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 also realize that, to a degree, the current run-up in prices is the market trying to catch up after a crash that dramatically dropped prices for five years.
Prices are appreciating at levels greater than historic norms. However, we are not at the levels that led to the housing bubble and bust.
Recent research by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) examined certain red flags that caused the housing crisis in 2005, and then compared them to today’s real estate market. Today, we want to concentrate on four of those red flags.
Price to Rent Ratio
Price to Income Ratio
All four categories were outside historical norms in 2005. Home prices were way above normal ratios when compared to both rents and incomes at the time.
NAR explained that mortgage transactions as a percentage of all home sales were also at a higher percentage:
“Loose credit was one of the main culprits of the housing crisis. Mortgage lending expanded dramatically as unhealthy housing speculation reached its peak and was met by the highest level of credit availability as measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The index measures the overall mortgage credit condition by the share of home sales financed by mortgages. This metric does not capture credit quality, but it does set a view of the importance of financing in supporting the housing market.”
House flipping was rampant in 2005. As NAR’s research points out:
“Heightened flipping activity is a clear indication of speculation in the real estate market. A property is considered as a speculative flip if the property is sold twice within 12 months and with positive profit. Flipping is a normal part of a healthy housing market. In an inflated housing market, expectations about short-term profit from pure price appreciation are very high; therefore, the level of flipping activity would show evidence of being heightened.”
Here are the categories with percentages reflecting the unrealistic ratios & numbers of 2005 as compared to the current market. Remember, a negative percentage reflects a positive gain for the market.
They say hindsight is 20/20… Today, experts are keeping a close watch on the potential red flags that went unnoticed in 2005.
Lastly, keep in mind lending is not the same today as back then and so this further insulates us from the same thing happening again. Although, we are now seeing more Non QM lenders coming back into the market and presenting loan solutions for those who are not able to obtain A paper loans. Time will tell and need to be consistent with responsible lending.