That headline might be a little aggressive; however, as August 2017’s housing market data begins to roll in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME TODAY!
In a recent article by CBS News, they explained that the number of existing home sales is shrinking, and Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors, said:
“There should be 3 million homes on the market right now…Yet, there are only 1.9 million.”
And this situation will be affected greatly by recent natural disasters. Yun continued by saying:
“Before the hurricanes I would have predicted 1.35 million in new-home construction in 2018…I’ll have to scale that down now.”
NAR, in their August 2017 Realtors® Confidence Index, indicated that:
“Amid sustained job creation and sustained historically low mortgage rates, REALTORS®reported…that buyer demand is stronger compared to conditions one year ago… and that fifty percent of properties were on the market for less than one month when sold.”
The only challenge to today’s market is a severe lack of inventory. A balanced market would have a full six-month supply of homes for sale. Currently, there is only a 4.2-month supply of inventory, which is down from...
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data, covering 2013-2016 was released two weeks ago.
The study revealed that the 2016 median net worth of homeowners was $231,400 - a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).
These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.
Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth
As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.
That is why, for the fourth year in a row, Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment. This year’s results showed that 34% of Americans chose real estate, followed by stocks at 26% and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.
Greater equity in your home gives you options
If you want to find out how you can use the increased equity in your home to move to a home that better fits your current lifestyle, let’s get together to discuss the process.
Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation in history. This means they are also the generation with the most student debt. Depending on the type of degree earned, as well as the prestige of the institution attended, there are some millennials who graduate college with what equates to a mortgage payment.
For those first-time buyers, and even some move-up buyers, who took advantage of the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit in 2008, there is an interesting program being introduced by Lennar Home Builders and Eagle Home Mortgage.
“Borrowers with Eagle Home Mortgage's Student Loan Debt Mortgage Program can direct up to 3% of the purchase price (up to $13,000) to pay their student loans when they buy a new home from Lennar, one of the nation's largest homebuilders. The contribution doesn’t directly increase the purchase price of the home or add to the balance of the loan.”
The program allows borrowers, whose credit and income requirements qualify, to put down as low as 3% and have a maximum loan amount of $424,100. At the time of closing, Lennar contributes up to 3% to pay down student loans incurred while attending universities, colleges, community colleges, trade schools and other certificate-granting programs.
Jimmy Timmons, President of Eagle Home Mortgage, gave more context about...
In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that “the single biggest mistake millennials are making” is not purchasing a home because buying real estate is “an escalator to wealth.”
Bach went on to explain:
“If millennials don’t buy a home, their chances of actually having any wealth in this country are little to none. The average homeowner to this day is 38 times wealthier than a renter.”
In his bestselling book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” Bach does the math:
“As a renter, you can easily spend half a million dollars or more on rent over the years ($1,500 a month for 30 years comes to $540,000), and in the end wind up just where you started — owning nothing. Or you can buy a house and spend the same amount paying down a mortgage, and in the end wind up owning your own home free and clear!”
Who is David Bach?
Bach is a self-made millionaire who has written nine consecutive New York Times bestsellers. His book, “The Automatic Millionaire,” spent 31 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. He is one of the only business authors in history to have four books simultaneously on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek and USA Today bestseller lists.
He has been a contributor to NBC’s Today Show, appearing more than 100 times, as well as a regular on ABC, CBS, Fox, CNBC, CNN, Yahoo, The View, and PBS. He has also been profiled...
It has been a somber and confusing week for us here. We have clients and friends who attended the Route 91 event and they, while safe from physical harm, have suffered much mental and emotional stress. And, it pains us to see them in much pain. They certainly have a different perspective on life. Hopefully, if we all can learn one thing, it is that life is not to be taken for granted…..smile more, hug more, laugh more, share more, give more……please…..I believe we will all be happier and more fulfilled for having done so.
A few comments about this month’s numbers.
We have reached the final quarter of 2017! Wow!
And, the numbers again this month pretty much tell the same story we have been telling for the past few months. Short on inventory and long on demand.
REOs are down to 48 active units and Short Sales are down to 149! Only 3.5% of the market. I believe it is time to restructure the reports…..no need to call them out separately. I am going to add some additional data line items that I believe you will find informational and insightful.
Closings are up year over year again. And, again, this happened with inventory down 34% as compared to this same time last year.
The rumblings around the real estate community that the market is “slowing” or “shifting” do not seem to hold true in the actual numbers……..we’ll be keeping a close eye on this as we roll into the final months of the year.
Have a great month. And, a Happy Halloween. That’s Tiffany’s favorite holiday of the year.
The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that non-homeowners cite the main reason for not currently owning a home, as not being able to afford one.
This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down Payment
NAR’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 39% of non-homeowners say they believe they need more than 20% for a down payment on a home purchase. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.
Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.
2. FICO® Scores
An Ipson survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.
The average conventional loan closed in August had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 683. The average across all loans closed in August was 724. The chart below...
A recent article from a reputable news source was titled: Here's why some homeowners still can't sell. In the opening bullets of the article, the author claimed, “Negative equity is one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.” The article then goes on to soften that stance but we want to bring better clarity to the equity situation.
A recent report from CoreLogic (which was quoted in the article) revealed that over 80% of all homes now have “significant equity,” which means the home has over 20% equity. That level of equity allows the homeowner to sell their home if they so desire. (There was no reference to significant equity in the article.)
If eight out of ten homeowners now have significant equity in their homes, it is hard to make the claim that lack of equity is “one of the main reasons why there are so few homes for sale.”
Here is a map showing the percentage of homes in each state which currently have significant equity:
If you are one of many homeowners who is debating selling your home and are wondering how much equity you have accumulated, let’s get together to determine if now is the time to list.
Six months ago, we reported that the mismatch between the type of inventory of homes for sale and the demand of buyers in the US was causing the formation of two markets.
In the starter and trade-up home categories, there were significantly more buyers than there were homes for sale, causing a seller’s market. In the premium, or luxury, home categories, the opposite was true as there was a surplus of these homes compared to the buyers that were out searching for their dream homes, which created a buyer’s market.
According to the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report, the inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market is at a 4.2-month supply. Inventory is now 6.5% lower than this time last year, marking the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year decreases.
Looking at the latest report from Trulia, we can see that not much has changed, and in fact, recent natural disasters across the country have made inventory conditions even more dire.
Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”
The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.
Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors puts the annual increase in the median existing-home price at 5.6%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Index Report, revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year.
CoreLogic broke appreciation down ever further into four price ranges which gives a more detailed view than simply looking at the year-over-year increases of the national median home price.
The chart below shows the four tiers and each one’s growth from July 2016 to July 2017 (the latest data available).
It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor in determining how much it has appreciated over the course of the last year. Lower priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum, due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.
If you are planning on listing your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range.
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...
How do you select the members of your team who are going to help you make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender?
The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent is someone who is going to take the time to really educate you on the choices available to you and your ability to buy in today’s market.
As Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Do your research. Ask your friends and family for recommendations of professionals whom they have used in the past and have had good experiences with.
Look for members of your team who will be honest and trustworthy; after all, you will be trusting them with helping you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life.
Whether this is your first or fifth time buying a home, you want to make sure that you have an agent who is going to have the tough conversations with you, not just the easy ones. If your offer isn’t accepted by the seller, or they think that there may be something wrong with the home that you’ve fallen in love with, you would rather know what they think than make a costly mistake.
According to a Consumer Housing Trends Study, millennials have already started to 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.”
Look for someone to invest...
According to a survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage.
After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much higher the fees were than expected.
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”
Bankrate.com gathered closing cost data from lenders in every state and Washington, D.C. in order to share the average costs in each state. The map below was created using the closing costs on a $200,000 mortgage with a 20% down payment.
Keep in mind that if you are in the market for a home above this price range, your costs could be significantly greater. According to Freddie Mac,
“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”
Speak with your lender and agent early and often to determine how much you’ll be responsible for at closing. Finding out that you’ll need to come up with thousands of dollars right before closing is not a surprise anyone is ever looking forward to.
Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensure that you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a LITTLE LOW
This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them 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.
Realtor.com gives this advice:
“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”
2. Use a Real Estate Professional
This, too, may seem counterintuitive. The seller may think they would make more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With...
There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”
First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.
The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:
- 47% - existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
- 26.5% - first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
- 11.3% - existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
- 10.6% - insufficient or negative equity in the home
- 4.6% - foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).
Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?
The report on the survey explains:
“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory."
That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any...
Recently released data from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey revealed that rising home prices were the catalyst behind an eight-point jump in the net percentage of respondents who say now is a good time to sell. The index is now 21 points higher than it was this time last year.
Overall, 62% of Americans surveyed said that now is a good time to sell (up from 58%), while 26% of respondents said that now is not a good time to sell (down from 30%). The net score is the difference between the two percentages, or 36%.
According to CoreLogic, home prices are now up 6.7% over last year and 78.8% of homeowners with a mortgage in the US now have significant equity (defined as 20% or more).
As home prices have increased, more and more homeowners have realized that now is a good time to sell their homes in order to take advantage of the extra equity they now have.
At the same time, however, rising prices have had the exact opposite impact on the good-time-to-buy scale as many buyers are nervous that they will not be able to afford a home; the net score dropped 5 points to 18%.
Doug Duncan, Vice President & Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, had this to say,
“In the early stages of the economic expansion, home selling sentiment trailed home buying sentiment by a significant margin. The reverse is true today.
The net good time to sell share is now double the net good time to buy share, with record high percentages of consumers citing home prices as the primary reason for both perceptions.Such a sizable gap between selling and buying sentiment,...