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Posted On Monday, 26 June 2023 00:00 Written by

I don’t know if it will get called a recession or not, we no longer have a technical definition that is valid since the last two consecutive quarters of negative growth happened and people felt it didn’t suit their political agenda, so they just ignored it and said it wasn’t so; but call it what you want, it is what it is. What I can tell you is that the signs are not looking good. The job market is slowing down, and people are not finding new jobs as quickly as they once did. Wage pressure is decreasing, and many people are fighting going back to the office so they will risk termination over heading back to a building.

Other signs point to some real issues. Vehicle repossessions are rising rapidly, and some banks and credit unions are paying high premiums to repossession agents to move to the front of the line so they can get the cars back quickly and get them sold off before the used car market plummets! The key here is that since all the free money has dried up, and the child tax credit has gone away, people can no longer fit their car payments in their budgets when coupled with the higher prices’ inflation brought us. Add to this situation the soon to be reinstatement of student loan repayment obligations and you will see further struggles of those who have borrowed money that they can’t or won’t pay back. If they do manage to pay for their cars and their loans, those people will have greatly reduced disposable income and the pain of that loss will be felt across the board. This will put pressure on GDP and call it what you may, it will certainly FEEL like a recession.

The good news will be that the slowing economy will eventually force the FED to stop raising rates and put some much-needed downward pressure on interest rates. Despite what some might think, I believe we are either at the top or close to the top of the rate cycle and will see a slow but steady decline in mortgage rates into the fall and possibly beyond. Now don’t get all excited, we aren’t going back to 3%, but I think we can settle into the 5’s pretty comfortably for at least a little while. But hey, what do I know?

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Posted On Monday, 26 June 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 26 June 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 23 June 2023 17:22
Posted On Friday, 23 June 2023 17:17

Though home prices have remained steep after rapid growth during the height of the pandemic, paying $1 million or more for a house may seem excessive to most Americans. That said, just because most people aren’t spending seven figures on a house doesn’t mean million-dollar homes aren’t prevalent in some parts of the U.S.

To see where million-dollar houses are most common, LendingTree analyzed housing data to find the share of million-dollar homes in each of the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas. Here's what we found. 

  • Million-dollar homes are relatively uncommon in most of the country. An average of 6.68% of owner-occupied homes in the nation’s 50 largest metros in 2021 were valued at $1 million or more. However, the share of million-dollar homes is growing. According to our research last year, an average of just 4.71% of owner-occupied homes in the nation’s 50 largest metros in 2020 were valued at $1 million or more.
  • San Jose and San Francisco, Calif., have the largest share of million-dollar homes. Respectively, 66.28% and 52.91% of owner-occupied homes in these metros are worth $1 million or more — making them the only two in our study where a majority of homes are worth at least $1 million.
  • Including San Jose and San Francisco, the four metros with the highest percentage of million-dollar homes are in California.
  • Only four metros — Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Louisville, Ky. — have fewer than 1.00% of owner-occupied homes valued at at least $1 million. 

You can check out our full report here: https://www.lendingtree.com/home/cities-with-the-largest-share-of-million-dollar-homes/

LendingTree's Senior Economist and report author, Jacob Channel, had this to say:

"Remember that million-dollar homes aren’t always synonymous with “luxury homes.” On the contrary, a home worth a million dollars may be seen as firmly middle-class and anything but extravagant in many places, like San Jose and San Francisco. Unless a concerted effort is made to build more affordable housing, especially in the nation’s big cities, million-dollar-plus homes are going to become more and more common, even if they don’t become more affordable.” 

Posted On Friday, 23 June 2023 10:36 Written by

Many New Home Shoppers are Still Motivated to Buy Regardless of Housing Affordability Challenges

Today, the experts at Zonda, the housing industry's foremost advisors, released the New Home Market Update report for May 2023.

We are in the "life happens" housing market, one where sales are driven primarily by changes in life stage and lifestyle. Marriage, divorce, death, retirement, downsizing, having children, and relocating encourage a move despite the mortgage lock-in effect, housing affordability challenges, and economic uncertainty. In other times, investors, flippers, fear of missing out, and moving out of 'want' versus 'need' were more prevalent.

The overall demand pool is down compared to the past few years, but the lack of inventory is keeping prices firm and competition high for desirable homes. Many builders continue to benefit from the ability to compete with the resale market by offering quick move-in homes, the ability to work with the discerning buyers by offering customization on to-be-built product, and the ability to help the affordability-challenged buyer by offering mortgage rate buydowns and funds towards closing costs.

"Consumer demand for housing has defied logic throughout 2023," said Ali Wolf, Zonda's chief economist. "This is testament to the demographic tailwinds of today's market and the inherent desire for homeownership. We are continuing to watch the depth of today's buyer pool, though, given mortgage rates are at or near 7.0% again and home prices back on the rise."

May sales remained high but ticked down from April
Zonda's new home sales metric counts the number of new home contract sales each month and accounts for both cancellations and seasonality. This metric shows there were 704,853 new homes sold in May on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. This was a decline of 1.6% from last month but an increase of 11.2% from a year ago. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, 62,559 homes were sold, down nearly 13% year-over-year and compared to the same month in 2019.

Sales adjusted for supply hold steady
Total sales volume is influenced by both supply and demand. Zonda's New Home Pending Sales Index (PSI) was created to help account for fluctuations in supply by combining both total sales volume with the average sales rate per month per community. The May PSI came in at 139.5, representing an 11.9% rise from the same month last year. The index is currently 19.9% below cycle highs. On a month-over-month basis, seasonally adjusted new home sales increased 0.1%.

  • The markets that posted the best numbers relative to last year were Salt Lake City (+44.1%), Sacramento (+41.4%), and Seattle (+33.5%).
  • The metros that performed the worst year-over-year were New York (-16.4%), Philadelphia (-11.7%), and Atlanta (-6.9%).
  • On a monthly basis, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, and Seattle were the best performing markets.

A continued deceleration in home price appreciation
National home prices increased year-over-year across entry-level, move-up, and high-end homes. Prices rose 2.5% for entry-level to $339,084, 2.5% for move-up to $529,945, and 6.2% for high-end homes to $920,483.

Supplementing our data with a monthly survey Zonda conducts, 60% of builders reported raising prices in May and 34% reported holding prices flat. This stands in direct contrast to the end of last year where roughly 50% of builders were lowering prices and 50% were holding prices flat.

Incentives are still common in today's housing market to help address the affordability constraints for buyers. The majority of new home communities across the country were offering incentives in May, with the most popular being mortgage rate buydowns, funds towards closing costs, and flex dollars.

Total community count is far below 2019 levels
There are currently 13,814 actively selling communities tracked by Zonda, up 0.6% from last year. On a month-over-month basis, the national figure slipped 2.5%. Total community count is 28.6% below the same month in 2019. The lack of competition from other new home communities is allowing for some upward pressure on the average sales rate per month per community. Zonda defines a community as anywhere where five or more units are for sale.

  • Riverside/San Bernardino (+24.3%), Salt Lake City (+14.0%), and Los Angeles/OC (+12.0%) grew community count the most year-over-year. Community count is down 7%, 31%, and 45%, respectively, compared to 2019.
  • Relative to last year, the biggest community count declines were in Tampa (-11.6%), Philadelphia (-9.1%), and New York (-8.5%). Tampa's community count is 51% below 2019 levels. Community count is down 46% and 36%, respectively, in Philadelphia and New York compared to 2019.
  • Community count in 8% of our select markets rose month-over-month, 8% were flat, and 84% fell.

National quick move-ins (QMIs) totaled 23,818, up 49.6% compared to last year but 13.3% lower month-over-month. Total QMIs are 32.2% above 2019 levels. QMIs are homes that can likely be occupied within 90 days.
QMIs are selling out quicker than they can be replaced in many markets as consumers view these homes as a great alternative to the resale market given the dearth of supply.

  • On a metro basis, 80% of Zonda's select markets increased QMI count year-over-year.
  • The markets that grew the most year-over-year were Jacksonville (+165.6%), Phoenix (+152.0%), and Riverside/San Bernardino (+113.8%).
  • The markets with the most total QMIs coincide with the largest production housing markets across the country: Dallas, Houston, and Phoenix.
  • Jacksonville, Las Vegas, and Sacramento have seen the most growth in QMIs compared to the same time in 2019, up 498.8%, 195.3%, and 173.0%, respectively.
  • QMIs are down the most compared to 2019 in Seattle (-65%), Atlanta (-57%), and San Francisco (-53%).

Methodology
The Zonda New Home Pending Sales Index (PSI) is built on proprietary, industry-leading data that covers 60% of the production new home market across the United States. Reported number of new home pending contracts are gathered and analyzed each month. Released on the 15th business day of each month, the New Home PSI is a leading indicator of housing demand compared to closings because it is based on the number of signed contracts at a new home community. Zonda monitors 18,000 active communities in the country and the homes tracked can be in any stage of construction.

The new home market represents roughly 10% of all transactions, allowing little movements in supply to cause outsized swings in market activity. As a result, the New Home PSI blends the cumulative sales of activity recently sold out projects with the average sales rate per community, which adjusts for fluctuations in supply. Furthermore, the New Home PSI is seasonally adjusted based on each markets' specific seasonality, removes outliers, and uses June 2016 as the base month. The foundation of the index is a monthly survey conducted by Zonda. It is necessary to monitor both new and existing home sales to establish an accurate picture of the relative health of the residential real estate market.

Visit ZondaHome.com or follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more information.

About Zonda
Zonda provides data-driven housing market solutions to the homebuilding industry. From builders to building product manufacturers, mortgage clients, and multifamily executives, we work hand-in-hand with our customers to streamline access to housing data to empower smarter decisions. As a leading brand in residential construction, our mission is to advance the home building industry, because we believe better homes mean better lives and stronger communities. Together, we are building the future of housing.

Posted On Friday, 23 June 2023 10:26 Written by

Mortgage rate lock-in will continue to be a major challenge for the housing market in the remainder of 2023, according to the Realtor.com® 2023 Forecast Update. While prices have eased slightly, higher mortgage rates are hurting affordability, and many of those who already own a home are not incentivized to list. As a result, the total number of homes for sale (projected to be down 15.8% to 4.2 million) is likely to be at its lowest point since 2012. On the rental side, prices are expected to drop slightly on the year (-0.9%), as strong multi-family construction is improving inventory.

“High inflation and the Fed’s actions to curb it have had a significant impact on the housing market this year. And while inflation has begun to ease, the sustained spike in mortgage rates was enough to stifle the housing market after several years of low rates and strong activity,” said Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “The housing market has really seen a double whammy in 2023, with a retrenchment in the number of homes for sale coupled with still-high prices and mortgage rates that have kept both first-time and repeat buyers on the sidelines.” 

Revised 2023 Housing Forecast

Housing Indicator

Realtor.com® 2023 Revised Forecast

Realtor.com® 2023 Forecast (Nov. 2022)

2022 Historical Data

Mortgage Rates

Average 6.4% throughout the year, 6.1% by end of year

Average 7.4% throughout the year, 7.1% by end of year

Average 5.3%, 6.7% at end of year

Existing Home Median Sales Price Appreciation

- 0.6%

+5.4%

+10.2%

Existing Home Sales

- 15.8%

4.2 million

-14.1%

4.5 million

-17.8%

5.0 million

Existing Home For-Sale Inventory

- 5%

+22.8%

 

Single-Family Home Housing Starts

-19.6%

0.8 million

-5.4%

0.9 million

-10.6%

1.0 million

Homeownership Rate

65.7%

65.7%

65.8%

Rent Change

-0.9%

+6.3%

+10.9%

Affordability improving, but still a long way to go

Home prices have been supported by persistent underbuilding relative to household growth over the last decade, but low affordability has had an outsized impact on demand. As a result, Realtor.com® now expects a modest decline in home prices of 0.6% for the year. The expectation is that mortgage rates will also be slightly lower than originally anticipated, but not low enough to bring down buying costs until the end of the year. As inflation is expected to cool gradually, we expect that mortgage rates will start to do the same beginning mid-year and nearing 6% by the end of the year. For the year as a whole, the cost of a mortgage is expected to be up 10.5% compared to 2022.

Mortgage rate lock-in effect impacting inventory

Realtor.com® expects home sales to decline 15.8% in 2023 for a total of about 4.2 million sales for the year, the smallest annual total since 2012. Mortgage rate lock-in has been a stronger factor than initially expected, and the number of homes for sale has not met initial projections. As a result, the expectation now is for inventory levels to slip 5% for the year, and not the growth projected in the initial forecast.

“The vast majority of homeowners locked in low rates during the pandemic and aren’t particularly excited to give them up in order to buy a new home, unless they really need to move for personal reasons,” said Hale.

Rental prices pull back

Challenging conditions in the housing market will lead many to continue renting, driving ongoing demand for rentals through the second half of 2023. However, the strong uptick in new multi-family construction and people choosing to stay in their unit in order to save money is likely to decrease competition for new units and lead to a slight annual decline in rental prices (-0.9%). However, despite this pull-back, rental prices are still historically high with the average rent about $350 more than it was pre-pandemic.

Other economic factors to consider

Despite the Fed’s tightening, the economy and labor markets have shown resilience. And while paychecks haven’t kept pace with inflation, Americans have dipped into pandemic savings and continued to spend money. While this is boosting the current economy, it could have an impact in the future if consumers burn through savings and need to rely on high-interest debt.

 

Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2023 10:14 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 22 June 2023 15:10 Written by
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