- The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Report.
- First-time homebuyers made up 31% of all sales in August.
- Homes are selling quickly with 51% of homes on the market for less than a month.
- A limited supply continues to drive up prices for the 66th consecutive month.
There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:
- 47% – existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
- 5% – first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
- 3% – existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
- 6% – insufficient or negative equity in the home
- 6% – foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?The report on the survey explains:
“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory.”That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.
Bottom LineWhile many homeowners are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their houses at a peak selling time.
Recently released data from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey revealed that rising home prices were the catalyst behind an eight-point jump in the net percentage of respondents who say now is a good time to sell. The index is now 21 points higher than it was this time last year.Overall, 62% of Americans surveyed said that now is a good time to sell (up from 58%), while 26% of respondents said that now is not a good time to sell (down from 30%). The net score is the difference between the two percentages, or 36%.According to CoreLogic, home prices are now up 6.7% over last year and 78.8% of homeowners with a mortgage in the US now have significant equity (defined as 20% or more).As home prices have increased, more and more homeowners have realized that now is a good time to sell their homes in order to take advantage of the extra equity they now have.At the same time, however, rising prices have had the exact opposite impact on the good-time-to-buy scale as many buyers are nervous that they will not be able to afford a home; the net score dropped 5 points to 18%.Doug Duncan, Vice President & Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, had this to say,
“In the early stages of the economic expansion, home selling sentiment trailed home buying sentiment by a significant margin. The reverse is true today. The net good time to sell share is now double the net good time to buy share, with record high percentages of consumers citing home prices as the primary reason for both perceptions. Such a sizable gap between selling and buying sentiment, if it persists, could weigh on the housing market through the rest of the year.”Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale, which has driven prices up across the country. Until the supply starts to better match demand, there will be a gap between the sentiments surrounding buying and selling.
Bottom LineIf you are considering listing your home for sale this year, now is the time!
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and The Mortgage Bankers Association are all projecting that home sales will increase in 2018. Here is a chart showing what each entity is projecting in sales for the remainder of this year and the next.As we can see, each entity is projecting sizable increases in home sales next year. If you have considered selling your house recently, now may be the time to put it on the market.
Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this fall makes sense.
1. Demand Is StrongThe latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing, and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
2. There Is Less Competition NowHousing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market.This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market. This is good news for homeowners who have gained equity as their home values have increased. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.Historically, the average number of years a homeowner stayed in their home was six, but that number has jumped to an average of almost nine years since 2008. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. As home values continue to appreciate, more and more homeowners will be given the freedom to move.The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until this other inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.
3. The Process Will Be QuickerToday’s competitive environment has forced buyers to do all they can to stand out from the crowd, including getting pre-approved for their mortgage financing. This makes the entire selling process much faster and much simpler as buyers know exactly what they can afford before home shopping. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to 43 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.
4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move UpIf your next move will be into a premium or luxury home, now is the time to move-up! The inventory of homes for sale at these higher price ranges has forced these markets into a buyer’s market. This means that if you are planning on selling a starter or trade-up home, your home will sell quickly AND you’ll be able to find a premium home to call your own!Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.0% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.
5. It’s Time to Move on With Your LifeLook at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.
That is what is truly important.
- “The majority of millennials said they consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons — including control of living space, flexibility in future decisions, privacy and security, and living in a nice home.”
- The top reason millennials choose to buy is to have control over their living space, at 93%.
- Many millennials who rent a home or apartment prior to buying their own homes dream of the day that they will be able to paint the walls whatever color they’d like, or renovate an outdated part of their living space.
Hearth just released their 2017 State of the American Dream report which showed that Americans still see homeownership as an integral piece of the American Dream. The report confirmed that “all generations–including millennials–agree homeownership is very important to achieving the American Dream.”Americans ranked “owning a home I love” higher than any other options (including “starting a family” and “finding a fulfilling career”) as an important part of the American Dream.Despite some claims that homeownership’s importance to the American Dream is in decline, the report found that the dream of homeownership remains strong.Of Americans who said they think achieving the American Dream is important, 70% think homeownership is important to the dream, and 41% think homeownership is very important to the dream.
What about Millennials?Hearth addresses the desires of millennials by explaining:
“Contrary to popular opinion, millennials who want to achieve the American Dream are 5% more likely than Baby Boomers to think homeownership is important. And two-thirds of millennial renters view homeownership as important to the American Dream. Although millennials are often portrayed as fickle and transient, they actually seek the stability of homeownership even more than their parents.”
Other Key Findings from the Report:
- Homeowners are 126% more likely than non-homeowners to view homeownership as a way to build wealth. Nevertheless, homeowners still overwhelmingly associated homeownership with a family living space.
- Homeowners are 24% more likely than non-homeowners to see homeownership as an achievement that reflects hard work.
- Millennials are 77% more likely than baby boomers to see a home primarily as a way to build wealth.
- Baby boomers are 98% more likely than millennials to see a home as a way to pass wealth down to children or family.
- Millennials are 29% more likely than baby boomers to see a home as an achievement that reflects hard work–an outcome we expected given that many millennials are still working hard to afford their first homes.
Bottom LineThe report concluded:
“This survey revealed a powerful finding: Across demographic groups, homeownership remains a precondition of the American Dream.”
Married Couples Buying HomesMarried couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics last year at 66% of all buyers, according to the most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.Many couples are deciding to use what would otherwise be their wedding fund as a down payment on their first home, as unmarried couples made up 8% of all first-time buyers last year. If you’re single, don’t fret; you can still buy your dream home! Single women made up 17% of first-time buyers in 2016, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers.According to a survey by the Wedding Report, the average cost of a wedding in the United States at the start of the year was $25,961, which equates to a 10% down payment on a median priced home.A recent article from the New York Times found that many singles are now asking their parents to allow them to use the money they’ve saved up for their wedding day to instead buy a home.In the case of Carrie Graham, a Protestant minister from Austin, TX, her parents had saved a ‘five-figure sum’ for her wedding and were more than willing to give her that money as a down payment on her dream home. Graham told The New York Times,
“Buying the home wasn’t me saying, ‘I’m never going to get married’ or I am going to get married.’ My own home had way more than equity benefits. It was a real gift to have a home in an extremely desirable neighborhood in a city that I love. It’s brought me joy.”
Bottom LineMore and more first-time homebuyers are finding a way to purchase their dream homes, even if that means delaying their dream weddings.
Looking For Your Dream Home?In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search.If you’ve been thinking about buying your dream home for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d LOVE to have in your new home. Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest. They start looking at the countless homes listed for sale through rose-colored glasses.Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?The first step in your home buying process should be getting pre-approved for your mortgage. This allows you to know your budget before you find your dream home that is way outside of it.The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:
- ‘Must-Haves’ – if this property does not have these items, then it shouldn’t even be considered (ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms).
- ‘Should-Haves’ – if the property hits all of the ‘must-haves’ and some of the ‘should-haves,’ it stays in contention but does not need to have all of these features.
- ‘Absolute-Wish List’ – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the ‘must-haves,’ most of the ‘should-haves,’ and ANY of these, it’s the winner!