There has been tremendous volatility in certain markets over the last few weeks (for example, the stock and currency markets). When this happens, some tend to lump all of their investments together and create an almost ‘Armageddon’ scenario where everything loses value quickly and dramatically. Real estate is an investment that can get caught up in this hysteria. Does the concern about the current housing market have merit?
Financial advisors have been warning us for months that the stock market was ripe for a “correction.”
Experts have been questioning the value of alternative currencies for over a year.
In contrast, here are the opinions of three major players in the residential housing market:
Speculation has driven certain markets over the last year. However, it has not been speculation, but instead people’s desire for homeownership, that has driven the real estate market.
|According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. It is no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more attainable.
But, many couples are also deciding to buy a home before spending what would be a down payment on a wedding, as unmarried couples made up 16% of all first-time buyers last year.
If you’re single, don’t fret! Single women made up 18% of first-time buyers in 2017, while single men accounted for 7% of buyers. A recent report pointed to a sense of responsibility and commitment that drives many single women to want to own their own homes rather than rent someone else’s.
Here is the breakdown of all first-time homebuyers in 2017 by percentage of all buyers, income, and age:
You may not be that much different than those who have already purchased their first homes. Let’s get together to determine if your dream home is already within your grasp!
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices appreciated by 6.9% year-over-year from December 2016 to December 2017 on a national level. This marks the fifth month in a row with at least a 6.9% increase.
Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, gave insight into the reason behind the large appreciation,
This is great news for homeowners who have gained nearly $15,000 in equity (on average) in their homes over the last year! Those homeowners who had been on the fence as to whether or not to sell will be pleasantly surprised to find out that they now have an even larger profit to help cover a down payment on their dream homes.
As we near the traditionally busy spring buyers season, there is still hope for buyers as mortgage rates remain low compared to recent decades. The report also predicted that home price appreciation will slow slightly, rising by 4.3% by this time next year.
If you are looking to enter the housing market, as either a buyer or a seller, meet with a local real estate professional who can explain exactly what’s going on in your neighborhood and discuss your options!
|The price of any item (including residential real estate) is determined by ‘supply and demand.’ If many people are looking to buy an item and the supply of that item is limited, the price of that item increases.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the supply of homes for sale dramatically increases every spring. As an example, here is what happened to housing inventory at the beginning of 2017:
Putting your home on the market now instead of waiting for increased competition in the spring might make a lot of sense.
Buyers in the market during the winter months are truly motivated purchasers. They want to buy now. With limited inventory currently available in most markets, sellers are in a great position to negotiate.
5 Reasons to Love Using A Real Estate Pro [INFOGRAPHIC]
Hiring a real estate professional to guide you through the process of buying a home or selling your house can be one of the best decisions you make!
They are there for you to help with paperwork, understanding the process, negotiations, and helping you with pricing (both when making an offer or setting the right price for your home).
One of the top reasons to hire a real estate professional is their understanding of your local market and how the conditions in your neighborhood will impact your experience.
Homeownership: “The Reports of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated”
The famous quote by Mark Twain in the title of this article can be used to describe homeownership in America today. Last week, the Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in the country increased for the first time in thirteen years.
A story in the Wall Street Journal gave these new homeownership numbers some context:
“The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks to ease lending standards to boost homeownership. This time, what’s driving the market is a shift in favor of owning rather than renting.
‘This is market, market and market…There’s no government incentive program in sight that is having this effect,’ said Susan Wachter, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, ‘This is back to basics.’”
In a separate report comparing the rental population in America to the homeowner population, RentCafé also concluded that the gap is now shrinking.
“Undoubtedly, the recession had a great impact on homeownership…However, it looks like it takes more to discourage Americans from buying a house than that.
As the years go by, it seems more and more certain that the fact that renting has seen a sudden gain in popularity is more a reaction to the economic crisis than a paradigm shift in the Americans’ attitude toward housing.”
America’s belief in homeownership was also evidenced in a recent survey by Pew Research. They asked consumers “How important is homeownership to achieving the American Dream?”
43% said homeownership was essential to the American Dream
48% said homeownership was important to the American Dream
Only 9% said it was not important
Homeownership has been, is and will always be a crucial element of the American Dream.
*Pictured Above – Mark Twain’s home in Hartford, Connecticut.
Where Are Mortgage Interest Rates Headed in 2018?
The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.
Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.
How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?
Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.
According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 7.0% from this time last year and are predicted to be 4.2% higher next year.
If both the predictions of home price and interest rate increases become reality, families would wind up paying considerably more for their next home.
Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Let’s get together to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.
Millionaire to Millennials: Don’t Rent a Home… Buy!
In a CNBC article, self-made millionaire David Bach explained that: “The biggest mistake millennials are making is not buying their first home.” He goes on to say that, “If you want to build real financial security, real wealth for your lifetime, then you need to buy a home.”
Bach went on to explain:
“Homeowners are worth 40 times more than renters. Now, that first home doesn’t need to be a dream home, it can be a very small home. You might literally have to buy a small studio apartment, but that’s how you get started.”
Then he explains the secret in order to buy that home!
“Don’t do a 30-year mortgage. You want to take that 30-year mortgage and instead pay it off early, do a 15-year mortgage. What happens if you do a 15-year mortgage? Well, one, you pay the mortgage off 15-years sooner, that means you’ll be able to retire in your fifties. Number two, you’ll save a fortune (on potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest payments).”
What will it cost to pay your mortgage in fifteen years? He explains further:
“For fifteen years, you got to brownbag your lunch. Think about that! Brownbag your lunch literally for fifteen years. You can retire ten years sooner than your friends. You’ll have real wealth, because you bought a home – you’re not a renter. And you’ll be financially secure for life.”
Whenever a well-respected millionaire gives investment advice, people usually clamor to hear it. This millionaire gave simple advice – if you don’t yet live in your own home, go buy one.
Whether You Rent or Buy, Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage!
There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:
“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”
Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage as opposed to paying rent:
“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”
As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person building that equity.
Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 4.22% last week.
Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.