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If recent headlines about the housing market cooling and buyer demand moderating have you worried you’ve missed your chance to sell, here’s what you need to know. Buyer demand hasn’t disappeared, it’s just eased from the peak intensity we saw over the past two years.

Buyer Demand Then and Now

During the pandemic, mortgage rates hit record lows, and that spurred a significant rise in buyer demand. This year, as rates increased due to factors like rising inflation, buyer demand pulled back or softened as a result. The latest data from ShowingTime confirms this trend (see graph below):

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market? | MyKCM

The orange bars in the graph above represent the last few months of data and the clear cooldown in the volume of home showings the market has seen since mortgage rates started to rise. But context is important. To get the full picture of where today’s demand stands, let’s look at the July data for the past six years (see graph below):

Will My House Still Sell in Today’s Market? | MyKCM

This second visual makes it clear that, while moderating compared to the frenzy in 2020 and 2021, showing activity is still beating pre-pandemic levels – and those pre-pandemic years were great years for the housing market. That goes to show there’s still demand if you sell your house today.

What That Means for You When You Sell

The key to selling in a changing market is understanding where the housing market is now. It’s not the same market we had last year or even earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the opportunity to sell has passed.

While things have cooled a bit, it’s still a sellers’ market. If you work with a trusted local expert to price your house at the current market valuethe demand is still there, and it should sell quickly. According to a recent survey from realtor.com, 92% of homeowners who sold in August reported being satisfied with the outcome of their sale.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand hasn’t disappeared, it’s just moderated this year. If you’re ready to sell your house today, let’s connect so you have expert insights on how the market has shifted and how to plan accordingly for your sale.

It’s clear the 2022 housing market has been defined by rising mortgage rates. With rates on the rise, it’s also become more costly to purchase a home. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,944 from $1,265, an increase of 53.7%.”

If you’re thinking of buying a home or have been trying to recently, that’s a big increase in a monthly mortgage payment – and it may be causing you to press pause on your plans. This jump is making homes less affordable, especially compared to the last two years when mortgage rates were at historic lows.

The good news is you can navigate today’s housing market and this rising rate environment with a few simple tips. Here are three things you may want to consider to help make your homeownership goals a reality.

1. Expand Your Search Area and Criteria

If you’ve been looking for a home in the city center or a specific area that’s starting to feel out of your price range, you may want to try looking a little further out in a location that could be more affordable. Expanding your search location or re-prioritizing the items on your wish list can open up opportunities you haven’t considered, and that could help you afford more of what you need (and want) in a home. As CNET notes:

“Area growth is likely to keep pace with the market, which means that the outskirts of town might be hopping within five years. Consider stepping out of your ideal location by searching in the nearby cities. You may find better prices and more square footage.”

2. Explore Alternative Financing Options

Working with a trusted lender to learn about the different loan types and options is essential too. According to Nerd Wallet:

“A variety of mortgages are available with varying down payment and eligibility requirements.”

Experts know how to point you in the right direction when it comes to exploring ways to find the best home loan for your situation. With rising mortgage rates making it more costly to finance a home today, there may be an ideal option out there your loan officer can introduce you to. This could make a home purchase more affordable and within your financial reach over the life of your loan.

3. Look for Grants, Gift Funds, and Down Payment Assistance

There are also many options available when it comes to securing the funding you need to purchase a home. One valuable resource to explore is downpaymentresource.com. Searching for specific down payment assistance options available in your local community could be a game changer when it comes to taking your first step toward homeownership. As NAR indicates:

“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”

Plus, there are programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans.

Ultimately, that means there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional and your lender to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Bottom Line

Having a team of local advisors on your side may be just what you need to guide your search in a new and more affordable direction.

The talk of a housing bubble in the coming year seems to be at a fever pitch as rising mortgage rates continue to slow down an overheated real estate market. Over the past two years, home prices have appreciated at an unsustainable pace causing many to ask: are things just slowing down, or is a crash coming?

To answer this question, there are two things we want to understand. The first is the reality of the shift in today’s housing market. And the second is what experts are saying about home prices in the coming year.

The Reality of the Shift in Today’s Housing Market

The reality is we’re seeing an inflection point in housing supply and demand. According to realtor.com, active listings have increased more than 26% over last year, while showings from the latest ShowingTime Showing Index have decreased almost 17% from last year (see graph below). This is an inflection point for housing because, over the past two years, we’ve seen a massive amount of demand (showings) and not enough homes available for sale for the number of people that wanted to buy. That caused the market frenzy.

Today, supply and demand look very different, and the market is slowing down from the pace we’ve seen. This offers proof of the sudden slowdown so many people are feeling.

Is the Real Estate Market Slowing Down, or Is This a Housing Bubble? | MyKCM

What Experts Are Saying About Home Prices in the Coming Year

Right now, most experts are forecasting home price appreciation in 2023, but at a much slower pace than the last two years. The average of the six forecasters below is for national home prices to appreciate by 2.5% in the coming year. Only one of the six is calling for home price depreciation.

Is the Real Estate Market Slowing Down, or Is This a Housing Bubble? | MyKCM

When we look at the shift taking place along with what experts are saying, we can conclude the national real estate market is slowing down but is not a bubble getting ready to burst. This isn’t to say that a few overheated markets won’t experience home price depreciation, but there isn’t a case to be made for a national housing bubble.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is slowing down, and that’s causing many to fear we’re in a housing bubble. What we’ve experienced in the housing market over the past two years were historic levels of demand and constrained supply. That led to homes going up in value at a record pace. While some overheated markets may experience price depreciation in the short term, according to experts, the national real estate market will appreciate in the coming year.

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.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you likely have a lot of factors on your mind. You’re weighing your own needs against higher mortgage rates, today’s home prices, and more to try to decide if you want to jump into the market. While some buyers may wait things out, there’s a reason serious buyers are making moves right now, and that’s the growing number of homes for sale.

So far this year, housing inventory has been increasing and that’s making the prospect of finding your dream home less difficult. While there are always reasons you could delay making a big decision, there are also always reasons to consider moving forward. And having a growing number of options for your home search may be exactly what you needed to feel more confident in making a move.

What’s Causing Housing Inventory To Grow?

As new data comes out, we’re getting an updated picture of why housing supply is increasing so much this year. As Bill McBride, Author of Calculated Riskexplains:

We are seeing a significant change in inventory, but no pickup in new listings. Most of the increase in inventory so far has been due to softer demand – likely because of higher mortgage rates.”

Basically, the inventory growth is primarily from homes staying on the market a bit longer (known as active listings). And that’s happening because higher mortgage rates and home prices have helped moderate the peak frenzy of buyer demand.

The graph below uses data from realtor.com to show how much active listings have risen over the past five months as a result (shown in green):

Why You May Want To Start Your Home Search Today | MyKCM

Why This Growth Is Good News for You

Regardless of the source, the increase in available housing supply is good for buyers. More housing supply actively for sale means you have more options as your search for your next home. A recent article from realtor.com explains just how significant the inventory growth has been and why it’s good news for your plans to buy:

“Nationally, the inventory of homes actively for sale on a typical day in July increased by 30.7% over the past year, the largest increase in inventory in the data history and higher than last month’s growth rate of 18.7% which was itself record-breaking. This amounted to 176,000 more homes actively for sale on a typical day in July compared to the previous year and more choice for buyers who are still looking for a new home.

The growth this year is certainly good news for you, especially if you’ve had trouble finding a home that meets your needs. If you start your search today, those additional options should make it less difficult to find a home than it would have been over the past two years.

Bottom Line

If you’re ready to jump into the market and take advantage of the increasing supply of homes for sale, connect with a REALTOR® today. The opportunity is knocking, will you answer?

If you put off your home search at any point over the past two years, you may want to consider picking it back up based on today’s housing market conditions. Recent data shows the supply of homes for sale is increasing, giving buyers like you additional options.

But it’s important to keep in mind that while inventory is improving, it’s still a sellers’ market. And that means you need to be prepared as you set out on your home search. Here are three tips for buying the home of your dreams today.

1. Understand How Mortgage Rates Impact Your Homebuying Power

Mortgage rates have increased significantly this year, and over the past few weeks, they’ve been fluctuating quite a bit. It’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening with rates and understand how they can impact your purchasing power when you’re thinking of buying a home. The chart below can help.

Let’s say your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment in the $2,100-$2,200 range. The green in the chart indicates a payment within or below that range, while the red is a payment that exceeds it.

3 Tips for Buying a Home Today | MyKCM

As the chart shows, even a small change in mortgage rates can have a big impact on your monthly payments. If rates rise, you could exceed your budget unless you pursue a lower home loan amount. If rates fall, your purchasing power may increase, which could give you additional options for your search.

2. Be Open to Exploring Different Options During Your Search

The supply of homes for sale is improving, which gives you more homes to choose from. But historically, supply is still low. That means as you search for homes, if you still don’t find something that meets your needs, it may be worth expanding your search.

recent article from the Washington Post highlights a few things buyers can consider today. It encourages opening yourself up to more areas. For example, if there’s a location you’ve previously ruled out (like a particular town, for example) it may be worth taking another look.

And if you’re able to, opening your search up to include other housing types, like newly built homes, condominiums, or townhomes can further increase your pool of options. Even as the inventory of homes for sale improves today, finding ways to cast a wider net during your search could help you find a hidden gem.

3. Work with a Local Real Estate Professional for Expert Guidance

Ultimately, you need to be prepared when you set out to buy a home. Jeff Ostrowski, Senior Mortgage Reporter for Bankrate, explains:

“Taking the leap to homeownership can provide a feeling of pride while boosting your long-term financial outlook, if you go in well-prepared and with your eyes open.”

No matter where you’re at in your homeownership journey, the best way to make sure you’re set up for success is to work with a real estate professional. If you’re just starting your search, a real estate professional can help you understand your local market and search for available homes. And when it’s time to make an offer, they’ll be an expert advisor and negotiator to help yours stand out above the rest.

Bottom Line

Strategically planning your home search by understanding today’s mortgage rates, casting a wide net, and building a team of experts can be the keys to finding the home of your dreams. Make sure you have expert advice each step of the way.

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.

If you tried to buy a home during the pandemic, you know the limited supply of homes for sale was a considerable challenge. It created intense bidding wars which drove home prices up as buyers competed with one another to be the winning offer.

But what was once your greatest challenge may now be your greatest opportunity. Today, data shows buyer demand is moderating in the wake of higher mortgage rates. Here are a few reasons why this shift in the housing market is good news for your homebuying plans.

The Challenge

There were many reasons for the limited number of homes on the market during the pandemic, including a history of underbuilding new homes since the market crash in 2008. As the graph below shows, housing supply is well below what the market has seen for most of the past 10 years (see graph below):

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers? | MyKCM

The Opportunity

But that graph also shows a trend back up in the right direction this year. That’s because moderating demand is slowing the pace of home sales and that’s one of the reasons housing supply is finally able to grow. For you, that means you’ll have more options to choose from, so it shouldn’t be as difficult to find your next home as it has been recently.

And having more options may also lead to less intense bidding wars. Data from the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows this trend has already begun. In their recent reports, bidding wars are easing month-over-month (see graph below):

Is the Shifting Market a Challenge or an Opportunity for Homebuyers? | MyKCM

If you’ve been outbid before or you’ve struggled to find a home that meets your needs, breathe a welcome sigh of relief. The big takeaway here is you have more options and less competition today.

Just remember, while easing, data shows multiple-offer scenarios are still happening – they’re just not as intense as they were over the past year. You should still lean on an agent to guide you through the process and help you make your strongest offer up front.

Bottom Line

If you’re still looking to make a move, it may be time to pick your home search back up today.

As we take a look at the interest rates since January, we can see that is what is really defining the current real estate market right now and the volatility is a result of the moves the Federal Reserve is making to ease inflation – the enemy of long-term interest rates.

this year is really defined by the rising mortgage rates, and what you’re looking at here is the Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate from January all the way through to the latest data we have today, and what we can see over time is that mortgage rates really ticked up week after week after week. And you know they started to potentially peak right around the mid-June end-of-June time, and now we’re seeing a lot of volatility. So when I say that they’ve peaked, definitely not out of the woods yet, Signs yes, but mortgage rates are showing a lot of volatility right now. Where we are today, a little bit lower than where we were about a month ago, but we’re still watching them.   http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/ https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/node/25666/pdf

The National Bureau of Economic Research defines what a recession is and when it is. A recession is a significant decline in economic activity, spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale retail sales. Technically, a recession is 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth.

going all the way back to the 1940s, the late forties, every time we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a recession has been called.   https://twitter.com/charliebilello/status/1552699775618895873

Looking all the way back to the 1940s, every time we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a recession has been called.

The percentage of economists who said yes a year ago was only about 12%, but look at how that has ticked up over time, and in a year’s time, half of economists say that we’re headed for a recession in the next 12 months.   https://www.wsj.com/articles/economic-forecasting-survey-archive-11617814998 (subscription required)

According to a survey from the Wall Street Journal that asked economists if they believe a recession will happen in the next 12 months, we can see more and more of the experts are predicting a recession. A recession is an economic slowdown where, historically, we have seen homes appreciate in value and mortgage rates fall.

In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated in value. Now we all remember 2008 when home values lost nearly 20% value, but that’s really a very fundamentally different place than where we are today. The market was drastically different.  https://www.corelogic.com/blog/2019/03/housing-recessions-and-recoveries.aspx https://www.thebalance.com/the-history-of-recessions-in-the-united-states-3306011 https://www.corelogic.com/intelligence/find-stories/corelogic-hpi-posted-record-year-over-year-growth-in-2021/

In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated in value, except for 2008, which we have covered in previous monthly market updates was a fundamentally different place than where we are today.

this is a combination of data from Freddie Mac and mortgage specialists, it shows how from the peak of the recession to the trough, each of those yellow boxes that you can see across this graph, how mortgage rates have fallen in recessionary times.   http://www.freddiemac.com/pmms/ https://mtg-specialists.com/2022/05/11/recession-interest-rates-and-real-estate/

In all 6 of the last 6 recessions, interest rates have declined.

Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over. Fortune

One of the biggest reasons a housing crash is not predicted is inventory. In 2008, we had an oversupply of homes on the market – which causes home prices to fall. Today, we have an under supply – which causes home prices to rise.

This is a look at existing inventory and today the total housing inventory registered at the end of June, the latest data that we have, was 1.26 million units. Now if we look at that from a month’s supply, that’s what you’re seeing right here, unsold inventory today is at a three month supply. That’s that little green bar that you can see over on the right. Now compare that to the red bars, that’s the oversupply that we had during the housing bubble when the market crashed. That’s because we had more homes on the market than we had buyers to buy them. We have the exact opposite today, and if you look at this comparatively, where we are today is nowhere near the oversupply we had last time. Now you would have to build a case that a flood of homeowners are getting ready to sell their houses. They’re going to jump into the market, they’re going to make a move and all of this inventory is coming to the market that would actually tip the scales into that oversupply zone. We’re just not even close to being there. The typical neutral market is six to seven months of supply of inventory. We don’t even have half that at this point. So although we know this number is growing and we are keeping an eye on that because more inventory is coming to the market. That’s the tick up we’re seeing this year. We certainly aren’t anywhere near where we could potentially see the market crash, because of so many homes coming onto the market.   https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/housing-statistics/existing-home-sales

We are seeing about a 3-month supply of homes (inventory).  We are far, far away from the 10-month supply of homes we saw leading up to and in 2008. The typical neutral market is 6 to 7 months of supply of inventory.

Now the other place where inventory comes from is new construction. This is a look at monthly new residential construction, and we’ve broken it down into the four stages of construction. Building permits and housing starts, those are our leading indicators that tell us where the market is headed. And then on the bottom under construction and housing units completed, those are the lagging indicators, what’s happened so far. And what we can see in terms of the leading indicators, the two at the top, permits and starts, those are slowing down from May to June. You can see that happening and that’s because builders are saying, hold on, we’re seeing mortgage rates rise. We’re seeing that softening buyer demand. We’re not going to overbuild. We’re not going to get started on more homes than we know we can complete. They’re really being cautious right now, and so while we’ve had 14 years of under supply of newly constructed homes built in this country, they’re not going to overbuild at that time. That’s the little tick down that you can see, so slowing there. And if you look at the bottom, especially down at housing units completed, you can see that we’re headed to build a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.3 million homes this year. Now that’s wonderful. That will add more inventory to the market. It will help really create some options for home majun buyers. But we’re not on pace to have an oversupply. You can see that May to June ticked down on units completed. So we are definitely seeing more new construction. We are on pace to build 1.3 million homes in this country. We haven’t seen that in over 14 years. That’s huge. That’s a wonderful addition to the inventory, but not anything that would take us to an oversupply like we had when the housing market crashed.   https://www.census.gov/construction/nrc/pdf/newresconst.pdf

Inventory can also come from new construction. Building permits and housing starts are the leading indicators (what is to come), while under construction and housing units completed are the lagging indicators (what has happened). The leading indicators are slowing down from May to June as builders are seeing mortgage rates rise. This shows further confirmation that we’re not on pace to have an oversupply.

Now the third place where inventory comes from, we’ve talked about this quite a bit over the past couple of years, is foreclosures or short sales or distressed properties. The reason we’re not going to be seeing a flood of foreclosures, a big part of that is because lending standards are under control. Now back when the housing bubble burst, we had much looser lending standards. They’ve tightened up significantly and that’s what this graph shows. This is the mortgage credit availability index, and it shows the higher that green line is, the easier it was to get a loan. what you can see in 2006, 2007, it really peaked where we used to joke that it was harder to not get a loan than to get a loan. It was much easier for someone to secure a home loan and that created inflated demand and many millions of people were foreclosed on their homes because they weren’t coming to the table as a qualified buyer and they weren’t able to repay their loan over time. Now you can see that that green line really drops off 2008, 2009. That’s when lending standards really tightened, that’s when we were required to have a more qualified buyer. So those who are securing home loans today, you can see that green line really hovering along at the bottom, are much more qualified buyers, more likely to repay their loans and not go into foreclosure. So that’s a huge difference that we have today  https://www.mba.org/news-research-and-resources/newsroom https://www.mba.org/news-and-research/newsroom/news/2022/07/12/mortgage-credit-availability-decreased-in-june

Finally, inventory could come from distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales. The mortgage credit availability index shows how much harder it has become for someone to secure a home loan as lending standards have tightened.  More qualified buyers means less distressed properties.

this is US properties with foreclosure filings. and it shows foreclosure activity by year. You can see those red bars are when we had over a million foreclosures per year, a million foreclosure filings per year in the housing market, and the lending standard tightening that I showed you, did this, made it drop right down consistently, starting especially in about 2011, fewer and fewer foreclosures every year in this country. Now you can take 2020 and 2021 out for a second, because we know we had a moratorium on foreclosures in that time period, but overall tightening lending standards really changed the game with a more qualified buyer.  https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/foreclosures/attom-year-end-2021-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

There are fewer and fewer foreclosures every year in this country, and especially in the past year or two due to the moratorium on foreclosures.

 foreclosure activity by year. Now this is for January through June of every year going back to 2008, so the first half of the year. That’s the latest data we have right now, so it’s the best comparison for you to see where are we today in 2022, knowing that there are more foreclosures coming back to the market. Now it’s not a flood of foreclosures because what you can see is 2022 over on the right has just under 165,000 foreclosure filings this year so far. We can compare that back to 2020, pretty much on par with 2020, not even as much as we had in 2018 or 2019. So moving back in the direction of a pre pandemic year, but not a flood like we had in those red bars where millions of homes were coming to the market as foreclosures. I think we could really look at this and say lending standards have changed the game. We know that there are more foreclosures coming to the market this year, but it’s nowhere near anything that could cause the market to crash with a wave of foreclosures. So our hearts go out to anyone who’s in this situation. We never want to see anyone go through this process, but we’re certainly not looking at a crisis or a crash that would cause prices to decline significantly because of inventory coming from distressed properties.   https://www.attomdata.com/news/market-trends/foreclosures/attom-midyear-2022-u-s-foreclosure-market-report/

Looking at foreclosure activity by year, going back to 2008, we are seeing about half of the foreclosures compared to pre-pandemic numbers and less than 10% of post-2008 numbers. Lending standards have changed the game.

This is now a monthly report and it’s the loans upon exiting the forbearance program. So this is current as of the very end of June, and what it shows is that 36% of mortgages coming out of forbearance were actually paid off, brought current, all set, people staying in their homes, no issues whatsoever, just walking away from forbearance, staying in their homes. That’s huge, but what’s even more important is if you look at this blue section, 45% were workouts or repayment plans. So people who were able to do modifications, loan deferrals, they went back to their banks and they changed their situation, and that’s huge. This is the opportunity that homeowners didn’t have in 2008, that they have today, is to work out a plan so they don’t have to lose their homes. Banks were up and down that they didn’t want that to happen ever again and the forbearance program changed the game. So what this really shows is if you put the green and the blue together, that four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are just fine. They’re staying in their homes. They’ve worked out of plan. They’ve paid off their loans. Now there is that orange section of those who are still in trouble, 17% have no loss mitigation plan coming out of forbearance, and so that’s created some concerns, but truly, those homeowners with today’s growing equity and appreciating home values, have enough equity to be able to sell their homes, make a move and avoid the foreclosure process. So people today have different options that they didn’t have before and that is huge. That is changing the landscape and one of the biggest reasons why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. Right now we only have about 400,000 homes that are actually in forbearance, and of course we don’t want any of those to go to foreclosure, but even if they did, even if all of those homes or even if those homeowners all sold those homes, we have such an under supply of homes on the market today that they’d be scooped up instantly, and it wouldn’t cause a crash for the market.   https://www.mba.org/news-and-research/newsroom/news/2022/07/18/share-of-mortgage-loans-in-forbearance-decreases-to-081-in-june

36% of mortgages coming out of forbearance were paid off. 45% worked out repayment plans (modifications, loan deferrals, etc) – an opportunity that homeowners didn’t have in 2008. The forbearance program changed the game. 4 out of 5 homeowners are coming out of forbearance. However, 17% have no loss mitigation plan, but mostly have enough equity to be able to sell their homes and avoid the foreclosure process. Today, there are different options, and why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. If all 400,000 homes in forbearance came to market, it would still be under supplied.

Foreclosure activity... continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022... While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023. Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence, ATTOM

The increased amount of foreclosures this year could be due to the lack of foreclosures the past two years.

So I think if look at this perspective, the three places where inventory comes from today, if you look at months inventory of homes for sale, even if we have homes coming from all three of those places, we’re still in a seller’s market. That’s that green line down on the bottom. You can see where it says today right in the center, that inventory line is rising. It is climbing and that is great news for the housing market, but nowhere near those 2008 to 2010 regions, where we truly had an oversupply of homes on the market that caused the housing market to crash. So as we think about that, three places where inventory comes from, existing homes, new homes and distressed properties, nothing that would cause the market to crash  nar.realtor https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales

Today, we are in a seller’s market, but what does the rest of the year hold?

This chart is a look at mortgage rate projections that were just released in July from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, MBA, and NAR. Now, if we look at these across the board, we can average them all out over each quarter, and that right column shows the average of all four. So what is it telling us? It’s really saying that mortgage rates are projected to kind of hang in this steady space right about where we are right now. So mortgage rates being a little more stabilized next year. So that’s great news for buyers who you know might have been priced out of the market or you know have pressed pause on their plans because mortgage rates have been rising so rapidly.   https://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20220720-quarterly-forecast-market-slowdown-will-continue-high-rates-and-prices-exacerbate https://www.fanniemae.com/media/44131/display https://www.mba.org/docs/default-source/research-and-forecasts/forecasts/mortgage-finance-forecast-july-2022.pdf https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/forecast-q2-2022-us-economic-outlook-04-27-2022.pdf

Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors® are predicting mortgage rates to waiver around the current rate with a more stabilized rate next year.

There could be “a potential silver lining” for the market, he added, as stabilizing mortgage rates and rising inventory “may bring some buyers back to the market during the second half of the year.”  CNBC, Quoting Joel Kan, Economist, MBA
surveyed almost 400 agents and asked what’s the biggest question that your clients are asking you right now – it’s about a crash and it’s about pricing. They want to know where are prices headed? Well, if you look at what the experts are saying, this is the home price forecast for 2022. We follow seven key industry leaders on home pricing. These get updated, some monthly, some quarterly, and if you look at them and average them all together, the average of all seven is showing 10.3% home price appreciation through the end of this year. So as we look at this year, we are certainly seeing a slowing, a decelerating price appreciation. Last year we saw an average of 15% according to CoreLogic, homes appreciated by 15%. We’re not necessarily looking at that much appreciation, but nationwide in most markets, experts are saying an average of 10.3% appreciation going forward.   https://www.fanniemae.com/media/44131/display https://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-july-2022.pdf

Looking at what the 7 key industry leaders are saying about home pricing, we are seeing about 10.3% home price appreciation through the end of this year. A more moderate growth than the 15% we saw last year, but still extremely healthy appreciation in most markets.

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
There is also a decrease in home sales due to the softening of buyer demand in light of the rising mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors® is saying that, at the current pace of sale today, we are projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country this year.    Now look at that compared to 2020 and 2021, it’s a drop off, right? Those were exceptional years. They were out of the ordinary. Existing home sales through the roof due to all of the record low mortgage rates, the changing needs of the pandemic, all the things. And what this probably feels like right now is this analogy you’ve heard us use so many times, last year you were driving down the road at 80 miles an hour, you were cruising and you came around a corner and you saw the flashing lights and you slammed on your brakes and suddenly you’re going 60, 65, and it feels like you’re crawling. That may be what you’re feeling right now when it comes to home sales, however, you’re still going the speed limit, because if you look at the green bar compared to the pre pandemic years, 2018, 2019, much more in line with pre pandemic years, and let’s not forget, those were great years in real estate. So home sales softening a bit, but still projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country.   https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/housing-statistics/existing-home-sales https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/ehs-05-2022-overview-2022-06-21.pdf

There is also a decrease in home sales due to the softening of buyer demand in light of the rising mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors® is saying that, at the current pace of sale today, we are projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country this year. Of course, that is a decrease considering the sales the past 2 years, which were extraordinary years in the real estate market. The 5.1 million projection puts us back in line with the pre-pandemic years of 2017-2019.

And if we look at that from a total home sales forecast, this is from Freddie, Fannie, and MBA, we can see that those blue bars were what the experts forecast in January, that was before mortgage rates took their climb, and the re-forecast in the green bars is the latest from July of 2022. So latest data we have right now, a little bit of a softening in total home sales. We sold about 7 million homes last year. We’re looking more like anywhere between 5.8, 6.4 million homes for this year at the current pace. Now again, still very strong years in real estate, and what I want you to think about too is that this is pretty typical for the experts to re-forecast coming in high at the beginning of the year, we see how the year has kind of shaken out and they re-forecast. 2020 was a great example, forecaster down and then we exceeded expectations and sold a record number of homes that year. So the re-forecasting is very typical in the industry. So mortgage rates projected to hold fairly steady. Home sales softening just a little bit and prices projected to continue rising at a little bit more of a moderate rate in most markets.   https://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast?page=0 https://www.fanniemae.com/research-and-insights/forecast/forecast-monthly-archive https://www.mba.org/news-and-research/forecasts-and-commentary/mortgage-finance-forecast-archives

In lieu of the rising mortgage rates, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association re-forecasted their home sales predictions for 2022 from 7 million to 6 million. Still a very strong number, which should hold steady as the interest rates begin to balance out.

three reasons to buy a home today. If you think about the forecast where home prices are, buying before prices rise higher, mortgage rates holding kind of steady. Inventory is starting to tick up and come back to the market. There are three things that are happening right now that are creating a great scenario. April the average home sold had 5.5 offers. If you look over on the left, it ticked down to 4.2 in May, 3.4 in June. That is a trend that we are seeing going forward. Fewer homes selling above asking price, you can see that percentage has ticked down from 61% to 51%, but don’t get me wrong, still a very competitive market if 51% or half of homes are selling over asking, this is definitely still a competitive market, but a better time for buyers to jump in if they’re ready to find a home and supply of homes for sale is growing. You can see that inventory, that month’s supply ticking up as the pace of home sales and more homes came back to the market. So certainly not easy to find a home, but right now there’s no doubt it’s still very competitive, but definitely not as impossible as it may have felt for those who probably stepped out of the process last year or the beginning of this year.   https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2022-05-realtors-confidence-index-06-21-2022.pdf https://cdn.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2022-06-realtors-confidence-index-report-07-20-2022.pdf https://www.nar.realtor/topics/existing-home-sales https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/existing-home-sales-slid-5-4-in-June https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2022/05/19/2447085/0/en/Existing-Home-Sales-Retract-2-4-in-April.html

Today there are fewer multiple offer scenarios, fewer homes selling above asking price, and the supply of homes for sale is growing – all providing a great scenario for buyers right now. We have dropped from 5.5 offers on a home in April to 3.4 in June. We’ve gone from 61% of homes selling above asking price to 51% – still competitive, but decreasing. Finally, inventory has creeped from 2.2 months supply on hand to 3.0. All three trends that should continue moving forward.

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