How’s the Market – What’s Ahead for Real Estate

While no one can predict the future with certainty, most experts expect to see modest growth in the U.S. housing market for the remainder of this year and next. Inventory will remain tight, mortgage rates will continue to creep up, and affordability will remain a major issue in many parts of the country.

So what does that mean for home buyers and sellers? To answer that question, we take a closer look at some of the top indicators.

 

CONTINUED GROWTH IN HOUSING MARKET

There’s good news for homebuyers! In many markets across the country, prices have begun to stabilize after a period of rapid appreciation. Nationwide, home sales experienced a slight decline of 1.6 percent in the second quarter, primarily due to higher mortgage rates and housing prices combined with limited inventory.

 

However, buyers who have been waiting on the sidelines in anticipation of a big price drop may be disappointed. Demand remains strong across the sector and prices continue to rise. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index reported a 6.2 percent annual gain in June, a healthy but sustainable rate of appreciation.1

 

In its latest Outlook Report, Freddie Mac forecasts continued growth in the housing market due to a strong economy and low unemployment rate, which dropped to 3.9 percent in July.

 

“The housing market hit some speed bumps this summer, with many prospective homebuyers slowed by not enough moderately-priced homes for sale and higher home prices and mortgage rates,” according to Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac. “The good news is, the economy and labor market are very healthy right now, and mortgage rates, after surging earlier this year, have stabilized in recent months. These factors should continue to create solid buyer demand, and ultimately an uptick in sales, in most parts of the country in the months ahead.”3

 

 

INVENTORY TO REMAIN TIGHT, NEW CONSTRUCTION MAY HELP

 

Experts predict that demand for housing will continue to outpace available supply, especially in the entry-level price range.

 

“Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory accompanying unsustainable home-price increase,” said National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent release.

 

“The answer is to encourage builders to increase supply, and there is a good probability for solid home sales growth once the supply issue is addressed,” said Yun. Additional inventory will also help contain rapid home price growth and open up the market to prospective homebuyers who are consequently—and increasingly—being priced out. In the end, slower price growth is healthier price growth.”4

 

With so much demand, why aren’t more builders bringing inventory to the market? According to the National Association of Home Builders, a crackdown on immigration and tariffs on imported lumber have made home construction more difficult and expensive. Those factors—combined with the rising cost of land and increased zoning requirements—have put a damper on the industry overall.5

 

Still, there’s evidence that a modest rise in the rate of new building projects may be on the way. Freddie Mac predicts new housing construction will increase slightly after a stall last quarter.2 And a recent report by Freedonia Focus Reports forecasts an annual increase in housing starts of 2.4 percent through 2022, led by an uptick in single-family homes.6 The boost in inventory should help drive sales growth and relieve some of the pent-up demand in tight markets.

 

While the current lack of inventory is generally preferred by sellers because it means less competition, a combination of high prices and rising interest rates has narrowed the pool of potential buyers who can afford to enter the market. Sellers should seek out real estate agents who utilize technologically-advanced marketing tactics to reach qualified buyers in their area.

 

 

AFFORDABILITY REACHES LOWEST LEVEL IN A DECADE

 

According to a recent report by Morgan Stanley, Americans are paying the most in monthly mortgage payments relative to their incomes since 2008.7 And prices aren’t expected to come down any time soon.

 

“We believe that the current supply and demand environment will continue to push home prices higher, just at a decelerating pace,” said John Egan, Morgan Stanley’s Co-Head of U.S. Housing Strategy.

 

Fortunately, economists aren’t concerned about affordability levels triggering another housing crisis, as lending standards are much higher today than they were during the run-up before the recession. According to credit reporting agency TransUnion, the share of homeowners who made mortgage payments more than 60-days past due fell in the second quarter to 1.7 percent, the lowest level since the market crash.7

 

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun agreed with this assessment in a recent statement. “Over the past 10 years, prudent policy reforms and consumer protections have strengthened lending standards and eliminated loose credit, as evidenced by the higher than normal credit scores of those who are able to obtain a mortgage and near record-low defaults and foreclosures, which contributed to the last recession.”4

 

 

MORTGAGE RATES EXPECTED TO CONTINUE RISING

 

The Federal Reserve has taken measures to help keep the housing market—and the overall economy—from overheating. It has raised interest rates twice this year so far, causing mortgage rates to surge in the first half of the year.

 

Economists predict that the rise in mortgage rates will continue at a more gradual rate through this year and next. The U.S. weekly average mortgage rate rose from 3.99 percent in the first week of January to as high as 4.66 percent in May. Freddy Mac forecasts an average rate of 4.6 percent for 2018 and 5.1 percent in 2019.2

 

The good news is, mortgage rates still remain near historic lows and a whopping 14 points below the recorded high of 18.63 percent in the early 1980s.8 Buyers who have been on the fence may want to act soon to lock in an affordable interest rate … before rates climb higher.

 

“Some consumers may be thinking that because mortgage rates are higher than they were a year ago, maybe I should just wait until rates fall down again,” said NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a recent speech. “Well, they will be waiting forever.”9

 

 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN FOR ME?

 

If you’ve been waiting to buy a home, you may want to act now. A shortage of available homes on the market means prices are likely to keep going up. And a lack of affordable rental inventory means rents are expected to rise, as well.

 

If you buy now, you will benefit from appreciating property values while locking in an historically-low interest rate on your mortgage. Waiting to buy could mean paying more for your home as prices increase and paying higher interest on your mortgage as rates continue to rise.

 

And if you’re in the market to sell your home, there’s no need to wait any longer. Prices have begun to stabilize, and rising interest rates could decrease the number of available buyers for your home. Act now to take advantage of this strong seller’s market.

 

 

LET’S GET MOVING

 

While national real estate numbers and predictions can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. As local market experts, we can guide you through the ins and outs of our market and the issues most likely to impact sales and home values in your particular neighborhood.

 

If you have specific questions or would like more information about where we see real estate headed in our area, let us know! We’re here to help you navigate this changing real estate landscape.
 

 

Sources:

  1. S&P Dow Jones Indices Press Release –
    https://www.spice-indices.com/idpfiles/spice-assets/resources/public/documents/766551_cshomeprice-release-0828.pdf?force_download=true
  2. Freddie Mac Outlook Report –
    http://www.freddiemac.com/research/forecast/20180827_strong_economic_growth.html
  3. DSNews –
    https://dsnews.com/daily-dose/08-28-2018/freddie-weighs-in-on-housing-market
  4. PR Newswire –
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/realtors-chief-economist-reflects-on-past-recession-whats-ahead-for-housing-300702632.html
  5. CNN Money –
    https://www.keyt.com/lifestyle/where-is-the-us-housing-market-headed-4-things-you-need-to-know/787471572
  6. PR Newswire –
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-housing-starts-to-rise-2-4-yearly-to-2022–300711989.html
  7. Business Insider –
    https://www.businessinsider.com/housing-affordability-slowing-market-sales-2018-8
  8. Value Penguin –
    https://www.valuepenguin.com/mortgages/historical-mortgage-rates
  9. Times Free Press –
    https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/business/aroundregion/story/2018/aug/14/despite-prospects-higher-mortgage-rateshousin/476979/

Posted on October 17, 2018 at 10:02 pm
Bryan Shobe | Posted in Uncategorized |

Selling Your Home In A Hot Market. Tips For Success!

 

If you are planning on selling your home in this HOT San Antonio real estate market I have some tips to help you succeed.  Remember strangers will becoming into your home and in this market it could be many strangers over a short period of time!  They are all not going to love it like you do.  However, hopefully there is that buyer that will love it as much as you and your family does.  In this day and age selling a home is a complex transaction and would be recommended to pick a real estate agent that works with a proven company that can get the word out to a maximum number of buyers fast and one that understands marketing with social media.

Tip #1: Don’t Get Emotionally Involved

When you have decided to take the plunge, it would be wise to start thinking of yourself as a professional home seller, rather than home’s loving owner.  By looking at the process from a purely financial perspective, you can distance yourself from some of the emotional aspects of selling the property that you’ve undoubtedly created many memories in.

Look back to how you felt when you were shopping for that home. Most buyers will also be in an emotional state. If you can remember that you are selling not just a piece of property but also an image, a dream and a lifestyle, you’ll be more likely to put in the extra effort of staging and perhaps some minor remodeling to get top dollar for your home. These changes in appearance will not only help the sales price, but they’ll also help you create that emotional distance because the home will look less familiar.

Tip #2: Hire a Real Estate Agent

Even though real estate agents receive a commission, trying to sell your home on your own can be ill advised. A good real estate agent will help you set a fair and competitive selling price for your home that will increase your odds of a quick sale. An agent can also help take some of the high emotion out of the process by interacting directly with potential buyers, so you don’t have to and eliminating any “Just Looking”, who only want to look at your property but have no intention of putting in an offer.

Real Estate agents will also have more experience in negotiating a home sales than you do, potentially helping you get more money than you could on your own. Further, if any problems crop up during the process, and they commonly, an experienced professional agent will be there to handle them for you. Finally, agents are familiar with all the paperwork and pitfalls involved in real estate transactions and can help make sure the process goes smoothly. Real estate agents also have contacts with escrow and title companies, lenders, attorneys, home inspectors, repair and exterminators.

Tip #3: Set a Realistic Price

Setting a realistic price is very important, once again this is where your Realtor comes into play.  They are able to look at comparable sales in your area and work with you to come up with a Realistic Sales Price.  In a Hot Market, even if you are a little low on the price buyers may bid the price of your home about your original asking price.

Tip #4: Getting Your Asking Price

If your home is priced right, that where your Realtor comes into play, and if you are in a desirable part of town with limited inventory, you are more likely to get your asking price and may even have a bidding war.  If you are trying to get to high a price or not in the hotter markets in town, you may have to take an offer below your asking price.  Your Realtor should be able to advise you on what you might see happen.

Tip #5: Selling in Winter VS Summer

The winter months are a slower time to sell real estate, if you can avoid the winter period to list your home that would be smart.  Summer months bring higher prices and traffic for sellers.

Tip #6: Listing Photos & Videos

It is a good idea to hire a professional photographer to take pictures of your home.  The higher the price of the home, the smarter it becomes to have a video to be done.  Plus, on a large property or ranch having a drone video done to show off the property is a must these days.  The better the pics and video the more they can be used effectively on social media marketing.

Tip #7: Being Properly Insured

Since you will be having a large increase of traffic of buyers onto your property be sure you are properly insured, that way if someone has an accident you are covered.  You will need to address any obvious hazards around your home and outside.  Plus, getting your dogs out of the house during showing is prudent.

Tip #8: Pre-Listing Inspection & Repair & Home Warranty

Since any problems will be uncovered during the buyers inspection, you would be wise to get in front of that issue by having a pre-inspection and deal with any repair issues in advance.  Not dealing with these issues will turn-off buyers that want a turnkey home.  Plus, adding a home warranty on home appliances, water heaters and HVAC is a very inexpensive way to assure you will not be dealing with any repairs during the listing period.

Tip #9: Cleaning & Staging Your Home for Sale

You will need to clean and stage your home, if not you risk turning off potential buyers.  Hiring a professional maybe the way to go, if that is out of your price range there are many things you can do on your own. Not doing these things will not only reduce your sale price but may also prevent you from getting a sale at all. Work with your Real Estate agent that has a fresh pair of eyes point out areas of your home that need work. Because of your familiarity with the home; you may have become immune to its trouble spots. A major key is to declutter your home, cleaning thoroughly, putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls and getting rid of any odors are very important as well.

Tip #: Accommodating Potential Buyers

In a Hot Market you need to stay ready to have someone view your home at anytime and in some cases many people after the home goes on the market.  You need to try and accommodate these people, even if it is inconvenient for you.  So the best tip is keep your house clean and decluttered, that way it is easier to be ready for every single visit. A buyer won’t know and won’t care if your house was clean last week if it isn’t clean when he or she views it. Yes, this can be a lot of work, but remember the goal is to get as much as your can for your home.

Tip #11: Sign a Purchase Contract Only With a Qualified Buyer

In a Hot Market you need to be working only with qualified buyers.  They need to have a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender or proof of funds for a cash buyer. Entering into a contract with a buyer whose purchase of your home is contingent on the sale of their own property may also put you in a serious bind if you need to close your transaction by a particular date.


Posted on May 4, 2018 at 1:15 am
Bryan Shobe | Posted in Uncategorized |

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