With both home prices and mortgage rates increasing this year, many are concerned about a family’s ability to purchase a major part of the American Dream – its own home. However, if we compare housing affordability today to the average affordability prior to the housing boom and bust, we are in much better shape than most believe.
In Black Knight’s latest monthly Mortgage Monitor, they revealed that in the vast majority of the country, it is actually more affordable to purchase a home today than it was between 1995 to 2003 when looking at mortgage payments (determined by price and interest rate) as compared to incomes. Home prices are up compared to 1995-2003, but mortgage rates are still much lower now than at that time. Today, they stand at about 4.5%. Here are the average mortgage rates for each of the years mentioned:
1995 – 7.93%
1996 – 7.81%
1997 – 7.6%
1998 – 6.94%
1999 – 7.44%
2000 – 8.05%
2001 – 6.97%
2002 – 6.54%
2003 – 5.83%
On the other hand, wages have risen over the last twenty years.
Black Knight’s research revealed that, when comparing “the share of median income required to buy the median-priced home” today, to the average between 1995 to 2003, it is currently more affordable to purchase a home in 44 of 50 states.
Here is a state map of the percentage change in the price-to-payment ratio. Positive numbers indicate that it is less affordable to buy while negative numbers indicate that it is more affordable.
Whether you are moving up to the home of your dreams or purchasing your first house, it is a great time to buy when looking at historic affordability data.
Last week, the National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) held their 52nd Annual Journalism Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Among the many highly anticipated sessions was one called “Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate™,” given by Joseph Nahas, Jr., Chair of theCounselors of Real Estate & Senior Vice President of Equus Capital Partners.
The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE)“is an international organization of high profile property professionals which include principals of prominent real estate, financial, legal, and accounting firms as well as recognized leaders of government and academia.”
Their annual “top 10” list spans any and all issues that could have an impact on the real estate market. This year, the list was broken up into “Current” and “Long-Term Issues.”
Today we’re going to focus on three of the five “Current” issues with a brief explanation of their impacts on the housing market today!
E-Commerce & Logistics
With promises of 2-day shipping no matter where you live, we are benefiting more now than ever before from the speed and ease-of-use of online retailers like Amazon. These e-retailers haven’t changed whether or not we buy certain items, but rather HOW we buy them!
Many traditional malls or big-box stores are being repurposed as warehouses or distribution centers for online retailers so that they can get their products out faster.
A Look to the Future:“Developers who are including experiences into their locations are the ones who will succeed. It’s about the experience and gaining something over just going to buy a product.”
Generational Change & Demographics
By now we’ve all heard that the millennial generation is the largest yet, just by sheer volume. The largest group of millennials turns 30 years-old in 2020. The average first-time homebuying age is between 30 and 32, depending on marital status. Real estate professionals will be inundated with more and more buyers as the years roll on. Nahas commented on this in his presentation, saying that,
“Too many developers have become dependent on making decisions based on baby boomer’s preferences.
The 75 million millennials are coming, and they will influence real estate and commerce even faster than the baby boomers in the 50s and 60s.”
Interest Rates & the Economy
The interest rate that you secure for your mortgage is a big factor in your monthly housing cost and in how much you ultimately pay for your home. According to FreddieMac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates rose to 4.62% on a 30-year fixed rate loan last week.
The Federal Reserve also raised the federal funds rate for the second time this year. If unemployment continues to be at or near record lows, two more hikes are likely to come later this year.
“Rising rates can be good and bad for the economy. Bad for borrowing money with additional costs, but good to control inflation and help grow the economy at a moderate pace.”
If you are planning on buying and/or selling a home this year, let’s get together to help you navigate the conditions in your market and set you up for success.
In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.
Here are the top five reasons:
1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers
According to the 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, last year 95% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 15% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?
2. Results Come from the Internet
Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?
49% on the internet
31% from a Real Estate Agent
7% from a yard sign
1% from newspapers
The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.
3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With
Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale by Owner:
The buyer who wants the best deal possible
The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
The appraiser if there is a question of value
4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult
The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.
A study by Collateral Analytics revealed that FSBOs don’t actually save anything, and in some cases, may be costing themselves more, by not listing with an agent. One of the main reasons for the price difference at the time of sale is:
“Properties listed with a broker that is a member of the local MLS will be listed online with all other participating broker websites, marketing the home to a much larger buyer population. And those MLS properties generally offer compensation to agents who represent buyers, incentivizing them to show and sell the property and again potentially enlarging the buyer pool.”
If more buyers see a home, the greater the chances are that there could be a bidding war for the property. The study showed that the difference in price between comparable homes of size and location is currently at an average of 6% this year.
Why would you choose to list on your own and manage the entire transaction when you can hire an agent and not have to pay anything more?
Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, let’s get together to discuss your needs.
The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. The market will continue to strengthen in 2018.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. Buyer demand naturally increases during the summer months, but supply is not keeping up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
“The worsening inventory crunch through the first three months of the year inflicted even more upward pressure on home prices in a majority of markets. Following the same trend over the last couple of years, a strengthening job market and income gains are not being met by meaningful sales gains because of unrelenting supply and affordability headwinds.”
“As we head into late spring, the demand for purchase credit remains rock solid, which should set us up for another robust summer home sales season. While this year’s high rates – up 50 basic points from a year ago – have put pressure on the budgets of some home shoppers, weak inventory levels are what’s keeping the housing market from a stronger sales pace.”
“The dynamics of increased competition and buyer frustration are unlikely to change…In fact, the direction of the trend is pointing to a growing mismatch between the pool of prospective buyers and existing inventory.”
If you are thinking of selling, now may be the time. Demand for your house will be strong at a time when there is very little competition. That could lead to a quick sale for a really good price.