March 11, 2021 | Market Update

Market News 3-12-2021

Mortgage Market Update

Surging Sales

January saw single-family home purchases rise 4.3% above December’s numbers. Experts view this impressive growth as a sign of an improving economy on the near horizon. Home sales remain robust despite rates on 30-year fixed mortgages passing 3% earlier this month.1

Diminishing Rate Disparities for Women

In 49 states, women pay higher mortgage rates than men – 8 to 10 basis points higher, on average. That translates to as much as $7,000 more over the life of the mortgage. If a homebuyer has received only one preapproval but has not spoken with one of our loan officers, getting another opinion can widen options and help prevent overpayment. During COVID-19, the three major reporting agencies are offering free weekly credit reports, which are usually available for free only once per year. Early research and planning before applying for a mortgage also can help borrowers navigate to a credit score most conducive to a competitive interest rate.2

Watch Out for FOMO

Fueled by the fear of missing out, some buyers skip steps in their zeal to strike while the iron is hot. Experts caution borrowers to buy a home that’s right in as many ways as possible, including financially. Principal and interest are only a portion of a home’s cost. Standard steps for borrowers would be to target a mortgage payment less than 25% of take-home pay, save for a 10-20% down payment, and get preapproved for a fixed-rate mortgage. Don’t miss estimating maintenance costs on a bigger home or new commute costs for a place farther out in the country.3

Sales of New Homes Leading the Way

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts that the number of existing homes sold will hold steady at 6.4 million each quarter, and sales of new homes will grow from 905,000 to 979,000 per quarter by the end of the year as builders generate more inventory. MBA sees mortgage rates rising to 3.4% by the end of 2021, but they don’t expect that to stop eager homebuyers any time soon.4

Buyers Bringing Designers

Some homebuyers take interior designers along with them as they shop. These designers help them identify less expensive properties that are ripe for renovation. Their knowledge of the opportunities and costs of remaking a home allow them to advise their clients much earlier in the process than usual. Surging home prices make this service especially valuable now.5