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The top three concerns in the housing market right now are mortgage rates, home prices, and affordability.

This is a look at the Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate going all the way back to January of 2022. It shows is how much mortgage rates really rose from the beginning of the year all the way into mid- to late-Junish, and then since then, you can see that there’s been a lot of volatility or fluctuation in mortgage rates over the past few months. So, why is that? Inflation is the enemy of long-term interest rates. We know that the Federal Reserve doesn’t call mortgage rates, but they’re certainly making moves right now to ease inflation, and when that happens, mortgage rates tend to response. So, we’re watching all of the different economic factors that impact mortgage rates and how that’s playing out over time.  https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/node/25841/pdf http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/

This year the housing market has truly been defined by rising mortgage rates. Taking a look at the Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate, we can clearly see the jump earlier this year from 3.22% to over 5%. There has been a tremendous amount of volatility in mortgage rates over the past few months. This is because inflation is the enemy of long-term interest rates. The Federal Reserve is making moves to ease inflation, and when that happens mortgage rates respond.

“What are the projections for going forward?” Everyone wants to know: where are mortgage rates headed? Well, if we look at these projections, from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, MBA and NAR, these are the latest data we have as of August of this year, and if we average all of their projections together over the next four quarters, what we can see mortgage rates are projected to essentially stabilize over the next year.  https://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20220720-quarterly-forecast-market-slowdown-will-continue-high-rates-and-prices-exacerbate https://www.fanniemae.com/media/44466/displayhttps://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/mortgage-finance-forecast-aug-2022.pdf https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/forecast-q3-2022-us-economic-outlook-07-27-2022.pdf

The general consensus is that the Federal Reserve is going to get inflation under control. If that’s the case, then mortgage rates will stabilize to about 5.3%, and then dipping below 5% in the third quarter of next year.

After the end-of-summer lull, and as mortgage rates stabilize, we may see a return of buyers and a relatively strong fall housing market.  Lisa Sturtevant, Housing Economist

Home prices are appreciating, but at a slower, more moderate rate than we have seen recently.

I don’t think national housing prices will decline in a meaningful way... but there will be some price declines across the country.  Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics

Nationally, home prices will continue to rise due to buyer demand and low inventory.

On average, nationally, we project that home prices will continue to rise. We’re seeing that in expert projections, but at the same time, we also know that there are some overheated markets throughout the country, especially out on the West Coast where there will likely be price declines, and you’re probably seeing this in some of your markets right now. And so, I want to bring context to this to show how home-price appreciation is still expected going forward based on today’s buyer demand and low inventory, but what does that mean in the grand scheme of things? Depreciation is slowing not depreciating, and that’s where deceleration comes into play. This is percent year-over-year of home price increases for 2022 so far, and this is data from CoreLogic. Latest data was just released, and so, what you can see here is that year-over-year, January, February, and March, home prices were still accelerating at a pretty rapid pace, record-breaking home-price appreciation at the beginning of this year, but what has happened since then? We’ve come off that high of 20 percent year over-year home-price appreciation, and it’s starting to cool. And that’s what you can see in May, June, July. That’s the deceleration in prices. So, what this means is year-over year, July, let’s say July of this year compared to July of last year, home prices were still 15.8 percent higher on the national average compared to last year, but that’s a slower pace than that high of over 20 percent that we saw at the beginning of the year, end of last year. So, the pace of appreciation is slowing. That’s deceleration. It’s not depreciation where we would have negative price growth.  https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/u-s-home-price-insights-september-2022/

Home prices are slowing – not depreciating, and that’s where deceleration comes into play. We saw record-breaking home-price appreciation at the beginning of this year, and we have recently seen (and will continue to see) a deceleration of home prices. The pace of appreciation is slowing. That’s deceleration. It’s not depreciation – where we would have negative price growth. We will see continued appreciation at a slower pace. This gives buyers a little bit more negotiating power.

Annual home price growth slowed for the third consecutive month in July but remained elevated at 15.8%. As 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages neared 6% this summer, some prospective homebuyers pulled back, helping ease overheated and unsustainable price growth... Looking ahead, CoreLogic expects to see a more balanced housing market, with year-over-year appreciation slowing to 3.8% by July 2023. CoreLogic, Latest Home Price Insights Report

The past two years have been an anomaly. The price growth over the past year was unsustainable.

Looking ahead, CoreLogic expects to see a more balanced housing market with year-over-year appreciation slowing to 3.8 percent by July of 2023. So, by July of next year, CoreLogic is projecting that homes will still be appreciating in value, but at a much slower pace. That’s that deceleration continuing, and this is much more in line with what we’re seeing from the home price expectations survey and what they are saying for continued price growth, higher this year and a little bit more towards a normal range next year and beyond.   https://www.fanniemae.com/research-and-insights/forecast/forecast-monthly-archive  https://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast?page=0  https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics  https://zelmanandassociates.com (subscription necessary) https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations https://www.mba.org/news-and-research/forecasts-and-commentary/mortgage-finance-forecast-archives

Many experts raised their home price forecast this year. Most likely because of the continued low inventory levels and the increasing mortgage rates.

We bring this graph to you often to show you the latest home-price projections for the year, and the average of all seven forecasts that we follow is showing 11.3 percent annual appreciation for 2022. Now, what we have to remember is that the majority of that home-price appreciation happened earlier this year. It happened at the beginning of the year, and we’re seeing that softening, but experts still projecting by the end of the year, 11.3 percent home-price appreciation for 2022. So, why is that? Well, that’s because inventory is still historically low.   https://www.fanniemae.com/media/44461/displayhttps://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20220720-quarterly-forecast-market-slowdown-will-continue-high-rates-and-prices-exacerbate https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/forecast-q3-2022-us-economic-outlook-07-27-2022.pdf https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/find-stories/corelogic-hpi-posted-record-year-over-year-growth-in-2021/ https://pulsenomics.com/surveys/#home-price-expectations https://www.zelmanassociates.com/ (subscription required) https://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/mortgage-finance-forecast-aug-2022.pdf

We are looking at 11.3% annual home price appreciation for 2022, keeping in mind a lot of that already happened at the beginning of this year.

This data from Calculated Risk, this helps us compare where we are today versus where we were over the past few years. Inventory is 26.3 percent higher than it was the week ending September 2nd of last year, so year-over-year, comparison for the last week of August and into the first couple days of September, 26.3 percent more inventory. So, that is creating more opportunities for buyers. It has helped with the softening of home prices, for sure, but compared to the same week in 2020, inventory is still down 5.4 percent, and compared to 2019, prior to the pandemic, inventory is still historically low, down 42.2 percent from where we were that same week in 2019. So, that’s what’s continuing to drive upward pressure on home prices. Inventory is still low. We still have buyers in the market. Yes, we’ve seen a softening, a cooling, a slowing. But home prices are projected to continue rising primarily based on this inventory data as well.   https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2022/09/housing-september-5th-update-inventory.html

Inventory is 26.3% higher than it was last year, which creates more opportunities for buyers. However, compared to the same week in 2020, inventory is down 5.4%, and down 42.2% from the same week in 2019. Historically, inventory is still low, and that’s what’s continuing to drive an upward pressure on home prices.

The housing affordability index released by NAR every month. Housing affordability right now is lower than it’s been going all the way back to the early ‘90s. This is a look at the — going back to 1990 and housing affordability. The high of that market, the housing affordability index read 197. Right now, we’re at 98.5. 100 reading of the housing affordability index is an even reading. That means the average individual, the average household, in this country can afford 100 percent of the average mortgage payment. You make enough money to afford an average home, and that is even affordability, and we’ve gotten a lot of cover from interest rates over the last several years and seen great affordability. And right now, the average household can afford 98.5 percent of the average mortgage payment, so less affordable. You could maybe even say unaffordable. You may see that some places, and that’s where that comes from, but certainly not an apocalyptic scenario by any means in housing affordability. Now, that’s based upon three things. It’s based on the prices of homes. It’s based on interest rates, and it’s based on wages. That’s how they come up with the housing affordability index.  https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/housing-affordability-conditions-fade-as-mortgage-rates-push-monthly-payments-higher-in-june-2022

Housing affordability is lower than it’s been since the early 1990s. The National Association of Realtors® Housing Affordability Index, is based on 3 things: home prices, interest rates, and wages – where the higher the bar, the more affordable a home. A reading of 100 is an even reading – where the average household can afford 100% of the average mortgage payment. As right now, the average household can afford 98.5% of the average mortgage payment – so, unaffordable.

Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose from $1,265 to $1,944 - an increase of 53.7%. There is no doubt that homes are less affordable right now.    https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/housing-affordability-conditions-fade-as-mortgage-rates-push-monthly-payments-higher-in-june-2022 https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/hai-06-2022-housing-affordability-index-2022-08-11.pdf

Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose from $1,265 to $1,944 – an increase of 53.7%. There is no doubt that homes are less affordable right now.

Another thing that we want to look at when we start to break down affordability and understand that is we want to look at what is the average mortgage payment or income committed to a mortgage payment, and right now, that sits at 25.4 percent. That assumes a 30-year fixed mortgage rate with a 20 percent down payment on a median-priced home with median income. So, go back to the affordability equation. The median income, the median-priced home, somebody is dedicating 25.4 percent of their income to a housing payment. Why is that important? Well, if you look at this, 25 percent is typically what is recommended. We’re slightly above that. Again, I’m going to go back to not an apocalyptic scenario, but above that, and so, if you hear that word “affordability” coming out, you can give context to that and what that means.  Purchased data from NAR https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/housing-affordability-conditions-fade-as-mortgage-rates-push-monthly-payments-higher-in-june-2022

Another thing that we want to look at when we start to break down affordability is the average mortgage payment, or income committed to a mortgage payment, which sits at 25.4%. This assumes a 30-year fixed mortgage rate with a 20% down payment on a median-priced home with median income. 25.4% of income is dedicated to a housing payment, where 25% is typically what is recommended.

If we further break this down, if you look at median household income versus qualifying income, here’s what becomes very, very clear is this is not the same across the country. If you go look to the West, the qualifying income, what you need to make to buy a home, is in the West, certainly, significantly higher than what the median income is. If you read this, in the West are less affordable. In the South, they’re neck and neck. In the Midwest, median income is higher than the qualifying income.   https://www.nar.realtor/blogs/economists-outlook/housing-affordability-conditions-fade-as-mortgage-rates-push-monthly-payments-higher-in-june-2022

Taking a look at median household income versus qualifying income – what you need to make to buy a home, is pretty even for the South which is following the national trend.

3 things buyers can do today:  Expand search area and criteria  Explore alternative financing options  Look for grants, gift funds, etc. @ downpaymentresource.com

To combat the current housing affordability right now, buyers can expand their search area and criteria – maybe consider looking a little bit further out of their desired area. Or explore alternative financing options with several different lenders. Finally, buyers can look for grants at sources like DownPaymentResource.com.

Housing is traditionally one of the first sectors to slow as the economy shifts but is also one of the first to rebound.  Ali Wolf, Chief Economist, Zonda

If you’ve been thinking of buying a home, you may have been watching what’s happened with mortgage rates over the past year. It’s true they’ve risen dramatically, but where will they go from here, especially as the market continues to slow?

As you think about your homeownership goals and decide if now’s the time to make your move, the best place to turn to for that information is the professionals. Here’s a summary of the latest mortgage rate forecasts from housing market experts.

Experts Project Mortgage Rates Will Stabilize

While mortgage rates continue to fluctuate due to ongoing inflationary pressures and economic uncertainty, experts project they’ll start to stabilize in the months ahead. According to the latest projections, mortgage rates are expected to hover in the low to mid 5% range initially, and then potentially dip into the high 4% range by later next year (see chart below):

Expert Forecasts on Mortgage Rates | MyKCM

That could bring you some welcome relief. So far this year, mortgage rates have climbed over two percentage points due to the Federal Reserve’s response to inflation, and that’s made it more expensive to buy a home. And wondering if the rise in rates will continue is keeping some prospective buyers on the sidelines.

But now that experts say mortgage rates should stabilize, this gives you a bit more certainty about what they think the future holds, and that may help you feel more confident about your decision to buy a home.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, move up to a larger home, or even downsize, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market so you can make the most informed decision possible.

Owning a home is a major financial milestone and an achievement to take pride in. One major reason: the equity you build as a homeowner gives your net worth a big boost. And with high inflation right now, the link between owning your home and building your wealth is especially important.

If you’re looking to increase your financial security, here’s why now could be a good time to start on your journey toward homeownership.

Owning a Home Is a Key Ingredient for Financial Success

report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) details several homeownership trends, including a significant gap in net worth between homeowners and rentersIt finds:

“. . . the net worth of a homeowner was about $300,000 while that of a renter’s was $8,000 in 2021.”

To put that into perspective, the average homeowner’s net worth is roughly 40 times that of a renter’s. This difference shows owning a home is a key step in achieving financial success.

Equity Gains Can Substantially Boost a Homeowner’s Net Worth

The net worth gap between owners and renters exists in large part because homeowners build equity. When you own a home, your equity grows as your home appreciates in value and you make your mortgage payments each month. As a renter, you don’t have that same opportunity. A recent article from CNET explains:

Homeownership is still considered one of the most reliable ways to build wealth. When you make monthly mortgage payments, you’re building equity in your home . . . When you rent, you aren’t investing in your financial future the same way you are when you’re paying off a mortgage.”

But on top of that, your home equity grows even more as your home appreciates in value over time. That has a major impact on the wealth you build, as a recent article from Bankrate notes:

“Building home equity can help you increase your wealth over time, . . . A home is one of the only assets that have the potential to appreciate in value as you pay it down.”

In other words, when you own your home, you have the advantage of your mortgage payment acting as a contribution to a forced savings account that grows in value as your home does. And when you sell, any equity you’ve built up comes back to you. As a renter, you’ll never see a return on the money you pay out in rent every month.

Bottom Line

Owning a home is an important part of building your net worth.

The desire to own a home is still strong today. In fact, according to the Census, the U.S. homeownership rate is on the rise. To illustrate the increase, the graph below shows the homeownership rate over the last year:

The U.S. Homeownership Rate Is Growing | MyKCM

That data shows more than half of the U.S. population live in a home they own, and the percentage is growing with time.

If you’re thinking about buying a home this year, here are just a few reasons why so many people see the value of homeownership.

Why Are More People Becoming Homeowners?

There are several benefits to owning your home. A significant one, especially when inflation is high like it is today, is that homeownership can help protect you from rising costs. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“In the 1970s, when inflation was running around 10%, home prices were rising at approximately the same rate. Renters actually have a harder time in inflationary periods, because rents tend to rise along with inflation, whereas mortgage payments stay the same for homeowners with fixed-rate mortgages.”

When you buy a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you can lock in what’s likely your biggest monthly expense – your housing payment – for the duration of that loan, often 15-30 years.

That gives you a predictable monthly housing expense that can benefit you in the short term, but you’ll also gain equity over time as your home appreciates in value and you make your monthly mortgage payment.

And with that growing equity, your net worth will increase as well. In fact, the latest data from NAR shows the median household net worth of a homeowner is roughly $300,000, while the median net worth of renters is only about $8,000. That means a homeowner’s net worth is nearly 40 times that of a renter.

The U.S. Homeownership Rate Is Growing | MyKCM

Bottom Line

The U.S. homeownership rate is growing.

While the Federal Reserve is working hard to bring down inflation, the latest data shows the inflation rate is still going up. You no doubt are feeling the pinch on your wallet at the gas pump or the grocery store, but that news may also leave you wondering: should I still buy a home right now?

Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrateexplains how inflation is affecting the housing market:

Inflation will have a strong influence on where mortgage rates go in the months ahead. . . . Whenever inflation finally starts to ease, so will mortgage rates — but even then, home prices are still subject to demand and very tight supply.”

No one knows how long it’ll take to bring down inflation, and that means the future trajectory of mortgage rates is also unclear. While that uncertainty isn’t comfortable, here’s why both inflation and mortgage rates are important for you and your homeownership plans.

When you buy a home, the mortgage rate and the price of the home matter. Higher mortgage rates impact how much you’ll pay for your monthly mortgage payment – and that directly affects how much you can comfortably afford. And while there’s no denying it’s more expensive to buy and finance a home this year than it was last year, it doesn’t mean you should pause your search. Here’s why.

Homeownership Is Historically a Great Hedge Against Inflation

In an inflationary economy, prices rise across the board. Historically, homeownership is a great hedge against those rising costs because you can lock in what’s likely your largest monthly payment (your mortgage) for the duration of your loan. That helps stabilize some of your monthly expenses. Not to mention, as home prices continue to appreciate, your home’s value will too. That’s why Mark Cussen, Financial Writer at Investopediasays: 

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.”

Also, no one is calling for homes to lose value. As Selma Hepp, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogicsays:

“The current home price growth rate is unsustainable, and higher mortgage rates coupled with more inventory will lead to slower home price growth but unlikely declines in home prices.”

In a nutshell, your home search doesn’t have to go on hold because of rising inflation or higher mortgage rates. There’s more to consider when it comes to why you want to buy a home. In addition to shielding yourself from the impact of inflation and growing your wealth through ongoing price appreciation, there are other reasons to buy a home right now like addressing your changing needs and so much more.

Bottom Line

Homeownership is one of the best decisions you can make in an inflationary economy. You get the benefit of the added security of owning your home in a time when experts are forecasting prices to continue to rise.

Americans’ opinion on the value of real estate as an investment is climbing. That’s according to an annual survey from Gallup. Not only is real estate viewed as the best investment for the ninth year in a row, but more Americans selected it than ever before.

The graph below shows the results of the survey since Gallup began asking the question in 2011. As the trend lines indicate, real estate has been gaining ground as the clear favorite for almost a decade now:

More Americans Choose Real Estate as the Best Investment Than Ever Before | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, let this poll reassure you. Even when inflation is high like today, Americans recognize owning a home is a powerful financial decision.

How an Investment in Real Estate Can Benefit You During High Inflation

Because inflation reached its highest level in 40 years recently, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of homeownership. Rising inflation means prices are increasing across the board, and that includes goods, services, housing costs, and more. When you purchase your home, you lock in your monthly housing payments, effectively shielding yourself from increases on one of your biggest budgetary items each month.

If you’re a renter, you don’t have that same benefit, and you aren’t protected from these increases, especially as rents rise. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, notes:

“Rising rents, which continue to climb at double-digit pace . . . and the prospect of locking in a monthly housing cost in a market with widespread inflation are motivating today’s first-time homebuyers.”

When Inflation Has Risen in the Past, Home Prices Have Too

Your house is also an asset that typically increases in value over time, even during inflation. That‘s because as prices rise, the value of your home does too. Mark Cussen, Financial Writer for Investopedia, puts it like this:

“There are many advantages to investing in real estate. . . . It often acts as a good inflation hedge since there will always be a demand for homes, regardless of the economic climate, and because as inflation rises, so do property values. . . .”

And since rising home values help increase your equity, and by extension your net worth, homeownership is historically a good hedge against inflation.

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a powerful decision. It’s no wonder why so many people view it as the best long-term investment, even when inflation is high. When you buy, you help shield yourself from increases in your housing costs and you own an asset that typically gains value with time.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point. And anytime you make a big decision like that, one thing you should always consider is timing. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

“The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue, . . . This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays:

“… ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even higher in the months to come.”  

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Climb

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“Prices throughout the country have surged for the better part of two years, including in the first quarter of 2022. . . Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see price declines, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.” 

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market, so you can make the most informed decision possible.

As the spring housing market kicks off, you likely want to know what you can expect this season when it comes to buying or selling a house. While there are multiple factors causing some uncertainty, including the conflict overseas, rising inflation, and the first rate increase from the Federal Reserve in over three years — the housing market seems to be relatively immune.

Here’s a look at what experts say you can expect this spring.

1. Mortgage Rates Will Climb

Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has increased by more than a full point in the past six months. And despite some mild fluctuation in recent weeks, experts believe rates will continue to edge up over the next 90 days. As Freddie Mac says:

“The Federal Reserve raising short-term rates and signaling further increases means mortgage rates should continue to rise over the course of the year.”

If you’re a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving to a home that better fits your needs, realize that waiting will likely mean you’ll pay a higher mortgage rate on your purchase. And that higher rate drives up your monthly payment and can really add up over the life of your loan.

2. Housing Inventory Will Increase

There may be some relief coming for buyers searching for a home to purchase. Realtor.com recently reported that the number of newly listed homes has grown for each of the last two months. Also, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced the months’ supply of inventory increased for the first time in eight months. The inventory of existing homes usually grows every spring, and it seems, based on recent activity, the next 90 days could bring more listings to the market.

If you’re a buyer who has been frustrated with the limited supply of homes available for sale, it looks like you could find some relief this spring. However, be prepared to act quickly if you find the right home.

If you’re a seller, listing now instead of waiting for this additional competition to hit the market makes sense. Your leverage in any negotiation during the sale will be impacted as additional homes come to market.

3. Home Prices Will Rise

Prices are always determined by supply and demand. Though the number of homes entering the market is increasing, buyer demand remains very strong. As realtor.com explains in their most recent Housing Report:

“During the final two weeks of the month, more new sellers entered the market than during the same time last year. . . . However, with 5.8 million new homes missing from the market and millions of millennials at first-time buying ages, housing supply faces a long road to catching up with demand.”

What does that mean for you? With the demand for housing still outpacing supply, home prices will continue to appreciate. Many experts believe the level of appreciation will decelerate from the high double-digit levels we’ve seen over the last two years. That means prices will continue to climb, just at a more moderate pace. Most experts are predicting home prices will not depreciate.

Won’t Increasing Mortgage Rates Cause Home Prices To Fall?

While some people may believe a 1% increase in mortgage rates will impact demand so dramatically that home prices will have to fall, experts say otherwise. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Maesays:

“What I will caution against is making the inference that interest rates have a direct impact on house prices. That is not true.”

Freddie Mac studied the impact that mortgage rates increasing by at least 1% has had on home prices in the past. Here are the results of that study:

What You Can Expect from the Spring Housing Market | MyKCM

As the chart shows, mortgage rates jumped by at least 1% six times in the last thirty years. In each case, home values increased.

So again, if you’re a first-time buyer or a repeat buyer, waiting to buy likely means you’ll pay more for a home later in the year (as compared to its current value).

Bottom Line

There are three things that seem certain going into the spring housing market:

  1. Mortgage rates will continue to rise
  2. The selection of homes available for sale will modestly improve
  3. Home prices will continue to appreciate, just at a slightly slower pace

If you’re thinking of buying, act now before mortgage rates and home prices increase further. If you’re thinking of selling, your best bet may be to sell soon so you can beat the increase in competition that’s about to come to market.

In an annual Gallup poll, Americans chose real estate as the best long-term investment. And it’s not the first time it’s topped the list, either. Real estate has been on a winning streak for the past eight years, consistently gaining traction as the best long-term investment (see graph below):

Real Estate Voted the Best Investment Eight Years in a Row | MyKCM

If you’re thinking about purchasing a home this year, this poll should reassure you. Even when inflation is rising like it is today, Americans agree an investment like real estate truly shines.

Why Is Real Estate a Great Investment During Times of High Inflation?

With inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial benefits of homeownership. Rising inflation means prices are increasing across the board. That includes goods, services, housing costs, and more. But when you purchase your home, you lock in your monthly housing payments, effectively shielding yourself from increasing housing payments. James Royal, Senior Wealth Management Reporter at Bankrateexplains it like this:

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.”

If you’re a renter, you don’t have that same benefit, and you aren’t protected from increases in your housing costs, especially rising rents.

History Shows During Inflationary Periods, Home Prices Rise as Well

As a homeowner, your house is an asset that typically increases in value over time, even during inflation. That‘s because, as prices rise, the value of your home does, too. And that makes buying a home a great hedge during periods of high inflation. Natalie Campisi, Advisor Staff for Forbesnotes:

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.

Housing truly is a strong investment, especially when inflation is high. When you lock in a mortgage payment, you’re shielded from housing cost increases, and you own an asset that typically gains value with time.

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
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