Americans, when given the choice, clearly prefer homeownership over renting.
The numbers aren’t even close. The latest quarterly figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that owners occupied 65.5 percent of the nation’s houses, condominiums and apartments as of mid-2012. The other 34.5 percent were rentals. Read More.
Despite the heated debate on the state of the housing market and the risk prices will plunge yet another 20 percent, the renting generation still dreams of owning a house.
Turns out 84 percent of 18 to 34 year-olds intend to buy a home, according to a recent poll by TD Bank.
That makes sense since a similar percentage of current homeowners —four out of five—purchased their first home when they belonged to that age group. Read More.
Delinquent borrowers facing foreclosure are learning that they can stay in their homes for years, as long as they’re willing to put up a fight.
Among the tactics: Challenging the bank’s actions, waiting to file paperwork right up until the deadline, requesting the lender dig up original paperwork or, in some extreme cases, declaring bankruptcy.
Nationwide, the average time it takes to process a foreclosure — from the first missed payment to the final foreclosure auction — has climbed to 674 days from 253 days just four years ago, according to LPS Applied Analytics. Read More.
Since 2005, homeowners’ expenditures for housing have risen from 31.9 percent of their household budget to 33.2 percent, but renters’ costs have risen even more, from 35.6 percent to 38.4 percent, according to the October CoreLogic U.S. Housing and Mortgage Trends.
Since 1985, homeowners have increased their housing expenditure allocation by 12 percent, while renters increased by 22 percent. Read More.
Ocwen Financial Corp. launched a new modification program to reduce the principal on a mortgage for delinquent borrowers, while compelling them to share in the future appreciation of the home’s value with the investor.
Mortgage modifications will only be available for homeowners in negative equity.
Through the program, launched as a pilot in August 2010, Ocwen will write down qualified loans to 95% of the underlying property’s market value. The amount written down is forgiven in one-third increments over three years as long as the homeowner remains current. When the house is later sold or refinanced, the borrower will be required to share 25% of the appreciated value with the investor. Read More.
Most Americans still believe that owning a home is a solid financial decision, and a majority of renters aspire to home ownership as a long-term goal. According to the 2011 National Housing Pulse Survey released today by the National Association of Realtors®, 72 percent of renters surveyed said owning a home is a top priority for their future, up from 63 percent in 2010. Read More.
Low mortgage rates and declining home values make homeownership extremely affordable these days. But does that mean now is the right time to buy a home? Should you wait?
It depends on whom you ask, where you live and most importantly, on your own situation.
Unfortunately, “nobody hits the gong when the market hits bottom,” says Jed Smith, managing director of quantitative research for the National Association of Realtors. But in many markets, it appears that home prices are close to bottoming out, he says.
“In terms of affordability, now is definitely a good time,” he says. “Prices are fairly low and interest rates are hovering at historic lows … but real estate is very local. It’s not just a question of state or city, but ZIP code.” Read More.
While nearly one-quarter of home owners owe more on their home than it’s currently worth, Americans still see the value in home ownership and still consider it part of the American dream.
Nearly nine in 10 Americans say home ownership is an important part of the American dream, according to the latest New York Times and CBS News poll conducted June 24-28 of 979 adults.
Overall, the majority of Americans polled also said the government should do more to help improve the housing market, and they mostly blame financial institutions for the sluggish housing market.
Read some of the findings from the poll. Read More.
The federal government is offering another remedy for those who have fallen behind on mortgage payments and lost their jobs: free money to catch up on their loans.
The effort, called the Emergency Homeowners Loan Program, is the latest in the federal government’s efforts to slow down the flood of foreclosures a necessary step to a meaningful recovery in the housing market, says a Department of Housing and Urban Development official. For people who have lost their jobs, the $1 billion program offers loans of up to $50,000 that don’t actually need to be repaid, if applicants meet certain requirements. Read More.
Seventy-five percent of Americans say that “owning a home is the best long-term investment they can make and is worth the risk of ups and downs in the housing market.” Read More.