Morning Briefing: Average downpayment takes 8 pay checks

by Steve Randall16 Jan 2017
Average downpayment takes 8 pay checks
Saving the cash for a downpayment on a home now takes the equivalent of more than 8 month’s wages according to analysis from Zillow.

The real estate firm found that to save a 20 per cent downpayment to buy a home priced at the national median of $192,500, a buyer needs $38,500 and that’s before other closing costs and moving expenses.

Regional variations can mean buyers requiring as much as 182 per cent of their annual income in Los Angeles and San Jose, while those in Kansas City will need a relatively small 48 per cent.

"Saving enough cash for a down payment is a major barrier to homeownership, especially in expensive markets, where a 20 percent down payment can cost nearly $200,000," said Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman.

Zillow says that as mortgage rates rise, a solid downpayment becomes more important and with around half of buyers doing so for the first time while struggling with high rents, they are more reliant on financial gifts to afford to buy.
HBW to shutter real estate brokerage after 48 years
The real estate brokerage division of HBW Construction ceases business this month as the firm focuses on construction services.

“HBW is proud of our accomplishments in real estate brokerage services—which extends back to our 1969 founding. It is with excitement that we welcome this transition for our company,” said CEO Pete Watkins.

“HBW’s commitment to construction services reflects our confidence in the strength and growth of this division. This change will allow us to further serve our customers’ construction needs. It will create growth potential within our company, and allow us to pursue a greater range of new construction opportunities.”
New York Realtors urge program for first-time buyers
First-time buyers in New York state could get a boost if a program to assist them with the cost of buying a home is approved.

The New York State Association of Realtors is urging governor Andrew M. Cuomo to consider an annual tax deduction of up to $5,000 per individual ($10k for a couple) to enable them to buy a home.

The real estate body says that the NY First Home program would reinvigorate the state’s economy by investing in “bright young minds” who may otherwise look to put down roots elsewhere.

“An independent economic analysis of the NY First Home proposal found that the first-year cost of the program for all New Yorkers would be $1.8 million. This investment would generate $31.5 million in revenue for the state and counties from real estate transaction, sales and income taxes. It’s a win for the people of New York and the state’s  economy,” the Association says.

The Realtors body is calling on the Governor and other lawmakers to include the program in its 2017/18 state budget agreement.

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