Real Estate Summary: This Month in the 55+ Housing Market

Close up on a tiny wood home model on green grass, a representation of the real estate market.

4 minute read

What You’ll Gain From Reading This Article: This article provides a real estate summary of the 55+ housing market and how it affects homebuyers. The information in this article is updated every month.


Now that we have moved into 2024, the housing market is starting to give us an idea of what to expect in the coming months. Let’s explore the changes that have taken place in this month’s real estate summary. There’s some important information that you may need as you start navigating the housing industry in the new year.

Mortgage Rates

Close up on a hand using a calculator to make a budget based on this month's real estate summary.

Remaining in the 6% margin, the overall mortgage rate in January did slightly increase, but only by a small fraction. The average mortgage rate lingered around 6.69% for a 30-year mortgage while the 15-year averaged around 5.96%.

This percentage isn’t much higher than last month in December. Also, experts expect the rate to remain around the same in the near future.

Home Inventory

Focus on house keys held by excited homeowners who successfully navigated the real estate market.

One of the biggest concerns in the housing industry is the reduction of homes available. When lots of new construction entered the market a few years ago, those homes were available to homeowners. Today, most of that construction is complete. Therefore, there aren’t as many new homes hitting the market as in the recent past.

Home Prices

A nicely trimmed and manicured garden in front of a luxury house.

Because the housing inventory is expected to slow (or even stall in some areas), home prices will continue to gradually rise. Single-family homes and even townhomes are seeing an increase in the overall price.

For the moment, however, home prices are remaining steady at where they’ve been for the last year. There don’t seem to be any significant changes happening in the immediate future.

Things 55+ Homebuyers Need to Know

A mature couple hugging and sitting on a window sill while discussing their homebuying goals in the current real estate market.

Now that you’ve caught up on our real estate summary, there are a few things to keep in mind as you prepare for the homebuying process. 

Budget

Consider your monthly expenses when you decide to purchase a new home. Many properties in neighborhoods (or even 55+ communities) require HOA fees. If a certain neighborhood is on your shortlist, then you should prepare for what that may cost you each month.

Down Payment

Nothing has changed on the down payment front. It’s still best practice to ensure that you have at least 20% of the total loan amount down. This helps you secure the best mortgage rates and monthly payments for your new home. Keep in mind: If you’re able, you’re welcome to put down an even higher percentage. A higher down payment will lower your monthly mortgage payment.

Credit Score

Before you submit your application for a mortgage lender, it helps to obtain a good credit score. As a 55+ homebuyer, you probably already have credit established. This will aid you in your goals to improve your credit.

First, ensure that your payments are all in good standing. You don’t want to have any outstanding collections that could negatively impact your credit score.

Medical expenses are one of the most common collections that can get lost in the mail. If you have medical bills affecting your credit, reach out to the facility to pay the debt or establish a payment plan. The collection agency must list the debt as fully settled on your credit report. This allows the underwriters to consider that when drafting your mortgage loan agreement. 

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Assistance Options for 55+ Homebuyers

A grandfather with his son and grandson having fun in a park.

Not everyone’s situation is the same when it comes to 55+ homebuyers. Luckily, there are different programs available to assist those looking to downsize or make a change in this new chapter of their lives.

FHA Loans to Continue

The FHA program has been instrumental for homebuyers over the last decade. It has been greenlit to continue for 2024. If you have never owned a property in your name, you may be eligible. This loan is meant to assist first-time homebuyers—a category that some 55+ homebuyers fall into after being divorced or losing a spouse unexpectedly. 

Fannie Mae 5% Down

One of the newest programs in the housing industry is the 5% down mortgage offered by Fannie Mae. These loans are designed for multifamily homes. With this program and this home type, you need a fraction of the down payment and have the potential to earn when you lease out additional units. This is also a great idea if you have friends looking to purchase who want to live in the same area that you’re seeking out.

Empowered DPA

Some 55+ homebuyers find that securing a substantial down payment is difficult. With the Empowered DPA program, you can get assistance based on your career, income level, and the area where you want to purchase. If you qualify, the grant will help with the down payment so that you can secure a mortgage.

This program doesn’t have as many requirements and stipulations as the other assistance programs. This makes it a more flexible option for seasoned homebuyers who may be on a fixed income but have also been homeowners in the past.

Moving Forward

As January comes to a close, these trends are expected to remain steady over the next few months. If you find yourself in need of more information than this real estate summary provided, contact us at 55places.com. Our partner agents are readily available to help you navigate the homebuying process.

Discover what’s next.

To learn more information or connect with a real estate expert, contact us today.

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

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