Posts Tagged Home Prices

Freddie Mac says home affordability is lessening at rates increase

Freddie Mac’s December U.S. Economic & Housing Market Outlook reported in June on how rising rates would affect home affordability throughout the U.S. Freddie Mac determined that the answer is “it depends”. Mostly it depends on what area of the country you live in and how quickly the home prices are rising in that area.

Freddie Mac determined that in most markets rates would have to rise to 7% before home became unaffordable to the typical family. What we do see though is rising rates affects how much home a buyer qualifies for, and as home prices and rates increase, the quality of home the typical buyer can afford will decrease.

Right now at least 50% of Utah households would qualify for mortgage loan of $248,000, which with 5% down on a Conventional loan would equate to roughly a $261,000 purchase price.

If interest rates rise 0.5% the purchase price drops to $247,000. If they rise a full percent above the current level home purchase power drops to $236,0000.

The good news is that right now this still puts most homes in Salt Lake County within the budget of 50% of Utah households. I think what we are going to see if rates continue to rise is a stabilizing of home prices, or at least not the double-digit gains of the past couple of years. With affordability going down, offering prices will be lower and thus home values in general will not continue to increase at their current rate.

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Some areas in Salt Lake County seeing are property value increases

According to the Utah Realtors Association some areas in Utah are seeing home values increase. Here are the gainers in the third quarter 2011 report. Increase are compared to the same period in 2010:

Riverton 84065 +6.2%
West Jordan 84088 +4.7%
Herriman 84096 0.0%
Salt Lake City 84103 +19.1%
Salt Lake City 84105 +1.4%
Salt Lake City 84108 +1.5%
Salt Lake City 84115 +7.7%

Hopefully your home is in one of these zip codes.

Cory Ure
Medallion Mortgage Company
448 E 6400 S, Suite 100
Murray, UT 84107
(801) 971-7916

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HVCC could be phased-out by year-end

Although H.R. 3044 which would put an 18-month moretorium on HVCC seems to have gotten stalled, but some members of the House Financial Services Committee were able to tack a repeal of HVCC onto H.R. 3126, the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) as an amendment. H.R. 3126 passed committee 39 t0 29 with most Committee Republicans voting against it.

H.R. 3126 has been fought furiously by banks and credit card companies because is severely limits how they can put the screws to you and I when getting or servicing loan or credit card.

If passed by the House of Representatives it will go on to the Senate. President Obama has requested that CFPA be on his desk for signing into law before the new year.

As a brief review, HVCC is the Housing Valuation Code of Conduct, which was the brainchild of New York State Attorney Andrew Cuomo. He was wrongfully assuming that A) appraisers are all pansies, and B) because they are pansies they could be easily bullied by mortgage loan officers and real estate agents into artificially inflating the value of a home.

Well, for the most part appraisers are a pretty honest bunch and housing bubble was much more than just inflated appraisals due to some unscrupulous loan officers, real estate agents and appraisers. All HVCC did was add an additional layer of cost and time to the process: Appraisal Management Companies, or AMC’s.

AMC’s are the go-between for loan officers, Realtors and the appraiser. A buffer if you will. The AMC’s run interference and isolate the appraiser from talking to the loan officer or Realtor, the idea being that if a loan officer or Realtor can’t talk to the appraiser they can’t pressure them into “hitting a target value” to make the deal work.

Well, the market decides the value, all the appraiser does is compare the subject property to comparable properties that sold within a given period and a given distance from the subject property. In short: it is what it is.

There are a number of problems with AMC’s though:

  1. AMC’s increased the price the consumer pays for an appraisal because it added a middleman into the process.
  2. Appraisals have to be paid by the borrower before the appraisal is done, it can no longer be rolled-up into the loan like before.
  3. AMC’s take up to 60% of the amount collected from the borrower as “administrative costs” and appraisers are making only 40% of what they did just last April.
  4. Because of this the good appraisers have exited the business, leaving green appraisers who will work for pennies on the dollar, and thus;
  5. We are getting shoddy appraisals using comparatives that are not comparable properties. And, because we can’t talk with the appraiser we can’t go to bat for our borrower by questioning why the appraiser used a short-sale or a bank foreclosure as a comparable as compared to a genuine sales transaction, which represents the true market value of a home.

All HVCC has done is add another layer of bureaucracy, increased costs to the borrower, and hindered refinances that can help a borrower by reducing their interest rate and putting more cash in their pocket each month, thus reducing the chance of defaulting on their mortgage.

You’d think this would be a good thing, huh?

So let’s hope H.R. 3126 passes the House and the Senate and we can start moving forward with real economic recovery and your home will start increasing in value again as real, honest and competent appraisers get back to work doing what they love to do.

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