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Renters can afford pricier-than-average homes without increasing monthly expenses

Renters paying the median U.S. rent could afford a house that is 50 percent more expensive than the median U.S. home value, according to a new Zillow study. The study found that with an increase in rent prices across the country and low interest rates, many renters could afford pricier-than-average homes in their current cities without increasing monthly expenses.

Zillow looked at the median rent payment in 50 cities across the United States to see how much home those renters could afford without spending more than they currently spend on rent.

The median rent in the United States was $1,416 in March, which would cover the monthly expenses for a home up to $289,500, which includes the mortgage payment, property taxes, homeowners’ insurance and maintenance and renovation expenses. It also assumes a 20 percent down payment, which many first-time homeowners may not be able to provide.

According to Zillow, 57 percent of the available for-sale inventory nationally is listed for under $289,500 and the median U.S. home value was $196,500 in March.

“Renters hesitant to enter the home buying market for fear of not being able to find an affordable home should be encouraged to discover they may have more options than they thought,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “However, it’s worth noting that many of the more affordable homes for sale may be older, smaller and/or located in less-desirable neighborhoods than they might like.”

In Chicago, the average rent in March was $1,650, which would allow those prospective buyers to afford a home up to $337,347. The median home value in March 2017 in the city was $220,900.

Blog Post via Chicago Agent Magazine

Homes are Selling Fast Across the Country [Infographic]

Major Enhancements are LIVE in connectMLS!

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You asked, we listened! Based on your feedback, some major changes and upgrades have been made to photos and the Private Listing Network (PLN)!

Photo Highlights:

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    Unlimited photos per listing (think before you print!)

  • High Definition (HD) photos
  • Restrict selected secondary photos from being distributed to third party websites (ex. IDX, realtor.com, etc.) when the listing goes off-market (Photo rule has been revised)

NOTE: Please be aware that with unlimited photos, if you are printing reports, the number of pages of the report will increase. Please use print preview before printing!

Learn More »

 
Private Listing Network Highlights:

  • Search for homes via a map search!
  • Create a search and receive email notifications when listings become available
  • Create your own custom reports
  • Use “Next” and “Previous” to move between listings
  • And much more!

Learn More »

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Are you experiencing issues or have any questions? You can always contact the MRED Help Desk at 630-955-2755 or help.desk@mredllc.com

Again… You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW!

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A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. There are two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 40% of consumers think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.

Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

2. FICO® Scores 

The survey also revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in February had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 686. The average across all loans closed in February was 720. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in February.

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Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, sit down with a professional who can help you understand your true options.

Blog post via KCM Blog

MRED Chicagoland Report for February, 2017

The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a hot stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment. At the same time, housing prices have continued to rise, and the low inventory situation and affordability crunch has been particularly hard on first-time buyers struggling to get into the market. Nevertheless, buyer activity is easily outpacing seller activity in much of the country, culminating in relatively quick sales and low supply. Demand definitely remained strong this month.

New Listings in Chicagoland were down 0.8 percent for detached homes and 2.0 percent for attached properties. Listings Under Contract increased 9.2 percent for detached homes and 6.3 percent for attached properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 11.9 percent to $207,000 for detached homes and 11.0 percent to $182,000 for attached properties. Months Supply of Inventory decreased 19.9 percent for detached units and 23.4 percent for attached units.

Unemployment has reached pre-recession levels, and Americans remain optimistic about finding quality employment. This matters because job growth and higher paychecks fuel home purchases. Unfortunately, that won’t matter for potential buyers if price appreciation outpaces income growth and if mortgage rates continue their upward trend. Sellers are getting a generous number of offers in this market. The worry for sellers then becomes that there will not be a generous number of homes to choose from when they become buyers.

MRED real estate professionals can log into MREDLLC.com and click on the Statistics tab to get the latest Lender Mediated and Monthly Market Indicators Reports.  You can also click on the Local Market Updates choice under the Statistics tab and use our Interactive Market Analytics map for the latest local market metrics.

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up

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The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed a direct correlation between a lack of inventory and rising prices.

We are all familiar with the concept of supply and demand. As the demand for an item increases the supply of that same item goes down, driving prices up.

Year-over-year inventory levels have dropped each of the last 18 months, as inventory now stands at a 4.0-month supply, well below the 6.0-month supply needed for a ‘normal’ market.

The median price of homes sold in November (the latest data available) was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marking the 57th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say:

“Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017. Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.”

But there is good news about rising prices. More and more homeowners are recovering from a negative equity situation and learning that they are able to sell their homes and either move up to their dream home or downsize to a property that will better suit their needs. Look for these homes to come to market soon.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. Listing your home in the winter attracts serious buyers who are looking to close the transaction quickly.

Blog post via KCM Blog