I know that many homebuyers were frustrated by a low inventory of homes for sale and the hot competition from other buyers in 2013. You’ll be relieved to hear that our housing inventory is finally on the rise locally and it’s not just a seasonal change. Parsippany homes for sale are up 5% compared to 2013 figures. Boonton Real Estate listings skyrocketed over last May’s totals, with a 29% rise in the number of homes currently for sale.
Conditions for Sellers were excellent as well. The rise in Boonton Real Estate inventory did nothing to suppress prices – with the average list price a robust 11% higher than last year at this time. Denville Real Estate average sale prices rose 9%, and the Montville Real Estate market saw 25% more listings go under contract than the previous May. The average list price of Mountain Lakes homes for sale is 24% higher than last May. New listings of homes for sale in Boonton Township saw an 8% average price increase over last May.
Good Mortgage News for 2014
Jumbo Mortgages: Lenders are finally getting less cautious with Jumbo loans, which is great news for an area with as many high end homes as Morris County. Traditionally, Jumbo loans have been more expensive than conventional loans, as well as requiring a 20% down payment. With the market blooming and defaults at new lows, big banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo have dropped their minimum down payment to 15% and rates are running as low or lower than those for conventional 30 year loans. You’ll still need a high credit score to qualify, but these changes could make dream homes possible for many buyers who were previously on the border of banks’ strict requirements.
We all remember the dark days when the real estate market was floundering and banks were using automated “robo-signing” to keep up with the high volume of foreclosure notices. This lack of human oversight led to ridiculous mistakes, questionable fees and completely illegal foreclosures. Well, despite all the talk of reforms, our government still needs to keep an eye on these practices. Many mortgages get sold by the original lender as part of investment packages. These loans are then handled by “mortgage servicers” hired by the investors. These sales involve such a high volume of loans at once that many fear there’s no way they can all be handled properly and responsibly without a complete overhaul of current practices. This seems especially important in light of recent lawsuits. In December, Ocwen Financial had to pay out a $2.1 Billion dollar settlement to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 49 states in order to compensate for widespread mishandling of loans and almost 200,000 illegal foreclosures. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection act made provisions based on these problems, and as of 2014 new regulations are in place to ensure abusive and/or incompetent practices by services will stop. If you’ve experienced problems with a servicer, visit consumerfinance.gov to file a complaint and get some help.