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Let’s kick off this month discussing some of the biggest topics in real estate today.

is the market going to crash? what about home prices? affordability?

Are we in a housing bubble?

This shows home values going all the way back to World War II. And if you think about that, the reason we go back to World War II is that was the start of the modern day housing boom here in this country. If you think about GIs coming back from the war and the GI Bill provided for education, provided for them to go out and buy a home. And ever since then, up until today, there’s been one time in this country where homes lost significant value and that was back in 2008. So back in 2008 we saw homes lose value really for two reasons. First reason, loose lending standards. You think back then, no income, no job, no verification and we know how that ended up. The second reason was cash out refinances. People took the equity they had, cashed it out, bought jet skis and went on vacation, the financed lifestyle. Did things thinking this will never end and it ended poorly. So let’s recap there. Apply for a loan that you don’t have to qualify for and then you take your equity and you cash it out and that’s what ended up in 2008 when homes lost value.   http://www.econ.yale.edu/~shiller/data.htm

Let’s take a look at home values going all the way back to World War II – the start of the modern day housing boom in the United States. Notice that 2008 was the only time homes lost significant value, and this is really for two reasons. First, loose lending standards – lack of income verification, lack of job verification, etc. Second, cash out refinances – people took the equity they had, cashed it out, and bought depreciating assets. In these times people were able to apply for a loan they didn’t qualify for, and then borrow against the equity.

First, the forbearance numbers continue to edge downward. As of the most recent numbers in April, 690,000 loans still in forbearance, well below where we started out of May of 2020.  https://www.blackknightinc.com/blog-posts/forbearance-plans-edge-higher/?

All that said, this market is different. First, the forbearance numbers continue to edge downward. As of last month, there are 690,000 loans still in forbearance – well below where we started out in May of 2020. According to Black Knight, 92% of the people that entered forbearance have come out of it.

One of the latest statistics that’s come out is 92% of the people that entered forbearance have come out of it, according to Black Knight. And those that have come out, as of March 31st, here’s the clearest picture. Thirty-seven percent in the green area were paid in full. Those are the ones that took forbearance maybe as an insurance policy and said I don’t know what’s going to happen and they didn’t need it. Forty-four point six, the blue shaded area, went through some kind of work out with their bank, either a modification, a rate and term refinance or a deferral. They tacked it on the back. Four out of five people either went through a modification or paid it off in full and there were no issues. That’s a very, very positive sign. Now, there are 18% that are still in some sort of trouble. We don’t know. They have no loss mitigation plans or they’re already into the loss mitigation plan.  https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/newsroom

Thirty-seven percent were paid in full – those that likely took forbearance as an insurance policy and didn’t need it. Forty-four percent went through some kind of modification, refinance, or deferral – tacking it on the back end. So, 4 out of 5 people exited forbearance – a very positive sign. However, there are 18% that are still in jeopardy – they have no loss mitigation plan or are already into the loss mitigation plan. But let’s not forget that people have options today – you can sell your home with the appreciation we’ve seen over the last couple of years.

We have learned from history that prices can fall. The more important question is if it’s going to happen right now. And that’s hard to say.   Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, realtor.com
Lending standards are nothing like they were in the early 2000s. We talked about the things that people had done that caused the crisis. Well, there’s two components that this report by the urban institute outlined. First, is produce risk in the mortgage business and second is borrower risk. product risk. Think about that as the types of loans that are available to people. And that’s been virtually eliminated. If you start back in1999, we’re talking about all the way to 2021. product risk is not there. The loans that were available back then are not available today. borrower risk. Think about that as asset profile, credit score, all the thing that it takes to qualify for a loan and those have been severely curtailed. It’s gotten harder to qualify for a loan after the housing crisis. That’s when the qualified mortgage came out and demonstrate the ability to repay, all the things that we know about the mortgage business about how hard it’s gotten to qualify. This graphic tells the story of the differences today between back then.   https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/housing-finance-policy-center/projects/housing-credit-availability-index

Second, the lending default risk is lower. The Urban Institute looked at Default Risk in the Mortgage Market and that helps us see how lending standards are nothing like they were in the early 2000s. There is product risk and borrower risk. The loans that were available back then are not available today. When looking at the borrower risk, think about asset profiles, credit scores – all of those things needed to qualify for a loan – have been curtailed. It’s gotten harder to qualify for a loan. Now we have to demonstrate the ability to repay.

the foreclosure market is an all-time low. Now, the last couple of years certainly there’s been a moratorium in place and the federal government has stepped in and said, look, we’re not going to process these foreclosures during the pandemic. [00:07:03) And those are coming back and we’ve talked about that on the monthly market report. But back during the housing crisis, over nine million people went through foreclosure.   https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/foreclosures/attom-q1-2022-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/ https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/foreclosures/attom-year-end-2021-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

Third, the foreclosure market is an all-time low – from a high of about 3 million homes in foreclosure to 78,000 last quarter.

Tighter lending standards have led to less foreclosures in the market. Now, that makes a lot of sense, right? If you have a highly qualified or a better qualified borrower, you’re going to see less defaults and we’re seeing exactly that. That certainly is not going to play into a crash. If you needed a further example of that, this is a look at the loans that have been given to people with a credit score less than 620. So, again, go back to the housing crisis. So many loans – this is in volume in billons of loans with a credit score less than 620. And where do we stand as the third quarter of 2021, the most recent information from the Federal Reserve, a fraction of where we were back then. So we can clearly say lending standards are different. That story is different. One of the major contributors back in 2008 is not around.   https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/interactives/householdcredit/data/xls/HHD_C_Report_2021Q3.xlsx

Fourth, lending standards are tighter which can be attributed to less foreclosures in the market. Qualified buyers mean less defaults. During the crisis we saw about 4 times the amount of loans approved for individuals with a credit score less than 620.

The other question though a lot of people bring up is well, as homes get expensive, as homes have risen, people aren’t going to be able to support that debt and that’s a challenge. Well, mortgage debt is not a challenge. Again, this is from the Federal Reserve. This is the household debt service ratio for mortgages and that’s as a percentage of disposal personal income.  https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MDSP

Fifth, mortgage debt is not a challenge. According to the Federal Reserve, the household debt ratio is the lowest it has been since the 1970s. Why? Because of rising wages. Today, we are much better positioned than we were back in the financial crisis.

Finally, cash out refinances are extremely low. The difference in annual mortgage payments for cash out refinances was over $3,000 and $4,000 back during the housing crisis, while we hover around the $34 mark right now. There is very little change in the mortgage payment as somebody goes through a cash out refinance.

We learned a lot of lessons during the housing crash, and can see how the market dynamics are very different today. So, what is to come in the remainder of 2022? The Fed started off the month by raising the Fed funds rate. How will this affect home prices?

MBA: https://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/mortgage-finance-forecast-apr-2022.pdf NAR: https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/forecast-q2-2022-us-economic-outlook-04-27-2022.pdf Fannie Mae: https://www.fanniemae.com/media/43346/display Freddie Mac: https://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20220418-quarterly-forecast-purchase-market-will-remain-solid-even-mortgage-rates-rise HPES: https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations CoreLogic: https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/u-s-home-price-insights/            Zelman: https://www.zelmanassociates.com/

Looking at the most recent updated home price forecast from the top seven forecasters, we see 9% appreciation for 2022.

The most recent updated home price forecast from the seven forecasters that we watch, these are for 2022 prices, average of these forecasters is 9% appreciation. Many people are saying are homes going to lose value later in the year? Certainly not what experts are saying for this year. If you see these experts, they start to fall between 8 and 10%. We started off the year at about 5% appreciation and we’ve risen slowly each month since then. We said these forecasters had a bias to the upside, meaning they were raising their forecast and we’re certainly seeing that today.   https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations

Beyond 2022, we will see a much more normal rate of appreciation like the pre-pandemic rate of 3.8%.

What the home price expectation survey does as well is they look at cumulative house of price appreciation by 2026. If we look at these, they sort of rank them by the optimist, the pessimist, and then the average of all panelists in the middle. Optimists say 46.5% appreciation. Pessimists, 10% appreciation. All the panelists, 26% appreciation by 2026. So, depending on where you sit, I think even if you’re a pessimist in this market, they’re calling for appreciation here between now and 2026.   https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations

The home price expectation survey forecasts 26% cumulative home price appreciation by 2026.

... the 30-year fixed mortgage will likely peak at between 5.0% and 5.7%. There is some variability in the relationship, so we might see rates as high as the low 6% range.  Bill McBride, Author, Calculated Risk

As buyers search for homes, we’ve seen interest rates in the first four months of this year rise dramatically. We started the year about 3.1%, and now we’re just over 5.25% on the average 30 year fixed.

New data from the Harris Poll show 84% of Americans plan to cut back spending as a result of price spikes… More than 70% of respondents said they’re feeling the effects of inflation the most in gas prices and groceries.   Bloomberg

Prices are rising all around us, and that is affecting affordability.

Looking at the change in mortgage payment going back to January of 2021. This is based on a loan amount of $300,000 principle and interest only. But if you look at January of 2021, mortgage rates were at historic lows. A typical mortgage payment was about $1,200, a little north of that. Fast-forward to where we are today in this rising mortgage rate environment, and things are different. If we think about where mortgage rates are projected to go and let’s say mortgage rates later this year are around 5.5% as we look at what the experts are saying and what’s projected to happen, that mortgage payment jumps up to over $1,700. if you’re talking about $1,200 to $1,700, that’s roughly a $500 difference.   https://www.freddiemac.com/pmms https://www.mortgagecalculator.net/

Consider a loan amount of $300,000 (principle and interest only). In January 2021, your monthly payment would have been about $1,200. Fast forward to today’s rates, and you are looking at about $1,650 a month for the same home. Projections have this payment increasing by about $500 within the next few months.

The Housing Affordability Index. It goes all the way back to 1990. And if you follow along with us, you’ve definitely seen this before, but really had to break this down and look at it. Is that the higher the bar, the more affordable homes are. If you look at where we are over on the right today at 135.4, that’s the index that NAR is measuring here. Homes are not as affordable as they were over the past 10 or 12 years, and certainly not as affordable as they were in those orange bars, which was the housing crisis. That’s when distressed properties dominated the market. Homes are being sold at a massive discount. We’re certainly not there but as we’ve seen prices rise, mortgage rates rise, homes are not as affordable as they were even over the past couple of years. It’s important to remember that affordability is really a measure of three key things. We mentioned prices and mortgage rates, but it’s also wages. Right now, all three of those things are ticking up but historically, over the past couple of years, mortgage rates have kind of offset some of the rising prices. Well, we’re not sitting in that seat anymore so people are feeling affordability challenges.   https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/ https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/housing-affordability-declines-in-february

The Housing Affordability Index shows that homes are more affordable than any time leading up to the housing crisis. So, when people say homes aren’t affordable anymore, we have to ask, “As compared to when?”

If you’re planning to buy a home this season, you’re probably thinking about what you’ll need to do to get your offer accepted. In previous years, it was common for buyers to try and determine how much less than the asking price they could offer to still get the home. The buyer and seller would then negotiate and typically agree on a revised price that was somewhere between the buyer’s bid and the home’s initial asking price.

In today’s real estate market, buyers shouldn’t shop for a home with the same expectations.

Things Are Different Today

Today’s housing market is anything but normal. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average home that’s sold today:

Homes selling quickly and receiving multiple offers shows how competitive the housing market is for buyers right now. This is because there are more buyers on the market than homes for sale. When the number of homes available can’t keep up with demand, homes often sell for more than the asking price.

How Does This Impact You When It’s Time To Submit an Offer?

Market conditions should help guide your decisions throughout the process. Today, the asking price of a home is often the floor of the negotiation rather than the ceiling. Knowing this is important when it’s time to submit an offer, but you should also use that information as you’re searching for homes too. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that ultimately sells for a price higher than what you’ve budgeted for.

The Mortgage Reports has advice if you’re looking to purchase a home in a competitive market. The article encourages you to be realistic with your housing search, saying:

The best thing to do is set your budget and expectations ahead of time so you know how much you can afford to offer — and when to walk away. This will make negotiations a lot easier.”

Of course, when you’ve found your dream home, you’ll want to do everything you can to submit your best offer up front and win a potential bidding war. Knowing the current market is key to crafting a winning offer. That’s where working with an expert real estate advisor becomes critical.

A real estate professional will draw from their experience and expert-level knowledge of today’s housing market throughout the process. They’ll also balance conditions in your area to make sure your offer stands out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Understanding how to approach the asking price of a home and what’s happening in today’s real estate market are critical for buyers.

Many consumers are wondering what will happen with home values over the next few years. Some are concerned that the recent run-up in home prices will lead to a situation similar to the housing crash 15 years ago.

However, experts say the market is totally different today. For example, Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, tweeted just last week on this issue:

“. . . We do need price appreciation to slow today (it’s not sustainable over the long run) but high price growth today is supported by fundamentals- short supply, lower rates & demographic demand. And we are in a much different & safer space: better credit quality, low DTI [Debt-To-Income] & tons of equity. Hence, a crash in prices is very unlikely.”

Price appreciation will slow from the double-digit levels the market has seen over the last two years. However, experts believe home values will not depreciate (where a home would lose value).

To this point, Pulsenomics just released the latest Home Price Expectation Survey – a survey of a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists. It forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years. Below are the expected year-over-year rates of home price appreciation based on the average of all 100+ projections:

Those responding to the survey believe home price appreciation will still be relatively high this year (though half of what it was last year), and then return to more normal levels over the next four years.

What Does This Mean for You as a Buyer?

With a limited supply of homes available for sale and both prices and mortgage rates increasing, it can be a challenging market to navigate as a buyer. But buying a home sooner rather than later does have its benefits. If you wait to buy, you’ll pay more in the future. However, if you buy now, you’ll actually be in the position to make future price increases work for you. Once you buy, those rising home prices will help you build your home’s value, and by extension, your own household wealth through home equity.

As an example, let’s assume you purchased a $360,000 home in January of this year (the median price according to the National Association of Realtors rounded up to the nearest $10K). If you factor in the forecast for appreciation from the Home Price Expectation Survey, you could accumulate over $96,000 in household wealth over the next five years (see graph below):

The Future of Home Price Appreciation and What It Means for You | MyKCM

Bottom Line

If you’re trying to decide whether to buy now or wait, the key is knowing what’s expected to happen with home prices. Experts say prices will continue to climb in the years ahead, just at a slower pace. So, if you’re ready to buy, doing so now may be your best bet for your wallet. It’ll also give you the chance to use the future home price appreciation to build your own net worth through rising equity.

mortgage rates? home prices? home sales? spring predictions? To help predict what is to come, let’s look at what has happened historically in rising mortgage rate environments.
Mortgage Rates rising this year from 3.11% in January to 4.67% in March. https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/node/24976/pdf (3.89% previous week)  http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/

Mortgage rates started out at 3.11% for the average 30-year,fixed at the beginning of the year, and they have just steadily climbed since then – up to 4.67%.

Mortgage rates are likely to continue to move higher throughout the balance of 2022, although the pace of rate increases is likely to moderate.. Much of the increase in rates in early 2022 is in anticipation of what will happen later this year, especially with Federal Reserve interest rate policy. Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac

Rates are projected to continue rising, but at a more moderate pace, because the Fed has risen their rate and mortgage rates tend to follow.

So how does this affect home prices? Let’s take a look at the historical impact of rising rates on home prices when mortgage rates rose by more than a percentage point.

So this goes all the way back to October of 1993, so almost 30 years. And it shows you that there was you know, an average of about 8% home price appreciation as mortgage rates are rising by more than a percentage point. So you know, overall what we can see is that you know, rising rates have not had a negative impact on home prices. http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20180223_increasing_mortgage_rates.page

Looking back to October of 1993 (about 30 years), we can see an average of about 8% home price appreciation as mortgage rates are rising by more than a percentage point. So, rising rates have not had a negative impact on home prices.

So how do rising mortgage rates affect home sales?

So let’s take a look at this addition to the same data, and to add some home sales for this same period of time, going all the way back to 1993. Now what we can see here is there was an average of a decrease of 11% in home sales as prices were rising. We know as rates rise that that tends to sometimes reduce buyer activity. It prices some people out of the market.. http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20180223_increasing_mortgage_rates.page

Looking at the same data for the same period of time, we can see an average decrease of 11% in home sales as prices were rising. As rates rise, it can tend to reduce buyer activity – pricing some people out of the market.

October ‘93 to December of ‘94. Mortgage rates increase by 2.38% to a final rate of 9.2%. So let’s be super clear that we’re not looking at a two and a half percent increase in mortgage rates right now. We’re not projected to. And we’re certainly not projected, according to the experts, to get up to 9.2% increase, or 9.2% mortgage rate. So very, very different environment than what we’re talking about. . http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20180223_increasing_mortgage_rates.page

It is important to note that first line (October 1993 to December 1994) where mortgage rates rose 2.38% to a final rate of 9.2%. We are NOT looking at a 2.5% increase in mortgage rates right now. That kind of increase is not in the projections. We are in a very, very different environment than we were back then. We are most likely looking at a 1.5% increase.

So let’s look at the same data and what you can see overall. There’s a little bit of orange. There’s a little bit of black, meaning home sales as mortgage rates are rising in these environments, really negligible impact. So maybe down by 2%, maybe up by 2%. Roughly that 2% impact on home sales as mortgage rates are rising in a similar environment. And of course the outlier is 2005, 2006 which was the lead up to the housing crisis and home sales dropped by 14%. So what we can see here is that when you factor this data out, we start to see that rising mortgage rates don’t have a huge impact on home sales. So you know, why is that? I think one of the big things we have to look at is what is available for sale. We have to look at the inventory component. Because today, what we are seeing is drastically low inventory. . http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20180223_increasing_mortgage_rates.page

In rising mortgage rate environments, there is an overall 2% impact on home sales – a negligible impact – where 2005 & 2006 are the outliers leading up to the housing crisis.

Overall, rising mortgage rates don’t have a huge impact on home sales. Why? Because you have to consider the inventory component. Today, we are seeing drastically low inventory – lower than it was in January of 2021, which was a historical low. Home prices are projected to continue rising, because there just aren’t enough homes for sale. Supply and demand are what drives home price appreciation. So, when you see those headlines saying home sales are softening, it’s not because of rising mortgage rates. It’s because there aren’t enough homes to buy.

When we look at months inventory, and we only have it going back to 2003, 2004 for this series of data. But we have five months of inventory, four and a half months, 4.8 months, you know, we had a very, very different inventory level than what we have today. So when we think about you know, those environments where it looks like oh, 506, you know, 2012, 2013, where there was a little bit of a negative impact on sales. Inventory was very different. . http://www.freddiemac.com/research/insight/20180223_increasing_mortgage_rates.page

When we look at months inventory, historically we had between 4.5 and 5 months inventory on hand – a very, very different inventory level than what we have today.

While higher short-term interest rates will push up mortgage rates, I expect some of this impact to be mitigated eventually through lower inflation... Thus, I expect the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to continue to rise, although we aren’t likely to see the big jumps that occurred over the past few weeks. Nadia Evangelou, Director of Forecasting, NAR

Inflation is driving this increase in mortgage rates, and we can expect it to continue to rise, but it won’t be at as quite a rapid pace as what we’ve seen over the past few weeks.

History suggests that when rates rise, there is an initial bump in home prices as many move quickly to buy a home before rates increase further. But after that period, home prices slow... analysis shows that a 1% increase in mortgage rates results in home price appreciation that is 4 percentage points lower. For instance, a 1% increase in mortgage rates would change home price growth from 11% to 7%. Freddie Mac

Home price appreciation will slow, and mortgage rates will slow some of the frenzy. But, we’re not talking about depreciation. We’re talking about deceleration – appreciation at a more moderate rate.

With rates rising and expected to rise through 2023, it makes sense to obtain a purchase or refinance mortgage if you are in good standing. Len Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist, Freddie Mac

We hope that all helps explain how the rising mortgage rate environment will affect the other factors in the market, so let’s move on to the forecasts for the spring housing market.

We keep watching for it... but there are absolutely no signs of a market slowdown anywhere in the data. If anything, we're seeing the market continue to heat up. Altos Research

We are in a very, very busy market.

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/realtors-confidence-index

Here is the NAR (National Association of Realtors®) Buyer Traffic Map – strong activity overall.

https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/realtors-confidence-index

Then, we see very, weak seller traffic overall. So, strong buyer demand combined with the lack of sellers keeps that upward pressure on prices.

, active listings increased in this country for the first time in six months. If you go back to the fall of last year, around September we started to kind of fall down in active listings, all those being consumed by the buyers in the market. And we’re starting to see a tick up. Very little, but, but nonetheless a tick up. [0:13:47] And the interesting thing is if you look at where we’re at March, 382,000 active listings in the country according to realtor.com. Remember, they factor out all the pending listings and things like that. These are just actives. And go back to March of last year, about 471 active listings, just shy of 100,000 active listings short this March as compared to last year. So we need more listings. We know that across the country. But all of this leading to sort of a bias towards the upside, meaning forecasters that are looking at the market are saying you know what? We thought it was going to be this amount of activity. But we see it being a little bit more. https://www.realtor.com/research/data/

However, we did see increased active listings in March.

Now, more industry insiders are throwing out their previous forecasts and replacing them with more bullish short-term outlooks. Indeed, some experts say the 2022 spring housing market might go down as one of the most competitive on record. Lance Lambert, Editorial Director, Fortune
a good synopsis of pending home sales over the last, several months. Pending home sales have dropped. And I’m going to make the argument that pending home sales are down not because there’s a lack of demand in the market. https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/pending-home-sales-dwindle-4-1-in-February https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/pending-home-sales-weaken-4-1-in-february-2022

Pending home sales have dropped, overall – not because there’s a lack of demand in the market, but because we can’t sell what we don’t have. Nonetheless, we seem to be in a healthy market.

We’re ahead in showings and activity, those scheduling appointments to see homes, and we were well ahead before the pandemic and well ahead during the pandemic. So the lack of existing home sales is not because there’s not demand in the market. There’s very much a strong, strong demand in the market. It’s because of the lack of available homes. All of this, keeping that upward pressure on prices.. https://www.showingtime.com/blog/february-2022-showing-index-results/

We’re ahead in showings and activity, indicating, again, strong demand.

This is the latest look from CoreLogic on price acceleration. You know, as we came through last year we said okay, prices seem to have peaked if not, you know, plateaued. And what we’re seeing through November, December, now January numbers ratcheting up slightly in the amount of appreciation year over year. So a very, very competitive market.https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/u-s-home-price-insights/

Price acceleration is also holding steady, indicating a very competitive market.

Last fall we observed that home prices, although continuing to rise quite sharply, had begun to decelerate. Even that modest deceleration was on pause in January. The 19.2% year-over-year change for January was the fourth-largest reading in 35 years of history. Craig J. Lazzara, Managing Director, S&P DJI

And we are still ahead of historical appreciation. Overall, these figures look to a strong spring market.

With all the uncertainty out there, let’s take a quick glance at 5 graphs that break down the most common concerns.

First one, active listings. Our new listings are greater than active listings. This does a great job. This graphic here shows active listings as compared to new listings going back to August of 2021. So let me break this down for you. The blue are active listings each month, and the green are new listings that are taken during the month. Well, you see, all through the fall and coming into the new year, active listings outpace the new listings until March, where new listings actually outpace the active listings. What does that do? That shows a great sort of picture of what’s happening in real estate today. As soon as something comes on the market, it sells. It sells right away. And you can see that here in the March look at new listings outpacing the active listings in the market. https://www.realtor.com/research/data/

First, active listings as compared to new listings going back to August of 2021. The light blue bars represent active listings each month, and the dark blue bars represent new listings that are taken during the month. Active listings outpace new listings until March, where new listings actually outpace the active listings. This means as soon as something comes on the market, it sells.

the single-family housing units completed. And this tells the story of why it’s so hard to find a home right now. Why prices have risen the way they’ve risen. And the simple answer is right there. For 14 straight years, we’ve been below the 50-year average in builds in this country, going all the way back to the 70s. And what I always tell people is literally back in the 70s and 80s, there were more homes completed in this country than there have been in the last 14 years. The last decade, really. All of that coming out of fallout of the housing crisis in 2008. Builders being hit extremely hard, and having to build back slowly their capacity, their ability to bring new builds to market. But that no doubt, the lack of available homes coming to market, has constricted supply. A lot of people want to buy, driving the price up, making it hard to find a home. www.census.gov/construction/nrc/xls/co_cust.xls

Second, the single-family housing units completed tells the story of why it’s so hard to find a home right now – why prices have risen the way they’ve risen. And the simple answer is that for 14 straight years, we’ve been below the 50-year average in new construction, due to the fallout of the housing crisis in 2008. Builders were hit extremely hard, and are building back their capacity – their ability to bring new builds to market. This has constricted supply.

The other issue I think is going to be a big concern for a lot of consumers this spring is inflation. This is a graphic you’ve probably seen before. This is home ownership as a hedge against inflation, and that’s what we want to be able to show people literally, when you’re in an inflationary economy, you want to be invested in hard assets that outperform inflation. And this is going back all the way to the 70s. The blue bar there being the inflation rate. The green bar being home price appreciation. And you see most decades, home price appreciation has outperformed inflation. https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2021-11-12-residential-economic-issues-and-trends-lawrence-yun-presentation-slides-11-12-2021.pdf https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_01132021.pdf https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/find-stories/home-prices-topple-expectations-surging-at-the-end-of-2020/

Third, we look at home ownership as a hedge against inflation. When you’re in an inflationary economy, you want to be invested in hard assets that outperform inflation. The light blue represents the inflation rate, and the dark blue represents home price appreciation. Historically, home price appreciation has outperformed inflation (with the exception of the housing crisis).

https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations

Fourth, we look at the home price expectation survey – a survey of 100 economists, real estate professionals, and market investor professionals determining what is going to happen with home prices. $96,000 in potential growth in household wealth over the next five years based solely on increased home equity if you purchased an average priced home (about $360,000).

So, bringing that to people that are wondering, is this the top of the market? Will homes lose value? Will help them see what experts are saying about home price appreciation. You know, all the folks that are waiting on the sideline right now for home prices to go down, this is a look at experts. The experts that we follow. There are seven experts here, on the average home price appreciation being 6.7%. There’s nobody literally right now forecasting prices to go down. You know, one side, Zelman saying 3%. CoreLogic saying 9.6%. And you see everywhere in between there. But no doubt this competitive spring market, this competitive year, we will see home price appreciation. I think they’ll raise this appreciation number as we go throughout the year. But no doubt we’re going to see appreciation in homes this year well above what we’ve seen in historical years. https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/research-and-economics/forecasts-and-commentary https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/forecast-Q1-2022-us-economic-outlook-01-27-2022.pdf https://www.fanniemae.com/research-and-insights/forecast http://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20220121_quarterly_economic_forecast.page https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/find-stories/corelogic-hpi-posted-record-year-over-year-growth-in-2021/

Finally, a look at home price appreciation. Among the seven experts, the average home price appreciation is 6.7%. Not one is forecasting prices to go down.

If you’re a current homeowner, you should know your net worth just got a big boost. It comes in the form of rising home equity. Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Today, you’re building that equity far faster than you may expect – and this gain is great news for you.

Here’s how it happened. Home values are on the rise thanks to low housing supply and high buyer demand. Basically, there aren’t enough homes available to meet this high buyer interest,  so bidding wars are driving home prices up. When you own a home, the rising prices mean your home is worth more in today’s market. And as home values climb, your equity does too. As Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogicexplains:

“Home prices rose 18% during 2021 in the CoreLogic Home Price Index, the largest annual gain recorded in its 45-year history, generating a big increase in home equity wealth.”

The latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic shed light on just how much rising home values have boosted homeowner equity. According to that report, the average homeowner’s equity has grown by $55,300 over the last 12 months.

Want to know what’s happening in your area? Here’s a breakdown of the average year-over-year equity growth for each state based on that data.

The Average Homeowner Gained More Than $55K in Equity over the Past Year | MyKCM

How Rising Equity Impacts You

In addition to building your overall net worth, equity can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. It works like this: when you sell your house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale.

In a market where you’re gaining so much equity, it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home. So, if you’ve been holding off on selling and worried about being priced out of your next home because of today’s home price appreciation, rest assured your equity can help fuel your move.

Bottom Line

Equity can be a real game-changer if you’re planning to make a move. To find out just how much equity you have in your home and how you can use it to fuel your next purchase, go to HomeSweetHomeBot.com.

recent survey revealed that many consumers believe there’s a housing bubble beginning to form. That feeling is understandable, as year-over-year home price appreciation is still in the double digits. However, this market is very different than it was during the housing crash 15 years ago. Here are four key reasons why today is nothing like the last time.

1. Houses Are Not Unaffordable Like They Were During the Housing Boom

The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Conventional lending standards say a purchaser should not spend more than 28% of their gross income on their mortgage payment.

Fifteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased, and the mortgage rate, even after the recent spike, is still well below 6%. That means the average purchaser today pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then.

In the latest Affordability Report by ATTOM Data, Chief Product Officer Todd Teta addresses that exact point:

“The average wage earner can still afford the typical home across the U.S., but the financial comfort zone continues shrinking as home prices keep soaring and mortgage rates tick upward.”

Affordability isn’t as strong as it was last year, but it’s much better than it was during the boom. Here’s a chart showing that difference:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

If costs were so prohibitive, how did so many homes sell during the housing boom?

2. Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Boom

During the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. As an example, let’s review the number of mortgages granted to purchasers with credit scores under 620. According to credit.org, a credit score between 550-619 is considered poor. In defining those with a score below 620, they explain:

“Credit agencies consider consumers with credit delinquencies, account rejections, and little credit history as subprime borrowers due to their high credit risk.”

Buyers can still qualify for a mortgage with a credit score that low, but they’re considered riskier borrowers. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the 14 years since.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers that acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified. Let’s take a look at what that means going forward.

3. The Foreclosure Situation Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. The Federal Reserve issues a report showing the number of consumers with a new foreclosure notice. Here are the numbers during the crash compared to today:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

There’s no doubt the 2020 and 2021 numbers are impacted by the forbearance program, which was created to help homeowners facing uncertainty during the pandemic. However, there are fewer than 800,000 homeowners left in the program today, and most of those will be able to work out a repayment plan with their banks.

Rick Sharga, Executive Vice President of RealtyTracexplains:

“The fact that foreclosure starts declined despite hundreds of thousands of borrowers exiting the CARES Act mortgage forbearance program over the last few months is very encouraging. It suggests that the ‘forbearance equals foreclosure’ narrative was incorrect.”

Why are there so few foreclosures now? Today, homeowners are equity rich, not tapped out.

In the run-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATM machines. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up. When home values began to fall, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage was greater than the value of their home. Some of those households decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area.

Homeowners, however, have learned their lessons. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over 40% of homes in the country having more than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time, as evidenced by the fact that national tappable equity has increased to a record $9.9 trillion. With the average home equity now standing at $300,000, what happened last time won’t happen today.

As the latest Homeowner Equity Insights report from CoreLogic explains:

“Not only have equity gains helped homeowners more seamlessly transition out of forbearance and avoid a distressed sale, but they’ve also enabled many to continue building their wealth.”

There will be nowhere near the same number of foreclosures as we saw during the crash. So, what does that mean for the housing market?

4. We Don’t Have a Surplus of Homes on the Market – We Have a Shortage

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory, which is causing the acceleration in home values to continue.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a shortage of homes for sale.

If you’re worried that we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the graphs above show data and insights to help alleviate your concerns.

Real estate is one of the time-honored inflation hedges. It's a tangible asset,   and those tend to hold their value when inflation reigns, unlike paper assets.   More specifically, as prices rise, so do property values.  Mark P. Cussen, Financial Writer, Investopedia

With homeownership you can lock in the cost today, and have an asset that increases in value over time, making it a great hedge against inflation.

Homeownership: A Hedge Against Inflation where home prices appreciate at a greater rate than inflation. 2021 at 18% appreciation and 6.8% inflation 2020 at 2021 at 9.2% appreciation and 1.4% inflation 2010s at 4.9% appreciation and 1.8% inflation 2000s at 2.3% appreciation and 2.6% inflation 1990 at 4% appreciation and 3% inflation 1980s at 5.5% appreciation and 5.6% inflation 1970s at 9.9% appreciation and 7.1% inflation  https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2021-11-12-residential-economic-issues-and-trends-lawrence-yun-presentation-slides-11-12-2021.pdf https://www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/cpi_01132021.pdf https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/find-stories/home-prices-topple-expectations-surging-at-the-end-of-2020/

When looking at home price appreciation versus consumer price increases gong back to the 1970s, we can see how home price appreciation outpaces inflation. Of course, the 2000s was a fundamentally different housing market with an oversupply of homes and lower lending standards. Overall, we can see that buying a home today would not only lock in today’s costs and provide a hedge against inflation, but avoid the rising rental rates.

A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to maintain the biggest portion of housing expenses at the same payment. Sure, property taxes will rise and other expenses may creep up, but your monthly housing payment remains the same. That’s certainly not the case if you’re renting.  James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter, Bankrate

Rental prices are skyrocketing, and the forecasts project that not only will home values will continue rising, but so will mortgage rates.

Rent Increase Greater Than InflationMost Years looking at Rental Price Appreciation and Core Inflation Rate from 1973 – 2020  https://ipropertymanagement.com/research/average-rent-by-year https://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/united-states-core-inflation-rates/

Rent increases have been greater than inflation in most years. That means it’s more expensive to rent over time.

For a $200,000 home at 3.5% interest rate today your monthly payment would be $898. However, in Q1 of 2023 when that same home will be $212,600, interest rates will be $3.8%, and now your monthly payment is $990. That’s a difference of $33,314 over the life of the 30-year mortgage. That’s staggering.

For a $200,000 home at 3.5% interest rate today your monthly payment would be $898. However, in Q1 of 2023 when that same home will be $212,600, interest rates will be $3.8%, and now your monthly payment is $990. That’s a difference of $33,314 over the life of the 30-year mortgage. That amount jumps to $66,625 for a $400,000 home.

For a $200,000 home at 3.5% interest rate today your monthly payment would be $898. However, in Q1 of 2023 when that same home will be $212,600, interest rates will be $3.8%, and now your monthly payment is $990. That’s a difference of $33,314 over the life of the 30-year mortgage. That amount jumps to $66,625 for a $400,000 home.

For a $200,000 home at 3.5% interest rate today your monthly payment would be $898. However, in Q1 of 2023 when that same home will be $212,600, interest rates will be $3.8%, and now your monthly payment is $990. That’s a difference of $33,314 over the life of the 30-year mortgage. That amount jumps to $66,625 for a $400,000 home. That’s staggering.

Homeowners are shielded from mounting rental prices because their cost is fixed, regardless of what’s happening in the market. . . . Tangible assets like real estate get more valuable over time, which makes buying a home a good way to spend your money during inflationary times. Natalie Campisi, Advisor Staff, Forbes

Tangible assets like real estate get more valuable over time making buying a home a good way to spend your money during inflationary times.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts regarding their 5-year expectations for future home prices in the United States. I think this gives you a real clear picture of where home prices are projected to head according to the experts. Now the Home Price Expectation Survey is a survey of 100 economists, data analysts, people who are projecting out home price appreciation, and in the fourth quarter of last year this is the projection for cumulative house appreciation by 2026. So what are you looking at? They divided out the group into optimists and pessimists, optimists being the ones projecting the most appreciation over the next appreciation over the next five years and pessimists estimating on the lower side. So take a look at that orange bar, those are the pessimists, you know the experts that are saying home price appreciation on the lower side, cumulatively, by 2026 it’s going to be over 23 percent. So as experts look forward, the conditions of the market, what’s projected to happen? Home values are expected to increase in value over time, even on the lower end, 23 percent, 23.7 is pretty significant over the next five years, so locking in today’s cost is mission critical for those who have the opportunity to do so, to protect themselves in their largest monthly payment because as we know, with home prices rising, mortgage rates rising, inflation all around us, it’s going to get more expensive to purchase a home.  https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations

This is the Home Price Expectation Survey of 100 economists and data analysts from Q4 of 2021, and represents their house appreciation forecasts by 2026. The group was divided into optimists and pessimists, where optimists projecting the most appreciation over the next 5 years, and the pessimists estimate on the lower end. The pessimists are saying that by 2026 houses will appreciate in value by over 23%. That is pretty significant.  

Mortgage rates remain unchanged from last week. The economy lost momentum in January, leaving mortgage rates unchanged from last week and relatively flat for a third consecutive week. This stagnation reflects the economic impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which we believe will subside in the coming months. As economic recovery continues going into the spring and summer, mortgage rates are expected to resume their upward trajectory. In the meantime, recent data suggests that homebuyer demand continues to be elevated as supply remains low, driving higher home prices. Sam Khater, VP and Chief Economist, Freddie Mac
So if we look at this rise in rates, we’re at about 3.55 percent, this graphic goes back to the beginning of 2020 and we’re starting to get back in the area, we’re back in the area of where we started when the pandemic came on us in March of 2020. Just to put that in perspective. The Fed comes in and acts, the influence. They don’t control mortgage rates but they influence the rates down and now we’re back, coming back up. Certainly a sign that we can all hope for, that the economy is improving, that we’re getting through this and we’re moving ahead, that would be my word for it. If you take a little bit larger look, if you go back to the beginning of 2018, which is what this graphic shows on the average 30-year fixed, and sort of make this line of 3.55 percent, you can see where we sit there, right? Certainly we’re higher back in 2018 and ‘19 started to come down and certainly dropped to historic lows during the pandemic and we’re starting to come back out of that. You know perspective on that, again from Freddie Mac, “As mortgage rates rise, we do expect some moderation in housing demand, causing house price growth to temper. However, the combination of a large number of entry level homebuyers facing a shortage of entry level inventory of homes for sale should keep the housing market competitive.” No doubt we’ll see a housing market that is competitive this year.  http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/pmms_archives.html

We’ve recently seen a rise in mortgage rates. Some of the last reported numbers have us around 3.55%, which is certainly higher than in some past years, but the housing market is expected to remain pretty competitive this year. It’s about to start feeling like interest rates are going to be high, but they are historically low for the U.S.

As mortgage rates rise, we do expect some moderation in housing demand, causing house price growth to temper. However, the combination of a large number of entry level homebuyers facing a shortage of entry level inventory of homes for sale should keep the housing market competitive... In 2022, we expect purchase originations to grow from 1.9 trillion in 2021 to 2.1 trillion in 2022, while refinance activity is anticipated to decrease, from 2.7 trillion in 2021 to 1.2 trillion in 2022. Freddie Mac

Let’s look at two of the mortgage markets – the purchase market and the refinance market. The purchase market is forecasted to grow, and the refinance market is forecasted to constrict – a typical reaction in a rising rate environment.

This is a look at the 10-year treasury, going back to the beginning of December, just two months ago, and what do we know? During that time, the rate on the 10-year treasury yield has skyrocketed, knowing on the door right now, of 2 percent https://www.macrotrends.net/2016/10-year-treasury-bond-rate-yield-chart

Let’s tie in the 10-year treasury for a moment. In the last 2 months, the rate on the 10-year treasury yield has skyrocketed. Why is that important?

 . For the last 50 years, the relationship between the mortgage rate and the 10-year treasury yield has been almost symbiotic, okay? Wherever the 10-year treasury yield goes, there goes the 30-year fixed rate, okay? The Fed and the Fed raising rates does not control interest rates, it can only hope to influence it. What we want to watch is the 10-year treasury yield. https://ycharts.com/indicators/10_year_treasury_rate www.freddiemac.com

For the last 50 years, the relationship between the mortgage rate and the 10-year treasury yield has been almost symbiotic. Wherever the 10-year treasury yield goes, there goes the 30-year fixed rate. The Fed does not control interest rates – it can only hope to influence them. Overall, the 10-year treasury yield may be something worth watching.

Mortgage rates hit their highest levels since March 2020, leading to the slowest pace of refinance activity in over two years.    Joel Kan, Associate VP of Economic and Industry Forecasting, MBA

Month after month we have talked about why we will not see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market, so let’s wrap up this month looking at the latest data.

Loans in forbearance have fallen below one million. This is massive. We’re at roughly 780,000 loans in forbearance today and that equates to only about 1.4 percent of mortgages. If you think about where we started, over there in the red bars on the left, there were nearly five million homes in the forbearance plan in May of 2020 and we’re down to about 780,000. So huge progress and just one more way that shows that the forbearance program has really helped homeowners change their situations, stay in their homes and really be in a better place than they would have been in such a time of economic uncertainty, and this is vastly different than what we saw in 2008.  https://www.blackknightinc.com/blog-posts/

Loans in forbearance have fallen below one million. This is huge. We are at roughly 780,000 loans in forbearance which equates to 1.4% of mortgages. It is wonderful to see that the forbearance program has really helped homeowners change their situations during such a time of economic uncertainty.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to create uncertainty in the global economy, the overwhelming majority (89%) of single-family homeowners who sought financial assistance through COVID-related mortgage payment forbearance plans have exited those plans. Andy Walden, VP of Market Research, Black Knight Data
38.1 percent of homeowners exiting the forbearance plan are paid in full. So they’ve made their monthly payments or they’ve paid off their loan. They’ve done something to bring their payments current and they’re in a great place, they’re walking away no issue. Now, 43.7 percent are workouts or repayment plans. This is the game-changing section, this is the section we didn’t have the last time around when the housing bubble burst, because these are the homeowners who have been able to make a modification, a loan deferral, to go back to their bank and work with their bank or their lender to change their situation and stay in their homes. This is huge and what we’ve been saying over time is this section is getting a little bit bigger than the green section and that’s because more and more people have been able to go back and work out an alternate plan. That is massive. Now, the percentage of homeowners that are still in trouble are in the orange section, 18.2 percent, but what this does mean is that these homeowners are exiting the plan without a loss mitigation plan, but on the safe side, what we know from Black Knight is that 93 percent of homeowners in the forbearance plan have at least 10 percent equity. So when you have that equity, you also have the opportunity to potentially sell your home rather than go into forbearance. So people sitting in this situation, you know 10 percent is kind of that tipping point of you could sell your house, you could pay off your fees, you could you know maybe even walk away with a little cash in your pocket if you sell your home, and so FEBRUARY 2022 KCM – FEBRUARY 2022 6 of 7 that gives someone a different opportunity than going into forbearance. We have a very strong equity situation across the country right now, enabling that opportunity.  https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/newsroom https://www.mba.org/2022-press-releases/january/share-of-mortgage-loans-in-forbearance-decreases-to-141-percent-in-december-2021

Looking at loans upon exiting the forbearance program, about 38% percent of homeowners are paid in full by either making monthly payments or paying off their loan. Then, about 44% percent are on some sort of repayment plan – homeowners who have been able to make a loan modification or deferral. Unfortunately, 18.2% of homeowners are exiting the forbearance plan without a loss mitigation plan. The bright side of that is, according to Black Knight, 93% of homeowners in a forbearance plan have at least 10% equity, allowing them the opportunity to sell their home. To put this all in perspective, during the housing bubble burst in 2008, we saw 9.3 million homes go into foreclosure. We are in a very different situation today.

What this says here is that 422,360 fewer foreclosures over the last year. So we have significantly fewer foreclosures today than we would even in a normal year. 2017, 2018 and 2019. The number of foreclosures we had in those normal years leading up to the pandemic averaged just under 300,000, and so the unfortunate reality is that in this country, every year there are homeowners who do go into the foreclosure process. You know they have a job loss or a challenging financial situation, something happens where homeowners have to give their homes back to their bank or their lender. In 2017 through 2019 that number averaged out to about 290,000. Now if you look at 2020 and 2021, these were not normal years. This is where the forbearance program came into play and there were far fewer foreclosures in each of those years. So if you look at the red bar under 2020, there were 120,000 foreclosures in 2020, that was short 161,000 of what would be normal. 2021 through the third quarter is what we have data for right now, 29,000, so massively short. So that’s where that 422,360 number comes from and contextually, if you think about that, that is incredibly low. In fact it is so low, I think this next graph really shows it well, foreclosure activity is actually at an all-time low. \ https://www.newyorkfed.org/microeconomics/hhdc.html

We have significantly fewer foreclosures today than we would even in a normal year. Obviously, the forbearance program came allowed us to see record low foreclosures in the most recent years.

So, look at 2021. Where we are so far, there are 151,000 foreclosure filings. Now we never want any one home owner to go through the foreclosure process, we certainly don’t want that to happen. We believe in homeownership and the value that the brings everyone, but if you put this into context and you look at 2007 to 2015, millions of homeowners were going into the foreclosure process, and that is vastly different from where we are today. I mean even in this number of 151,000, if it doubles, if it triples, if it quadruples, keeps going, we’re nowhere near where we were when the housing bubble burst, and this is massively impactful, showing that the fundamentals of today’s market are just very, very different today.  https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/foreclosures/attom-year-end-2021-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

Foreclosure activity is at an all-time low. We are at 151,000 foreclosures, whereas in 2007 to 2015, millions of homeowners were going into the foreclosure process. Even if this number of 151,000 doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled, we would be nowhere near where we were when the housing bubble burst.

We may see a little bit of an uptick in foreclosure rates in 2022. Just an uptick though, from an extraordinarily low level, we’re not expecting to see a big increase... We expect delinquency rates overall on home mortgages to actually continue to remain quite, quite low. Maiclaire Bolton-Smith, Senior Leader of Research, CoreLogic
405 closed sales, $273,382 average sales price, 1069 active inventory, 570 new listings, 383 pending sales

You may have heard that it’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage at the beginning of the homebuying process, but what does that really mean, and why is it so important? Especially in today’s market, with rising home prices and high buyer competition, it’s crucial to have a pre-approval letter prior to making an offer. Here’s why.

Being intentional and competitive are musts when buying a home this year. Pre-approval from a lender is the only way to know your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. Just as important, being able to present a pre-approval letter shows sellers you’re a qualified buyer, something that can really help you land your dream home in an ultra-competitive market.

With limited housing inventory, there are many more buyers active in the market than there are sellers, and that’s creating some serious competition. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are receiving an average of 3.8 offers for sellers to consider. As a result, bidding wars are still common. Pre-approval gives you an advantage if you get into a multiple-offer scenario, and these days, it’s likely you will. When a seller knows you’re qualified to buy the home, you’re in a better position to potentially win the bidding war.

Freddie Mac explains:

“By having a pre-approval letter from your lender, you’re telling the seller that you’re a serious buyer, and you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage by your lender for a specific dollar amount. In a true bidding war, your offer will likely get dropped if you don’t already have one.”

Every step you can take to gain an advantage as a buyer is crucial when today’s market is constantly changing. Interest rates are rising, prices are going up, and lending institutions are regularly updating their standards. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals such as a loan officer and a trusted real estate advisor making sure you take the right steps and can show your qualifications as a buyer when you find a home to purchase.

In a competitive market with low inventory, a pre-approval letter is a game-changing piece of the homebuying process. Not only does being pre-approved bring clarity to your homebuying budget, but it shows sellers how serious you are about purchasing a home.

As you plan out your goals for the year, moving up to your dream home may top the list. But, how do you know when to make your move? You want to time it just right so you can get the most out of the sale of your current house. You also want to know you’re making a good investment when you buy your new home. What you may not realize is, that opportunity to get the best of both worlds is already here.

You don’t want to wait until spring to spring into action. The current market conditions make this winter an ideal time to move. Here’s why.

1. The Number of Homes on the Market Is Still Low

Today’s limited supply of houses for sale is putting sellers in the driver’s seat. There are far more buyers in the market than there are homes available, and that means buyers are eagerly waiting for your house. Listing your house now makes it the center of attention. As a seller, that means when it’s priced correctly, you can expect it to sell quickly and get multiple strong offers this season. Just remember, experts project more inventory will come to market as we move through the winter months. The realtor.com 2022 forecast says this:

“After years of declining, the inventory of homes for sale is finally expected to rebound from all-time lows.”

Selling now may help you maximize the return on your investment before your house has to face more competition from other sellers.

2. Your Equity Is Growing in Record Amounts

Current homeowners are sitting on record amounts of equity thanks to today’s home price appreciation. According to the latest report from CoreLogicthe average homeowner gained $56,700 in equity over the past 12 months.

That much equity can open doors for you to make a move. If you’ve been holding off on selling because you’re worried about how rising prices will impact your own home search, rest assured your equity can help fuel your next move. It may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next purchase.

3. While Rising, Mortgage Rates Are Still Historically Low

In January of last year, mortgage rates hit the lowest point ever recorded. Today, rates are starting to rise, but that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on locking in a low rate. Current mortgage rates are still far below what they’ve been in recent decades:

Even with mortgage rates rising above 3%, they’re still worth taking advantage of. You just want to do so sooner rather than later. Experts are projecting rates will continue to rise throughout this year, and when they do, it’ll cost you more to purchase your next home.

4. Home Prices Are Going To Keep Rising with Time

According to industry leaders, home prices will also continue appreciating this year. While experts are forecasting more moderate home price growth than last year, it’s important to note prices will still be moving in an upward direction throughout 2022.

What does that mean for you? If you’re selling so you can move into a bigger home or downsize to the home of your dreams, you want to consider moving now before rates and prices rise further. If you’re ready, you have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve by purchasing your next home before rates and prices climb higher.

If you’re considering selling to move up or downsize, this may be your moment, especially with today’s low mortgage rates and limited inventory.

After almost two years of double-digit increases, many experts thought home price appreciation would decelerate or happen at a slower pace in the last quarter of 2021. However, the latest Home Price Insights Report from CoreLogic indicates while prices may have plateaued, appreciation has definitely not slowed. The following graph shows year-over-year appreciation throughout 2021. December data has not yet been released.

What’s Going To Happen with Home Prices This Year? | MyKCM

As the graph shows, appreciation has remained steady at around 18% over the last five months.

In addition, the latest S&P Case-Shiller Price Index and the FHFA Price Index show a slight deceleration from the same time last year – it’s just not at the level that was expected. However, they also both indicate there’s continued strong price growth throughout the country. FHFA reports all nine regions of the country still experienced double-digit appreciation. The Case-Shiller 20-City Index reveals all 20 metros had double-digit appreciation.

Why Haven’t We Seen the Deeper Deceleration Many Expected?

Experts had projected the supply of housing inventory would increase in the last half of 2021 and buyer demand would decrease, as it historically does later in the year. Since all pricing is subject to supply and demand, it seemed that appreciation would wane under those conditions.

Buyer demand, however, did not slow as much as expected, and the number of listings available for sale dropped instead of improved. The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show the number of available listings for sale each month, including the decline in listings at the end of the year.

What’s Going To Happen with Home Prices This Year? | MyKCM

Here are three reasons why the number of active listings didn’t increase as expected:

1. There hasn’t been a surge of foreclosures as the forbearance program comes to an end.

2. New construction slowed considerably because of supply chain challenges.

3. Many believed more sellers would put their houses on the market once the concerns about the pandemic began to ease. However, those concerns have not yet disappeared. A recent article published by com explains:

“Before the omicron variant of COVID-19 appeared on the scene, the 2021 housing market was rebounding healthily from previous waves of the pandemic and turned downright bullish as the end of the year approached. . . . And then the new omicron strain hit in November, followed by a December dip in new listings. Was this sudden drop due to omicron, or just the typical holiday season lull?”

No one knows for sure, but it does seem possible.

Home price appreciation might slow (or decelerate) in 2022. However, based on supply and demand, you shouldn’t expect the deceleration to be swift or deep.

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