[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Home Appreciation[/caption] Home appreciation has risen dramatically over the last twelve months. In CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, they revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. CoreLogic broke down home appreciation even further into four price ranges, giving us a more detailed view than if we had simply looked at the year-over-year increases in national median home price. The chart below shows the four price ranges from the report, as well as each one’s year-over-year growth from February 2017 to February 2018 (the latest data available). It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The location of your home is not the only factor that determines how much your home has appreciated over the course of the last year. Lower-priced homes have appreciated at greater rates than homes at the upper ends of the spectrum due to demand from first-time home buyers and baby boomers looking to downsize.
Bottom LineIf you are planning to list your home for sale in today’s market, let’s get together to go over exactly what’s going on in your area and your price range.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Why Home Prices are Increasing[/caption] There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion. However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, it takes a six-month supply of existing salable inventory to maintain pricing stability. In most housing markets, anything less than six months will cause home values to appreciate and anything more than seven months will cause prices to depreciate (see chart below). [caption id="attachment_37411" align="alignnone" width="650"] Home Prices Are Increasing[/caption] According to the Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the monthly inventory of homes for sale has been below six months for the last five years (see chart below). [caption id="attachment_37412" align="alignnone" width="650"] Available Housing Inventory[/caption]
Bottom LineIf buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.
- According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales grew 1.1% in March to an annual pace of 5.60 million.
- This is the strongest pace since November of 2017.
- Inventory levels dropped year-over-year for the 34th consecutive month and are now 7.2% lower than March 2017 levels, representing a 3.6-month supply.
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Buying a Home[/caption] The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report. The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income. The least affordable market for renting was Marin County, CA, just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, where renters spend a staggering 79.5% of average wages on rent, while the most affordable market was Madison County, AL where 22.3% of average wages went to rent.
Other interesting findings in the report include:
- Average rent rose faster than income in 60% of counties
- Average rent rose faster than median home prices in 41% of counties
- While median home prices rose faster than average rents in 58% of counties
Bottom LineBuying a home makes sense socially and financially. If you are one of the many renters out there who would like to evaluate your ability to buy this year, let’s get together to find your dream home.
- A trend that has been emerging for some time now is the contrast between inventory & demand in the Premium & Luxury Markets vs. the Starter & Trade-Up Home Markets and what that’s, in turn, doing to prices!
- Inventory continues to rise in the luxury & premium home markets which is causing prices to cool.
- Demand continues to rise with low inventory in the starter & trade-up home markets, causing prices to rise!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] House Prices: Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand[/caption] Why are home prices still rising? It is a simple answer. There are more purchasers in the market right now than there are available homes for them to buy. This is an example of the theory of “supply and demand” which is defined as:
“the amount of a commodity, product, or service available and the desire of buyers for it, considered as factors regulating its price.”When demand exceeds supply, prices go up. This is currently happening in the residential real estate market. Here are the numbers for supply and demand as compared to last year for the last three months (March numbers are not yet available): [caption id="attachment_37309" align="alignnone" width="650"] Simply a Matter of Supply & Demand[/caption] In each of the last three months, demand (buyer traffic) has increased as compared to last year while supply (number of available listings) has decreased. If this situation persists, home values will continue to increase.
Bottom LineThe reason home prices are still rising is because there are many purchasers looking to buy, but very few homeowners ready to sell. This imbalance is the reason prices will remain on the uptick. Especially in the first-time home buyer category!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="648"] Home Prices[/caption] Some believe that the combined effects of the new tax code and rising mortgage rates will have an adverse impact on residential real estate prices in 2018. However, the clear majority of recently surveyed housing experts believe that home prices will continue to rise this year. What is the Home Price Expectation Survey? Each quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists. Those surveyed include experts such as:
- Daniel Bachman, Senior Manager, U.S. Economics at Deloitte Services, LP
- Kathy Bostjancic, Head of U.S. Macro Investors Service at Oxford Economics
- David Downs, Real Estate Finance Professor at VCU
- Edward Pinto, Resident Fellow at American Enterprise Institute
- Albert Saiz, Director at MIT Center for Real Estate
- 21.6% believe prices will appreciate by 6% or more
- 71.6% believe prices will appreciate between 3 and 5.99%
- 5.7% believe prices will appreciate between 0 and 2.99%
- Only 1.1% believe prices will depreciate
Bottom LineAlmost ninety-nine percent of the top experts studying residential real estate believe that prices will appreciate this year, and over 93% believe home values will appreciate by at least 3%. It is important to remember that this is a national projection. Just how home prices will fare in New York State and Nassau and Suffolk counties remain to be seen!
Recently, Freddie Mac published an Insight Report titled Nowhere to go but up? How increasing mortgage rates could affect housing. The report focused on the impact the projected rise in mortgage rates might have on the housing market this year. Many believe that an increase in mortgage rates will cause a slowdown in purchases which would, in turn, lead to a fall in house values. Ultimately, however, prices are determined by supply and demand and while rising mortgage rates may slow demand, they also affect supply. From the report:
“For current homeowners, the decision to buy a new home is typically linked to their decision to sell their current home… Because of this link, the financing costs of the existing mortgage are part of the homeowner’s decision of whether and when to move. Once financing costs for a new mortgage rise above the rate borrowers are paying for their current mortgage, borrowers would have to give up below-market financing to sell their home. Instead, they may choose to delay both the sale of their existing home and the purchase of a new home to maintain the advantageous financing.”The Freddie Mac report, in acknowledging this situation, concluded that prices are not adversely impacted by higher mortgage rates. They explained:
“While there is a drop in the demand for homes, there is an associated drop in the supply of homes from the link between the selling and buying decisions. As both supply and demand move together in this way they have offsetting effects on price—lower demand decreases price and lower supply increases price.They went on to reveal that the Freddie Mac National House Price Index is…
“…unresponsive to movements in interest rates. In the current housing market, the driving force behind the increase in prices is a low supply of both new and existing homes combined with historically low rates. As mortgage rates increase, the demand for home purchases will likely remain strong relative to the constrained supply and continue to put upward pressure on home prices.”The following graph, based on data from the report, reveals what happened to home prices the last six times mortgage rates rose by at least 1%. [caption id="attachment_37220" align="alignnone" width="650"] Home Prices[/caption]
Bottom LineWhether you are a move-up buyer or first-time buyer, waiting to purchase your next home based on the belief that prices will fall because of rising mortgage rates makes no sense.
[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.