The December 2018 Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) shows an array of opinions. Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Doug Duncan said, “Consumer attitudes regarding whether it’s a good time to buy a home worsened significantly in the last month, as well as from a year ago, to a survey low.” The December survey also revealed that the net share of Americans who said it is a good time to sell a home increased, along with those who say they are not concerned about losing their jobs.
Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped back again for the week ending January 3, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates have trended mostly downward since the middle of November, but they’re still over a half a percent higher year-over-year.
A concept called “equity release” is gaining momentum in the financial world, promising homeowners the ability to tap equity without incurring debt. There’s a growing number of companies offering cash in exchange for the ability to share in a home’s appreciation over time, as well as some who offer sale and leaseback options. Dubbed “innovative” by market watchers, these new finance vehicles seek to capitalize on future property value increases by providing homeowners with cash in hand today.
In 2017, the wealthiest 1% of the global population (77 million people) was estimated to hold 50% of world wealth. Due to better data and estimates, it’s now estimated that they only hold 47% of global wealth. To be in this group, your net worth must exceed $870,000. Thirty-one million of these lucky folks live in the US, followed by 7 million in China.
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