Hartford County Real Estate Blog

How the GSEs view collateral risk — and how lenders should be adjusting.

Leveraging the right appraisal technology is critical.

The GSEs are taking a closer look at how they evaluate collateral risk. Appraisal modernization is vital. Gareth Borcherds, managing director Ascent Software Group outlines the three categories to be aware of, how appraisal modernization can help scale new initiatives and more in this executive conversation.

HousingWire: What should lenders consider in 2024 for collateral risk?

"Collateral risk is an area where we’ve seen a lot of renewed focus and attention. The GSEs are focusing much attention on how they go about evaluating collateral risk. If we are paying attention to how they...

Can A Reverse Mortgage Help You In Retirement?

Did you know around a quarter of the US population will be over 60 by 2060? Around 80% of older adults own their home. That helps reduce their living expenses while on a fixed income and acts as a source of equity.

But not everyone has enough saved for their retirement, leaving them looking for easy sources of extra cash. The conversation around reverse mortgages will likely increase in the coming years, since nine out of 10 baby boomers want to remain in their homes as they age. In 2022, over 64,000 homeowners tapped into this equity through a reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages can be useful financial resources, but they are complex financial products with long-term implications. Homeowning retirees must weigh the benefits against the risks before utilizing one.

How a Reverse Mortgage Works
In a reverse mortgage, homeowners borrow against the equity in their home, much like a home equity loan. However, traditional home equity loans expect regular monthly repayment....

Should I Move with Today’s Mortgage Rates?

Should I Move with Today’s Mortgage Rates?

When mortgage rates spiked up over the last few years, some homeowners put their plans to move on pause. Maybe you did too because you didn’t want to sell and take on a higher mortgage rate for your next home. But is that still the right strategy for you?

In today’s market, data shows more homeowners are getting used to where rates are and thinking it may be time to move. As Mark Zandi, Chief Economist at Moody’s Analytics, explains:

“Listings are up a bit as life events and job changes are putting increasing pressure on locked-in homeowners to sell their homes. Homeowners may also be slowly coming to the realization that mortgage rates aren’t going back anywhere near the rate on their existing mortgage.”

A recent study from Bank...

White House Proposals Aim to Boost Housing Supply

White House Proposals Aim to Boost Housing Supply

The US housing market’s story is well-known at this point. Homeowners aren’t budging, so inventory remains low nationwide. Part of that is the 2-3% interest rates many owners hold versus the 6-7% they’d pay now to buy another home. They are financially incentivized to stay in place.

The government wants to change that. Washington released a set of proposals aimed at increasing home sales through housing tax credits. The two-pronged approach involves getting current homeowners to sell and encouraging home builders to focus on affordable housing rather than luxury homes.

Proposed Housing Tax Credits
The intent is to increase homeownership among the younger generations—millennials and Gen Zers—who have faced one financial crisis after another. A lack of affordable housing and ever-increasing median home prices continue to make...

Could Your Home Lose Value in 2024?

Could Your Home Lose Value in 2024?

Experts predict the real estate market will shift in the coming years. While there’s no consensus on a timeline, the general feeling is that more homes will be coming to the market. A side effect of this stabilizing housing market is downward changes in home value. Learn why and where owners are at risk of losing home value.

The housing market set-up

The current market faces challenges to home affordability, which has reduced the number of buyers. Even with fewer people purchasing homes, many markets still report low inventory.

The general feeling among housing watchdogs and economists is more homes will hit the market in the coming months and years.

After all, about 56% of homeowners are over 60. Economist Meredith Whitney says chances are high that these owners will be...

The Top Benefits of Buying a Multi-Generational Home

The Top Benefits of Buying a Multi-Generational Home

Has the idea of sharing a home with loved ones like your grandparents, parents, or other relatives crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. More buyers are choosing to go this route and buy a multi-generational home. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons why, to see if a home like this may be right for you too.

Why Buyers Are Opting for Multi-Generational Living

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), two of the top reasons buyers are opting for multi-generational homes today have to do with affordability (see graph below):

First-time buyers are focused most on cost savings – with 28% saying this was a key reason for them. By pooling their resources with others, they can share financial responsibilities like mortgage payments, utilities,...

Why Today’s Seller’s Market Is Good for Your Bottom Line

Thinking about selling your house and wondering if now’s a good time to do it? Here’s what you need to know. Even though the number of homes for sale has been growing this year, there still aren’t enough homes on the market for all the buyers who want to buy.

So, what does that mean for you? To keep it simple, it means it’s still a seller’s market. Here’s how it works:

A neutral market is when supply and demand is balanced. Basically, there are enough homes to meet buyer demand based on the current sales pace, and home prices hold fairly steady.

A buyer’s market is when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers. When that happens, buyers have more negotiation power because sellers are willing to make compromises to close the deal. In a buyer’s market, sellers may have to do price cuts to re-ignite interest in their home, and prices may go down. But we haven’t seen this for years...

2023 Reports Increased Demand for New Construction Homes

2023 Reports Increased Demand for New Construction Homes

While existing home sales slid in 2023, new home sales were one bright spot in the housing market. As recently as December 2023, building permits for private residential homes were up 6.1% year-over-year. Nonetheless, it’s still a mixed market when it comes to building or buying a brand-new home, even with the bump in new construction home sales.

Recently built construction became more attractive as the available inventory of existing homes tanked in 2023.

In the fourth quarter of 2023, new home sales made up 31.8% of all the homes sold–a near-record high, in one report. Some markets like San Antonio had new home sales, making up over a third of all homes sold.

The South led the way in new homes sold–a reported 419,000 in December 2023. Compare that to the Northeast, where just 33,000 new homes sold. The South also had the most new homes for sale. It mirrors the demand for housing in the...

Why Today’s Housing Supply Is a Sweet Spot for Sellers

Why Today’s Housing Supply Is a Sweet Spot for Sellers

For SellersHousing Market Updates
Wondering if it still makes sense to sell your house right now? The short answer is, yes. And if you look at the current number of homes for sale, you’ll see two reasons why.

An article from Calculated Risk shows there are 15.6% more homes for sale now compared to the same week last year. That tells us inventory has grown. But going back to 2019, the last normal year in the housing market, there are nearly 40% fewer homes available now:

Here’s a breakdown of how this benefits you when you sell.

1. You Have More Options for Your Move
Are you thinking about selling because your current house is too big, too small, or because your needs have changed? If so, the...

2023 in Real Estate: Home Sales Reach Multi-Decade Lows

2023 in Real Estate: Home Sales Reach Multi-Decade Lows

Now that the US housing market statistics are out, the picture reflects home buyers’ economic uncertainty throughout 2023. Nationwide existing home sales data demonstrates that while buyers wanted to buy, many delayed making that decision. Sustained low inventory is a contributing reason; the decline in housing affordability was even more influential.

Just 4.087 million existing homes sold during 2023, which comes to 20.6% fewer home sales than in 2022. Year-over-year (YOY), nationwide existing home sales hit their lowest levels in 28 years during December 2023.

Home sales slow down in 2023
Sales activity peaked in early 2021 and has waned since, especially over the last year. Looking at monthly home sales figures for 2023, activity dropped the most in January 2023, with a -36.9% decline in closed sales. Every month since then, we have also reported YOY slowdowns, but the change has become less drastic...