Ascending equity, rate retreat & the cost of kids



Homeowner equity reached $15.2 trillion in the second quarter this year according to the U.S. Federal Reserve. The new high is approximately 13% higher than the previous peak of $13.4 trillion in 2006. The Mortgage Bankers Association credits home price growth, a healthy job market, contextually low interest rates and efforts by homeowners to reduce their mortgage principal balances.


Continued home price appreciation fueled a 1.4% increase in housing wealth for homeowners age 62 and older according to the Risk/Span Reverse Mortgage Market Index (RMMI). Seniors gained $97 billion dollars in home equity for Q3 according to the RMMI, for a new index high of 251.57. The National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association has been publishing the index since 2000.


Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage retreated to the lowest point since September according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending December 13. Rates have been trending downward or flat for the last five weeks.


Children have a huge impact on home-buying preference and purchase power according to the National Association of Realtors’® (NAR) 2018 Moving with Kids report. Buyers with child care expenses said they compromised on size, price, style and condition of homes, while 27% said care costs delayed their home purchases.

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