Rising home prices set off fears that real estate will become even more expensive, making it impossible ever to buy a home in a given city.
It’s easy to understand how such worries spread, but the historical record suggests that these fears are generally exaggerated. Cities with steep price increases today will probably have much smaller upticks in the future. And for the most part, differences in price increases among cities are well explained by short-term variations in employment growth.
Consider some recent trends. In the year ended in March, cities like Denver, Seattle and Portland, Ore., had employment growth of more than 3 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with double-digit home price increases, according to the S.&P./Case-Shiller indexes. At the same time, employment growth has been relatively tepid in cities like Boston, Cleveland and New York, and so have home price increases.
…Given these facts, why do people still worry that home prices are getting out of reach? The answer can’t be found in the housing data. Instead, these fears may reflect anxieties about other issues — like income inequality, globalization and the threat of job losses because of robots and artificial intelligence. In prosperous cities, rising prices may connote economic exclusion.
read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/12/upshot/the-overinflated-fear-of-being-priced-out-of-housing.html?_r=0
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An important resource for first-time home buyers and others who find themselves in unfair competition with deep-pocket investors bearing cash just got better: The two biggest players in the mortgage market, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are now giving non-investor shoppers 20-day exclusive rights to bid on and buy new listings they are selling.
During the 20-day “first look” period, investors will be excluded from submitting bids. To qualify, non-investor buyers will need to commit to making the home their principal residence for at least a year. The idea, according to Fannie and Freddie officials, is to encourage greater owner occupancy, stabilize neighborhoods that have seen significant numbers of foreclosures and generally help out shoppers who find it difficult to outbid all-cash investors.
In California, for example, Fannie had 2,136 properties listed, many below $200,000. Listings range from a $139,000, two-bedroom single-family house in Big Bear City to a $700,000 three-bedroom home in South San Francisco. Buyers in San Diego could pick up a two-bedroom condo for $394,000.
So if you or someone you know is thinking of a home purchase, check out HomeSteps and HomePath listings online. If you qualify and keep your eye on the clock, you just might get a chance to buy a new home with mortgage terms you can afford — without worrying about fat-cat investors muscling in and outbidding you with cash.
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