FACT VS FICTION: THE TRUTH ABOUT TODAY’S HOUSING MARKET

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One of the most important parts of being an agent is being able to have a relevant market opinion based on facts.

And this goes beyond just your local data. When you think about it, most clients are already forming their own opinion of the market because of what they see in the national media.

So, you not only need to know what’s happening in real estate locally and nationally, you need the facts and data to back it up.

Here are the biggest misconceptions about today’s housing market and the facts to help you explain it best to your clients.

#1: WE’RE IN A HOUSING BUBBLE

The Facts
While today’s housing market is anything but normal, it’s not because of the same circumstances surrounding the housing bubble of the early 2000s that caused the crash.

Back then, new construction single-family homes flooded the market, lending standards were incredibly loose, and many homeowners were cashing out their equity left and right.

Today’s market is nearly the exact opposite.

Since the housing crash of 2008:

  • Lending standards have tightened
  • The market is under-supplied rather than over-supplied on inventory
  • Most homeowners are much more cautious with their equity

Plus, housing market experts are forecasting continued price appreciation this year, as demand continues to outweigh home supply.

 

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#2: LOTS OF FORECLOSURES ARE COMING

The Facts

Stories about the volume of foreclosures are all over the news today. But the most important thing to remember is context is everything.

Yes, many homeowners were able to pause their mortgage payments during the forbearance program, and there was legitimate concern from many experts that it would result in a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

However, the number of foreclosures we’re seeing today is nothing like the last time.

 

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Here are some of the reasons why that’s happening:

  • Most homeowners have enough equity to sell their homes
  • There have been fewer foreclosures over the last two years
  • The current market can easily absorb the new listings

Today’s data shows that most homeowners are exiting their forbearance plan either fully caught up on payments or with a plan from the bank that restructured their loan in a way that allowed them to start making payments again.

For all of these reasons, experts don’t anticipate a wave of foreclosures that would negatively affect housing prices.

 

#3: HOUSING PRICES WILL DEPRECIATE

The Facts

This might be one you’ve heard a time or twenty.

Skyrocketing price appreciation has many sellers and buyers sitting on the fence. However, experts don’t project home prices to go down anytime soon. Instead, data from earlier in the year has already been adjusted to be higher than previously anticipated.

So, how do you help answer this question? First American explains it like this:

“While house price growth is expected to moderate from the rapid pace of 2021, strong home buyer demand against a backdrop of historically tight inventory of homes for sale will likely keep appreciation positive in the coming year.”

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Bottom Line

As an agent right now, you have a tremendous opportunity to step up and be the advisor your clients need in this tough market.

And that means being able to clear up a lot of confusion about what’s really happening in real estate.

By educating yourself, you can then help educate your clients. And the best way to do this is by constantly keeping yourself and them up-to-date on the latest market insights.

Sign up for the free KCM blog today and get the latest housing market insights delivered directly to your inbox daily. That way you always have the facts to back up your relevant market opinions. Start getting the daily blog today.

Is the Housing Market Correcting?

 

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If you’re following the news, all of the headlines about conditions in the current housing market may leave you with more questions than answers. Is the boom over? Is the market crashing or correcting? Here’s what you need to know.

The housing market is moderating compared to the last two years, but what everyone needs to remember is that the past two years were record-breaking in nearly every way. Record-low mortgage rates and millennials reaching peak homebuying years led to an influx of buyer demand. At the same time, there weren’t enough homes available to purchase thanks to many years of underbuilding and sellers who held off on listing their homes due to the health crisis.

This combination led to record-high demand and record-low supply, and that wasn’t going to be sustainable for the long term. The latest data shows early signs of a shift back to the market pace seen in the years leading up to the pandemic – not a crash nor a correction. As realtor.comsays:

The housing market is at a turning point. . . . We’re starting to see signs of a new direction, . . .”

Home Showings Then and Now

The ShowingTime Showing Index tracks the traffic of home showings according to agents and brokers. It’s a good indication of buyer demand. Here’s a look at that data going back to 2019 (see graph below):

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The 2019 numbers give a good baseline of pre-pandemic demand (shown in gray). As the graph indicates, home showings skyrocketed during the pandemic (shown in blue). And while current buyer demand has begun to moderate slightly based on the latest data (shown in green), showings are still above 2019 levels.

And since 2019 was such a strong year for the housing market, this helps show that the market isn’t crashing – it’s just at a turning point that’s moving back toward more pre-pandemic levels.

Existing Home Sales Then and Now

Headlines are also talking about how existing home sales are declining, but perspective matters. Here’s a look at existing home sales going all the way back to 2019 using data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) (see graph below):

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Again, a similar story emerges. The pandemic numbers (shown in blue) beat the more typical year of 2019 home sales (shown in gray). And according to the latest projections for 2022 (shown in green), the market is on pace to close this year with more home sales than 2019 as well.

What Are the Best Options for Today’s First-Time Homebuyers?

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If you’re looking to buy your first home, you’re likely balancing several factors. Because both mortgage rates and home prices have risen this year, it costs more to buy a home than it did even just a few months ago. But that doesn’t mean you have to put your plans on hold.

If you partner with a trusted real estate advisor and hone your strategy, you can navigate today’s market and find the home you’re looking for. Here are two tips to help you get started.

Work with a Professional To Prioritize Your Wish List

If you’re having trouble finding a home in your budget that checks all the boxes, it may be worth taking another look at your lists of what you want and what you really need. According to the latest First-Time Homebuyer Metro Affordability Report from NerdWallet, your wish list can have as much impact on your search as your finances:

“Your budget isn’t all that you need to be concerned about; your wish list and desired location may carry just as much weight.”

It’s all about prioritization. If you’re serious about purchasing your first home soon, be flexible in what you’re looking for to open up your pool of options. Partner with a local real estate professional to better understand what’s available in today’s market and reprioritize your wish list. Remember, making a concession now doesn’t mean you’ll never have everything on your list. After you’ve moved in, you can always add certain features to make the home your own.

Increase Your Search Radius To Consider More Locations

Some areas may have more homes within your target price range than others, but it may require you to be flexible on your location. For example, if you’re a remote worker, you may be able to expand your search radius. As Fannie Mae explains:

“. . . continued remote work flexibility is likely giving many the ability to live farther away in more affordable areas.”

The decision to search in places with a lower cost of living could help you find a home that fits your budget and checks the most boxes off your wish list.

Bottom Line

If you’re serious about purchasing your first home this year, revisiting your wish list and desired location can help. Work with a trusted real estate advisor to explore all the options in your local market – and beyond – so you can achieve your homeownership dreams.

Work With a Real Estate Professional if You Want the Best Advice

 

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Because buying or selling a home is such a big decision in our lives, the need for clear, trustworthy information and guidance is crucial. And while no one can give you perfect advice, when you align yourself with an expert, you’ll get the best advice for your situation.

An Expert Will Give You the Best Advice Possible

Let’s say you need an attorney, so you seek out an expert in the type of law required for your case. When you go to their office, they won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end or how the judge or jury will rule. What a good attorney can do, though, is discuss the most effective strategies you can take. They may recommend one or two approaches they believe will work well for your case.

Then, they’ll leave you to make the decision on which option you want to pursue. Once you decide, they can help you put a plan together based on the facts at hand. They’ll use their expert knowledge to work toward the resolution you want and make whatever modifications in the strategy necessary to try and achieve that outcome.

Similarly, the job of a trusted real estate professional is to give you the best advice for your situation. Just like you can’t find a lawyer to give you perfect advice, you won’t find a real estate professional who can either. They can’t because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen throughout your transaction. They also can’t predict exactly what will happen with conditions in today’s housing market.

But an expert real estate advisor is knowledgeable about market trends and the ins and outs of the homebuying and selling process. With that knowledge, they can anticipate what could happen based on your situation and help you put together a solid plan. And they’ll guide you through the process, helping you make decisions along the way.

That’s the very definition of getting the best – not perfect – advice. And that’s the power of working with an expert real estate advisor.

Bottom Line

If you want trustworthy advice when buying or selling a home, contact a local real estate professional.

Work With a Real Estate Professional if You Want the Best Advice

 

What You Need To Know About Selling in a Sellers’ Market

 

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Even if you haven’t been following real estate news, you’ve likely heard about the current sellers’ market. That’s because there’s a lot of talk about how strong market conditions are for people who want to sell their houses. But if you’re thinking about listing your house, you probably want to know: what does being in a sellers’ market really mean?

What Is a Sellers’ Market?

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still very low. There’s a 2-month supply of homes at the current sales pace.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a normal or neutral market where there are enough homes available for active buyers. That puts today deep in sellers’ market territory (see graph below):

 

 

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What Does This Mean for You When You Sell?

When the supply of houses for sale is as low as it is right now, it’s much harder for buyers to find homes to purchase. That creates increased competition among purchasers which can lead to more bidding wars. And if buyers know they may be entering a bidding war, they’re going to do their best to submit a very attractive offer upfront. This could drive the final price of your house up.

And because mortgage rates and home prices are climbing, serious buyers are motivated to make their purchase soon, before those two things rise further. That means, if you put your house on the market while supply is still low, it will likely get a lot of attention from competitive buyers.

Bottom Line

The current real estate market has incredible opportunities for homeowners looking to make a move. Listing your house this season means you’ll be in front of serious buyers who are ready to buy. Connect with a local real estate professional so you can jumpstart the selling process.

How Homeownership Can Help Shield You from Inflation

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If you’re following along with the news today, you’ve likely heard about rising inflation. You’re also likely feeling the impact in your day-to-day life as prices go up for gas, groceries, and more. These rising consumer costs can put a pinch on your wallet and make you re-evaluate any big purchases you have planned to ensure they’re still worthwhile.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing a home this year, you’re probably wondering if you should continue down that path or if it makes more sense to wait. While the answer depends on your situation, here’s how homeownership can help you combat the rising costs that come with inflation.

Homeownership Offers Stability and Security

Investopedia explains that during a period of high inflation, prices rise across the board. That’s true for things like food, entertainment, and other goods and services, even housing. Both rental prices and home prices are on the rise. So, as a buyer, how can you protect yourself from increasing costs? The answer lies in homeownership.

Buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost. If you get a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrate, says:

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same.” 

So even if other prices rise, your housing payment will be a reliable amount that can help keep your budget in check. If you rent, you don’t have that same benefit, and you won’t be protected from rising housing costs.

 

 

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Use Home Price Appreciation to Your Benefit

While it’s true rising mortgage rates and home prices mean buying a house today costs more than it did a year ago, you still have an opportunity to set yourself up for a long-term win. Buying now lets you lock in at today’s rates and prices before both climb higher.

In inflationary times, it’s especially important to invest your money in an asset that traditionally holds or grows in value. The graph below shows how home price appreciation outperformed inflation in most decades going all the way back to the seventies – making homeownership a historically strong hedge against inflation (see graph below):