In-The-Know Real Estate Blog December 1, 2022

Why There Should Not Be a Flood of Foreclosures Coming to the Housing Market

With the rapid shift that’s happened in the housing market this year, some people are raising concerns that we’re destined for a repeat of the crash we saw in 2008. But in truth, there are many key differences between what’s happening today and the bubble in the early 2000s.

One of the reasons this isn’t like the last time is the number of foreclosures in the market is much lower now. Here’s a look at why there won’t be a wave of foreclosures flooding the market.

Not as Many Homeowners Are in Trouble This Time

After the last housing crash, over nine million households lost their homes due to a foreclosure, short sale, or because they gave it back to the bank. This was, in large part, because of more relaxed lending standards where people could take out mortgages they ultimately couldn’t afford. Those lending practices led to a wave of distressed properties which made their way into the market and caused home values to plummet.

But today, revised lending standards have led to more qualified buyers. As a result, there are fewer homeowners who are behind on their mortgages. As Marina Walsh, Vice President of Industry Analysis at the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), says:

For the second quarter in a row, the mortgage delinquency rate fell to its lowest level since MBA’s survey began in 1979 – declining to 3.45%. Foreclosure starts and loans in the process of foreclosure also dropped in the third quarter to levels further below their historical averages.”

There Have Been Fewer Foreclosures over the Last Two Years

While you may have seen recent stories about the number of foreclosures rising today, context is important. During the pandemic, many homeowners were able to pause their mortgage payments using the forbearance program. The program gave homeowners facing difficulties extra time to get their finances in order and, in many cases, work out a plan with their lender.

With that program, many were concerned it would result in a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. That fear didn’t materialize. Data from the New York Fed shows there are still fewer foreclosures happening today than before the pandemic (see graph below):

That means, while there are more foreclosures now compared to last year (when foreclosures were paused), the number is still well below what the housing market has seen in a more typical year, like 2017-2019.

And most importantly, the number we’re seeing now is still far below the number we saw during the market crash (shown in the red bars in the graph). The big takeaway? Don’t let a headline in the news mislead you. While foreclosures are up year-over-year, historical context is essential to understanding the full picture.

Most Homeowners Have More Than Enough Equity To Sell Their Homes

Many homeowners today have enough equity to sell their homes instead of facing foreclosure. Due to rapidly rising home prices over the last two years, the average homeowner has gained record amounts of equity in their home. And if they’ve stayed in their homes even longer, they may have even more equity than they realize. As Ksenia Potapov, Economist at First Americansays:

Homeowners have very high levels of tappable home equity today, providing a cushion to withstand potential price declines, but also preventing housing distress from turning into a foreclosure. . . the result will likely be more of a foreclosure ‘trickle’ than a ‘tsunami.’”

A recent report from ATTOM Data explains it by going even deeper into the numbers:

“Only about 214,800 homeowners were facing possible foreclosure in the second quarter of 2022, or just four-tenths of one percent of the 58.2 million outstanding mortgages in the U.S. Of those facing foreclosure, about 195,400, or 91 percent, had at least some equity built up in their homes.”

Bottom Line

If you see headlines about the increasing number of foreclosures today, remember context is important. While it’s true the number of foreclosures is higher now than it was last year, foreclosures are still well below pre-pandemic years. If you have questions, reach out to a real estate professional.

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog December 1, 2022

3 Ways You Can Use Your Home Equity

 

If you’re a homeowner, odds are your equity has grown significantly over the last few years as home prices skyrocketed and you made your monthly mortgage payments. Home equity builds over time and can help you achieve certain goals. According to the latest Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, the average borrower with a home loan has almost $300,000 in equity right now.

As you weigh your options, especially in the face of inflation and talk of a recession, it’s important to understand your assets and how you can leverage them. A real estate professional is the best resource to help you understand how much home equity you have and advise you on some of the ways you can use it.  Here are a few examples.

1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs

If you no longer have the space you need, it might be time to move into a larger home. Or it’s possible you have too much space and need something smaller. No matter the situation, consider using your equity to power a move into a home that fits your changing lifestyle. 

If you want to upgrade your house, you can put your equity toward a down payment on the home of your dreams. And if you’re planning to downsize, you may be surprised that your equity may cover some, if not all, of the cost of your next home. A real estate advisor can help you figure out how much equity you have and how you can use it toward the purchase of your next home.

2. Reinvest in Your Current House

According to a recent survey from Point, 39% of homeowners would invest in home improvement projects if they chose to access their equity. This is a great option if you want to change some things about your living space but you aren’t ready to make a move just yet.

Home improvement projects allow you to customize your home to suit your needs and sense of style. Just remember to think ahead with any updates you make, as some renovations add more value to your home and are more likely to appeal to future buyers than others. For example, a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows refinishing or replacing wood flooring has a high cost recovery. Lean on a local professional for the best advice on which projects to invest in to get the greatest return on your investment when you sell.

3. Pursue Your Personal Goals

In addition to making a move or updating your house, home equity can also help you achieve the life goals you’ve dreamed of. That could mean investing in a new business venture, retiring or downsizing, or funding an education. While you shouldn’t use your equity for unnecessary spending, leveraging it to start a business or putting it toward education costs can help you achieve other lifelong goals.

Bottom Line

Your equity can be a game changer. If you’re unsure how much equity you have in your home, let’s connect so you can start planning your next move.

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog October 18, 2022

The Latest on Supply and Demand in Housing

Over the past two years, the substantial imbalance of low housing supply and high buyer demand pushed home sales and buyer competition to new heights. But this year, things are shifting as supply and demand reach an inflection point.

The graph below helps tell the story of just how different things are today.

This year, buyer demand has eased as higher mortgage rates and mounting economic uncertainty moderated the market. This slowdown in demand is clear when you look at the red bar on the graph. It uses the latest data from ShowingTime to illustrate how showings (an indicator of buyer demand) have softened by just over 12% compared to the same time last year.

Now for a look at how housing supply has changed, turn to the green bar. It uses data from realtor.com to show active listings are up nearly 27% compared to last year. That’s because the moderation of demand allowed housing inventory to increase in 2022.

What Does This Inflection Point Mean for Buyers? 

If you’re thinking of buying a home, you’ll have less competition and more options than you would have had last year. Enjoy having more homes to choose from in your home search and lean on a trusted real estate professional to understand how the increase in supply has also increased your negotiation power. That professional can talk you through the opportunities and challenges buyers face in today’s shifting market. You may be surprised to find they’re different than they were a year ago.

What Does This Inflection Point Mean for Sellers?

If you’re looking to sell your house, know that inventory is still low overall. That means, if you work with an agent to price your house based on current market value, it will still sell despite the inventory gains and moderating buyer demand this year. That’s because there are still buyers out there who want to move, and your house may be exactly what they’re looking for.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, the best place to turn to for information on today’s supply and demand is a trusted real estate professional. Let’s connect so you know what’s happening in our local market and what that means for you.

Reno-Sparks Market Report October 11, 2022

October 2022 Market Report

** Data in the October 2022 Market Report reflect market activity from September 2022 compared to the previous month and year.  Information is gathered from the Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors® (RSAR) for the Greater Reno-Sparks region via Northern Nevada Regional Multiple Listing Service (www.nnrmls.com).  Data accounts for single-family resale residences only, and excludes townhouses/condos, manufactured/modular and new construction.

  • The Median Sales Price (MSP) in Reno-Sparks combined dropped again for the forth consecutive month, down 5.3% from $565,000 to $535,000. The MSP is just 0.5% higher than in September 2021.

  • The Median Sales Price (MSP) in Reno and Sparks both declined month over month, down 9.3% in Reno and down 2.1% in Sparks.  The MSP in Reno is 1.8% lower compared to September last year and 2% higher in Sparks.

  • Closed Sales inched up again about 2% compared to August 2022 and are down 22.7% compared to September last year. 

  • The graph above illustrates the breakdown of Closed Sales by Price Point.

  • Median Sold Price per Square Foot was $301/SF, down another 2.9% compared to August 2022 and is exactly the same as it was one year ago.

  •  The Months Supply of Inventory (MSI) is the number of months it would take to sell through the available inventory at the current rate of sales.  The MSI in September was 2.9 MSI, meaning that if the rate of sales continued at the same rate as it did in September, the entire housing inventory would be depleted in 2.9 months.  The MSI in September 2022 was 4.6% faster month-over-month and is 160% slower than the same time last year.  Note; a “balanced market” is approximately 5-7 months supply.

  • The MSI in the luxury market ($1.5M+) dropped from 10 MSI to just over 7 MSI month-over-month.

  • Median Days to Contract has increased from 32 to 38, an 18.8% jump month-over-month, and 375% leap year-over-year. However… let’s take a look over the last several years… As noted in previous market reports, the Median Days to Contract is still WELL below the peaks of  2016, 2018, & 2019.

  • The side-by-side graphs above show the changes across all price points for the Median Days to Contract.

  • New Pending Sales decrease about 20% from August to September 2022.  There are also about 30% fewer New Pending Sales compared to last year.

  • 11.5% fewer New Listings hit the market in September 2022 compared to August 2022.  We also saw a 23.4% decline in New Listings compared to last year.

OTHER INTERESTING STATS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  • The % of Cash Purchases has dropped 10.3% month-over-month for all single family sales in Reno-Sparks and are 4.4% higher than last year22.8% of all sales in September 2022 were cash.

  • As a result of fatigue and frustration, Sellers have been pulling their homes from the market and/or allowing their listings to expire at the end of their listing period.  We have seen a 148.6% increase in Unsold Listings compared to September 2021.  

  • The number of Active Listings at the end of the month dropped slightly (down 3%) from August to September 2022.  The number of Active Listings at the end of the month is 101% higher than in September 2021 when inventory was at an all-time low.

  • 14% of all sales during September 2022 resulted in closing with prices above list price.  This stat has dropped 7.4% month-over-month and about 70% year-over-year, but is in line with normal activity compared to “pre-COVID” market conditions.

SUMMARY:

    • I have been describing the real estate market as “sloppy” at the moment.  While Sellers become more accustomed to potentially longer listing periods before receiving an acceptable offer, many Buyers have become hesitant about their purchases, with higher mortgage rates in play and fear that the market will continue to drop after they purchase.
    • Fear not!  The rapid appreciation experienced during the first 2 years of the pandemic appears to have ceased, but the market is not dead, the basic principles of supply and demand will still be at play in the long-run.
    • At the moment, the reality is that the housing inventory is still low and the rate of sales at 2.9 Months Supply of Inventory means for most price points, and so the market is still not considered “balanced.” It is technically considered to be a “Seller’s Market.”
    • More important than ever… Sellers must not over-price their properties when listing them for sale. Overpriced properties tend to sit longer and lose more value in the long-run due to the need for eventual significant price drops. Maintenance and proper preparation & staging are critical for successful sales as well.
    • And for Buyers… now is the time to exercise the option for Sellers to provide incentives to you that leverage your home-buying power and actually LOWER your monthly payment. Contact me today so I can explain how to accomplish this!

Do you need expert guidance for your next real estate purchase or sale?  As a Buyer, you have more negotiating power than you have in many years, so this may be the time to leverage your next purchase.  Sellers… Let’s meet to strategize about how to professionally prepare and price your property strategically in our marketplace.  I am here for you, whatever your real estate needs are.  Email me at dhallerbach@intero.com or reach by cell at 775-233-0682 so we can discuss the best plan for YOU!

~Denise Hallerbach, Broker-Owner, INTERO RENO.

 

 

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog September 29, 2022

How Owning a Home Builds Your Net Worth

 

Owning a home is a major financial milestone and an achievement to take pride in. One major reason: the equity you build as a homeowner gives your net worth a big boost. And with high inflation right now, the link between owning your home and building your wealth is especially important.

If you’re looking to increase your financial security, here’s why now could be a good time to start on your journey toward homeownership.

Owning a Home Is a Key Ingredient for Financial Success

A report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) details several homeownership trends, including a significant gap in net worth between homeowners and renters. It finds:

“. . . the net worth of a homeowner was about $300,000 while that of a renter’s was $8,000 in 2021.”

To put that into perspective, the average homeowner’s net worth is roughly 40 times that of a renter’s. This difference shows owning a home is a key step in achieving financial success.

Equity Gains Can Substantially Boost a Homeowner’s Net Worth

The net worth gap between owners and renters exists in large part because homeowners build equity. When you own a home, your equity grows as your home appreciates in value and you make your mortgage payments each month. As a renter, you don’t have that same opportunity. A recent article from CNET explains:

Homeownership is still considered one of the most reliable ways to build wealth. When you make monthly mortgage payments, you’re building equity in your home . . . When you rent, you aren’t investing in your financial future the same way you are when you’re paying off a mortgage.”

But on top of that, your home equity grows even more as your home appreciates in value over time. That has a major impact on the wealth you build, as a recent article from Bankrate notes:

“Building home equity can help you increase your wealth over time, . . . A home is one of the only assets that have the potential to appreciate in value as you pay it down.”

In other words, when you own your home, you have the advantage of your mortgage payment acting as a contribution to a forced savings account that grows in value as your home does. And when you sell, any equity you’ve built up comes back to you. As a renter, you’ll never see a return on the money you pay out in rent every month.

Bottom Line

Owning a home is an important part of building your net worth. If you’re ready to start on your journey to homeownership, let’s connect today.

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog September 29, 2022

Watching the Stock Market? Check the Value of Your Home for Good News.

While watching the stock market recently may have started to feel pretty challenging, checking the value of your home should come as welcome relief in this volatile time. If you’re a homeowner, your net worth got a big boost over the past few years thanks to rising home prices. And that increase in your wealth came in the form of home equity. Here’s how it works.

Equity is the current value of your home minus what you owe on the loan. Because there was a significant imbalance between the number of homes available for sale and the number of buyers looking to make a purchase over the past few years, home prices appreciated substantially. And while rising inventory and mortgage rates have cooled the market some in recent months, home prices nationally remain strong.

That’s why, according to the latest Homeowner Equity Insights from CoreLogic, the average homeowner equity has grown by $60,000 over the last 12 months. While that’s the national number, if you want to know what happened, on average, over the past year in your area, look at the map below from CoreLogic:

Why This Is So Important Right Now

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), helps explain why this matters so much today:

“. . . the decline in the stock market has dented overall net wealth. It has fallen by $6 trillion from the first to the second quarter. Only housing wealth has held on, with homeowners’ real estate wealth (home value minus mortgage balance) rising by $1.2 trillion.”

While equity helps increase your overall net worth, it can also help you achieve other goals like buying your next home. When you sell your current house, the equity you built up comes back to you in the sale, and it may be just what you need to cover a large portion – if not all – of the down payment on your next home.

Bottom Line

There’s volatility in today’s stock market, but home equity is still incredibly strong. To find out just how much equity you have in your current home, let’s connect.

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog September 1, 2022

Buyers: You May Face Less Competition as Bidding Wars Ease

One of the top stories in recent real estate headlines was the intensity and frequency of bidding wars. With so many buyers looking to purchase a home and so few of them available for sale, fiercely competitive bidding wars became the norm during the pandemic – and it drove home prices up. If you tried to buy a house over the past two years, you probably experienced this firsthand and may have been outbid on several homes along the way.

But here’s the news you’ve been waiting for: data shows clear signs bidding wars are easing this year.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average number of offers on recently sold homes has declined considerably over the past few months (see graph below):

The graph shows homes were seeing a high of around five offers earlier this year. But the latest data shows that average was down to just shy of three offers per recently sold home. This shift is happening largely because rising mortgage rates moderated buyer demand and slowed home sales, resulting in a growing supply of homes on the market. Essentially, more choices for buyers.

What This Means for You

If you put your home search on pause because you were outbid last year or because you didn’t want to deal with the peak intensity of bidding wars, you can breathe a welcome sigh of relief. While it’s still a sellers’ market, an uptick in inventory gives you a window of opportunity to jump back in. You may still be competing with some buyers, but it likely won’t be anything like it was just a few short months ago.

Bottom Line

If you put your plans on pause because of intense bidding wars in recent years, it may be time to kick off your home search. Today, bidding wars are easing and that may mean less competition for you as a buyer. If you’re serious about buying a home or making a move, let’s connect to get started today.

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog June 4, 2022

History Proves Recession Doesn’t Equal a Housing Crisis

Some Highlights

  • It’s important to understand history proves an economic slowdown does not equal a housing crisis.
  • In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated. Home prices only fell twice – minimally in the early 90s and then by nearly 20% during the housing crash in 2008.
  • If you have questions, let’s connect to discuss why today’s housing market is nothing like 2008.

Sources: CoreLogic, The Balance

In-The-Know Real Estate Blog June 1, 2022

What Does the Rest of the Year Hold for the Housing Market?

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a house, you’re at an exciting decision point. And anytime you make a big decision like that, one thing you should always consider is timing. So, what does the rest of the year hold for the housing market? Here’s what experts have to say.

The Number of Homes Available for Sale Is Likely To Grow

There are early signs housing inventory is starting to grow and experts say that should continue in the months ahead. According to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com:

“The gap between this year’s homes for sale and last year’s is one-fifth the size that it was at the beginning of the year. The catch up is likely to continue, . . . This growth will mean more options for shoppers than they’ve had in a while, even though inventory continues to lag pre-pandemic normal.”

  • As a buyer, having more options is welcome news. Just remember, housing supply is still low, so be ready to act fast and put in yourbest offer up front.
  • As a seller, your house may soon face more competition when other sellers list their homes. But the good news is, if you’re also buying your next home, having more options to choose from should make that move-up process easier.

Mortgage Rates Will Likely Continue To Respond to Inflationary Pressures

Experts also agree inflation should continue to drive up mortgage rates, albeit more moderately. Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First Americansays:

“… ongoing inflationary pressure remains likely to push mortgage rates even higher in the months to come.”  

  • As a buyer, work with trusted real estate professionals, including your lender, so you can learn how rising mortgage rate environments impact your purchasing power. It may make sense to buy now before it costs more to do so, if you’re ready.
  • As a seller, rising mortgage rates are motivating some homeowners to make a move up sooner rather than later. If you’re planning to buy your next home, talk to a trusted real estate advisor to decide how to time your move.

Home Prices Are Projected To Continue To Climb

Home prices are forecast to keep appreciating because there are still fewer homes for sale than there are buyers in the market. That said, experts agree the pace of that appreciation should moderate – but home prices won’t fall. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

“Prices throughout the country have surged for the better part of two years, including in the first quarter of 2022. Given the extremely low inventory, we’re unlikely to see price declines, but appreciation should slow in the coming months.” 

  • As a buyer, continued home price appreciation means it’ll cost you more to buy the longer you wait. But it also gives you peace of mind that, once you do buy a home, it will likely grow in value. That makes it historically a good investment and a strong hedge against inflation.
  • As a seller, price appreciation is great news for the value of your home. Again, lean on a professional to strike the right balance of the best conditions possible for both selling your house and buying your next one.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a homebuyer or seller, you need to know what’s happening in the housing market, so you can make the most informed decision possible. Let’s connect to discuss your goals and what lies ahead, so you can pick your best time to make a move.