[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Home Equity[/caption] CoreLogic’s latest home Equity Report revealed that 675,000 US homeowners regained positive equity in their homes in 2017. This is great news for the country, as 95.1% of all mortgaged properties are now in a positive equity situation.
“U.S homeowners with mortgages (roughly 63% of all the properties) have seen their equity increase by a total of $908.4 billion since the fourth quarter 2016, an increase of 12.2%, year over year.”
Price Appreciation = Good News for HomeownersFrank Nothaft, CoreLogic’s Chief Economist, explains:
“Home-price growth has been the primary driver of home-equity wealth creation. The CoreLogic Home Price Index grew 6.2 percent during 2017. The largest calendar-year increase since 2013. Likewise, the average growth in home equity was more than $15,000 during 2017, the most in four years.”He also believes this is a great sign for the market in 2018, saying:
“Because wealth gains spur additional consumer purchases, the rise in home-equity wealth during 2017 should add more than $50 billion to U.S. consumption spending over the next two to three years.”
This is great news for homeowners! But, do they realize that their equity position has changed?A study by Fannie Mae suggests that many homeowners are not aware that they have regained equity in their homes as their investment has increased in value. For example, their study showed that 23% of Americans still believe their home is in a negative equity position when, in actuality, CoreLogic’s report shows that only 4.9% of homes are in that position (down from 6.3% in Q4 2016). The study also revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have “significant equity” (greater than 20%) when in actuality, 83% do! This means that 46% of Americans with a mortgage fail to realize the opportune situation they are in. With a sizeable equity position, many homeowners could easily move into a house that better meets their current needs. Fannie Mae spoke out on this issue in their report:
“Homeowners who underestimate their homes’ values not only underestimate their home equity, they also likely underestimate 1) how large a down payment they could make with their home equity, 2) their chances of qualifying for mortgages, and, therefore, 3) their opportunities for selling their current homes and for buying different homes.”
Bottom LineIf you are one of the many Americans who is unsure of how much equity you have built in your home, don’t let that be the reason you fail to move on to your dream home in 2018! Let’s get together to evaluate your situation! Make sure you call me today!
[caption id="attachment_6209" align="alignnone" width="750"] Dream Home[/caption] If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying your dream home, now is a great time to do so! Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control. The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer or can be found at a discount. Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call their house their new home. The sale of your starter or trade-up house will help you come up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000. But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first. A recent Bloomberg article gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:
“A new generation of affluent homebuyers powered by a surge in inherited wealth is driving the luxury-home market, demanding larger spaces and fancier finishes, according to a report heralding ‘the rise of the new aristocracy.’”
Bottom LineThe best time to sell anything is when demand is high, and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs and you are looking to step into a luxury home, now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Cost of Waiting[/caption][caption id="attachment_37182" align="alignnone" width="650"] Cost of Waiting[/caption]
- Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
- The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
- Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
Bottom Line:Don't allow the cost of waiting to keep you from buying the home you've always dreamed about! Call me today.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Moving Up[/caption] If you are considering selling your current home, to either moving up to a larger home or into a home in an area that better suits your current family needs, great news was just revealed. Last week, Trulia posted a blog, Not Your Father’s Housing Market, which examined home affordability over the last 40+ years (1975-2016). Their research revealed that:
“Nationally, homes are just about the most affordable they’ve been in the last 40 years… the median household could afford a home 1.5 times more expensive than the median home price. In 1980, the median household could only afford about 3/4 of the median home price. Despite relatively stagnant incomes, affordability has grown due to the sharp drop in mortgage rates over the last 30 years – from a high of over 16% in the 1980s to under 4% by 2016. Of the nation’s 100 largest metros, only Miami became unaffordable between 1990 and 2016. Meanwhile, 22 metros have flipped from being unaffordable to becoming affordable in that same time frame.”Here is a graph showing the Affordability Index compared to the 40-year average: [caption id="attachment_37198" align="alignnone" width="650"] Affordability Index[/caption]
The graph shows that housing affordability is better now than at any other time in the last forty years, except during the housing crash last decade.(Remember that during the crash you could purchase distressed properties – foreclosures and short sales – at 20-50% discounts.) There is no doubt that with home prices and mortgage rates on the rise, the affordability index will continue to fall. That is why if you are thinking of moving up, you probably shouldn’t wait.
Bottom LineIf you have held off on moving up to your family’s dream home because you were hoping to time the market, that time has come.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Choosing a retirement home[/caption]
Choosing A Home to Retire InAs more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement. According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.
“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.”Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?
“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.
“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?
“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.
“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?
“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement. But that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.
“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Bottom LineWhen it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Save for a down payment[/caption] Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle for a first-time homebuyer. Depending on where you live, median income, median rents, and home prices all vary. So, we set out to find out how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state. Using data from the United States Census Bureau and Zillow, we determined how long it would take, nationwide, for a first-time buyer to save enough money for a down payment on their dream home. There is a long-standing ‘rule’ that a household should not pay more than 28% of their income on their monthly housing expense. By determining the percentage of income spent renting in each state, and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, we were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save enough money to buy a home of their own. According to the data, residents in Ohio can save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3 years (2.44). Below is a map that was created using the data for each state:
What if you only needed to save 3%?What if you were able to take advantage of one of Freddie Mac’s or Fannie Mae’s 3%-down programs? Suddenly, saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes possible in a year or two in many states as shown on the map below. [caption id="attachment_37177" align="alignnone" width="650"] Save for a down payment[/caption]
Bottom LineWhether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been saving for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Let’s meet up so I can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.
Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.
Prices Will Continue to RiseCoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.6% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.3% 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.
Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to IncreaseFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage hovered close to 4.0% in 2017. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by nearly a full percentage point by 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.
Either Way, You Are Paying a MortgageThere 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 have 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?
It’s Time to Move on with Your LifeThe ‘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.
- Don’t forget to set your clocks forward this Sunday, March 11th at 2:00 AM EST in observance of Daylight Saving Time.
- Unless of course, you are a resident of Arizona or Hawaii!
- Every hour in the United States: 614 homes are sold, 81 homes regain equity (meaning they are no longer underwater on their mortgage), and the median home price rises $1.51!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Housing Bubble[/caption] A recent report by CoreLogic revealed that U.S. home values appreciated by more than 37% over the last five years. Some are concerned that this is evidence we may be on the verge of another housing “boom & bust” like the one we experienced from 2006-2008. Recently, several housing experts weighed in on the subject to alleviate these fears.
Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac Chief Economist
“The evidence indicates there currently is no house price bubble in the U.S., despite the rapid increase of house prices over the last five years.”
Edward Golding, a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center
“There is not likely to be a national bubble in the way that we saw the first decade of the century.”
Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics
“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”
Bill McBride, Calculated Risk
“I wouldn’t call house prices a bubble.”
David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices
“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”A recent article by Teo Nicolais, a real estate entrepreneur who teaches courses on real estate principles, markets, and finance at Harvard Extension School concluded that the next housing bubble may not occur until 2024. The article, How to Use Real Estate Trends to Predict the Next Housing Bubble, looks at previous peaks in real estate values going all the way back to 1818. Nicolais uses the research of several economists. The article details the four phases of a real estate cycle and what defines each phase. Nicolais concluded his article by saying:
“Those who study the financial crisis of 2008 will (we hope) always be weary of the next major crash. If George, Harrison, and Foldvary are right, however, that won’t happen until after the next peak around 2024. Between now and then, aside from the occasional slow down and inevitable market hiccups, the real estate industry is likely to enjoy a long period of expansion.”
Bottom LineThe reason for the price appreciation we are seeing is an imbalance between supply and demand for housing. This has created a natural increase in values, not a bubble in prices. Contact me if you'd like to see research of home prices in your town!
The economists at CoreLogic recently released a special report entitled, Evaluating the Housing Market Since the Great Recession. The goal of the report was to look at economic recovery since the Great Recession of December 2007 through June 2009. One of the key indicators used in the report to determine the health of the housing market was home price appreciation. CoreLogic focused on appreciation from December 2012 to December 2017 to show how prices over the last five years have fared. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, commented on the importance of breaking out the data by state,
“Homeowners in the United States experienced a run-up in prices from the early 2000s to 2006, and then saw the trend reverse with steady declines through 2011. After finally reaching bottom in 2011, home prices began a slow rise back to where we are now. Greater demand and lower supply – as well as booming job markets – have given some of the hardest-hit housing markets a boost in home prices. Yet, many are still not back to pre-crash levels.”The map below was created to show the 5-year appreciation from December 2012 – December 2017 by state. Nationally, the cumulative home price appreciation over the five-year period was 37.4%, with a high of 66% in Nevada, and a modest increase of 5% in Connecticut.