We all learned in school that when selling anything, you will get the most money if the demand for that item is high and the inventory of that item is low. It is the well-known Theory of Supply & Demand.
If you are thinking of selling your home, here are two graphs that strongly suggest that the time is now. Here is why…
According to research at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer activity last month (January) was three times greater than it was last January. Purchasers who are ready, willing and able to buy are in the market at great numbers.
The most recent Existing Home Sales Report from NAR revealed that the months’ supply of housing inventory had fallen to 4.4 months which is the lowest it has been in over a year.
Listing your house for sale when demand is high and supply is low will guarantee the offers made will truly reflect the true value of your property.
The Census recently released their 2014 Homeownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of homeownership.
Easy… Chicken Little
The national homeownership rate peaked in 2004, representing a 69.2% of Americans who bought vs. rented their primary residence. Many have noticed a decline in rate since then and taken that as a bad sign.
However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to the historic norm. 2014 ended the year with a rate of 64% just under the rate in 1985 and 1995.
With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, evaluate your ability to purchase a home with a local real estate professional.
With inventory presently below historically normal levels, current & future home prices have been the topic of many real estate conversations. The most recent Home Price Expectation Survey was just released; giving insight into where experts believe prices will be leading up to 2019.
Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where prices are headed over the next five years. They then average the projections of all 100+ experts into a single number.
Here are some highlights from their latest survey:
- Home values will appreciate by 4.4% in 2015.
- The cumulative appreciation will be 19.3% by 2019.
- That means the average annual appreciation will be 3.6% over the next 5 years.
- Even the experts making up the most bearish quartile of the survey still are projecting a cumulative appreciation of 11.7% by 2019.
Individual opinions make headlines. We believe the survey is a fairer depiction of future values.
Many believed that when the housing market crashed, so too would the desire of American’s to own a home again. Many reports have shown that, especially among younger generations, the American Dream of homeownership is still very much alive.
Julián Castro, Secretary for HUD, recently summed up what it means to own a home in a speech at the National Press Club.
“Homeownership is still the cornerstone of the American Dream — a fact you can see in the lives of everyday folks.
It’s a source of pride. It’s a source of wealth, providing both a nest and a nest egg. And it strengthens communities and fuels growth in the overall economy.”
Castro appropriately named his speech, “2015: A Year of Housing Opportunity”, a theme that rang true throughout.
“Opportunity is not an abstract concept – it’s a path to a more prosperous life, and housing often serves as its foundation. T.S. Elliot once said that “home is where one starts from.”
“A home is often a primary source of wealth in a family… Having a home is generational way to pass that wealth on. We want people responsible enough to own a home to have that opportunity.”
“Over the years-through decades of economic downturns and wars-the American people have always held on to this Dream, and always will.”
As the economy continues to improve, more and more Americans will qualify for homeownership, allowing more families to obtain the American Dream.
There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s.
As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:
“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”
Also, if you purchase with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, your ‘housing expense’ is locked in over the thirty years for the most part. If you rent, the one guarantee you will have is that your rent will increase over that same thirty year time period.
As an owner, the mortgage payment is a ‘forced savings’ which will allow you to have equity in your home you can tap into later in your life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.
Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting since home values and interest rates are still lower than projected.
According to the latest CoreLogic National Foreclosure Report, “approximately 552,000 homes in the US were in some state of foreclosure as of December 2014”. This figure is down 34.3% from the 840,000 homes in December of 2013. December marked the 38th consecutive month in which there were year-over-year declines.
Anand Nallathambl, the President and CEO of CoreLogic, is hopeful for the future, saying:
“At current foreclosure rates, we expect to see the foreclosure inventory in the U.S. drop below 500,000 homes sometime in the first quarter of 2015 which would be another milestone in the healing of the housing market.”
The map below shows the percentage of foreclosure inventory in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. Thirty-six states have inventory below the national rate of 1.4% and can be seen in two shades of green.
Even though some states have not recovered completely from the foreclosure crisis, the nation as a whole is on the right track as inventory decreases.