Ready to buy a home? The trick is finding or affording one – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-04-09 03:23:45 –

Los Angeles (AP) — Nathan Long and Lili Chin have found the following in their search over the last four months …

Los Angeles (AP) — Nathan Long and Lili Chin have so far launched a four-month search to find affordable homes in the Los Angeles area. This is a cold source that can ruin your wedding anniversary plan.

The housing market was a pillar of economic power during the pandemic, but many homeowners, especially first-time buyers like Long and his wife, sell fewer homes and prices consistently rise. I am facing dissatisfaction because I am.

The couple made a big concession to the viral pandemic in August when they got married through Zoom. They planned to make up for the shortage of direct wedding receptions by hosting a wedding reception in their new home for the first anniversary. But so far, the market has not cooperated.

“I can’t find a place at all when I go out,” said Long, a video game writer who rents an apartment in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles. “I don’t expect to find anything for a while.”

Homebuyers are facing the most competitive US home market in decades this spring. Looking at it, according to the National Association of Real Estate Agents, inventories of homes for sale nationwide fell to a record low of 1.03 million units by the end of February, down about 30% year-on-year. This is equivalent to a two-month supply, not enough for the six-month supply that economists say is needed for a balanced market. February homes were usually sold within just 20 days of being on the market.

Meanwhile, according to the NAR, the national average selling price of single-family homes rose nearly 15% to $ 315,900 in the last three months of 2020. According to Realtors Group data, this is about four times the median US household income of $ 77,774. In cities like Los Angeles and Boulder, Colorado, this gap can be a crack, as home prices can double from national levels.

As a result, homes on the market, from Los Angeles to Boston, are sold at heartbeat and often get multiple offers that far exceed what the owner wants. The market is expected to remain vibrant due to the proliferation of millennials who want to become homeowners, as well as the increasing number of people who can work in remote areas and move to more affordable areas.

Homebuyers still have low mortgage rates and rising rates, but they still provide a measure of financial flexibility. According to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, benchmark 30-year mortgage rates averaged above 3% for the first time since July 2020 early last month. It was 3.13% this week, but it’s still down from 3.33%. one year ago.

Daniel Hale, Chief Economist at Realtor.com, said:

Highly competitive housing market trends have led many aspiring homeowners to flee the expensive coastal markets of the Midwest and South. For millions of Americans, pandemics have normalized remote work, a trend that has pushed US home sales last year to the highest level since 2006, the height of the last housing boom. It was.

John Badaramenti and his wife Brittany spent months leaving their San Francisco apartment last year, taking their baby daughter to check out San Diego, Miami, Austin and other cities to find out where to settle down and where to live. I thought. They were able to get the most homes for money.

The couple went to Charleston, South Carolina, and landed a few weeks ago in a five-bedroom, five-bathroom home with a pool listed for just over $ 1.8 million.

John Badaramenti, who headed the design team for a ride-hailing company that allows telecommuting and now co-founds a video chat company, said the couple didn’t want to risk losing to rival buyers. So they made a full cash offer that matched what the seller was looking for.

Finding a similar property in the San Francisco area can cost twice as much as the couple paid in Charleston, Badarementi said.

Glenn Kelman, CEO of real estate agent Redfin, said the influx of relocating buyers has contributed to higher home prices in markets such as Tulsa, Oklahoma and Buffalo, NY.

According to Kelman, the percentage of Redfin customers currently traveling across the country has increased from 26% in the previous year to 31%, a trend that is even stronger in metropolitan areas. Among the cities that appear in Redfin’s home search by people living elsewhere are Las Vegas, Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, Miami, and Sacramento, California.

Mark Wolf, a Re / Max broker owner in the Dallas area, jokes that one in ten homebuyers currently there is from California.

“Dallas is no longer about as southern as Minneapolis,” he said, saying price increases due to the influx of buyers from other states have made it more severe for local buyers. His advice to them: Make your search area wider.

Some of the current market winners are homeowners like Fiona Walsh in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A health consultant recently accepted one of several offers she got for a two-bedroom, one-bath condo that she owned for nine years and listed for $ 635,000. At the same time, she also accepted her offer in a not-so-distant two-bedroom, one-bath house listed for $ 845,000.

“It’s great to be able to take the next step, which isn’t a big step in terms of size and space, but it gives us the opportunity to take advantage of this condo and find something a little bigger,” Walsh said. .. 43.

The hurdle to owning a home remains the highest for first-time buyers who have not benefited from previous home sales to compete in the bidding war. The inability to find affordable homes could widen the financial gap between perennial lessors and homeowners who have reaped the plunge in stock growth over the last decade.

“It’s a nightmare for first-time buyers,” said Redfin agent Kristin Lopez, who “basically gives up your first child to do this job.” ..

For example, some Boise buyers have agreed to pay $ 100,000 for the asking price and have waived their rights to appraisals and home inspections, said Lopez, who primarily represents out-of-state buyers. Stated.

The shortage of home sellers in the country has been exacerbated for years. Higher home prices and lower mortgage rates have led many homeowners to remodel their homes instead of selling them for sale. New construction, which is a small part of the overall housing market, is on the rise, but in many countries it is not enough to balance the supply and demand equation.

Realtors say the pandemic exacerbated the low supply of homes for sale because some sellers don’t want to allow future buyers in their homes. In addition, many homeowners remain in place after refinancing to lower mortgage rates and cashing their shares to prepare their homes.

But in areas where builders are building more homes, buyers like Kevin Muggrach can at least avoid the resale market bidding war.

A 23-year-old tiler, who lived with his parents and saved for a down payment for about a year, landed in a new three-bedroom, three-bathroom home near Orlando, Orange City, Florida. After raising his price range from about $ 200,000 to $ 230,000.

Muglach said many of the houses he saw sold in a day. Except for his mother’s persuasion, he may have given up.

“I don’t know how many times I liked it.’I’m going to screw it in and pay the rent,'” he said. “Then my mother tells me:” No. ” She definitely kept me in the game. “

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