Everyone knows that housing affordability has been negatively impacted by rising prices and increasing mortgage rates, but there is another piece to the affordability equation – wages.
How much a family earns obviously impacts how easy or difficult it is for them to afford to own a home. Because of an improving economy, wages are finally beginning to increase – and that dramatically affects home affordability.
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) September 2018 Housing Affordability Index, wages have increased in every region of the country:
After applying current salaries, home prices, and mortgage rates to their Home Affordability Index equation, the index, though still lower than this time last year (160.1 to 146.7), increased over the last month (141.2 to 146.7). For the complete methodology used by NAR, click here.
The percentage of income needed to own a home has also decreased each of the last three months. It currently sits at 17% which is substantially lower than historic numbers.
If you are a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer who believes that purchasing a home is not within your budget, let’s get together to determine if that is still true.
DID YOU KNOW? Since 1946, there have been 18 midterm elections. Stocks were higher 12 months after every single one. Every single one. That’s 18 for 18. Even though we’ve had every possible political combination in the past 72 years. Republican president years with Democratic Congress. A democratic president with Republican Congress. A Republican president and Congress. Democratic president and Congress. Since 1946, stocks have risen an average of 17% in the year after a midterm. (Marketwatch)
"You're gonna go a little bonkers if you work 120 hours a week." - Elon Musk
DID YOU KNOW? It is now rumored that Amazon will split its 'second headquarters' into TWO centers creating 25,000 jobs in each.....stay tuned. What is Amazon looking for? Skilled labor, housing, public transportation and infrastructure......and a few tax break perhaps? Amazon employs 45,000 people in Seattle alone. (WSJ)
DID YOU KNOW? Digital Real Estate is News Corp’s fastest-growing segment, contributing 44% of the total company (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation, & Amortization) EBITDA, almost 4X those of the company’s other segments individually largely due to the relatively low-cost nature of the business. Digital Real Estate accounts for around 45% of the company’s value, especially notable since the segment only accounts for about 14% of its total revenues. News Corp owns a 61.6% interest in the REA Group (Australia and Asia) and an 80% interest in Move Inc. (realtor.com in the U.S.). (Forbes)
With home prices on the rise and buyer demand still strong, some sellers may be tempted to try and sell their homes on their own without using the services of a real estate professional.
Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiation and, in most cases, the seller is not. Sellers must realize that their ability to negotiate will determine whether or not they get the best deal for themselves and their families.
Here is a list of just some of the people with whom the seller must be prepared to negotiate with if they decide to For Sale by Owner (FSBO):
- The buyer who wants the best deal possible
- The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interests 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 termite company if there are challenges
- The buyer’s lender if the structure of the mortgage requires the sellers’ participation
- The appraiser if there is a question of value
- The title company if there are challenges with certificates of occupancy (CO) or other permits
- The town or municipality if you need to get the CO permits mentioned above
- The buyer’s buyer in case there are challenges with the house your buyer is selling
The percentage of sellers who have hired real estate agents to sell their homes has increased steadily over the last 20 years. Let’s get together to discuss all that we can do to make the process easier for you.
According to a new study from Urban Institute, there are over 19 million millennials in 31 cities who are not only ready and willing to become homeowners, but are able to as well!
Now that the largest generation since baby boomers has aged into prime homebuying age, there will no doubt be an uptick in the national homeownership rate. The study from Urban Institute revealed that nearly a quarter of this generation has the credit and income needed to purchase a home.
Surprisingly, the largest share of mortgage-ready millennials lives in expensive coastal cities. These cities often attract highly skilled workers who demand higher salaries for their expertise.
So, what’s holding these mortgage-ready millennials back from buying?
Myths About Down Payment Requirements!
Most of the millennials surveyed for the study believe that they need at least a 15% down payment in order to buy a home when, in reality, the median down payment in the US in 2017 was just 5%, and many programs are available for even lower down payments!
The study goes on to point out that:
“Despite limited awareness, every state has programs that provide grants and loans to make homeownership more attainable, with average assistance in various states ranging from $2,436 to $21,171.”
With so many young families now able to buy a home in today’s market, the demand for housing will continue for years to come. If you are one of the many millennials who have questions about their ability to buy in today’s market, let’s get together so we can assist you along your journey!
DID YOU KNOW? 2020 could be the big year for electric big rigs. Truck makers are accelerating their electric truck projects toward launches in 2020, while TESLA told investors in June production of their Semi freight hauler should begin in the first half of 2020. In China, regulators are considering a long-term plan to replace 1 million diesel big rigs with cleaner trucks, including electric models, and some Chinese ports and cities are banning diesel trucks, which could significantly boost sales. Electric trucks could decrease road noise and air pollution dramatically (many trucks are diesel powered) and could elevate valuations of properties abutting highways and busy roads.... (Reuters)
DID YOU KNOW? One car-related event draws many of my wealthiest clients and now The Mille Miglia is coming to America. One of the most famous car races in the world, the original Mille Miglia was held quasi-annually in the 30 years between 1927 and 1957 on a 1000-mile circuit that formed a unique shaped loop between Brescia, Bologna, Rome, and Milan. A foreshortened (150-mile) version will be held in the U.S. from Oct. 25-27 celebrating American vehicles in the horse country of Virginia and Maryland surrounding Washington, D.C. A gala party will be held at the Italian Ambassador’s residence, Villa Firenze, a mansion in Rock Creek Park, a home formerly belonging to the Guggenheim family. (Bloomberg)
The housing market has been anything but normal for the last eleven years. In a normal real estate market, home prices appreciate 3.7% annually. Below, however, are the price swings since 2007 according to the latest Home Price Expectation Survey:
After the bubble burst in June 2007, values depreciated 6.1% annually until February 2012. From March 2012 to today, the market has been recovering with values appreciating 6.2% annually.
These wild swings in values were caused by abnormal ratios between the available supply of inventory and buyer demand in the market. In a normal market, there would be a 6-month supply of housing inventory.
When the market hit its peak in 2007, homeowners and builders were trying to take advantage of a market that was fueled by an “irrational exuberance.”
Inventory levels grew to 7+ months. With that many homes available for sale, there weren’t enough buyers to satisfy the number of homeowners/builders trying to sell, so prices began to fall.
Then, foreclosures came to market. We eventually hit 11 months inventory which caused prices to crash until early 2012. By that time, inventory levels had fallen to 6.2 months and the market began its recovery.
Over the last five years, inventory levels have remained well below the 6-month supply needed for prices to continue to level off. As a result, home prices have increased over that time at percentages well above the appreciation levels seen in a more normal market.
That was the past. What about the future?
We currently have about 4.5-months inventory. This means prices should continue to appreciate at above-normal levels which most experts believe will happen for the next year. However, two things have just occurred that are pointing to the fact that we may be returning to a more normal market.
1. Listing Supply is Increasing
Both existing and new construction inventory is on the rise. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors revealed that inventory has increased over the last two months after thirty-seven consecutive months of declining inventory. At the same time, building permits are also increasing which means more new construction is about to come to market.
2. Buyer Demand is Softening
Ivy Zelman, who is widely respected as an industry expert, reported in her latest ‘Z’ Report:
“While we continue to expect a resumption of growth in resale transactions on the back of easing inventory in 2019 and 2020, our real-time view into the market through our Real Estate Broker Survey does suggest that buyers have grown more discerning of late and a level of “pause” has taken hold in many large housing markets.
Indicative of this, our broker contacts rated buyer demand at 69 on a 0- 100 scale, still above average but down from 74 last year and representing the largest year-over-year decline in the two-year history of our survey.”
With supply increasing and demand waning, we may soon be back to a more normal real estate market. We will no longer be in a buyers’ market (like 2007-February 2012) or a sellers’ market (like March 2012- Today).
Prices won’t appreciate at the levels we’ve seen recently, nor will they depreciate. It will be a balanced market where prices remain steady, where buyers will be better able to afford a home, and where sellers will more easily be able to move-up or move-down to a home that better suits their current lifestyles.
Returning to a normal market is a good thing. However, after the zaniness of the last eleven years, it might feel strange. If you are going 85 miles per hour on a road with a 60 MPH speed limit and you see a police car ahead, you’re going to slow down quickly. But, after going 85 MPH, 60 MPH will feel like you’re crawling. It is the normal speed limit, yet, it will feel strange.
That’s what is about to happen in real estate. The housing market is not falling apart. We are just returning to a more normal market which, in the long run, will be much healthier for you whether you are a buyer or a seller.
- older posts
- newer posts