Real Estate Channel: Rising mortgage rates helped push first-time homebuyers to buy properties in November, while investors lost some of their enthusiasm for distressed properties last month.The first-time homebuyer share of home purchases surged from 34.4% in October to 37.2% last month as long-time mortgage rates started to climb from record lows in early November.
Meanwhile, investor activity continued a two-month decline, falling from 21.4% for home purchase transactions in October to 19.9% in November. During September, investor participation peaked at 22.3%, a 15-month high, according to the closely watched survey. Separately, the market share of current homeowners also fell in November – going from 44.2% in October to 42.9% last month.
“The recent surge in interest rates has made potential homebuyers nervous,” explained Thomas Popik, director of the HousingPulse survey. “If rates go up much more, then a good percentage of them will no longer qualify for the properties they want. As a result, they’re making bids on homes and quickly closing before their rate locks expire.” Read more…..