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Expert Update 12.20.19


Consumer sentiment toward the housing market rebounded in November according to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Fannie Mae. Three of the six HPSI components increased month-over-month, including large increases in the percentage of Americans who believe it’s a good time to buy and that home prices will go up over the next 12 months. November's uptick reversed the previous month's decline and edged closer to the survey high set in August.


Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage held steady according to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 5. Rates are up slightly from September's low point; however, they remain over one-percent lower year-over-year.


Third quarter was good for U.S. homeowners according to October's Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight Financial Services (BKFS). The amount of tappable equity - the amount available to homeowners with mortgages before reaching a maximum combined loan-to-value ratio of 80% - reached $6.2-trillion last quarter. The BKFS report showed that equity reached the largest Q3 volume on record.


Home-buying bargain hunters should head south for the best deals. First American Financial examined how many homes the median renter can afford in each of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the country and found that the median renter could afford the median priced home in 30 of the 50 largest markets tracked in the third quarter of 2019, which is an increase from the second quarter total of 24 markets. The top three most affordable cities were Oklahoma City, OK, Louisville, KY and Memphis, TN, respectively.


Sources: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Black Knight Financial Services, First American Financial Corporation

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