Buckle up and get ready to have your mind blown! Okay, it’s not THAT mind blowing – some of you might even say, “well, duh” – but it’s still interesting. The New York Federal Reserve’s economists recently published the results of a study: changes in down payment requirements have MORE influence over home buyers’ willingness to buy than changes in rates.
Surveying both buyers and renters, the Fed found that the effect of interest rates may be overrated when compared to even small changes in down payment requirements. The study found:
As buyers straddle the fence between BUY RIGHT NOW with a higher interest rate and WAIT AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME to save 20% of the purchase price, here’s an example to give them a push. Take a look at the numbers for a house with the purchase price of $200,000 with a 30-year fixed mortgage:
WAIT: requires a $40,000 down payment for a total loan amount of $160,000. At an interest rate of 5%, the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) would be $855.35.
BUY NOW: requires a $10,000 down payment for a total loan amount of $190,000. At an interest rate of 5.375%, the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) would be $1059.20.
No doubt $855.35 is better than $1059.20 for a monthly payment – that’s not what’s at stake here. The difference between those two payments is $203.85. In order for a person to save the additional $30,000 to go from a 5% down payment to a 20% down payment at the rate of $203.85/month, it would take over 147 months (12.25years!) to get to that point, which is almost half the life of a 30-year mortgage–and who knows what home prices will be like 12 years from now!
For many perspective buyers, that additional $204/monthis significant. We have a number of strategies to help make up that difference and get you into a home as soon as possible!
This is a reprint (with a few changes) from a few years back, but the message is still relevant today.