report.

St Louis Mortgage Interest Rates

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis Mortgage Interest Rates

 

 

Mortgage Interest Rates After Peaking In May Are Staying Down Near April Levels

Today, Freddie Mac, through their Primary Mortgage Market Survey® revealed that for the current average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 4.52%. which is just a slight decline from a week ago when the rate was 4.53% and the same as the week before that.  After 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit 4.66%, the highest rate in 7-years, back in late May, they have been trending downward a little, which is good news for the real estate market!

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average – 2000 – Present

(Click on Chart for LIVE chart with current data)30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average - 2000 - Present

 

Home Loan Origination Data Showing Impact Of Interest Rates On Refi’s But Not Home Purchases In St Louis

Mortgage interest rates have been on the rise and hit their highest level in seven years toward the end of May, however, the higher rates don’t appear to be having an effect on the number of people in St Louis obtaining home loans yet.  The table below is based upon the latest data from ATTOM Data Research, just released yesterday, and shows that there were 6,830 home purchase mortgage loans obtained in the St Louis metro area during the 1st quarter of this year.  This represents an increase of nearly 10% from the number of home purchase mortgage loans that were obtained in St Louis a year ago.  Even if we go back to the first quarter of 2016, when the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate was below 4%, there were just 6,093 home purchase loan originations, 12.1% fewer than the most recent quarter.

The number of St Louis homeowners refinancing their home mortgages during the first quarter of this year dropped over 10% from a year ago and was down over 15% from the first quarter of 2016.


St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – June 2018

There is a lot of activity in the St Louis real estate market!  The inventory of homes for sale in St Louis remains low,  interest rates have dropped a little over the past couple of weeks, home prices are beginning to soften as we move beyond the peak spring market and demand is still strong.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Highest Level In Over Seven Years

Freddie Mac has been tracking average mortgage rates since 1971 through their Primary Mortgage Market Survey® and yesterday it revealed that, as the chart below shows, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was at 4.6%, the highest rate in over 7 years.  The last time mortgage interest rates were this high was back on May 5, 2011 when the 30-year rate hit 4.71%.

Even with the recent increase, mortgage interest rates are still reasonably low from a historical perspective.  As the second chart below illustrates, 20 years ago the rates were around 8 percent.  Mortgage interest rates then spent nearly a decade around the 5% – 6% range before beginning the descent after the housing bubble burst in 2008.

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Mortgage Interest Rates – 2018- Chart

Mortgage Interest Rates - 2018- Chart 

Mortgage Interest Rates – 1995 -2018- Chart

Mortgage Interest Rates - 2017- Chart 

 

New Home Construction In St Louis Area Trending Upward In Most Areas – St Charles County Sees Decline

New home construction in the St Louis area is off to a good start for 2018 with a total of 326 building permits for new homes being issued during January for the 7-county St Louis area reported on by the Home Builders Association of Eastern Missouri.  This permit activity in January represents an 11% increase over the activity in January 2017 when there were 293 new home permits issued.  During the month of January 2018, 4 of 7 counties saw an increase in building permits from January 2017 (Jefferson County +26%, Franklin County +143%, Warren County +1%, St Louis City +371%) while the remaining 3 saw declines (St Louis County -25%, St Charles County -10%, Lincoln County -29%).

It takes more than a month for a trend…

Just like I often comment with regard to home prices and sales, looking at a single month of activity really does not paint the whole picture and, while it may be a good “leading-indicator” of where things are headed, it’s not going to accurately depict a trend.  For this, I believe looking at the past 12-month period and comparing it to the prior 12-month period is more accurate.  It takes into account the seasonal fluctuations that occur and adjust for unseasonal weather during a given month that could skew the data if just looking at a one-month period.  The table belows the total building permits for the 12-month period ending January 31, 2018 and comparies that activity to the prior 12-month period for each of the 7-counties reported on.   As you can see, five of the counties have a double-digit increase in new home building permits issued from the prior 12-month period while St Charles County shows a double-digit decline, and Lincoln County a slight decline.

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New Home Building Permits- St Louis Area – January 2018

New Home Building Permits- St Louis Area - January 2018

St Louis Neighborhoods That Sold The Fastest In The Last 30 Days

The St Louis real estate market typically hits its peak during the spring months then continues strong into summer. Come August, the housing market in St Louis tends to slow as families squeeze in vacations and school begins. After Labor Day we normally see an increase in activity until the market goes into something reminiscent of hibernation for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

Even though Labor Day is just a few days away, home sales that closed within the past 30 days show that homes are still selling quickly in St Louis. Below is our list of the 10 St Louis cities where homes sold the fastest in the past 30 days. As the list reveals, the city of Manchester, where homes that sold did so in a median time of only 11 days, came in at number 1 on the list and the median time to sell was only 15.5 days for the cities on the top 10 list.

St Louis Fastest Sold Cities

(click on table for complete and up to date information)



Mortgage Loan Delinquency Rates Hit Lowest Level Since 2000

According to a report just released by Corelogic, the 30-59 day mortgage delinquency rate in March (the most recent month reported) fell to just 1.7%, the lowest level since January 2000.  The “seriously delinquency” rate (30+ days late) fell to 4.4% in March, the lowest level sine November 2007, according to Corelogic.

In addition, the “transition rates” all improved as well from a year ago.  Transition rates show which way the borrowers are moving, from slightly delinquent to more delinquent, or from slightly delinquent to current for example.  Below are the transition rates for March 2017, according to the Corelogic report:

  • Borrowers going from current to 30 days late – 0.6% for March 2017, down from 0.7% in March 2016
  • Borrowers going from 30 days late to 60 days late – 11.6% for March 2017, down from 13.2% in March 2016
  • Borrowers going from 60 days late to 90 days late – 20.8% for March 2017, down from 23.1% in March 2016

All of this is good news for the real estate industry as the trends are positive and are is a good “leading indicator” of what is to come.  As mortgage delinquencies decrease, foreclosures, short sales and other distressed home sales decline, putting less downward pricing pressure on the housing market and providing sustainability to the improving housing market.

Speaking of mortgages, if you are considering refinancing, want to know what current rates and terms are, or would like to get pre-approved for a mortgage, I would highly recommend speaking with Ryan Derryberry, a mortgage loan professional with Movement Mortgage.  Ryan is a great guy, is honest and knows his stuff. Movement is a great company, founded and operated on great principals and offer some mortgage products you won’t find anywhere else….More information on Ryan, including his contact info, can be found here.

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Mortgage Delinquency Rates Continue To Fall And Now Back To Normal

Mortgage Delinquency rates, borrowers that are 60 or more days past due, are projected to be 2.21 percent for the 4th quarter of 2016, down from 2.46% the quarter before and marking the 13th consecutive quarter mortgage delinquency rates have fallen, according to a report just released by TransUnion.  According to the report, mortgage delinquency rates peaked at 7.21 percent during the 1st quarter of 2010 and have declined for 23 of the last 26 quarters since.  TransUnion considers the current mortgage delinquency rate to be normal and is projecting the delinquency rate will fall even further next year down to 2.11% by the end of 2017.

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Mortgage Rates Hit Highest Rate In 2016 This Week

According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) released yesterday for the past week, interest rates on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased 5 basis points (1/20th of 1%) to 4.13 percent , the highest rate they have been at during 2016.  Last year at this time the PMMS showed average interest rates at 3.95 percent so, while rates have increased over the past year, the amount has been fairly small.

However, mortgage interest rates are being forecasted by many economists and industry guru’s to hit 4.5% – 5.0% during 2017.  While we’ve seen predictions like that for a couple of years in a row now, I think it’s going to come true this time therefore, if you have been thinking about buying, you may want to start looking now!

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Home Loan Applications Decline As Do Mortgage Interest Rates; St Louis bucks trend

New mortgage applications for a home purchase declined last week 7.0 percent from the prior week, according to a report just released by the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA).  The MBA’s Market Composite Index, which is how they track the volume of loan applications, fell to it’s lowest level for home loans for a purchase since January 2016.

Interest rates decline as well…

While the number of loan applications declined, so did the interest rate on home mortgages, according to the MBA report:

  • 30 year fix rate conventional mortgages decreased to 3.71 percent from 3.73 the week before,
  • 30 year fixed rate jumbo loans (larger than $417,000) decreased to 3.71 percent from 3.72 percent the week before,
  • FHA loans bucked the trend with interest rates increasing to 3.56 percent from 3.54 percent the week before,
  • 5/1 ARMS decreased to 2.93 percent from 2.97 percent.

St Louis home sales increase 5 percent during the same period:

The tables below reflect St Louis home sales for the same one-week period, compared with prior week, as in the MBA’s report and illustrate that St Louis perhaps appears to be bucking the trend.  St Louis  saw an increase in home sales during the most recent week, which, theoretically, should translate into an increase in home mortgage applications, contrary to what we see in the MBA report on a national basis.

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Continue reading “Home Loan Applications Decline As Do Mortgage Interest Rates; St Louis bucks trend

Finally Others Agree That The Mortgage Interest Deduction Isn’t Critical To The Housing Market

Over the past 5 years or so I have written a few articles on the topic of the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and how, in spite of what many others in the industry say, I didn’t think it was that critical to the housing industry.  All the while, the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) (of which I’m proud to be a member, just happen to disagree on this topic) has staunchly supported the MID and warned that if the deduction went away the housing market and home buyers would suffer.  NAR published a fact sheet on the topic stating:

  • Repealing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) is a form of tax increase. Families with children would bear more than half of the total increase.
  • IRS data show that taxpayers in the 35-45 age group take the largest MID on average compared to any other age group of taxpayers.
  • First time home buyers would be hurt the most if the MID is curtailed.
  • Current data from the IRS show that 65% of the taxpayers who have claimed the MID made less than $100,000.
  • The housing market has not emerged from the crisis that began in 2007.

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Falling Interest Rates Make St Louis Homes Even More Affordable

Mortgage interest rates have been falling since last Thursday when the referendum passed for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union.  As the chart below shows, interest rates on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage today averaged 3.44%, a new 52-week low and a decline of nearly 3/4 of 1 percent from a year ago when they were 4.20%.  The payment on a $160,000 home loan at today’s rates would be $713 (principal and interest), a decline of nearly 9 percent from a year ago when the payment on the same loan amount would have been $782.
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Home Affordability Rises In St Louis County, Falls In St Charles County

A recent article by STL Today indicated that home affordability in St Louis had fallen, specifically noting that affordability in St Louis County had fallen below historic “norms”.  As is always the case with stats, it depends upon which data you are taking into account and the accuracy of the data.  I decided to take a look at the data and see if my data showed the same result as the STL Today article.

 Affordability is UP in St Louis county, not DOWN…

As the table below shows, home affordability in St Louis county has actually increased in the past year, not decreased as reported in the aforementioned article.  For the purposes of my analysis, I used  home sales data for “non-distressed” sales only, so not including foreclosures or short sales, to get a more accurate picture of the true market.

Affordability has improved in Jefferson County as well but, as the table below shows, has declined in the past year in the city of St Louis, Franklin county and St Charles county.
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The Truth About The Mortgage Interest Deduction

Before I begin, I should point out that what I’m about to tell you runs contrary to what the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the largest trade association in the country and one I belong to and support, will tell you.  The NAR position on the mortgage interest deduction (MID) is, quoting from their website, “the mortgage interest deduction (MID) is a remarkably effective tool that facilitates homeownership.”  Many St Louis REALTORS® will echo the message of NAR but I think if more people took the time to look into the MID, and do a little simple math, they would see that the mortgage interest deduction does not appear to offer any real benefit to the ordinary, typical homebuyer in St Louis.

What brought this to mind this morning was a friend of mine on Facebook (who is a loan officer for a St Louis mortgage company) posted a link to an article written  by an owner of a Chicago real estate company outlining the benefits of the MID and, while I think he did an excellent job of laying out the potential tax savings of deducting mortgage interest and property taxes on a home, I think he left out a key component, namely, the Standard Deduction.

Why the MID doesn’t help the normal home buyer in St Louis:

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St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – January 2016

The St Louis real estate market performed well in 2015 and, by all indications, 2016 should be an even better year for the St Louis real estate market!

 

Our newly released, 5-minute, video market update below will give you a quick overview of St Louis home prices, where the sellers markets are, the buyers markets and much more!  If you are considering buying or selling a home, or are an investor or just a homeowner wanting to keep up on the market, you don’t want to miss this!

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling and would like me to look at your situation and your market to determine the best strategy, just call, or text me, at 314.332.1012 and I’ll be happy to help!

St Louis Home Price Trends By City/Municipality 
St Louis Home Price Trends By Zip Code
St Louis Sellers Markets

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller’s market? Contact us and we’ll  answer that question for you.

Continue reading “St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – January 2016

Mortgage Originations In 2nd Quarter Rise…4th Consecutive Rise Since 14 Year Low

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York just released it’s Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the 2nd quarter of 2015 in which some encouraging facts were revealed with regard to the home mortgage market, including:

  • New home loan originations during the quarter increased to $466 billion…this marks the fourth consecutive quarterly increase since originations hit a 14-year low a year ago
  • As the chart below illustrates, roughly 95,000 individuals had a new foreclosure add to their credit report during the quarter, marking the lowest number of new foreclosures since the data was first tracked 16 years ago.
  • Mortgage delinquencies improved with the share of seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days) dropping to 2.5% from 3.0% during the prior quarter.
  • Mortgage delinquencies improved again, with the share of mortgage balances 90 or more days delinquent decreasing slightly;
  • The median credit score for borrowers obtaining a home mortgage during the 2nd quarter, as the chart below shows, rose to above 750, while the bottom 10th percentile of borrowers, also known as “sub-prime”, rose to 650.  As the chart illustrates, back in 2000 the median was around 700 and the lowest percentile was barely above the 550 mark.

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