Earlier this month, realtor.com announced the release of their initial Housing Recovery Index, a weekly guide showing how the pandemic has impacted the residential real estate market. The index leverages a weighted average of four key components of the housing industry, tracking each of the following:
The index then compares the current status “to the last week of January 2020 market trend, as a baseline for pre-COVID market growth. The overall index is set to 100 in this baseline period. The higher a market’s index value, the higher its recovery and vice versa.”
The graph below charts the index by showing how the real estate market started out strong in early 2020, and then dropped dramatically at the beginning of March when the pandemic paused the economy. It also shows the strength of the recovery since the beginning of May.It’s clear to see that the housing market is showing promising signs of recovery from the deep economic cuts we experienced earlier this spring. As noted by Dean Mon, Chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB):
“As the nation reopens, housing is well-positioned to lead the economy forward.”
The data today indicates the housing market is already on the way up.
Staying connected to the housing market’s performance over the coming months will be essential, as we continue to evaluate exactly how the housing market is doing in this uncharted time ahead.
Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.
For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.
As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.
“The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a quickening of home price gains during the fourth quarter of 2019, helping to boost home equity wealth. The average family with a mortgage had a $7,300 gain in home equity during the past year, and a total of $177,000 in home equity wealth.”
Over the past year, mortgage rates have fallen more than a full percentage point. This is a great driver for homeownership, as today's low rates provide consumers with some significant benefits. Here's a look at three of them:
Last year at this time, mortgage rates were 4.63% (substantially higher than they are today). If you're one who waited for a better time to make a move, market conditions have improved significantly. Today's low mortgage rates combined with increasing wages are making homes much more affordable than they were just one year ago, so it's a great time to get more for your money and consider a new home.
The chart below shows how much you would save based on today's rates, compared to what you would have paid if you purchased a house exactly one year ago, depending on how much you finance.
If you've been waiting since last year to make your move into homeownership, or to find a house that better meets your needs, today's low mortgage rates may be just what you need to get the process going. Let's get together to discuss how you can benefit from the current rates.
You’ve likely heard a ton about Millennials, but what about Gen Z? In the next 5 years, this generation will be between the ages of 23 and 28, and they’re eager to become homeowners faster than you may think.
According to realtor.com, “Nearly 80 percent of Generation Z members say they want to own a home before age 30,” and Concentrix Analytics said, “52% of prospective Gen Z buyers are already saving to buy a home.”
Wikipedia defines Generation Z (Gen Z) as “the demographic cohort after the Millennials. Demographers and researchers typically use the mid-1990s to mid-2000s as starting birth years.”
The report from Concentrix goes a little deeper on Gen Z, identifying the main reasons this cohort wants to own homes:
Although they’re eager to buy, this generation also perceives a few challenges ahead:
It is also interesting to note that 21% of Gen Zers think their parents will provide financial help, 17% will use a down payment assistance program, and 15% believe other family members will help them. One of the highlights of the report mentioned,
“More than half of Gen Zers who think they’ll receive help also think they will need to pay their parents back, compared to 40 percent of millennials.”
It is never too early to start saving for your own home, whether you are part of Gen Z or a different generation. If you would like to know where to start and how much you need to save to reach your goal of buying a home, let’s get together so you can better understand the process.
The residential real estate market has been plodding along for most of the year. However, three recent reports show the market may be on the verge of a rebound:
1. Existing Home Sales (closed sales) are up, marking two consecutive months of growth.
2. Pending Home Sales (contracts signed) are up with each of the four major regions reporting both month-over-month growth and year-over-year gains in contract activity. Here is the month-over-month growth:
3. Buyer Traffic (the number of people shopping for a home) is up compared to the same time last year, and for the first time in 13 months.
In their most recent report, ShowingTime Chief Analytics Officer, Daniil Cherkasskiy explained:
“The trend we saw in year-over-year buyer traffic in previous months continued across the United States. For all four regions there were more showings per listing this year compared to last year, making it the most competitive August in the last five years.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with the National Association of Realtors, believes the uptick in activity will continue into the future:
“It is very encouraging that buyers are responding to exceptionally low interest rates…With interest rates expected to remain low, home sales are forecasted to rise in the coming months and into 2020.”
If you are thinking about selling your house, there are purchasers out there who are ready, willing, and able to buy.
Some are reporting that there is trepidation regarding the real estate market in the United States. Apparently, the American people are quite comfortable.
Porch.com, a major network helping homeowners with their renovation projects, recently conducted a survey which asked Americans:
What do you believe is the safest investment over the next 10 years?
U.S. housing came in at number one, beating out other investments such as gold, stocks, bonds, and savings.
Here is a graph showing the top five investments Americans selected:The findings of the Porch.com survey also coincide with two previous surveys done earlier this year:
Based on all three surveys done this year, we can see that Americans still believe in homeownership as a great investment, and that feeling continues to grow.
This coming year the housing market will be defined by 3 things- inventory, interest rates, and appreciation. But the biggest issue the housing market will face in 2020 is an inventory shortage. There aren't enough homes on the market for buyers, especially on the lower end of the market. This is a topic that has come up frequently within the past several months.
Based on what is forecasted, we know that interest rates are projected to remain low and that appreciation is expected to continue as we move into 2020. Additionally, the upcoming election will provoke many unique perspectives on the health of the US housing market. The challenge will be understanding what is actually happening and how you can best position yourself if you are thinking of buying or selling your home.
According to realtor.com:
Despite increases in new construction, next year will once again fail to bring a solution to the inventory shortage that has plagued the housing market since 2015. Inventory could reach a historic low as a steady flow of demand, especially for entry level homes, and declining seller sentiment combine to keep a lid on sales transactions.
Diana Olick at CNBC:
Inventory has been falling annually for five straight months, after it recovered slightly toward the end of last year, due to a spike in mortgage rates. Rates began falling again by spring of this year. Homebuilders have been increasing production slowly, but it's not enough to meet the increasingly strong demand.
George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com
“As millennials — the largest cohort of buyers in U.S. history — embrace homeownership and take advantage of this year’s unexpectedly low mortgage rates, demand is outstripping supply, causing inventory to vanish. The housing shortage is felt acutely at the entry-level of the market, where most millennials are looking to break into the market for their first home.”
The most important thing you can do is understand what is happening in your local market. You may not be able to avoid some of the issues brought on by low inventory, but you can be educated and prepared. Let's connect and discuss the options that make the most sense for you and your family.
At this time of year, many families come together to celebrate the season. It's also the time when many realize their homes are just not quite big enough to host all of their guests and loved ones. Are you one of those homeowners dreaming for a larger space to call home?
According to the Q3 2019 U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report by ATTOM Data Solutions,
14.4 million residential properties in the United States were considered equity rich, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was 50 percent or less of their estimated market value.
This means that one in four of the 54 million mortgaged homes in the U.S. have at least 50% equity. If these homeowners decide to sell, they can use their equity to put toward the purchase of a new home. Maybe you'll be one of them.
NAR recently released their 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showing that,
This year, home sellers cited that they sold their homes for a median of $60,000 more than they purchased it, up from $55,500 the year prior. This accounted for a 31 percent price gain, up from 29 percent the year before.
Here's the equity gain breakdown based on the number of years these sellers lived in their homes
If you're one of the many homeowners with big dreams of owning a larger home, let's get together. Working with a trusted advisor to find out how much equity you have is a great first step in putting your move-up plan in motion.
Saving for a down payment is a key step in the homebuying process, and it's not the only piece you need to include in your budget. Another factor that's important to plan for is the closing costs required to obtain a mortgage.
According to Trulia,
When you close on a home, a number of fees are due. They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees, and more.
For those who buy a $250,000 home, for example, that amount could be between $5,000 and $12,500 in closing fees. Keep in mind, if you're in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,
Trulia gives more great advice, saying,
There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You'll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there's a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”
There will be lots of paperwork in front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender, and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.
The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You'll get this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there's a three-day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask—your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”
Let's get together to discuss the homebuying process, to be sure your plan includes budgeting for what you need to purchase your dream home – without any surprises!
In today’s real estate market, more houses are coming to market every day. Eager buyers are searching for their dream homes, so setting the right price for your house is one of the most important things you can do.
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, home values have risen at over 6% a year over the past two years, but have started to slow to 3.6% over the last 12 months. By this time next year, CoreLogic predicts home values will be 5.4% higher.
With prices slowing from their previous pace, homeowners must realize that pricing their homes a little over market value to leave room for negotiation will actually dramatically decrease the number of buyers who will see their listing (see the chart below).Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price their house so demand for the home is maximized. By doing so, the seller will not be negotiating with a buyer over the price, but will instead have multiple buyers competing with each other over the house.
The secret is making sure your house is Priced To Sell Immediately (PTSI). That way, your home will be seen by the most potential buyers. It will sell at a great price before more competition comes to the market.
If you’re debating listing your house for sale, let’s get together to discuss how to price your home appropriately and maximize your exposure.
CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) Report revealed,
“National home prices increased 3.6% year over year in July 2019 and are forecast to increase 5.4% from July 2019 to July 2020.”
They also analyzed four individual home-price tiers, showing the increase in each.
To clarify the methodology, CoreLogic explains,
“The four price tiers are based on the median sale price and are as follows: homes priced at 75% or less of the median (low price), homes priced between 75% and 100% of the median (low-to-middle price), homes priced between 100% and 125% of the median (middle-to-moderate price) and homes priced greater than 125% of the median (high price).”
Price appreciation can differ depending on your price range. If you’re a homeowner thinking of selling, let’s get together to find out how much your home is increasing in value, so you can price it competitively for today’s market.
Five ways to deal with a transaction crisisHave you ever had the sinking feeling that you were lost? Maybe as you kid you wandered off in a department store and soon found yourself among strangers in a strange land. What was your first instinct - to run, to start crying, to scream? As a homeowner facing a transaction crisis, these same emotions can crash over you and give you the unnerving sense that all hope is lost.
In a real estate transaction the pressure, emotion, and strain of making a life changing decision are fertile ground for big problems. But this doesn't have to be the case. Skilled negotiators are experts at dealing with a crisis. To model their strategies for success let's explore five ways to deal with a transaction crisis:
The natural tendency of most homeowners, when faced with transaction challenge, is to take the ostrich approach to problem solving - meaning they bury their heads in the sand and hope the crisis will pass. This is unwise as any crisis left to its own devices will often fester and become much worse with each hour that passes. Instead they should face the crisis head on by first listening to the problem and trying to understand exactly what the issues are so they can then begin to work on the problem.
Often when we try to deal with a crisis we end up solving the wrong problem. Why? We didn't really understand the root issue. To separate fact from fiction and to give everyone involved the best chance at moving towards a successful end result we need to develop our investigative skills. How? Simply learn to ask great questions. Many home buyers will feel a great sense of relief when they have been able to vent their feelings and express their concerns. For instance, rather than turning a deaf ear to their concerns, try encouraging them to tell you more, or if your unclear about their challenge, ask them to clarify what it is that is bothering them.
Take a deep breath and count to ten. Repeat after me - I must stay unemotional. This is easy to say and hard to do. As buyers become emotional during a crisis it's easy to become swept up into the hurricane of emotion. One reason for this is that occasionally people and problems get mixed up together. To separate the two you may ask the person who is upset this question: "Listen, it sounds like your upset, are you upset at me or the situation?"
A solution often implies that the person with the problem ended up getting exactly what they wanted, and, as we know from experience, this is rarely true. Instead of trying to find a solution, a professional crisis manager looks for ways to create a resolution - where both parties may have to give some ground to create an agreement both parties can live with.
Don't dawdle! Once you have an agreement, take action. Don't wait for a perfect solution that will never come. Often what home buyers want is to know that something (anything) is being done to move the closing process along. By focusing on the next step, everyone can begin to think proactively and positively.
Let me guess, eventually you were rescued from being lost, right? No doubt the first step was that someone else, even a stranger, stepped in to calm you down and get you talking. The same is true during a real estate transaction crisis. When we step back from the situation, calm down, and begin talking, almost every problem can be resolved to a successful conclusion
One of the benefits of homeownership is that it is a “forced savings plan.” Here’s how it works: You make a mortgage payment each month. Part of that payment is applied to the principal balance of your mortgage. Each month you owe less on the home. The difference between the value of the home and what you owe is called equity.
If your home has appreciated since the time you purchased it, that increase in value also raises your equity. Over time, the equity in your home could be substantial. Recently, CoreLogic revealed that the average homeowner gained more than $65,000 in equity over the last 5 years.
Unlike last decade, homeowners are no longer foolishly tapping into that equity. In 2006-2008, many owners used their homes like an ATM by pulling equity out to purchase new cars, jet skis, or lavish vacations. They were pulling out cash (equity) from an appreciating asset, and then spending it on rapidly depreciating items. That is not happening anymore.
The number of homeowners that currently have at least 50% equity in their home is astonishing. According to the Urban Institute, 37.1% of all homes in the country are mortgage-free. In a home equity study, ATTOM Data Solutions revealed that of the 62.9% of homes with a mortgage, 25.6% have at least 50% equity. That number has been increasing over the last five years:By doing a little math, we can see that 53.2% of all homes in this country have at least 50% equity right now. Of all homes, 37.1% are mortgage-free and an additional 16.1% with a mortgage have at least 50% equity.
Homeownership is different than renting. When you own, your housing expense (the mortgage payment) comes back to you in the form of equity in your home. That doesn’t happen with your rent payment. Your rent helps build your landlord’s equity instead.
Last week realtor.com released the results of a survey that produced three major revelations:
Since we are currently experiencing the longest-ever economic expansion in American history, there is reason to believe a recession could occur in the not-too-distant future. And, it does make sense that buyers and sellers remember the horrors of 2008 when they hear the word “recession.”
Ali Wolf, Director of Economic Research at the real estate consulting firm Meyers Research, addressed this point in a recent interview:
“With people having PTSD from the last time, they’re still afraid of buying at the wrong time.”
Most experts, however, believe if there is a recession, it will not resemble 2008. This housing market is in no way the same as it was just over a decade ago.
Zillow Economist, Jeff Tucker, explained the difference in a recent article, Recessions Typically Have Limited Effect on the Housing Market:
“As we look ahead to the next recession, it’s important to recognize how unusual the conditions were that caused the last one, and what’s different about the housing market today. Rather than abundant homes, we have a shortage of new home supply. Rather than risky borrowers taking on adjustable-rate mortgages, we have buyers with sterling credit scores taking out predictable 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. The housing market is simply much less risky than it was 15 years ago.”
George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, also weighed in on the subject:
“This is going to be a much shorter recession than the last one, I don’t think the next recession will be a repeat of 2008…The housing market is in a better position.”
In the past 23 years, there have been two national recessions – the dot-com crash in 2001 and the Great Recession in 2008. It is true that home values fell 19.7% during the 2008 recession, which was caused by a mortgage meltdown that heavily impacted the housing market. However, while stock prices fell almost 25% in 2001, home values appreciated 6.6%. The triggers of the next recession will more closely mirror those from 2001 – not those from 2008.
No one can accurately predict when the next recession will occur, but expecting one could possibly take place in the next 18-24 months is understandable. It is, however, important to realize that the impact of a recession on the housing market will in no way resemble 2008.
According to the Pew Research Center, around 37% of U.S students will be going back to school soon and the rest have already started the new academic year. With school-aged children in your home, buying or selling a house can take on a whole different approach when it comes to finding the right size, location, school district, and more.
Recently, the 2019 Moving with Kids Report from the National Association of Realtors®(NAR) studied “the different purchasing habits as well as seller preferences during the home buying and selling process.” This is what they found:
The major difference between the homebuyers who have children and those who do not is the importance of the neighborhood. In fact, 53% said the quality of the school district is an important factor when purchasing a home, and 50% select neighborhoods by the convenience to the schools.
Buyers with children also purchase larger, detached single-family homes with 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms at approximately 2,110 square feet.
Furthermore, 26% noted how childcare expenses delayed the home-buying process and forced additional compromises: 31% in the size of the home, 24% in the price, and 18% in the distance from work.
Of those polled, 23% of buyers with children sold their home “very urgently,” and 46% indicated “somewhat urgently, within a reasonable time frame.” Selling with urgency can pressure sellers to accept offers that are not in their favor. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR explains,
“When buying or selling a home, exercising patience is beneficial, but in some cases – such as facing an upcoming school year or the outgrowing of a home – sellers find themselves rushed and forced to accept a less than ideal offer.”
For sellers with children, 21% want a real estate professional to help them sell the home within a specific time frame, 20% at a competitive price, and 19% to market their home to potential buyers.
Buying or selling a home can be driven by different priorities when you are also raising a family. If you’re a seller with children and looking to relocate, let’s get together to navigate the process in the most reasonable time frame for you and your family.
We’re in the back half of the year, and with a decline in interest rates as well as home price and wage appreciation, many are wondering what the predictions are for the remainder of 2019.
Ralph McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic
“We see the cooldown flattening or even reversing course in the coming months and expect the housing market to continue coming into balance. In the meantime, buyers are likely claiming some ground from what has been seller’s territory over the past few years. If mortgage rates stay low, wages continue to grow, and inventory picks up, we can expect the U.S. housing market to further stabilize throughout the remainder of the year.”
Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR
“We expect the second half of year will be notably better than the first half in terms of home sales, mainly because of lower mortgage rates.”
“The drop in mortgage rates continues to stimulate the real estate market and the economy. Home purchase demand is up five percent from a year ago and has noticeably strengthened since the early summer months…The benefit of lower mortgage rates is not only shoring up home sales, but also providing support to homeowner balance sheets via higher monthly cash flow and steadily rising home equity.”
The housing market will be strong for the rest of 2019. If you’d like to know more about our specific market, let’s get together to discuss what’s happening in our area.
Did you know August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day? According to the United States Census, we honor senior citizens today because,
“Throughout our history, older people have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country. That remains true today and gives us ample reason…to reserve a special day in honor of the senior citizens who mean so much to our land.”
To give proper recognition, we’re going to look at some senior-related data in the housing industry.
According to the Population Reference Bureau,
“The number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to nearly double from 52 million in 2018 to 95 million by 2060, and the 65-and-older age group’s share of the total population will rise from 16 percent to 23 percent.”
In a recent report, Freddie Mac compared the homeownership rates of two groups of seniors: the Good Times Cohort (born from 1931-1941) and the Previous Generations (born in the 1930s). The data shows an increase in the homeownership rate for the Good Times Cohort because seniors are now aging in place, living longer, and maintaining a high quality of life into their later years.This, however, does not mean all seniors are staying in place. Some are actively buying and selling homes. In the 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) showed the percentage of seniors buying and selling:
According to NAR’s report, 58% of buyers ages 64 to 72 said they need help from an agent to find the right home. The transition from a current home to a new one is significant to undertake, especially for anyone who has lived in the same house for many years. If you’re a senior thinking about the process, let’s get together to help you make the move as smoothly as possible.
Many buyers are wondering where to find houses for sale in today’s market. It’s a true dilemma. We see an increase in buyer demand, but the supply available for purchase isn’t keeping up.
The number of new housing permits issued prior to the great recession increased for 15 years until 2005 (from 1.12 million in 1990 to a pre-recession peak of 2.16 million in 2005). According to Apartment List,
“From 1990 to 2005, the number of single-family permits issued more than doubled, while the number of multi-family permits grew by 49 percent.”
When the housing market crashed, the number of new homes permitted decreased to its lowest level in 2009 (see below):Since then, supply and demand have been out of balance when it comes to new construction. According to the same report,
“Construction of single-family homes has recovered much more slowly — the number of single-family housing units permitted in 2018 was barely half the number permitted in 2005.”
As the U.S. population increases, there is also an increase in the need for new homes. Today, new construction is not keeping up with the increase in the nation’s population. The report continues:
“The total number of residential housing units permitted in 2018 was roughly the same as the number permitted in 1994, when the country’s population was 20 percent less than it is today.”
Essentially, the dip in home building coupled with the steadily increasing U.S. population means there is now a selling opportunity for homeowners willing to list their current houses.
If you’re considering selling your home to move up, now is a great time to get a positive return on your investment in a market with high demand. Let’s get together to determine the specific options available for you and your family.
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts its Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016.
The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).
These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.
As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.
That is why Gallup reported Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the sixth year in a row. According to this year’s results, 35% of Americans chose real estate. Stocks followed at 27%, then savings accounts and gold.
If you want to find out how you can use your monthly housing cost to increase your family’s wealth, let’s get together to help you through the process.
It seems you can’t find a headline with the term “housing affordability” without the word “crisis” attached to it. That’s because some only consider the fact that residential real estate prices have continued to appreciate. However, we must realize it’s not just the price of a home that matters, but the price relative to a purchaser’s buying power.
Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by 3.5% over the last year.
Let’s look at three different reports issued recently that reveal how homes are very affordable in comparison to historic numbers, and how they have become even more affordable over the past several months.
Here is a graph showing the index going all the way back to 1990. The higher the column, the more affordable homes are:We can see that homes are less affordable today (the green bar) than they were during the housing crash (the red bars). This was when distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales saturated the market and sold for massive discounts. However, homes are more affordable today than at any time from 1990 to 2008.
NAR’s report on the index also shows that the percentage of a family’s income needed for a mortgage payment (16.5%) is dramatically lower than last year and is well below the historic norm of 21.2%.
This report reveals that as a result of falling interest rates and slowing home price appreciation, affordability is the best it has been in 18 months. Black Knight Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske explains:
“For much of the past year and a half, affordability pressures have put a damper on home price appreciation. Indeed, the rate of annual home price growth has declined for 15 consecutive months. More recently, declining 30-year fixed interest rates have helped to ease some of those pressures, improving the affordability outlook considerably…And despite the average home price rising by more than $12K since November, today’s lower fixed interest rates have worked out to a $108 lower monthly payment…Lower rates have also increased the buying power for prospective homebuyers looking to purchase the average-priced home by the equivalent of 15%.”
While affordability has increased recently, Mark Fleming, First American’s Chief Economist explains:
“If the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage declines just a fraction more, consumer house-buying power would reach its highest level in almost 20 years.”
Fleming goes on to say that the gains in affordability are about mortgage rates and the increase in family incomes:
“Average nominal household incomes are nearly 57 percent higher today than in January 2000. Record income levels combined with mortgage rates near historic lows mean consumer house-buying power is more than 150 percent greater today than it was in January 2000.”
If you’ve put off the purchase of a first home or a move-up home because of affordability concerns, you should take another look at your ability to purchase in today’s market. You may be pleasantly surprised!
Fannie Mae just released the July edition of their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI takes information regarding consumers’ confidence in the real estate market from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and condenses it into a single number. Therefore, the HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions.
Great News! The index reached its highest level since Fannie Mae began their survey. Breaking it down, the report revealed:
The day after the index was released, Freddie Mac also announced the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell to its lowest level in three years.
Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae explained the uptick in the index:
“Consumer job confidence and favorable mortgage rate expectations lifted the HPSI to a new survey high in July, despite ongoing housing supply and affordability challenges. Consumers appear to have shaken off a winter slump in sentiment amid strong income gains. Therefore, sentiment is positioned to take advantage of any supply that comes to market, particularly in the affordable category.”
Consumers are feeling good about the real estate market. Since Americans are not worried about their jobs, see mortgage rates near an all-time low, and believe it is a good time to buy, the housing market will remain strong for the rest of the year.