First Time Home Buyers Limited By Student DebtFirst-time buyers accounted for 28% of purchases in February, up from 26% last month, but down from 30% in February 2013. Student debt appears to be a factor in the weak level of first-time buyers. The biggest problems for first-time buyers are tight credit and limited inventory in the lower price range.Character Of The MarketHowever, 20% of buyers under the age of 33, the prime group of first-time buyers, delayed their purchase because of outstanding debt. In a recent consumer survey, 56% of younger buyers who took longer to save for down payment identified student debt as the biggest obstacle.» [read more]

 

First Time Home Buyer Market Share DropsFirst-time buyers accounted for 26% of purchases last month, down from 27% from the month before and 30% from January 2013. This is the lowest market share for first-time buyers since monthly tracking began in October 2008; normally, they should be closer to 40%.First Time Home Buyer Market Share DropsAll-cash sales comprised 33% of transactions, up from 32% from the previous month and 28% in January 2013. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 20% of homes in January, compared with 21% the month before and 19% in January 2013. Seven out of 10 investors paid cash in January.» [read more]

 

Low Inventory & Tight Lending Keep New Construction At Historic LowsThe 2013 housing market has been characterized by a low inventory environment. However, recent inventory reductions are much less than what was reported earlier this year. December saw a 12.00% loss in inventory from last year, and the months supply increased to 5.9 months. While improving, low months supply remains in some key markets, such as: an Francisco (1.4-months), Denver (2.7-months), Boston (2.9-months), Los Angeles (3.0-months), and San Diego (3.4-months).Low Inventory & Tight Lending Keep New Construction At Historic LowsNew home construction reached the 3rd highest level in the past 66 months. However, the latest annualized pace of 999,000 new units is insufficient to satisfy demand. Another 50% increase in housing starts is needed to help relieve the inventory shortage conditions
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What The New Mortgage Lending Rules Mean For YouNew mortgage lending rules are going into effect that aim to put an end to the worst mortgage lending abuses of the past. The new rules are designed to take a "back to basics" approach to mortgage lending and lower the risk of defaults and foreclosures among borrowers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which issued the new rules.What The New Mortgage Lending Rules Mean For YouNo more debt traps. No more surprises. No more runarounds. These are bedrock concepts backed by new common-sense rules, which take effect immediately. We think the new rules are balanced and well-drawn. They will offer consumers protection without limiting credit to qualified borrowers.» [read more]

 

Low Levels Of Distressed Sales Contribute To Price GrowthDistressed homes - foreclosures and short sales - accounted for 14 percent of November sales, unchanged from October; they were 22% in November 2012. A smaller share of distressed sales is contributing to price growth.Low Levels Of Distressed Sales Contribute To Price GrowthThe national median existing home price for all housing types was $196,300 in November, up 9.37% from November 2012. New home sales also saw an annual increase rising to $270,900 translating to a net gain of 10.57% from the same month last year» [read more]