If You’re Considering Selling, ACT NOW!!

Definitely an aggressive headline. However, as the final data on the 2017 housing market rolls in, we can definitely say one thing: If you are considering selling, IT IS TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME! How did we finish 2017? New-home sales were at their highest level in a decade. Sales of previously owned homes were at their highest level in more than a decade. Starts of single-family homes were their strongest in a decade and applications to build such properties advanced to the fastest pace since August 2007. And Bloomberg Business just reported: “America’s housing market is gearing up for a robust year ahead. Builders are more optimistic, demand … [Read more...]

Where Did Americans Move in 2017? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Atlas Van Lines recently released the results of their annual Migration Patterns Survey in which they tracked their customer’s movement from state-to-state over the course of 2017. Idaho held on to the top spot of ‘high inbound’ states for the 2nd year in a row followed by Washington. The ‘outbound’ states seem to draw a line straight across the country from Connecticut to Wyoming. Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

What Impact Will the New Tax Code Have on Home Values?

Every month, CoreLogic releases its Home Price Insights Report. In that report, they forecast where they believe residential real estate prices will be in twelve months. Below is a map, broken down by state, reflecting how home values are forecasted to change by the end of 2018 using data from the most recent report. As we can see, CoreLogic projects an increase in home values in 49 of 50 states, and Washington, DC (there was insufficient data for HI). Nationwide, they see home prices increasing by 4.2%. How might the new tax code impact these numbers? Recently, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducted their own analysis to … [Read more...]

The Impact of Tight Inventory on the Housing Market

The housing crisis is finally in the rear-view mirror as the real estate market moves down the road to a complete recovery. Home values are up, home sales are up, and distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) have fallen to their lowest points in years. It seems that the market will continue to strengthen in 2018. However, there is one thing that may cause the industry to tap the brakes: a lack of housing inventory. While buyer demand looks like it will remain strong throughout the winter, supply is not keeping up. Here are the thoughts of a few industry experts on the subject: National Association of Realtors “Total housing inventory … [Read more...]

There’s More to a Bubble Than Rising Home Prices

What truly causes a housing bubble and the inevitable crash? For the best explanation, let’s go to a person who correctly called the last housing bubble – a year before it happened. “A bubble requires both overvaluation based on fundamentals and speculation. It is natural to focus on an asset’s fundamental value, but the real key for detecting a bubble is speculation…Speculation tends to chase appreciating assets, and then speculation begets more speculation, until finally, for some reason that will become obvious to all in hindsight, the ‘bubble’ bursts. I have taken to calling the housing market a ‘bubble’.” – Bill McBride of Calculated … [Read more...]

Existing Home Sales Reach Highest Annual Pace in 11 Years [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: Existing home sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.81 million, the highest pace since December 2006. The inventory of existing homes for sale has dropped year-over-year for the last 30 consecutive months and is now at a 3.4-month supply. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun had this to say: “Faster economic growth in recent quarters, the booming stock market and continuous job gains are fueling substantial demand for buying a home as 2017 comes to an end.” Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

Housing Prices are NOT Heading for Another Crash

As home values continue to increase at levels greater than historic norms, some are concerned that we are heading for another crash like the one we experienced ten years ago. We recently explained that the lenient lending standards of the previous decade (which created false demand) no longer exist. But what about prices? Are prices appreciating at the same rate that they were prior to the crash of 2006-2008? Let’s look at the numbers as reported by Freddie Mac: The levels of appreciation we have experienced over the last four years aren’t anywhere near the levels that were reached in the four years prior to last decade’s crash. We must … [Read more...]

The Real Reason 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 Slowed by a Lack of Listings [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights: The inventory of existing homes for sale has dropped year-over-year for the last 29 consecutive months and is now at a 3.9-month supply. Existing home sales are currently at an annual pace of 5.48 million, the highest pace since June of this year, but down 0.9% from October 2016. NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, had this to say: “While the housing market gained a little more momentum last month, sales are still below year ago levels because low inventory is limiting choices for prospective buyers and keeping price growth elevated.” Powered by WPeMatico … [Read more...]

Bubble Alert! Is it Getting Too Easy to Get a Mortgage?

There is little doubt that it is easier to get a home mortgage today than it was last year. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), published by the Mortgage Bankers Association, shows that mortgage credit has become more available in each of the last several years. In fact, in just the last year: More buyers are putting less than 20% down to purchase a home The average credit score on closed mortgages is lower More low-down-payment programs have been introduced This has some people worrying that we are returning to the lax lending standards which led to the boom and bust that real estate experienced ten years ago. Let’s alleviate some … [Read more...]