Real Estate in Brief: Majority of loans made up by first-time buyers, home equity spike and more

by Lauren Brocato

Nearly half of all mortgages issued by Freddie Mac are made up by first-time homebuyers in the first quarter of 2018, according to an article from Bloomberg.

With a median homebuying age of 32, first-time buyers are anxious to own their own place despite the burden of student debts and rising home prices. Bloomberg indicates that a clue as to why so many millennials are buying homes so soon is because many fear the home market will inevitably get worse as the years go on. As home prices and interest rates look like they will continue to rise, young people are getting in the game now.

“This is a millennial-driven rise,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater told Bloomberg. “You’ve got a strong economy that’s helping, along with the appetite of the financial market to invest in mortgages.”

In other real estate news:

  • Home equity has increased 13.3 percent year-over-year, according to a recent study by CoreLogic. This rise accounts for $1.01 trillion since the first quarter of last year. On average, homeowners gained about $16,300 in home equity since last year, with western states seeing the most substantial increases. Additionally, the number of mortgaged homes in negative equity fell 3 percent to 4.7 percent of all mortgaged properties nationwide.
  • Apple announced an update to its augmented reality (AR) features, including technology that allows multiple users to tour the same AR space simultaneously. Apple is focusing on increasing AR offerings. The update will make it possible for users to see objects as digital graphics on a screen. “It’s a compact, single-file format that’s optimized for sharing while retaining great 3D graphics and even animations,” Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said. “You can place these 3D objects into the world.” Users will now be able to file documents directly into specific applications as well as scan paper notarizations and title contracts. Lastly, the Apple Home app will allow the increasing number of smart homes to be controlled not just on portable devices, but also on Mac computers. This new update makes it possible for people to view security camera videos and control tools such as the smart thermostat on their desktop. Apple is hoping their Home app will become a hub of choice for smart devices. 
  • Zillow will now be receiving a direct listing feed from Century 21 Canada, which will be featured on Zillow later this year. Zillow hopes to target Canadian real estate listings to users online, which is where 79 percent of people shop for homes. “We are thrilled to partner with CENTURY 21 Canada and help drive more exposure to their listings,” says Errol Samuelson, Zillow Group chief industry development officer. “We also know U.S. buyers are interested in purchasing Canadian real estate, so we’re excited to offer the millions of buyers already coming to Zillow for their home search an easy way to see homes for sale in Canada and connect with an agent to help navigate the sale.”
  • Offerpad has recently revamped its previously recognized identity. A new logo, website and customer experience showcases the company’s core values. Beginning earlier this year, the brand looked for ways to improve the reflection of the company’s future. “Offerpad is a new business model and as the company is defining a new and easier way to buy and sell homes, we felt the need to make major changes to how our brand was being identified,” said Offerpad’s chief marketing officer Darrin Shamo. The freshly designed logo features a new font with rounded corners that “represent peace of mind during the home buying process.”The new font also displays a hand-lettered look which is meant to convey a sense of humanness to the brand. 
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