Home sales numbers are leveling off, the rate of price appreciation has slowed to more historically normal averages, and inventory is finally increasing. We are headed into a more normal housing market.
However, some are seeing these adjustments as red flags and are suggesting that we are headed back to the same challenges we experienced in 2008. Today, let’s look at one set of statistics that prove the current market is nothing like the one that preceded the housing crash last decade.
The previous bubble was partially caused by unhealthy levels of mortgage debt. New purchasers were putting down the minimum down payment, resulting in them having little if any equity in their homes.
Existing homeowners were using their homes as ATMs by refinancing and swapping their equity for cash. When prices started to fall, many homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of their home) so they walked away which caused prices to fall even further. When this happened, even more homeowners found themselves in negative equity situations which caused them to walk away as well, and so a vicious cycle formed.
Today, the equity situation is totally different. According to a new report from ATTOM Data Solutions more than 1-in-4 homes with a mortgage have at least 50% equity. The report explains:
“…nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties were equity rich — where the combined estimated amount of loans secured by the property was 50 percent or less of the property’s estimated market value…The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage.”
If we take both numbers, the 30.3% of all homes without a mortgage and the 17.9% with at least 50% equity (25.7% of the 69.3% of homes with a mortgage), we realize that 48.2% of all homes in the country have at least 50% equity.
Unlike 2008, almost half of the homeowners in the country are sitting on massive amounts of home equity. They will not be walking away from their homes if the housing market begins to soften.
In real estate, the spring is often seen as the ideal time to buy or sell a house. The term “Spring Buyer’s Season” exists for a reason, as renters and those looking to move on from their current home thaw out from the winter and hit the market ready to buy.
According to Bank of America’s annualHome Buyer Insights Report, 41% of renters surveyed agree that spring is the best time to buy a home. The surprising result, however, is that when ranking the seasons, winter comes in second at 24%.
In many areas of the country, the spring and summer are the most competitive seasons for buyers. Families with children often want to move over the summer to make sure that their kids are ready for school in the fall. This often leads those families who haven’t found homes to buy to push pause on their search in the fall and winter months.
This creates a great environment for buyers to find a home with less competition. According to moving.com, scheduling a move during the winter months also comes with the best price.
“If you define ‘best’ by cost then, generally speaking, you are more likely to save on a move during the late September to April window. Demand for movers usually slows down during this time frame and rates are low.”
There are also many benefits to listing your house for sale during the winter months as well!
As we recently mentioned, buyers who are out in the winter are serious about wanting to find a home, and there is traditionally less competition on the market which gives you greater exposure to those buyers.
As always, the best time to buy or move all depends on each individual buyer or seller’s goals and needs. If you are one of the many who would like to make a move this winter, let’s get together to create a plan to make it happen!
Many sellers believe that spring is the best time to place their homes on the market because buyer demand traditionally increases at that time of year, but what they don’t realize is that if every homeowner believes the same thing, then that is when they will have the most competition!
The #1 Reason to List Your Home in the Winter Months is Less Competition!
Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. The chart below was created using the months’ supply of listings from the National Association of Realtors.
As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your home for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – February).
Temperatures aren’t the only thing that heats up in the spring – so do listings!
In 2017, listings increased by nearly half a million houses from December to June. Don’t wait for these listings to come to market before you decide to list your house.
Added Bonus: Only Serious Buyers Are Out in the Winter
At this time of year, only those purchasers who are serious about buying a home will be in the marketplace. You and your family will not be bothered and inconvenienced by mere ‘lookers.’ The lookers are at the mall or online doing their holiday shopping.
If you have been debating whether or not to sell your home and are curious about market conditions in your area, let’s get together to help you decide the best time to list your house for sale.
Many homebuyers think that saving for their down payment is enough to buy the house of their dreams, but what about the closing costs that are required to obtain a mortgage?
By law, a homebuyer will receive a loan estimate from their lender 3 days after submitting their loan application and they should receive a closing disclosure 3 days before the scheduled closing on their home. The closing disclosure includes final details about the loan and the closing costs.
“Closing costs are lender and third-party fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction, and they can be financed as part of the deal or be paid upfront. They range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price of a home. (For those who buy a $150,000 home, for example, that would amount to between $3,000 and $7,500 in closing fees.)”
Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. As mentioned before,
Closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.
Trulia continues to give great advice, saying that:
“…understanding and educating yourself about these costs before settlement day arrives might help you avoid any headaches at the end of the deal.”
Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.
Existing home sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.22 million, which is up 1.4% over last month. This reverses the six-month trend of dips in sales every month.
The inventory of existing homes is still below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market and is now at a 4.3-month supply.
NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say: “After six consecutive months of decline, buyers are finally stepping back into the housing market. As more inventory enters the market and we head into the winter season, home price growth has begun to slow more meaningfully. This allows for much more manageable, less frenzied buying conditions.”
The top concern for most first-time home buyers is their ability to save for a down payment. According to a new survey, 36% of millennials took on a second job to make their dreams of homeownership a reality in 2017.
Among millennials with incomes over $100,000 a year, the top ways to come up with the necessary funds were to sell stocks (20%) or to sell cryptocurrency (16%).
The most popular method of savings was the most traditional; 60% of those saving for a down payment used a percentage of their paychecks to achieve their goal, while 75% of those with salaries over $100k were able to save this way.
For those who have not yet begun to save for their down payment, 32% plan on pursuing additional employment, while 15% plan on driving for a ride-share service as their second job.
Many first-time buyers are mistaken about the down payment needed in today’s real estate market. In fact,
“In a 2017 survey, 68% of renters cited saving for a down payment as an obstacle to homeownership. Thirty-nine percent of renters believe that more than 20% is needed for a down payment and many renters are unaware of low-down payment programs.”
The many benefits of homeownership make the extra jobs, sacrificing new clothes, or skipping vacations well worth it.
If you have been saving for your down payment for a while now and are curious how much further you have to go, let’s get together to help you determine what priced home you can afford and what size down payment you’ll need.
This does not come as a surprise since 50.8% of the U.S. population is female and 15.6% of them are 65 years and over, according to the Census Bureau.
What are the reasons for this demographic’s booming interest in homeownership?
Bankrate published an article with what they believe to be some of the reasons:
Divorce rate: Known as the “Gray Divorce,” the divorce rate has doubled for those ages 50 and over and tripled for those ages 65 and over.
Average life expectancy: For women it’s 81, four years longer than men.
To build home equity: Women want to build equity through their home. As mentioned by Bankrate, “some are hoping to escape rising rents, some might be downsizing or looking for a new start,” especially those going through a gray divorce.
Are they only downsizing and buying small homes?
Not really; The Institute of Luxury Home Marketing recently stated that:
“The number of female billionaires grew faster globally in 2017 than the number of male billionaires. This redistribution of wealth has seen an impact on luxury real estate both in its purchase and design attributes – and obviously, this is important for realtors to recognize when relating to their clients.”
Whether you are a millennial who wants to buy a starter home, a billionaire looking for that luxury home you’ve always wanted, or maybe even someone who just went through a gray divorce, let’s get together to help you create your real estate portfolio so that you can start investing your money in real estate today!
Every year at this time there are many homeowners who decide to wait until after the holidays to list their homes for the first time, while others who already have their homes on the market decide to take them off until after the holidays.
Here are seven great reasons not to wait:
Relocation buyers are out there. Many companies are still hiring throughout the holidays and need their new employees in their new positions as soon as possible.
Purchasers who are looking for homes during the holidays are serious buyers and are ready to buy now.
You can restrict the showings on your home to the times you want it shown. You will remain in control.
Homes show better when decorated for the holidays.
There is minimal competition for you as a seller right now. Inventory of homes for sale traditionally slows in the late fall, early winter. Let’s take a look at listing inventory as compared to the same time last year:
The desire to own a home doesn’t stop when the holidays come. Buyers who were unable to find their dream homes during the busy spring and summer months are still searching!
The supply of listings increases substantially after the holidays. Also, in many parts of the country, new construction will continue to surge and reach new heights which will lessen the demand for your house in 2019.
Waiting until after the holidays to sell your home probably doesn’t make sense.