Even calm waters have a lot going underneath, needless to say, shifting real estate market are caused by a myriad of different driving factors. Here are 3 things you need to know to stay on top of it.
1. What is happening in the housing market right now?
Consumers must get past those fear-mongering headlines and gain a deep understanding of what is truly happening. How strong is buyer demand right now? How much competition do listings have today compared to what they will have in the spring? People want to make an educated decision on what is probably their family's greatest financial asset.
2. Why is it happening?
Understanding the individual pieces that impact the sale or purchase of real estate is important. Understanding how those pieces impact each other is critical. How does the amount of a down payment impact the mortgage rate a buyer will be offered? Can you still price your house a 'little ahead' off the market and still be sure it will sell?
3. How do the first two affect your local market?
Basically, you want an understanding of the overall housing market and a simple and effective explanation of how it will impact your personal real estate goals.
The best way to get all three is to contact a local real estate professional who understands this shifting real estate market and can expertly guide you on the journey to reach your housing goals.
Buying brand new things is always a delight, but recent surveys show that when it comes to buying homes, not all people prefer brand new units. This is good news to all homeowners who are thinking of moving out or upgrading.
According to a recent survey by Zillow, of the 38% of total buyers that added new construction to their list, only 11% ultimately purchased a newly constructed home!
They added that 71% of these buyers are repeat buyers who are financially secure, with 45% using the money from the sale of their previous homes to make a purchase.
Below are some reasons why buyers are interested in purchasing a new build:
Buyers could not find new construction in the desired neighborhood, and some felt that new construction is not established (e.g., landscaping, community, neighbors).
Buyers face the end of a lease or sale of their previous property and could not wait for a house to be built.
Some buyers felt that new construction base prices were deceiving. Adding upgrades and HOA fees no longer made the home fit in their price range.
For some buyers, new construction homes are too "cookie cutter," and models are limited. Others feel that the charm and uniqueness of an existing house trumps one that's never been lived in.
Not all buyers are looking for a newly built house! There are many buyers looking for "the charm and uniqueness" of an existing home. If you are considering selling your house, don't wait! Contact a local real estate professional today that can help you feature the charming details of your house to future buyers.
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Compared to previous generations, when we look at it from a percentage of income basis, Home prices today are still relatively cheaper than what our uncles and aunts and grandparents used to deal with. So if you're planning on buying a home for yourself, now might be the best time to do it.
The COST of a home is determined by three major components: price, mortgage interest rate, and wages. The big question? Are we paying a greater percentage of our income toward our monthly mortgage payment today than previous generations? Surprisingly, the answer is no.
Historically, Americans have paid just over 21% of their income toward their monthly mortgage payment.
Though home prices are higher than before, wages have risen as well. And, the most important component in the cost equation - the mortgage rate - is dramatically lower than it was in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s.
Today, according to the latest Home Affordability Index just released by the National Association of Realtors, Americans are paying 17.4% of their income toward their mortgage payment. That is much lower than the 21% average previous generations have paid.
The cost of purchasing a home today is a bargain compared to previous generations when we look at it from a percentage of income basis. However, with mortgage rates expected to increase and home prices continuing to appreciate, that will not always be the case. Whether you are buying your first home or looking to move-up to a more expensive home, purchasing sooner rather than later probably makes sense.
BACK ON THE MARKET!
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It may sound like a cliche but the truth of the matter is, starting young in terms of owning a home truly helps build up a person's wealth and be financially secured for early retirement.
Homeowners who purchase their homes before the age of 35 are better prepared for retirement at age 60, according to a new Urban Institute study. The organization surveyed adults who turned 60 or 61 between 2003 and 2015 for their data set.
"Today's older adults became homeowners at a younger age than today's young adults. Half the older adults in our sample bought their first house when they were between 25 and 34 years old, and 27 percent bought their first home before age 25."
The full breakdown is in the chart below:
The study goes on to show the impact of purchasing a home at an early age. Those who purchased their first homes when they were younger than 25 had an average of $10,000 left on their mortgage at age 60. The 50% of buyers who purchased in their mid-twenties and early-30s had close to $50,000 left, but traditionally had purchased more expensive homes.
Many housing experts are concerned that the homeownership rate amongst millennials, those 18-34, is much lower than previous generations in the same age range. The study results gave a great reason why this generation should consider buying instead of signing a renewal on their lease:
"As people age into retirement, they rely more heavily on their wealth rather than their income to support their lifestyles. Today's young adults are failing to build housing wealth, the largest single source of wealth, at the same rate as previous generations.
While people make the choice to own or rent that suits them at a given point, maybe more young adults should take into account the long-term consequences of renting when homeownership is an option."
If you are one of the many young people debating whether buying a home this year is right for you, sit with a local real estate professional who can help.
Unlike last year when sellers can aggressively put a price on their houses and still come up successful in selling, this year will be slightly challenging. More inventory means more option for the buyers and they almost always certainly look at the price first.
As we have explained before, pricing your home at or slightly below market value actually increases the number of buyers who will see your home in their search!
Over the last six months, more inventory has come to market while the months' supply of inventory available has dropped. This means that the demand for homes to buy is still very strong throughout the country!
Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the homes when in reality nothing was wrong, the price was just too high!
If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, make sure you have a real estate professional on your side to help you properly price your home from the start!
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When it comes to selling, one of the biggest thing we have to consider is competition as strict competition almost always ensures sellers get less than their intended price. Here's a graph on the number of listing by month.
In a recent interview discussing the housing market, First American's Chief Economist Mark Fleming put it simply:
"The biggest challenge is really the availability of supply."
When we look at available inventory numbers released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), we see that the actual number of homes for sale has decreased in each of the last five months.
What does this mean to you as a seller?
The best time to sell is when there is less competition. That guarantees you a better price and fewer hassles in the transaction.
If you are thinking of selling your house this year, the best time to put it on the market might be right now. Check with a local agent to see whether that is true in your neighborhood.
It's safe to assume that the mortgage interest rate is on a downward path. But nothing is ever certain when it comes to the real estate industry as there are just too many driving factors that move the scale with its own individual weight. That's why we constantly rely on expert analysis and forecast to have an educated guide for our decision-making process.
After the first week of 2019, rates have continued their downward trend. As Freddie Mac's Chief Economist Sam Khater notes, this is great news for homebuyers. He states,
"Mortgage rates declined to start the new year with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipping to 4.51 percent. Low mortgage rates combined with decelerating home price growth should get prospective homebuyers excited to buy."
In some areas of the country, the combination of rising interest rates and rising home prices had made some first-time buyers push pause on their home searches. But with more inventory coming to market, continued price growth, and interest rates slowing, this is a great time to get back in the market!
Will This Trend Continue?
According to the latest forecasts from Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, mortgage rates will increase over the course of 2019, but not at the same pace they did in 2018. You can see the forecasts broken down by quarter below.
Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home in 2019 is on your short list of goals to achieve, meet with a local real estate professional who can help prepare you to take action.
If you're planning on selling your house this year and want to get the best out of your selling experience. We recommend you follow these two simple tips to avoid unnecessary sales costs.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive, but let's look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their homes a little OVER market value will leave them with room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).
Instead of the seller trying to 'win' the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. By doing this, the seller will not be fighting with a buyer over the price but will instead have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.
HGTV gives this advice:
"First impressions are everything when selling your home. Studies have shown that the first two weeks on the market are the most crucial to your success. During these initial days, your home will be exposed to all active buyers.
If your price is perceived as too high, you will quickly lose this initial audience and find yourself relying only on the trickle of new buyers entering the market each day. Markets are dynamic, and your price has an expiration date. You have one chance to grab attention. Make sure your pricing helps you stand out on the shelf - in a positive way."
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may believe that he or she will make more money without having to pay a real estate commission, but studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.
Research by the National Association of Realtors in their 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers revealed that,
"the median selling price for all FSBO homes was $200,000 last year. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $264,900 - nearly $65,000 more for the typical home sale."
Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. This will guarantee that you maximize the money you get for your house.
Thinking of escaping the winter to a location with much better weather? Then now is a great time to take advantage of the equity in your home.
For those homeowners staying at their first residence, AccuWeather warns:
"The late-week cold shot should fade next week, but this is a warning shot for winter's return late in the month and early February."
Given this, it's time to go and stock up on winter weather supplies! However, if you're tired of shoveling snow and dealing with the cold weather, maybe it's time to consider obtaining a vacation home!
According to the Investment & Vacation Home Buyers 2018 Report by NAR:
"72% of vacation property owners and 71% of investment property owners believe now is a good time to buy."
It's time to take advantage of the equity in your home. As the latest Equity Report from ATTOM Data Solutions stated:
"Nearly 14.5 million U.S. properties (are) 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 - up by more than 433,000 from a year ago to a new high as far back as data is available, Q4 2013. The 14.5 million equity rich properties in Q3 2018 represented 25.7 percent of all properties with a mortgage."
This means that over a quarter of Americans who have a mortgage would be able to use some of their home equity to make a significant down payment toward a vacation home, and many are doing just that! According to the same report by NAR:
"33% of vacation buyers purchased in a beach area, 21% purchased on a lakefront, and 15% purchased a vacation home in the country."
Many homeowners who are close to retirement will use some of their equity to purchase vacation homes, which may eventually become their permanent homes post-retirement!
If you are a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by investing in a vacation home, contact an agent in your area to discuss your options!
Yes, the majority of Americans still believe that homeownership is still one of the best investments out there. We talked about how owning a home improves your family's net worth and all other benefits that come with it in our previous articles. These numbers below prove them right.
An end-of-the-year survey by the Federal Reserve Bank's Center for Microeconomic Data revealed that:
"The majority of households continue to view housing as a good financial investment."
And that percentage has increased over the last three years.
Though there is some uncertainty as to how the real estate market will perform over the next twelve months, one thing remains very certain: America's belief in homeownership.
We all can get a little too excited when planning to make a big purchase. So, to make sure you won't miss out on important trends before you enter the market this year, have a read on this and be in the know.
Mortgage interest rates had been on the rise for much of 2018, but they made a welcome reversal at the end of the year. According to Freddie Mac's latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates climbed to 4.94% in November before falling to 4.62% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage last week. Despite the recent drop, interest rates are projected to reach 5% in 2019.
The interest rate you secure when buying a home not only greatly impacts your monthly housing costs, but also impacts your purchasing power.
Purchasing power, simply put, is the amount of home you can afford to buy for the budget you have available to spend. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford to buy will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain monthly housing budget.
The chart below shows the impact that rising interest rates would have if you planned to purchase a $400,000 home while keeping your principal and interest payments between $2,020-$2,050 a month.
With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, $10,000).
A 'normal' real estate market requires there to be a 6-month supply of homes for sale in order for prices to increase only with inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing inventory is currently at a 3.9-month supply (still well below the 6-months needed), which has put upward pressure on home prices. Home prices have increased year-over-year for the last 81 straight months.
The inventory of homes for sale in the real estate market had been on a steady decline and experienced year-over-year drops for 36 straight months (from July 2015 to May 2018), but we are starting to see a shift in inventory over the last six months.
The chart below shows the change in housing supply over the last 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. As you can see, since June, inventory levels have started to increase as compared to the same time last year.
This is a trend to watch as we move further into the new year. If we continue to see an increase in homes for sale, we could start moving further away from a seller's market and closer to a normal market.
If you are planning to enter the housing market, either as a buyer or a seller, make sure that you have an experienced local agent who can help you navigate the changes in mortgage interest rates and inventory.
There are a lot of things that could go wrong when selling a house. Things that would often leave sellers with unsold houses along with wasted time money and effort. Today let's talk about some of the things that FSBO comes along with.
Here are the top five reasons:
1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers
According to NAR's 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95% of buyers searched online for a home last year. That is in comparison to only 13% of buyers 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 homes they actually purchased?
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:
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 7% over the last 20+ years.
5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent
Many homeowners believe that they can save on the real estate commission by selling on their own, but they don't realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe that they can save on 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 that,
"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, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.
Paying off mortgages takes time, but it's helpful to know that there are ways to shorten your mortgage payments by months or even years. Here are some ways to help you beat the loan clock legitimately and save thousands of dollars in the process.
Any additional payments to the principal amount (the original sum of money borrowed in a loan), helps to cut down the amount of interest that you will pay over the life of your loan and can also help to shave years off the loan as well.
When you make 'extra' payments toward your loan, the key is to let your lender/bank know that you want the extra funds to go toward your principal balance as they will not automatically do this for you.
You don't have to double your mortgage payment to make a big difference either!
If you have a 30-year mortgage on a median-priced home ($250,000) with a 5% interest rate, you'll be responsible for a $1,342.05 monthly principal and interest payment. Over the course of the loan, if you pay your exact monthly payment, you will have paid $233,133.89 in interest alone!
Paying a Little Extra Can Pay Off Big
1. Pay an additional 1/12th of your mortgage payment every month
Benefit: In the example above, adding $111.84 to your monthly mortgage payment might not seem like a lot, but each year you will have paid one extra month's worth of payments which will shorten the term of your loan by 4 years and 8 months, all while saving you $42,000 in interest!
2. Pay an additional $50 per month towards your mortgage
Benefit: Fifty dollars might not seem like enough to make a difference on the term of your loan, but that small amount will save you over $21,000 in interest and will take over 2 years off the end of your loan. Twenty-eight years from now, you'll be happy to pay off your loan that much sooner!
3. Make one-time lump sum payments when you can
Benefit: If you find yourself with a little extra money after a yearly bonus, a tax return, or from investment dividends, paying that money towards the principal can cut your costs. This option, however, is less predictable than the extra monthly payments.
If you have higher interest debts, like credit cards, consider using any extra funds you have to pay those debts down before applying that money towards your mortgage. Also, if you do not plan on staying in your home for more than 10 years, paying extra toward your mortgage might not make sense.
If you're wondering what strategies would work best for you to shorten the term of your loan, consult a local real estate professional who can answer your questions or connect you with someone who can.
Despite being one of the biggest decision drivers, the price of a home for sale is often overlooked when all the other factors aligned. Values are perceived by buyers differently and could arguably be the true defining factor for a buyer to make a decision.
1. Owning your home offers stability to start and raise a family
From the best neighborhoods to the best school districts, even those without children at the time of purchase may have this in the back of their minds as a major reason for choosing the location of the home that they purchase.
2. There's no place like home
Owning your own home offers you not only safety and security, but also a comfortable place that allows you to relax after a long day!
3. You have more space for you and your family
Whether your family is expanding, an older family member is moving in, or you need to have a large backyard for your pets, you can take all this into consideration when buying your dream home!
4. You have control over renovations, updates, and style
Looking to actually try one of those complicated wall treatments that you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Or maybe you want to finally adopt that puppy or kitten you've seen online 100 times? Who's to say that you can't do all of these things in your own home?
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that make a house a home.
In our previous posts, we have shown why we believe we are far from another housing crash in 2019. Here's a few more reasons to put your mind at ease.
1. There are fewer foreclosures now than there were in 2006
A major challenge in 2006 was the number of foreclosures. There will always be foreclosures, but they spiked by over 100% prior to the crash. Foreclosures sold at a discount and, in many cases, lowered the values of adjacent homes. We are ending 2018 with foreclosures at historic pre-crash numbers -much fewer foreclosures than we ended 2006 with.
2. Most homeowners have tremendous equity in their homes
Ten years ago, many homeowners irrationally converted much, if not all, of their equity into cash with a cash-out refinance. When foreclosures rose and prices fell, they found themselves in a negative equity situation where their homes were worth less than their mortgage amounts. Many just walked away from their houses which led to even more foreclosures entering the market. Today is different. Over forty-eight percent of homeowners have at least 50% equity in their homes and they are not extracting their equity at the same rates they did in 2006.
3. Lending standards are much tougher
One of the causes of the crash ten years ago was that lending standards were almost non-existent. NINJA loans (no income, no job, and no assets) no longer exist. ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) still exist but only as a fraction of the number from a decade ago. Though mortgage standards have loosened somewhat during the last few years, we are nowhere near the standards that helped create the housing crisis ten years ago.
4. Affordability is better now than in 2006
Though it is difficult to afford a home for many Americans, data shows that it is more affordable to purchase a home now than it was from 1985 to 2000. And, it requires much less of a percentage of your income today than it did in 2006.
The housing industry is facing some rough waters heading into 2019. However, the graphs above show that the market is much healthier than it was prior to the crash ten years ago.