Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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Mortgage Credits Adjusting to the Market Recovery

by Tim Hart

Mortgage standards that have kept many potential buyers out of the market are beginning to loosen. In addition, banks are speaking about increasing their mortgage business soon and shore up their residential mortgageassets within the next year.  All these prospective changes are being driven by a sharp rise in mortgage demand in conjunction with more home purchase applications being approved (60% compared to 55% of a year ago). This will combat but not fully eliminate the highly competitive home buying marketthat will still require standards such as 20% down.

“Fear Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will force lenders to take back risky mortgages continues to be the primary condition constraining lending,” RealtyTrac reports. “Other conditions that have lenders holding tight to mortgage purse strings include obtaining insurance, slow economic growth, concerns about securitization, and processing capacity.”

Mortgage Squeeze Loosens, Somewhat,”

Data Shows Mortgage Credit Easing, Others Not so Sure

Here are the national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending May 16: 

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.51 percent, with an average 0.7 point, increasing from last week’s 3.42 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.79 percent. 
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.61 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.04 percent. 
  • 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.62 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent. 
  • 1-year ARMs averaged 2.55 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 2.53 percent average. A year ago at this time, 1-year ARMs averaged 2.78 percent. 


Real Estate Milestone Achieved

by Tim Hart

Housing starts are at 1.04 million, up 7% from this February and up 47% from this time last year.

This number is achieved highly due to the recent surge in building apartments and condominiums. These multi-family units alone jumped 82% as compared to last year. Each unit within these types of complexes is counted in the statistics so they can be extremely volatile. When looking at a more stable number, single family units, the percentages have actually fallen by 6% since February.

But, there is a strong demand for the multi-family and rental type living environments that does not seem to be waning anytime soon. Young workers moving out of their parents’ houses, a little older workers who stuck around with their parents through the recession, and even seasoned workers who gravitated towards living together are all beginning to move out and find places of their own.  In addition to the workforce contributing to the demand, many home owners how lost their home to banks are wary of buying again and are choosing to downsize into a lower risk situation.

With the great benchmark of hitting the 1 million-point and beyond comes details everyone should keep their eyes on: the demand, as mentioned above, is very dependent on the trends of society, raw material costs are on the rise, and there is an increasing shortage of construction workers.


7 Year-Highs: Home Prices Post Their Biggest Gains

by Tim Hart

Median Existing Single-Family saw their largest annual gain in more than seven years in the first quarter of 2013. The median home price rose from $158,600 to $176,600, a gain of 11.3%!

“The supply/demand balance is clearly tilted toward sellers in a good portion of the country,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Inventory conditions are expected to remain fairly constrained this year, so overall price increases should be well above the historic gain of one-to-two percentage points above the rate of inflation.  If home builders can continue to ramp up production, then home price growth is expected to moderate in 2014.” - See more at:

Great news right! Not so fast…

Some dark shadows are brewing on the real estate horizon. Looking at who is leading the recovery, the rate at which the market is recovering, and the future governmental programs all paint a picture a little different than the major headlines.

This market boom is being spearheaded by investors. Seeing the low interest rates in conjunction with the depressed home prices, investors are able to move with more assurance and speed then the average home buyer. Once prices rise, many of these investors will pull back—leaving a hole in the market again.

"These days, I worry more about the economy hurting housing than housing hurting the economy," said Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington D.C.-based think tank. Employment is intimately integrated with the housing market and hiring has slowed since March—the weakest growth since last June. Discouraged workers are increasingly leaving the workforce hinting that the housing market recovery will being slowing more and more. Once the jobs market improves, there will be a direct surge in the housing market once more.

Governmental cuts, $85 billion, will be hitting their peak this summer. The cuts will hit the gut of the American workforce since workers comp, military spending, the expiration of payroll tax breaks, and other pieces will all contribute to overall loss of income—impacting the spending capabilities of many families.

Related: 5 best markets to buy a home

 Related: Was your home a good investment?


HUD-Owned Homes Predicted to Surge

by Tim Hart

HUD—Who are They?

In 1937, the U.S. Housing Act planted the seeds for the development of the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1965. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable home for all.  

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is reportedly releasing more of its homes to the market here shortly in order to counterbalance the slim inventory being seen across the country and the backlogged foreclosures/short sales.

“The inventory is there, [it’s] just not being released during the banks/servicers review of the loan/mortgage documents,” says Nat Genis, a HUD listing broker in Riverside County, Calif., which is already seeing an increase in HUD-owned homes.  

"HUD homes are back," Genis told HousingWire. "FHA financing went away with the 'creative' financing of the 80/20 loans, and now with the increase of FHA financing, these government-backed loans guarantee that if the borrower defaults, HUD will pay off the mortgage, obtain the deed, and re-sell the home."


HUD homes add to inventory-starved market,

'Shadow Inventory' Threat Reduced

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4