Baby Boomers Aid Home Sales

According to new housing market research, baby boomer homeowners may be pushing young homebuyers out of the market. As home values and prices continue to increase, many younger Americans are unable to afford down payments due to low income jobs and school debt. Home builders are now targeting an older generation, age 55 and up, who are more likely to have equity. Older homeowners are expected to help home sales this year as it is a prime time for the age group to buy, according to experts. More here

Home Prices Jump In Many Metropolitan Areas

According to the National Association of Realtors, many metropolitan areas are experiencing strong year-over-year home price increases. The median single-family existing home price jumped in 73% of the measured markets. Approximately 119 metropolitan areas experienced price gains in the fourth quarter of last year when compared to the fourth quarter of 2012. Data states that  26% of metros saw double digit increases, and while this new data is positive, many experts express concern that housing affordability may fall. More here

Housing Market Still Recovering From Recession

The housing market has made significant strides toward recovery since the recession, but experts say there is still room for improvement. Home prices have slightly increased according to the S&P Case-Shiller home price index. Sales of existing homes fell from 408,300 last year to 405,800. New home sales have increased from the end of 2012 averaging 33,000. Additionally, delinquency rates and foreclosure starts have also fallen from last year. More here

Mortgage Application Activity Increases

Mortgage applications in the United States have continued to increase. Last week, The Mortgage Bankers Association stated that their seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity jumped 0.4%, averaging 405.2 in the last week of January.  Interest rates have also fallen with the 30-year mortgage averaging approximately 4.47%. Additionally, the MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications increased 2.9%. More here 

Reverse Mortgage Endorsements Increase

Reverse mortgage endorsements have picked up speed this year according to Reverse Market Insight. Last month, reverse mortgage volume increased 19.8%, averaging 5,061 loans, the highest average seen since August 2013.  According to data, reverse mortgage activity was significantly down in November and December, and many experts think the boost in endorsements could be due to the recent rule changes made to the program. The New England region saw a 59% increase and the Pacific/ Hawaii region experienced a 27% increase, the largest monthly endorsement volume gains in the nation. More here

Mortgage Rates Fall From Last Week

Mortgage rates fell this week from last week as new housing data was revealed. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged approximately 4.23%, down 0.10% from the previous week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.33%, down from 3.4% that was reported last week. The vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft said, “mortgage rates fell further this week following the release of weaker housing data. The pending home sales index fell 8.7% in December to its lowest level since October 2011. Fixed residential investment negatively contributed to GDP in the fourth quarter for the first time since the third quarter of 2010.” Additionally, the 5-year and 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM also fell this week with an average 0.5 point. More here

Mortgage Costs Fall

Mortgages costs fell this week, and according to data from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginne Mae, it could be due to a recent increase in agency mortgage bonds last week. Experts say that bond values are ascending due to the falling long-term Treasury rates, helping the cost of mortgages to decline. Sterne Agee analyst, Henry Coffey said, “the expected gains in agency bond values and related boost in book values should show up in the March period if treasury rates remain low and bond values hold at current levels.” More here

Report Suggests It's A Great Time To Flip Houses

House flipping jumped last year, averaging a 16% increase from 2012, and a significant 114% jump from 2011 according to RealtyTrac’s year-end 2013 Home Flipping Report. Last year 156,862 homes were purchased, flipped and sold within a six month time frame. Data shows that the average house flipping gross profit in 2013 was approximately $58,081, almost a $13,000 gain from 2012. Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac said, “strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013 despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes to purchase. For the year, 21% of all properties flipped were purchased out of foreclosure, but that is down from 27% in 2012 and 32% in 2011.” More here

Home Equity Among Seniors Rises

According to new data released by the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association and Riskspan, home equity among seniors has improved over the last few years, and hit a five-year high in the third quarter of last year. Total home equity among seniors jumped 3.4%, averaging $3.46 trillion and increasing 165.7 points on the NRMLA/Riskspan Reverse Mortgage Market Index, which measures home equity among individuals who qualify for reverse mortgages. Home values continue to increase throughout the U.S., with values up in 72% of the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. More here