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  • Will a Silver Tsunami Change the 2024 Housing Market?

    Have you ever heard the term “Silver Tsunami” and wondered what it's all about? If so, that might be because there’s been a lot of talk about it online recently. Let's dive into what it is and why it won't drastically impact the housing market. What Does Silver Tsunami Mean? A recent article from HousingWire calls it: “. . . a colloquialism referring to aging Americans changing their housing arrangements to accommodate aging . . .” The thought is that as baby boomers grow older, a significant number will start downsizing their homes. Considering how large that generation is, if these moves happened in a big wave, it would affect the housing market by causing a significant uptick in the number of larger homes for sale. That influx of homes coming onto the market would impact the balance of supply and demand and more. The concept makes sense in theory, but will it happen? And if so, when? Why It Won’t Have a Huge Impact on the Housing Market in 2024 Experts say, so far, a silver tsunami hasn’t happened – and it probably won't anytime soon. According to that same article from HousingWire: “. . . the silver tsunami’s transformative potential for the U.S. housing market has not yet materialized in any meaningful way, and few expect it to anytime soon.” Here’s just one reason why. Many baby boomers don’t want to move. Data from the AARP shows over half of the surveyed adults ages 65 and up plan to stay put and age in place in their current home rather than move (see chart below): Clearly, not every baby boomer is planning to sell or move – and even those who do won’t do it all at once. Instead, it will be more gradual, happening slowly over time. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says: “Demographics are never a tsunami. The baby boomer generation is almost two decades of births. That means they're going to take about two decades to work their way through.” Bottom Line If you’re worried about a Silver Tsunami shaking up the housing market, don’t be. Any impact from baby boomers moving will be gradual over many years. Fleming sums it up best: “Demographic trends, they don't tsunami. They trickle.”

  • Why It’s More Affordable To Buy a Home This Year

    Some Highlights Home affordability depends on three factors: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. Mortgage rates are down from their recent peak, home prices are expected to rise at a slower pace, and wages are increasing faster than usual. That’s good news if you want to buy a home because it means affordability is getting better.

  • The Top Benefits of Buying a Multi-Generational Home

    Has the idea of sharing a home with loved ones like your grandparents, parents, or other relatives crossed your mind? If so, you’re not alone. More buyers are choosing to go this route and buy a multi-generational home. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons why, to see if a home like this may be right for you too. Why Buyers Are Opting for Multi-Generational Living According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), two of the top reasons buyers are opting for multi-generational homes today have to do with affordability (see graph below): First-time buyers are focused most on cost savings – with 28% saying this was a key reason for them. By pooling their resources with others, they can share financial responsibilities like mortgage payments, utilities, and more to make homeownership more affordable. This is especially helpful for those first-time homebuyers who may be finding it tough to afford a home on their own in today’s market. Buyers are also turning to multi-generational homes so they can more easily afford their dream home. Both first-time (28%) and repeat buyers (18%) chose to live with others so they could buy a larger home. When everyone chips in and combines their incomes, that big dream home with more space could be more within reach. But multi-generational living isn’t just about the financial side of things. According to the same study from NAR, 23% of repeat buyers chose to buy a multi-generational home to make it easier to care for an aging parent. Many older adults want to age in place and a multi-generational home can help make that possible. For those older adults, it gives them an opportunity to maintain their quality of life while being surrounded by their loved ones. As Axios explains: “Financial concerns and caregiving needs are two of the major reasons people live with their parents (and parents' parents).” Lean on an Expert Finding the perfect multi-generational home isn’t as simple as shopping for a regular house. That’s because there are more people with even more opinions and needs to be considered. It's like solving a puzzle, and the pieces need to fit just right. So if you're interested in the many benefits multi-generational living offers, partner with a local real estate agent who has the expertise to help. Bottom Line Whether your motives are financial or focused on the people you’ll share your home with, buying a multi-generational home may make sense for you. If you’re interested in learning more, let’s connect.

  • Are More Homeowners Selling as Mortgage Rates Come Down?

    If you’re looking to buy a home, the recent downward trend in mortgage rates is good news because it helps with affordability. But there’s another way this benefits you – it may inspire more homeowners to put their houses up for sale. The Mortgage Rate Lock-In Effect Over the past year, one factor that’s really limited the options for your move is how few homes were on the market. That’s because many homeowners chose to delay their plans to sell once mortgage rates went up. An article from Freddie Mac explains: “The lack of housing supply was partly driven by the rate lock-in effect. . . . With higher rates, the incentive for existing homeowners to list their property and move to a new house has greatly diminished, leaving them rate locked.” These homeowners decided to stay put and keep their current lower mortgage rate, rather than move and take on a higher one on their next home. Early Signs Show Those Homeowners Are Ready To Move Again According to the latest data from Realtor.com, there were more homeowners putting their houses up for sale, known in the industry as new listings, in December 2023 compared to December 2022 (see graph below): Here's why this is so significant. Typically, activity in the housing market cools down in the later months of the year as some sellers choose to delay their moves until January rolls around. This is the first time since 2020 that we’re seen an uptick in new listings this time of year. This could be a signal that the rate lock-in effect is easing a bit in response to lower rates. What This Means for You While there isn’t going to suddenly be an influx of options for your home search, it does mean more sellers may be deciding to list. According to a recent article from the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS): “A reduction in interest rates could alleviate the lock-in effect and help lift homeowner mobility. Indeed, interest rates have recently declined, falling by a full percentage point from October to November 2023 . . . Further decreases would reduce the barrier to moving and give homeowners looking to sell a newfound sense of urgency . . .” And that means you may see more homes come onto the market to give you more fresh options to choose from. Bottom Line As mortgage rates come down, more sellers may re-enter the market – that gives you an opportunity to find the home you’re looking for. Let’s connect so you’ve got a local expert on your side who’ll help you stay on top of the latest listings in our area.

  • Experts Project Home Prices Will Increase in 2024

    Even though home prices are going up nationally, some people are still worried they might come down. In fact, a recent survey from Fannie Mae found that 24% of people think home prices will actually decline over the next 12 months. That means almost one out of every four people are dealing with that fear, and you might be, too. To help ease that concern, here's what experts forecast will happen with prices this year. Experts Project a Modest Increase Check out the latest home price forecasts from eight different sources (see graph below): The blue bar on the left means, on average, experts think home prices will go up over 2% by the end of this year – not down. Prices aren’t likely to depreciate in 2024 because inventory is still tight and lower mortgage rates are leading to strong buyer demand. Those two factors will keep pushing prices up as the year goes on. As Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains: “With mortgage rates dropping, demand for homes in early 2024 is likely to be strong and will again put pressure on prices, similar to trends observed in early 2023 . . . Most markets will continue to reach new home price highs over the course of 2024.” What Does This Mean for You? Experts are saying home prices will go up this year, and that's good news if you're thinking about buying a home. When you become a homeowner, you want the value of your house to go up. That appreciation is what builds equity and makes homeownership such a good investment over time. Beyond that, expected home price appreciation also means if you’re ready, willing, and able to buy, waiting just means it will cost more later. Bottom Line If you're worried home prices will come down, don’t be. Many experts believe they’ll actually go up this year. If you have questions or worries about what’s happening with prices in our area, let’s connect.

  • 3 Must-Do’s When Selling Your House in 2024

    If one of the goals on your list is selling your house and making a move this year, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement about what’s ahead and feeling a little sentimental about your current home. A great way to balance those emotions and make sure you’re confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind when you’re ready to sell. 1. Price Your Home Right The housing market shifted in 2023 as mortgage rates rose and home price appreciation started to normalize once again. As a seller, you still need to recognize how important it is to price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Hannah Jones, Economic Research Analyst for Realtor.com, explains: “Sellers need to become familiar with their local market and work closely with a local agent to make sure their listing is attractive to buyers. Buyers feeling the pressure of affordability are likely to be pickier, so a well-priced, well-maintained home is the ticket to drumming up big demand.” If you price your house too high, you run the risk of deterring buyers. And if you go too low, you’re leaving money on the table. An experienced real estate agent can help determine what your ideal asking price should be, so your house moves quickly and for top dollar. 2. Keep Your Emotions in Check Today, homeowners are staying in their houses longer than they used to. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), since 1985, the average time a homeowner has owned their home has increased from 6 to 10 years (see graph below): This is much more than what used to be the norm. The side effect, however, is when you stay in one place for so long, you may get even more emotionally attached to your space. If it’s the first home you bought or the house where your loved ones grew up, it very likely means something extra special to you. Every room has memories, and it’s hard to detach from the sentimental value. For some homeowners, that makes it even tougher to separate the emotional value of the house from fair market price. That’s why you need a real estate professional to help you with the negotiations and the best pricing strategy along the way. Trust the professionals who have your best interests in mind. 3. Stage Your Home Properly While you may love your decor and how you’ve customized your house over the years, not all buyers will feel the same way about your vibe. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you focus on your home’s first impression, so it appeals to as many buyers as possible. Buyers want to be able to picture themselves in the home. They need to see themselves inside with their furniture and keepsakes – not your pictures and decorations. As Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at NAR, says: “Buyers want to easily envision themselves within a new home and home staging is a way to showcase the property in its best light.” A real estate professional can help you with expertise on getting your house ready to sell. Bottom Line If you’re considering selling your house, let’s connect so you have help navigating the process while prioritizing these must-do’s.

  • Key Terms Every Homebuyer Should Learn

    Some Highlights Buying a home is a big deal and can feel especially complicated if you don't know the terms used during the process. If you want to become a homeowner this year, it's a good idea to learn these key housing terms and understand how they relate to the current housing market. That will help you feel confident when you buy a home. Let’s connect so you can get expert help with any questions you have.

  • 3 Key Factors Affecting Home Affordability

    Over the past year, a lot of people have been talking about housing affordability and how tight it’s gotten. But just recently, there’s been a little bit of relief on that front. Mortgage rates have gone down since their most recent peak in October. But there’s more to being able to afford a home than just mortgage rates. To understand home affordability, you need to look at the combination of three important factors: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. Let’s dive into the latest data on each one to see why affordability is improving. 1. Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates have come down in recent months. And looking forward, most experts expect them to decline further over the course of the year. Jiayi Xu, an economist at Realtor.com, explains: “While there could be some fluctuations in the path forward … the general expectation is that mortgage rates will continue to trend downward, as long as the economy continues to see progress on inflation.” And even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your purchasing power, making it easier for you to afford the home you want by reducing your monthly mortgage payment. 2. Home Prices The second important factor is home prices. After going up at a relatively normal pace last year, they’re expected to continue rising moderately in 2024. That’s because even with inventory projected to grow slightly this year, there still aren’t enough homes for sale for all the people who want to buy them. According to Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS: “More inventory will be generally offset by more buyers in the market. As a result, it is expected that, overall, the median home price in the U.S. will grow modestly . . .” That’s great news for you because it means prices aren’t likely to skyrocket like they did during the pandemic. But it also means it’ll probably cost you more to wait. So, if you’re ready, willing, and able to buy, and you can find the right home, purchasing before more buyers enter the market and prices rise further might be in your best interest. 3. Wages Another positive factor in affordability right now is rising income. The graph below uses data from the Federal Reserve to show how wages have grown over time: If you look at the blue dotted trendline, you can see the rate at which wages typically rise. But on the right side of the graph, wages are above the trend line today, meaning they’re going up at a higher rate than normal. Higher wages improve affordability because they reduce the percentage of your income it takes to pay your mortgage. That’s because you don’t have to put as much of your paycheck toward your monthly housing cost. What This Means for You Home affordability depends on three things: mortgage rates, home prices, and wages. The good news is, they’re moving in a positive direction for buyers overall. Bottom Line If you're thinking about buying a home, it's important to know the main factors impacting affordability are improving. To get the latest updates on each, let's connect.

  • 2 Reasons Why Today’s Mortgage Rate Trend Is Good for Sellers

    If you’ve been holding off on selling your house to make a move because you felt mortgage rates were too high, their recent downward trend is exciting news for you. Mortgage rates have descended since last October when they hit 7.79%. In fact, they’ve been below 7% for over a month now (see graph below): And while they’re not going back to the 3% we saw during the ‘unicorn’ years, they are expected to continue to go down from where they are now in the near future. As Dean Baker, Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Research, explains: “It also appears that mortgage rates are now falling again. They will almost certainly not fall to pandemic lows, although we may soon see rates under 6.0 percent, which would be low by pre-Great Recession standards.” Here are two reasons why this recent trend, and the expectation it’ll continue, is such good news for you. You May Not Feel as Locked-In to Your Current Mortgage Rate With mortgage rates already significantly lower than they were just a few months ago, you may feel less locked-in to the current mortgage rate you have on your house. When mortgage rates were higher, moving to a new home meant possibly trading in a low rate for one up near 8%. However, with rates dropping, the difference between your current mortgage rate and the new rate you’d be taking on isn’t as big as it was. That makes moving more affordable than it was just a few months ago. As Lance Lambert, Founder of ResiClub, explains: “We might be at peak “lock-in effect.” Some move-up or lifestyle sellers might be coming to terms with the fact 3% and 4% mortgage rates aren’t returning anytime soon.” More Buyers Will Be Coming to the Market According to data from Bright MLS, the top reason buyers have been waiting to take the plunge into homeownership is high mortgage rates (see graph below): Lower mortgage rates mean buyers can potentially save money on their home loans, making the prospect of purchasing a home more attractive and affordable. Now that rates are easing, more buyers are likely to feel they’re ready to jump back into the market and make their move. And more buyers mean more demand for your house. Bottom Line If you’ve been waiting to sell because you didn’t want to take on a larger mortgage rate or you thought buyers weren’t out there, the recent decline in mortgage rates may be your sign it’s time to move. When you’re ready, let’s connect.

  • Why You May Want To Seriously Consider a Newly Built Home

    Are you putting off your plans to sell because you’re worried you won’t be able to find a home you like when you move? If so, it may be time to consider a newly built home and the benefits that come with one. Here’s why. Near-Record Percentage of New Home Inventory Newly built homes are becoming an increasingly significant part of today’s housing inventory. According to the most recent report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB): “Newly built homes available for sale accounted for 31% of total homes available for sale in November, compared to an approximate 12% historical average.” That means the percentage of the total homes available to buy that are newly built is well over two times higher than the norm. And even more new homes are on the way. Recent data from the Census shows there’s been an uptick in both housing starts (where builders break ground on more new homes) and housing completions (homes where construction just wrapped). And while some people may worry builders are building too many homes, that isn’t a concern – if anything, the recent increase is really good news. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains: “Even more home building will be needed with the housing shortage persisting in most markets . . . Another 30% rise in home construction can easily be absorbed in the marketplace . . .” How This Helps You Since the supply of existing homes for sale is still low right now, the increase of new-home construction can be a game changer because it gives you more options for your search. Picture yourself in a home that’s new from the ground up: new appliances, fresh paint, fewer maintenance needs because everything is new, and so much more. Doesn’t that sound nice? And it may be more within reach than you ever imagined. In addition, some builders are offering things like mortgage rate buy-downs for homebuyers right now. This can help offset today’s affordability challenges while also getting you into your dream home. In a recent article, Patrick Duffy, Senior Real Estate Economist at U.S. News, explains: “Builders have been using mortgage interest rate buydowns for many years as a sales incentive whenever interest rates are relatively high, . . .Today more builders are offering rate buydowns for the entirety of the loan, allowing buyers to finance more home for the same payment amount.” Just remember, the process of buying from a builder is different from buying from a home seller, so it’s important to partner with a trusted real estate agent who knows the local market. They’ll be your go-to resource for coordinating with the builder, reviewing contracts, and more. Bottom Line If you’re trying to sell so you can make a move but you’re having a hard time finding a home you like, let’s connect. That way you have a local expert to help you explore all of your options, including the newly built homes in our area.

  • Homeownership Is Still at the Heart of the American Dream

    Buying a home is a powerful decision, and it remains at the heart of the American Dream. Unlike renting, owning a home means more than just having a place to live – it offers a sense of belonging, stability, and freedom. According to Nicole Bachaud, Senior Economist at Zillow: “The American Dream is still owning a home. There’s a lot of pent-up demand for ownership; that isn’t going to go away.” Let’s explore just a few of the reasons why so many Americans continue to value homeownership. The Financial Benefits of Owning a Home One possible reason homeownership is viewed so highly is because owning a home is a significant wealth-building tool. That may be why Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief and VP of Research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says: “Homeownership is the number one way to build wealth in America.” Over time, owning a home not only helps boost your own net worth, but it also sets future generations up for success as you pass that wealth down. Habitat for Humanity explains: “Overall, homeownership promotes wealth building by acting as a forced savings mechanism and through home value appreciation. Homeowners make monthly payments that increase their equity in their homes by paying down the principal balance of their mortgage. . . . In addition, owning a home promotes intergenerational homeownership and wealth building. Children of homeowners transition to homeownership earlier — lengthening the period over which they can accumulate wealth . . .” It can also provide meaningful financial stability compared to renting. When you buy with a fixed-rate mortgage, you can lock in your monthly housing payments for the length of your home loan. The Non-Financial Benefits of Homeownership But, owning a home offers more than just financial benefits—it benefits you socially and emotionally too. Your home provides feelings of achievement, responsibility, and more. In a recent survey, Fannie Mae outlines just a few of these more emotionally-driven benefits, including: “The top three were having control over what you do with your living space (94%) to having a sense of privacy and security (91%) and having a good place for your family or to raise your children (90%) . . .” What Does That Mean for You? If your idea of the American Dream involves greater freedom, security, and prosperity, homeownership could be a key player in bringing that dream to life. And with mortgage rates now on a downward trend, it might be a good time for you to consider making a move. If you’re ready and able to buy, know that there are incredible benefits waiting at the end of your journey. You'll gain more than just a home – it's a place to grow your wealth and call your very own. Like Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First American says: “...homeownership remains an important driver of wealth accumulation and the largest source of total wealth among most households.” Bottom Line Buying a home is a powerful decision and the cornerstone of the American Dream. If finding a place to call your own is part of your dream for this year, let’s connect to start the process today.

  • Home Prices Forecast To Climb over the Next 5 Years

    Some Highlights If you’re worried about what’s next for home prices, know the HPES shows experts are projecting they’ll continue to rise at least through 2028. Based on that forecast, if you bought a $400,000 house this year, experts say it could gain over $72,000 in equity over the next five years. If you're worried about falling home prices, don't be. Many experts forecast they'll keep rising for years to come. If you have questions, let’s connect.

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