When the demand is high, it is normal to expect that the supply will dwindle at some point in time. It is safe to say that this phenomenon will open opportunities for prices to be pushed up giving sellers an edge. On the other hand, an increase in supply does not necessarily equate to a dip in demand.
For over three years leading up to this point, the exact opposite was true; Inventory dropped as sales soared.
NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun shed some light on what could be contributing to this shift,
"This is the lowest existing home sales level since November 2015. A decade's high mortgage rates are preventing consumers from making quick decisions on home purchases. All the while, affordable home listings remain low, continuing to spur underperforming sales activity across the country."
Let's take a deeper look:
Since January, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates have increased nearly a full percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.9%). Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association are all in agreement that rates will continue to increase to about 5.2% over the next 12 months.
"The rise in [mortgage] rates paired with this very strong price appreciation absolutely is slowing housing," said Fannie Mae's Chief Economist Doug Duncan.
Even though rates are higher than they've been in a decade, they still remain below the average for the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s!
Mismatch of Inventory
Elizabeth Mendenhall, President of NAR, said it best, "Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time buyers in the market continues to underwhelm because there are simply not enough listings in their price range."
Prices of starter and trade-up homes have appreciated faster than their higher-priced counterparts. Over the last 5 years, the lowest-priced homes have appreciated by 47% while the highest-priced homes have appreciated by only 24%.
According to the Institute of Luxury Home Market's Luxury Market Report, the $1M-and-up price range is now experiencing a buyer's market. This means that supply (inventory) has finally caught up with demand and buyers are in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiations. Additionally, many listings in this price range have experienced price cuts in order to entice buyers to put in offers.
Although not fully to blame for the national shortage in sales and inventory, natural disasters like Hurricane Florence, Hurricane Michael, and the wildfires on the West Coast have certainly had an impact.
Additional inventory coming to market could help normalize the housing market and allow incomes to catch up to home prices. For more information about sales and inventory in your area, contact a local real estate agent who can help you make the best decision for you and your family.
Are you one of the millions of aspiring homeowners who are having second thoughts? Are you afraid that you will be required to shell out a huge chunk of the home's total price as down payment? Do you hesitate because of your credit score? If your answer is yes, then you might be amazed and surprised to read this.
Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, "Barriers to Accessing Homeownership: Down Payment, Credit, and Affordability," which revealed that,
"Consumers often think they need to put more money down to purchase a home than is actually required. 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."
Myth #1: "I Need a 20%Down Payment"
Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:
"Most potential homebuyers are largely unaware that there are low-down payment and no-down payment assistance programs available at the local, state, and federal levels to help eligible borrowers secure an affordable down payment."
These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners. For example, "30% of homeowners and 39% of renters believe that you need more than 20 percent for a down payment."
While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream homes, they do not realize that there are programs available which allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
Myth #2: "I Need a 780 FICO Score or Higher to Buy"
Similar to the down payment, many either don't know or are misinformed about what FICO score is necessary to qualify.
Many Americans believe a 'good' credit score is 780 or higher.
To help debunk this myth, let's take a look at Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.
As you can see in the chart above, 51.7% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.
Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.
With drastic events in the real estate industry like the mortgage interest rate increase this year, it's not uncommon for one to wonder what the future has in store for us.
Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) - As the leading advocate for the real estate finance industry, the MBA enables members to successfully deliver fair, sustainable, and responsible real estate financing within ever-changing business environments.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) - The largest association of real estate professionals in the world.
Freddie Mac - An organization which provides liquidity, stability, and affordability to the U.S. housing market in all economic conditions extending to all communities from coast to coast.
Fannie Mae - A leading source of financing for mortgage lenders, providing access to affordable mortgage financing in all markets.
Here are their projections:
Every source sees home sales growing next year. For more on your neighborhood, contact a local real estate professional.
A lot of news and articles talk about the issue of housing affordability in the whole of the United States. Let's take a closer look to find out if the same incline happens all across the board.
According to NAR:
"A value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that a family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment."
One big factor in determining affordability each month is the interest rate available at the time of calculation. In August 2017, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rate was 4.19%. This August, the rate rose to 4.78%!
With an index reading of 141.2, housing remains affordable in the U.S.
Regionally, affordability is up in three out of four regions. The Northeast had the biggest gain at 6.2%. The South had an increase of 2.4% followed by the West with a slight increase of 0.1%. The Midwest had the only dip in affordability at 4.8%.
Despite month-over-month changes, the most affordable region remains the Midwest, with an index value of 175.7. The West remains the least affordable region at 101.2. For comparison, the index was 146.7 in the South, and 151.2 in the Northeast.
If you are thinking of selling your home, contact a local real estate professional who can help you understand the affordability conditions in your marketplace.
Nowadays, it is quite typical for the majority of the people suspect bigger forces are at work behind everything that is happening to our lives that we do not necessarily want. The government, the 1% or simply big companies conspiring to make our lives miserable beyond belief. Recently, there have been rumors about why and what is causing the home prices to go up. Let's shed light on this matter by reminding everyone about the law of supply and demand.
Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything greater than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below).
According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below).
If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.
As most of us know, real estate markets in most areas have been very competitive due mortgage interest rate increase and low inventory of homes for sale. Now that the inventory has loosened up a lot of people have conflicting impressions about it.
"With the rate of home price appreciation starting to decelerate alongside the uptick in inventory, we expect significant debate whether this is a bullish or bearish sign."
Is this a sign the market might crash?
There are those who look at the increase in inventory as a sign that we are returning to the market we saw last decade. However, a closer look shows that we are nowhere near the levels of inventory we reached before the crash in 2008.
A normal market would have about 6-months inventory, but the latest Existing Home Sales Report issued by the National Association of Realtors revealed that:
"Unsold inventory is at a 4.3-month supply at the current sales pace up from 4.1 months a year ago."
A decade ago, prices began to rapidly depreciate in June 2007. At that time, we had a 9.1-month supply (more than double what it is today) and inventory kept rising until it hit a peak of 11.1 months in April of 2008.
With the current levels of buyer demand, any such increase in months supply is highly unlikely. As Danielle Hale, realtor.com's Chief Economist explains:
"After years of record-breaking inventory declines, September's almost flat inventory signals a big change in the real estate market. Would-be buyers who had been waiting for a bigger selection of homes for sale may finally see more listings materialize. But don't expect the level to jump dramatically.
Plenty of buyers in the market are scooping up homes as soon as they're listed, which will keep national increases relatively small for the time being."
What will be the result of the increase in inventory?
The increase in inventory will allow many families who had been unable to find a home to finally become homeowners. Again, we quote from the 'Z Report':
"In our view, the short-term narrative will probably be confusing, but more sustainable growth and affordability will likely be the end result."
If you are either a first-time or second-time buyer who has given up, check with a local real estate professional to see if new listings have come to the market in your area.
There have been countless reports saying that home prices nowadays are more expensive that is was 10 years ago. While this is accurate, most reports do not include why this is not necessarily a bad thing. Let's find out why.
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.
As the shortage of existing homes continues to drive home prices up, new home sales are giving us a glimpse of how the foreseeable future home sales will look like.
According to the latest New Residential Sales Report from the Census Bureau, new construction sales in August were up 3.5% from July and 12.7% from last year! This marks the second consecutive month with double-digit year-over-year growth (12.8% in July).
Below is a table showing the change in starts, completions, and sales from last August.
Other notable news from the report is that the percentage of new construction sales in the $200-$299k range has continued to break away from the $300-$399k range.
This shows that builders are starting to build lower-priced homes that will help alleviate some of the inventory challenges in the starter and trade-up home categories. The chart below shows the full breakdown.
If you are thinking of buying or selling in today's market, you no doubt have heard that there is a shortage of existing homes for sale which has been driving home prices up across the country. The additional new construction coming to the market could help alleviate this shortage, but we are still not back up to pre-crisis levels.
With recent market developments such as the mortgage interest rate increase and dwindling supplies, many of us expected a significant bump in home prices this year. But recent reports indicate that this year marks the first time since 2016 when home prices did not mark up by 6%.
CoreLogic's Chief Economist Frank Nothaft gave some insight into this change,
"The rise in mortgage rates this summer to their highest level in seven years has made it more difficult for potential buyers to afford a home. The slackening in demand is reflected in the slowing of national appreciation, as illustrated in the CoreLogic Home Price Index.
National appreciation in August was the slowest in nearly two years, and we expect appreciation to slow further in the coming year."
One of the major factors that has driven prices to accelerate at a pace of between 6-7% over the past two years was the lack of inventory available for sale in many areas of the country. This made houses a prized commodity which forced many buyers into bidding wars and drove prices even higher.
According to the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report, we are starting to see more inventory come to market over the last few months. This, paired with patient buyers who are willing to wait to find the right homes, is creating a natural environment for price growth to slow.
Historically, prices appreciated at a rate of 3.7% (from 1987-1999). CoreLogic predicts that prices will continue to rise over the next year at a rate of 4.7%.
As the housing market moves closer to a 'normal market' with more inventory for buyers to choose from, home prices will start to appreciate at a more 'normal' level, and that's ok! If you are curious about home prices in your area, talk to a local real estate professional who can show you what's going on!
Although it's true that another increase just occurred recently, our current rates are still low compared to what we had back 10, 20, 30 and 40 years ago. Some buyers may have missed to take advantage of the lowest rate in history, but we're still at the lower end to date historically speaking.
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased by close to a quarter of a percent over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors are all calling for mortgage rates to rise another quarter of a percent by next year.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades:
Though you may have missed the lowest mortgage rate ever offered, you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.
The simplest analogy I could give is a seesaw, imagine supply is on one end and demand is on the other. When supply drops the demand will rise accordingly, thus opening an opportunity to raise prices.
The map below was created after asking the question: "How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?"
The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey showed that in 38 out of 50 states buyer demand was slightly lower than this time last year but remains strong. Only six states had a 'stable' demand level.
The index also asked: "How would you rate seller traffic in your area?"
As you can see from the map below, 23 states reported 'weak' seller traffic, 22 states and Washington D.C. reported 'stable' seller traffic, and 5 states reported 'strong' seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the buyers who are out looking for homes.
Looking at the maps above, it is not hard to see why prices are appreciating in many areas of the country. Until the supply of homes for sale starts to meet buyer demand, prices will continue to increase. If you are debating listing your home for sale, meet with a local real estate professional in your area who can help you capitalize on the demand in the market now!
The way we plan and live our lives greatly depend on our ability to pay for the things we use and will be using. At the top part of most people's list is mortgage. Changes in mortgage rate directly impact us and our day to day lifestyle.
Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac's U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next year.
Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.
According to CoreLogic's latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.2% from this time last year and are predicted to be 5.1% higher next year.
If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become a reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next homes.
Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family's wealth, so don't wait until next year! Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home now.
With the amount of time spent in its current state, it's a little hard to establish the true norm for everyone. Newcomers to the industry who experienced the pre-bubble burst market may perceive what we have now as their norm. Some may have an ideal vision of how the normal market status should be and some may base it on how things were before the bubble burst.
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.
There are no complex forces at work here, just a normal case on Supply and Demand imbalance. Figures shown below are from the best and most reliable source explaining the future of the market. Let's find out more.
The Foot Traffic Report
by the National Association of Realtors
Methodology: Every month SentriLock, LLC provides NAR Research with data on the number of properties shown by a REALTOR. Lockboxes made by SentriLock, LLC are used in roughly a third of home showings across the nation. Foot traffic has a strong correlation with future contracts and home sales, so it can be viewed as a peek ahead at sales trends two to three months into the future.
Latest Report: "Foot Traffic climbed 3.2 points to 55.8 mid-summer in July. Additionally, the diffusion index is higher than last year by 13.5 points. Despite a healthy economy and labor market, supply and new construction remains unable to keep up with buyer demand."
Synopsis: Buyer demand remains strong.
The Showing Index
Methodology: The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the average number of buyer showings on active residential properties on a monthly basis, a highly reliable leading indicator of current and future demand trends.
Latest Report: "Showing activity throughout the country increased by 0.3 percent year over year in July, the third consecutive month that the U.S. ShowingTime Showing Index recorded buyer interest deceleration compared to the previous year. The June 2018 figures revealed a 0.0 percent change in showing traffic from 2017, while May showed a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase. The 12-month average year-over-year increase was 4.6 percent."
Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening
Realtors Confidence Index
by the National Association of Realtors
Methodology: The REALTORS Confidence Index is a key indicator of housing market strength based on a monthly survey sent to over 50,000 real estate practitioners. Practitioners are asked about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.
Latest Report: "REALTORS reported slower home buying activity in July 2018...The REALTORS Buyer Traffic Index registered at 62, down from the same month one year ago (69). This is the fifth straight month (since March 2018) that Realtors reported a decline in buyer activity compared to conditions one year ago."
Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening
The Real Estate Broker Survey
in the 'Z' Report by Zelman and Associates (subscription needed)
Methodology: Proprietary survey results of real estate executives.
Latest 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."
Synopsis: Buyer demand is softening
Again, three of the four most reliable measures of buyer activity are reporting that demand is softening. We had a strong buyers' market directly after the housing crash which was immediately followed by a strong sellers' market over the last six years.
If demand continues to soften and supply begins to grow (as is projected to happen), we will return to a more neutral market which will favor neither buyers nor sellers. This "more normal" market will be better for real estate in the long term.
We got good news for all homeowners who are planning on selling their homes. Studies show a steady increase of up to 0.2 in home sales over the coming year. If you're asking whether or not this is the best time to put your home up in the market, then take a look at the chart below.
As we can see, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association all believe that homes sales will increase steadily over the next year. If you are a homeowner who has considered selling your house recently, now may be the best time to put it on the market.
The law of supply and demand has been an existential issue in basically all known market (real estate included) since the early days of commerce. This has been seen and used time and again by power players in the arena as an opportunity to dominate and earn more. A lot of studies and speculation points at the recent mortgage rate changes as the main reason for home value increase this year. Here's the reason why we think otherwise.
"The amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price."
When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. Every month this year, demand (buyer traffic) has increased as compared to last year and for the first five months of 2018, supply (the number of available listings) had decreased as compared to last year. However, a recent report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed the first year-over-year increase in supply in three years.
Here are the numbers for supply and demand as compared to last year since the beginning of 2018:
The increase in the June numbers doesn't mean that prices won't continue to appreciate. In that same report, Lawrence Yun, NAR's Chief Economist, explained:
"It's important to note that despite the modest year-over-year rise in inventory, the current level is far from what's needed to satisfy demand levels.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen if this modest increase will stick, given the fact that the robust economy is bringing more interested buyers into the market, and new home construction is failing to keep up."
The reason home prices are still rising is that there are many purchasers looking to buy but very few homeowners ready to sell. This imbalance is the reason prices will remain on the uptick.
With experts forecasting the next recession in the horizons, how will the real estate industry be affected? The good news is, it will not fall victim to the next economic storm at all.
Here are the opinions of several experts on the subject:
Despite the forecasts of mortgage rate rise, demand for homes has continuously outnumbered its supply. Let's find out why.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the inventory of homes for sale "has fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months," and now stands at a 4.1-month supply. A 6-month supply of inventory is necessary for a balanced market and has not been seen since August of 2012.
NARs Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,
Is There Any Relief Coming?
According to the CoreLogic's 2018 Consumer Housing Sentiment Study, four times as many renters are considering buying homes in the next 12 months than homeowners who are planning to sell, "which is the crux of the available housing-supply imbalance."
As more and more renters realize the benefits of homeownership, the demand for housing will continue to rise.
Do homeowners realize demand is so high? With home prices rising across the country, homeowners gained over a trillion dollars in equity over the last 12 months, with the average homeowner gaining over $16,000!
The map below shows the breakdown by state:
Many homeowners who have not thought about listing their homes may not even realize how much equity they have gained, or the opportunity available to them in today's market!
If you are one of the many homeowners across the country who hasn't quite found their forever home, now may be a great time to list your house for sale and find your dream home!
It is given that purchasing power is always desired. But with all the current trends in the real estate industry, how true is it that many believe that house-buying power is near historic levels?
We keep hearing that home affordability is approaching crisis levels. While this may be true in a few metros across the country, housing affordability is not a challenge in the clear majority of the country. In their most recent Real House Price Index, First American reported that consumer "house-buying power" is at "near-historic levels."
Their index is based on three components:
Combining these three crucial pieces of the home purchasing process, First American created an index delineating the actual home-buying power that consumers have had dating back to 1991.
Here is a graph comparing First American's consumer house-buying power (blue area) to the actual median home price that year from the National Association of Realtors (yellow line).
Consumer house-buyer power has been greater than the actual price of a home since 1991. And, the spread is larger over the last decade.
Even though home prices are increasing rapidly and are now close to the values last seen a decade ago, the actual affordability of a home is much better now. As Chief Economist Mark Fleming explains in the report:
Some may just be a fad or a short-term trend, others may be permanent changes like technological advancements. Needless to say, here are some of 2018's top real estate influencing phenomenon.
1. Technology Advancements
The advancement of technological innovation in the real estate industry has been changing rapidly and all agents should adapt to this to maximize exposure for their listings. Companies like Redfin, Zillow, Trulia and Homesnap have been changing the way sellers and buyers perceive the market and it is crucial for agents to quickly adapt to this new reality. - Alex Chieng, A & L Real Estate Team
Not to belabor the already highly-trending topic of blockchain changing the world, but this is the reality of our industry. Blockchain-based applications are changing the way buyers, sellers and investors interact with each other and the properties they have interests in. Welcome to an new world of unleashed liquidity, transparency and disintermediation. The real estate world is rapidly changing and we must do so too, or we will fall by the wayside. - Garratt Hasenstab, The Mountain Life Companies
3. Return Of The Co-Ops
For the past several years in Manhattan, we've seen the downtown new development condo market take a big bite out of the co-op resale market. Now that there are so many new (and more expensive) projects, we're seeing buyers actually return uptown to purchase co-ops because the prices are more moderate in comparison. What hasn't changed is that some of the boards remain difficult to pass. - Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, stribling.com
4. Home Prices Still Rising
The NYC real estate market indicates that home prices might rise more slowly in the months ahead. During the years 2012-2015, we saw 12%-15% growth. We didn't have any surprises this year. Average home price growth over the last few decades is somewhere between 5% and 10% per year. So, perhaps what we are seeing here is a normalization within the Manhattan real estate market. - Elliot Bogod, Broadway Realty
5. Millennials Buying Homes
I've seen article after article saying millennials do not want to buy a home or cannot afford it, yet homeownership for this age group is on the rise. Fortunately, this age group is still a significant portion of the luxury rental market, and the baby boomers who just sold their houses are an increasing renter base. - Susan Tjarksen, KIG CRE LLC
6. Steady Stream Of New Construction
The top trend I've seen so far has been a steady stream of new construction, which is keeping rent prices mostly in check for 2018. A stable pipeline of new buildings means we'll see the impact of lower rent growth but still above long-term averages when it comes to rent across the U.S. - Nathaniel Kunes, AppFolio Inc.
7. Low Available Inventory
The drought of available inventory has been the most surprising trend, by far. Whether the underlying reasons are demographic, economic, regulatory (i.e., zoning) or a combination thereof, we just aren't seeing as many homes hit the market as we should. Agents have to do a better job in prompting inventory and explaining the current seller's market to homeowners. - Ari Afshar, Compass
8. Visual Marketing Trends Soaring
We are seeing a huge uptick in agents recognizing the value in using professionals for all their visual marketing needs -- virtual staging, drone video and photography, virtual tours, interactive floor plans and more. Hiring the pros to help will continue to be less of a "nice to have" and more of a "must have" for agents, homeowners and home seekers alike. - Brian Balduf, VHT Studios
We have to be aware and prepared, we have to be able to adapt to these trends to stay on top of our game.
Nowadays, people buy insurance for all sorts of things they hold dear. Jewelry, pets, computer equipment and believe it or not, even body parts. It gives one peace of mind and a sense of security to know their possessions are safe. All the more reason why your home should be insured with the best insurance provider you can find. Here a few things you need to know about home insurance and the top providers of 2018.
The first thing you need to know about homeowners insurance is what it covers. One well-known aspect of homeowners insurance is that it covers your dwelling and its contents if there's a fire or other event that causes damage -- or if your stuff is stolen or vandalized. Policies typically cover certain kinds of weather or extreme events like hail, lightning, or damage from wind, but not others. Floods and earthquakes, for example, are often excluded from most base plans. You have to buy additional coverage if you want to protect yourself in case of those events.
When it comes to dwelling and property coverage there are two types. The first is cash value coverage, which only will pay you the amount that your property is currently worth or the depreciated value of the property. The second kind is replacement value coverage, which will give you as much as you need to replace an item at its current market value. Certain types of property or property with values that are over a certain dollar amount can't be insured in some circumstances. For that reason, you might also need a special insurance rider or include these items in a schedule.
But homeowners insurance doesn't just help you repair or replace your things, it also provides liability coverage. This covers you against liability if anyone is injured on your property or if you damage their property. It also often covers you in case someone is injured because of your dog. Usually these liability coverage policies have low coverage amounts and offer just $100,000 in total coverage.
After that, different home insurance companies offer different types of additional coverages in their base policies. Some include things like medical payments coverage in the event someone gets injured on your property. It can offer a certain dollar amount to cover medical bills without having to go to court or reach a settlement. There are also home insurance companies that offer things like "loss of use" coverage, which pays for a hotel and food if you can't return to your home, identity fraud coverage, additional liability coverage, and other types of special riders.
Are you wondering what type of coverage is best for you and what company you should buy it from?
We look at the best homeowners insurance companies to help you decide.
Here are LendEDU's best homeowners insurance companies (click a company to read their full review):
Best Homeowners Insurance Comparison
There are a lot of home insurance providers out there, you have the freedom to pick one that you find can cater to all your needs.
There has been a lot of talk regarding when the next recession could be, we all remember that the housing crisis in 2008 caused the last recession. Is there a likelihood of that repeating itself?
Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. They also know that a recession can't be too far off. A recent report by Zillow Research shed light on a survey conducted by Pulsenomics in which they asked economists, investment strategists and market analysts how they felt about the current housing market. That report revealed the possible timing of the next recession:
That timing concurs with a recent survey of economists by the Wall Street Journal:
Here is a graph comparing the opinions of those surveyed by both the Wall Street Journal and Pulsenomics:
Recession DOES NOT Equal Housing Crisis
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a recession is defined as follows:
A recession means the economy has slowed down markedly. It does not mean we are experiencing another housing crisis. Obviously, the housing crash of 2008 caused the last recession. However, during the previous five recessions home values appreciated.
According to the experts surveyed by Pulsenomics, the top three probable triggers for the next recession are:
Others agree that housing will not be impacted like it was a decade ago.
Mark Fleming, First American's Chief Economist, explained:
A recession is probably less than two years away. A housing crisis is not.
We have a lot of potential homeowners and families having second thoughts about buying today. Current mortgage rates and home prices intimidate buyers and it's completely understandable.
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:
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.
Baby boomers are leading in the market. They have the highest number of home buyers compare to other generations. See the comparison.
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Demand for houses continuously goes up while its supply dwindles. It's a common knowledge that scarcity equates to price inflation, does this mean it's time to sell?
According to recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median number of days that a home spent on the market hit a new low of 26 days in April, as 57% of homes were on the market for under a month.
NAR's Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say,
Strong buyer demand, a good economy, and a low inventory of new and existing homes for sale created the perfect storm to accelerate the time between listing and signing a contract. The chart below shows the median days on the market from April 2017 to April 2018:
We are all aware that change is constant. In today's quick turn around of national market conditions. It is time for you to decide whether or not to list your home for sale. Don't hesitate to seek professional help and learn about the latest updates. Contact your local real estate agent and find out what's the best course of action to take.