It’s the end of the first quarter of the year and it has been an interesting quarter so far. Although I will not get into the details of it all, just the parts that matters most to you as first-time home buyers. March job report is right around the corner, I for one, is hoping for an uptick which would indicate the economy is moving in the right direction.

Although most of last year analysts were predicting rates would raise this year, what we have seen so far is the opposite. For the week ending March 21st the 30-year fixed rate fell to 4.28% the week before. One year ago, the 30-year fixed rates averaged right around 4.45%.

For homebuyer affordability, this is a great thing! Home price continue to be moderate, while “rates on home loans have dipped quite dramatically since the start of the year”, so said Chief Economist, Sam Khater.

The national homeownership rate is on a upward trend, after dropping to a cycle low of 62.9% in the second quarter 2016. On the other hand, the number of renter households declined by 167,000 in 2018. Source: The National Association of Home Builders.

One of the biggest misconceptions about home buying is that a 20% down payment is required. This is what 60% of potential home buyers believe. You do not need to have 20% down payment to purchase a home. You can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% and in a lot of cases, with zero down. As always, I hope this information was helpful.