Why It’s Still a Sellers’ Market
As there’s more and more talk about the real estate market cooling off from the peak frenzy it saw during the pandemic, you may be questioning what that means for your plans to sell your house. If you’re thinking of making a move, you should know the market is still anything but normal.
Even though the supply of homes for sale has been growing this year, there’s still a shortage of homes on the market. And that means conditions continue to favor sellers today. That’s because the level of inventory of homes for sale can help determine if buyers or sellers are in the driver’s seat. Think of it like this:
What Does This Mean for You?
Ed Pinto, Director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, gives a perfect summary of what’s happening in today’s market, saying:
“Overall, the best summary is that we'll move from a gangbuster sellers' market to a modest sellers' market.”
Conditions are still in your favor even though the market is cooling. If you work with an agent to price your house at market value, you’ll find success when you sell your house today. While buyer demand is softening due to higher mortgage rates, homes that are priced right are still selling fast. That means your window of opportunity to list your house hasn’t closed.
Bottom LineToday’s housing market still favors sellers. If you’re ready to sell your house, let’s connect so you can start making your moves.
Housing Market Forecast for the Rest of 2022 [INFOGRAPHIC]
Two Reasons Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t a Bubble
You may be reading headlines and hearing talk about a potential housing bubble or a crash, but it’s important to understand that the data and expert opinions tell a different story. A recent survey from Pulsenomics asked over one hundred housing market experts and real estate economists if they believe the housing market is in a bubble. The results indicate most experts don’t think that’s the case (see graph below):
As the graph shows, a strong majority (60%) said the real estate market is not currently in a bubble. In the same survey, experts give the following reasons why this isn’t like 2008:
1. Low Housing Inventory Is Causing Home Prices To RiseThe supply of homes available for sale needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation.
As the graph below shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s still a shortage of inventory, which is causing ongoing home price appreciation (see graph below):
Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a limited supply of homes for sale. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains:
“The fundamentals driving house price growth in the U.S. remain intact. . . . The demand for homes continues to exceed the supply of homes for sale, which is keeping house price growth high.”
2. Mortgage Lending Standards Today Are Nothing Like the Last TimeDuring the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the years after:
This graph helps show one element of why mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers who acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified than they were in the years leading up to the crash. Realtor.com notes:
“. . . Lenders are giving mortgages only to the most qualified borrowers. These buyers are less likely to wind up in foreclosure.”
A majority of experts agree we’re not in a housing bubble. That’s because home price growth is backed by strong housing market fundamentals and lending standards are much tighter today. If you have questions, let’s connect to discuss why today’s housing market is nothing like 2008.
The Summer Buyer and Seller Guides are here. Let's connect so you can get the latest digital copies.
Real Estate Consistently Voted Best Investment [INFOGRAPHIC]
Things To Avoid After Applying for a Home Loan
Once you’ve applied for a mortgage to buy a home, there are some key things to keep in mind. While it’s exciting to start thinking about moving in and decorating, be careful when it comes to making any big purchases. Here are a few things you may not realize you need to avoid after applying for your home loan.
Don’t Deposit Large Sums of CashLenders need to source your money, and cash isn’t easily traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.
Don’t Make Any Large PurchasesIt’s not just home-related purchases that could disqualify you from your loan. Any large purchases can be red flags for lenders. People with new debt have higher debt-to-income ratios (how much debt you have compared to your monthly income). Since higher ratios make for riskier loans, borrowers may no longer qualify for their mortgage. Resist the temptation to make any large purchases, even for furniture or appliances.
Don’t Co-Sign Loans for AnyoneWhen you co-sign for a loan, you’re making yourself accountable for that loan’s success and repayment. With that obligation comes higher debt-to-income ratios as well. Even if you promise you won’t be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payments against you.
Don’t Switch Bank AccountsLenders need to source and track your assets. That task is much easier when there’s consistency among your accounts. Before you transfer any money, speak with your loan officer.
Don’t Apply for New CreditIt doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), it will have an impact on your FICO® score. Lower credit scores can determine your mortgage interest rate and possibly even your eligibility for approval.
Don’t Close Any AccountsMany buyers believe having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. This isn’t true. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both of those aspects of your score.
In Short, Consult an ExpertTo sum it up, be upfront about any changes when talking with your lender. Blips in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. If your job or employment status has changed recently, share that with your lender as well. Ultimately, it’s best to fully disclose and discuss your intentions with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature.
Bottom LineYou want your home purchase to go as smoothly as possible. Remember, before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any major life changes, be sure to consult your lender – someone who’s qualified to explain how your financial decisions may impact your home loan.
A Key Opportunity for Homebuyers
There’s no denying the housing market has delivered a fair share of challenges to homebuyers over the past two years. Two of the biggest hurdles homebuyers faced during the pandemic were the limited number of homes for sale and the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. But those two things have reached a turning point.
As you may have already heard, the number of homes for sale has increased this year, and even more so this spring. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, explains:
“New listings–a measure of sellers putting homes up for sale–were up 6% above one year ago. Home sellers in many markets across the country continue to benefit from rising home prices and fast-selling homes. That’s prompted a growing number of homeowners to sell homes this year compared to last, giving home shoppers much needed options.”
This is encouraging news. More homes coming onto the market give you a greater chance of finding one that checks all your boxes.
Buyer Competition Moderating Helps Inventory Grow Even MoreMark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says inventory growth is happening not just because there’s an increase in the number of listings coming onto the market, but also because buyer demand has moderated some in light of higher mortgage rates and other economic factors:
“There has been a pickup in the inventory that we've seen recently, but it's not from a big increase in new listings . . . but rather a slowdown in the pace of sales. And remember that months’ supply measures the inventory of sale relative to the pace of sales. Same inventory, fewer sales, means more months’ supply.”
Basically, the market is shifting away from the frenzy of buyer competition seen during the pandemic, and that’s helping available inventory grow. In their latest forecast, realtor.com also mentions the moderation of demand as a key factor and projects the inventory growth should continue:
“As rising inflation and mortgage rates bring U.S. housing demand back from the 2021 frenzy, . . . inventory will grow double-digits over 2021 and offer buyers a better-than-expected chance to find a home.”
How This Impacts YouThe combination of more homes coming onto the market and a slower pace of home sales means you’ll have more options to choose from as you search for your next home. That’s great news if you’ve been searching for a while with little to no luck. Just remember, there isn’t a sudden surplus of inventory, just more homes to choose from than even a few months ago. So, you’ll still want to be decisive and move fast when you find the right home for you.
And when you do, you may be faced with less competition from other buyers too. If you’ve been waiting to jump into the market because the intensity of the bidding wars was intimidating or if you’ve been outbid on several homes, this moderation could help make the homebuying process a bit smoother. It’s not that it’ll be easy or that bidding wars are a thing of the past – that’s not the case. But it won’t feel nearly as impossible.
Bottom LineAs the housing market begins its shift back toward pre-pandemic levels, you could have a unique opportunity in front of you. With moderating levels of buyer competition and more homes actively for sale, your home search may have gotten a bit less challenging. Let’s connect to begin the process today.
If You’re Selling Your House This Summer, Hiring a Pro Is Critical
It can be tempting, especially with how hot the housing market has been over the past two years, to consider selling your home on your own. But today’s market is at a turning point, making it more essential than ever to work with a real estate professional.
Not only will a trusted real estate advisor keep you updated and help you make the best decisions based on current market trends, but they’re also experts in managing the many aspects of selling your house.
Here are five key reasons why working with a real estate professional makes sense today.
1. A Professional Follows the Latest Market TrendsWith higher mortgage rates, rising home prices, and a growing number of homes for sale, today’s housing market is showing signs of a shift back toward more pre-pandemic levels. When conditions change, following the trends and staying on top of new information is crucial when you sell.
That makes working with an expert real estate advisor critical today. They know your local area and follow national trends too. More importantly, they’ll know what this data means for you, and as the market shifts, they’ll be able to help you navigate it and make your best decision.
2. A Professional Helps Maximize Your Pool of BuyersYour agent’s role in bringing in buyers is important. Real estate professionals have a large variety of tools at their disposal, such as social media followers, agency resources, and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to ensure your house is viewed by the most buyers. Investopedia explains why it’s risky to sell on your own without the network an agent provides:
“You don’t have relationships with clients, other agents, or a real estate agency to bring the largest pool of potential buyers to your home. A smaller pool of potential buyers means less demand for your property, which can translate into waiting longer to sell your home and possibly not getting as much money as your house is worth.”
3. A Professional Understands the Fine PrintToday, more disclosures and regulations are mandatory when selling a house. That means the number of legal documents you’ll need to juggle is growing. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains it best, saying:
“Selling a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures, and other legal and financial documents. . . . Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.”
A real estate professional knows exactly what needs to happen, what all the paperwork means, and how to work through it efficiently. They’ll help you review the documents and avoid any costly missteps that could occur if you try to handle them on your own.
4. A Professional Is a Trained NegotiatorIf you sell without a professional, you’ll also be solely responsible for all the negotiations. That means you’ll have to coordinate with:
5. A Professional Knows How To Set the Right Price for Your HouseIf you sell your house on your own, you may over or undershoot your asking price. That could mean you’ll leave money on the table because you priced it too low or your house will sit on the market because you priced it too high. Pricing a house requires expertise. NAR explains it like this:
“A great real estate agent will look at your home with an unbiased eye, providing you with the information you need to enhance marketability and maximize price.”
Real estate professionals know the ins and outs of how to price your house accurately and competitively. To do so, they compare your house to recently sold homes in your area and factor in the current condition of your home. These steps are key to making sure it’s set to move quickly while still getting you the highest possible final sale price.
Bottom LineWhether it’s following local and national trends and guiding you through a shifting market or pricing your house right, a real estate agent has essential insights you'll want to rely on throughout the transaction. Don’t go at it alone. If you plan to sell, let’s connect so you have an expert on your side.
Homeownership Could Be in Reach with Down Payment Assistance Programs
A recent survey from Bankrate asks prospective buyers to identify the biggest obstacles in their homebuying journey. It found that 36% of those polled said saving for a down payment is one of their primary hurdles to buying a home.
If you feel the same way, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your homeownership goals. The key is understanding where to look and learning what options are available. Here’s some information that can help you.
You Can Qualify Even if You’ve Purchased a Home BeforeThere are several misconceptions about down payment assistance programs. For starters, many people believe there’s only assistance available for first-time homebuyers. While first-time buyers have many options to explore, repeat buyers have some, too. According to the latest Homeownership Program Index from downpaymentresource.com:
“It is a common misconception that homebuyer assistance is only available to first-time homebuyers, however, 38% of homebuyer assistance programs in Q1 2022 did not have a first-time homebuyer requirement.”
That means repeat buyers could qualify for over one-third of the assistance programs available. And if you’re a repeat buyer, you may still be able to take advantage of some first-time homebuyer programs, depending on your personal situation. That’s because downpaymentresource.com also notes many of the first-time homebuyer programs use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's definition of a first-time homebuyer. Under their definition, you could qualify as a first-time buyer if you’re:
You May Be Eligible for Programs Based on Your Location or ProfessionIn addition to broader options available for repeat and first-time homebuyers, there are other types of down payment assistance programs that you could qualify for based on your location. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):
“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”
Plus, there are programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans.
Ultimately, that means there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The best way to do that is to connect with a local real estate professional and your lender to learn more about what’s available in your area.
Bottom LineDown payment assistance programs have helped many homebuyers achieve their dreams, and if you qualify, they could help you too. Let’s connect today so you can begin exploring your options.
Work With a Real Estate Professional if You Want the Best Advice
Because buying or selling a home is such a big decision in our lives, the need for clear, trustworthy information and guidance is crucial. And while no one can give you perfect advice, when you align yourself with an expert, you’ll get the best advice for your situation.
An Expert Will Give You the Best Advice PossibleLet’s say you need an attorney, so you seek out an expert in the type of law required for your case. When you go to their office, they won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end or how the judge or jury will rule. What a good attorney can do, though, is discuss the most effective strategies you can take. They may recommend one or two approaches they believe will work well for your case.
Then, they’ll leave you to make the decision on which option you want to pursue. Once you decide, they can help you put a plan together based on the facts at hand. They’ll use their expert knowledge to work toward the resolution you want and make whatever modifications in the strategy necessary to try and achieve that outcome.
Similarly, the job of a trusted real estate professional is to give you the best advice for your situation. Just like you can’t find a lawyer to give you perfect advice, you won’t find a real estate professional who can either. They can’t because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen throughout your transaction. They also can’t predict exactly what will happen with conditions in today’s housing market.
But an expert real estate advisor is knowledgeable about market trends and the ins and outs of the homebuying and selling process. With that knowledge, they can anticipate what could happen based on your situation and help you put together a solid plan. And they’ll guide you through the process, helping you make decisions along the way.
That’s the very definition of getting the best – not perfect – advice. And that’s the power of working with an expert real estate advisor.
Bottom LineIf you want trustworthy advice when buying or selling a home, let’s connect so you have an expert real estate advisor on your side.
Why Summer Is a Great Time To Buy a Vacation Home
You may be someone who looks forward to summer each year because it gives you an opportunity to rest, unwind, and enjoy more quality time with your loved ones. Now that summer is just around the corner, it’s worthwhile to start thinking about your plans and where you want to spend your vacations this year. Here are a few reasons a vacation home could be right for you.
Why You May Want To Consider a Vacation Home TodayOver the past two years, a lot has changed. You may be one of many people who now work from home and have added flexibility in where you live. You may also be someone who delayed trips for personal or health reasons. If either is true for you, there could be a unique opportunity to use the flexibility that comes with remote work or the money saved while not traveling to invest in your future by buying a vacation home.
Bankrate explains why a second home, or a vacation home, may be something worth considering:
“For those who are able, buying a second home is suddenly more appealing, as remote working became the norm for many professionals during the pandemic. Why not work from the place where you like to vacation — the place where you want to live?
If you don’t work remotely, a vacation home could still be at the top of your wish list if you have a favorite getaway spot that you visit often. It beats staying in a tiny hotel room or worrying about rental rates each time you want to take a trip.”
How a Professional Can Help You Find the Right OneSo, if you’re looking for an oasis, you may be able to make it a second home rather than just the destination for a trip. If you could see yourself soaking up the sun in a vacation home, you may want to start your search. Summer is a popular time to buy vacation homes. By beginning the process now, you could get ahead of the competition.
The first step is working with a local real estate advisor who can help you find a home in your desired location. A professional has the knowledge and resources to help you understand the market, what homes are available and at what price points, and more. They can also walk you through all the perks of owning a second home and how it can benefit you.
A recent article from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), mentions some of the top reasons buyers today are looking into purchasing a second, or a vacation, home:
“According to Google's data, the top reasons that homeowners cited for purchasing a second home were to diversify their investments, earn money renting, and use as a vacation home.”
If any of the reasons covered here resonate with you, connect with a real estate professional to learn more. They can give you expert advice based on what you need, your goals, and what you’re hoping to get out of your second home.
Bottom LineOwning a vacation home is an investment in your future and your lifestyle. If this is one of your goals this year, you still have time to buy and enjoy spending the summer in your vacation home. When you’re ready to get started, let’s connect.
How Buying or Selling a Home Benefits the Economy and Your Community
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, chances are you’re focusing on the many extraordinary ways it’ll change your life. But do you know it has a large impact on your community too?
To measure that impact, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a report each year to highlight just how much economic activity a home sale generates. The chart below shows how the sale of both a newly built home and an existing home impact the economy:
As the visual shows, a single home sale can have a significant effect on the overall economy. To dive a level deeper, NAR also provides a detailed look at how that varies state-by-state for newly built homes (see map below):
You may be wondering: how can a single home sale have such a major effect on the economy?
For starters, there are multiple industries that play a role in the process. Numerous contractors, specialists, lawyers, town and city officials, and so many other professionals are all necessary at various stages during the transaction. Every individual you work with, like your trusted real estate advisor, has a team of professionals involved behind the scenes.
That means when you buy or sell a home, you’re leaving a lasting impression on the community at large. Let the knowledge that you’re contributing to those around you while also meeting your own needs help you feel even more empowered when you decide to make your move this year.
Bottom LineHomebuyers and sellers are economic drivers in their community and beyond. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate advisor on your side if you’re ready to get started. It won’t just change your life; it’ll make a powerful impact on your entire community.
Why Home Loans Today Aren’t What They Were in the Past
In today’s housing market, many are beginning to wonder if we’re returning to the riskier lending habits and borrowing options that led to the housing crash 15 years ago. Let’s ease those concerns.
Several times a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases an index titled the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:
“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is . . . a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”
Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. The higher the index, the more available mortgage credit becomes. Here’s a graph of the MCAI dating back to 2004, when the data first became available:
As the graph shows, the index stood at about 400 in 2004. Mortgage credit became more available as the housing market heated up, and then the index passed 850 in 2006. When the real estate market crashed, so did the MCAI as mortgage money became almost impossible to secure. Thankfully, lending standards have eased somewhat since then, but the index is still low. In April, the index was at 121, which is about one-seventh of what it was in 2006.
Why Did the Index Get out of Control During the Housing Bubble?The main reason was the availability of loans with extremely weak lending standards. To keep up with demand in 2006, many mortgage lenders offered loans that put little emphasis on the eligibility of the borrower. Lenders were approving loans without always going through a verification process to confirm if the borrower would likely be able to repay the loan.
An example of the relaxed lending standards leading up to the housing crash is the FICO® credit score associated with a loan. What’s a FICO® score? The website myFICO explains:
“A credit score tells lenders about your creditworthiness (how likely you are to pay back a loan based on your credit history). It is calculated using the information in your credit reports. FICO® Scores are the standard for credit scores—used by 90% of top lenders.”
During the housing boom, many mortgages were written for borrowers with a FICO score under 620. While there are still some loan programs that allow for a 620 score, today’s lending standards are much tighter. Lending institutions overall are much more attentive about measuring risk when approving loans. According to the latest Household Debt and Credit Report from the New York Federal Reserve, the median credit score on all mortgage loans originated in the first quarter of 2022 was 776.
The graph below shows the billions of dollars in mortgage money given annually to borrowers with a credit score under 620.
In 2006, buyers with a score under 620 received $376 billion dollars in loans. In 2021, that number was only $80 billion, and it’s only $20 billion in the first quarter of 2022.
Bottom LineIn 2006, lending standards were much more relaxed with little evaluation done to measure a borrower’s potential to repay their loan. Today, standards are tighter, and the risk is reduced for both lenders and borrowers. These are two very different housing markets, and today is nothing like the last time.
With the correct person by your side, the buying and selling process doesn't have to be full of stress, doubt and anxiety - it can actually be FUN! Contact Jacquelyn Duke today to learn more.
Jacquelyn Duke, Realtor®
Licensed to Sell in the State of Iowa
1360 SW Park Square Dr Ste 106
Ankeny, IA 50023
Disclaimer: The material on this site is solely for informational purposes. No warranties or representations have been made.