Boston Condos for Sale and Apartments for Rent


Can rate buydowns provide a resurgence to the Boston condo for sale market?

Boston condos

This is how close we are to a Boston condo for sale market resurgence. If sellers would pay down 4% to 6% of the loan amount to lower the buyer’s mortgage rate by another 1% to 1.5% and get it into the 4s, we’d be looking good for springtime.

In early December, 75% of nationally surveyed home builders confirmed they are buying down buyers’ mortgage rates to make payments more affordable.

Our survey indicates 32% of builders are buying down the full 30-year term and another 30% of builders are temporarily reducing the rate for the first two years of the mortgage. The remaining 13% of builders identified other less common buydowns. Builders pay these costs up front, effectively reducing monthly payments by prepaying for some of the buyers’ interest on the loan. Few resale sellers are offering these savings to prospective buyers.

Two popular strategies involve builders lowering the mortgage rate for the buyer:

30-year rate buydown for Boston condo:

 Builders are contributing 5%–6% of the home purchase price up front to lower the 30-year mortgage rate by 1%–2% typically. For example, builders may reduce the rate from 6.5% to 5.0% using last week’s Freddie Mac mortgage rate.

2-1 temporary rate buydown for Boston condos:

Builders are contributing 2% of the home purchase price up front, which lowers the first-year mortgage rate by 2%, and the second-year mortgage rate by 1%. Using last week’s 6.5% rate, a buyer’s rate would be 4.5% in year one, 5.5% in year two, and 6.5% thereafter.

Boston condo borrowers still have to qualify at the 6.5% rate to benefit from a reduced payment in the first few years, giving them, some breathing room to perhaps spend money on furniture or other needed items. Because Boston home buyers have to qualify at the highest rate that will occur during the 30-year term, builders using the 2-1 temporary buydown tell us some buyers still cannot qualify. By shifting to a 30-year rate buydown, builders can lower the rate and monthly payment used to qualify struggling buyers.

Read the full article with more calculations below:

Source: Real Estate Consulting

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