The use of the 30-year mortgage saw a substantial spike in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the Welcome Home survey recently conducted for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®. The share of new Pennsylvania homebuyers using a 30-year mortgage climbed from 38 percent in the third quarter to 50 percent in the fourth quarter.
“Thirty-year mortgages are the most common financing for home purchases and that has remained constant over the last several years,” said PAR President William McFalls Jr. “What is especially interesting is that we saw a similar jump in the fourth quarter in 2017 as well.”
The number of homebuyers using an online site to find a home grew to more than 60 percent in the fourth quarter. The biggest drive in this trend is the boost in buyers over the age of 50 who are using websites like realtor.com® and Zillow to find a home.
“In the past, older homebuyers were less likely to use online sites to help in the homebuying process,” McFalls said. “More than 50 percent of buyers between the ages of 50 and 64 reported using a website to aid in their home search. In previous surveys, far fewer buyers over the age of 50 would recall using a website to aid in their home search.”
Fewer homebuyers found their home in less than three months, down from surveys earlier in the year. Forty-three percent reported taking less than three months from starting their search to closing on a home, compared to nearly 50 percent throughout 2018.
“We’ll continue to watch this trend to see if the sense of urgency has calmed for the homebuying market,” McFalls added.