Experts Advise Explaining Reverse Mortgage To Heirs

According to reverse mortgage rules, when the owner of a home enrolled in a reverse mortgage moves out of the current home or passes away, the loan payoff is due shortly after, leaving many heirs in a complicated financial situation. Experts are encouraging people to let their heirs know about their reverse mortgage to help avoid future financial problems. If both spouses’ names are on the mortgage and one spouse passes away, the reverse mortgage will not require immediate payoff and will continue as designed. Adult children and spouses not on the mortgage will be expected to pay the loan off in full within 6 months following the borrower’s death. More here

Home Prices And Supply Grow

Home prices have jumped, and in turn, an increasing number of houses have been put on the market, increasing supply in many U.S. cities. The median home price averaged $199,000, up 7.6% from this time last year. Home sellers and economists are hoping for a large spring buying season that will help the housing produce more positive data. Many experts suggest that seller confidence is one of the main factors to watch as we go into the spring buying season, and according to the data, confidence seems to be growing. More here 

Millennials Fuel Housing Market

Research shows that millennials have now reached an age where homeownership activity typically increases, and the increased activity is expected to strengthen the housing market. According to the National Association of Realtors annual survey of recent homebuyers, millennials make up 78% of all first-time homebuyers. Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist said, “given that millennials are the largest generation in history after the baby boomers, it means there is a potential for strong underlying demand.” More here

Mortgage Credit Improves

According to the most recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage credit continues to improve. The mortgage credit availability index increased 0.44%, averaging 113.5 last month. Experts say that if the MCAI was tracked in 2007, the index would be approximately 800. Mortgage Bankers Association’s chief economist, Mike Fratantoni said, “for the third month in a row, mortgage lenders and investors slightly expanded credit offerings in February on net, as a result of offsetting factors.” More here

Housing Market Remains In Recovery

Home sales in the U.S. continue to increase as foreclosure rates fall according to the Obama Administration’s February scorecard. Although the housing market is making impressive strides, many officials remain cautious, suggesting that the market is still in a state of recovery. The Federal Reserve Board stated that homeowner’s equity increased more than $400 billion during the last few months of 2013. The HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, Kurt Usowski said, “February’s Housing Scorecard continues to show that the Obama Administration’s efforts to stabilize the housing market and provide relief to struggling homeowners are having a positive effect.” More here

Economy Showing New Growth

Recent reports have shown that the economy is gaining more strength and continuing to show improvement. The Federal Reserve suggested that lower borrowing costs may be the reason behind an increasing number of consumers borrowing money for home and vehicle purchases. According to recent data, home sales have significantly improved, and auto sales have almost reached pre-crisis levels. More here

Many Financial Advisors Recommending Reverse Mortgages

A new article in the Financial Times suggests that an increasing number of financial advisors specializing in retirement are starting to think of reverse mortgages as “lifesavers” for those who qualify living in negative financial circumstances. The program has experienced some rule changes over the last few months, and in turn has helped aid in reverse mortgage consumer protection. Experts have stated that the tax-free proceeds gained from a reverse mortgage can help consumers postpone Social Security usage and can decrease the amount withdrawn from their 401(k) and IRA accounts,  Marguerita Cheng, the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth said, “the bottom line is that reverse mortgages are no longer only for retirees in dire straits. Advisors should be looking at every aspect of income, including home equity.” More here

Mortgage Applications Increase This Week

According to a new survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications increased this week by 9.4%. The refinance index jumped 10% from the week prior, though rates are still 3% lower than two weeks ago. Refinances fell to 57.7% of applications; the lowest level observed since September 2013. Additionally, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate fell 0.04%, averaging 4.13% nationally, and the 15-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate also fell 0.04%, averaging 3.52% nationally. More here

Cheaper To Buy Versus Rent In Many Metros

Trulia has released new data stating that owning a home may be a cheaper option in many metropolitan areas than renting. According to the report, homeowners who stay in their homes for seven years will save approximately 38% when compared to those who rent. Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist said, “even in these metros buying remains cheaper, thanks to mortgage rates that are still very low by historical standards.” A few of the metros mentioned are Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, and Houston. More here

New Data Shows Less Mortgage Debt Among Americans

According to the most recent report from Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends, the amount of outstanding balances on bank and retail-issued cards, and home finances jumped for the third month in a row. Home finances increased by $8.59 trillion; bank issued cards grew by $555.4%, and retail issued cards experienced a $62.2 billion jump. Equifax chief economist, Amy Crews Cutts said, “home purchase transactions, in which first-time homebuyers take on entirely new mortgage debt and move-up buyers increase their existing mortgage debt, have finally overtaken foreclosures and accelerating pay-downs, resulting in increases home finance balances.” More here