Mortgage Expert Weighs in on the Market
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Mortgage Expert Weighs in on the Market

Mortgage broker and native Atlantan Allison Beldick has volumes of transactions under her hard hat to comment on these choppy times regarding the ever-changing real estate and loan landscape.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Beldick says to look for opportunities and consider real estate a great investment over time.
Beldick says to look for opportunities and consider real estate a great investment over time.

Mortgage broker and native Atlantan Allison Beldick has volumes of transactions under her hard hat to comment on these choppy times regarding the ever-changing real estate and loan landscape. Are rising mortgage rates sending the runaway market in a new direction?

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 12, 2022, “Atlanta Housing Market Cooled, … The number of closings across the 12-county metro area was down 23 percent compared to June 2021, according to First Multiple Listing Service data, … Metro Atlanta had fewer closings than in any month of June since 2014. A sharp jump in mortgage rates is a key catalyst for the declining activity.”

So, is now the time to take the jump to homeownership?

A University of Georgia graduate with an MBA in finance from Kennesaw State University, Beldick spent 15 years in real estate, including residential sales, marketing, management and business development. Thus, it was an easy transition with her skill set into the mortgage industry in 2012. She summed up conditions,

Allison Beldick helped 300 families get financing in 2021.

“We have been fortunate in the Atlanta market with strong growth over the past year. As expected, with the inventory being low, the number of sales is naturally down. Despite fewer sales according to the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, the average and median sales price has increased 19.4 percent from May of last year and the sales price increased 18 percent from the previous year.”

Looking ahead, she noted that interest rates have increased while housing supply is still at an all-time low with more buyers than sellers.

She continued, “[During] the first half of the year, homes were selling for at least 10-12 percent above list price. We’re certainly seeing a bit of a shift right now. I think buyers have been exhausted by the market, and for some with interest rates increasing they have been priced out of the market. However, we are still seeing multiple offers. Rather than 24 offers on a home visible in the first half of the year, we’re now seeing between three and six. Since fewer buyers are making offers, we are not seeing prices elevate as high, but homes are still selling above list price.”

Beldick added, “I think as inflation decreases, we will see interest rates drop some, and the housing market will remain strong in Atlanta. One of the biggest factors affecting mortgage rates is inflation. As inflation increases so do interest rates. Since a mortgage is a long-term fixed return, as inflation increases investors must increase the mortgage rate to compensate for market conditions.”

Beldick cautions that first-time homebuyers shouldn’t let interest rates or current trends deter. “Real estate is an investment akin to a retirement plan or stock market. Even if the interest rate is higher today than months ago, historically real estate will continue to appreciate,” she said.

Her own first purchase was a condo, and in four years the value increased 35 percent, which allowed her to have a significant down payment to buy the next home. Looking historically over the past 60 years, homes have appreciated very conservatively at three to four percent per year. Over the past year, she saw over double-digit appreciation rates, and 2022 higher than average appreciation is anticipated.

In labeling Beldick a super performing broker, she noted, “I have been very fortunate in this crazy market. While last year’s volume was stronger because of refinances, I planned for that when forecasting my goals this year and have been focusing on growing purchase business. I’m on track to hit my goals this year.” In 2021 she helped 300 families obtain financing.

Beldick reports that there are specialty programs available for many professions like doctors, nurses, first responders, educators, veterans and first-time homebuyers. Various programs allow for low down payment options (or sometimes no down payment at all), possible down payment assistance and reduced mortgage insurance. Availability varies by lender.

“Being able to select the right program is key for my clients to have a great experience and have my support throughout the lending process,” Beldick said.

Beldicks’s five tips for getting the most out of mortgages:

• Work with a local mortgage banker who understands the current market.
• Get underwritten upfront prior to finding your home.
• Be aware of your credit and try to maximize your credit score.
• Set a home-buying budget.
• Hire a real estate professional to help with purchase.

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