Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Nov. 27, 2022

Mortgage Rates Will Come Down, It’s Just a Matter of Time


This past year, rising mortgage rates have slowed the
red-hot housing market. Over the past nine months, we’ve seen fewer homes sold
than the previous month as home price growth has slowed. All of this is due to
the fact that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate has doubled this year, severely
limiting homebuying power for consumers. And, this month, the average rate for
financing a home briefly rose over 7% before coming back down into the high 6%
range. But we’re starting to see a hint of what mortgage interest rates could
look like next year.

Inflation Is the Enemy of Long-Term Interest Rates

As long as inflation is high, we’ll see higher mortgage
rates. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen indications that inflation may
be cooling, giving us a glimpse into what may happen in the future. The
mortgage market is eagerly awaiting positive news on inflation. As Ali Wolf,
Chief Economist at Zonda, says:

“The housing market is expected to face continued
uncertainty heading into 2023 as consumers, financial markets, and policymakers
work through their respective challenges in today’s economy. . . . we are
watching for any additional stability in the MBS market, signs of cooling
inflation, and/or less aggressive Federal Reserve action to give us confidence
that mortgage rates are past their peak.”

What Does This Mean for the Future of Mortgage Rates?

As we get through the inflation battle and start to see that
coming down, we should expect mortgage rates to follow. We’ve seen nods of this
over the past couple of weeks. As the Federal Reserve works to bring inflation
down, mortgage rates will come down as well. Bill McBride from Calculated Risk

“My current view is inflation will ease quicker than the
Fed currently expects.”

As we look toward next year, we certainly hope he’s right.

Bottom Line

Mortgage rates will come down – it’s just a matter of time.
The hope is we continue to see more positive news on inflation, and that’ll
bring mortgage rates down. This will give prospective homebuyers more buying
power and lead to more homeowners throughout the country.



Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

Posted in Mortgage Rates
Nov. 14, 2022

Key Factors Affecting Home Affordability Today

Every time there’s a news segment about the housing market,
we hear about the affordability challenges buyers are facing today. Those
headlines are focused on how much mortgage rates have climbed this year. And
while it’s true rates have risen dramatically, it’s important to remember they
aren’t the only factor in the affordability equation.

Here are three measures used to establish home
affordability: home prices, mortgage rates, and wages. Let’s look closely at
each one.

1. Mortgage Rates

This is the factor most people are focused on when they talk
about homebuying conditions today. So far, current rates are almost four full
percentage points higher than they were at the beginning of the year. As Len
Kiefer, Deputy Chief Economist at Freddie Mac, explains:

“U.S. 30-year fixed mortgage rates have increased 3.83
percentage points since the end of last year. That’s the biggest year-to-date
increase in rates in over 50 years.”

That increase in mortgage rates is impacting how much it
costs to finance a home purchase, creating a challenge for many buyers that’s
pricing some out of the market. While the current global uncertainty makes it
difficult to project where mortgage rates will go in the future, experts do say
that rates will likely remain high as long as inflation does.

2. Home Prices

The second factor at play is home prices. Home prices have
made headlines over the past few years because they skyrocketed during the
pandemic. Now, the most recent Home Price Index from S&P Case-Shiller shows
home values continued to decelerate for a fifth consecutive month (shown in
green in the graph below):


This deceleration is happening because higher mortgage rates
are moderating demand, and as a result, easing the buyer competition and
bidding wars that previously drove prices up.

What’s worth noting though, is how much higher home prices
still are than they were before the pandemic (shown in blue in the graph
above). Even now, we have a long way to go to get to more normal levels of home
price appreciation, which is historically closer to 4%. When both mortgage
rates and home prices are high, affordability and your purchasing power become
a greater challenge.

But while prices are still elevated in many markets, some
areas are seeing slight declines. It all depends on your local market. For
insight into what’s happening in your area, reach out to a trusted real estate

3. Wages

The one big, positive component in the affordability equation
is the increase in American wages. The graph below uses data from the Bureau of
Labor Statistics (BLS) to show how wages have grown over time. This year is no


As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports:

“Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 120.2 million
full-time wage and salary workers were $1,070 in the third quarter of 2022 (not
seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported…This was 6.9
percent higher than a year earlier…”

So, when you think about affordability, remember the full
picture includes more than just mortgage rates. Home prices and wages need to
be factored in as well. Because wages have been rising, they’re a big reason
why serious buyers are still purchasing homes this year.

If you have questions or want to learn more, reach out to a
trusted advisor who can explain how all of these variables work together and
what’s happening in your area. As Leslie Rouda Smith, President of the National
Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“Buying or selling a home involves a series of
requirements and variables, and it’s important to have someone in your corner
from start to finish to make the process as smooth as possible… and objectivity
to deliver trusted expertise to consumers in every U.S. ZIP code.”

Bottom Line

To learn more, let’s connect today and make sure you have a
trusted lender so you’re able to make an informed decision if you’re planning
to buy or sell a home right now.



Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

Posted in Home Prices
Nov. 10, 2022

The Majority of Americans Still View Homeownership as the American Dream

Buying a home is a powerful decision, and it remains a key
part of the American Dream. In fact, the 2022 Consumer Insights Report from
Mynd found the majority of people polled still view homeownership as a key life
achievement. Let’s explore just a few of the reasons why so many Americans
continue to value homeownership.

The Financial Benefits of Owning a Home

One possible reason homeownership is viewed so highly is
because owning a home is a significant wealth-building tool, and it provides
meaningful financial stability over renting by locking in your monthly housing
payments for the length of your home loan. An article from Forbes explains:

“Understanding the potential benefits of homeownership
helps individuals see the value of owning property instead of renting. . . .
household wealth among homeowners is a whopping 1,469% higher on average
compared to renters, excluding home equity, making the allure of homeownership
even more enticing.”

Over time, owning a home not only helps boost your own net
worth, but it also sets future generations up for success as you pass that
wealth down. That may be why the Mynd report also says:

“Most Americans (78%) still associate homeownership with
the ‘American dream.’ And nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) see
homeownership as a means of building intergenerational wealth.”

The Non-Financial Benefits of Homeownership

While the financial benefits of owning a home are important,
becoming a homeowner impacts you on a social and emotional level, too. As Mark
Fleming, Chief Economist for First American, says:

“. . . buying a home is not just a financial decision.
It’s also a lifestyle decision.”

Your home provides feelings of achievement, responsibility,
and more. 3by30 highlights the top 10 benefits homeowners enjoy. A few
non-financial advantages include:

Providing you with more freedom and control over
your living space

Giving you a greater sense of pride

Helps with community engagement

What Does That Mean for You?

If your definition of the American Dream involves greater
freedom and prosperity, then homeownership could play a major role in helping
you achieve that dream. While it may feel challenging to buy a home today as
mortgage rates and home prices rise, if the time is right for you, know that
there are incredible benefits waiting for you at the end of your journey.
You’ll have a place you can grow your wealth, call your own, and feel most

Like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) says:


“. . . research has consistently shown that homeownership
is also associated with multiple economic and social benefits to individual
homeowners. Homeownership has always been an important way to build wealth.”

Bottom Line

Buying a home is a powerful decision and a key part of the
long-term dream for many Americans. And if homeownership is part of your dreams
this year, let’s connect to start the process today



Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

Posted in HOmeownership
Nov. 7, 2022

Home Equity: A Source of Strength for Homeowners Today


Experts agree there’s no chance of a large-scale foreclosure
crisis like we saw back in 2008, and that’s good news for the housing market.
As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:

“. . . don’t expect a housing bust like the mid-2000s, as
lending standards in this housing cycle have been much tighter and homeowners
have historically high levels of home equity, so there likely won’t be a surge
in foreclosures.”

Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) helps tell
this story. It shows the overall percentage of homeowners at risk is decreasing
significantly with time (see graph below):


But even though the volume of homeowners at risk is very
low, there is still a small percentage of homeowners who may be coming face to
face with foreclosure as a possibility today. If you’re facing difficulties
yourself, it can help to understand your options. It starts with knowing what
foreclosure is. Investopedia defines it like this:

“Typically, default is triggered when a borrower misses a
specific number of monthly payments . . . Foreclosure is the legal process by
which a lender attempts to recover the amount owed on a defaulted loan by
taking ownership of and selling the mortgaged property.”

The good news is there are alternatives available to help
you avoid going through the foreclosure process, including:


Loan modification

Deed-in-lieu of foreclosure

Short sale

But before you go down any of those paths, it’s worth seeing
if you have enough equity in your home to sell it and protect your investment.

You May Be Able To Use Your Equity To Sell Your House

Equity is the difference between what you owe on the home
and its market value based on factors like price appreciation.

In today’s real estate market, many homeowners have far more
equity in their homes than they realize due to the home price appreciation
we’ve seen over the past few years. According to CoreLogic:

“The total average equity per borrower has now reached
almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.”

So, what does that mean for you?

If you’ve lived in your house for at least a few years or
more, chances are your home’s value, and your equity, has risen dramatically.
In addition, the mortgage payments you’ve made during that time chipped away at
the balance of your loan. If your home’s current value is higher than what you
still owe on your loan, you may be able to use that increase to your advantage.

Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM
Data, explains how equity can help:

“Very few of the properties entering the foreclosure
process have reverted to the lender at the end of the foreclosure. . . We
believe that this may be an indication that borrowers are leveraging their
equity and selling their homes rather than risking the loss of their equity in
a foreclosure auction.”

Lean on Experts To Explore Your Options

To find out how much equity you have, work with a local real
estate professional. They can give you an estimate of what your house could
sell for based on recent sales of similar homes in your area. You may be able
to sell your house to avoid foreclosure.

If you find out you have to pursue other options, your agent
can help with that too. They’ll be able to connect you with other professionals
in the industry, like housing counselors, who can look into your unique
situation and offer advice on next steps if selling isn’t your best alternative.

Bottom Line

If you’re a homeowner facing hardship, let’s connect so you
have an expert on your side to explore your options and see if you can sell
your house to avoid foreclosure.



Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters


Posted in Home Equity
Nov. 3, 2022

What’s Ahead for Mortgage Rates and Home Prices?


Now that the end of 2022 is within sight, you may be
wondering what’s going to happen in the housing market next year and what that
may mean if you’re thinking about buying a home. Here’s a look at the latest
expert insights on both mortgage rates and home prices so you can make your
best move possible.

Mortgage Rates Will Continue To Respond to Inflation


There’s no doubt mortgage rates have skyrocketed this year
as the market responded to high inflation. The increases we’ve seen were fast
and dramatic, and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate even surpassed 7% at
the end of last month. In fact, it’s the first time they’ve risen this high in
over 20 years (see graph below):

In their latest quarterly report, Freddie Mac explains just
how fast the climb in rates has been:

“Just one year ago, rates were under 3%. This means that
while mortgage rates are not as high as they were in the 80’s, they have more
than doubled in the past year. Mortgage rates have never doubled in a year

Because we’re in unprecedented territory, it’s hard to say
with certainty where mortgage rates will go from here. Projecting the future of
mortgage rates is far from an exact science, but experts do agree that, moving
forward, mortgage rates will continue to respond to inflation. If inflation
stays high, mortgage rates likely will too.

Home Price Changes Will Vary by Market

As buyer demand has eased this year in response to those
higher mortgage rates, home prices have moderated in many markets too. In terms
of the forecast for next year, expert projections are mixed. The general
consensus is home price appreciation will vary by local market, with more
significant changes happening in overheated areas. As Mark Fleming, Chief
Economist at First American, says:

“House price appreciation has slowed in all 50 markets we
track, but the deceleration is generally more dramatic in areas that
experienced the strongest peak appreciation rates.”

Basically, some areas may still see slight price growth
while others may see slight price declines. It all depends on other factors at
play in that local market, like the balance between supply and demand. This may
be why experts are divided on their latest national forecasts (see graph


Bottom Line

If you want to know what’s happening with home prices or
mortgage rates, let’s connect so you have the latest on what experts are saying
and what that means for our area.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters



Posted in Mortgage Rates
Oct. 28, 2022

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008

image 1

With all the headlines and talk in the media about the shift in the housing market, you might be thinking this is a housing bubble. It’s only natural for those thoughts to creep in that make you think it could be a repeat of what took place in 2008. But the good news is, there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s Still a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to almost 15 years of underbuilding homes.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.2-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.

image 2

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed Back Then

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home.

Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies.

The graph below uses Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In that index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is. In the latest report, the index fell by 5.4%, indicating standards are tightening.

image 3

This graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. Tighter lending standards over the past 14 years have helped prevent a scenario that would lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

Another difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help paint the picture of how different things are this time:

image 4

Not to mention, homeowners today have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Today, many homeowners are equity rich. That equity comes, in large part, from the way home prices have appreciated over time. According to CoreLogic:

“The total average equity per borrower has now reached almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.”

Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Data, explains the impact this has:

“Very few of the properties entering the foreclosure process have reverted to the lender at the end of the foreclosure. . . . We believe that this may be an indication that borrowers are leveraging their equity and selling their homes rather than risking the loss of their equity in a foreclosure auction.”

 This goes to show homeowners are in a completely different position this time. For those facing challenges today, many have the option to use their equity to sell their house and avoid the foreclosure process.

Bottom Line

If you’re concerned we’re making the same mistakes that led to the housing crash, the graphs above should help alleviate your fears. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters

Oct. 27, 2022

What Happens to Housing when There’s a Recession?

image 1Since the 2008 housing bubble burst, the word recession strikes a stronger emotional chord than it ever did before. And while there’s some debate around whether we’re officially in a recession right now, the good news is experts say a recession today would likely be mild and the economy would rebound quickly. As the 2022 CEO Outlook from KPMG says:

“Global CEOs see a ‘mild and short’ recession, yet optimistic about global economy over 3-year horizon . . .

 More than 8 out of 10 anticipate a recession over the next 12 months, with more than half expecting it to be mild and short.”

To add to that sentiment, housing is typically one of the first sectors to rebound during a slowdown. As Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, explains:

“Housing is traditionally one of the first sectors to slow as the economy shifts but is also one of the first to rebound.”

Part of that rebound is tied to what has historically happened to mortgage rates during recessions. Here’s a look back at rates during previous economic slowdowns to help put your mind at ease.

Mortgage Rates Typically Fall During Recessions

Historical data helps paint the picture of how a recession could impact the cost of financing a home. Looking at recessions in this country going all the way back to 1980, the graph below shows each time the economy slowed down mortgage rates decreased.


image 2

Fortune explains mortgage rates typically fall during an economic slowdown:

“Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over.”

While history doesn’t always repeat itself, we can learn from and find comfort in the trends of what’s happened in the past. If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home, you can make the best decision by working with a trusted real estate professional. That way you have expert advice on what a recession could mean for the housing market.

Bottom Line

History shows you don’t need to fear the word recession when it comes to the housing market. If you have questions about what’s happening today, let’s connect so you have expert advice and insights you can trust.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters


Oct. 23, 2022

What’s Ahead for Home Prices?


image 1As the housing market cools in response to the dramatic rise
in mortgage rates, home price appreciation is cooling as well. And if you’re
following along with headlines in the media, you’re probably seeing a wide range
of opinions calling for everything from falling home prices to ongoing
appreciation. But what’s true? What’s most likely to happen moving forward?

While opinions differ, the most likely outcome is we’ll fall
somewhere in the middle of slight appreciation and slight depreciation. Here’s
a look at the latest expert projections so you have the best information
possible today.

What the Experts Are Saying About Home Prices Next Year

The graph below shows the most up-to-date forecasts from
five experts in the housing industry. These are the experts that have most
recently updated their projections based on current market trends:


image 2

As the graph shows, the three blue bars represent experts
calling for ongoing home price appreciation, just at a more moderate rate than
recent years. The red bars on the graph are experts calling for home price

While there isn’t a clear consensus, if you take the average
(shown in green) of all five of these forecasts, the most likely outcome is,
nationally, home price appreciation will be fairly flat next year.

What Does This Mean?

Basically, experts are divided on what’s ahead for 2023.
Home prices will likely depreciate slightly in some markets and will continue
to gain ground in others. It all depends on the conditions in your local
market, like how overheated that market was in recent years, current inventory
levels, buyer demand, and more.

The good news is home prices are expected to return to more
normal levels of appreciation rather quickly. The latest forecast from Wells
Fargo shows that, while they feel prices will fall in 2023, they think prices
will recover and net positive in 2024. That forecast calls for 3.1%
appreciation in 2024, which is a number much more in line with the long-term
average of 4% annual appreciation.

And the Home Price Expectation Survey (HPES) from
Pulsenomics, a poll of over one hundred industry experts, also calls for
ongoing appreciation of roughly 2.6 to 4% from 2024-2026. This goes to show,
even if prices decline slightly next year, it’s not expected to be a lasting

As Jason Lewris, Co-Founder and Chief Data Officer for
Parcl, says:

“In the absence of trustworthy, up-to-date information,
real estate decisions are increasingly being driven by fear, uncertainty, and

Don’t let fear or uncertainty change your plans. If you’re
unsure about where prices are headed or how to make sense of what’s going on in
today’s housing market, reach out to a local real estate professional for the
guidance you need each step of the way.

Bottom Line

The housing market is shifting, and it’s a confusing place
right now. Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional to help
you make confident and informed decisions about what’s happening in our market.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters


Oct. 20, 2022

The Latest on Supply and Demand in Housing

image 1

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.


image 2

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 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.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters    

Oct. 16, 2022

Perspective Matters When Selling Your House Today

image 1

Does the latest news about the housing market have you questioning your plans to sell your house? If so, perspective is key. Here are some of the ways a trusted real estate professional can explain the shift that’s happening today and why it’s still a sellers’ market even during the cooldown.

Fewer Homes for Sale than Pre-Pandemic

While the supply of homes available for sale has increased this year compared to last, we’re still nowhere near what’s considered a balanced market. A recent article from Calculated Risk helps put this year’s increased inventory into context (see graph below):


image 2

It shows supply this year has surpassed 2021 levels by over 30%. But the further back you look, the more you’ll understand the big picture. Compared to 2020, we’re just barely above the level of inventory we saw then. And if you go all the way back to 2019, the last normal year in real estate, we’re roughly 40% below the housing supply we had at that time.

Why does this matter to you? When inventory is low, there is still demand for your house because there just aren’t enough homes available for sale.

Homes Are Still Selling Faster Than More Normal Years

And while homes aren’t selling as quickly as they did a few months ago, the average number of days on the market is still well below pre-pandemic norms – in large part because inventory is so low. The graph below uses data from the Realtors’ Confidence Index by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to illustrate this trend:

image 3

As the graph shows, the pre-pandemic numbers (shown in blue) are higher than the numbers we saw during the pandemic (shown in green). That’s because the average days on the market started to decrease as homes sold at record pace during the pandemic. Most recently, due to the cooldown in the housing market, the average days on the market have started to tick back up slightly (shown in orange) but are still far below the pre-pandemic norm.


What does this mean for you? While it may not be as fast as it was a couple of months ago, homes are still selling much faster than they did in more normal, pre-pandemic years. And if you price it right, your home could still go under contract quickly.

Buyer Demand Has Moderated and Is Now in Line with More Typical Years

Buyer demand has softened this year in response to rising mortgage rates. But again, perspective is key. Getting 3-5 offers like sellers did during the pandemic isn’t the norm. The graph below uses data from NAR going back to 2018 to help tell the story of this shift over time (see graph below):

image 4

Prior to the pandemic, it was typical for homes sold to see roughly 2-2.5 offers (shown in blue). As the market heated up during the pandemic, the average number of offers skyrocketed as record-low mortgage rates drove up demand (shown in green). But most recently, the number of offers on homes sold today (shown in orange) has started to return to pre-pandemic levels as the market cools from the frenzy.

What’s the takeaway for you? Buyer demand has moderated from the pandemic peak, but it hasn’t disappeared. The buyers are still out there, and if you price your house at current market value, you’ll still be able sell your house today.

Bottom Line

If you have questions about selling your house in today’s housing market, let’s connect. That way you have context around what’s happening now, so you’re up to date on what you can expect when you’re ready to move.


Source: Real Estate with Keeping Current Matters