As we enter the final months of 2020 and continue to work through the challenges this year has brought, some people wonder what impact continued economic uncertainty could have on home prices. Buyers wonder if they should wait for ” the crash” sellers wonder if this is a good time to sell, or should they wait until the spring… Let’s take a look at what some experts are saying.
Looking at the big picture, the rules of supply and demand will give us the clearest idea of what is to come.
Due to the undersupply of homes on the market today, there’s upward pressure on prices. Consider simple economics: when there is high demand for an item and a low supply of it, consumers are willing to pay more for that item. That’s what’s happening in today’s real estate market. The housing supply shortage is also resulting in bidding wars, which will also drive price points higher in the home sale process.
There’s no evidence that buyer demand will wane. As a result, experts project price appreciation will continue over the next twelve months. Here’s a graph of the major forecasts released in the last 60 days:
I hear many foreclosures might be coming to the market soon. Won’t that drive prices down?
Some are concerned that homeowners who entered a mortgage forbearance plan might face foreclosure once their plan ends. However, when you analyze the data on those in forbearance, it’s clear the actual level of risk is quite low.
Ivy Zelman, CEO of Zelman & Associates and a highly-regarded expert in housing and housing-related industries, was very firm in a podcast last week:
“The likelihood of us having a foreclosure crisis again is about zero percent.”
With demand high, supply low, and little risk of a foreclosure crisis, home prices will continue to appreciate.
Originally, many thought home prices would depreciate in 2020 due to the economic slowdown from the coronavirus. Instead, prices appreciated substantially. Over the next year, we will likely see home values rise even higher given the continued lack of inventory of homes for sale.
We all know that real estate is local. The nuances of adjacent neighborhoods, styles of housing in price ranges can have a big impact on particular submarkets. I spend a lot of time thinking about that and comparing different areas looking for those shades of distinction. It’s also important to keep an eye on what’s going on at the macro level too. I subscribe to a couple of publications that provide data on a national level about what’s happening in the real estate market so I thought I’d share a few things with you today.
This graph is provided by the company that supplies the software that many agents around the country use for making showing appointments. It’s the one that we use here locally as well.
It doesn’t absolutely track every single showing in every single market but it has enough market share that it provides us a good baseline. You can see the dramatic drop when the shut down started happening around the country and then as things loosened up, activity has come back.
That’s certainly been true in our area. There are still restrictions about open houses and overlapping showings are not allowed. The past couple of weekends, when I have taken buyers out, the Showingtime calendar has been nearly full for many newly listed properties on both Saturdays and Sundays.
This chart shows both the seasonal ebb and flow that is part of the normal real estate cycle year-to-year, and the absolute numerical difference in total number of listings over the past 3 years. 2020 started off the year at the lowest point in the past 3 years and was either flat or headed in a downward direction steadily ever since. So inventory is tight, very tight.
Just to give you a little local perspective here is the trend line for active inventory in the DC metro area for the past 3 years you can see that the peaks of inventory got lower and lower each year. There’s very little out there for buyers right now.
That dovetails into the next slide which shows the affordability trend over the past few years for housing. Even though prices have moved up steadily in many markets, the substantial drop in interest rates have caused the actual monthly housing expenses as a percentage of household income to historic low points right now. This affordability factor has driven very strong demand at the same time that supply has been diminished. We all know what that means.
One more slide and I’ll stop, I promise 🙂
Many people look at what’s happening in the housing market today and the economy in general and they ask the question about how this will compare with the Great Recession. There are a lot of big differences between the two. I could write pages on that subject alone but today I’ll focus on one thing, the equity position of many homeowners. the last run up in prices in the early 2000s was largely fueled by lax lending standards and there were many homeowners who had little or no equity in their properties when the market went south. This slide shows the number of people who are in forbearance and what their Equity positions are. as you can see the large majority, 77% of them, have 20% equity or more. This is a very different position then many of the homeowners were in 2008 and 2009. Most homeowners today could still sell their homes at present prices and walk away with money.
Of course no one can predict the future, well maybe she can 🙂 We’ll all have to wait and see how things play out. But I think there’s some reassurance to be had in this information. If you’ve got any questions, or would like to see some more geeky slides, please feel free to reach out!
More and more economists are predicting a recession is imminent as the result of the pullback in the economy caused by COVID-19. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:
“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”
Bill McBride, the founder of Calculated Risk, believes we are already in a recession:
“With the sudden economic stop, and with many states shutting down by closing down schools, bars and restaurants…my view is the US economy is now in a recession (started in March 2020), and GDP will decline sharply in Q2. The length of the recession will depend on the course of the pandemic.”
How deep will it go?
No one knows for sure. It depends on how long it takes to beat this virus. Goldman Sachsanticipates we will see a difficult first half of the year, but the economy will recover in the second half (see below):This aligns with the projection from Wells Fargo Investment Institute:
“Once the virus infection rate peaks, we expect a recovery to gain momentum into the final quarter of the year and especially into 2021.”
Again, no one knows for sure how long the pandemic will last. The hope is that it will resolve sometime over the next several months. Most agree that when it does, the economy will regain its strength quickly.
This virus is not only impacting the physical health of Americans, but also the financial health of the nation. The sooner we beat it, the sooner our lives will return to normal.
Earlier this month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released a special study titled Single-Family Home Price Gains by Years of Tenure. The study estimates median home price appreciation over the last 30 years based on the length of homeownership.
Below are three graphs depicting the most important data revealed in the study.
How much have home prices increased?
One of the first measures of the financial benefits of homeownership is the net worth (in the form of equity) an owner can build over time. The study showed the average increase in home values based on how long homeowners stayed in a home.
What was the percentage of appreciation?
Another way to look at this is by the percentage increase in value over time, called appreciation:
Was this appreciation consistent throughout the country?
Today, when we think of markets that have done well over the last decade, we have a tendency to think about San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, and other West Coast cities. Though it is true the West Region showed the highest price growth over the last three decades, we can see how every region of the country did quite well in ten-year increments:This data validates the claim that homeownership is great for building wealth. The importance of this information was highlighted in the study’s first sentence:
“Homeownership is an important source of wealth creation, enabling current homeowners and succeeding generations to move up the economic ladder.”
Homeownership has many financial and non-financial benefits. The accumulation of “housing wealth” through increased equity is a major one. If you’re thinking of buying a home for the first time or moving up to your dream home, the sooner you make the move, the sooner your net worth will begin to grow.
These 2020 Real Estate Projections May Surprise You
First, I’d like to say Happy New Year! I hope that 2020 will be a wonderful year, and the beginning of a great decade, for all of us!
Now that 2020 is here, I’d like to take a few minutes to try and get a sense of which way things might go with the real estate market. This will be an interesting year for residential real estate. With a presidential election taking place this fall and talk of a possible recession occurring before the end of the year, predicting what will happen in the 2020 U.S. housing market can be challenging. I’ve always found my crystal ball to be a bit cloudy, so I’ve dug in and found some thoughts from some of the big names in the national real estate space about, mortgage rates, home sales, and home prices. Read on to get the scoop!
Projections from the experts at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac all forecast mortgage rates remaining stable throughout 2020:Since rates have remained under 5% for the last decade, we may not fully realize the opportunity we have right now.
Here are the average mortgage interest rates over the last several decades:
I got my first mortgage back in the late 1980’s and the rate was 12%, which was lower than it had been for quite a while and I remember doing my first refi when rates dropped to 10%. I thought that was such a bargain!!
Three of the four expert groups noted above also predict an increase in home sales in 2020, and the fourth sees the transaction number remaining stable:With mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, demand should not be a challenge. The lack of available inventory, however, may moderate the increase in sales.
Below are the projections from six different expert entities that look closely at home values: CoreLogic, Fannie Mae, Ivy Zelman’s “Z Report”, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).Each group has home values continuing to improve through 2020, with four of them seeing price appreciation increasing at a greater pace than it did in 2019.
Is a Recession Possible?
In early 2019, a large percentage of economists began predicting that a recession might occur in 2020. In addition, a recent survey of potential home purchasers showed that over 50% agreed it would occur this year. The economy, however, remained strong in the fourth quarter, and that has caused many to rethink the possibility.
“Markets sounded the recession alarm this year, and the average forecaster now sees a 33% chance of recession over the next year. In contrast, our new recession model suggests just a 20% probability. Despite the record age of the expansion, the usual late-cycle problems—inflationary overheating and financial imbalances—do not look threatening.”
Mortgage rates are projected to remain under 4%, causing sales to increase in 2020. With growing demand and a limited supply of inventory, prices will continue to appreciate, while the threat of an impending recession seems to be softening. It looks like 2020 may be a solid year for the real estate market overall. If you’d like to have a peek at what’s happening in your neighborhood, or a place that you want to move, let me know. I’m happy to put together some local data for you.
Why Are Many Americans Choosing to Live in a Multigenerational Household?
The benefits to multigenerational living are significant. According to Toll Brothers,
“In recent years, there’s been a steady rise in the number of multigenerational homes in America. Homeowners and their families are discovering new ways to get the most out of home with choices that fit the many facets of their lives.”
The piece continues to explain the top 5 benefits of multigenerational living. Here is the list, and a small excerpt from their article:
1. Shared Expenses
“…Maintaining two households is undeniably costlier and more rigorous than sharing the responsibilities of one. By bringing family members and resources together under one roof, families can collectively address their expenses and allocate finances accordingly.”
2. Shared Responsibilities
“Distributing chores and age-appropriate responsibilities amongst family members is a tremendous way of ensuring that everyone does their part. For younger, more able-bodied members, physical work such as mowing the lawn or moving furniture is a nice trade-off so that the older generation can focus on less physically demanding tasks.”
3. Strengthened Family Bond
“While most families come together on special occasions, multigenerational families have the luxury of seeing each other every day. By living under one roof, these families develop a high level of attachment and closeness.”
4. Ensured Family Safety
“With multiple generations under one roof, a home is rarely ever left unoccupied for long, and living with other family members increases the chances that someone is present to assist elderly family members should they have an accident.”
“One of the primary trepidations families face when shifting their lifestyle is the fear of losing privacy. With so many heads under one roof, it can feel like there’s no place to turn for solitude. Yet, these floor plans are designed to ensure that every family member can have quiet time… [and] allow for complete separation between the generations within the household.”
The trend of multigenerational living is growing, and the benefits to families who choose this option are significant. If you’re considering a multigenerational home, let’s get together to discuss the options available in our area.
No one knows for sure when the next recession will occur. What is known, however, is that the upcoming economic slowdown will not be caused by a housing market crash, as was the case in 2008. There are those who disagree and are comparing today’s real estate market to the market in 2005-2006, which preceded the crash. In many ways, however, the market is very different now. Here are three suppositions being put forward by some, and why I think they don’t hold up.
A critical warning sign last time was the surging gap between the growth in home prices and household income. Today, home values have also outpaced wage gains. As in 2006, a lack of affordability will kill the market.
The “gap” between wages and home price growth has existed since 2012. If that is a sign of a recession, why didn’t we have one sometime in the last seven years? Also, a buyer’s purchasing power is MUCH GREATER today than it was thirteen years ago. The equation to determine affordability has three elements: home prices, wages, AND MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES. Today, the 30 year fixed mortgage rate is about 3.5% versus 6.41% in 2006.
In 2018, as in 2005, housing-price growth began slowing, with significant price drops occurring in some major markets. Look at Manhattan where home prices are in a “near free-fall.”
The only major market showing true depreciation is Seattle, and it looks like home values in that city are about to reverse and start appreciating again. CoreLogic is projecting home price appreciation to reaccelerate across the country over the next twelve months.
Regarding Manhattan, home prices are dropping because the city’s new “mansion tax” is sapping demand. Additionally, the new federal tax code that went into effect last year continues to impact the market, capping deductions for state and local taxes, known as SALT, at $10,000. That had the effect of making it more expensive to own homes in states like New York.
Prices will crash because that is what happened during the last recession.
It is true that home values sank by almost 20% during the 2008 recession. However, it is also true that in the four previous recessions, home values depreciated only once (by less than 2%). In the other three, residential real estate values increased by 3.5%, 6.1%, and 6.6%.
Price is determined by supply and demand. In 2008, there was an overabundance of housing inventory (a 9-month supply). Today, housing inventory is less than half of that (a 4-month supply).
We need to realize that today’s real estate market is nothing like the 2008 market. Therefore, when a recession occurs, it won’t resemble the last one.
If you’ve wondered what’s the difference between a split level and a split foyer, then you’ve come to the right place, ‘cause that’s what we’re talking about today and we’re starting right now.
My name is Harry Moore and I’m a 25-year veteran real estate agent in the Washington DC Metro Area. If you’d like to see my YouTube video on this, click the image below. If you are interested in seeing the content of these blog posts in video format, please subscribe to my channel!
Right now, I’ll take on another pair of real estate terms that seem to regularly confuse people, split level vs. split foyer houses. Both designs were mostly built in the mid 1950’s through the late 1960’s. They have different names in other parts of the country. In some areas split levels are called “ tri-levels” and Split Foyers are called Raised Ranchers.
In a split level house you usually have two sections of the house , one rectangular and one square. They normally have 3-4 levels, but you’ll sometimes see 5 and I’ve even seen 6 level splits a few times. You’ll generally walk in on the main level, with the living rm Dining room and kitchen on that level, then immediately to one side are two short sets of stairs, one that goes up to the bedrooms and one that goes down to the family room, other bedrooms and utility space. Often there is another level down which is a full below grade basement.
A split foyer is usually a 2 level rectangularly shaped house with the entry door and small foyer between the two levels of living space. So immediately when you walk in you’ll either go up to the living/dining/ kitchen and most of the bedrooms or down to family room, other bedrooms and utility space.
If you’re interested in other mid century style houses (like bilevels or maybe ramblers) reach out, my contact information is below, and I’ll set up a custom search for you.
My name is Harry Moore and I want to say thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you know someone, maybe a friend or neighbor, who might benefit from this information, please share this link with them. Make it a great day!
You’re wondering what’s happening with Kensington Maryland Real Estate these days, you’ve come to the right place, ‘cause that’s what we’re talking about today. My name is Harry Moore and I’m a full time veteran real estate agent in the Washington DC Metro Area. If you’d like to see this in video format please click the image below!
I’ve been out previewing a few houses on my way to the office, including this new listing at 11410 Soward Drive in Kensington. It’s a fixer upper in Kensington Knolls that backs to woods so the view out the back is really nice. If you’re interested in seeing the interior pictures, click on the image below and check it out, and if you’d like to arrange a showing, my contact information is below.
One of the questions that I get all of the time is “ hows the market”? If you’re curious about what’s going on with Kensington Maryland home sales, then stick around for the next few minutes for an up to the minute snapshot of the Kensington Maryland Real Estate Market. So let’s get going!
First we’ll look at the current numbers for July and the year to date numbers
This year- 16
New listings are down 47%
Total Active listings
Total active listings are down 40%
Under contract properties are down 33%If you are getting your updates from Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com or any of the other portal sites then many of the listings you are seeing may not even be available.
If you want up to the minute data, then contact your agent and have them set up an update for you that’s coming directly from the Multiple Listing Service, it’s the primary source that feeds all of the portal sites, why not get it direct?
Another benefit of a direct MLS search, is that you can see coming soon listings, so if you want to know about listings when they are being “pre-marketed” on the MLS then you’ll need to have your agent set that up for you.
Now let’s take a quick look at the Year To Date numbers
Number of sold properties
Average Sales Price
Average Days on Market
If you’ve got a house on the market and it’s not selling, maybe it’s been on the market for longer than 51days and you’d like to figure out how to get your house sold, then check out my video about the 4 things you need to do to get your house that’s already on the market sold.
There’s another number that I like to watch, the properties that failed to sell. In August, 12 properties failed to sell. Although some of those probably came back on the market, it reminds us that, even in a strong seller’s market, not every house sells.
2 other numbers that I keep an eye on are the absorption rate and the list to sell ratio.
What’s absorption rate? -Take the average number of sales over the past 12 months and divide that into the active properties, that tells you how long it’d take for all of the houses in your market to sell if nothing else came on the market. By using a 12 month average that takes seasonal market cycles into account .
If you know the number of months of inventory that helps to determine what sort of market you are in.
0-4 months is a sellers market
4-6 is a transitional market
6+ is a buyers market
Kensington had 1.12 months of inventory at the end of August, that’s down from 1.29 months at the end of July. Part of that is seasonal, August is the end of the spring and summer season, and lots of people are at the beach, or wherever they go to get away.
How much the average home sells for as a percentage of the asking price. This is another good indicator of what sort of market you are in. Higher list to sell ratio means a sellers market. A lower ratio points to a buyers market. The list to sell ratio for August was 97.9%.
What does this all mean??
The big news is that the shelves are pretty bare. Inventory continues to sink, 1.12 months of inventory is the lowest number since March of 2018. Demand has remained strong, with average days on market dropping year over year. The gap in average sales price Year over Year from 2018 has narrowed substantially. Prices were actually down a bit over July, but still are well above the numbers last year. So, it’s a good time to sell. If you know anyone who’s thinking about selling, I’d appreciate the opportunity to speak with them about how I can help them to capitalize on this strong seller’s market.
This is all big picture data, which is good to have, but real estate is very local, and you can see big variations in the market based on price range and specific location. If you’re thinking about getting into the market, either as a buyer or a seller and would like a detailed neighborhood-specific analysis my contact information is below, just reach out and I’ll get right back to you.
If you know someone, maybe a friend or neighbor, who might benefit from this information, please share this article with them. Make it a great day!
My name is Harry Moore and I’m a realtor in the Washington DC Metro Area. If you’ve got a house on the market and it’s not selling, maybe it’s been on the market for a while and you’re starting to get nervous, then it’s time for you to take a look at what needs to be done to get your house sold.
If you’d like to see this in video format, please click the image below!
There are four things that sell homes- location, condition, presentation and price. Let’s go through each of them and examine how they affect the ability to sell your house.
Location- Not much to do here, unless you’re going to pick the house up and move it, but make sure that when you’re looking at the competition and what’s going on in the market that you’re focused on properties in comparable locations.
Condition- You really need to take a good hard look at how your house will look to someone who’s never seen it before. Take off your seller glasses and put on your buyer glasses.
It’s human nature to get used to the “quirks” of your house when you see them every day, but buyers have fresh eyes, and they’ll react very differently.
Once you’ve taken a survey of the condition of the house with your buyer’s eyes, then put together a list of things that need to be addressed. Think about your budget and how much time you have to get these things done.
Now, take a look at the competition.
Take a look at other properties that are on the market right now that buyers are looking at and comparing to yours, and see how your house stacks up.
Remember those seller glasses, take ‘em off!!
You can view a lot of your competition online, but it’s even better if you contact your agent and go look at some of them in person.
Once you’ve put together your list of condition items and done a survey of the competition, then you can decide what needs to be done to make sure your house is putting it’s best foot forward.
Have a frank conversation with your agent about the pros and cons of the different alternatives and put together a plan that makes sense for you.
Next, take a look at the presentation of your property. Does your listing have professional photographs? Has the property been staged to show it’s best? Is there a 3D and or video tour available?
I am a big fan of Matterport 3D tours. I think they are a great way for people to get a really good sense of your house and how everything fits together. You can start with the “dollhouse” view so that you know where everything fits together, and then zoom in to the individual rooms and walk around.
Next, what sort of social media marketing campaign is being used? How does your listing appear on the portal sites? Is it the same as what’s showing up on the MLS? Sometimes it isn’t and that may need to be fixed.
Once you’ve addressed condition and presentation and made adjustments, then take a good hard look at the price.
It’s not a conversation that anyone looks forward to, but it’s an important one to have. The market moves quickly, and you don’t want to be left behind.
Have your agent gather the current market data, and set up a time to review it with ‘em. Think about your goals, why you are selling your home, and focus on what needs to be done to move you towards that.
So now you’ve learned the 4 things that you need to review address if your house isn’t selling.
My name is Harry Moore and I want to say thank you for taking the time to read this post.
If you know someone, maybe a friend or neighbor, who might benefit from this information, please share this article with them. Make it a great day!