As home values continue to increase at levels greater than historic norms, some are concerned that we are heading for another crash like the one we experienced ten years ago. We recently explained that the lenient lending standards of the previous decade (which created false demand) no longer exist. But what about prices?
Are prices appreciating at the same rate that they were prior to the crash of 2006-2008? Let’s look at the numbers as reported by Freddie Mac:
The levels of appreciation we have experienced over the last four years aren’t anywhere near the levels that were reached in the four years prior to last decade’s crash.
We must also realize that, to a degree, the current run-up in prices is the market trying to catch up after a crash that dramatically dropped prices for five years.
Prices are appreciating at levels greater than historic norms. However, we are not at the levels that led to the housing bubble and bust.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers in which they surveyed recent home buyers and sellers about their experiences. An entire section of the profile is dedicated to buyers’ experiences with their real estate agents.
If you are looking to buy in 2018, here are the top 5 benefits of using a real estate agent when buying your dream home as cited by recent buyers:
1. Helped the buyer understand the process – 60%
If you are new to the home buying process, an experienced real estate professional can explain exactly what to expect during the entire transaction so you aren’t caught off guard.
2. Pointed out unnoticed features/faults with the property – 56%
Whether it’s pointing out possible uses for an extra bedroom/office, or using their trained eye to see potentially disastrous hazards that may be hiding out of site, your agent is there to protect your interests and make sure your home buying experience is a good one.
3. Negotiated better sales contract terms – 47%
When it comes to negotiating the complex terms of your contract and coming to an agreement with the seller, it never hurts to have someone who has been there before on your side. If earlier in your search you found a couple of less than desirable features on the home you are going to purchase, your agent can make sure that contingencies are in place for you to pay the best price. Their analysis of comparable properties in the area will also help to make sure that your dream home is priced properly for the market....
Here are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is protecting yourself from rising rents, by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.
Don’t Become Trapped
A recent article by Apartment List addressed rising rents by stating:
“Rents are up 2.7% year-over-year at the national level. Year-over-year growth continues to fall between the 2.1% rate from this time last year and the 3.4% growth rate from October 2015.”
The article continues explaining that:
“Despite the seasonal slowdown, rents are still up year-over-year in 89 of the 100 Largest cities.
Additionally, the Urban Institute revealed that,
“Over a quarter of renters, or 11.1 million households, are severely cost burdened, spending at least half their income on rental housing.
These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, including groceries and healthcare.
It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent
As we have previously mentioned, the results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia shows that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States....
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated by 7.0% from October 2016 to October 2017. This marks the second month in a row with a 7.0% year-over-year increase.
A lack of supply of homes for sale has led to upward pressure on home prices across the country, especially in areas where both existing and new home inventory have not kept up with buyer demand.
CoreLogic’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft elaborated on the significance of such a large year-over-year gain,
“Single-family residential sales and prices continued to heat up in October. On a year-over-year basis, home prices grew in excess of 6 percent for four consecutive months ending in October, the longest such streak since June 2014.
This escalation in home prices reflects both the acute lack of supply and the strengthening economy.”
This is great news for homeowners who have gained over $13,000 in equity in their home over the last year! Those homeowners who had been on the fence as to whether or not to sell will be pleasantly surprised to find out that they now have an even larger profit to help cover a down payment on their dream home.
CoreLogic’s President & CEO Frank Martell had this to say,
“The acceleration in home prices is good news for both homeowners and the economy...
There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion.
However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & 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 more than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart 1).
According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes has been below six months for the last four years (see chart 2).
If buyer demand outpaces 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.
There is a lot of discussion about the current state of housing affordability for both first-time and move-up buyers, and much of the narrative is tarnished with a negative slant. However, the truth is that housing affordability is better today than at almost any time in our history.
The naysayers are correct in the fact that affordability today is not as good as it has been over the last several years. But, we must remember that home prices collapsed during the housing crash, and distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) kept home values depressed for years. When we compare affordability to the decades that proceeded the crash, a different story is revealed.
Here is a graph of the National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index. The higher the graph, the more affordable homes are.
We can see that affordability is better today than in the fifteen years prior to the boom and bust.
CoreLogic just published a report showing the National Homebuyers’ “Typical Mortgage Payment.” Here is a graph of their findings:
It reveals that, though a ‘typical’ housing payment was less expensive in 2012 (remember distressed properties), it is currently less expensive than it was in 2000 and is still projected...
Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.
Zillow recently reported that:
“In reality, buying or renting a home is an intensely personal decision, with emotional and even financial considerations that go beyond whether to invest in this one (admittedly large) asset. Looking strictly at housing market numbers, there is a concrete point at which buying a home makes more financial sense than renting it.”
What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?
1. We recently highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:
- Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
- Homeownership provides tax savings.
- Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
- Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
- No other investment lets you live inside of it.
2. Studies have shown that a homeowner’s net worth is 44x greater than that of a renter.
3. Just a few months ago, we explained that a family that purchased an average-priced home at the beginning of 2017 could build more...
The memories of the last real estate bubble still linger in the minds of those who were most affected. This is particularly true in Las Vegas, dubbed as the “ground-zero” of the Great Recession of 2007 and beyond. Since 2012, Las Vegas has slowly and assuredly climbed back. And, today, the local economy and real estate market have almost fully recovered—the rebound has been solid.
As expected, talk has surfaced again regarding the “next real estate bubble” in Las Vegas. Some wonder “if.” Others ask “when.” No matter which side you stand, “bubble talk” creates angst and uncertainty. Well, not here!
A recent article in The Sunday, November 5-11, 2017 entitled “It’s not a bubble: Local real estate’s rebound is solid, from sought-after neighborhoods to those hit hardest,” reiterates many of the same points we have been making over the past months. Many economic indicators in the local market suggest that another bubble is not upon us. In fact, Las Vegas’ future is bright.
These are not the thoughts of merely one or two local market experts. There is a consensus that is forming on this side of the debate. And, these experts are making some strong points.
First, and perhaps most the important factor for measuring the strength of a local real estate market, population growth in Southern Nevada is growing at a record pace. Nevada is ranked #2 in population growth at 1.95%. Las Vegas is #3 out of the thirty-five largest metropolitan areas in the United States at a 2.2% population growth rate.
Second, employment and jobs indicate the market is robust and...
Whether you are a renter who is searching for your dream home or a homeowner who feels like your only option is to renovate, you have at least one thing in common: feeling stuck in place.
According to data from the National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, the average amount of time that a family stays in their home remained at 10 years in 2017. This mark ties the highest marks set in 2014 and 2016. Back in 1985, when data was first collected on this subject, homeowners stayed in their homes for an average of only 5 years.
There are many reasons why homeowners have decided to stay and not to sell. A recent Wall Street Journal article had this to say,
“Americans aren’t moving in part because inventory levels have fallen near multidecade lows and home prices have risen to records. Many homeowners are choosing to stay and renovate, in turn making it more difficult for renters to enter the market.”
Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist for CoreLogic, equated the lack of inventory to “not having enough oil in your car and your gears slowly [coming] to a grind.”
Historically, a normal market (in which prices increase at the rate of inflation) requires a 6-7 month supply of inventory. There hasn’t been that much supply since August of 2012! Over the course of the last 12 months, inventory has hovered between a 3.5 to 4.4-month supply, meaning that prices have increased and buyers are still out in force!
Challenges in the new-home construction ...
Happy Holiday season!
Opportunities abound as many of our colleagues are lured into “holiday hibernation” and shut down their businesses until January 2018. Cheers to you getting your share during the remainder of 2017.
Regarding the numbers…..more of the same. Inventory is very low and shrinking again. Sales are up compared to this month last year by 13% despite having 30%+ less inventory this year compared to last. Again, demand is still strong.
Recently read an article in “The Sunday,” a publication by Greenspun Media, Inc., regarding the state of the Las Vegas real estate market. Thought it was interesting. Here is the link: http://digital.greenspunmedia.com/i/897055-2017-11-05-the-sunday-las-vegas/11.
Also, Zillow’s recent analysis of the top 30 cities suggested that Las Vegas will see the greatest home price appreciation over the next 12 months (from September 2017 to September 2018)—5.9%. See the previous 12 months (August 2016 to August 2017) realized an 8.6% appreciation (according to Case-Schiller numbers). A plateau may be on the horizon……In 2018? Probably not. In 2019? Possibly. Isn’t it all pretty much a guess anyway? My bet/guess is July 24, 2019. What’s yours?
Thank you for your service!
With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.
Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.
Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X:
“We’re definitely not in a bubble.”
“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”
Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics:
“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”
“Steady as she goes. Prices continue to rise. Sales roughly flat.…Overall this market is in an almost boring place.”
Bill McBride, Calculated Risk:
“I wouldn't call house prices a bubble.”
“So prices may be a little overvalued, but there is little speculation and I don't expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”
David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices:
“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”
“…price increases vary unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”
Bing Bai & Edward Golding, ...