Real Estates Current Market Silver Lining

For those looking for the good news about today’s real estate market. A bit of a deep dive, about 60 minutes worth but excellently delivered. Three main facts tell us it’s not all doom and gloom. Combine them with the time of year and the general fear that has most buyers/sellers on the sidelines, spells opportunity. (40:00). We can help should you decide to take advantage of today’s market.

  • Historical trends, what happens after quantitative tightening (12:00)
  • Demographics, there’s a lot of millennials (24:50)
  • Inventory levels, yes they are still historically low (22:00)


First-time Buyers Back Despite Challenges

They now make up 45% of all homebuyers, up from 37% last year, even as affordability issues persist. Repeat buyers may have pulled back due to rising interest rates.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – First-time home buyers have returned to the housing market, and those who can afford a home are finding success after years of setbacks. The share of buyers purchasing a home for the first time has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.

First-time buyers now represent 45% of all buyers, up from 37% of buyers surveyed last year, according to Zillow’s 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report. If they can overcome affordability challenges, first-time buyers could be well positioned to continue increasing their share in today’s shifting market, with more options and time to decide on the right home.

The share of first-time buyers plummeted during the pandemic amid rapidly rising home values and tough competition, even with high demand coming from the large millennial generation. Zillow research found younger, likely first-time shoppers were losing out to older, repeat buyers who were able to tap the equity in their existing homes and use cash to make a stronger offer. A Zillow survey found younger buyers were more likely to report losing to an all-cash buyer at least once, as was the case for 45% of Gen Z and 38% of millennial buyers, compared to 30% of all buyers.

“First-time buyers now appear to be making relative gains as high mortgage interest rates disproportionately encourage current homeowners to stay put,” said Zillow population scientist Manny Garcia. “The flow of homes into the market is slowing, suggesting homeowners are likely comparing their current low mortgage rate to today’s rates and deciding not to move. While rising mortgage rates are hurting affordability for all buyers, first-time buyers may be less deterred by higher rates because they’re comparing a monthly mortgage payment to what they’re paying in rent.”

First-time buyers are making up a larger share of a smaller pie. Newly pending home sales were down 29% in August, compared to a year prior, as buyers struggle to keep up with higher home prices and interest rates. Home values remain 14.1% higher than last year, even after two consecutive month-over-month declines. When combined with rising mortgage interest rates, the typical monthly payment on a home is nearly 60% higher today than it was a year ago.

Recent Zillow research finds those affordability challenges have driven up demand for the lowest-priced homes in each market. While there are fewer buyers overall, first-time buyers may find more competition for starter homes.

The silver lining is that today’s much-needed market rebalancing has the potential to especially benefit first-time buyers, who have the flexibility to shop without trying to time the purchase of their new home with the sale of an existing home. Listings typically lingered 16 days on the market in August before going under contract, compared to eight days in June, meaning buyers have twice as much time to decide on a home compared to this time last year.

First-time buyers may also have more bargaining power as a growing number of sellers drop their prices. The share of listings with a price cut grew to roughly 28% in August, according to Zillow’s latest monthly market report.

As the market changes, aspiring first-time buyers may need to change their approach. These five tips are a good starting point:

  • Understand what’s affordable. As mortgage interest rates fluctuate, aspiring buyers can start with a mortgage calculator to understand what they can realistically afford on a monthly basis. Take into account some of the hidden costs of homeownership, such as property tax, insurance and HOA dues, which can add up to more than $750 per month. But it’s always best to leave some wiggle room in the budget for unexpected maintenance projects and emergency repairs. First-time shoppers should also explore down payment assistance programs they may qualify for.
  • Finance first. First-time buyers can gain a competitive edge by getting pre-approved for a mortgage. A Zillow survey finds 86% of sellers prefer a buyer who has been pre-approved, as opposed to pre-qualified, for a mortgage. This financial check gives sellers more certainty that a buyer will close on time, and it allows buyers to make a stronger, faster offer the minute the right home hits the market. Buyers can start the pre-approval process online. Don’t hesitate to try, try, try again. Nearly half of all first-time buyers (47%) are denied a mortgage at least once before ultimately getting approved.
  • Hire the right agent. An experienced agent will have a finger on the pulse of their local market and know all the changes happening in it, and they can help buyers make strategic decisions to win. They’ll know when to come in with an offer under list price or when to expect a bidding war. Buyers should plan on interviewing their top candidates and asking the right questions.
  • Shop smarter with tech. New real estate technology can help first-time buyers make faster, smarter decisions. Virtual 3D Home tours and interactive floor plans give shoppers a more authentic experience of a home, allowing them to quickly narrow down their options and tour fewer homes in person.
  • Keep the contingencies. With less competition, first-time buyers should have the leverage to include important contingencies in their offers that could potentially save them a lot of money in the long run. An inspection contingency can identify major structural, mechanical or safety issues that could be extremely costly to repair and cause buyer’s remorse. A financing or appraisal contingency will ensure a buyer can walk away with their earnest money if a home fails to be appraised for the offer price or if their financing falls through.

Copyright © 2022 BridgeTower Media and © 2022, The Mecklenburg Times (Charlotte, NC). All rights reserved.


Mortgage rates will continue ticking up

By Clare Trapasso
Dec 1, 2021

3 of a 3 part series
Highlights:

  • Realtor.com anticipates mortgage rates will rise to an average 3.3%, hitting around 3.6% by the end of 2022.
  • Rental prices have been soaring, and tenants aren’t expected to get any relief. Prices have surged and are expected to continue rising by 7.1% in 2022.
  • The culprit behind the price hikes: There simply aren’t enough homes to go around—for rent or sale.

Mortgage rates have been the wild card to the housing market during the pandemic. Low rates at the start of COVID-19 helped fuel dizzying price jumps as buyers could afford to spend more on homes. That’s because they were paying less interest each month so they could absorb the higher home prices.

However, as the economy has improved and inflation has risen, making everything from a dozen eggs to a gallon of gas more expensive, rates are also expected to go up. That could help curb the runaway price growth that was seen in the spring. Buyers can stretch their budgets only so far.

Realtor.com anticipates mortgage rates will rise to an average 3.3%, hitting around 3.6% by the end of 2022. That’s up from a low of 2.65% in the first week of January for 30-year fixed-rate loans, according to Freddie Mac data.

While that doesn’t sound like much of a hike, it adds up.

The difference of roughly a percentage point to 3.6% would result in about $157 extra tacked on to the monthly payment of a median-priced home of $380,000. That can total more than $56,500 over the life of a 30-year loan. (This assumes the buyers put down 20% and does not include property taxes, insurance costs, or homeowners association fees.)

It’s also likely to result in homebuying becoming even more expensive. With home prices continuing to tick up a little and rates increasing, those purchasing a home with a mortgage will wind up shelling out more each month.

Rents will keep shooting up higher than home prices

It isn’t just homebuying that’s gotten more expensive. Rental prices have been soaring, and tenants aren’t expected to get any relief. Prices have surged and are expected to continue rising by 7.1% in 2022.

At the beginning of the pandemic, as home sale prices spiraled, rents in many of the big cities dropped precipitously. Many tenants moved to larger, nicer apartments with more amenities at deeply discounted rents. Then this year, they were hit with steep increases even in smaller, more traditionally affordable cities and suburbs.

The culprit behind the price hikes: There simply aren’t enough homes to go around—for rent or sale. Many aspiring homebuyers who keep losing bidding wars or can’t afford high homes prices are stuck renting. Plus, there are plenty of folks who moved in with family and roommates or split up with their partners during the pandemic who are looking for their own rentals.

“With apartment vacancies still near historic lows and landlords making up for lost rent increases during the pandemic, rents are expected to continue to grow,” says Hale.


Will Home Prices and Rents Finally Fall? Our Bold Predictions on Real Estate in 2022

By Clare Trapasso
Dec 1, 2021

1 of a 3 part series
Highlights:

  • 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.”


09.28.2020 Maryland Real Estate Trends Echos Much Of The Countries


August Housing Data Reveals a Robust Summer Market Amidst Declines in Inventory

  • Median Sale Price is up 9.7%
  • Average Sale Price up 11.2%
  • Months of Inventory down 60% to 1.4 months
  • Median days on market are down from 22 to 9
  • Seven of Maryland’s rural counties have seen over 20 percent increases in average prices over last year.
ANNAPOLIS, MD – September 28, 2020 Maryland’s August housing market demonstrated substantial recovery from spring’s COVID-related disruptions, according to housing statistics released by Maryland REALTORS®*. Data from June through August show both an increase in average and median home prices, and a decline in months of available inventory, echoing nationwide trends and sparking concern over housing imbalances.

“The average sales price increased year-over-year from $361,823 to $402,452 and the median price increased from $310,000 to $340,000, growth of 11.2 percent and 9.7 percent, respectively” said Maryland REALTORS® President John A. Harrison. “Months of inventory dropped 60 percent to just 1.4 months, compared to 3.5 last year, which is a historic low for the state. Moreover, the median days on market fell from 22 to 9 which aligns with stories we’ve heard of bidding wars and homes selling within hours of hitting the market.”

“The most notable, but unsurprising, feature of the current housing market is the sharp rise in activity in rural areas,” said Harrison. Seven of Maryland’s rural counties have seen over 20 percent increases in average prices over last year. With the rise in working from home, commute times are less of a factor. That and the relative affordability of rural areas make urban and some suburban communities less attractive. “The pandemic has prompted individuals and families to reimagine their housing requirements, often desiring home office space and more expansive outdoor living areas.”

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