The housing market has been hot for a while now. Homes have been flying off the shelves as fast as they have been listed. Buyers have been competing in bidding wars just to find a home to buy, let alone find their dream home.Read More
We have all seen the headlines that report that buying a home is less affordable today than it was at any other time in the last ten years, and those headlines are accurate. But, have you ever wondered why the headlines don’t say the last 25 years, the last 20 years, or even the last 11 years?
The reason is that homes were less affordable 25, 20, or even 11 years ago than they are today.
Obviously, buying a home is more expensive now than during the ten years immediately following one of the worst housing crashes in American history.
Over the past decade, the market was flooded with distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) that were selling at 10-50% discounts. There were so many distressed properties that the prices of non-distressed properties in the same neighborhoods were lowered and mortgage rates were kept low to help the economy.
Low Prices + Low Mortgage Rates = High Affordability
Prices have since recovered and mortgage rates have increased as the economy has gained strength. This has and will continue to impact housing affordability moving forward.
However, let’s give affordability some historical context. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues their Affordability Index each month. According to NAR:
“The Monthly Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent monthly price and income data.”
NAR’s current index stands at 138.8. The index had been higher each of the last ten years, peaking at 197 in 2012 (the higher the index the more affordable houses are).
But, the average index between 1990 and 2007 was just 123 and there were no years with an index above 133. That means that homes are more affordable today than at any time during the eighteen years between 1990 and 2007.
With home prices continuing to appreciate and mortgage rates increasing, home affordability will likely continue to slide. However, this does not mean that buying a house is not an attainable goal in most markets as it is less expensive today than during the eighteen-year stretch immediately preceding the housing bubble and crash.
Get ready for another strong year in the 2018 housing market! U.S. home values and sales volume will continue to rise in 2018. Find out how you can maximize your Real Estate selling or buying this coming year.Read More
Americans continue to believe that homeownership is important in achieving the American Dream. A recent survey by NeighborWorks America reported that:
“Owning a home remains a core element of the American Dream.”
When asked “How important a part of the American dream is owning a home?”
- 18% of those surveyed said it was the most important part
- 53% of those surveyed said it was very important
- 22% of those surveyed said it was somewhat important
Homeownership and Financial Stability
The survey also revealed that 81% of Americans believe that owning a home leads to a family being more financially stable. This feeling was reiterated by Zillow Senior Economist Aaron Terrazas who, in a recent press release, explained:
“After about a two-year slowdown, rent growth is starting to pick back up across the nation…Looking into 2018, rent is expected to continue gaining.
More widespread rent growth could mean home buying demands stay high, as renters who can afford it move away from the unpredictability of rising rents toward the relative stability of a monthly mortgage payment instead.” (emphasis added)
Owning a home always has been, and always will be, a crucial part of attaining the American Dream.
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. It seems that 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. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up.
Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject:
“Total housing inventory at the end of November dropped 7.2 percent to 1.67 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 9.7 percent lower than a year ago (1.85 million) and has fallen year-over-year for 30 consecutive months. Unsold inventory is at a 3.4-month supply at the current sales pace, which is down from 4.0 months a year ago.”
“The increases in single-family permits and starts show that builders are planning and starting new construction projects, that’s a good thing because it will help to relievethe shortage of homes on the market.”
“Inventory is tighter than it appears. It’s much lower for entry-level buyers.”
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.
Ypsilanti Michigan is not only a great place to live, but it's where we call home. If you're looking to buy or sell a home in Ypsilanti, it's a good idea to learn a little more about the area first. Check out the Hinton Real Estate Group Community Spotlight: Ypsilanti post where we breakdown all the best parts about living in Ypsi!Read More
CoreLogic recently released a report entitled, United States Residential Foreclosure Crisis: 10 Years Later, in which they examined the years leading up to the crisis all the way through to present day.
With a peak in 2010 when nearly 1.2 million homes were foreclosed on, over 7.7 million families lost their homes throughout the entire foreclosure crisis.
Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say,
“The country experienced a wild ride in the mortgage market between 2008 and 2012, with the foreclosure peak occurring in 2010. As we look back over 10 years of the foreclosure crisis, we cannot ignore the connection between jobs and homeownership. A healthy economy is driven by jobs coupled with consumer confidence that usually leads to homeownership.”
Since the peak, foreclosures have been steadily on the decline by nearly 100,000 per year all the way through the end of 2016, as seen in the chart below.
If this trend continues, the country will be back to 2005 levels by the end of 2017.
As the economy continues to improve, and employment numbers increase, the number of completed foreclosures should continue to decrease.
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If you’ve entered the real estate market, as a buyer or a seller, you’ve inevitably heard the real estate mantra, “location, location, location” in reference to how identical homes can increase or decrease in value due to where they’re located. Well, a new survey shows that when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, the millennial generation’s mantra is, “local, local, local.”
CentSai, a financial wellness online community, recently surveyed over 2,000 millennials (ages 18-34) and found that 75% of respondents would use a local real estate agent over an online agent, and 71% would choose a local lender.
Survey respondents cited many reasons for their choice to go local, “including personal touch & handholding, longstanding relationships, local knowledge, and amount of hassle.”
Doria Lavagnino, Cofounder & President of CentSai had this to say:
“We were surprised to learn that online providers are not yet as big a disruptor in this sector as we first thought, despite purported cost savings. We found that millennials place a high value on the personal touch and knowledge of a local agent. Buying a home for the first time is daunting, and working with a local agent—particularly an agent referred by a parent or friend—could provide peace of mind.”
The findings of the CentSai survey are consistent with the Consumer Housing Trends Study, which found that millennials prefer a more hands-on approach to their real estate experience:
“While older generations rely on real estate agents for information and expertise, Millennials expect real estate agents to become trusted advisers and strategic partners.”
When it comes to choosing an agent, millennials and other generations share their top priority: the sense that an agent is trustworthy and responsive to their needs.
That said, technology still plays a huge role in the real estate process. According to the National Association of Realtors, 95% of home buyers look for prospective homes and neighborhoods online, and 91% also said they would use an online site or mobile app to research homes they might consider purchasing.
Many wondered if this tech-savvy generation would prefer to work with an online agent or lender, but more and more studies show that when it comes to real estate, millennials want someone they can trust, someone who knows the neighborhood they want to move into, leading them through the entire experience.
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Contrary to what many believe, Millennials are not the ‘renter’ generation. Millennials purchased a larger percentage (34%) of homes in the U.S. than any other age group in 2017 and the most recent Census Bureau report shows that the homeownership rate among Millennials is finally on the rise.
Many Millennials took advantage of post housing crash prices and the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit and jumped into homeownership in 2010. If you are one of these buyers, now may be the time to sell for many reasons. Here are a few:
1. Equity Build-Up
Home prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2012 and your house may have appreciated by more than you think. ATTOM Data Solutions, in their Q2 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report revealed that:
“…homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase — the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000.
The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent.”
2. Projected Home Price Increases
If you just got married or just found out you are about to become a parent, you may have plans to move up a bigger home or perhaps move to a different area. Waiting to buy a more expensive home in this market probably doesn’t make sense. The experts contacted for the Home Price Expectation Survey are projecting home prices to increase by nearly 5% over the next year. Yes, your house’s price will increase but not as much as a home currently valued higher than yours.
3. Projected Interest Rate Increases
The Mortgage Bankers’ Association, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtors are each projecting mortgage rates to increase over the next year.
Higher PRICES + Higher INTEREST RATES = LARGER MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.
If you are lucky enough to be one of those Millennials who purchased a house in 2010 (or even later), now might be the perfect time to move up to the home of your dreams!
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Married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.
Many couples are deciding to use what would otherwise be their wedding fund as a down payment on their first home, as unmarried couples made up 8% of all first-time buyers last year. If you’re single, don’t fret; you can still buy your dream home! Single women made up 17% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers.
According to a survey by the Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in the United States at the start of the year was $25,961, which equates to a 10% down payment on a median priced home.
A recent article from the New York Times found that many singles are now asking their parents to allow them to use the money they’ve saved up for their wedding day to instead buy a home.
In the case of Carrie Graham, a Protestant minister from Austin, TX, her parents had saved a ‘five-figure sum’ for her wedding and were more than willing to give her that money as a down payment on her dream home. Graham told The New York Times,
“Buying the home wasn’t me saying, ‘I’m never going to get married’ or I am going to get married.’ My own home had way more than equity benefits. It was a real gift to have a home in an extremely desirable neighborhood in a city that I love. It’s brought me joy.”
More and more first-time homebuyers are finding a way to purchase their dream homes, even if that means delaying their dream weddings.
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The number of building permits issued for single-family homes is the best indicator of how many newly built homes will rise over the next few months. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Residential Sales Report, the number of these permits were up 7.7% over last year.
How will this impact buyers?
More inventory means more options. Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s Chief Economist, explained this is good news for the housing market – especially for those looking to buy:
“It’s not spectacular construction growth, but it’s slow and steady in the right direction. Eventually, the pickup in single-family home construction will mean [buyers] will have more options. Especially with the limited number of sales right now, more options are really needed.”
How will this impact sellers?
More inventory means more competition. Today, because of the tremendous lack of inventory, a seller can expect:
- A great price on their home as buyers outbid each other for it
- A quick sale as buyers have so little to choose from
- Fewer hassles as buyers don’t want to “rock the boat” on the deal
With an increase in competition, the seller may not enjoy these same benefits. As Hale said:
“As new construction continues to increase, home shoppers will eventually have more [choices] and a bit more time to make purchase decisions compared to today’s quick-moving housing market.”
If you are considering the sale of your home, it might make sense to beat this new construction competition to the market.
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