Friday, September 8, 2023 / by Stan Rector
Even though activity in the housing market has slowed from the frenzy that was the ‘unicorn’ years, it’s still a seller’s market because the supply of homes for sale is so low. But what does that really mean for you? And why are conditions today so good if you want to sell your house?
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still astonishingly low. Housing inventory is measured by the number of available homes on the market. It’s also measured by months’ supply, meaning the number of months it would take to sell all those available homes based on current demand. In a balanced market, there’s usually about a six-month supply. Today, we have only about 3 months’ supply of homes at the current sales pace (see graph below):
As the visual shows, given the current inventory of homes, it’s still a . ...
Thursday, August 31, 2023 / by Stan Rector
Have you ever wondered how inflation impacts the housing market? Believe it or not, they’re connected. Whenever there are changes to one, both are affected. Here’s a high-level overview of the connection between the two.
The Relationship Between Housing Inflation and Overall Inflation
Shelter inflation is the measure of price growth specific to housing. It comes from a survey of renters and homeowners that’s done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The survey asks renters how much they’re paying in rent, and homeowners how much they’d rent their homes for, if they weren’t living in them.
Much like overall inflation measures the cost of everyday items, shelter inflation measures the cost of housing. And for four consecutive months, based on that survey, shelter inflation has been coming down (see graph below):
Why does this matter? Well, shelter inflation makes up about one-third of overall inf. ...
Friday, August 25, 2023 / by Stan Rector
If you’re trying to decide if you’re ready to buy a home, there’s probably a lot on your mind. You’re thinking about your finances, today’s mortgage rates and home prices, the limited supply of homes for sale, and more. And, you’re juggling how all of those things will impact the choice you’ll make.
While housing market conditions are definitely a factor in your decision, your own life and your finances may be even more important. As an article from NerdWallet says:
“Housing market trends give important context. But whether this is a good time to buy a house also depends on your financial situation, life goals and readiness to become a homeowner.”
Instead of trying to time the market, it may help to focus on what you can control. Here are a few questions that can give you clarity on whether you’re ready to make your move.
1. Do You Have a Stable Job?
One thing to consider. ...
Thursday, August 17, 2023 / by Stan Rector
Plenty of people are still moving these days. And if you’re thinking of making a move yourself, you may be considering the inventory and affordability challenges in the housing market and wondering what you can do to help offset those. A new report from Gravy Analytics provides insight into where people are searching for homes and what they’re prioritizing most right now. That information could help you plan your own move.
1. People Are Moving to Cities with Lower Housing Costs
One big factor motivating where buyers are going is affordability and that’s no big surprise. People are relocating to areas that have less expensive housing options. As a result, small cities are thriving. Hannah Jones, Economics Data Analyst at Realtor.com, summarizes why:
“Affordability is still very much front and center . . . a lot of what’s available is outside of the price range of many buyers. . .. ...
Friday, August 11, 2023 / by Stan Rector
If you’re a homeowner, odds are your equity has grown significantly over the last few years. Equity builds over time as home values grow and as you pay down your home loan. And, since home prices skyrocketed during the ‘unicorn’ years, you’ve likely gained more than you think.
According to the latest Equity Insights Report from CoreLogic, the average homeowner has more than $274,000 in equity right now. That much equity can help you achieve certain goals. In a recent article, Bankrate elaborates:
“While the pandemic created serious challenges, the silver lining for anyone who owned a home was the sizable equity gain. Understanding how home equity works, and how to leverage it, is important for any homeowner.”
Here are a few examples of how you can put your home equity to work for you.
1. Buy a Home That Fits Your Needs
If your current space no longer meets your needs, it might be t. ...