August 2022 Real Estate Market Update

August 14, 2022

Monthly Market Updates

As we take a look at the interest rates since January, we can see that is what is really defining the current real estate market right now and the volatility is a result of the moves the Federal Reserve is making to ease inflation – the enemy of long-term interest rates.
this year is really defined by the rising mortgage rates, and what you’re looking at here is the Freddie Mac 30-year fixed rate from January all the way through to the latest data we have today, and what we can see over time is that mortgage rates really ticked up week after week after week. And you know they started to potentially peak right around the mid-June end-of-June time, and now we’re seeing a lot of volatility. So when I say that they’ve peaked, definitely not out of the woods yet, Signs yes, but mortgage rates are showing a lot of volatility right now. Where we are today, a little bit lower than where we were about a month ago, but we’re still watching them.
The National Bureau of Economic Research defines what a recession is and when it is. A recession is a significant decline in economic activity, spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale retail sales. Technically, a recession is 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth.
going all the way back to the 1940s, the late forties, every time we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a recession has been called.
Looking all the way back to the 1940s, every time we’ve seen two consecutive quarters of negative growth, a recession has been called.
The percentage of economists who said yes a year ago was only about 12%, but look at how that has ticked up over time, and in a year’s time, half of economists say that we’re headed for a recession in the next 12 months. (subscription required)
According to a survey from the Wall Street Journal that asked economists if they believe a recession will happen in the next 12 months, we can see more and more of the experts are predicting a recession. A recession is an economic slowdown where, historically, we have seen homes appreciate in value and mortgage rates fall.
In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated in value. Now we all remember 2008 when home values lost nearly 20% value, but that’s really a very fundamentally different place than where we are today. The market was drastically different.
In 4 of the last 6 recessions, home prices actually appreciated in value, except for 2008, which we have covered in previous monthly market updates was a fundamentally different place than where we are today.
this is a combination of data from Freddie Mac and mortgage specialists, it shows how from the peak of the recession to the trough, each of those yellow boxes that you can see across this graph, how mortgage rates have fallen in recessionary times.
In all 6 of the last 6 recessions, interest rates have declined.
Over the past five recessions, mortgage rates have fallen an average of 1.8 percentage points from the peak seen during the recession to the trough. And in many cases, they continued to fall after the fact as it takes some time to turn things around even when the recession is technically over. Fortune
One of the biggest reasons a housing crash is not predicted is inventory. In 2008, we had an oversupply of homes on the market – which causes home prices to fall. Today, we have an under supply – which causes home prices to rise.
This is a look at existing inventory and today the total housing inventory registered at the end of June, the latest data that we have, was 1.26 million units. Now if we look at that from a month’s supply, that’s what you’re seeing right here, unsold inventory today is at a three month supply. That’s that little green bar that you can see over on the right. Now compare that to the red bars, that’s the oversupply that we had during the housing bubble when the market crashed. That’s because we had more homes on the market than we had buyers to buy them. We have the exact opposite today, and if you look at this comparatively, where we are today is nowhere near the oversupply we had last time. Now you would have to build a case that a flood of homeowners are getting ready to sell their houses. They’re going to jump into the market, they’re going to make a move and all of this inventory is coming to the market that would actually tip the scales into that oversupply zone. We’re just not even close to being there. The typical neutral market is six to seven months of supply of inventory. We don’t even have half that at this point. So although we know this number is growing and we are keeping an eye on that because more inventory is coming to the market. That’s the tick up we’re seeing this year. We certainly aren’t anywhere near where we could potentially see the market crash, because of so many homes coming onto the market.
We are seeing about a 3-month supply of homes (inventory).  We are far, far away from the 10-month supply of homes we saw leading up to and in 2008. The typical neutral market is 6 to 7 months of supply of inventory.
Now the other place where inventory comes from is new construction. This is a look at monthly new residential construction, and we’ve broken it down into the four stages of construction. Building permits and housing starts, those are our leading indicators that tell us where the market is headed. And then on the bottom under construction and housing units completed, those are the lagging indicators, what’s happened so far. And what we can see in terms of the leading indicators, the two at the top, permits and starts, those are slowing down from May to June. You can see that happening and that’s because builders are saying, hold on, we’re seeing mortgage rates rise. We’re seeing that softening buyer demand. We’re not going to overbuild. We’re not going to get started on more homes than we know we can complete. They’re really being cautious right now, and so while we’ve had 14 years of under supply of newly constructed homes built in this country, they’re not going to overbuild at that time. That’s the little tick down that you can see, so slowing there. And if you look at the bottom, especially down at housing units completed, you can see that we’re headed to build a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 1.3 million homes this year. Now that’s wonderful. That will add more inventory to the market. It will help really create some options for home majun buyers. But we’re not on pace to have an oversupply. You can see that May to June ticked down on units completed. So we are definitely seeing more new construction. We are on pace to build 1.3 million homes in this country. We haven’t seen that in over 14 years. That’s huge. That’s a wonderful addition to the inventory, but not anything that would take us to an oversupply like we had when the housing market crashed.
Inventory can also come from new construction. Building permits and housing starts are the leading indicators (what is to come), while under construction and housing units completed are the lagging indicators (what has happened). The leading indicators are slowing down from May to June as builders are seeing mortgage rates rise. This shows further confirmation that we’re not on pace to have an oversupply.
Now the third place where inventory comes from, we’ve talked about this quite a bit over the past couple of years, is foreclosures or short sales or distressed properties. The reason we’re not going to be seeing a flood of foreclosures, a big part of that is because lending standards are under control. Now back when the housing bubble burst, we had much looser lending standards. They’ve tightened up significantly and that’s what this graph shows. This is the mortgage credit availability index, and it shows the higher that green line is, the easier it was to get a loan. what you can see in 2006, 2007, it really peaked where we used to joke that it was harder to not get a loan than to get a loan. It was much easier for someone to secure a home loan and that created inflated demand and many millions of people were foreclosed on their homes because they weren’t coming to the table as a qualified buyer and they weren’t able to repay their loan over time. Now you can see that that green line really drops off 2008, 2009. That’s when lending standards really tightened, that’s when we were required to have a more qualified buyer. So those who are securing home loans today, you can see that green line really hovering along at the bottom, are much more qualified buyers, more likely to repay their loans and not go into foreclosure. So that’s a huge difference that we have today
Finally, inventory could come from distressed properties like foreclosures and short sales. The mortgage credit availability index shows how much harder it has become for someone to secure a home loan as lending standards have tightened.  More qualified buyers means less distressed properties.
this is US properties with foreclosure filings. and it shows foreclosure activity by year. You can see those red bars are when we had over a million foreclosures per year, a million foreclosure filings per year in the housing market, and the lending standard tightening that I showed you, did this, made it drop right down consistently, starting especially in about 2011, fewer and fewer foreclosures every year in this country. Now you can take 2020 and 2021 out for a second, because we know we had a moratorium on foreclosures in that time period, but overall tightening lending standards really changed the game with a more qualified buyer.
There are fewer and fewer foreclosures every year in this country, and especially in the past year or two due to the moratorium on foreclosures.
 foreclosure activity by year. Now this is for January through June of every year going back to 2008, so the first half of the year. That’s the latest data we have right now, so it’s the best comparison for you to see where are we today in 2022, knowing that there are more foreclosures coming back to the market. Now it’s not a flood of foreclosures because what you can see is 2022 over on the right has just under 165,000 foreclosure filings this year so far. We can compare that back to 2020, pretty much on par with 2020, not even as much as we had in 2018 or 2019. So moving back in the direction of a pre pandemic year, but not a flood like we had in those red bars where millions of homes were coming to the market as foreclosures. I think we could really look at this and say lending standards have changed the game. We know that there are more foreclosures coming to the market this year, but it’s nowhere near anything that could cause the market to crash with a wave of foreclosures. So our hearts go out to anyone who’s in this situation. We never want to see anyone go through this process, but we’re certainly not looking at a crisis or a crash that would cause prices to decline significantly because of inventory coming from distressed properties.
Looking at foreclosure activity by year, going back to 2008, we are seeing about half of the foreclosures compared to pre-pandemic numbers and less than 10% of post-2008 numbers. Lending standards have changed the game.
This is now a monthly report and it’s the loans upon exiting the forbearance program. So this is current as of the very end of June, and what it shows is that 36% of mortgages coming out of forbearance were actually paid off, brought current, all set, people staying in their homes, no issues whatsoever, just walking away from forbearance, staying in their homes. That’s huge, but what’s even more important is if you look at this blue section, 45% were workouts or repayment plans. So people who were able to do modifications, loan deferrals, they went back to their banks and they changed their situation, and that’s huge. This is the opportunity that homeowners didn’t have in 2008, that they have today, is to work out a plan so they don’t have to lose their homes. Banks were up and down that they didn’t want that to happen ever again and the forbearance program changed the game. So what this really shows is if you put the green and the blue together, that four out of every five homeowners coming out of forbearance are just fine. They’re staying in their homes. They’ve worked out of plan. They’ve paid off their loans. Now there is that orange section of those who are still in trouble, 17% have no loss mitigation plan coming out of forbearance, and so that’s created some concerns, but truly, those homeowners with today’s growing equity and appreciating home values, have enough equity to be able to sell their homes, make a move and avoid the foreclosure process. So people today have different options that they didn’t have before and that is huge. That is changing the landscape and one of the biggest reasons why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. Right now we only have about 400,000 homes that are actually in forbearance, and of course we don’t want any of those to go to foreclosure, but even if they did, even if all of those homes or even if those homeowners all sold those homes, we have such an under supply of homes on the market today that they’d be scooped up instantly, and it wouldn’t cause a crash for the market.
36% of mortgages coming out of forbearance were paid off. 45% worked out repayment plans (modifications, loan deferrals, etc) – an opportunity that homeowners didn’t have in 2008. The forbearance program changed the game. 4 out of 5 homeowners are coming out of forbearance. However, 17% have no loss mitigation plan, but mostly have enough equity to be able to sell their homes and avoid the foreclosure process. Today, there are different options, and why we won’t see a wave of foreclosures coming to the market. If all 400,000 homes in forbearance came to market, it would still be under supplied.
Foreclosure activity... continued its slow, steady climb back to pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2022... While overall foreclosure activity is still running significantly below historic averages, the dramatic increase in foreclosure starts suggests that we may be back to normal levels by sometime in early 2023. Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence, ATTOM
The increased amount of foreclosures this year could be due to the lack of foreclosures the past two years.
So I think if look at this perspective, the three places where inventory comes from today, if you look at months inventory of homes for sale, even if we have homes coming from all three of those places, we’re still in a seller’s market. That’s that green line down on the bottom. You can see where it says today right in the center, that inventory line is rising. It is climbing and that is great news for the housing market, but nowhere near those 2008 to 2010 regions, where we truly had an oversupply of homes on the market that caused the housing market to crash. So as we think about that, three places where inventory comes from, existing homes, new homes and distressed properties, nothing that would cause the market to crash
Today, we are in a seller’s market, but what does the rest of the year hold?
This chart is a look at mortgage rate projections that were just released in July from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, MBA, and NAR. Now, if we look at these across the board, we can average them all out over each quarter, and that right column shows the average of all four. So what is it telling us? It’s really saying that mortgage rates are projected to kind of hang in this steady space right about where we are right now. So mortgage rates being a little more stabilized next year. So that’s great news for buyers who you know might have been priced out of the market or you know have pressed pause on their plans because mortgage rates have been rising so rapidly.
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors® are predicting mortgage rates to waiver around the current rate with a more stabilized rate next year.
There could be “a potential silver lining” for the market, he added, as stabilizing mortgage rates and rising inventory “may bring some buyers back to the market during the second half of the year.”  CNBC, Quoting Joel Kan, Economist, MBA
surveyed almost 400 agents and asked what’s the biggest question that your clients are asking you right now – it’s about a crash and it’s about pricing. They want to know where are prices headed? Well, if you look at what the experts are saying, this is the home price forecast for 2022. We follow seven key industry leaders on home pricing. These get updated, some monthly, some quarterly, and if you look at them and average them all together, the average of all seven is showing 10.3% home price appreciation through the end of this year. So as we look at this year, we are certainly seeing a slowing, a decelerating price appreciation. Last year we saw an average of 15% according to CoreLogic, homes appreciated by 15%. We’re not necessarily looking at that much appreciation, but nationwide in most markets, experts are saying an average of 10.3% appreciation going forward. (subscription required)
Looking at what the 7 key industry leaders are saying about home pricing, we are seeing about 10.3% home price appreciation through the end of this year. A more moderate growth than the 15% we saw last year, but still extremely healthy appreciation in most markets.
I don’t think national housing prices will decline in a meaningful way, . . . but there will be some price declines across the country.  Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics
There is also a decrease in home sales due to the softening of buyer demand in light of the rising mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors® is saying that, at the current pace of sale today, we are projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country this year.    Now look at that compared to 2020 and 2021, it’s a drop off, right? Those were exceptional years. They were out of the ordinary. Existing home sales through the roof due to all of the record low mortgage rates, the changing needs of the pandemic, all the things. And what this probably feels like right now is this analogy you’ve heard us use so many times, last year you were driving down the road at 80 miles an hour, you were cruising and you came around a corner and you saw the flashing lights and you slammed on your brakes and suddenly you’re going 60, 65, and it feels like you’re crawling. That may be what you’re feeling right now when it comes to home sales, however, you’re still going the speed limit, because if you look at the green bar compared to the pre pandemic years, 2018, 2019, much more in line with pre pandemic years, and let’s not forget, those were great years in real estate. So home sales softening a bit, but still projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country.
There is also a decrease in home sales due to the softening of buyer demand in light of the rising mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors® is saying that, at the current pace of sale today, we are projected to sell 5.1 million homes in this country this year. Of course, that is a decrease considering the sales the past 2 years, which were extraordinary years in the real estate market. The 5.1 million projection puts us back in line with the pre-pandemic years of 2017-2019.
And if we look at that from a total home sales forecast, this is from Freddie, Fannie, and MBA, we can see that those blue bars were what the experts forecast in January, that was before mortgage rates took their climb, and the re-forecast in the green bars is the latest from July of 2022. So latest data we have right now, a little bit of a softening in total home sales. We sold about 7 million homes last year. We’re looking more like anywhere between 5.8, 6.4 million homes for this year at the current pace. Now again, still very strong years in real estate, and what I want you to think about too is that this is pretty typical for the experts to re-forecast coming in high at the beginning of the year, we see how the year has kind of shaken out and they re-forecast. 2020 was a great example, forecaster down and then we exceeded expectations and sold a record number of homes that year. So the re-forecasting is very typical in the industry. So mortgage rates projected to hold fairly steady. Home sales softening just a little bit and prices projected to continue rising at a little bit more of a moderate rate in most markets.
In lieu of the rising mortgage rates, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Mortgage Bankers Association re-forecasted their home sales predictions for 2022 from 7 million to 6 million. Still a very strong number, which should hold steady as the interest rates begin to balance out.
three reasons to buy a home today. If you think about the forecast where home prices are, buying before prices rise higher, mortgage rates holding kind of steady. Inventory is starting to tick up and come back to the market. There are three things that are happening right now that are creating a great scenario. April the average home sold had 5.5 offers. If you look over on the left, it ticked down to 4.2 in May, 3.4 in June. That is a trend that we are seeing going forward. Fewer homes selling above asking price, you can see that percentage has ticked down from 61% to 51%, but don’t get me wrong, still a very competitive market if 51% or half of homes are selling over asking, this is definitely still a competitive market, but a better time for buyers to jump in if they’re ready to find a home and supply of homes for sale is growing. You can see that inventory, that month’s supply ticking up as the pace of home sales and more homes came back to the market. So certainly not easy to find a home, but right now there’s no doubt it’s still very competitive, but definitely not as impossible as it may have felt for those who probably stepped out of the process last year or the beginning of this year.
Today there are fewer multiple offer scenarios, fewer homes selling above asking price, and the supply of homes for sale is growing – all providing a great scenario for buyers right now. We have dropped from 5.5 offers on a home in April to 3.4 in June. We’ve gone from 61% of homes selling above asking price to 51% – still competitive, but decreasing. Finally, inventory has creeped from 2.2 months supply on hand to 3.0. All three trends that should continue moving forward.

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