Thursday, July 20, 2023 / by Barbara Oleska
If you’re following the news today, you may feel a bit unsure about what’s happening with home prices and fear whether or not the worst is yet to come. That’s because today’s headlines are painting an unnecessarily negative picture. If we take a year-over-year view, home prices did drop some, but that’s because we’re comparing to a ‘unicorn’ year when prices peaked well beyond the norm.
To avoid an unfair comparison to that previous peak, we need to look at monthly data. And that tells a very different and much more positive story. While local home price trends still vary by market, here’s what the national data tells us.
The graphs below use recent monthly reports from three sources to show the worst home price declines are already behind us, and prices are appreciating nationally.
Looking at this monthly view, we can see the past year in the hous. ...
Thursday, July 13, 2023 / by Barbara Oleska
Do you want to sell your house, but hesitate because you’re worried you won’t be able to find your next home in today’s market? You're not alone, but there’s some good news that may ease your worries. New home construction is up and is becoming an increasingly significant part of the housing inventory.
That means when you go to put your house on the market this summer, considering newly built homes is crucial for expanding the options you’ll have for your next move.
Near-Record Percentage of New Home Inventory
Newly built homes today make up a near-record percentage of the total number of homes available for sale (see graph below):
In fact, as the data shows, newly built homes now make up 31% of the total for-sale inventory. Over the past couple of decades, newly built homes made up an average of only around 13% of total housing inventory from 1983 to 2019.
That means the percentage of the total available. ...
Thursday, July 6, 2023 / by Barbara Oleska
One of the biggest challenges in the housing market right now is how few homes there are for sale compared to the number of people who want to buy them. To help emphasize just how limited housing inventory still is, let’s take a look at the latest information on active listings, or homes for sale in a given month, as it compares to more normal levels.
According to a recent report from Realtor:
“On average, active inventory in June was 50.6% below pre-pandemic 2017–2019 levels.”
The graph below helps illustrate this point. It uses historical data to provide a more concrete look at how much the numbers are still lagging behind the level of inventory typical of a more normal market (see graph below):
It’s worth noting that 2020-2022 are not included in this graph. That’s because they were truly abnormal years for the housing market. To make the comparison fair, those have been omitted so . ...
Thursday, June 29, 2023 / by Barbara Oleska
You might be worried we’re heading for a housing crash, but there are very many reasons why this housing market is nothing like in 2008. The main reason being how lending standards are different today. Here’s the data to help prove it.
Every month, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) releases the Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). According to their website:
“The MCAI provides the only standardized quantitative index that is solely focused on mortgage credit. The MCAI is . . . a summary measure which indicates the availability of mortgage credit at a point in time.”
Basically, the index determines how easy it is to get a mortgage. Take a look at the graph below of the MCAI since they started keeping track of this data in 2004. It shows how lending standards have changed over time. It works like this:
When lending standards are less strict, it’s easier to get a mortgage, and the in. ...
Thursday, June 22, 2023 / by Barbara Oleska
No, prices are not falling. Have you been watching the news? Remember, if it bleeds it leads. The scarier the news, more eyes stay glued, and more advertising that’s sold.
“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics”Mark Twain, or maybe Benjamin Disraeli, or maybe no one. Who cares, it’s true!
Why the Median Home Price Is Meaningless in Today’s Market
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its latest Existing Home Sales (EHS) report later this week. This monthly report provides information on the sales volume and price trend for previously owned homes. In the upcoming release, it’ll likely say home prices are down. This may feel a bit confusing, especially if you’ve been following along and seeing the blogs saying that home prices have bottomed out and turned a corner.
So, why will this likely say home prices are falling when ...