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Whether or not you owned a home in 2008, you likely remember the housing crash that took place back then. And news about an economic slowdown happening today may bring all those concerns back to the surface. While those feelings are understandable, data can help reassure you the situation today is nothing like it was in 2008.

One of the key reasons why the market won’t crash this time is the current undersupply of inventory. Housing supply comes from three key places:

For the market to crash, you’d have to make a case for an oversupply of inventory headed to the market, and the numbers just don’t support that. So, here’s a deeper look at where inventory is coming from today to help prove why the housing market isn’t headed for a crash.

Current Homeowners Putting Their Homes Up for Sale

Even though housing supply is increasing this year, there’s still a limited number of existing homes available. The graph below helps illustrate this point. Based on the latest weekly data, inventory is up 27.8% compared to the same week last year (shown in blue). But compared to the same week in 2019 (shown in the larger red bar), it’s still down by 42.6%.

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

So, what does this mean? Inventory is still historically low. There simply aren’t enough homes on the market to cause prices to crash. There would need to be a flood of people getting ready to sell their houses in order to tip the scales toward a buyers’ market. And that level of activity simply isn’t there.

Newly Built Homes Coming onto the Market

There’s also a lot of talk about what’s happening with newly built homes today, and that may make you wonder if we’re overbuilding. But home builders are actually slowing down their production right now. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, notes:

“It has become a very competitive market for builders where they are trying to offload any standing inventory.”

To avoid repeating the overbuilding that happened leading up to the housing crisis, builders are reacting to higher mortgage rates and softening buyer demand by slowing down their work. It’s a sign they’re being intentional about not overbuilding homes like they did during the bubble.

And according to the latest data from the U.S. Census, at today’s current pace, we’re headed to build a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.4 million homes this year. While this will add more inventory to the market, it’s not on pace to create an oversupply because builders today are more cautious than the last time when they built more homes than the market could absorb.

Distressed Properties (Short Sales or Foreclosures)

The last place inventory can come from is distressed properties, including short sales and foreclosures. Back in the housing crisis, there was a flood of foreclosures due to lending standards that allowed many people to secure a home loan they couldn’t truly afford. Today, lending standards are much tighter, resulting in more qualified buyers and far fewer foreclosures. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions on properties with foreclosure filings to help paint the picture of how things have changed since the crash:

Why Today’s Housing Inventory Proves the Market Isn’t Headed for a Crash | MyKCM

This graph shows how in the time around the housing crash there were over one million foreclosure filings per year. As lending standards tightened since then, the activity started to decline. And in 2020 and 2021, the forbearance program was a further aid to help prevent a repeat of the wave of foreclosures we saw back around 2008.

That program was a game changer, giving homeowners options for things like loan deferrals and modifications they didn’t have before. And data on the success of that program shows four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are either paid in full or have worked out a repayment plan to avoid foreclosure. These are a few of the biggest reasons there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

Bottom Line

Although housing supply is growing this year, the market certainly isn’t anywhere near the inventory levels that would cause prices to drop significantly. That’s why inventory tells us the housing market won’t crash.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, many experts thought the housing market would crash. They feared job loss and economic uncertainty would lead to a wave of foreclosures similar to when the housing bubble burst over a decade ago. Thankfully, the forbearance program changed that. It provided much-needed relief for homeowners so a foreclosure crisis wouldn’t happen again. Here’s why forbearance worked.

Forbearance enabled nearly five million homeowners to get back on their feet in a time when having the security and protection of a home was more important than ever. Those in need were able to work with their banks and lenders to stay in their homes rather than go into foreclosure. Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), notes:

“Most borrowers exiting forbearance are moving into either a loan modification, payment deferral, or a combination of the two workout options.”

As the graph below shows, with modification, deferral, and workout options in place, four out of every five homeowners in forbearance are either paid in full or are exiting with a plan. They’re able to stay in their homes.

Why the Forbearance Program Changed the Housing Market | MyKCM

What does this mean for the housing market?

Since so many people can stay in their homes and work out alternative options, there won’t be a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. And while rising slightly since the foreclosure moratorium was lifted this year, foreclosures today are still nowhere near the levels seen in the housing crisis.

Forbearance wasn’t the only game changer, either. Lending standards have improved significantly since the housing bubble burst, and that’s one more thing keeping foreclosure filings low. Today’s borrowers are much more qualified to pay their home loans.

And while the majority of homeowners are exiting the forbearance program with a plan, for those who still need to make a change due to financial hardship or other challenges, today’s record-level of equity is giving them the opportunity to sell their houses and avoid foreclosure altogether. Homeowners have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Thanks to their equity and the current undersupply of homes on the market, homeowners can sell their houses, make a move, and not have to go through the foreclosure process that led to the housing market crash in 2008.

Thomas LaSalvia, Chief Economist with Moody’s Analyticsstates:

“There’s some excess savings out there, over 2 trillion worth. . . . There are people that have ownership of those homes right now, that even in a downturn, they’d still likely be able to pay that mortgage and won’t have to hand over keys. And there won’t be a lot of those distressed sales that happened in the 2008 crisis.”

Bottom Line

The forbearance program was a game changer for homeowners in need. It’s one of the big reasons why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market.

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.

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, you might have heard that pre-approval is a necessary step to take before starting out on your journey. But why is that? And is it still important in today’s shifting market?

The truth is, getting a pre-approval letter from your lender is critical, and when it comes to your home search, it can be a game changer in so many ways.

To better understand why, it’s important to know what pre-approval is. Freddie Mac defines the process like this:

“A pre-approval is an indication from your lender that they are willing to lend you a certain amount of money to buy your future home. The lender you work with will provide you with a pre-approval letter, which is an official document that states the maximum amount they are willing to lend you, . . .”

Put simply, pre-approval from a lender helps you understand your true price range and how much money you can borrow for your loan. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes. And since you’ll know what you’re approved for, it’ll also help once it’s time to submit an offer on the home of your dreams.

Another added benefit is that pre-approval lets the seller know you’re qualified to buy their house. Paul Centopani, Editor for the Mortgage Reportsexplains:

“. . . most sellers won’t even consider an offer unless the buyer is pre-approved at the right price point. Sellers and their agents want to know you’re ready and able to finance your offer amount. So you’ll want to have your preapproval teed up as soon as you’re serious about bidding on a home you like.”

Every advantage you can gain as a buyer is crucial in a market that’s constantly changing. You’re going to need guidance to navigate these waters, so it’s important to have a team of professionals, such as a real estate advisor and trusted lender, on your side. They’ll help make sure you’re ready to put your best foot forward.

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage helps you better understand what you can borrow and shows sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home.

According to a recent survey, more and more Americans are concerned about a possible recession. Those concerns were validated when the Federal Reserve met and confirmed they were strongly committed to bringing down inflation. And, in order to do so, they’d use their tools and influence to slow down the economy.

All of this brings up many fears and questions around how it might affect our lives, our jobs, and business overall. And one concern many Americans have is: how will this affect the housing market? We know how economic slowdowns have impacted home prices in the past, but how could this next slowdown affect real estate and the cost of financing a home?

According to Mortgage Specialists: 

Throughout history, during a recessionary period, interest rates go up at the beginning of the recession. But in order to come out of a recession, interest rates are lowered to stimulate the economy moving forward.”

Here’s the data to back that up. If you look back at each recession going all the way to the early 1980s, here’s what happened to mortgage rates during those times (see chart below):

What Does an Economic Slowdown Mean for the Housing Market? | MyKCM

As the chart shows, historically, each time the economy slowed down, mortgage rates decreased. Fortune.com helps explain the trend like this:

“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.”

And while history doesn’t always repeat itself, we can learn from it. While an economic slowdown needs to happen to help taper inflation, it hasn’t always been a bad thing for the housing market. Typically, it has meant that the cost to finance a home has gone down, and that’s a good thing. 

Bottom Line

Concerns of a recession are rising. As the economy slows down, history tells us this would likely mean lower mortgage rates for those looking to refinance or buy a home. While no one knows exactly what the future holds, you can make the right decision for you by working with a trusted real estate professional to get expert advice on what’s happening in the housing market and what that means for your homeownership goals.

It’s true that record levels of home price appreciation have spurred significant equity gains for homeowners over the past few years. As Diana Olick, Real Estate Correspondent at CNBC, says:

“The stunning jump in home values over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic has given U.S. homeowners record amounts of housing wealth.”

That’s great for your home’s value over the last couple of years, but what if you’ve lived in your home for longer than that? You may be wondering how much equity you truly have.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has done a study to calculate the typical equity gains over longer spans of time. The data they compiled could be enough to motivate you to move. Just remember, to find out how much equity you have in your specific home, you’ll want to get a professional equity assessment from a trusted real estate advisor.

How Your Equity Grows

Let’s start by establishing how you build equity in your home. While price appreciation is clearly a factor that can help boost your equity, you also build equity over time as you pay down your home loan. NAR explains:

Home equity gains are built up through price appreciation and by paying off the mortgage through principal payments.

Average Equity Growth over Time

The study from NAR breaks down the typical equity gain over time (see graph below). It calculates the equity a homeowner potentially gained if they purchased the median-priced home 5, 10, or 30 years ago and still own it today.

How Your Equity Can Grow over Time | MyKCM

These six-figure numbers are impressive and certainly enough to help you fuel a move into your next home, but they’re not a promised amount. Remember, your own equity gain will be different. It depends on how long you’ve been in the house, your home’s condition, any upgrades you’ve made, your area, and much more.

If you want to find out how much equity you have, partner with a trusted real estate professional for an equity assessment on your home. They can provide an expert opinion on what your house is worth today and how the equity you’ve gained over time can help you when you purchase your next home. It may be some (if not all) of what you need for your next down payment.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking about selling your house and making a move, home equity can be a real game-changer, especially if you’ve been in your current home for a while. If you’re ready to find out how much equity you have, visit HomeSweetHomeBot.com.

According to a recent article from Florida Realtors®, renters who paid their rent on time for one year can submit that information in order to have a better chance at getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan at better interest rates. The consideration of on-time rent payments begins July 10th, 2022. Payment history is added by the lender to the Freddie Mac Loan Product Advisor (LPA), and the 12 months of on-time payments is verified by a third-party service provider.

The CEO of Freddie Mac said, “This extremely important initiative will help many renters move closer to achieving the dream of homeownership… Millions of American adults lack a credit score or have limited credit history. By factoring in a borrower’s responsible rent payment history … we can help make home possible for more qualified renters, particularly in underserved communities.”

Rent payments eligible for this include checks, electronic transactions, and digital payments (for example, Venmo or Paypal).

The President of Freddie Mac says, “One of the first steps to purchasing a home is a positive credit history, and Freddie Mac is committed to helping consumers achieve that goal… Factoring on-time rent payments into our automated underwriting system will help create even more opportunity for families across the nation.”

For more information visit https://freddiemac.gcs-web.com/news-releases/news-release-details/new-freddie-mac-initiative-helps-renters-build-credit

As of July 1st, the credit bureaus are no longer counting some large medical debt in their credit reports, and small medical debts won’t be reported at all in 2023. Such credit reports are most often sent to creditors, banks, landlords, and judges. With the new rule in place, companies will now give a year to pay off the debt once it has been sent to collections before they report it. Previously, this period was just 6 months. In addition, medical debt under $500 won’t be counted against your credit score. This change affects about 70% of consumer medical debt.


Although this is a step in the right direction, many question why medical debt is on the credit reports at all. Amanda Dunker of the Community Service Society of New York said it best, “These aren’t people who bought shoes they couldn’t afford… They went to a doctor because they were sick or needed help with an injury.”


It is the federal organization, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose research showed that credit cards and mortgages are the best indicators of whether someone will pay their medical debt, and they are working to determine if such debt should be on the reports at all.

Once you’ve applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are some key things to keep in mind. While it’s exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating, be careful when it comes to making any big purchases. Here are a few things you may not realize you need to avoid after applying for your home loan.

Don’t Deposit Large Sums of Cash

Lenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

Don’t Make Any Large Purchases

It’s not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgage. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.

Don’t Co-Sign Loans for Anyone

When you co-sign for a loan, you’re making yourself accountable for that loan’s success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.

Don’t Switch Bank Accounts

Lenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.

Don’t Apply for New Credit

It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your mortgage interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.

Don’t Close Any Accounts

Many buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn’t true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those aspects of your score.

In Short, Consult an Expert

To sum it up, be upfront about any changes when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it’s best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.

Bottom Line

You want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who’s qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.

In today’s housing market, many are beginning to wonder if we’re returning to the riskier lending habits and borrowing options that led to the housing crash 15 years ago. Let’s ease those concerns.

Several times a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases an index titled the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:

“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is . . . a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”

Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available mortgage credit becomes. Here’s a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:

Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past | MyKCM

As the graph shows, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure. Thankfully, lending standards have eased somewhat since then, but the index is still low. In April, the index was at 121, which is about one-seventh of what it was in 2006.

Why Did the Index Get out of Control During the Housing Bubble?

The main reason was the availability of loans with extremely weak lending standards. To keep up with demand in 2006, many mortgage lenders offered loans that put little emphasis on the eligibility of the borrower. Lenders were approving loans without always going through a verification process to confirm if the borrower would likely be able to repay the loan.

An example of the relaxed lending standards leading up to the housing crash is the FICO® credit score associated with a loan. What’s a FICO® score? The website myFICO explains:

“A credit score tells lenders about your creditworthiness (how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history). It is calculated using the information in your credit reports. FICO® Scores are the standard for credit scores—used by 90% of top lenders.”

During the housing boom, many mortgages were written for borrowers with a FICO score under 620. While there are still some loan programs that allow for a 620 score, today’s lending standards are much tighter. Lending institutions overall are much more attentive about measuring risk when approving loans. According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reservethe median credit score on all mortgage loans originated in the first quarter of 2022 was 776.

The graph below shows the billions of dollars in mortgage money given annually to borrowers with a credit score under 620.

Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past | MyKCM

In 2006, buyers with a score under 620 received $376 billion dollars in loans. In 2021, that number was only $80 billion, and it’s only $20 billion in the first quarter of 2022.

Bottom Line

In 2006, lending standards were much more relaxed with little evaluation done to measure a borrower’s potential to repay their loan. Today, standards are tighter, and the risk is reduced for both lenders and borrowers. These are two very different housing markets, and today is nothing like the last time.

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