If you read certain headlines, you might be led to believe that the housing recovery has come to a screeching halt. Naysayers are claiming that the threat of rising mortgage rates and a lack of consumer confidence are keeping Americans on the fence when it comes to purchasing real estate. That is actually far from reality.
After all 13,397 houses sold yesterday, 13,397 will sell today and 13,397 will sell tomorrow.
That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. According to the report, annualized sales now stand at 4.59 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 13,000 homes sell every day.
If you are considering whether or not to put your house up for sale, don’t let the headlines scare you. There are purchasers in the market and they are buying – to the tune of 13,397 homes a day.
Thank you to KCM Blog for the post.
New reports are revealing that the number of months’ inventory of existing homes available for sale is increasing. Some of these sellers are moving up, some are downsizing and others are making a lateral move.
There is no way for us to predict the future but we can look at what happened over the last year. Let’s look at buyers that considered moving up last year but decided to wait instead.
Assume, last year, they had a home worth $300,000 and were looking at a home for $450,000 (putting 10% down they would get a mortgage of $405,000). By waiting, their house appreciated by approximately 10% over the last year (national average based on the Case Shiller Pricing Index). Their home would now be worth $330,000. But, the $450,000 home would now be worth $495,000 (requiring a mortgage of $420,000 assuming the original $45,000 down plus the additional $30,000 from the sale of their home).
Here is a table showing what the difference in monthly cost (principal and interest) would be if a purchaser had waited:
3 dollars and 27 cents. . Was it worth waiting a year to move up to the home of your dreams? Only you can answer that question.
We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. The last two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now may be the best time to sell your house. Let’s look at the data covered by the latest Pending Home Sales Report and Existing Home Sales Report.
THE PENDING HOME SALES REPORT
The report announced that pending home sales (homes going into contract) “surged” by 6.1%. The increase was “the largest month-over-month gain since April 2010, when first-time home buyers rushed to sign purchase contracts before a popular tax credit program ended”. Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, expects improving home sales throughout the rest of the year: “Sales should exceed an annual pace of five million homes in some of the upcoming months behind favorable mortgage rates, more inventory and improved job creation.” Takeaway: Demand is beginning to increase dramatically compared to earlier in the year.
THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT
The most important data point revealed in the report was not sales but instead the inventory of homes on the market (supply). The report explained:
Total housing inventory climbed 2.2% to 2.28 million homes available for sale
That represents a 5.6-month supply at the current sales pace
Unsold inventory is 6.0% higher than a year ago
There were two more interesting comments made by Yun in the report:
- “Rising inventory bodes well for slower price growth and greater affordability, but the amount of homes for sale is still modestly below a balanced market.”
- In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies. When there is less than 6 months inventory available, we are in a sellers’ market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than 7 months inventory means we are in a buyers’ market and should expect depreciation in home values. As Yun notes, we are currently in a sellers’ market (prices still increasing) but are headed to a neutral market.
- “New home construction is still needed to keep prices and housing supply healthy in the long run.”
- As new construction begins to be built, there will be increased downward pressure on the prices of existing homes on the market.
Supply is about to increase significantly. The supply of existing homes is already increasing and the number of newly constructed homes is about to increase.
Thank you to KCM Blog for the post.
There has been a lot written about how buying a home is less expensive than renting one in most parts of the country. Rents are skyrocketing and homes are still at great prices. These two situations are also causing some sellers to consider renting their home instead of selling it. After all, a homeowner can get great rental income now and perhaps wait until house values increase even further before selling.
This logic makes sense in some cases. There is a strong belief that residential real estate is a great investment right now. However, if you have no desire to actually become an educated investor in this sector, you may be headed for more trouble than you were looking for.
Before renting your home, you should answer the following questions to make sure this is the right course of action for you and your family.
10 Questions to ask BEFORE renting your home
- How will you respond if your tenant says they canâ€™t afford to pay the rent this month because of more pressing obligations? (This happens most often during holiday season and back-to-school time when families with children have extra expenses).
- Because of the economy, many homeowners cannot make their mortgage payment. What percentage of tenants do you think cannot afford to pay their rent?
- Have you interviewed experienced eviction attorneys in case a challenge does arise?
- Have you talked to your insurance company about a possible increase in premiums as liability is greater in a non-owner occupied home?
- Will you allow pets? Cats? Dogs? How big a dog?
- How will you actually collect the rent? By mail? In person?
- Repairs are part of being a landlord. Who will take tenant calls when necessary repairs come up?
- Do you have a list of craftspeople readily available to handle these repairs?
- How often will you do a physical inspection of the property?
- Will you alert your current neighbors that you are renting the house?
Again, renting out residential real estate is historically a great investment. However, it is not without its challenges. Make sure you have decided to rent the house because you want to be an investor, not because you are hoping to get a few extra dollars by postponing a sale.