With a boost from the first-time homebuyer tax credit, the housing market may be headed for a sustainable recovery beginning in 2010, according to NAR’s latest forecast. NAR projects existing-home sales to be 5.01 million in 2009, up 2.0 percent from a year ago, before rising 13.6 percent to 5.69 million in 2010. New-home sales are also expected to rebound, rising from 397,000 in 2009 to 549,000 next year. First-time buyers are leading the recovery, accounting for 47 percent of all home sales over the past year, up from 41 percent from a year ago.
Home prices will begin to stabilize in 2010. “We’ve seen a steady downtrend in housing inventory for well over a year, and home prices appear to be in the early stages of stabilizing,” says NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “With expansion of the tax credit to additional buyers through the middle of next year, and no major unforeseen events impacting the economy, home prices should rise between 3 percent and 5 percent in 2010, but with wide geographic differences,” Yun says.
“The Deed for Lease Program provides an additional option for qualifying homeowners who are facing foreclosure and are not eligible for modifications,” said Jay Ryan, Vice President of Fannie Mae. “This new program helps eliminate some of the uncertainty of foreclosure, keeps families and tenants in their homes during a transitional period, and helps to stabilize neighborhoods and communities.”
Leases under the new program may be up to 12 months, with the possibility of term renewal or month-to-month extensions after that period. For additional information about the Deed for Lease Program, including full details on program eligibility, please review the Guide Announcement on www.efanniemae.com.
Sounds like an admirable and helpful concept for many families facing foreclosure. However, if the feds are becoming a “National Landlord”, will their next step be renting all the vacant homes they own from foreclosures? That competition with the private sector of landlords and investors who own rental properties would be an interesting dilemma!
Freddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.98 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending November 5, 2009, down from the previous week when it averaged 5.03 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.20 percent.
“Mortgage rates fell back this week pulling interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages under 5 percent,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “Lower mortgage rates should help homeowners lower their monthly payments and feed the ongoing recovery in the housing market.” For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have financed more than 3.5 million refinance loans during the first nine months of 2009. Freddie Mac estimates that borrowers who refinanced their conventional loan during the third quarter reduced their interest rate by a median of 1.1 percentage points, which will save these borrowers an aggregate of $3 billion in mortgage payments over the next 12 months.