Steven Grossman

New Jersey And New York Mortgage Officer NMLS#: 36571

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A recent housing industry report revealed some interesting trends about single female and male home buyers in New Jersey and nationwide. The number of single females buying homes has risen over the years and now exceeds the purchases made by single males. Married couples still account for the majority of home buying activity in New Jersey and elsewhere across the country. Survey Statistics for Single Female Home Buyers Earlier this year, the research department from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) published its “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report” for 2018. This detailed report was the result of a 131-question survey mailed out to 145,800 people who had recently purchased a home. Among other things, the NAR survey showed that: “Sixty-five percent of recent buyers were married couples, 18 percent were single females, seven percent were single males, and eight percent were unmarried couples.” Beatrice de Jong, the Director of Residential Sales at Open Listings, offered some background on these trends for an August 2018 article she wrote for Forbes . She attributed the rise of the single female home buyer to a change in outlook as well as financial circumstances: “Single women are opting for mortgages before marriages. Modern women accept they have more to offer beyond their traditional domestic roles, and not everyone is ready to be a wife or a mother yet … Despite the wage gap, women are earning higher salaries than ever before…” When it comes to home sellers , married couples again accounted for the majority of real estate transactions,  and ...

A fresh round of housing forecasts suggest that home prices in the state of New Jersey could rise faster than the national average in 2019. In some cities (such as Newark, Jersey City and Paterson), home prices are predicted to rise by double digits over the next 12 months or so. These forecasts come from the economic research team at Zillow. Strong Home-Price Forecasts for New Jersey Cities Home prices in most New Jersey towns and cities have risen steadily over the last few years. The same goes for most cities across the U.S. Recent forecasts point to a continuation of this trend. In fact, one set of predictions suggest that many New Jersey cities could far exceed the national average for home-price appreciation over the next year. In October, the housing analysts and economists at Zillow issued some new projections for home prices in New Jersey. By their estimation, the median home value for the state could rise by around 7.1% over the next 12 months (ending in October 2019). That’s higher than the actual recorded gains of the previous 12 months. It’s also higher than the national  forecast for the next year. But when you drill down to the municipal level, the home-price forecasts are even stronger. For some cities and towns in New Jersey, the company has predicted double-digit home price gains between now and fall of 2019. Here are some examples: Newark: The team of analysts predicted that the median home value in Newark would rise by a whopping 12.6% over the next year or so, through fall of 2019. That’s nearly double their outlook for the nation as a whole. The median price in Newark is currently ...

Many home buyers in New Jersey believe that they have to make a down payment of at least 20% to qualify for a mortgage loan. But for a typical home purchase, a down payment of that size usually isn’t required. In fact, a new report showed that 52% of buyers in New Jersey and nationwide made down payments of less than 20% when purchasing a property. Down Payments Below 20% Are Very Common There are a lot of myths and misconceptions regarding down payments in New Jersey. One of the most prevalent misconceptions has to do with the size of the investment, and the amount that is required to qualify for a mortgage loan. Surveys by the National Association of REALTORS® and other groups have found that many home buyers believe they have  to put down at least 20% on a purchase. Last month, the economic research team from Zillow put out the latest edition of their “Consumer Housing Trends Report” for 2018. It’s a wide-ranging survey covering all kinds of topics that are relevant to home buyers. Their survey “gathered information from a total of 13,439 key household decision-makers” from New Jersey and other states across the U.S. Among other insights, their study showed that 52% of home buyers make down payments of less than 20% when purchasing a house or condo. This clearly debunks the myth that borrowers have to put down 20% or more to qualify for a mortgage loan. Granted, there may be cases where a 20% down payment is required. That’s sometimes the case for larger “jumbo” loans used in higher-priced real estate markets. (And even then, there’s often some flexibility when it comes ...

Summary: The two biggest issues in housing markets across the country right now are a lack of affordability and a shortage of inventory. But once you get beyond the high-priced NYC metro area, a lot of New Jersey housing markets are doing okay in those areas.  Rising home values and mortgage rates have made housing more expensive in New Jersey and across much of the nation. For many would-be home buyers, a lack of housing affordability creates obstacles to homeownership. This is true for many major cities across the country right now, and we are seeing it within some New Jersey real estate markets as well. Housing affordability tends to be more of a problem in higher-price markets that also happen to be major population centers. New Jersey cities that fall within the NYC metro area fall into that category. Similar conditions are occurring out west, particularly in places like Seattle and San Francisco. Mortgage Rates and Home Prices Have Risen in 2018 Nationwide, the monthly mortgage payment for a median-priced home is now roughly $130 higher (per month) than it was at the start of 2018. Rising mortgage rates have something to do with that. During the first week of January 2018, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan was 3.95% according to Freddie Mac. As of mid-September, that average had risen to 4.60%. In New Jersey, home buyers are feeling affordability pressures from rising home values as well. According to Zillow, the median home value for the state of New Jersey climbed to $318,800 in September 2018. That was about 8% higher than the same month a year earlier. The company’s economists predicted that prices within the ...

Once per quarter, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sends a report to Congress with details relating to the FHA loan program. Among other things, this report gives us some insight into the average credit score and debt-to-income ratio for FHA borrowers in New Jersey and elsewhere in the U.S. Here are some highlights from the June 2018 report. Average Credit Score Among FHA Borrowers in 2018 Credit scores are a three-digit number based on information within a person’s credit reports. Banks and lenders use these and other tools to evaluate loan applicants, and also to determine interest rates. In short, a higher score can help you qualify for a mortgage loan with a good rate. According to the HUD report, FHA borrowers in New Jersey and nationwide had an average credit score of 670 during the second quarter of 2018. It’s important to note the distinction between “average” and “minimum” credit scores. The 670 number cited in the report represents the average for all loans originated during that time period. But the minimum  score for an FHA loan in New Jersey is significantly lower than that. According to current program guidelines, borrowers can qualify for maximum (96.5%) financing under the FHA loan program as long as they have a credit score of 580 or higher. In fact, this latest HUD report states: “Share of less than 640 credit score rose to 25.9 percent.” That means roughly a quarter of all FHA loans during the second quarter of this fiscal year went to borrowers with scores below 640. This is one of the reasons why some New Jersey home buyers use this program ...

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