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No Housing Bubble

TWO REASONS WHY THE RECENT UPTICK IN HOUSE PRICES IS NOT A BUBBLE

The last time house prices went up considerably, they plummeted 30% from their peak in 2006.  Are we gearing up for a similar decline in light of the recent uptick in house prices?  Apparently not, according to a study recently conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (click here to view the full study).  Here’s why:

1 – House prices are much more affordable compared to rents than they were during 2005-2006.  In those days, it was actually more affordable to rent vs. buy in most markets.  The red line in the chart illustrates how the price-to-rent ratio today is about 25% lower than it’s peak in 2006.  This is partly because rents have gone up in recent years, which provides some “fundamental justification for the upward price movement” in house prices.

2 – Homebuyers today owe less on their mortgages as compared to their income than homebuyers during 2005-2006.  In those days, the mortgage-debt-to-income ratio was much higher than normal, and that’s what fueled the bubble.  The blue line in the chart reached an all-time high in 2007, and has been steadily declining ever since.  Today, the growth in house prices is not being fueled by over-leverage.  It’s being fueled by new household formation and lack of housing supply.

Appraisal Challenges in 2016?

Will Appraisals Continue to be a Challenge in 2016? | Keeping Current Matters

What do you mean my home is only worth X?  -not the first time you heard this right?

First American Title issues a quarterly report, the Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI), which “measures title agent sentiment on a variety of key market metrics and industry issues”. Their 2015 4th Quarter Edition revealed some interesting information regarding possible challenges with appraisal values as we head into 2016.

“The fourth quarter RESI found that title agents continue to believe that property valuation issues will be the most likely cause of title order cancellation over the coming year.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In a housing market where supply is very low and demand is very high, home values increase rapidly. One major challenge in such a market is the bank appraisal. If prices are jumping, it is difficult for appraisers to find adequate, comparable sales (similar houses in the neighborhood that closed recently) to defend the price when performing the appraisal for the bank.

Here is a chart showing that difference for each month through 2015 for what a homeowner believes there home is worth compared to the appraiser valuation.

. Will Appraisals Continue to be a Challenge in 2016? | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Every house on the market has to be sold twice; once to a prospective buyer and then to the bank (through the bank’s appraisal). With escalating prices, the second sale might be even more difficult than the first. That is why we suggest that you use an experienced real estate professional to help set your listing price.

You pay either way – make the smart decision and use a pro and save the time.

Why Owning a Home Makes Sense

Harvard: Why Owning A Home Makes Sense Financially | Keeping Current Matters

We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities. Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of home ownership in his paper –The Dream Lives On: the Future of Home ownership in America. Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You’re paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.” 

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially. If you are considering a purchase this year, contact a local professional who can help evaluate your ability to do so.

Where Are Interest Rates Headed?

 

Where Are Interest Rates Headed This Year? | Keeping Current Matters

With interest rates still below 4%, many buyers may be on the fence as to whether to act now and purchase a new home, or wait until next year. If you look at what the four major reporting agencies are predicting for 2016, it may make the decision for you. The chart below averages the predictions by quarter. Mortgage Rate Projections | Keeping Current Matters

With the exception of Fannie Mae, the experts agree that interest rates will increase by three-quarters of a percentage point, costing you more to pay back your loan.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rates can put a dent in your family’s wealth.

Should I Buy Now Or Wait Until Next Year?


Some Highlights:

  • The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices & interest rates were to increase over a period of time.
  • Freddie Mac predicts interest rates to rise to 4.8% by next year.
  • CoreLogic predicts home prices to appreciate by 5.3% over the next 12 months.
  • If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, find out if you are able to!

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real?

 


Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real? | Keeping Current Matters

The belief Americans have in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream may present some obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that that many of the obstacles mentioned are perceived, not real. A recent study by Fannie Mae, What Do Consumers Know About The Mortgage Qualification Criteria?, revealed that many consumers are either unsure or misinformed regarding the minimum requirements necessary to obtain a mortgage. Let’s break down three such challenges.

Down Payment

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate down payment is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 40% of all renters don’t know what down payment is required
  • 15% think you need at least 20% down
  • An additional 4% think you need at least 10% down

The Reality

There are programs offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA that require as little as 3-3.5% down. VA and USDA loans offer 0% down programs. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for a first time buyer is 6%.

Credit Score

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate credit score is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 54% of all renters don’t know what credit score is required
  • 5% think you need at least a 740 credit score

The Reality

Many mortgages are granted to purchasers with a credit score of less than 700. According to Ellie Mae, the average credit score on a closed FHA purchase is 687 and the average credit score on all loans is 722.

Back End Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Perceptions

Many renters have mentioned that they carry too much debt which is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 59% of all renters don’t know what DTI is acceptable
  • 25% think you need at under 25%
  • 7% think you need under 39%

The Reality

Lenders like to see a back-end ratio that does not exceed 36%. Fannie Mae’s maximum total DTI ratio is 36% of the borrower’s stable monthly income. The maximum can be exceeded up to 45% based on credit score and other requirements.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of knowledge or misinformation keep your family from buying a home this year. Ask us about our Home Express Mortgage Plan which can save you time and money in the home buying process.

Home Equity Increases

Home Equity Increasing as Home Prices Rise 


 

Home Equity Increasing as Home Prices Rise [INFOGRAPHIC] | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • 91.9% of homes in the US have positive equity
  • 256,000 homes regained equity in the third quarter of 2015
  • 37.5 million homes have significant equity (defined as more than 20%)

Some homeowners may not be aware of home much there home is worth with some of the changes in market conditions.  As values have improved so has the ability to sell your home and make the changes in your life you have been wanting.

Down Payments

How Long Does It Take To Save A Down Payment?


How Long Does It Take To Save A Down Payment? | Keeping Current Matters

In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home. Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save. According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:
Years Needed to Save 10% Down | Keeping Current Matters

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below. Years Needed to Save 3% Down | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with with us to you evaluate your ability to buy today.

Buying A Home? Do You Know The Difference Between Cost & Price?

Buying A Home? Do You Know The Difference Between Cost & Price? | Keeping Current Matters

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As a buyer, you must be concerned not about price but instead about the ‘long term cost’ of the home. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the National Association of Realtors, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase by about three-quarters of a percentage point over the next twelve months. According to CoreLogic’s most recent Home Price Index Report, home prices will appreciate by 5.2% over the next 12 months.

What Does This Mean as a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact an interest rate increase would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today if home prices appreciate by the 5.2% predicted by CoreLogic over the next twelve months:

Cost of Waiting | Keeping Current Matters