Joe Moshé Says Homebuilders’ Confidence in Housing Market Could Mean Continuing Growth in Home Sales in 2014

December 20, 2013

But Warns That New Rules by HUD Regarding Mortgage Loans May Slow Down or Negate Any Positive Activity

PLAINVIEW, NY - Joe Moshé, Owner/Broker, Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc., says that more homebuilders are expressing confidence in the economy as they construct new homes at the fastest pace in over five years. Mr. Moshé says there will be more homes available for sale, setting up for a buyer’s market.

The Commerce Department recently reported that construction of single-family homes and apartments rose last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.09 million, a 23% increase over October’s pace. It is the fastest pace since February 2008. Housing starts on single-family homes jumped almost 21% in November - the fastest rate since December 2007 - and construction for apartments rose 26%, according to Commerce.

“This bright outlook by the homebuilders will hopefully motivate those prospective homebuyers who have been sitting on the fence make that purchase,” Mr. Moshé says. “The greater availability of homes will be even more inviting for the buyers. I anticipate a larger increase in home sales during the spring season. That is the time when the weather warms up and more people are ready to enter the buying season.”

However, Mr. Moshé says the only thing that may impact any positive activity in the market are the new federal lending rules. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently announced that, starting January 10, 2014, the agency will require loans to feature periodic payments without risky features and limit terms that do not exceed 30 years, upfront points and fees to no more than 3% of the mortgage value and the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio at 43%.

Although HUD created these rules to prevent another housing bubble, Mr. Moshé says these regulations will mean fewer qualified applicants, which means there will be fewer homes sold. “Today’s prospective homebuyers are already burdened with rising interest rates and having to meet other stringent requirements such as having nearly perfect credit scores and placing large down payments in order to qualify for a mortgage,” he says. “The new HUD rules will further place more pressure on the applicants, not just on the lenders.”

Home prices are also on the upswing. While this shows that this is a good sign of the economy and the housing market, Mr. Moshé says this might be an impediment to buying a house. “The best way to lower the home prices is for the banks to unleash their ‘shadow inventory’ that they have made unavailable on the market for a long time,” he says. “This will allow for a more competitive environment and for prospective homebuyers to purchase the house they want at the price that they want.”

Charles Rutenberg Realty is one of the nation’s fastest-growing Agencies with more than 1,500 Agents on Long Island, Queens, Westchester, the Bronx and Manhattan. For more information, visit www.crrli.com.

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