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Latest Market Activity for April 2017

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

April Real Estate activity in the Eugene and Springfield market area was up slightly over March of this year, but running behind April of a year ago.  Low inventories of homes for sale and an average home price increase of nearly 10% over last year are the culprits.  We are in a strange market right now with extremely low inventories of homes for sale and rising home prices.  I don't want to sound the alarm, but this is a dangerous spiral and it could result in a quickly declining market at some time.  When home prices become non-affordable, sales decline and price come down.  What happens in our local market over the next several months should tell us the story about where we are heading.  Here are the numbers from April.

Lane County saw some warmer activity again this April, although numbers are a bit cooler compared to April 2016. New listings, at 577, ended 1.5% below April 2016 (586) but 7.4% ahead of March 2017 (537). 

Pending sales, at 488, decreased 11.8% compared to April 2016 (553) but edged 2.1% ahead of the 478 o ers accepted last month in March 2017. 

Similarly, closed sales (361) had a 10.0% decrease from the 401 closings recorded last year in April 2016 but pulled 1.7% ahead of the 355 closings recorded last month in March 2017. 

Inventory crawled upward in April, ending at 1.8 months. Meanwhile, total market time decreased by 13 days, landing at 56 days.

Average and Median Sale Prices 

Comparing the average price of homes in the twelve months ending April 30th of this year ($270,400) with the average price of homes sold in the twelve months ending April 2016 ($246,700) shows an increase of 9.6%. The same comparison of the median shows an increase of 8.4% over that same period. 

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Mortgage Interest Rates Remain Low

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Most people do not realize how low mortgage interest rates remain.  Not only have rates declined, but they are now close to the historic low rates of the past year.  Here is a recent article that gives you some insight into where home loan rates currently are.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continues to hover around 4 percent for the fourth consecutive week.

“Mixed economic reports over the last week have anchored the 30-year mortgage rate around the 4 percent mark,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending May 11:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.05 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.02 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.57 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.29 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.27 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.13 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.78 percent.

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This Month in Real Estate May 2017

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

As you see in this weeks video, home sales and home prices are up across the nation. Nationally, an increase in home prices of 6.3% is a continuation of the multi-year trend of elevated home prices.  Locally, we have outpaced the nation with the escalation of home prices.  This is good news for home sellers as most markets across the nation have equaled or exceeded pre-recession home prices.  One factor leading to the brisk home sales is the fact that mortgage interest rates have fallen and are now closer to historic low rates.  It could be a busy Summer for home sales both nationally and locally!

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Credit Score: How Low Is Too Low To Buy A Home?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Frequently, I get questions from would-be homebuyers in regards to credit scores and home purchases. There are requirements for any home loan on specific credit scores needed to obtain a loan.  The following is a great article from "Realty Times" that explains the credit score process for home financing.

When it comes to your credit score, how low is too low? The number you really need to buy a house.

We all know that when it comes to buying a house, there are a few things we need, like a down payment and a good enough credit score to qualify for a loan. But what does a "good enough credit score" really mean? Does your credit history have to be impeccable? Can you have a couple of boo-boos? And, if you do have issues on your report, how much of a hit will you take? Your credit score is "a number, roughly between 300 and 850, that summarizes a consumer's creditworthiness," said Bankrate. "The higher the score, the more able and willing a consumer is to repay a loan, lenders believe. The best mortgage rates and terms go to borrowers with credit scores of 740 and higher."

But most of us can't measure up to that number. Thankfully, we don't have to. There's room for lower scores - even really low scores - depending on the type of loan you're applying for, with a number of other factors (your income and work history, the amount of your down payment, the state of the economy) thrown in. Knowing where the bottom is will help you figure out how to proceed.

FHA loans

The advantage to a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan for many buyers is the low down payment. You may need only 3.5% down to purchase a home with this type of loan, which is backed by the government. But, you'll need a minimum 580 credit score if you're only planning to put 3.5% down. Can't meet that benchmark? You'll need more cash up front.

"If your credit score is below 580, however, you aren't necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility," said the FHA. "Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10 percent down payment if they want to qualify for a loan."

For FHA loans, your credit score can be as low as 500. But, "Those with credit scores between 500 and 579 are limited to 90 percent LTV," which leaves a lot of people out of luck.

Non-government-backed loans

The issue with FHA loans for many buyers: That pesky private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add several hundred dollars to the monthly payment and is "required any time you put less than 20% down on a conventional loan," said My Mortgage Insider.

If you have a larger down payment, you may be able to avoid paying PMI by going with another type of loan - but only if you have the credit score. "To qualify for a conventional mortgage, a borrower generally needs a minimum credit score of 680 and at least 5 percent down," said Bankrate. "Many lenders require at least 10 percent down."

There may be more wiggle room in that credit score if you can come up with more money for a higher down payment. But, if it's too low, you'll likely be pointed right back to FHA loans. On the other end, a higher score will get you the best possible interest rates.

Subprime mortgages

Have a credit score below 500? You're officially in the "bad credit" zone. But, you may still be a candidate for a loan, even if you can't qualify by FHA standards, by going with a subprime mortgage. The word "subprime" still sends shivers down the spines of many people because loans extended to what many industry professionals considered to be unqualified applicants were largely blamed for the last housing crash. Accordingly, many of these opportunities dried up in the aftermath.

Today, though, subprime mortgages are available. Keep in mind that minimum credit scores will depend on the individual loan and lender, and each borrower's unique set of financial circumstances. And, you'll pay for the privilege of being extended a loan with higher rates and/or fees.

"Subprime mortgage lenders mostly use collateral like equity earned when considering a ‘refinance' or a more significant down-payment when talking about a ‘purchase money' transaction," said First Time Home Financing.

Private Money Lenders

If all other avenues fail, you may still be able to get a loan with your bad credit from a private money lender. These are individuals with money to spend who are looking for investments. Because your low credit score makes you risky, you'll be charged more for your loan.

"Your personal credit is usually a smaller factor in these types of loans. However, you should know that the interest rate on these loans is much higher - in the range of 10-15%," said First Time Home Financing. "If you really have bad credit, this could be your only option for the time being."

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Contact Information

Photo of Galand Haas Team  Real Estate
Galand Haas Team
Keller Williams Realty Eugene and Springfield
2644 Suzanne Way
Eugene OR 97408
Direct: (541) 349-2620
Fax: 541-687-6411

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