Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017?

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017? | Simplifying The Market

Some industry experts are saying that the housing market may be heading for a slowdown in 2017 based on rising home prices and a jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Here is how NAR defines the index:

“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”

Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify.

The higher the index, the easier it is to afford a home.

Why the concern?

The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market.

But, wait a minute…

Though the index skyrocketed from 2009 through 2013, we must realize during that time the housing crisis left the market with an overabundance of housing inventory with as many as one out of three listings being a distressed property (foreclosure or short sale). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock.

The market is recovering, and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall.

However, let’s remove the crisis years and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008:

Will Housing Affordability Be a Challenge in 2017? | Simplifying The Market

We can see that, even though prices have increased, mortgage rates are still lower than historical averages and have put the index in a better position than every year for the nineteen years before the crash.

Bottom Line

The Housing Affordability Index is in great shape and should not be seen as a challenge to the real estate market’s continued recovery.

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What Would a Millennial Baby Boom Mean for Housing?

What Would a Millennial Baby Boom Mean for Housing? | Simplifying The Market

Recently released data from the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 1.3 million Millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015. There are now over 16 million women in this generation who have become mothers.

“All told, Millennial women (those born between 1981 to 1997) accounted for about eight in ten (82%) of U.S. births in 2015.”

The data also shows that this generation has waited until later in life to become parents as only 42% of Millennial women were moms in 2014, compared to 49% of Generation X at the same age. A Pew Research Center article discussing the data, points to social influences that may have contributed to the delay:

“The rising age at first birth is hardly limited to the Millennial generation. It has been a trend since at least 1970. Many factors may contribute, including a shift away from marriage, increasing educational attainment and the movement of women into the labor force.”

Do Millennials Want to Be Parents?

“While Millennials may be delaying parenthood, it’s not for a lack of interest in eventually becoming moms and dads. Members of this generation rated being a good parent as a top priority in a 2010 Pew Research Center survey.  

Some 52% said it was one of the most important goals in their lives, well ahead of having a successful marriage, which 30% said was one of their most important lifetime goals.”

So, What Does This Mean for the Housing Market?

As Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for realtor.com explained: “At any given time in our history, demographics would explain 60-80% of what’s happening [in the market], and we are in a period of time where Millennials make up a largest demographic group.” 

As more and more Millennial families are formed, this generation will shift their focus to providing the best home for their children to grow up in, the best school districts, and often to the stability that owning a home of their own provides.

Two-thirds of Millennials have not yet reached the average first-time home buying age of 32, as reported by the National Association of Realtor. The homeownership rate amongst Millennials has nowhere to go but up!

Bottom Line

Millennials as a generation have delayed traditional social norms until later in their lives. Whether getting married, having children or buying a home, the desire to provide for their family is still there, even if it takes a little while longer than it did for previous generations.

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Prices Rose 7.1% Year-Over-Year [INFOGRAPHIC]

Prices Rose 7.1% Year-Over-Year [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index shows that prices rose by 7.1% across the United States year-over-year.
  • With mortgage interest rates rising in the short term, CoreLogic believes price appreciation will slow to 4.7% by this time next year.
  • 49 out of 50 states, and the District of Columbia, all had positive appreciation over the last 12 months, with the only exception being the state of Connecticut, which experienced a -0.5% appreciation.

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Year-Over-Year Sales Increases Reach Double Digits in 5 Price Categories

Year-Over-Year Price Appreciation Reaches Double Digits in 5 Price Categories | Simplifying The Market

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that, compared to last year, home sales are up dramatically in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Homes priced between $100-250K showed a 20.7% increase year-over-year. This is an impressive increase, showing that November was an excellent month for home sales in this price range.

But surprisingly, the 20.7% increase in sales in this range was not the highest percent change achieved, as sales of homes over $250,000 increased by double-digit percentages with sales in the $750,000- $1 million range showing the largest increase, up 43.2%!

As prices in many markets continue to accelerate, it is no surprise to see the percentage of homes in the higher price ranges increasing.

Here is the breakdown:

Year-Over-Year Price Appreciation Reaches Double Digits in 5 Price Categories | Simplifying The Market

Homes under $100,000 were the only group to show negative appreciation of sales at -2.4%. This not only points to the lower inventory of homes available for sale in this price range but also speaks to the overall strength of the housing market.

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit down with your agent to see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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Year-Over-Year Price Appreciation Reaches Double Digits in 5 Price Categories

Year-Over-Year Price Appreciation Reaches Double Digits in 5 Price Categories | Simplifying The Market

The National Association of Realtors’ most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that, compared to last year, home sales are up dramatically in five of the six price ranges they measure.

Homes priced between $100-250K showed a 20.7% increase year-over-year. This is an impressive increase, showing that November was an excellent month for home sales in this price range.

But surprisingly, the 20.7% increase in sales in this range was not the highest percent change achieved, as sales of homes over $250,000 increased by double-digit percentages with sales in the $750,000- $1 million range showing the largest increase, up 43.2%!

As prices in many markets continue to accelerate, it is no surprise to see the percentage of homes in the higher price ranges increasing.

Here is the breakdown:

Year-Over-Year Price Appreciation Reaches Double Digits in 5 Price Categories | Simplifying The Market

Homes under $100,000 were the only group to show negative appreciation of sales at -2.4%. This not only points to the lower inventory of homes available for sale in this price range but also speaks to the overall strength of the housing market.

What does that mean to you if you are selling?

Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, perhaps it is time to sit down with your agent to see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today’s market.

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Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up

Inadequate Inventory Driving Prices Up | Simplifying The Market

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed a direct correlation between a lack of inventory and rising prices.

We are all familiar with the concept of supply and demand. As the demand for an item increases the supply of that same item goes down, driving prices up.

Year-over-year inventory levels have dropped each of the last 18 months, as inventory now stands at a 4.0-month supply, well below the 6.0-month supply needed for a ‘normal’ market.

The median price of homes sold in November (the latest data available) was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marking the 57th consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun had this to say:

“Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017. Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country.”

But there is good news about rising prices. More and more homeowners are recovering from a negative equity situation and learning that they are able to sell their homes and either move up to their dream home or downsize to a property that will better suit their needs. Look for these homes to come to market soon.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand continues to outpace the supply of homes for sale. Listing your home in the winter attracts serious buyers who are looking to close the transaction quickly.

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Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale | Simplifying The Market

As we are about to bring in the New Year, families across the country will be deciding if this is the year that they will sell their current house and move into their dream home. Many will decide that it is smarter to wait until the spring “buyer’s market” to list their house. In the past, that might have made sense. However, this winter is not like recent years.

The recent jump in mortgage rates has forced buyers off the fence and into the market, resulting in incredibly strong demand RIGHT NOW!! At the same time, inventory levels of homes for sale have dropped dramatically as compared to this time last year.

Here is a chart showing the decrease in inventory levels by category:

Start 2017 Off Right… List Your House for Sale | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Demand for your home is very strong right now while your competition (other homes for sale) is at a historically low level. If you are thinking of selling in 2017, now may be the time.

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Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC]

Existing Home Sales Surge Through The Holidays [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • November’s Existing Home Sales report revealed that sales are now at an annual pace of 5.61 million which is “now the highest since February 2007 (5.79 million) and is 15.4% higher than a year ago (4.86 million).”
  • Total housing inventory (or the inventory of homes for sale) fell 8.0% from last month and is now 9.3% lower than November 2015.
  • Inventory has dropped year-over-year for the last 18 months.
  • The median price for all home sales in November was $234,900, up 6.8% from last year and marks the 57th consecutive month of year-over-year gains.

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Why You Shouldn’t Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays

Why You Shouldn’t Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays | Simplifying The Market

If you are one of the many homeowners who is debating taking your home off the market for the next few weeks, don’t! You will miss the great opportunity you have right now!

The latest Existing Home Sales Report from The National Association of Realtors (NAR), revealed that the inventory of homes for sale has dropped to a 4.3-month supply.

Historically, a 6-month supply is necessary for a ‘normal’ market, explained below:

Why You Shouldn’t Take Your House Off the Market During the Holidays | Simplifying The Market

There are more buyers that are ready, willing, and able to buy now than there have been in years! The supply of homes for sale is not keeping up with the demand of these buyers.

Bottom Line

Home prices are appreciating in this seller’s market. Making your home available over the next few weeks will give you the most exposure to buyers who will be competing against each other to buy it.

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Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years?

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey.

Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.

The results of their latest survey:

Home values will appreciate by 4.0% over the course of 2017, 3.2% in 2018 and 3.0% the next three years (as shown below). That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.24% over the next 5 years.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

The prediction for cumulative appreciation ticked up from 18.7% to 21.4% by 2021. The experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 10.2%.

Home Prices: Where Will They Be in 5 Years? | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Individual opinions make headlines. We believe this survey is a fairer depiction of future values.

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