Did Tax Reform Kill the Luxury Market? NOT SO FAR!

The new tax code limits the deduction of state and local property taxes, as well as income or sales taxes, to a total of $10,000. When the tax reform legislation was put into law at the beginning of the year, some experts felt that it could have a negative impact on the luxury housing market. Capital Economics: “The impact on expensive homes could be detrimental, with a limit on the MID raising taxes for those that itemize.” Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics: “The impact on house prices is much greater for higher-priced homes, especially in parts of the country where incomes are higher and there are thus a disproportionate number of … [Read more...]

Why Have Interest Rates Jumped to a 7-Year High?

Interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage have climbed from 3.95% in the first week of January up to 4.61% last week, which marks a 7-year high according to Freddie Mac. The current pace of acceleration has been fueled by many factors. Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, had this to say: “Healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week. Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.” But what do gas prices have to do with interest … [Read more...]

Don’t Wait to Sell Your House! Buyers Are Out Now

Recently released data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) suggests that a now is a great time to sell your home. The concept of ‘supply & demand’ reveals that the best price for an item is realized when the supply of that item is low and the demand for that item is high. Let’s see how this applies to the current residential real estate market. SUPPLY It is no secret that the supply of homes for sale has been far below the number needed to sustain a normal market for over a year at this point. A normal market requires six months of housing inventory to meet the demand. The latest report from NAR revealed that there is currently … [Read more...]

Renters Under 50 Want to Buy a Home!

Every year, the New York Federal Reserve publishes the results of their Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE). Each survey covers a wide range of topics including inflation, labor market, household finance, credit access and housing. One of the many questions asked in the housing section of the survey was: Assuming you had the financial resources to do so, would you like to OWN instead of RENT your primary residence? Over three-quarters of respondents under the age of 50 said that they would prefer to own their home, rather than rent. While only 52.6% of those over 50 would prefer to own. The full breakdown can be found in the chart … [Read more...]

Homeownership: “A Man Is Not a Complete Man, Unless He Owns a House”

The famous quote by Walt Whitman, “A man is not a whole and complete man, unless he owns a house and the ground it stands on,” can be used to describe homeownership in America today. The Census revealed that the percentage of homeowners in America has been steadily climbing back up since hitting a 50-year low in 2016. The homeownership rate in the first quarter of 2018 was 64.2%, higher than last year’s 63.6%. Chief Economist, Dr. Ralph McLaughlin, in his VUE Blog gave these new homeownership numbers some context: “The trend is clear: the homeownership rate has been ticking up for five consecutive quarters, and the number of new renter … [Read more...]

5 Ways Tax Reform Has Impacted the 2018 Housing Market

Starting late last year, some predicted that the 2018 tax changes would cripple the housing market. Headlines warned of the potential for double-digit price depreciation and suggested that buyer demand could drop like a rock. There was even sentiment that homeownership could lose its coveted status as a major component of the American Dream.  Now that the first quarter numbers are in, we can begin to decipher the actual that impact tax reform has had on the real estate market. 1. Has tax reform killed off home buyer demand? The answer is “NO.” According to the Showing Time Index which “tracks the average number of buyer showings on active … [Read more...]

4 Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market is NOT 2006 All Over Again

With home prices rising again this year, some are concerned that we may be repeating the 2006 housing bubble that caused families so much pain when it collapsed. Today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago. There are four key metrics that explain why: Home Prices Mortgage Standards Mortgage Debt Housing Affordability 1. HOME PRICES There is no doubt that home prices have reached 2006 levels in many markets across the country. However, after more than a decade, home prices should be much higher based on inflation alone. Frank Nothaft is the Chief Economist for CoreLogic (which compiles some of the best data on … [Read more...]

How Much Has Your Home Increased in Value Over the Last Year?

Home values have risen dramatically over the last twelve months. In CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, they revealed that national home prices have increased by 6.7% year-over-year. CoreLogic broke down appreciation even further into four price ranges, giving us a more detailed view than if we had simply looked at the year-over-year increases in national median home price. The chart below shows the four price ranges from the report, as well as each one’s year-over-year growth from February 2017 to February 2018 (the latest data available). It is important to pay attention to how prices are changing in your local market. The … [Read more...]

Why Home Prices Are Increasing

There are many unsubstantiated theories as to why home values are continuing to increase. From those who are worried that lending standards are again becoming too lenient (data shows this is untrue), to those who are concerned that prices are again approaching boom peaks because of “irrational exuberance” (this is also untrue as prices are not at peak levels when they are adjusted for inflation), there seems to be no shortage of opinion. However, the increase in prices is easily explained by the theory of supply & demand. Whenever there is a limited supply of an item that is in high demand, prices increase. It is that simple. In real estate, … [Read more...]

Existing Home Sales Grow Despite Low Inventory [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors, sales grew 1.1% in March to an annual pace of 5.60 million. This is the strongest pace since November of 2017. Inventory levels dropped year-over-year for the 34th consecutive month and are now 7.2% lower than March 2017 levels, representing a 3.6-month supply. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]