Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting. When you’re in the middle of your real estate-themed TV show marathon, you might start to think everything you see on the screen must be how it works in real life. However, you may need a reality check.
Fannie Mae just released the July edition of their Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). The HPSI takes information regarding consumers’ confidence in the real estate market from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey and condenses it into a single number. Therefore, the HPSI reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions. Great News! The index reached its highest level since Fannie Mae began their survey. Breaking it down, the report revealed:
- The share of Americans who say it is a good time to buy a home increased from the same time last year.
- The share of those who say it is a good time to sell a home increased from the same time last year.
- The share of Americans who say they are not concerned about losing their job over the next 12 months increased dramatically (16 percentage points) from the same time last year.
- The share of Americans who say mortgage rates will go down over the next 12 months increased dramatically (24 percentage points) from the same time last year.
“Consumer job confidence and favorable mortgage rate expectations lifted the HPSI to a new survey high in July, despite ongoing housing supply and affordability challenges. Consumers appear to have shaken off a winter slump in sentiment amid strong income gains. Therefore, sentiment is positioned to take advantage of any supply that comes to market, particularly in the affordable category.”
Bottom LineConsumers are feeling good about the real estate market. Since Americans are not worried about their jobs, see mortgage rates near an all-time low, and believe it is a good time to buy, the housing market will remain strong for the rest of the year.
Some Highlights: Rent Vs. Own
- Owning your own home vs. renting may lead to some great options, such as locking in your monthly payments and having the freedom to customize your living space.
- Whether you rent or own, you have to cover someone’s mortgage costs. You may as well be doing so to build your own wealth, rather than that of your landlord.
- Renting and owning both have up-front fees when you sign your lease or close, respectively. Think about putting that money to work for you!
The U.S. Census Bureau recently released their 2019 Q2 Homeownership Report. Some began to see the sky falling, believing the report showed Americans may be stepping back from their belief in homeownership. The national homeownership rate (Americans who owned vs. rented their primary residence) increased significantly during the housing boom, reaching its peak of 69.2% in 2004. The Census Bureau reported that the second quarter of 2019 ended with a homeownership rate of 64.1%, which is down from the 64.8% rate for the fourth quarter of 2018. Based on this news, some started to question the consumer’s belief in the idea of homeownership as a major part of the American Dream.
Everyone Calm Down…It is true the homeownership rate did fall. However, if you look at the national rate over the last 35 years (1984-2019), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned to historical norms. The 64.1% rate is equivalent to the rates in 1984 and 1994.
What Will the Future Bring?Part of the reason the homeownership rate slipped is a lack of inventory available for purchase for first-time home buyers. The demand is there, but currently, the supply is not. It seems, however, that is about to change. In a recent report, Ivy Zelman explained that builders have finally started to increase the number of homes they’re constructing at the lower-end price points:
“Robust growth in the entry-level price point of late should translate to a reacceleration in homeownership rates moving forward.”
Bottom LineToday, the homeownership rate sits at historic norms. In all probability, it will increase as more inventory becomes available. There is no reason for concern.
It Might Be Time To Sell!There’s no doubt that today’s housing market is changing, and everything we see right now indicates it might be time to sell. Here’s a look at why selling now is likely to drive the greatest return on your largest investment. Home values have been appreciating for several years now, growing at a strong, steady, and impressive pace. In fact, the average annual appreciation rate since 2012 has nearly doubled the average rate from the more normal market of the 1990s (think: pre-bubble).Appreciation, however, is projected to shift back toward normal, meaning home prices will likely keep climbing over the next few years, but they are not projected to continue to increase at such a high rate.
Here’s What That Means for Homeowners:As noted in the latest Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) powered by Pulsenomics, experts forecast an average annual appreciation rate closer to 3.2% over the next five years, which is more in line with a historically normal market (3.6%). The good news is, there’s still time to take advantage of the current strength of home prices by selling your house now.Looking at the projections as they stand today, 2019 is slated to drive the strongest appreciation as compared to the upcoming few years. With average home prices still on the rise, the pace at which they are predicted to continue increasing will likely soften by 2020.
Bottom LineIf you’re thinking about selling your house, it might be time to sell now. Don’t get stuck waiting until projected home price appreciation rates potentially re-accelerate again in 2023. You’ll likely earn the greatest return on your investment by selling now before the prices start to normalize next year.
- Existing Home Sales dropped 1.7% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million in June.
- Low inventory levels are still a factor in the market. The current supply of homes for sale is at 4.4 months, which is less than the optimal 6-month supply.
- Median home prices were up 4.3% from June 2018, hitting $285,700. This marked the 88th consecutive month with year-over-year price gains.