Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New mortgages open housing market to thousands of buyers

Utah Governor Gary Herbert and the Utah Housing Corporation announced the availability of new mortgage options to help prospective home buyers.

The HomeAgain and Score Loan programs offer down payment assistance to previous home buyers and buyers with credit scores as low as 620.

“We’re helping first-time home buyers. We’ve been doing as many of those loans last year and the year before as we did for most any of the 30 years we’ve been in existence. But a lot of the people [were] just simply shut out of that market because they don’t have that down payment,” said Grant Whitaker of the Utah Housing Corporation.

Read more about the Utah Housing Corporation loans in this press release:

New mortgages open housing market to thousands of buyers

Just when we thought housing couldn’t get more affordable, Utah Housing Corporation is launching new mortgage options to help buyers who need down payment assistance and/or have credit scores of 620 or more, even if they have owned a home before.

The Utah Housing Corporation HomeAgain Loans and Score Loans open up the possibility of home ownership for many Utahns who were shut out of the market during the Great Recession.

The new loans also dramatically expand Utah Housing Corporation’s mission.  Since its establishment in 1975, Utah Housing has provided mortgages for first-time homebuyers with low or moderate incomes.   Now, Utah’s trusted community partner is expanding its target audience to include previous home owners.   Utah Housing is one of the first housing finance agencies in the country to create paths back to home ownership for those who have owned a home before.

Governor Gary Herbert joined with Utah Housing Corporation President Grant Whitaker to announce the new mortgages in front of a Salt Lake home that is on the market.   Home shoppers, realtors, builders and mortgage lenders all gathered to celebrate.

“These new Utah Housing Corporation mortgages are critical tools in Utah’s economic recovery,” Governor Herbert said.   “Home ownership is the heart of financial stability. I am encouraged that more Utahns will now have that opportunity. This helps families and builds our economy.  We are fortunate to have one of the leading housing finance agencies in the country at the forefront of mortgage innovation.”

The HomeAgain Loan is virtually the only mortgage available for previous homebuyers to get down payment assistance.   Before the Great Recession, most buyers had cash or home equity that enabled them to move up into their second home.  Now, many people need help with their down payments to get into the market.  

The Score Loan provides down payment assistance, and is available to buyers with credit scores as low as 620.   Credit scores are based on history that helps lenders evaluate a buyer’s credit risk.

To find out more about Utah Housing Corporation down payment assistance mortgages, call 801-988-5340 or go to www.utahhousingcorp.org  Utah Housing will help home buyers find one of the one of nearly 40 mortgage lenders throughout the state that provide Utah Housing mortgages.

State housing finance agencies are among the few lenders that can still provide down payment assistance.  Utah Housing Corporation and housing finance agencies in other states have demonstrated responsible stewardship of their mortgages.  The loan approval process is thorough and loans are serviced locally by Utah Housing Corporation throughout the life of the loan. Borrowers can communicate directly with local customer service agents.  The result is low default rates compared to state and national averages.

When combined with historically low interest rates and house prices, the Utah Housing Corporation HomeAgain and Score loans are expected to draw thousands of buyers back into the market and take Utah’s economic recovery another big step forward.

About Utah Housing Corporation

Utah Housing Corporation is the state’s leader in creating affordable housing solutions. The Utah Legislature established it in 1975 as an independent public corporation of the state.  No tax dollars are used.  More than 65,000 Utah families have purchased homes with Utah Housing Corporation mortgages.

Pending Home Sales Ease in February but Solidly Higher Than a Year Ago

Under contract sales are down in the month of February but still higher then last year....I think this is because of the number of homes for sale on the market ….this falls back to inventory.

Listing confidence is what is holding us back, we need that confidence! This effects all of us, currently in the market we  have first time home buyers looking for properties...first time home buyers purchasing the homes that allow the families who have out grown their property  to move to the next level...which in return allows the couples who kids have  grown and now their home is to big to moving into there retirement home and allow them to travel and enjoy their life's and grandkids.

So do you see the importance of getting your home on the market giving you this opportunity to move either up or down depending where you are in your life's.


Washington, March 26, 2012

Pending home sales were down slightly in February but remain notably above the pattern in the first half of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 0.5 percent to 96.5 in February from 97.0 in January but is 9.2 percent above February 2011 when it was 88.4. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said we’re seeing the continuation of an uneven but higher sales pattern. “The spring home buying season looks bright because of an elevated level of contract offers so far this year,” he said. “If activity is sustained near present levels, existing-home sales will see their best performance in five years. Based on all of the factors in the current market, that’s what we’re expecting with sales rising 7 to 10 percent in 2012.”

The PHSI in the Northeast slipped 0.6 percent to 77.7 in February but is 18.4 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index jumped 6.5 percent to 93.8 and is 19.0 percent higher than February 2011. Pending home sales in the South fell 3.0 percent to an index of 105.8 in February but are 7.8 percent above a year ago. In the West the index declined 2.6 percent in February to 99.3 and is 1.8 percent below February 2011.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.


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*The Pending Home Sales Index is a leading indicator for the housing sector, based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20 percent of transactions for existing-home sales. In developing the model for the index, it was demonstrated that the level of monthly sales-contract activity parallels the level of closed existing-home sales in the following two months.

An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year to be examined as well as the first of five consecutive record years for existing-home sales; it coincides with a level that is historically healthy.

NOTE: Existing-home sales for March will be reported April 19 and the next Pending Home Sales Index will be released April 26. The Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey, covering transactions in 2011, is scheduled for March 29; all release times are 10:00 a.m. EDT.

Information about NAR is available at www.realtor.org. This and other news releases are posted in the News Media section. Statistical data in this release, other tables and surveys also may be found by clicking on Research.