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Category: Housing Market (Page 1 of 19)

Recession and the Housing Market

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession.

Many experts had been predicting recession even before the Covid-19 virus, so it didn’t come as a surprise.  The new economic pressures added by the pandemic just intensified the problem and brought it to light more quickly.

The definition of a recession has been typically recognized as two consecutive quarters of economic decline, as reflected by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in conjunction with monthly indicators such as a rise in unemployment.

Many are concerned that the recession will dramatically and negatively impact the housing market…but historically that isn’t the case.

Real Estate During Recession

Believe it or not, outside of the “great recession” of 2007 (which was caused, in part, to a housing crisis), home values and real estate generally appreciate historically during times of recession.

That seems counter intuitive…but because interest rates generally drop during recessionary periods, homes become MORE affordable to potential buyers. Even though property values are higher, buyer see lower payments provided by those lower rates.

When more people can qualify for homes, the demand for housing increases – and so do home prices.

Mortgage Rates During Recession

When a recession hits, the Federal Reserve prefers rates to be low. The prevailing logic is low-interest rates encourage borrowing and spending, which stimulates the economy.

During a recession, the demand for credit actually declines, so the price of credit falls to entice borrowing activity. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of what mortgage rates have done during recessionary periods:

Obtaining a mortgage during a recession might actually be a good opportunity. As mentioned, when the economy is sluggish, interest rates tend to drop.

Refinancing or purchasing a new home could be a great way to get in at the bottom of the market and make a healthy profit down the road.

With that said, borrowers should be market-wise and financially savvy when considering large real estate purchases in a recession.

The Great Recession and Home Prices

Home price appreciation continued during previous downturns, except for what is called the “Great Recession”.  While the recession officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, it took many years for the economy to recover to pre-crisis levels of employment and output.

So what made the Great Recession different? The housing boom that preceded the last recession was largely driven by an explosion in both home-building activity and mortgage credit.

Home buyers were able to get mortgages with no documentation of their income and no down payment. Many loans had introductory 0% interest periods that made them cheap to start but more expensive as time wore on.

Today, those loan products are no longer in existence.

Today’s Market

The growth in home prices seen during the current economic expansion has not been fueled by increased access to mortgage credit. In essence, today’s recession isn’t at all similar to the prior one.

Rather, it’s a simple reflection of supply and demand. Many Americans want to become homeowners, but the supply of homes available for sale is very low, pushing prices upward.

The housing market saw a drop in activity when stay-at-home measures went into effect throughout the U.S. in March. However, the good news is that home prices continue on an upward trend compared to last year.

The National Association of Realtors reports that the median price for existing homes in April was $286,800, a 7.4% increase from April 2019.

In Conclusion

Although no one likes to see recession, you can observe that it actually can be beneficial for homeowners and would-be purchasers to refinance or purchase during these periods.

If you have more questions and or would like to strategize about purchasing or refinancing, don’t hesitate to contact me, as it would be my pleasure to help you!

Will sellers or buyers have the advantage this summer?

In most years (and in most parts of the country), summer is the best time for home sellers. 

That’s because buyer competition typically accelerates from May through August. 

This year, however, the Covid-19 pandemic might have altered that trend.

Could those changes be enough to alter the summer market in favor of home-buyers? For some, the answer might be yes!

Experts are split, but they agree on one thing: No one can say for sure how the market will move in the coming months.

I’m linking to an article from Eric Martin at The Mortgage Reports and I’d invite you to take a look.

Summer is normally a seller’s market

From Martin’s article:

A recent report by ATTOM Data Solutions had some interesting findings:

  • Sellers reap the greatest home sale premiums as the weather warms up
  • The months yielding the highest premiums are: June (9.6%); May (8.3%); and July (7.3%). August yields a 6.0% premium

Overall, says ATTOM, home sales completed in May, June, and July usually net 7% to 10% above market value. 

That equates to roughly $17,000 to $25,000 extra for sellers. 

Judging by the numbers, it would appear that sellers have a solid leg up on buyers in the summer months.

How COVID-19 changes the home buying balance

Martin states “some experts think that the coronavirus could alter the usual summer housing market patterns.”

“Consider that the aforementioned data is based on sales between 2011 and 2019. This year is a hard one to predict for numerous reasons — most of all a pandemic that’s likely to have long-lasting effects.” 

“We are in uncharted territory,” says Caleb Liu, a real estate investor and owner of House Simply Sold. 

“The longer this pandemic lasts, the more economic damage it may cause. Many sellers may be forced to sell their homes. That means an increased housing supply. And when inventory goes up, prices fall.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean homes will priced to sell quickly. 

“But if the pandemic extends into the second half of 2020, I believe prices will start to drop,” says Liu. 

“If the pandemic extends into the second half of 2020, I believe prices will start to drop” –Caleb Liu, Owner, House Simply Sold

Real estate attorney Rajeh Saadeh also feels buyers may have more leverage than many expect this summer.

“The economy is still relatively strong. And the buyer pool this year will likely be smaller due to job and income loss. Those factors can help give buyers the advantage,” explains Saadeh.

Remember that mortgage rates have recently dropped to all-time lows. Most experts also predict that this low-rate atmosphere will most likely continue throughout the rest of 2020.

Today is a Good Time to Buy

For buyers with stable employment, good credit, and enough cash for the down payment, closing costs, and mortgage payments, this summer could be an excellent time to make that purchase.

Martin quotes Suzanne Hollander, a Florida International University real estate faculty and attorney:

“Interest rates remain enticingly low,” says Hollander. “And if you live in a condo or apartment with common areas and are worried about coronavirus risks, a detached single-family home with your own yard might be just the place for you.”

You can check out another article here on the opportunity that’s presented itself in the housing market during the last few months.

“When the coronavirus pandemic subsides, home prices could very well be higher, and financing could be harder to come by, so buyers should try to find deals now, if they are able.”

In Conclusion

Now really is a good time to act, if you are able. Do  reach out to me if you would like some help with financing or to talk strategy this summer – as it would be my pleasure to help!

A Unique Home Buying Opportunity

Is now a good time to buy a home?

It might be — but not for the reasons you might initially think.

These really are most unusual times, especially when you consider the Covid-19 pandemic…but really good home buying opportunities are out there, to be sure.

Right now, buyer demand is down, as sellers just aren’t seeing the multitudes of offers they had a little over a month ago. A few have even taken their homes off the market, but the majority are looking to sell now and are forced to consider offers from a smaller buyer pool.

After Covid-19

When the coronavirus pandemic subsides, home prices could very well be higher, and financing could be harder to come by, so buyers should try to find deals now, if they are able.

So says Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group, a New York-based residential brokerage.

“If you’re smart enough to attack the market as an educated consumer, and get out there, and make a bid on a sweetheart deal, you’re gonna be the smartest guy. And everybody’s going to applaud you six months from now,” Corcoran said on Wednesday.

You can find the entire article here…

The Key Issue

The market could very soon favor sellers even more than it did previously. Many sellers have pulled their homes off of the market, which will further limit inventory and drive prices higher. It’s just simple supply and demand.

On top of that, buyers will have more competition once consumers start buying again.

“The reality is [that] when they [buyers] come to the market, everyone’s going to be in the market at the same time, they’re going to pay more for the home then than they’re going to pay now,” said Corcoran. 

While the current lock down is making buying real estate difficult, buyers should still keep an eye on their local market so they can recognize a good deal when they see it, Corcoran said.

To identify good deals, buyers should learn about their local market, monitor sales data and find the right real estate agent.

“Because then they’re [the educated buyer] in the position to actually recognize a sweetheart deal when they see it. And if they pounce on it, they’re going to get the deal of a lifetime,” said Corcoran.

“Every real estate cycle that has gone up and down, the deals weren’t made in the down cycles, nor in the up cycles. They were always made in the times where there’s the greatest uncertainty where everybody’s guessing.”

In Conclusion

Now really is a good time to act, if you are able. Do reach out to me if you would like some help with financing – and I’d be glad to point you in the direction of the right real estate agent, as well!

Housing Market Forecast in Today’s Coronavirus Economy

Everyone is rightly concerned about the Coronavirus – as well as its impact on the economy and on housing.

But before the Coronavirus took hold, housing was very strong, with both new construction data and existing home sales at 13-year highs.

Believe it or not, we expect the strength to resume in housing when things get better, and I’m quite confident they will get better!

Sure, there might be a slower period as we practice social distancing, but most experts believe that when the economy comes back, it’s going to come back strong.

Did you know affordability is actually improving in the United States? You can find out more on that here…

In addition to that, homes are valued quite fairly; they’re not overpriced…and home appreciation has been steady and sustainable (more on that here…)

Look at this metric: when you take annual rents, the value of a home is about 17 times what annual rents would be. The historical average is 16, so we’re right there.

The peak was 24 times annual rents and we’re nowhere near that level! And if you take a look at replacement costs, home values are 1.59 times the cost to replace the home. The 40-year average is 1.58. It’s nowhere near the peak of roughly 2.

We can expect housing to come back very strong and this may be a great opportunity to buy that home you were looking for and benefit from it well into the future.

Please do reach out to me for more information and to set up your strategy!

March Home Appreciation and Interest Rate Update

Good news for home owners and buyers alike – home appreciation remains strong.

Interest have moved to historic lows due to multiple factors, including the virus scare.

The Federal Reserve has cut it’s funds rate by .50 basis points in an attempt to “provide a meaningful boost to the economy”, per Chairman Jerome Powell.

With these things in mind, make sure you have a solid game plan to navigate the market right now. Think about inventory, equity in your home, second homes, and investment properties as strategies to build wealth.

It’s also a good time to take a look at refinancing any properties you own, as rates have dropped significantly over the last 2 years.

The housing reporting benchmark, CoreLogic, reported that home prices rose 0.1% in January and 4.0% year over year.

The year-over-year reading remained stable from last month’s report. CoreLogic forecasts that home prices will appreciate by 5.4% in the year going forward, which slightly higher pace. from the 5.2% forecasted in the previous report.

This is great news for would be buyers, as they can expect a great return on their investment!

Do reach out to me to find out more, as it would be my pleasure to help you determine the right strategy for today’s environment.

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