Two-thirds of Single Women Say They’re Not Waiting Until Marriage to Become Homeowners, Study Finds

1150 NW Quimby St 1802, Portland, OR 97209
Presented by Jason Mendell & Katie Guz | Offered at $1,450,000 | MLS# 22409781

From businessinsider.com

Single women aren’t postponing major life decisions until they tie the knot — including the decision to buy a home.

A solid majority of single women don’t plan on waiting until they’re married to pursue mortgages, according to recently released data from Bank of America. About 2 in 3 single women (65%) reported that they would rather not wait until they were married to buy homes, regardless of how old they were.

Nearly a third of all female homeowners in the US bought a home while unmarried. These numbers come as more women have become homeowners in the past three decades, marriage rates have declined dramatically in the past six decades, and a growing number of millennials and Generation Z adults say they don’t plan to have children, a decision that shapes home buying for many families.

Single women are also quietly dominating the housing market, with more single women owning homes than men in the biggest cities in the country.

80% of single women are actively excited about the prospect of owning a home themselves, the report says. They value homeownership as an adult milestone, with 92% agreeing that it would be a “great accomplishment” to buy a home without help, and 60% saying they’ll feel as if they “made it,” once they own a home.

That doesn’t mean that single women pursuing homeownership don’t want to get married — their views on the relationship between homebuying and marriage are simply shifting. 87% of respondents to the survey said that it was an “outdated” idea that someone must be married to buy a home, and 71% of single women said that if they bought a home while single, they would want to have their future partner move in with them.

Full article at businessinsider.com


Housing Starts Reach Nine-Month High in December

18015 Cardinal Dr, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Presented by Laura Piccard | Offered at $3,749,900 | MLS# 21107579

From housingwire.com

After posting a double-digit gain in November, housing starts were up yet again in December, rising 1.4% month over month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.70 million according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau.

This is the highest level housing starts have reached in the past nine months.

Construction of single-family homes dropped 2.3% from November to 1.172 million units, the construction of multifamily units again posted a sizable increase of 13.7% to 524,000 units.

“Housing starts had one last push in store to end 2021, rising modestly from November against expectations for a small decline — a fitting conclusion to a year of remarkable stability for housing starts,” Zillow senior economist Kwame Donaldson said in a statement. “Across the United States, homebuilders reliably broke ground on between 125,000 and 140,000 homes almost every month in 2021, and by one common measure, last year was the second-least volatile year for housing starts since 2005.”

Overall, an estimated 1,595,100 housing units were started in 2021, a 15.6% increase from 2020.

“Housing demand has outstripped supply since 2009,” First American deputy chief economist Odeta Kushi said in a statement. “The last housing starts report of 2021 is a positive step towards bridging the gap between supply and demand, as an estimated 1,337,800 housing units were completed in 2021 – 4.0% above the 2020 figure. 2021 was a strong year for construction.”

Experts are attributing the stability of housing starts this year to a slowly improving labor market, low mortgage rates, high demand for housing and an extremely low level of existing housing inventory.

Also showing an increase in December was the number of building permits issued, rising 9.1% from November to 1,873,000. But while this is good news for new housing construction, homebuilders still have plenty of obstacles to overcome.

“The shortage of skilled labor, materials and lots, are headwinds to increasing the pace of new construction,” Kushi said. “The good news in the December housing starts report is the number of single-family homes permitted, but not started declined to its lowest level since April 2021, but remains elevated compared to pre-pandemic. The price of labor, lots and lumber is increasing, and these rising costs are being passed on to home buyers in the form of rising new home prices during a time when mortgage rates are expected to rise.”

As a reflection of these concerns, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) measuring homebuilder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes, fell one point in January to 83.

Regionally, on a year-to-date basis, combined single-family and multifamily starts are 0.7% higher in the Northeast, 17.1% higher in the Midwest, 9.3% higher in the South and down 18.1% in the West, compared to a year prior.

Full article at housingwire.com


Two Ways Homebuyers Can Win in Today’s Market

2871 NW Cornell Rd, Portland, OR 97210
Presented by Joe DeHart | Offered at $1,875,000 | MLS# 21580614

From Keeping Current Matters

If your goal is to purchase a home this year, you might be looking for any advantage you can get in today’s sellers’ market. While competition is still fierce for homebuyers, there are ways you can win and secure the home of your dreams, even in a hot market.

Act Early and Save

The earlier you act this year, the more affordable your purchase will be. That’s because experts project mortgage rates will rise as we move deeper into 2022. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to be 3.5% by year’s end. Experts forecast home prices will rise as well.

That means the longer you wait, the more it will cost you to buy a home. Instead, act early and purchase your home before rates and prices rise further. Not to mention, the sooner you buy, the sooner you can experience the benefits of continued home price appreciation yourself. Once you have your home, you’ll be able to watch its value rise, giving you confidence that your investment is a sound one.

Buy Now, Move Later

Keep in mind, with high buyer demand like we’re seeing today, you’ll be competing against other potential homebuyers, which means you need to find a way to stand out. One way to accomplish this is to negotiate with sellers and present terms that meet their ideal needs. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains one lever flexible buyers can pull to entice sellers:

“For buyers with more flexible timelines – such as those making a move from a big city – offering a couple extra months on the closing date could sweeten the deal for sellers who also need to buy their next home.”

In other words, if you’re eager to purchase a home now before it becomes more costly and you don’t have to move right away, you could extend the date of your closing and provide the seller with the time they need to find their next home. That’s a deal that could benefit both parties and help you stand out from the crowd.

Of course, it’s important to work with a real estate professional for expert advice on how to make your best offer. Your trusted advisor knows what’s working in your market and what may appeal to sellers.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Demand for U.S. Vacation Homes Expected to Remain Strong ‘Well Into This Year’

70470 Twistedstock GM12, Black Butte Ranch, OR 97759
Presented by The Arends Realty Group | Offered at $1,195,000 | MLS# 220136241

From Mansion Global

Remote work and low-interest rates continue to push U.S. home buyers toward vacation homes.

Demand for secondary residences increased 77% in December compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to a report Thursday from Redfin.

“The wealthy are still flush with cash and have access to cheap debt, which is why second-home purchases remain far above pre-pandemic levels,” Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist, said in the report.

Interest has been increasing after hitting a low in August, although December marked a slight decline from the previous month, when demand was up 80%, the data showed. The record was set in January 2021, when demand rose 92% over pre-pandemic levels.

Last month’s slowdown is attributable to the holiday season, and does not necessarily mean demand is dwindling, according to the report. On the contrary, Ms. Fairweather predicted demand for vacation properties will be strong in 2022.

“While interest in second homes is stabilizing after the big boom in the second half of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, I expect demand to remain high well into this year,” she continued. “Remote work isn’t going anywhere and mortgage rates are still quite low.”

Redfin analyzed seasonally adjusted mortgage-rate lock data from real estate analytics firm Optimal Blue for the report. A mortgage-rate lock is an agreement between a lender and a buyer that freezes an interest rate for a specified amount of time. Home buyers specify if they are looking to finance a primary home, a second home or an investment property, and about 80% of mortgage-rate locks result in a home purchase.

The report did not break down demand by region.

Full article on Mansion Global


Year-End Mortgage Rates at 3.11%

3901 NW Lewis Ln, Portland, OR 97229
Presented by Michael Zhang | Offered at $1,980,000 | MLS# 21517640

From REALTOR® Magazine

Mortgage rates stayed low for the final week of 2021, but housing analysts largely predict rates will be heading up in the coming weeks.

“Mortgage rates have been effectively been moving sideways despite the increase in new COVID cases,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “This is because incoming economic data suggests that the economy remains on firm ground, particularly cyclical industries like manufacturing and housing. Moreover, low interest rates and high asset valuations continue to drive consumer spending. While we do expect rates to rise, the push the first-time home buyer demographic that’s been propelling the purchase market will continue in 2022 and beyond.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending Dec. 30:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.11%, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 3.05% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.67%.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.33%, with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 2.30% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.17%.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.41%, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.37% average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.71%.

Freddie Mac reports national commitment rates along with average points to better reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage.

Full article on REALTOR® Magazine