The results of the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia show that homeownership remains cheaper than renting, with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage, in 98 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States.
In the six years that Trulia has conducted this study, this is the first time that it was cheaper to rent than buy in any of the metropolitan areas.
It’s no surprise, however, that those two metros are San Jose and San Francisco, CA, where median home prices have jumped to over $1 million dollars this year. Home values in San Jose have risen 29% in the last year, while rents have remained relatively unchanged.
For the 98 metros where homeownership wins out, 97 of them show a double-digit advantage when buying. The range is an average of 2.0% less expensive in Honolulu (HI), all the way up to 48.9% in Detroit (MI), and...
Whether you are a rookie homebuyer or have gone through the process many times, having a local real estate expert who is well versed in the neighborhood you are looking to move to, as well as the trends of that area, should be your goal while home shopping.
One great example of an agent who is in your corner and is always looking out for your best interests is one of the main characters on ABC’s Modern Family, Phil Dunphy.
For those who aren’t familiar with the character, Phil is a REALTOR® with a huge heart who always strives to do his best for his family and his clients.
In one episode, he even shared an oath that he created and holds himself accountable to:
“On my honor, I promise to aid...
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released the results of their latest Existing Home Sales Report which revealed that home sales declined 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.38 million in June from 5.41 million in May, and are 2.2% below a year ago. Some may look at these numbers and think that now is a bad time to sell their house, but in fact, the opposite is true.
The national slowdown in sales is directly tied to a lack of inventory available for the buyers who are out in the market looking for their dream homes! In fact, the inventory of homes for sale had fallen year-over-year for 36 consecutive months before posting a modest 0.5% gain last month and has had an upward impact on home prices.
With home prices continuing to appreciate above historic levels, some are concerned that we may be heading for another housing ‘boom & bust.’ It is important to remember, however, that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.
Here are four key metrics that will explain why:
- Home Prices
- Mortgage Standards
- Foreclosure Rates
- Housing Affordability
1. HOME PRICES
There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone.
Last week, CoreLogic reported that,
“The inflation-adjusted U.S. median sale price in June 2006 was $247,110 (or $199,899 in 2006 dollars), compared with $213,400 in March 2018.” (This is the latest data available.)
2. MORTGAGE STANDARDS
Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.
The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a monthly index which,
As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.
Every homeowner wants to make sure that they maximize their financial reward when selling their home, but how do you guarantee that you receive the maximum value for your house?
Here are two ways to ensure that you get the highest price possible.
1. Price it a Little Low
This may seem counterintuitive, but let’s take a 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 when, in actuality, it just dramatically lessens the demand for their houses (see chart below).
As the real estate market continues to move down the road to a complete recovery, we see home values and home sales increasing while distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) continue to fall to their lowest points in years. There is no doubt that the housing market will continue to strengthen throughout 2018.
However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory!
Here’s what a few industry experts have to say about the current inventory crisis:
“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season…was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand, that is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in...
Some experts are calling for a slowdown in the economy later this year and most economists have predicted that the next recession could only be eighteen months away. The question is, what impact will a recession have on the housing market?
Here are the opinions of several experts on the subject:
Ivy Zelman in her latest “Z Report”:
“While economic activity appears to have accelerated so far in 2018, some prominent economic forecasters have become more cautious about growth prospects for 2019 and 2020…
All told, while solid long-term demographic underpinnings support our positive fundamental outlook for housing, in the event micro-economic headwinds surface, we would expect housing transaction volumes and home prices to weather the storm.”
Across the United States, there is a severe mismatch between the low number of houses for sale and the high demand for those houses! First-time homebuyers are out in force and are being met with a highly competitive summer real estate market.
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.
NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say,
“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season – as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough...
We often talk about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not, the emotional reasons are the more powerful or compelling ones.
No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones.
1. Owning your home offers you the stability to start and raise a family
Between the best neighborhoods and the best school districts, even buyers without children at the time of purchase may have these things in mind as major reasons for choosing the locations of the homes 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...
According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% in 2017.
Many potential homebuyers believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying, but in March, 71% of first-time buyers and 54% of all buyers put less than 20% down.
Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist and Founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, recently shed light on why buyer demand has remained...
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:
- Median Household Income
- Mortgage Interest Rates
- Home Prices
The report explains:
“Changing incomes and interest rates either increase or decrease consumer house-buying power or affordability. When incomes rise and/or mortgage rates fall, consumer house-buying power increases.”
Combining these three crucial pieces of the home purchasing process, First American created an index delineating the actual home-buying power...
Since the beginning of the year, mortgage interest rates have risen over a half of a percentage point (from 3.95% to 4.52%), according to Freddie Mac. Even a small rise in interest rates can greatly impact a buyer’s monthly mortgage payment.
First American recently released the results of their quarterly Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI), in which they surveyed title and real estate agents across the country about the impact of rising rates on first-time homebuyers.
Real estate professionals around the country have not noticed a slowdown in demand for housing among young buyers; nearly 93% of all first-time homebuyers last quarter were between the ages of 21-35, with the largest share of buyers (51%) coming from those ages 26-30.
First American’s Chief Economist Mark Fleming had this to say,
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historical data on many aspects of homeownership. One of their data points, which has changed dramatically, is the median tenure of a family in a home, meaning how long a family stays in a home prior to moving.
As the graph below shows, over the last twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2014, that average is almost ten years – an increase of almost 50%.
Why the dramatic increase?
The reasons for this change are plentiful!
The fall in home prices during the housing crisis left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property). Also, the uncertainty of the economy made some homeowners much more...
If you are debating whether or not to list your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!
Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes for Sale
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun recently commented on the current lack of inventory:
“Inventory coming onto the market during this year’s spring buying season – as evidenced again by last month’s weak reading – was not even close to being enough to satisfy demand.
That is why home prices keep outpacing incomes and listings are going under contract in less than a month – and much faster – in many parts of the country.”
The latest Existing Home...
Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.
However, it is not just the price of a home that determines its affordability. The monthly cost of a home is determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.
Today, mortgage interest rates stand at about 4.5%. The average annual mortgage interest rate from 1985 to 2000 was almost double that number, at 8.92%. When comparing affordability of homeownership over the decades, we must also realize that incomes have increased.
This is why most indexes use the percentage of median income required to make monthly mortgage payments on a typical home as the point of comparison.
Zillow recently released a report comparing home affordability over the decades using this formula. The report revealed that, though...