3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash | MyKCM

With home prices softening, some are concerned that we may be headed toward the next housing crash. However, it is important to remember that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.

The Belt Team, CEO, Terry Belt says, A difference now compared to the last cycle is that the economy is bustling at levels not seen since the mid/late 1980s and jobs are being created and consumer confidence and real wages are increasing.  The last cycle all of these factors were all trending negative and also amidst a higher mortgage/interest rate environment.

Here are three key metrics that will explain why:

  1. Home Prices
  2. Mortgage Standards
  3. Foreclosure Rates

HOME PRICES

A decade ago, home prices depreciated dramatically, losing about 29% of their value over a four-year period (2008-2011). Today, prices are not depreciating. The level of appreciation is just decelerating.

Home values are no longer appreciating annually at a rate of 6-7%. However, they have still increased by more than 4% over the last year. Of the 100 experts reached for the latest Home Price Expectation Survey94 said home values would continue to appreciate through 2019. It will just occur at a lower rate.

MORTGAGE STANDARDS

Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a quarterly index which,

“…measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

Last month, their January Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

“Significant space remains to safely expand the credit box. If the current default risk was doubled across all channels, risk would still be well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent from 2001 to 2003 for the whole mortgage market.”

FORECLOSURE INVENTORY

Within the last decade, distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) made up 35% of all home sales. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association revealed just last week that:

“The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the fourth quarter was 0.95 percent…This was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate since the first quarter of 1996.”

Bottom Line

After using these three key housing metrics to compare today’s market to that of the last decade, we can see that the two markets are nothing alike.

It is always a good time to buy or sell, and we are here to help! Let’s chat. Give us a call at 703-242-3975 or send us an email at info@thebeltteam.com .

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Northern VA Housing Market – Post Election Update

Credit: Keeping Current Matters
Credit: Keeping Current Matters

Election years in Northern Virginia are usually a time when the real estate market takes a deep breath and pauses to see what will happen. “I’m putting my home search on hold until we see how the election shakes out”  and “I’m gonna wait and see what happens to interest rates after the election” are comments we’ve heard frequently over the past twelve elections.

Let’s look at the market stats for some of our Northern Virginia areas and see whether that rang true this year. The charts below show the number of home sales year-to-date year-over-year for 2014, 2015 & 2016. And there seems to be a pretty consistent pattern.

Northern VA Real Estate Market

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Other than in Ashburn, sales rose significantly in 2015 over 2014. And instead of the market pausing to digest the election, home sales continued to rise in 2016. This was true in Alexandria, Arlington, Great Falls, Herndon, McLean, Oakton, Reston & Vienna – as well as in a number of other areas.

Stay tuned for our CEO Terry Belt’s 2017 Crystal Ball Predictions! (You can read his 2016 Predictions here).

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you’d like a market analysis for your home or neighborhood. Statistics vary wildly between cities, school districts and price ranges. And if you’re thinking of selling in 2016, NOW is the time to prepare. Did you know that in many areas of Northern VA last year, Sellers who sold in January-February sold their homes for more than those who waited for the “Spring Market”?!

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Arlington Virginia: How Long To Sell Your Home and Are Prices Rising?

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Arlington in 2016, you may be wondering how long homes are on the market and whether prices are up or down.

First, let’s look at what happened in 2015:

  • Average Days on Market: 49 days (up from 40 days in 2014 and 38 days in 2013)
  • Average Sold Price: $637,102 (Up 2.5% from 2014 and 5.7% from 2013)
  • Average Sold Price as % of List Price: 97.5% (down from 99.7% in 2014 and 109.5% in 2013)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 40% (!)

Now, to get an even better sense of what’s happening in the real estate market, go to our web site for up-to-date Arlington housing stats on the most recent month as compared to the five year average. This will indicate what the current trends are.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell in Arlington this year. (Buyers – you’ll be interested to know that Belt Team buyers only paid 89.1.3% of original list price in 2015 – versus the average buyer who paid 97.5%!)

Median Days on Market – How Fast Are Homes Selling?

Days on Market State by State March to May 2015

If you’re wondering how fast homes are selling around the United States, here’s a great infographic from Keeping Current Matters.

Whether you’re a Buyer or a Seller, it’s important to know how quickly homes are selling in your neighborhood and/or the neighborhood you want to live in.

Why?

 

 

EXPECTATIONS:

Buyers – Knowing how quickly homes are selling tells you how quickly you need to react when you see a home you love. In some markets, homes are languishing for months. While in others, they are snapped up the day they hit the market. Taking a look at median number of days on market will help set your expectations so you don’t feel pressured.

Sellers – If you’re selling a home, the median days on market will give you an idea of how long you’ll need to keep your home in “showing condition”. It’s not easy to keep your house looking like a showroom. Knowing what the median time frame is helps with expectations of how long it will take your home to sell. (And note – if you are aiming to “push” pricing past what recent comps show – you’ll likely need to add time onto this estimate, and be aware that you may actually sell for less than if you had priced to where the market is.)

PRICING:

Buyers – You can use days on market as part of the criteria for determining what price to offer. If you see a property that has been on the market for a LONG time – it’s fair to assume you may want to offer something below list price – the longer the days on market, the lower the price. But if you’re making a lowball offer on a home that just hit the market – it’s unlikely the owner will accept your offer.

Sellers – Median days on market is one criteria you should consider in your pricing strategy. If you home has been on the market longer than the median number of days – you most likely need a price adjustment. (You may need to take other action – such as repairs or staging, but it’s highly likely a price adjustment is in order as well.)

Here are some of the local stats for days on market. How fast are homes selling in:

Median days on market is just ONE of many criteria Buyers and Sellers should consider. For a personalized consultation including ALL the criteria – contact Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975. We’ll help you make the RIGHT move!

Homebuyers Are On Borrowed Time, Sellers Take Note

Buyers Market or Sellers Market

If you’re thinking of buying a home in 2015, you may want to do it sooner rather than later. Why is that? Well, according to Gary Keller, Chairman of the Board of the world’s largest real estate company, “Home buyers are on borrowed time.” Keller made this comment back in February at Keller Williams Realty’s annual gathering of top associates from around the world as part of his economic update.

In case you’re thinking the comment made by Keller may have been self-serving just to encourage urgency among potential homebuyers, you might be interested to know that the Federal Reserve’s moves last week seem to corroborate Keller’s statement. From The Washington Post on March 19th: “The Federal Reserve cleared the way Wednesday for raising interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis.” The Fed was clear that a rate hike is not immediate or even imminent, but they definitely opened the door for that to happen this year. And as we see the economy improve, we also believe this will happen.

CEO The Belt TeamTerry Belt, CEO of The Belt Team says he is “advising our serious buyers that NOW is the time to buy. Rising interest rates, combined with rising home values mean that buying later will equal lower affordability and much less house. It is for this reason that we are also advising Sellers to sell sooner rather than later. If and when interest rates rise, some home buyers will be priced out of the market. And while home values are projected to rise in 2015, the projected rise is very moderate – about 3%, as compared to the 11% rise we saw in some areas over the past few years.”

Today, we spoke with Christine Todd, CEO of the Northern VA Association of Realtors (the 11th largest association in the U.S.). She told us that housing inventory in Northern VA is at a five year low and that throughout Northern VA, inventory is at 2 months. Two months of inventory translates to a Seller’s Market. That puts Sellers in the driver’s seat – making now a fabulous time to sell. It also means that Buyers have less options and it make take more time to find your dream home. And unlike the Rolling Stones song “Time Is On My Side”, it may only be a matter of time before rates rise. Another reason why waiting may not be to your benefit.

Whether you’re buying or selling, there are challenges on both ends. Buyers seek guidance on getting through credit hurdles, loan approvals and financing options. They need advocates who can advise on how to best compete, what their options are and how to find homes not already on the market. They want the RIGHT home. And while it sounds good to be a Seller during a Seller’s market (and it is!) – you still want to make sure you don’t leave money on the table and that once you are under contract, your sale actually goes to closing. THIS is where a top notch Realtor makes a difference and why the number of people selling by owner has gone down year after year.

The Belt Team has navigated the Northern Virginia real estate market since 1973. We have serious, long-term, committed Realtors on our team who are here to educate, navigate and advocate for you. When you read our online reviews, we think you’ll soon see why it’s in your best interests to work with what we think is the best real estate team in Northern VA. Our mission statement is “Changing Lives For The Better”. If it’s time to change yours, give Terry Belt & The Belt Team a call at (703) 242-3975. It would be a pleasure for our family to help your family make the right move. And that right move just might be NOW!

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National Real Estate Update

Interest rates are on the rise. Find out what else is happening in the national real estate market in a quick minute!

Now that you know what’s happening in the macromarket, let’s take a look at the  hyperlocal markets. For stats on Northern Virginia communities – check The Belt Team’s community pages:

Call Terry Belt & The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Buyer or Seller Consultation.

Arlington Virginia: How Long To Sell Your Home and Are Prices Rising?

If you’re looking to buy or sell real estate in Arlington in 2015, you may be wondering how long homes are on the market and whether prices are up or down.

First, let’s look at what happened in 2014:

  • Average Days on Market: 40 days (up just 2 days from 2013)
  • Average Sold Price: $621,369 (up 3.13% from 2013)
  • Average Sold Price as % of List Price: 99.7% (down from 109.5% in 2013)
  • Percent of Homes Sold in 10 Days or Less: 43% (!)

Now, to get an even better sense of what’s happening in the real estate market, go to our web site for up-to-date Arlington housing stats on the most recent month as compared to the five year average. This will indicate what the current trends are.

Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 if you would like to buy or sell in Arlington this year. (Buyers – you’ll be interested to know that Belt Team buyers only paid 96.6% of original list price in 2014 – versus the average buyer who paid 99.7%!)