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Tag Archives: Urban Institute

Top 3 Barriers to Homeownership

As home prices rise and tight inventory continues, the current market has made it more challenging for Americans to reach their goals of homeownership. In light of this, a recent report breaks down the top three barriers potential homebuyers face.

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New Professional Requirements, Tech Could Improve Appraisals

The real estate appraisal process has long been bemoaned as slow, inefficient, and more advantageous to cash buyers, but according to appraisal experts at a recent panel discussion, there are ways to change that. Among them? Streamlining the process, reevaluating professional requirements, and adopting new technologies. Data shows that the number of licensed appraisers has dropped significantly over the last decade, due to volatility in the industry. Changing up licensing requirements could alleviate this issue.

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First-time Buyers Account for 60 Percent of Purchases

According to a new report, first-time homebuyers now make up 60 percent of all home purchases. On GSE loans, first-time buyers comprise 47 percent of loans, while on FHA loans, they account for 82 percent. The uptick is likely due to an improved economy, lower unemployment, rising income, and more new home construction

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Blame it on Refis

According to new analysis of GSE loan performance data, refinances may be, in large part, to blame for the housing crisis. An uptick in “using homes as ATMs” lead to sloppier underwriting and an uptick in defaults on refis leading up to the collapse. Refis were significantly more likely to be seriously delinquent than purchase loans during this time.

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Fed’s MBS Phaseout May Drive Up Rates

Many expect the Federal Reserve to begin pulling back from the MBS market later this year or early next. A new analysis delves into the options the Fed has for its pullback--as well as the impact each of those options may have on the market. Whichever the Fed choose, expert say it will impact mortgage rates either way.

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Housing Still Affordable, Despite Pricing Upticks

Though prices are up and mortgage rates are rising, housing is still pretty affordable—at least by historical standards. According to new data, the beginning of 2017 saw steady credit access, rising borrower FICO scores, and a decline in refinance transactions. The average FICO score of a first-time GSE buyer in January was 739.7.

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