Home Prices Hit 45-Year High, Lenders Expect Improved Refinance Volumes, and Other Appraisal News

Miniature wooden houses and red arrow up, representing rising home prices and refinance volumes

Home prices are up 18% on average across the United States. Mortgage lenders anticipate increased refinance volumes, but they’re more cautious when it comes to purchase demand. There was a 9% increase in pending home sales in August—the slowest growth since June 2020. Manufactured housing is key to the Biden Administration’s initiative to boost affordable housing. An estimated 400,000 homeowners have now entered their final month in forbearance.

Keep reading for more appraisal news and insights. Plus, join our Pro-Series webinar on Wednesday, September 29th: “Impact of Pandemic on Current Market Analyses and Trends.”

Home prices hit 45-year high

According to this story from MReport, Record high home prices compounded with a shortage of available units have caused home prices to shoot up 18% on average across the nation.

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index (HPI) and HPI Forecast for June 2021…found that as mortgage rates remain near record lows, the ongoing challenges of persistent demand, a rebounding economy, and constricted supply will continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”

Mortgage lenders anticipate improved refinance volumes

According to Fannie Mae’s Q3 2021 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey (MLSS), mortgage lenders expect improved refinance volumes, but they’re “slightly more cautious on purchase demand due to high home prices,” this press release explains.

The MLSS survey found that “46% of mortgage lenders believe profit margins will decrease in the next three months, an improvement from 69% in the prior quarter.” Additionally, “across all loan types, more lenders this quarter reported reduced consumer demand over the previous three months for purchase mortgages but improved demand for refinance mortgages.”

9% increase in pending home sales is slowest growth since June 2020

According to this housing market update from Redfin News—based data for the month of August 2021—pending home sales are slowing, and homes are taking longer to sell. So the market’s become slightly more favorable to homebuyers. However, prices are still up 15% year over year, with a median home-sale price of $359,983. Other highlights from the report include:

  • “New listings of homes for sale were nearly flat (-0.1%) from a year earlier.”
  • “Mortgage purchase applications increased 1% week over week (seasonally adjusted) during the week ending August 27.”
  • “For the week ending August 26, 30-year mortgage rates increased slightly to 2.87%.”

Join our Pro-Series webinar for appraisers on Wednesday, September 29th: “Impact of Pandemic on Current Market Analyses and Trends.”

Manufactured housing is key to affordable homeownership

“Last week, the Biden Administration rolled out a major initiative to take immediate, tangible steps to increase the supply of affordable housing. The Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) is encouraged that two important components of this package are steps to boost the supply of manufactured homes and a commitment to work with local governments to reduce exclusionary zoning.” Read the full story from HousingWire.

CE course: Take a deep dive into the appraisal of prefabricated houses with our course, Appraising Today’s Manufactured Homes.

400,000 homeowners enter final month in forbearance

“Black Knight estimates that nearly 630,000 forbearance plans, more than one-third of those currently active, are slated for review this month. Of those, 400,000 will have reached the end of their 18 months of forbearance eligibility unless the maximum term is extended again,” according to this article from Mortgage News Daily.

CE Course: Learn all about REO appraisal in our course, Appraisal of REO and Foreclosure Properties.

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