Home prices have appreciated considerably over the last five years. This has some concerned that we may be in for another dramatic correction. However, recent statistics suggest home values will not crash as they did a decade ago. Instead, this time they will come in for a soft landing.
The previous housing market was fueled by an artificial demand created by mortgage standards that were far too lenient. When this demand was shut off, a flood of inventory came to market. This included heavily discounted distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales).
Today’s market is totally different. Mortgage standards are tighter than they were prior to the last boom and bust. There is no fear that a rush of foreclosures will come to market. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association just announced that foreclosures are lower today than at any time since 1996.
Case Shiller looks at the percentage of appreciation as compared to the same month the year prior. Here is a graph of their findings over the last ten months:
As we can see, home price appreciation is softening as more inventory comes to market. This shows that real estate prices are not crashing, but merely returning toward historic appreciation numbers of 3.6% annually.
Home prices are leveling off. Long term, that is a good thing for the housing market.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at their lowest for 2019. Rates like these haven’t been seen since February 2018!
Last week’s survey results reported an interest rate of 4.35%. This is a welcome change from the near 5% rates seen in mid-November. At 4.32%, the second week of February 2018 was the last time rates were this low. This can be seen in the chart below.
Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Sam Khater, had this to say:
“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend that began late last year.
Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”
If you plan on buying a home this spring, let’s get together to prepare you to take advantage of today’s market before rates increase!
Every family has a list of important dates. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, pet adoptions…and the list goes on. For 64.4 percent of households in the United States, this list includes the day they became a homeowner for the first time!
Why is this date important? Homeownership is not just a roof over your head! It represents shelter, stability, wealth, and pride! For decades, homeownership has been an important part of the American Dream!
However, many question if the next generations see the same benefits of homeownership as their predecessors.
In case we have forgotten, some of those benefits are:
- Educational Achievement: Homeownership has a positive impact on academic achievement, including reading and math performance in children 3-12 years old.
- Civic Participation: “Owning a home means owning a part of the neighborhood.” Homeowners have a stronger connection to their neighborhood and are more committed to volunteer.
- Health Benefits: Adjusting for a range of demographic, socioeconomic and housing-related characteristics, homeowners have a substantial health advantage over renters.
- Public Assistance: The report shows 47% of homeowners use their home equity credit lines to help pay other debts, diminishing their need for public assistance.
- Property Maintenance and Improvement: A well-maintained home not only generates benefits through consumption and safety, but a high-quality structure also raises mental health.
- Pride of Ownership: This place is uniquely “yours.” You can customize it according to your likes and personality.
In addition to financial benefits, homeownership also brings significant social benefits. These not only pertain to the family, but extend to the communities, the state, and the country!
Buying a home is an investment in your future!
- Appreciation: On average, home prices are appreciating annually at a rate of 3.6%. This helps to create a safety net.
- Forced Savings: Your mortgage is like a forced savings plan! With each payment, you are reducing the principal of your loan.
- Home Equity: Homeownership builds equity every single month. You can later use that equity to start a business, send your children to college, etc.
- Net Worth: A homeowners’ net worth is 44x greater than renters! This gives you the financial freedom to invest.
- Stability: Rent prices increase 4% annually! A fixed mortgage payment allows you to save for future projects and guard against inflation.
- Tax Benefits: The government has created tax benefits to encourage customers to purchase. (Talk to your CPA to see which benefits apply to you).
Homeownership is and will always be part of the American Dream! There are many financial and non-financial benefits to take advantage of when owning a home. If owning a home is part of your dream, let’s get together to help you with the process!
Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016.
The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).
These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.
Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth.
As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.
That is why Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. According to this year’s results, 34% of Americans chose real estate. Stocks followed at 26%, and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.
If you want to find out how you can use your monthly housing cost to increase your family’s wealth, let’s get together to guide you through the process.