The real estate market is on just about everyone’s mind these days. That’s because the unsustainable market of the past two years is behind us, and the difference is being felt. The question now is, just how financially strong are homeowners throughout the country? Mortgage debt grew beyond 10 trillion dollars over the past year, and many called that a troubling sign when it happened for the first time in history.
Recently Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, answered that question when she said:
“U.S. households own $41 trillion in owner-occupied real estate, just over $12 trillion in debt, and the remaining ~$29 trillion in equity. The national “LTV” in Q2 2022 was 29.5%, the lowest since 1983.”
She continued on to say:
“Homeowners had an average of $320,000 in inflation-adjusted equity in their homes in Q2 2022, an all-time high.”
The term LTV refers to loan to value ratio. For more context, here’s how the Mortgage Reports defines it:
“Your ‘loan to value ratio’ (LTV) compares the size of your mortgage loan to the value of the home. For example: If your home is worth $200,000, and you have a mortgage for $180,000, your LTV ratio is 90% — because the loan makes up 90% of the total price.You can also think about LTV in terms of your down payment. If you put 20% down, that means you’re borrowing 80% of the home’s value. So your LTV ratio is 80%.”
“Your ‘loan to value ratio’ (LTV) compares the size of your mortgage loan to the value of the home. For example: If your home is worth $200,000, and you have a mortgage for $180,000, your LTV ratio is 90% — because the loan makes up 90% of the total price.
You can also think about LTV in terms of your down payment. If you put 20% down, that means you’re borrowing 80% of the home’s value. So your LTV ratio is 80%.”
This is yet another reason we won’t see the housing market crash. Home equity allows homeowners to be in control. For example, if someone did need to sell their home, they likely have the equity they need to be able to sell it and still put money in their pocket. This was not the case back in 2008, when many owed more on their homes than they were worth.
Homeowners today have more financial strength than they have had since 1983. This is a combination of how homeowners have handled equity since the crash and rising home prices of the last two years. And this is yet another reason homeownership in any market makes sense.
One of the biggest questions people are asking right now is: what’s happening with home prices? There are headlines about ongoing price appreciation, but at the same time, some sellers are reducing the price of their homes. That can feel confusing and makes it more difficult to get a clear picture.
Part of the challenge is that it can be hard to understand what experts are saying when the words they use sound similar. Let’s break down the differences among those terms to help clarify what’s actually happening today.
Experts agree that, nationally, what we’re seeing today is deceleration. That means home prices are appreciating, just not at the record-breaking pace they have over the past year. In 2021, data from CoreLogic tells us home prices appreciated by an average of 15% nationwide. And earlier this year, that appreciation was upward of 20%. This year, experts forecast home prices will appreciate at a decelerated pace of around 10 to 11%, on average.
The graph below uses the latest data from CoreLogic to help tell the story of how home prices are decelerating, but not depreciating so far this year.
As the green bars show, home prices appreciated between 19-20% year-over-year from January to March. But over the last few months, the pace of that appreciation has decelerated to 18%. This means price growth is still climbing compared to last year but at a slower rate.
As the Monthly Mortgage Monitor from Black Knight explains:
“Annual home price growth dropped by nearly two percentage points . . . – the greatest single-month slowdown on record since at least the early 1970s. . . While June’s slowdown was record-breaking, home price growth would need to decelerate at this pace for six more months to drive annual appreciation back to 5%, a rate more in line with long-run averages.”
Basically, this means, while moderating, home prices are still far above the norm, and we’d have to see a lot more deceleration to even fall in line with more typical rates of home price growth. That’s still not home price depreciation.
The big takeaway is home prices haven’t fallen or depreciated nationwide, they’re just decelerating or moderating. While some unique and overheated markets may see declines, nationally, home prices are forecast to appreciate. And when we look at the country as a whole, none of the experts project home prices will net depreciate or fall. They’re all projecting ongoing appreciation.
If you have questions about what’s happening with home prices today, connect with a trusted real estate professional.
Once you’ve applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are some key things to keep in mind. While it’s exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating, be careful when it comes to making any big purchases. Here are a few things you may not realize you need to avoid after applying for your home loan.
Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.
It’s not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgages. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.
When you co-sign for a loan, you’re making yourself accountable for that loan’s success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.
Lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your mortgage interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.
Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn’t true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those aspects of your score.
To sum it up, be upfront about any changes when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it’s best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.
You want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who’s qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.
There’s no denying the housing market has delivered a fair share of challenges to homebuyers over the past two years. Two of the biggest hurdles homebuyers faced during the pandemic were the limited number of homes for sale and the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. But those two things have reached a turning point.
As you may have already heard, the number of homes for sale has increased this year, and even more so this spring. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains:
“New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up 6% above one year ago. Home sellers in many markets across the country continue to benefit from rising home prices and fast-selling homes. That’s prompted a growing number of homeowners to sell homes this year compared to last, giving home shoppers much needed options.”
This is encouraging news. More homes coming onto the market give you a greater chance of finding one that checks all your boxes.
Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says inventory growth is happening not just because there’s an increase in the number of listings coming onto the market, but also because buyer demand has moderated some in light of higher mortgage rates and other economic factors:
“There has been a pickup in the inventory that we’ve seen recently, but it’s not from a big increase in new listings . . . but rather a slowdown in the pace of sales. And remember that months’ supply measures the inventory of sale relative to the pace of sales. Same inventory, fewer sales, means more months’ supply.”
Basically, the market is shifting away from the frenzy of buyer competition seen during the pandemic, and that’s helping available inventory grow. In their latest forecast, realtor.com also mentions the moderation of demand as a key factor and projects the inventory growth should continue:
“As rising inflation and mortgage rates bring U.S. housing demand back from the 2021 frenzy, . . . inventory will grow double-digits over 2021 and offer buyers a better-than-expected chance to find a home.”
The combination of more homes coming onto the market and a slower pace of home sales means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home. That’s great news if you’ve been searching for a while with little to no luck. Just remember, there isn’t a sudden surplus of inventory, just more homes to choose from than even a few months ago. So, you’ll still want to be decisive and move fast when you find the right home for you.
And when you do, you may be faced with less competition from other buyers too. If you’ve been waiting to jump into the market because the intensity of the bidding wars was intimidating or if you’ve been outbid on several homes, this moderation could help make the homebuying process a bit smoother. It’s not that it’ll be easy or that bidding wars are a thing of the past – that’s not the case. But it won’t feel nearly as impossible.
As the housing market begins its shift back toward pre-pandemic levels, you could have a unique opportunity in front of you. With moderating levels of buyer competition and more homes actively for sale, your home search may have gotten a bit less challenging. Reach out to a trusted real estate professional to begin the process today.
Move in ready! Come take a look at this adorable cottage with a beautiful countryside setting. This 3 bedroom 2 bath home has an open living area concept. Nice size kitchen with breakfast bar and appliances. Neutral colors throughout and plenty of storage. The exterior offers a detached two car carport, storage building, wood deck at the front and back doors and large back yard. This home has been well cared for and has had many updates over the years including insulated windows and doors and aerobic septic system. Located near the Centerpoint Community and only a short drive to town. Listing agent of record: Sherry Dickson, Harold Carter Realtors.
If you’re following the news, chances are you’ve seen or heard some headlines about the housing market that don’t give the full picture. The real estate market is shifting, and when that happens, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They can help debunk the headlines so you can really understand today’s market and what it means for you.
Here are three common housing market myths you might be hearing, along with the expert analysis that provides better context.
One piece of fiction many buyers may have seen or heard is that home prices are going to crash. That’s because headlines often use similar, but different, terms to describe what’s happening with prices. A few you might be seeing right now include:
The fact is, experts aren’t calling for a decrease in prices. Instead, they forecast appreciation will continue, just at a decelerated pace. That means home prices will continue rising and won’t fall. Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:
“. . . higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”
Another common myth is that the housing market is in a correction. Again, that’s not the case. Here’s why. According to Forbes:
“A correction is a sustained decline in the value of a market index or the price of an individual asset. A correction is generally agreed to be a 10% to 20% drop in value from a recent peak.”
As mentioned above, home prices are still appreciating, and experts project that will continue, just at a slower pace. That means the housing market isn’t in a correction because prices aren’t falling. It’s just moderating compared to the last two years, which were record-breaking in nearly every way.
Some headlines are generating worry that the housing market is a bubble ready to burst. But experts say today is nothing like 2008. One of the reasons why is because lending standards are very different today. Logan Mohtashami, Lead Analyst for HousingWire, explains:
“As recession talk becomes more prevalent, some people are concerned that mortgage credit lending will get much tighter. This typically happens in a recession, however, the notion that credit lending in America will collapse as it did from 2005 to 2008 couldn’t be more incorrect, as we haven’t had a credit boom in the period between 2008-2022.”
During the last housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. Since then, lending standards have tightened significantly, and purchasers who acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified than they were in the years leading up to the crash.
No matter what you’re hearing about the housing market, trust the experts and partner with a local real estate professional. When you do, you’ll have a knowledgeable authority on your side that knows the ins and outs of the market, including current trends, historical context, and so much more.
It can be tempting, especially with how hot the housing market has been over the past two years, to consider selling your home on your own. But today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional.
Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.
Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.
With higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a growing number of homes for sale, today’s housing market is showing signs of a shift back toward more pre-pandemic levels. When conditions change, following the trends and staying on top of new information is crucial when you sell.
That makes working with an expert real estate advisor critical today. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.
Your agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:
“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”
Today, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:
“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”
A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.
If you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:
Instead of going toe-to-toe with all these parties alone, lean on an expert. They’ll know what levers to pull, how to address everyone’s concerns, and when you may want to get a second opinion.
If you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. NAR explains it like this:
“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”
Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.
Whether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you’ll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone. If you plan to sell, reach out to a local real estate professional so you have an expert on your side.
If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, you likely have one question on the top of your mind: should I buy right now, or should I wait? While no one can answer that question for you, here’s some information that could help you make your decision.
Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists to compile projections for the future of home price appreciation. The output is the Home Price Expectation Survey. In the latest release, it forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years (see graph below):
As the graph shows, the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years as the market shifts away from the unsustainable pace it saw during the pandemic. After this year, experts project home price appreciation will continue, but at levels that are more typical for the market. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:
“People should not anticipate another double-digit price appreciation. Those days are over. . . . We may return to more normal price appreciation of 4%, 5% a year.”
For you, that ongoing appreciation should give you peace of mind your investment in homeownership is worthwhile because you’re buying an asset that’s projected to grow in value in the years ahead.
To give you an idea of how this could impact your net worth, here’s how a typical home could grow in value over the next few years using the expert price appreciation projections from the Pulsenomics survey mentioned above (see graph below):
As the graph conveys, even at a more typical pace of appreciation, you still stand to make significant equity gains as your home grows in value. That’s what’s at stake if you delay your plans.
If you’re ready to become a homeowner, know that buying today can set you up for long-term success as your asset’s value (and your own net worth) is projected to grow with the ongoing home price appreciation. Partner with a local real estate professional to begin your homebuying process today.
Over the last two years, the rate of home prices appreciated at a dramatic pace. While that led to incredible equity gains for homeowners, it’s also caused some buyers to wonder if home prices will fall. It’s important to know the housing market isn’t a bubble about to burst, and home price growth is supported by strong market fundamentals.
To understand why price declines are unlikely, it’s important to explore what caused home prices to rise so much recently, and where experts say home prices are headed. Here’s what you need to know.
The graph below uses the latest data from CoreLogic to illustrate the rise in home prices over the past year and a half. The gray bars represent the dramatic increase in the rate of home price appreciation in 2021. The blue bars show home prices are still rising in 2022, but not as quickly:
You might be asking: why did home prices climb so much last year? It’s because there were more buyers than there were homes for sale. That imbalance put upward pressure on home prices because demand was extremely high, and supply was record low.
While housing inventory is increasing and buyer demand is softening today, there’s still a shortage of homes available for sale. That’s why the market is seeing ongoing price appreciation. Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, explains it like this:
“. . .we’re still well below normal levels of inventory and that’s why even with the pullback in demand, we still see house prices appreciating. While there is more inventory, it’s still not enough.”
As a result, experts are projecting a more moderate rate of home price appreciation this year, which means home prices will continue rising, but at a slower pace. That doesn’t mean prices are going to fall. As Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic, says:
“The current home price growth rate is unsustainable, and higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”
In other words, even with higher mortgage rates, moderating buyer demand, and more homes for sale, experts say home price appreciation will slow, but prices won’t decline.
If you’re planning to buy a home, that means you shouldn’t wait for home prices to drop to make your purchase. Instead, buying today means you can get ahead of future price increases, and benefit from the rise in prices in the form of home equity.
Home prices skyrocketed in recent years because there was more demand than supply. As the market shifts, experts aren’t forecasting a drop in prices, just a slowdown in the rate of price growth. To understand what’s happening with home prices in your area, connect with a local real estate professional today.
As the spring housing market kicks off, you likely want to know what you can expect this season when it comes to buying or selling a house. While there are multiple factors causing some uncertainty, including the conflict overseas, rising inflation, and the first rate increase from the Federal Reserve in over three years — the housing market seems to be relatively immune.
Here’s a look at what experts say you can expect this spring.
Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has increased by more than a full point in the past six months. And despite some mild fluctuation in recent weeks, experts believe rates will continue to edge up over the next 90 days. As Freddie Mac says:
“The Federal Reserve raising short-term rates and signaling further increases means mortgage rates should continue to rise over the course of the year.”
If you’re a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving to a home that better fits your needs, realize that waiting will likely mean you’ll pay a higher mortgage rate on your purchase. And that higher rate drives up your monthly payment and can really add up over the life of your loan.
There may be some relief coming for buyers searching for a home to purchase. Realtor.com recently reported that the number of newly listed homes has grown for each of the last two months. Also, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced the months’ supply of inventory increased for the first time in eight months. The inventory of existing homes usually grows every spring, and it seems, based on recent activity, the next 90 days could bring more listings to the market.
If you’re a buyer who has been frustrated with the limited supply of homes available for sale, it looks like you could find some relief this spring. However, be prepared to act quickly if you find the right home.
If you’re a seller, listing now instead of waiting for this additional competition to hit the market makes sense. Your leverage in any negotiation during the sale will be impacted as additional homes come to market.
Prices are always determined by supply and demand. Though the number of homes entering the market is increasing, buyer demand remains very strong. As realtor.com explains in their most recent Housing Report:
“During the final two weeks of the month, more new sellers entered the market than during the same time last year. . . . However, with 5.8 million new homes missing from the market and millions of millennials at first-time buying ages, housing supply faces a long road to catching up with demand.”
What does that mean for you? With the demand for housing still outpacing supply, home prices will continue to appreciate. Many experts believe the level of appreciation will decelerate from the high double-digit levels we’ve seen over the last two years. That means prices will continue to climb, just at a more moderate pace. Most experts are predicting home prices will not depreciate.
While some people may believe a 1% increase in mortgage rates will impact demand so dramatically that home prices will have to fall, experts say otherwise. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, says:
“What I will caution against is making the inference that interest rates have a direct impact on house prices. That is not true.”
Freddie Mac studied the impact that mortgage rates increasing by at least 1% has had on home prices in the past. Here are the results of that study:
As the chart shows, mortgage rates jumped by at least 1% six times in the last thirty years. In each case, home values increased.
So again, if you’re a first-time buyer or a repeat buyer, waiting to buy likely means you’ll pay more for a home later in the year (as compared to its current value).
There are three things that seem certain going into the spring housing market:
If you’re thinking of buying, act now before mortgage rates and home prices increase further. If you’re thinking of selling, your best bet may be to sell soon so you can beat the increase in competition that’s about to come to market.
If you’re a homeowner thinking about selling your house, you’re probably looking for the best time to make your move. That means you’re likely balancing a number of factors, like your changing needs, where you’ll go when you sell, and today’s mortgage rates in order to time it just right.
According to recent data, that sweet spot could already be here. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) by Fannie Mae finds that 76% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell.
The graph below shows the percentage of survey respondents who say it’s a good time to sell a house. The big dip in March and April of 2020 reflects how consumer sentiment dropped at the beginning of the pandemic as uncertainty about the health crisis grew. Since then, the percentage has grown consistently as more people feel confident it’s a good time to sell.
In fact, survey respondents think it’s an even better time to sell a house today than they did in 2019, which was a strong year for the housing market. The latest survey results indicate one of the strongest peaks in seller sentiment in nearly three years (see graph below):
One reason so many people think it’s a good time to sell is because there are still more buyers in today’s market than there are homes for sale. That’s driving home prices up, making it a good time to sell your house.
And if you’re on the fence about whether or not to sell because you don’t know where you’ll go once you do, know that you might have more options today than in previous months. That’s because the number of homes coming onto the market has grown each month since the start of the year. When more homes come onto the market, it gives you more opportunities to find one that meets your changing needs.
While the number of homes available for sale is growing and giving you more options for your move, inventory is still low overall. That could mean it’s a great time for you to sell. If you’re ready to address your changing needs and take advantage of today’s favorable conditions, contact a local real estate advisor.
If you’re a current homeowner, you should know your net worth just got a big boost. It comes in the form of rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Today, you’re building that equity far faster than you may expect – and this gain is great news for you.
Here’s how it happened. Home values are on the rise thanks to low housing supply and high buyer demand. Basically, there aren’t enough homes available to meet this high buyer interest, so bidding wars are driving home prices up. When you own a home, the rising prices mean your home is worth more in today’s market. And as home values climb, your equity does too. As Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:
“Home prices rose 18% during 2021 in the CoreLogic Home Price Index, the largest annual gain recorded in its 45-year history, generating a big increase in home equity wealth.”
The latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic shed light on just how much rising home values have boosted homeowner equity. According to that report, the average homeowner’s equity has grown by $55,300 over the last 12 months.
Want to know what’s happening in your area? Here’s a breakdown of the average year-over-year equity growth for each state based on that data.
In addition to building your overall net worth, equity can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. It works like this: when you sell your house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale.
In a market where you’re gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home. So, if you’ve been holding off on selling and worried about being priced out of your next home because of today’s home price appreciation, rest assured your equity can help fuel your move.
Equity can be a real game-changer if you’re planning to make a move. To find out just how much equity you have in your home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, connect with a trusted real estate advisor.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, chances are you’re focusing on the many extraordinary ways it’ll change your life. But do you know it has a large impact on your community too?
To measure that impact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a report each year to highlight just how much economic activity a home sale generates. The chart below shows how the sale of both a newly built home and an existing home impact the economy:
As the visual shows, a single home sale can have a significant effect on the overall economy. To dive a level deeper, NAR also provides a detailed look at how that varies state-by-state for newly built homes (see map below):
You may be wondering: how can a single home sale have such a major effect on the economy?
For starters, there are multiple industries that play a role in the process. Numerous contractors, specialists, lawyers, town and city officials, and so many other professionals are all necessary at various stages during the transaction. Every individual you work with, like your trusted real estate advisor, has a team of professionals involved behind the scenes.
That means when you buy or sell a home, you’re leaving a lasting impression on the community at large. Let the knowledge that you’re contributing to those around you while also meeting your own needs help you feel even more empowered when you decide to make your move this year.
Homebuyers and sellers are economic drivers in their community and beyond. Reach out to your trusted real estate advisor today if you’re ready to get started. It won’t just change your life; it’ll make a powerful impact on your entire community.
The “warning signs” look all too familiar.
Escalating home prices have both buyers & sellers worried that the market is just “too good to be true,” and agents across the U.S. are getting bombarded with the ultimate question: “Are we in a housing bubble?”
Let’s take a look at 3 key factors that suggest we’re not, so you can educate your clients and calm fears in your market.
Last year, home values appreciated an average of 15% across the nation. And while this year’s growth isn’t expected to match it, buyers and sellers are still worried that home prices are too high and that depreciation is likely to follow.
However, unlike the Housing Bubble years of the mid-2000s, the major factor driving up home values is that we’re also in a dire inventory shortage.
A balanced real estate market’s inventory sits around 6 months. Today’s current market is at 1.7 months, a historically low amount of homes for sale.
In comparison, the inventory level from 2005 and 2007 increased from 5 months to 11 months, a vast over-supply of homes that did not warrant the price appreciation that went along with it.
So, throwing it back to your high school economics class, the biggest driver of price appreciation is a simple case of supply and demand, hence what we’re seeing in the market today.
If you remember the housing boom of the mid-2000s, you know how crazy that time was in real estate. But if Robert Schiller, a fellow at the Yale School of Management’s International Center for Finance, could sum it up in one phrase, it’s this: irrational exuberance.
In other words, the buying and selling frenzy that contributed to the market collapse was fueled not by tactful, financial decisions but a country-wide case of FOMO (fear of missing out).
The mortgage industry fed into the frenzy, making it easy for people to obtain home loans much higher than they could afford.
Today’s real estate demand, however, is a very real thing. And lending standards have become much tighter since before the crash.
Plus, with escalating rent happening across the U.S., many Americans are opting for the financial stability that homeownership offers.
These factors, coupled with low mortgage rates, make purchasing a home today a good financial decision. So, not only is the demand very real, it’s also very smart.
Following the housing and economic crash of 2008, economists, financiers, and real estate industry experts have combed through data to figure out why the entire system crumbled the way it did.
Most will agree that one of the biggest pieces of that catastrophic equation came down to this: equity. Or in reality, a lack of it.
The mid-2000s saw a massive wave of homeowners cashing out the equity in their homes. In short, they were using their homes like ATMs to afford some of the finer things in life.
This led to a lot of negative equity situations: where the amount someone owed on their home was far more than what their house was worth. Many foreclosures and short-sales followed, depreciating home values nationwide.
Today is a much different equity picture. Cash-out refinance volume over the last three years is less than a third of what it was compared to the three years before the crash. Plus, escalating appreciation meant that homeowners gained an average of $55,300 in equity in the last 12 months alone. As prices continue to rise, equity will too.
This positive equity perspective puts the current housing market in a much stronger place, minimizing risk of foreclosure and stabilizing home values across the U.S.
The most important role of a real estate agent is to be the educator to their clients.
What that really means is analyzing data and insights, getting all sides of a story and then being able to communicate that so your clients can make the best real estate decision.
At the end of the day, knowledge is the most powerful tool you have in your business. Use it every chance you get!
And while you’re at it, download our free eGuide, How to Succeed in a Changing Real Estate Market, where we break down the best way to guide your clients through today’s challenges. That way you and your clients can navigate any shifting housing market.
There’s never been a truer statement regarding forecasting mortgage rates than the one offered last year by Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American:
“You know, the fallacy of economic forecasting is: Don’t ever try and forecast interest rates and or, more specifically, if you’re a real estate economist mortgage rates, because you will always invariably be wrong.”
Coming into this year, most experts projected mortgage rates would gradually increase and end 2022 in the high three-percent range. It’s only April, and rates have already blown past those numbers. Freddie Mac announced last week that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is already at 4.72%.
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, tweeted on March 31:
“Continuing on the recent trajectory, would have mortgage rates hitting 5% within a matter of weeks. . . .”
Just five days later, on April 5, the Mortgage News Daily quoted a rate of 5.02%.
No one knows how swiftly mortgage rates will rise moving forward. However, at least to this point, they haven’t significantly impacted purchaser demand. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, explains:
“Mortgage rates jumped much quicker and much higher than even the most aggressive forecasts called for at the end of last year, and yet housing demand appears to be holding steady.”
Through February, home prices, the number of showings, and the number of homes receiving multiple offers all saw a substantial increase. However, much of the spike in mortgage rates occurred in March. We will not know the true impact of the increase in mortgage rates until the March housing numbers become available in early May.
Rick Sharga, EVP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Data, recently put rising rates into context:
“Historically low mortgage rates and higher wages helped offset rising home prices over the past few years, but as home prices continue to soar and interest rates approach five percent on a 30-year fixed rate loan, more consumers are going to struggle to find a property they can comfortably afford.”
While no one knows exactly where rates are headed, experts do think they’ll continue to rise in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you’re looking to buy a home, know that rising rates do have an impact. As rates rise, it’ll cost you more when you purchase a house. If you’re ready to buy, it may make sense to do so sooner rather than later.
Mark Fleming got it right. Forecasting mortgage rates is an impossible task. However, it’s probably safe to assume the days of attaining a 3% mortgage rate are over. The question is whether that will soon be true for 4% rates as well.
Even if you haven’t been following real estate news, you’ve likely heard about the current sellers’ market. That’s because there’s a lot of talk about how strong market conditions are for people who want to sell their houses. But if you’re thinking about listing your house, you probably want to know: what does being in a sellers’ market really mean?
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still very low. There’s a 2-month supply of homes at the current sales pace.
Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a normal or neutral market where there are enough homes available for active buyers. That puts today deep in sellers’ market territory (see graph below):
When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. That creates increased competition among purchasers which can lead to more bidding wars. And if buyers know they may be entering a bidding war, they’re going to do their best to submit a very attractive offer upfront. This could drive the final price of your house up.
And because mortgage rates and home prices are climbing, serious buyers are motivated to make their purchase soon, before those two things rise further. That means, if you put your house on the market while supply is still low, it will likely get a lot of attention from competitive buyers.
The current real estate market has incredible opportunities for homeowners looking to make a move. Listing your house this season means you’ll be in front of serious buyers who are ready to buy. Connect with a local real estate professional so you can jumpstart the selling process.
If you’re buying or selling a home this year, you’re likely saving up for a variety of expenses. For buyers, that might include things like your down payment and closing costs. And for sellers, you’re probably working on a bit of spring cleaning and maintenance to spruce up your house before you list it.
Either way, any money you get back from your taxes can help you achieve your goals. Using a tax refund is a common tactic for buyers and sellers. SmartAsset estimates the average American will receive a $2,897 tax refund this year. The map below provides a more detailed estimate by state:
If you’re getting a refund this year, here are a few tips to help with your home purchase or sale this season.
According to American Financing, there are multiple ways your refund check can help you as a homebuyer. A few include:
This list is a great start, but it isn’t exhaustive of all the costs you may encounter as you set out on your homebuying journey. The best way to prepare is to work with a trusted real estate professional to make sure you understand what’s to come in the process.
If you own a home and are planning to sell this spring, your tax refund can help you make sure your home is ready to list. Here are a few ways current homeowners can put their tax refund to good use:
Of course, it’s important to talk with your trusted real estate advisor before taking on any projects. They’ll make sure you can focus on areas that’ll help you receive the best possible price when you sell.
Funding your home purchase or sale can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Your tax refund can help you reach your goals. Connect with a local real estate advisor today to discuss how you can start on your journey.
Buckle up. This spring market is going to be a busy one.
Homes are selling fast and inventory just can’t keep up with the demand.
But there are still some big questions surrounding the housing market right now holding back a lot of buyers and sellers.
And being able to answer them could make or break how successful you are this spring.
Here’s what you need to know so you can educate your sphere right now.
For the last number of decades, the real estate market has been broken down into seasons with spring reigning as the best time to sell a home. Traditionally, that’s how it’s been. But there’s a big shift happening now.
Recent years have seen that seasonality blur as more and more people decide to buy or sell a home no matter what time of year it is.
What we do know is that while we’ll probably see more homes hit the market this spring, supply is still too low to keep up with demand.
So, even if more homes do come on the market compared to previous months, there are plenty of willing and ready buyers waiting on the sidelines to scoop them up.
The best way to prepare your clients for this competitive market is to make sure they’re ready to move fast, be patient and stay flexible.
No one wants to buy at the top of the market. We saw how that played out in 2008, and it didn’t end well for a lot of homeowners.
But according to recent expert projections, we aren’t at the top of the market.
But before we dive a little deeper into that, we need to explain a couple of things.
First, with both Millenials and Gen Z now in the buyer group, there isn’t enough existing inventory to keep up with the amount of aspiring homeowners. Second, we didn’t build enough homes in the last decade to keep up with the demand.
This leads us directly to our next big question.
So, with existing inventory not being able to keep up with the number of buyers looking to own a home, we are seeing price appreciation that looks strikingly similar to what we saw in the years leading up to the crash.
The big difference between now and then is this: this price appreciation is a direct result of low inventory and high demand. Not high inventory and high demand like in the early 2000s.
Plus, earlier projections by top industry experts are already being revised to higher than originally anticipated. That means more likely than not, we could see another year of above-average price appreciation.
Inflation: one of the most unfortunate results of the pandemic. And there have obviously been many (let’s never forget the infamous toilet paper shortage).
But inflation isn’t new. And if we look all the way back to 1970, we actually see one big takeaway: homeownership is historically a great hedge against it.
For example, as rental prices continue to rise nationwide, locking in mortgage payments can keep your largest monthly cost the same. remain the same.
Another big takeaway: home price appreciation has outperformed inflation for decades.
So, if you have clients worried about how today’s inflation may affect the housing market, tell them this: at the very least, data shows that historically real estate gas outperformed inflation.
Like we covered above, industry experts are projecting that prices will only go up from here (and that’s not likely to change anytime soon).
There are many benefits to homeownership. But the biggest one you need to discuss with your clients right now is that it’s consistently been voted the best long-term investment a person can make in their life.
And waiting for the market to cool off or prices to go down means only one thing: paying more for the exact same house. Especially as experts project mortgage rates will continue to rise.
The best advice you can give any clients who are hesitant to hop into this hot market is this: you can wait, but it will probably cost you.
The defining factor between good agents and great agents is one thing: education.
This may be a competitive market for buyers and sellers. It’s also cutthroat for agents competing for listings. If you want to stand out from the crowd and prove yourself as the agent for the job, you need more than your license.
You need data, facts and expert insights to back up your answers and spread education throughout your sphere.
That’s why we created our How to Succeed in a Changing Market eGuide. Download it free and get tips and tactics to help you and your clients navigate today’s constantly changing and challenging housing market.
That’s what will show prospective clients that you are the trusted advisor to work with this spring.