If anyone knows the new home market, it’s builders. After all, their business depends on demand for newly built homes. That’s why the National Association of Home Builders surveys them monthly to gauge their perception of the market today and over the next six months. According to their most recent survey, builders are optimistic, even setting a post-recession high for expectations for future sales. “The HMI gauge of future sales expectations has reached a post-recession high, an indicator that consumer demand for housing should grow in the months ahead,” Robert Dietz, NAHB’s chief economist, said. “With ongoing job creation, increasing owner-occupied household formation, and a tight supply of existing home inventory, the single-family housing sector should continue to strengthen at a gradual but consistent pace.” What does this mean for the overall market and for home buyers this year? Well, if the number of new homes being built rises, that will help take some upward pressure off home prices. That means, more new home sales may provide a significant benefit – and not just for home builders. More here.
Without the benefit of two incomes, single home buyers face some added challenges when looking to buy a house. For one, it takes longer to save for a down payment. In fact, according to a new analysis, married or partnered couples can save a 20 percent down payment on the typical home in less than five years. For single home buyers, it takes closer to 11 years. Add to that, single home buyers are more likely to be looking for a smaller, affordable home – which is precisely the type of house that is currently in highest demand. Zillow senior economist, Aaron Terrazas, says two incomes helps with savings but also with increasing the number of homes available to buy. “Single buyers typically have more limited budgets, which means they are likely competing for lower-priced homes that are in high demand,” Terrazas said. “Having two incomes allows buyers to compete in higher-priced tiers where competition is not as stiff.” Of course, your individual financial situation and local market conditions will ultimately determine how much you’ll need to save and how much competition you’ll face for available homes. But single, married, or otherwise, it’s best to be as prepared as possible before heading out to look for a house to buy. More here.
If you look at just about any reading of the current housing market, you’ll find that there are a lot of Americans interested in buying a home right now. Whether it’s because of pent-up demand that built up in the years following the housing crash or a drive to buy now while mortgage rates are still well below their historical norm, the fact is buyer demand is high. The most recent National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index provides more evidence of this. That’s because the index – which measures the number of signed contracts to buy homes – ended the year with its third consecutive monthly increase. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, says the housing market has started the year with a little bit of momentum. “Another month of modest increases in contract activity is evidence that the housing market has a small trace of momentum at the start of 2018,” Yun said. “Jobs are plentiful, wages are finally climbing and the prospect of higher mortgage rates are perhaps encouraging more aspiring buyers to begin their search now.