For most of the country, loan limits will increase next year due to house price appreciation during the first half of 2022, which is factored into calculations FHA uses to determine the limits each year. The yearly increase calculations for FHA loans and those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are written into law.
“The loan limits announced today reflect steep increases in home prices throughout much of the country and will ensure continued access to FHA-insured mortgage financing despite those increases,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon.
Forward mortgage loan limits
Mortgage limits for the special exception areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are adjusted by FHA to account for higher costs of construction.
In 2023 the maximum loan limits for FHA forward mortgages will rise in 3,222 counties. In 12 counties, FHA’s loan limits will remain unchanged. By statute, the median home price for a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is based on the county within the MSA that has the highest median price.
HECM loan limits
The HECM maximum claim amount will increase from $970,800 this year to $1,089,300 for FHA case numbers assigned on or after Jan. 1, 2023. This maximum claim amount is applicable to all areas, including the special exception areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To find a complete list of FHA loan limits, areas at the FHA ceiling, and areas between the floor and the ceiling, visit FHA’s Loan Limits Page.
Home prices rose 8.6% in 3Q, with 46% of metros seeing double-digit price growth – a drop from 80% in 2Q. Of the top 10 high-price-increase metros, 7 are in Fla.
WASHINGTON – An overwhelming majority of metro markets saw home price gains in the third quarter of 2022, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). That increase was in spite of rising mortgage rates that approached 7% and declining sales.
Of the 185 metros NAR tracks, 46% had double-digit price increases, though that’s down from 80% in the second quarter.
The national median single-family existing-home price climbed 8.6% year-to-year to $398,500. While still a notable price increase, it’s down from the 14.2% recorded in the previous quarter.
“Much lower buying capacity has slowed home price growth and the trend will continue until mortgage rates stop rising,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “The median income needed to buy a typical home has risen to $88,300 – that’s almost $40,000 more than it was prior to the start of the pandemic back in 2019.”
Among the major U.S. regions, the South registered the largest share of single-family existing-home sales (44%) and the greatest year-over-year price appreciation (11.9%) in the third quarter. Prices were up 8.2% in the Northeast, 7.4% in the West, and 6.6% in the Midwest.
Fla. has 7 of top 10 metros for price growth
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton – 23.8%
Lakeland-Winter Haven – 21.2%
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, S.C.-N.C. – 21.1%
Panama City – 20.5%
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach – 19.6%
Port St. Lucie – 19.4%
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, S.C. – 18.9%
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. – 18.8%
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – 18.8%
10 most expensive markets in the U.S.
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. – $1,688,000; 2.3%
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif. – $1,300,000; -3.7%
“The more expensive markets on the West Coast will likely experience some price declines following this rapid price appreciation, which is the result of many years of limited home building,” Yun says. “The Midwest, with relatively affordable home prices, will likely continue to see price gains as incomes and rents both rise.”
Higher cost for monthly payments
In the third quarter of 2022, stubbornly high home prices and increasing mortgage rates reduced housing affordability. The monthly mortgage payment on a typical existing single-family home with a 20% down payment was $1,840. That’s a marginal increase from the second quarter ($1,837) but a significant year-to-year jump of $614 – or 50%.
Families typically spent 25% of their income on mortgage payments, down from 25.3% in the prior quarter, but up from 17.2% one year ago.
“A return to a normal spread between the government borrowing rate and the home purchase borrowing rate will bring the 30-year mortgage rates down to around 6%,” Yun says. “The usual spread between the 10-year Treasury yield and the 30-year mortgage rate is between 150 to 200 basis points, rather than the current spread of 300 basis points.”
First-time buyer challenges
First-time buyers looking to purchase a typical home during the third quarter of 2022 continued to feel the impact of housing’s growing unaffordability. For a typical starter home valued at $338,700 with a 10% down payment loan, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,808 – nearly identical to the previous quarter ($1,807) but an increase of almost $600 (49%), from one year ago ($1,210).
First-time buyers typically spent 37.8% of their family income on mortgage payments, up from 36.8% in the previous quarter. A mortgage is considered unaffordable if the monthly payment (principal and interest) amounts to more than 25% of the family’s income.
A family needed a qualifying income of at least $100,000 to afford a 10% down payment mortgage in 59 markets, up from 53 in the prior quarter. Yet, a family needed a qualifying income of less than $50,000 to afford a home in 17 markets, down from 23 in the previous quarter.
Fannie Mae Joins Freddie, FHA to Use Rent Payments
By Talis Shelbourne
A majority of mortgage providers will now allow renters with thin credit scores to include on-time rent payments in the data a lender uses when considering approvals.
WASHINGTON – Fannie Mae launched its Multifamily Positive Rent Payment Reporting pilot program last week, offering a national lifeline to aspiring homeowners with no established credit history.
The program is expected to have a significant impact on cities with high renter populations and on groups that often have difficulty establishing credit.
Fannie Mae, officially the Federal National Mortgage Association, was created by Congress during the Great Depression. The public-private “government-supported enterprise” purchases mortgages from financial institutions.
Fannie Mae had already updated its computer-automated system last year to include bank records showing consistent rent payments by individuals. The system, called the Desktop Underwriter, is used by lenders to evaluate the creditworthiness of mortgage applicants.
The change meant individuals could collect documentation of their rent payments made via check, electronically through a rental management’s payment portal and through other electronic methods connected to a bank and provide those to a mortgage lender as evidence of a good rental history. Freddie Mac and FHA loans previously announced rent-payment considerations.
This latest rent reporting program allows the renters of multifamily properties to report their rent payment history. As an incentive, Fannie Mae will cover the first year of costs associated with reporting that data.
According to Fannie Mae, if a renter misses a payment, they are automatically unenrolled so it does not damage their credit score; landlords, however, are allowed to report missed rent payments to credit agencies on their own, which would negatively impact credit history.
Credit is an essential part of the home buying process, and experts advise prospective homeowners achieve a credit score of at least 620 to get the best rates for a mortgage.
The lender ultimately decides to approve the loan. In some cases, Fannie Mae will purchase a loan to “guarantee” it, which means it is responsible for the debt if the borrower defaults.
Interest rates for the average 30-yr, fixed-rate mortgage according to Freddie Mac’s PMMS hit:
4% in March 😟 5% in April 😰 6% in early-September 😨 7% (well, almost) in late-September 😱
The slowdown continues, but we have yet to see the impact of the most recent (massive) jump in mortgage rates on homebuyer demand.
August existing home sales dropped for the 7th straight month. Price growth decelerated further to “just” 8% YoY. [Source: Realtor.com]
Meanwhile, pending sales for August dropped 2% MoM and 24% YoY. The NAR now forecasts existing home sales to fall 15% YoY in 2022, with new home sales down 21% YoY. [Source: NAR]
Home price growth slowed to 15.8% YoY in July, from 18.1% YoY in June. That may not seem like much, but it’s the biggest 1-month drop in the index’s history.
Case-Shiller is the gold standard for home price appreciation because it tracks the sales prices of very similar homes across 20 big cities. It’s an ‘apples to apples’ comparison. But that accuracy comes at a cost…the data is 2 months old by the time we get it.
An extremely volatile week for the bond market (after the Fed raised rates 75bps) saw 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages briefly exceed 7% [with no points], before dropping back to around 6.75%. [Source: Mortgage News Daily]
Freddie Mac’s closely watched PMMS survey saw the interest rate on the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage climb to 6.7%. Keep in mind that this figure includes an average 0.9 points purchased. Without those points, the rate would have been at/ahead of 7%.
Still a Seller’s Market
Demand is falling and inventory has risen, but in most markets, well-priced homes are still selling very, very quickly.
In fact, the average Days on Market for sold properties has only edged up from 14 (in June & July) to 16 in August. In 2011 that figure was 96! Looked at another way, 81% of homes sold in August had been on the market less than a month.
That said, the average number of offers received for each property sold has plunged from a frenzied 5.5 in April 2022 to 2.5 in August. That’s actually getting pretty close to “normal” pre-pandemic levels of competition.
National Housing Stats
They Said It
“Success demands singleness of purpose. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. It is those who concentrate on one thing at a time who advance in this world.” — Gary Keller, The One Thing
“Our house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy” — Robyn Griggs Lawrence
The average duration of homeownership in the US is around 12 years. So if someone in your sphere of influence (SOI) bought a home in the last few years, there’s no reason to actively stay in touch with them, right? Wrong. Take the inverse of 12 (that’s 1/12) and you get 8.3%.
This means that, mathematically, 8% of your SOI is going to move in the next year…for reasons that you (and often they) couldn’t have predicted. Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” In real estate, you probably lose 80–90% of the past clients that you don’t stay in contact with.
Sabrina Speianu, Economic Data Manager, realtor.com®
The national inventory of active listings increased by 26.6% over last year.
The total inventory of unsold homes, including pending listings, increased by just 1.3% year-over-year due to a decline in pending inventory (-21.9%).
Selling sentiment declined and listing activity followed, with newly listed homes declining by 13.4% on a year-over-year basis.
The median list price grew by 14.3% in August, a deceleration from recent highs.
Time on market was 42 days, 5 days more than last year but 22 days less than typical pre-pandemic levels.
Regionally, large Western markets which saw some of the most growth last year and earlier this year are now showing the greatest signs of deceleration, with larger inventory increases, more price reductions, and more quickly decelerating price growth than other regions.
Year-to-year, sales declined 2.4%. NAR’s chief economist calls it a “double whammy” for buyers who face rising mortgage rates and sustained price increases.
WASHINGTON – U.S. existing-home sales dipped in February, continuing a seesawing pattern of gains and declines over the last few months, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
Each of the four major U.S. regions tracked in NAR’s monthly survey saw sales fall on a month-over-month basis. While sales activity year-over-year was also down overall, the South – the region that includes Florida – saw an increase while the remaining three regions reported drops.
Total existing-home sales – completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – sank 7.2% from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.02 million in February. Year-over-year, sales decreased 2.4% (6.17 million in February 2021).
“Housing affordability continues to be a major challenge as buyers are getting a double whammy: rising mortgage rates and sustained price increases,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Some who had previously qualified at a 3% mortgage rate are no longer able to buy at the 4% rate.
“Monthly payments have risen by 28% from one year ago – which interestingly is not a part of the consumer price index – and the market remains swift with multiple offers still being recorded on most properties.”
Total housing inventory at the end of February totaled 870,000 units, up 2.4% from January and down 15.5% from one year ago (1.03 million). Unsold inventory sits at a 1.7-month supply at the current sales pace, up from the record-low supply in January of 1.6 months, but down from 2.0 months in February 2021.
“The sharp jump in mortgage rates and increasing inflation is taking a heavy toll on consumers’ savings,” Yun says. “However, I expect the pace of price appreciation to slow as demand cools and as supply improves somewhat due to more home construction.”
The median existing-home price for all housing types in February was $357,300, up 15.0% from February 2021 ($310,600), with prices higher in all four regions. It’s the 120th consecutive months for year-over-year increases – the longest-running streak on record.
Properties typically remained on the market for 18 days in February, down from 19 days in January and 20 days in February 2021, with 84% of February homes on the market for less than a month.
First-time buyers made up 29% of February sales, an increase from 27% in January, though down from 31% in February 2021.
Individual investors or second-home buyers, who make up many cash sales, purchased 19% of homes in February, down from 22% in January and up from 17% in February 2021. All-cash sales accounted for 25% of transactions in February, down from 27% in January and up from 22% in February 2021.
Distressed sales – foreclosures and short sales – represented less than 1% of sales in February, equal to the percentage seen both month-to-month and year-to-year.
According to Freddie Mac, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.76% in February, up from 3.45% in January. The average commitment rate across all of 2021 was 2.96%.
Single-family and condo/co-op sales: Single-family home sales jumped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.35 million in February, down 7.0% month-to-month and down 2.2% year-to-year. The median existing single-family home price was $363,800 in February, up 15.5% from February 2021.
Existing condominium and co-op sales were recorded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 670,000 units in February, down 9.5% from 740,000 in January and down 4.3% from one year ago. The median existing condo price was $305,400 in February, an annual increase of 10.9%.
“For the past couple of years, buyers have had to contend with a market of high demand, low inventory and a mix of uncertainties with COVID-19 protocols,” says NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith. “Consumers are presently challenged with higher mortgage rates, so now, more than ever, interested buyers need the trusted expertise of Realtors in order to navigate this current market.”
Regional breakdown: Existing-home sales in the Northeast slipped 11.5% in February, registering an annual rate of 690,000 – a 12.7% drop from February 2021. The median price in the Northeast was $383,700, up 7.1% from one year ago.
Existing-home sales in the Midwest sagged 11.3% from the prior month to an annual rate of 1,330,000 in February, a 1.5% decrease from February 2021. The median price in the Midwest was $248,900, a 7.5% climb from February 2021.
Existing-home sales in the South fell 5.1% in February month-to-month, posting an annual rate of 2,790,000 – which was an increase of 3.0% compared to February 2021. The median price in the South was $318,800, an 18.1% jump from one year earlier.
For the sixth straight month, the South experienced the highest pace of price appreciation compared to the other regions.
“Employment is vital for housing demand,” said Yun. “The Southern states are seeing faster job growth, and consequently, it’s the only region to experience a sales gain from a year ago.”
Existing-home sales in the West slid 4.7% from the previous month, reporting an annual rate of 1,210,000 in February, down 8.3% from one year ago. The median price in the West was $512,600, up 7.1% from February 2021.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies about monetary policy and the state of the economy before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Powell reiterated the Fed is gearing up to raise interest rates this month.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the central bank is on track to start raising interest rates this month — likely by a quarter percentage point — in an effort to combat inflation, which is the highest it’s been in nearly 40 years.
But the Fed will proceed with caution, Powell told the House Financial Services Committee, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds more uncertainty to the economic outlook.
“The economics of these events are highly uncertain,” Powell said. “So far, we’ve seen energy prices move up further and those increases will move through the economy and push up headline inflation, and also they’re going to weigh on spending.”
The average price of gasoline in the U.S. approached $3.66 per gallon on Wednesday. Rising energy prices have been a significant driver of annual inflation, which hit 7.5% in January – the highest level since 1982.
Powell says it’s too soon to tell on Ukraine
Powell said it’s too soon to know how large or long-lasting price increases tied to events in Ukraine will be, so he and his colleagues on the central bank’s rate-setting committee are prepared to be flexible.
“We’re never on auto-pilot,” Powell said. “Those of us on the committee have an expectation that inflation will peak and begin to come down this year. And to the extent that inflation comes in higher or is more persistently high than that, then we would be prepared move more aggressively.”
Forecasters expect the Fed to impose additional interest rate hikes later this year in an effort to cool red-hot consumer demand, which has outstripped supply and driven prices sharply higher.
The profit on a typical home sale last year was just over $94,000, an increase of 45% from the profit in 2020 and 71% from pre-pandemic profits.
About 42% of homeowners were considered equity-rich at the end of last year
The amount of tappable equity (equity above the 20% usually required by lenders to back a mortgage) grew by $2.6 trillion last year to a record total of $9.9 trillion.
The stunning jump in home values over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic has given U.S. homeowners record amounts of housing wealth. What they choose to do with it could have impacts on the broader economy.
Annual home price gains averaged 15% in 2021, up from 6% in 2020, according to CoreLogic. Strong pandemic-driven demand, record low supply and record low mortgage rates conspired to create those hefty gains. Bidding wars are now the norm, and desperate buyers are competing with investors who want to cash in on the hot market. The upward trend is continuing, despite winter being historically the slowest season for housing.
“While we expect this year’s buyers will eventually see some relief from the 2021 frenzy, home shoppers continue to face challenging conditions in the early days of 2022,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. “In fact, last week’s home price and time on market trends suggest competition intensified.”
“The shortage of homes for sale, that has been more than a decade in the making, will keep home prices high,”
Millennials are a massive generation—next year, there will be more than 45 million millennials between the ages of 26 and 35, which are prime homebuying years.
Unfortunately, for frustrated buyers who have had trouble finding the right homes in the right locations at the right price, there isn’t expected to be a rush of homes hitting the market.
Realtor.com economists predict the number of homes for sale, which is hovering around record lows, will tick up only 0.3%. That’s partly due to builders having a tough time ramping up construction as they contend with shortages in workers and materials, compounded by the global supply chain backups. (Single-family housing starts, which is when builders start construction, is expected to rise only 5% next year.)
There are plenty of investors snapping up single-family homes and turning them into rentals. And there is no tidal wave of foreclosures expected to hit now that the government moratoriums are expiring.
There are also more homebuyers today than there are abodes for sale.
Millennials are a massive generation—next year, there will be more than 45 million millennials between the ages of 26 and 35, which are prime homebuying years. So there would need to be substantially more homes built to keep up with the needed housing—except builders stopped building during the Great Recession and there are fewer homes going up today.
“The shortage of homes for sale, that has been more than a decade in the making, will keep home prices high,” says Hale.
Sales will also continue to climb, hitting a 16-year high as they go up by 6.6%, Realtor.com economists anticipate. That’s partly because technology has sped up the homebuying process. Plus, buyers are jumping on whatever comes up for sale in record time before the property is snapped up by another eager buyer.
Attractively priced homes in good shape are expected to continue going under contract quickly.
“Homes are selling so much faster than they have in any previous [years],” says Hale.
That speed supports increased housing turnover as more abodes change hands as folks move into their first homes or relocate, trade up into larger residences, and downsize.
The popularity of the suburbs is also likely to endure. They emerged as the places to be during the pandemic as buyers could score more square footage and bigger yards for less money than in the bigger cities.
“For years, we heard about the dying suburbs because millennials didn’t want to live there, but as they age, guess where they’re heading?” asks Hale.
Some were even moving to the burbs before the pandemic.
“This budding trend was accelerated by the needs of aging millennials, often with families, trying to grapple head-on with the realities of doing more than ever before from home,” says Hale.
Remote work will also likely be a factor. With more workers telecommuting or going into the office only a few times a week, they don’t have to contend with grueling commutes five days a week. Many are more comfortable moving farther outside of the cities where they can get larger abodes with room for a home office at an attractive price.
That’s likely to keep prices high in desirable communities.
“Shoppers were looking for affordable homes with space that could be used flexibly to accommodate working, schooling, exercising, cooking, and all of the other living and relaxing we used to take for granted,” says Hale.
It won’t be easy for first-time homebuyers
First-time buyers are likely to continue struggling to compete with the offers over the asking price and win the bidding wars.
The ace in their pocket is the work-from-home phenomenon that has allowed many white-collar professionals to work from anywhere they have a strong Wi-Fi connection. So they may be able to relocate to cheaper destinations that make up for what they lack in Michelin star restaurants with more affordable home prices.
“Maybe they’re not buying a home in or near a major city where prices are high and the market is still competitive,” says Hale. “But they can move farther away from the city to the suburbs or to an entirely new city where it’s more affordable.”
The savings many who held on to their jobs were able to amass early on in the pandemic—when the stimulus checks went out and many folks cut back on dining out and traveling—may help them with the down payments. Some buyers temporarily moved back home with families or doubled up with friends to save on housing costs as well.
“I know a lot of people are expecting housing prices and sales to peak and then decline. Instead, I think there’s enough momentum from these younger buyers who want to get into the housing market to keep sales moving forward,” says Hale. “They are going to succeed because that drive to buy a home and make it happen when you’re ready is really strong.”
Prices will stay high, inventory will remain tight, and mortgage rates will rise
Prices aren’t anticipated to come down from the highs
“The pace of price growth is going to slow notably, bringing it more in line with buyers’ incomes”
Here’s what we already know: Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the real estate market has been on a wild ride of unprecedented highs and lows—record-high home prices on one side, record-low mortgage rates and available homes for sale on the other. It’s been a time of overwhelming stress for many, gigantic profits for some, and great disorientation for most of us.
Now the housing experts say the market is “normalizing.” But what does that mean? Will home prices and rents finally come down? Will more homes go up for sale? And what does the year ahead have in store for the real estate market?
The Realtor.com® 2022 housing forecast anticipates the market will continue slowing down from the frenzy seen in the spring when prices shot up to new heights. However, prices will stay high, inventory will remain tight, and mortgage rates will rise.
The bottom line: Even as the market calms down further, it’s still expected to be challenging for buyers, especially those purchasing their first homes.
“The 2022 housing market will continue to be a seller’s market with fast-moving homes and rising prices,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “But the competition should be a bit less intense than we’ve seen recently.”
Home prices will stay high, but price growth will continue slowing
Home prices aren’t expected to keep zooming up into the stratosphere in 2022 the way they did this year. So buyers can breathe at least a shallow sigh of relief. Instead, Realtor.com economists anticipate they’ll increase at a much slower rate of just 2.9% over this year compared with an anticipated 12% rise in 2021.
This means the double-digit price growth that confounded buyers earlier this year is expected to taper off.
However, prices aren’t anticipated to come down from the highs they reached this year due to the continuing shortage of properties for sale and hordes of buyers continuing to enter the market. They just won’t go up so much as quickly.
“Price growth is expected to move back toward a normal range, but this is on top of recent high prices,” says Hale. “So prices will [still] hit new highs.”
While that’s not great news for buyers, homes aren’t expected to cost much more than they did just a few months ago.
“The pace of price growth is going to slow notably, bringing it more in line with buyers’ incomes,” says Hale. “With prices high and mortgage rates beginning to tick up, people won’t be able to be as aggressive in what they’re willing to pay.”