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- 3 Reasons To Sell Your House Before the New Year
Some Highlights Here are a few reasons you may not want to hold off until the new year to sell your house. Buyers looking right now are highly motivated, the supply of homes for sale is still low, and you may find buyers are more flexible with showings this time of year. Let’s connect to determine if selling your house now is the right move for you.
- Is Owning a Home Still the American Dream for Younger Buyers?
Everyone has their own idea of the American Dream, and it's different for each person. But, in a recent survey by Bankrate, people were asked about the achievements they believe represent the American Dream the most. The answers show that owning a home still claims the #1 spot for many Americans today (see graph below): In fact, according to the graph, owning a home is more important to people than retiring, having a successful career, or even getting a college degree. But is the dream of homeownership still alive for younger generations? A recent survey by 1000watt dives into how the two generations many people believed would be the renter generations (Gen Z and millennials) feel about homeownership. Specifically, it asks if they want to buy a home in the future. The resounding answer is yes (see graph below): While there are plenty of reasons why someone might prefer homeownership to renting, the same 1000watt survey shows, that for 63% of Gen Z and millennials, it’s that your place doesn’t feel like “home” unless you own it – maybe you feel the same way. That emotional draw is further emphasized when you look at the reasons why Gen Z and millennials want to become homeowners. For all the financial benefits homeownership provides, in most cases it’s about the lifestyle or emotional benefits (see graph below): What Does This Mean for You? If you’re a part of Gen Z or are a millennial and you’re ready, willing, and able to buy a home, you’ll want a great real estate agent by your side. Their experience and expertise in the local housing market will help you overcome today’s high mortgage rates, low inventory, and rising home prices to find your first home and turn your dream into a reality. Working with a local real estate agent to find your dream home is the key to unlocking the American Dream. Bottom Line Buying a home is a big, important decision that represents the heart of the American Dream. If you want to accomplish your goal, let’s connect to start the process today.
- Why the Economy Won’t Tank the Housing Market
If you’re worried about a coming recession, you’re not alone. Over the past couple of years, there’s been a lot of recession talk. And many people worry, if we do have one, it would cause the unemployment rate to skyrocket. Some even fear that a spike in unemployment would lead to a rash of foreclosures similar to what happened 15 years ago. However, the latest Economic Forecasting Survey from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reveals that, for the first time in over a year, less than half (48%) of economists believe a recession will actually occur within the next year: “Economists are turning optimistic on the U.S. economy . . . economists lowered the probability of a recession within the next year, from 54% on average in July to a more optimistic 48%. That is the first time they have put the probability below 50% since the middle of last year.” If over half of the experts no longer expect a recession within the next year, you might naturally think those same experts also don’t expect the unemployment rate to jump way up – and you’d be right. The graph below uses data from that same WSJ survey to show exactly what the economists project for the unemployment rate over the next three years (see graph below): If those expert projections are correct, more people will lose their jobs in the upcoming year. And job losses of any kind are devastating for those people and their loved ones. However, the question here is: will there be enough job losses to cause a wave of foreclosures that will crash the housing market? Based on historical context from Macrotrends and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the answer is no. That’s because the unemployment rate is currently near all-time lows (see graph below): As the orange bar in the graph shows, the average unemployment rate dating back to 1948 is 5.7%. The red bar shows, the last time the housing market crashed, in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, the average unemployment rate was up to 8.3%. Both of those bars are much higher than the unemployment rate today (shown in the blue bar). Moving forward, projections show the unemployment rate is likely to stay beneath the 75-year average. And that means we won’t see a wave of foreclosures that would severely impact the housing market. Bottom Line Most economists no longer expect a recession to occur in the next 12 months. That’s why they also don’t expect a dramatic rise in the unemployment rate that would lead to a rash of foreclosures and another housing market crash. If you have questions about unemployment and its impact on the housing market, let’s connect.
- Are the Top 3 Housing Market Questions on Your Mind?
When it comes to what’s happening in the housing market, there’s a lot of confusion going around right now. You may hear one thing in conversation with your friends, see something totally different on the news, and read something on social media that contradicts both of those thoughts. And, if you’re thinking about making a move, that can leave you with a lot of lingering questions. That’s where a trusted local real estate agent comes in. Here are the top 3 questions people are asking about today’s housing market, and the data to help answer them. 1. What’s Next for Mortgage Rates? Mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been in recent years. And, if you’re looking to buy a home, that impacts how much you can afford. That’s why so many buyers want to know what’s ahead for mortgage rates. The answer to that question is: no one can say for certain, but here’s what we know based on historical trends. There’s a long-standing relationship between mortgage rates and inflation. Basically, when inflation is high, mortgage rates tend to follow suit. Over the past year, inflation was up, so mortgage rates were as well. But inflation is easing now. And this is why the Federal Reserve has recently paused their federal funds rate hikes, which means many experts believe mortgage rates will begin to come down. And in some ways, we’ve started to see hints of slightly lower mortgage rates in recent weeks. But it’s certainly been volatile and will likely continue to be that way going into next year. Some ongoing variation is to be expected, but the anticipation is, that in 2024, we’ll see a downward trend. As Aziz Sunderji, Strategist at Home Economics, says: “The bottom line is that interest rates are likely to be lower-perhaps even lower than many optimists think - in the weeks and months to come.” 2. Where Are Home Prices Headed? While there’s been a lot of concern prices would come crashing down this year, data shows that didn’t happen. In fact, home prices are rising in most of the nation. Experts say that trend will continue, just at a slower pace that’s much more normal for the housing market – and that’s a good thing. To help show just how confident experts are in this continued appreciation, take a look at the Home Price Expectation Survey from Pulsenomics. It’s a survey of a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. As the graph below shows, the consensus is, that prices will keep climbing next year, and in the years to come. 3. Is a Recession Around the Corner? While recession talk has been a common thing over the past few years, there’s good news on that front. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) polls experts on this topic regularly. And last year at this time, most of them thought a recession would have happened by now. But as experts look at all the leading indicators today, they’re changing their minds and saying a recession is getting less and less likely. The latest results show that more experts now think we’re not headed for another recession (see chart below): This is big news for the housing market. And while the 48% to 52% split may seem close to half and half, the key thing to focus on is that the majority of these experts think we’ve avoided a recession already. Bottom Line The big takeaway? The data shows there isn’t cause for concern – there are actually more signs of hope. Let’s connect to talk more about the housing market questions on your mind as we head into the new year.
- Is Wall Street Buying Up All the Homes in America?
If you’re thinking about buying a home, you may find yourself interested in the latest real estate headlines so you can have a pulse on all of the things that could impact your decision. If that’s the case, you’ve probably heard mention of investors, and wondered how they’re impacting the housing market right now. That could leave you asking yourself questions like: How many homes do investors own? Are institutional investors, like large Wall Street Firms, really buying up so many homes that the average person can’t find one? To answer those questions, here’s the real story of what’s happening based on the data. Let’s start with establishing how many single-family homes (SFHs) there are and what portion of those are rentals owned by investors. According to SFR Investor, which studies the single-family rental market in the United States, there are eighty-two million single-family homes in this country. But how many of them are actually rentals? According to data shared in a recent post, sixty-eight million (82.93%) of those homes are owner-occupied – meaning the person who owns the home lives in it. If you subtract that sixty-eight million from the total number of single-family homes (82 million), that leaves just about fourteen million homes left that are single-family rentals (SFRs). Do institutional investors own all of those remaining fourteen million homes? Not even close. Let’s take it one step further. There are four categories of investors: The mom & pop investor who owns between 1-9 SFRs The regional investor who owns between 10-99 SFRs Smaller national investor who owns between 100-999 SFRs The institutional investor who owns over 1,000 SFRs These categories show that not all investors are large institutional investors. To help convey that even more clearly, here are the percentages of rental homes owned by each type of investor (see chart below): As you can see in the chart, despite what the news and social media would have you believe, the green shows the vast majority are not owned by large institutional investors. Instead, most are owned by small mom & pop investors, like your friends and neighbors. What’s actually happening is, that there are people out there, just like you, who believe in homeownership, and they view buying a home (or a second home) as an investment. Maybe they saw an opportunity to buy a second home over the last few years to use it as a rental and generate additional income. Or maybe they just decided to keep their first house rather than sell it when they moved up. So, don’t believe everything you read or hear about institutional investors. They aren’t buying up all the homes and making it impossible for the average person to buy. That’s just not what the numbers show. Institutional investors are actually the smallest piece of the pie chart. Bottom Line While it’s true that institutional investors are a player in the single-family rental marketplace, they’re not buying up all of the houses on the market. If you have other questions about things you’re hearing about the housing market, let’s connect so you have an expert to give you the context you need.
- Why Homeowners Feel Thankful for Their Homes [INFOGRAPHIC]
Some Highlights Here are three reasons why homeowners feel thankful for their homes. First, it’s a safe place that can give you a greater sense of comfort, safety, and security. Second, it gives you freedom of expression. From the color of the paint to the art on the walls, you can express your style and your personality. Third, it provides a sense of community. Owning your home helps you build lasting friendships with neighbors and connects you to your community. If you're thinking of buying a home and want to hear more about the potential benefits, let's talk.
- Why Homeowners Are Thankful They Own
Countless people have set out on the exciting journey of homeownership. Ask around and you’ll find the vast majority are thankful they took the leap and bought a home. But why? It’s because of the many emotional and lifestyle benefits that come with being a homeowner. So, if you’re trying to decide if you want to rent or buy a home, here are just a few of the many benefits you could look forward to if you buy. It’s a Safe Haven Owning a home goes beyond just having a roof over your head. It provides a sense of security and safety. In fact, in a survey from Fannie Mae, respondents say “having a sense of privacy and security” is one of the top reasons homeownership is preferred to renting. And in a different Fannie Mae survey, “living in a place where you and your family feels safe” is another one of the top benefits of homeownership. Your home is a place where you can truly relax and unwind. Knowing that you have a sanctuary to return to at the end of the day is a great source of comfort. It’s a Canvas for Self-Expression For many homeowners, their home is a reflection of who they are. The National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.” From the color of the front door to the art hanging on the walls, every detail contributes to a unique expression of personal style. Put simply, owning a home gives you the freedom to make changes and improvements that resonate with your personality. It Helps You Feel More Connected to the Community Stability is another cornerstone of homeownership. The longer you stay put, the more emotionally connected you are to your community. For example, if your neighborhood does cook-outs, block parties, or other events, you’ll feel more engaged and probably build meaningful relationships with those around you. As NAR states: “Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community.” The sense of community where you can make life-long friends helps give you more stability and predictability than you’d have if you move each time a rental lease renews. Its Where Lifelong Memories Are Made Not to mention, your home is where you’ll make many memories. It’s a backdrop for the stories of your life. Celebrating milestones, hosting gatherings, and building a treasure trove of special moments within the walls of your home is a heartwarming experience to be thankful for. Bottom Line As you start thinking about buying a home, remember why so many people are glad they did. Homeownership isn’t just a financial decision. It’s about having a stable place where you can make lasting memories. If you're thinking of buying a home and want advice, let's chat.
- Home Prices Still Growing – Just at a More Normal Pace
If you’re feeling a bit muddy on what’s happening with home prices, that’s no surprise. Some people are still saying prices are falling, even though data proves otherwise. Part of that misconception is because people are getting their information from unreliable sources. But it’s also coming from some media coverage misrepresenting what the data really shows. So, to keep things simple, here’s what you really need to know using real data you can trust. Normal Home Price Seasonality Explained In the housing market, there are predictable ebbs and flows that happen each year. It’s called seasonality. Spring is the peak homebuying season when the market is most active. That activity is typically still strong in the summer but begins to wane as the cooler months approach. Home prices follow along with seasonality because prices appreciate most when something is in high demand. That’s why there’s a reliable long-term home price trend. The graph below uses data from Case-Shiller to show the typical percent change for monthly home price movement from 1973 through 2022 (not adjusted, so you can see the seasonality): As the data shows, at the beginning of the year, home prices grow, but not as much as they do when entering the spring and summer markets. That’s because the market is less active in January and February since fewer people move in the cooler months. As the market transitions into the peak homebuying season in the spring, activity ramps up, and home prices go up a lot more in response. Then, as fall and winter approach, prices still grow, just at a slower pace as activity eases again. This Year, Seasonality Has Returned Now, let’s look at how this year compares to that long-term trend (see graph below): Here’s the latest data for this year from that same source. Just like before, the dark bars are the long-standing trend. The green bars represent what’s happened this year. As you can see, the green bars are beginning to fall in line with what’s normal for the market. That’s a good thing because it’s more sustainable price growth than we’ve seen in recent years. In a nutshell, nationally prices aren’t falling, it’s just that price growth is beginning to normalize. Moving forward, there’s a chance the media will misrepresent this slowing of home price growth as prices falling. So don’t believe everything you see in the headlines. The data included here gives you the context you need to really understand what’s happening. So, if you see something in the headlines that’s confusing, don’t just take it at face value. Ask a trusted real estate professional for more information. Remember, it’s normal to see home price growth slow down as the year goes on. And that definitely doesn’t mean home prices are falling. They’re just rising at a more moderate pace. Bottom Line Home price appreciation is returning to normal seasonality and that’s a good thing. If you have questions about what’s happening with prices in our local area, let’s connect.
- Are There Actually More Homes for Sale Right Now?
If you’re looking to make a move, you want to be sure you have the latest information on the housing market. To help make that possible, here’s an update on the supply of homes for sale today. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, the number of homes available in your local market matters to you. Take a look below. What’s the Truth About Today’s Housing Inventory? While the story for the past few years has been how few homes are on the market, recent national data may leave you feeling a bit confused. That’s because Realtor.com shows inventory is actually growing a bit month-over-month in many parts of the country (see the blue states in the map below): As the map shows, nationally, housing supply increased just over 5% last month. Does That Mean the Days of Limited Inventory Are Over? That might make you wonder: are the days of tight housing supply behind us? The short answer is no. Context is important. While you may see headlines saying inventory is up, data also shows there are still significantly fewer homes for sale than there would usually be in a more normal market. The graph below compares the latest active listing counts (homes currently available for sale) with the most recent normal years in the housing market (2017-2019): As Lance Lambert, Founder, ResiClub Analytics, explains: “Housing market inventory is so far below pre-pandemic levels that October's big jump is still just a drop in the bucket.” What does that mean for you? Remember, real estate is hyper-local. Partnering with a trusted real estate agent will help you gain a better understanding of the inventory situation in your specific market. If you’re looking to buy, you may have slightly more options than you did in recent months, but you still need to brace for low inventory. A great agent will be able to share their expertise and key strategies that have helped other buyers navigate today’s ongoing low housing supply. And, if you’re trying to sell, rest assured you haven’t missed your window of opportunity to potentially get multiple offers or see your house sell quickly. While inventory has ticked up some nationally, overall, it’s still low and may be down even more in your area. Bottom Line If you’re looking to buy or sell a home, let’s connect so you can make sure you’re up to date on all the latest trends that could impact your move, including today’s housing supply.
- Is Your House the Top Thing on a Buyer’s Wish List this Holiday Season?
This time every year, homeowners who are planning to move have a decision to make: sell now or wait until after the holidays? Some sellers with homes already on the market may even remove their listing until the new year. But the truth is, many buyers want to purchase a home for the holidays, and your house might be just what they’re looking for. As an article from Fortune Builders explains: “ . . . while a majority of people take a step back from the real estate market during the holiday months, you may find when the temperature drops, your potential for a great real estate deal starts to rise.” To help prove that point, here are four reasons you shouldn’t wait to sell your house. 1. The desire to own a home doesn’t stop during the holidays. While a few buyers might opt to delay their moving plans until January, others may need to move now because something in their life has changed. The buyers who look for homes at this time of year are usually motivated to make their move happen and are eager to buy. A recent article from Investopedia says: “Anyone shopping for a new home between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is likely going to be a serious buyer. Putting your home on the market at this time of year and attracting a serious buyer can often result in a quicker sale.” 2. While the supply of homes for sale has increased a little bit lately, overall inventory is still lower than it was before the pandemic. What does that mean for you? If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, it could still sell quickly because today’s buyers are craving more options – and your home may be exactly what they’re searching for. 3. You can determine the days and times that are most convenient for you for home showings. That can help you minimize disruptions to your own schedule, which can be especially important during this busy time of year. Plus, you may find buyers are more flexible on when they’ll tour a house this time of year because they have more time off from work around the holidays. 4. And finally, homes decorated for the holidays appeal to many buyers. For those buyers, it’s easy to picture gathering with their loved ones in the home and making memories of their own. An article on selling at this time of year offers this advice: “If you’re selling around a holiday and have decorations up, make sure they accent—not overpower—a room. Less is more.” Bottom Line There are plenty of good reasons to put your house on the market during the holiday season. Let's chat and see if it's the right time for you to sell.
- 2024 Housing Market Forecast [INFOGRAPHIC]
Some Highlights Thinking of buying or selling a house and wondering what the new year holds for the housing market? Experts forecast home prices to end this year up 2.8% and to rise another 1.5% in 2024. And climbing prices help make homeownership a good investment. Plus, home sales are projected to increase in 2024. That’s good news because it means experts are forecasting more activity as people continue to move. If you're planning to buy or sell, it’s helpful to know what experts project for the housing market. Let’s connect to talk about the latest forecasts and craft a plan together.
- People Are Still Moving, Even with Today’s Affordability Challenges
If you're thinking about buying or selling a home, you might have heard that it’s tough right now because mortgage rates are higher than they’ve been over the past few years, and home prices are rising. That much is true. Take a look at the graph below. It breaks down how the current affordability situation stacks up to recent years. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains how to read the values on the graph: “To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home.” The black dotted line represents that 100 value on the index. Essentially, the higher the bar, the more affordable homes are. As you can see, the orange bar for today shows higher mortgage rates and home prices have created a clear challenge. But, while affordability is definitely tighter right now, that doesn’t mean the housing market is at a standstill. According to NAR, based on the pace of sales right now, just under 4 million homes will sell this year. With some simple math, let’s break down what that really means for you: 3.96 million homes divided by 365 days in a year = 10,849 houses sell each day 10,849 divided by 24 hours in a day = 452 houses sell per hour 452 divided by 60 minutes in an hour = about 8 houses sell each minute So, on average, over 10,000 homes sell each day in this country. Whether you're a buyer or a seller, this goes to show there are still ways to make your move possible, even at a time when affordability is tight. An Agent Can Help You Make Your Move a Reality You may be wondering how other homebuyers and sellers are making this happen now. One of the biggest game-changers in today’s market is working with a trusted local real estate agent. Great agents are helping other people just like you navigate today’s market and the current affordability situation, and their insight is invaluable right now. True professionals will be able to offer advice tailored to your specific wants, needs, budget, and more. Not to mention, they’ll also be able to draw on their experience of what’s working for other buyers and sellers right now. This could mean broadening your search, if needed, to include other housing types like condos, townhouses, or neighborhoods a bit further out to help offset some of the affordability challenges today. Bottom Line You might think there aren’t many people buying or selling homes right now since affordability is tighter than it’s been in quite some time, but that’s not the case. It’s true that buying a home has become more expensive over the past couple of years, but people are still moving. If you’re hoping to buy or sell a home today, know that other people are still making their goals a reality – and that’s happening in large part because of the help and advice of skilled local real estate agents. Want to talk to a trusted professional about your own move? Let’s connect.