- According to a Gallup poll, real estate has been rated the best long-term investment for eight years in a row.
- Real estate tops the list because you’re not just buying a place to call home – you’re investing in your future. Real estate is typically considered a stable and secure asset that can grow in value over time.
- Let’s connect today if you’re ready to make real estate your best investment this year.
An important metric in today’s residential real estate market is the number of homes available for sale. The shortage of available housing inventory is the major reason for the double-digit price appreciation we’ve seen in each of the last two years. It’s the reason many would-be purchasers are frustrated with the bidding wars over the homes that are available. However, signs of relief are finally appearing.
According to data from realtor.com, active listings have increased over the last four months. They define active listings as:
“The active listing count tracks the number of for sale properties on the market, excluding pending listings where a pending status is available. This is a snapshot measure of how many active listings can be expected on any given day of the specified month.”
What normally happens throughout the year?
Historically, housing inventory increases throughout the summer months, starts to tail off in the fall, and then drops significantly over the winter. The graph below shows this trend along with the month active listings peaked in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
What happened last year?
Last year, the trend was different. Historical seasonality wasn’t repeated in 2020 since many homeowners held off on putting their houses up for sale because of the pandemic (see graph below). In 2020, active listings peaked in April, and then fell off dramatically for the remainder of the year.
What’s happening this year?
Due to the decline of active listings in 2020, 2021 began with record-low housing inventory counts. However, we’ve been building inventory over the last several months as more listings come to the market (see graph below):There are three main reasons we may see listings continue to increase throughout this fall and into the winter.
- Pent-up selling demand – Homeowners may be more comfortable putting their homes on the market as more and more Americans get vaccinated.
- New construction is starting to take off – Though new construction is not included in the realtor.com numbers, as more new homes are built, there will be more options for current homeowners to consider when they sell. The lack of options has slowed many potential sellers in the past.
- The end of forbearance will create some new listings – Most experts believe the end of the forbearance program will not lead to a wave of foreclosures for several reasons. The main reason is the level of equity homeowners currently have in their homes. Many homeowners will be able to sell their homes instead of going to foreclosure, which will lead to some additional listings on the market.
If you’re in the market to buy a home, stick with it. There are new listings becoming available every day. If you’re thinking of selling your house, you may want to list your home before this additional competition comes to market.
- Buyers hoping for more homes to choose from may be in luck as housing inventory begins to rise. Many experts agree – new sellers listing their homes is great news for buyers and the overall market.
- Although the supply increases are modest, more homes means more options for buyers. A rise in inventory may also help slow the price gains we’ve seen recently and could be a sign of good things to come.
- If you’re searching for a home, rising inventory is welcome news. Let’s connect today to discuss new listings in our area.
CoreLogic’s newly released Homeowner Equity Report for the first quarter of 2021 shows U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 19.6% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.9 trillion, and an average gain of $33,400 per borrower, since the first quarter of 2020.
While the coronavirus pandemic created economic uncertainty for many, the continued acceleration in home prices over the last year has meant existing homeowners saw a notable boost in home equity. The accumulation of equity has become critically important to homeowners deciding on their post-forbearance options. In contrast to the financial crisis, when many borrowers were underwater, borrowers today who are behind on mortgage payments can tap into their equity and sell their home rather than lose it through foreclosure. These conditions are reflected in a recent CoreLogic survey, with 74% of current homeowners with mortgages noting they are not concerned with owing more on their home than it is worth within the next five years.
“Homeowner equity has more than doubled over the past decade and become a crucial buffer for many weathering the challenges of the pandemic,” said Frank Martell, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “These gains have become an important financial tool and boosted consumer confidence in the U.S. housing market, especially for older homeowners and baby boomers who’ve experienced years of price appreciation.”
“Double-digit home price growth in the past year has bolstered home equity to a record amount. The national CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded an 11.4% rise in the year through March 2021, leading to a $216,000 increase in the average amount of equity held by homeowners with a mortgage,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “This reduces the likelihood for a large number of distressed sales of homeowners to emerge from forbearance later in the year.”
Negative equity, also referred to as underwater or upside down, applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth. As of the first quarter of 2021, negative equity share, and the quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year changes, were as follows:
- Quarterly change: From the fourth quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, the total number of mortgaged homes in negative equity decreased by 7% to 1.4 million homes, or 2.6% of all mortgaged properties.
- Annual change: In the fourth quarter of 2020, 1.8 million homes, or 3.4% of all mortgaged properties, were in negative equity. This number decreased by 24%, or 450,000 properties, in the first quarter of 2021.
- National aggregate value: The national aggregate value of negative equity was approximately $273 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2021. This is down quarter over quarter by approximately $8.1 billion, or 2.9%, from $281.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, and down year over year by approximately $13.3 billion, or 4.6%, from $286.3 billion in the first quarter of 2020.
Because home equity is affected by home price changes, borrowers with equity positions near (+/- 5%) the negative equity cutoff are most likely to move out of or into negative equity as prices change, respectively. Looking at the first quarter of 2021 book of mortgages, if home prices increase by 5%, 195,000 homes would regain equity; if home prices decline by 5%, 260,000 would fall underwater.
Based on compiled data from more than six million property showings scheduled across the country, Home Buyer Demand jumps 98.4% in the West as traffic grows again nationwide.
- March 24, 2021 – Dwindling inventory was again met with an outpouring of buyer demand throughout the country in February as an unprecedented 75 markets reported double-digit growth, according to the ShowingTime Showing Index®
- Nationwide, buyer traffic jumped 49.5 percent, continuing a trend of national year-over-year growth in buyer demand that began in May 2020.
- “In March and April, year-over-year comparisons will be less meaningful as the onset of COVID-19 in 2020 drove showing traffic down in those two months, but on a month-to-month basis we’re still likely to see further seasonal increases in demand, taking us further into this unprecedented direction. We expect that this will correlate with continued broad increases in prices.”
Where To Spend All That Savings | An Opportunity To Build Wealth
- Americans have saved $1.6 trillion since the pandemic started, per the Commerce Department.
- That’s roughly half of overall global savings during the pandemic, and the same as South Korea’s GDP.
- It’s also greater than the output gap, or economic hole created by Covid-19, signaling a coming economic boom.
Experts are currently projecting 4.6% growth for US GDP this year, per Bloomberg. If Americans spend all the money they saved in the past year, that could jump to 9%; whereas if they don’t, the GDP forecast could drop to 2.2%.
Congratulations Kevin and Danielle! Happy Anniversary to my clients who closed on this day March 4th, 2016 in Springfield, VA.
Located in the Glenwood Manor development, the couple purchased a 1700 sqft., 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath townhome for $379,000. 5 years later, for similar properties (any three bedrooms sold in the last 365 days), the median Close Price was $478,500 and the median Days On Market was 5.
The decision to purchase instead of renting positioned them nicely to build equity that they now can utilize for their next move.
If you have been debating owning versus renting, understanding the market and how either decision could effect you in 3-5 years is worth discussing.
- This information is not meant to be used as an appraisal. This is a snapshot of the Glenwood Manor development listings sold in the last 365 days as of March 4, 2021.
With interest rates at historical lows, it may be a good time to start paying your own mortgage down instead of someone else’s.
As reported by CoreLogic, (the leading provider of property insights and solutions)
2019 Saw the Fastest Annual Rent Appreciation Since 2016 US Single-Family Rents Up 2.9% Year Over Year in December.
Low rental home inventory, relative to demand, fuels the growth of single-family rent prices. The SFRI shows single-family rent prices have climbed between 2010 and 2019. However, overall year-over-year rent price increases have slowed since February 2016, when they peaked at 4.2%, and have stabilized at around 3% since early 2019. – CoreLogic
The current real estate environment poses a great opportunity for sellers and buyers. Timing couldn’t be better for both.
- Demand for housing is high
- Supply/Inventory is low, below what experts consider balanced
- Interest rates are historically low
In this market sellers earn top value for their home and buyers experience greater buying power and increased affordability.
- The Mid Atlantic Region to include DC, VA, MD, parts of WV, PA and DE housing Months of Supply is 2, well below the 4 to 6 months which is generally considered a balanced market.
- The impact your interest rate has on your monthly mortgage payment is significant. An increase of just $20 dollars in your monthly payment can add up to $240 per year or $7,200 over the life of your loan. Maybe it’s time to lock in now while rates are still low.
- How can you take advantage of this market? Don’t wait and see, connect with a RE professional and make a plan.
Home sellers nationwide last year saw a $65,500 home price gain on an average sale, the highest level since 2006, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ 2019 Year-End U.S. Home Sales Report. That represents a 34% return on investment compared to the original purchase price.
The Western states continue to see some of the highest returns. For example, in San Jose, Calif., owners saw an 82.8% average gain, followed by owners in San Francisco at 72.8% and in Seattle at 65.6%, according to the report.
See average gains at resale in the top 20 U.S. metro areas.
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