Housing Market Update: The New Year Brings an Uptick in Early-Stage Demand As Mortgage Payments Fall and More Homes Hit the Market

Redfin agents report that as the new year kicks off, more sellers are listing and more buyers are going on tours and applying for mortgages as rates remain in the mid-6% range, down from 8% in October. Buyers are motivated by lower mortgage payments–the median U.S. housing payment is down $325 (-12%) from October’s all-time high–and sellers are motivated by increased demand and the lock-in effect easing. 


Mortgage-purchase applications are up 3% from a month ago, and Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index–a seasonally adjusted measure of requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin’s agents–is up 5% from a month ago. Pending U.S. home sales posted their smallest year-over-year decline in two years (-3%) during the four weeks ending January 7. There are 9% more new listings than there were a year ago, and while the total number of listings is down 3% annually, that’s the smallest decline since June.

Read more from Redfin.

Rate Cooldown Boosts Consumer Optimism For 2024

The mortgage rate cooldown is giving Americans a somewhat rosier view of 2024’s housing market, sparking some optimism despite overall dour views about the state of buying and selling.


That’s according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which increased 2.9 points in December to a reading of 67.2.


Though Americans generally see homebuying in a negative light, cooling rates pushed the “good time to buy” component of Fannie’s index up slightly month-over-month to 17%. That’s up from 14% in November, a survey low.


The boost was the result of a record-high number of consumers saying they expect mortgage rates to fall in the next 12 months (31%). 

Read more from The Mortgage Note.

Philly is the 7th Best City for Homes with the Most Bang for Your Buck

Homeowners in Philadelphia find a high bang for their buck, ranking No. 7 for cities where Americans found the most value in their neighborhoods, according to a study completed by All Star Home.


When it comes to buying a home, affordability is important, but so is the neighborhood where it’s located. The study found that nearly 1 in 5 Americans attribute half of their home’s value to their neighborhood.


Philly was one of the cities where residents reported being most happy about their home and their neighborhood in comparison to how affordable it was when they bought it. The top cities with the best values were Detroit, Rochester and Birmingham.

Read more from the PA Association of Realtors.

U.S. Mortgage Refinance Demand Surges by Nearly 20% After Holiday Period

The numbers: Mortgage applications jumped as U.S. home buyers played “catch-up” after the holiday seasons, despite rates edging higher.


Rising mortgage rates did not dampen home-buying and refinancing demand. The overall market composite index—a measure of mortgage application volume—increased in the last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said on Wednesday. The market index rose 9.9% to 190.6 for the week ending January 5 from a week ago. A year ago, the index stood at 186.7.

Read more from Realtor.com.

Long-Term Investments Impact Home Value

Buying a house is a long-term investment itself, but various factors impact the home’s overall value in the long run. Whether buying a new home or trying to increase the value of a current home, here are some factors for homebuyers and owners to consider.


Location

Homes located in desirable areas are more likely to increase in value. Proximity to good parks, schools, shopping and restaurant options, entertainment and more can help increase a home’s value. Even if the home itself loses value, the property it sits on may help increase its worth.


Home Size

Usable space plays a significant role in the value of a home. Minimal usable space may limit options for remodels and additions. Homes with more usable space tend to have a higher value and can be a greater long-term investment.

Read more from PA Association of Realtors.

16 Things to Do Immediately After Buying a Home and You Receive Your Keys

Congratulations on your new home! Successfully closing on a house in today’s market is an achievement worth celebrating. After navigating through the phases of house hunting, making the offer, securing a mortgage, finally closing the deal, you might be wondering what happens next, besides moving in. Are there other things you should be thinking about or doing now that you’re a homeowner?


Once you sign the paperwork and receive your keys, there are several tasks you’ll want to complete for peace of mind and to ensure a comfortable transition into your new home, whether it’s a home in Miami, FL or Portland, OR, or anywhere in between. In this Redfin article, we’ll guide you through 16 essential things to do immediately after buying a home.

Read more from Redfin.

Pennsylvania Uses a Lot of Moving Boxes

In 2021, Pennsylvanians used enough cardboard moving boxes to stack four stories high within Lincoln Financial Field Stadium, according to data published by moveBuddha.


In the same year, U.S. Census data recorded more than 15.8 million household moves across the country. moveBuddha estimates that the average family needs about 60 medium-sized moving boxes per move. That comes to nearly one billion moving boxes total for the entire country.


Pennsylvania ranks No. 7 for most boxes used per state.

Read more from The PA Association of Realtors.

We hope you enjoyed this week's Market News. For more information about how we can help you, please contact us.

Plymouth Meeting: 610.834.8700

Doylestown: 215.345.7600

NJ: 609.398.8600

info@phillyadvisors.com

www.phillyadvisors.com

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Information and analysis is obtained through third parties and is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. Philadelphia Mortgage Advisors is a licensed mortgage lender by the PA Dept. of Banking and Securities, NJ Dept. of Banking & Insurance, the State of DE, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and MD Mortgage Lender #23004. NMLS #128570.