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Lending Standards Are Not Like They Were Leading Up to the Crash
You might be worried we’re heading for a housing crash, but there are many reasons why this housing market isn’t like the one we saw in 2008. One of which is how lending standards are different today. Here’s a look at the data to help prove it.
Every month, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases 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. Take a look at the graph below of the MCAI since they started keeping track of this data in 2004. It shows how lending standards have changed over time. It works like this:
In 2004, the index was around 400. But, by 2006, it had gone up to over 850. Today, the story is quite different. Since the crash, the index went down because lending standards got tighter, so today it’s harder to get a mortgage.
Loose Lending Standards Contributed to the Housing BubbleOne of the main factors that contributed to the housing bubble was that lending standards were a lot less strict back then. Realtor.com explains it like this:
“In the early 2000s, it wasn’t exactly hard to snag a home mortgage. . . . plenty of mortgages were doled out to people who lied about their incomes and employment, and couldn’t actually afford homeownership.” The tall peak in the graph above indicates that leading up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get credit, and the requirements for getting a loan were far from strict. Back then, credit was widely available, and the threshold for qualifying for a loan was low.
Lenders were approving loans without always going through a verification process to confirm if the borrower would likely be able to repay the loan. That means creditors were lending to more borrowers who had a higher risk of defaulting on their loans.
Today’s Loans Are Much Tougher To Get than BeforeAs mentioned, lending standards have changed a lot since then. Bankrate describes the difference:
“Today, lenders impose tough standards on borrowers – and those who are getting a mortgage overwhelmingly have excellent credit.”If you look back at the graph, you’ll notice after the peak around the time of the housing crash, the line representing the index went down dramatically and has stayed low since. In fact, the line is far below where standards were even in 2004 – and it’s getting lower. Joel Kan, VP and Deputy Chief Economist at MBA, provides the most recent update from May:
“Mortgage credit availability decreased for the third consecutive month . . . With the decline in availability, the MCAI is now at its lowest level since January 2013.”The decreasing index suggests standards are getting much tougher – which makes it clear we’re far away from the extreme lending practices that contributed to the crash.
Bottom LineLeading up to the housing crash, 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. This goes to show, these are two very different housing markets, and this market isn’t like the last time.
Where Will You Go If You Sell? Newly Built Homes Might Be the Answer.
Do you want to sell your house, but hesitate because you’re worried you won’t be able to find your next home in today’s market? You're not alone, but there’s some good news that may ease your worries. New home construction is up and is becoming an increasingly significant part of the housing inventory.
That means when you go to put your house on the market this summer, considering newly built homes is crucial for expanding the options you’ll have for your next move.
Near-Record Percentage of New Home InventoryNewly built homes today make up a near-record percentage of the total number of homes available for sale (see graph below):
In fact, as the data shows, newly built homes now make up 31% of the total for-sale inventory. Over the past couple of decades, newly built homes made up an average of only around 13% of total housing inventory from 1983 to 2019.
That means the percentage of the total available homes that are newly built is over two times higher than the norm.
Why This Matters to You Overall, the supply of homes for sale is still low. And when there’s limited supply, it’s crucial to explore all of your available choices. New-home construction has emerged as a game changer with increasing inventory. Not to mention, recent data shows it’s gaining even more momentum as more newly built homes are underway and will be coming to the market in the months ahead.
Robert Dietz, Chief Economist at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), highlights the importance of newly built homes for those looking to buy in today’s housing market. Dietz states:
"With limited available housing inventory, new construction will continue to be a significant part of prospective buyers' search in the quarters ahead."Don’t overlook this growing market segment and risk missing out on great opportunities to find your ideal home. Since new home construction accounts for roughly 31% of total for sale inventory, you could be cutting nearly one in three options from your search if you don’t consider newly built homes.
If you’re looking to make a move, a local real estate agent can help you sell your current house and explore newly built options in your area. They have the expertise you need to handle both sides of the process so you can move out of your current house and into your brand-new dream home.
Bottom LineNow’s the time to sell your house and take advantage of the momentum that’s building in new home construction. Let’s connect so you have a guide throughout the selling and buying process. Together, we can make your transition to a newly built home a reality.
Two Questions To Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Buying a Home
If you’re thinking of buying a home, chances are you’re paying attention to just about everything you hear about the housing market. And you’re getting your information from a variety of channels: the news, social media, your real estate agent, conversations with friends and loved ones, overhearing someone chatting at the local supermarket, the list goes on and on. Most likely, home prices and mortgage rates are coming up a lot.
To help cut through the noise and give you the information you need most, take a look at what the data says. Here are the top two questions you need to ask yourself about home prices and mortgage rates as you make your decision:
1. Where Do I Think Home Prices Are Heading?One reliable place you can turn to for that information is the Home Price Expectation Survey from Pulsenomics – a survey of a national panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists.
According to the latest release, the experts surveyed are projecting slight depreciation this year (see the red in the graph below). But here’s the context you need most. The worst home price declines are already behind us, and prices are actually appreciating again in many markets. Not to mention, the small 0.37% depreciation HPES is showing for 2023 is far from the crash some people originally said would happen.
Now, let’s look to the future. The green in the graph below shows prices have turned a corner and are expected to appreciate in 2024 and beyond. After this year, the HPES is forecasting home price appreciation returning to more normal levels for the next several years.
So, why does this matter to you? It means your home will likely grow in value and you should gain home equity in the years ahead, but only if you buy now. If you wait, based on these forecasts, the home will only cost you more later on.
2. Where Do I Think Mortgage Rates Are Heading?Over the past year, mortgage rates have risen in response to economic uncertainty, inflation, and more. We know based on the latest reports that inflation, while still high, has moderated from its peak. This is an encouraging sign for the market and for mortgage rates. Here’s why.
When inflation cools, mortgage rates generally fall in response. This may be why some experts are saying mortgage rates will pull back slightly over the next few quarters and settle somewhere around roughly 5.5 and 6% on average.
But, not even the experts can say with absolute certainty where mortgage rates will be next year, or even next month. That’s because there are so many factors that can impact what happens. So, to give you a lens into the various possible outcomes, here’s what you should consider:
Evaluating Your Wants and Needs as a Homebuyer Matters More Today
When it comes to buying a home, especially with today’s affordability challenges, you’ll want to be strategic. Mortgage rates impact how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. And, to help offset the higher borrowing costs today, some homebuyers are taking a close look at their wish list and re-evaluating what features they really need in their next home to avoid overextending. As a recent NerdWallet article says:
“A pool, for example, may be nice to have, but it may not provide as much day-to-day value as a garage or a space for a home office . . .”While that pool may be appealing, think twice on whether or not it’s really something you must have to be happy in your next home. Is getting that pool the main reason you’re moving? Probably not. It’s more likely a need for more space, a home office, or proximity to loved ones, friends, or work that’s motivating you to make a change.
So, if you’re looking to buy a home, take some time to consider what’s truly essential for you in your next house. Make a list of all the features you’ll want to see, and from there, work to break those features into categories. Here’s a great way to organize your list:
Bottom LinePutting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial planning step on your homebuying journey today. If you’re ready to find a home that fits your needs, let’s connect.
Americans Still View Homeownership as the American Dream
Everyone’s interpretation of the American Dream is unique and personal. But, for many people, it’s tied to a sense of success, freedom, and prosperity. These are all things that owning a home can help provide.
A recent survey from Bankrate asked respondents which achievements they feel most embody the American Dream. The responses prove owning a home is still important to so many Americans today (see graph below):
As the graph shows, homeownership ranks above other significant milestones, including retirement, having a successful career, and earning a college degree.
A recent report from MYND helps shed light on why so many people value homeownership. It finds:
“. . . nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) see homeownership as a means of building intergenerational wealth.”That’s because, when you own a home, your equity (and net worth) grows over time as you pay down your home loan and as home prices appreciate. This can be a key factor in building intergenerational wealth and long-term financial stability.
To further drive home the difference homeownership can make in your life, a report from Fannie Mae says:
“Most consumers (87%) believe owning a home is important to ‘live the good life.’ . . . Notably, significantly more see ‘having less stress’ as a benefit achieved by owning than renting.”Especially today, this could be because, when you own a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you stabilize what’s likely your largest monthly expense (your housing cost), and that helps combat the impact of rising costs from inflation.
What Does This Mean for You?While it may feel challenging to buy a home today with higher mortgage rates and home prices, if the time is right for you, know that when you buy a home, incredible benefits are waiting for you at the end of your journey.
Bottom LineBuying a home is a significant and powerful choice, embodying the foundation of the American Dream. If you plan to make your homeownership dream a reality this year, let’s connect to start the process.
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.