The past several years have been volatile for the housing market. As a result, the professionals taking part in this sector - agents, appraisers, investors and others - have seen fluctuating conditions, tough client demands and up-and-down profits. However, recent history has been more positive, and the climate continues to improve.
That is especially true with foreclosures. According to Black Knight Financial Services, foreclosure starts on a yearly basis are the lowest they have been since 2007, with a significant year-over-year decrease reported in May. Even so, starts ticked up 9.5 percent from April to May, but that isn't enough to indicate a negative trend.
"While foreclosure starts did rise over 9 percent in May, it's important to remember the historical trend is still one of improvement," said Kostya Gradushy, manager of Loan Data and Customer Analytics at Black Knight Financial Services. "On a year-over-year basis, January through May foreclosure starts were still down 32 percent, and we are still looking at the lowest level of foreclosure starts in seven years."
In addition to foreclosure starts, more homeowners are looking at refinancing as a way to ensure affordable monthly mortgage payments, the news source noted. Since the start of 2014, activity here has risen 21 percent.
Buyers concerned about affordability
Given the significant investment that homeownership presents, it is understandable that many buyers think about mortgage payments and overall affordability before they close a deal.
According to a Redfin survey of agents located across the country, the power sellers once had is slipping. In fact, only 24 percent of respondents indicated that sellers still reined supreme in the market. This is likely related to the fact that fewer buyers are settling for a home as inventory rises and the focus turns to price.
Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, stated that buyers today are less likely to commit to a high sale price or compete with multiple offers. Instead, they are more willing to walk away.
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