U.S. Mortgage Rates Decline to 3-Year Low in August

Freddie Mac | August 26, 2019

According to Freddie Macs latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate in the U.S. averaged 3.55 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016. Sam Khater, Freddie Macs chief economist, says, "The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months, while refinances surged to their highest share in three and a half years. Households that refinanced in the second quarter of 2019 will save an average of $1,700 a year, which is equivalent to about $140 each month."

Spotlight

Live in luxury and walk to class at Rio West. Serving the University of Texas at Austin, this Modern Student Living community boasts an upscale lifestyle for educated urbanites. Two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartment homes come with 42-inch TVs, a washer and dryer in every home, energy saving ceiling fans, and large shared spaces. Whip up a meal in the fully equipped kitchen or relax on your private patio or balcony.

Spotlight

Live in luxury and walk to class at Rio West. Serving the University of Texas at Austin, this Modern Student Living community boasts an upscale lifestyle for educated urbanites. Two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartment homes come with 42-inch TVs, a washer and dryer in every home, energy saving ceiling fans, and large shared spaces. Whip up a meal in the fully equipped kitchen or relax on your private patio or balcony.

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REAL ESTATE TECHNOLOGY

Scores of Pandemic Homebuyers Purchased Vacation Homes With High Natural-Disaster Risk

Redfin | July 06, 2022

In 2020 and 2021, purchases of second homes with high flood risk rose 45% from the prior two-year period (2018-2019), according to a new analysis of ClimateCheck data from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. There were also significant increases in purchases of second homes with high storm risk (40%) and high heat risk (39%). Demand for second homes surged during the pandemic as low mortgage rates, remote work and the desire to escape the city drove up demand for vacation properties. Overall, purchases of second homes were up 37% higher in 2020 and 2021 compared with 2018 and 2019. Demand has since fallen back below pre-pandemic levels as life has returned somewhat to normal, but many Americans now own at-risk second homes, which has implications for the future. “The threat of climate change isn’t the top concern for a lot of homebuyers, which means they often prioritize factors like warm weather and proximity to the beach over avoiding natural-disaster risk. Second-home owners, in particular, have another place to live if disaster strikes—another reason climate danger may not feel like a pressing issue, But house hunters should be aware that purchasing in a disaster-prone area not only puts them and their home at risk, but their finances as well. Home values in climate-endangered places may fall in the coming years as consumers learn more about the risks to properties in these areas.” Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari A recent Redfin analysis found that more people have been moving into than out of the U.S. counties with the largest share of homes at high risk from natural disasters. That’s partly because some buyers just aren’t aware of the risks. Redfin.com now publishes climate-risk data for nearly every U.S. home, with the exception of rental listings, to help house hunters make more informed decisions. “House hunters from out of town ask about climate change because they’re very concerned about flooding, but most of them don’t change their minds,” said Miami Redfin agent Cristina Llanos. “They hear horror stories of hurricanes, but generally still move forward. People want to talk about it but it typically doesn’t make or break their decision.” Heat and Storm Are Most Common Risks Second-Home Buyers Face Overall, heat is the most common risk facing second-home buyers—nearly all (94%) of second homes purchased in the past two years face high heat risk. Next comes high storm risk, which plagues more than three-quarters (78%) of second homes bought in the past two years, followed by high flood risk (26%), high fire risk (23%) and high drought risk (21%). Many popular second-home destinations, like Florida and Arizona, face significant heat and/or storm risk. The most popular destinations for homebuyers looking to relocate are Miami, Tampa and Phoenix, which attracted scores of affluent out-of-towners in search of vacation homes during the pandemic. About Redfin Redfin is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, instant home-buying (iBuying), rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 6,000 people.

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REAL ESTATE ADVICE

Redfin Reports Demand For Vacation Homes Is Now Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Redfin | June 27, 2022

Demand for vacation homes has fallen below the pre-pandemic baseline for the first time in two years, with mortgage-rate locks for second homes down 4% from before the pandemic in May, according to a new report from Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s down from a revised rate of 3% above pre-pandemic levels a month earlier, and 70% above pre-pandemic levels a year earlier. Demand for second homes is declining due to high home prices, mortgage rates that have rapidly risen to nearly 6% and a slumping stock market–factors that are also cooling the rest of the housing market. Another deterrent to second-home buyers is the fact that the federal government increased loan fees for second homes in April, adding roughly $13,500 to the cost of purchasing a $400,000 home. Skyrocketing monthly payments, along with higher loan fees, have priced many second-home buyers out of the market. Many would-be second-home buyers are also deterred by turmoil in the stock markets, high inflation and recession fears, and they can be quicker to pull back from the market because vacation homes aren’t a necessity the way primary homes are. The cooldown in the second-home market is likely to continue as long as mortgage rates are elevated and the stock market is slumping.” Taylor Marr,Redfin Deputy Chief Economist The drop in vacation-home demand marks a drastic change from the second half of 2020 and 2021, when mortgage-rate locks for second homes skyrocketed due to record-low mortgage rates and the flexibility to work from anywhere thanks to remote work. Demand peaked in March 2021, when it was about 90% above pre-pandemic levels. Interest in vacation homes started declining sharply in February as mortgage rates began their ascent. The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate reached 5.81% in the week ending June 23. About Redfin Redfin is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, instant home-buying (iBuying), rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real-estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home can take an instant cash offer from Redfin or have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 6,000 people.

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MARKET OUTLOOK,REAL ESTATE ADVICE

Ventas’s Outlook Revised by Fitch Ratings to Stable

Ventas | July 19, 2022

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