rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since Q4 of 2018, settling at
near-historic lows. This is big news for buyers looking to get more for their
money in the current housing market.
to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey,
“the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage
(FRM) rate averaged 3.60 percent, the lowest it has been since November 2016.”
Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, notes
how this is great news for homebuyers. He states,
“…consumer sentiment remains buoyed
by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales
into the fall.”
As a potential buyer, the best thing you can do is work with
a trusted advisor who can help you keep a close eye on how the market is
changing. Relying on current expert advice is more important than ever when it
comes to making a confident and informed decision for you and your family.
Even a small increase (or decrease) in interest rates can
impact your monthly housing cost. If buying a home is on your short list of
goals to achieve, reach out to a local real estate professional to determine
your best move.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently
released their 2019
Q2 Homeownership Report. Some began to see the sky falling,
believing the report showed Americans may be stepping back from their belief in
The national homeownership rate (Americans who owned vs.
rented their primary residence) increased significantly during the housing
boom, reaching its peak of 69.2% in 2004. The Census Bureau reported that
the second quarter of 2019 ended with a homeownership rate of 64.1%, which is
down from the 64.8% rate for the fourth quarter of 2018. Based on this news,
some started to question the consumer’s belief in the idea of homeownership as
a major part of the American Dream.
Calm Down…It is true the homeownership rate
did fall. However, if you look at the national rate over the last 35 years
(1984-2019), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned to
historical norms. The 64.1% rate is equivalent to the rates in 1984 and 1994.
Will the Future Bring? Part of
the reason the homeownership rate slipped is a lack of inventory available for
purchase for first-time home buyers. The demand is there, but currently, the
supply is not. It seems, however, that is about to change.
In a recent report, Ivy Zelman explained that builders have
finally started to increase the number of homes they’re constructing at the
lower-end price points:
“Robust growth in the entry-level
price point of late should translate to a reacceleration in homeownership rates
Today, the homeownership rate sits at historic norms. In all
probability, it will increase as more inventory becomes available. There is no
reason for concern.
In today’s housing market, home prices are increasing at a slower pace (3.7%) than they have over the last eight years (6-7%). However, they are still are above historical norms. Low supply of listed homes and high demand from buyers has pushed prices to rise rapidly.
In the mind of the homeowner, annual home price appreciation over 6% has become the new normal. This becomes a challenge when a homeowner looks to refinance or sell their home, as the expectation of what the homeowner believes the home should be worth does not always line up with the bank’s appraisal.
Every month, the Home Price Perception Index (HPPI) measures the disparity between what a homeowner seeking to refinance their home believes their house is worth and what an appraiser’s evaluation of that same home is.
Over the last five months, the gap between the homeowner’s opinion and the bank’s appraisal has widened to -0.78%. This is important for homeowners to note, as even a 0.78% difference in appraisal can mean thousands of dollars that a buyer or seller would have to come up with at closing (depending on the price of the home).
The chart below illustrates the changes in home price estimates over the last 12 months.
While the appraisal gap widens, another trend is also becoming more common.
According to realtor.com, “the share of homes which had their prices cut increased by 2% compared to last year”. Thirty-seven out of the 50 largest US housing markets saw an increase in overall price reductions.
In today’s market, you need an expert agent who can help price your house right from the start. Homeowners who make the mistake of overpricing their homes will eventually have to drop the price. This leaves buyers wondering if the price drop was caused by something wrong with the house. In reality, nothing is wrong- the price was just too high!
If you are planning on selling your house in today’s market, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you set your listing price properly from the start!