With a peak in 2010 when nearly 1.2 million homes were foreclosed on, over 7.7 million families lost their homes throughout the entire foreclosure crisis.
Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, had this to say,
“The country experienced a wild ride in the mortgage market between 2008 and 2012, with the foreclosure peak occurring in 2010. As we look back over 10 years of the foreclosure crisis, we cannot ignore the connection between jobs and homeownership. A healthy economy is driven by jobs coupled with consumer confidence that usually leads to homeownership.”
Since the peak, foreclosures have been steadily on the decline by nearly 100,000 per year all the way through the end of 2016, as seen in the chart below.
If this trend continues, the country will be back to 2005 levels by the end of 2017.
As the economy continues to improve, and employment numbers increase, the number of completed foreclosures should continue to decrease.
Mortgage interest rates have risen over the last few months and projections are that they will continue their upswing throughout 2017. What impact will this have on the housing market? Here is what the experts are saying:
“In 1984, 1994, 2000, and 2013, every time we have rate increases, we have increases in nominal home prices. We expect this to be more pronounced, as there is a big demand-and-supply gap at the present time.”
“The tightening labor market, rising wage growth, high levels of consumer confidence and a millennial generation with a pent-up demand for housing should allow the housing market to weather the storm of gradually rising interest rates.”
“Although we strongly believe that the housing supply-demand imbalance for single-family homes will continue to drive above-average home price appreciation, just as falling mortgage rates aided pricing power on the margin in recent months, we expect the opposite effect to become evident in the coming months.As such, we project year-end home price inflation of 4.8% for 2017 and 4.1% for 2018.”
“A modest increase in mortgage rates won’t have much of an effect on home purchases. A buyer may need to slightly re-evaluate which homes they can afford, but it’s not likely to make an impact on qualifying, in most cases.”
“Our survey data shows that mortgage rates would have to be significantly higher to have any meaningful impact. The house buying power that borrowers have, even with rates below five percent, still remains historically strong.”
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.
1. Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Indexreports that home prices have appreciated by 6.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.
The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.
2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Surveyshows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4% over the last couple months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by at least a half a percentage point this time next year.
An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.
3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage
There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.
Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?
4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.
But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?
Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
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 7.1%. CoreLogic, in their most recent Home Price Insights Report, reveals that national home prices have increased by 6.9% year-over-year.
The CoreLogic report broke down appreciation even further into four different price categories:
Lower Priced Homes: priced at 75% or less of the median
Low-to-Middle Priced Homes: priced between 75-100% of the median
Middle-to-Moderate Priced Homes: priced between 100-125% of the median
High Price Homes: priced greater than 125% of the median
Here is how each category did in 2016:
The lower priced homes (which are more in demand) appreciated at greater rates than the homes at the upper ends of the spectrum.
The inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market was recently reported to be at a 3.6-month supply according to the National Association of RealtorslatestExisting Home Sales Report. Inventory is now 7.1% lower than this time last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year drops.
Historically, inventory must reach a 6-month supply for a normal market where home prices appreciate with inflation. Anything less than a 6-month supply is a sellers’ market, where the demand for houses outpaces supply and prices go up.
As you can see from the chart below, the United States has been in a sellers’ market since August 2012, but last month’s numbers reached a new low.
Recently Truliarevealed that not only is there a shortage of homes on the market in general, but the homes that are available for sale are not meeting the needs of the buyers that are searching.
Homes are generally bucketed into three groups by price range: starter, trade-up, and premium.
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.
Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories. Ninety-two of the top 100 metros have a shortage in trade-up inventory.
Premium homebuyers have the best chance of less competition and a surplus of listings in their price range with an 11-point surplus, leading to more of a buyer’s market.
“It leaves Americans who are in the market for a home increasingly chasing too fewer options in lower price ranges, and sellers of premium homes more likely to be left waiting longer for a buyer.”
Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist doesn’t see an end to this coming any time soon:
“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range.”
Real estate is local. If you are thinking about buying OR selling this spring, let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in your area.
Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters.
This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get a rate below 4%. However, we must realize that current rates are still at historic lows.
Here is a chart showing the average mortgage interest rate over the last several decades.
Though you may have missed getting 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.
In many areas of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers looking to purchase their dream homes. Experts have long proposed that a ramp-up in new, single-family home construction would be one of the many ways to overcome this inventory shortage.
According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo, housing market confidence amongst builders reached an 11-year high last month.
What Does High Confidence Mean for the Housing Market?
In a recent interview, Rob Dietz, Chief Economist and SVP for NAHB, put it this way:
“Higher market confidence will translate into more building and more inventory in 2017. We expect single-family construction to grow 10 percent next year.”
With 2016 marking the best year in real estate sales in over a decade, a 10 percent ramp-up in single-family construction will only aid in making 2017 an even greater year.
According to the latest US Census data, sales of newly constructed homes were up 3.7% over January 2016 as they reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. Dietz went on to comment:
“We can expect further growth in new home sales throughout the year, spurred on by employment gains and a rise in household formations. As the supply of existing homes remains tight, more consumers will turn to new construction.”
With the weather and the real estate market heating up this spring, there will be a surge of new construction coming to the market soon.