Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Friday, 03 February 2023 00:00 Written by

My grandfather could read the weather patterns very accurately on his daily walk from the farmhouse to the barn. He knew if it would rain or snow the next day just from the look of the clouds and the feel of the air. He knew when to plant and work on the fence or tend the animals. I wish I could read the financial weather patterns as precisely as my grandfather could read the clouds. 

History is a good meteorologist.

No one has a crystal ball, but the next best thing to forecasting the future is to look back to see how these same weather patterns affected our real estate and financial markets in times past. Where are real estate values headed? Where are mortgage rates headed? What about our economy in general? Is this a good time to buy real estate? Here are some weather systems moving in our financial markets right now. 

Inflation

Inflation occurs when there is too much money chasing too few goods. The rule of supply and demand pushes the prices of goods and services higher, eating away at the value of money you have in savings. Mortgage rates tend to increase when inflation moves up because mortgage rates are tied closely to the yield on the 10-year bonds. 

When inflation is high, bond yields normally move higher to attract more buyers. Today inflation is at around 7.5%, which is higher than it has been since 1982.

The Federal Reserve

The job of the Federal Reserve is to keep inflation in check –somewhere around 2 percent. To bring inflation back down to a normal level, the Federal Reserve can implement some tools. One of their tools is to raise their Federal Reserve rate to banks. As they increase the cost of borrowing, this slows the economy and ratchets down inflation. Historically when the Federal Reserve makes aggressive hikes in their rate over a short time, it throws the economy into a recession. A recession affects the stock markets and also encourages lower mortgage rates.   

The other tool used by the Federal Reserve is their practice of buying bonds. For the last two years, the Federal Reserve has been buying around $70 billion in mortgage-backed securities per month to keep the mortgage rates low and protect the housing market during the pandemic. Today the Fed holds nine trillion dollars on their balance sheet. They have decided to taper off buying for a while. If they stop making new purchases but keep reinvesting their monthly profits into new purchases, mortgage rates will continue to stay moderately low. If the Federal Reserve stops reinvesting the profits into new purchases and starts selling off their balance sheet, mortgage rates will go higher much faster.

Housing Inventory

We are experiencing a crucial shortage of homes for sale, which pressures prices up on houses. We have approximately 910,000 homes listed for sale compared to 3.7 million homes in 2006. Added to the pain, today, we have 12 million additional households competing for the meager number of homes for sale. Builders are trying to increase the number of homes available to buy but are fighting shortages in labor and rising material costs. Based on birth rates and immigration, we expect a healthy number of home buyers waiting in line to buy their homes, with demand pushing into the next couple of years. These numbers indicate the value of real estate should continue to increase.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates are expected to rise but only moderately unless inflation continues to rage. The quality of mortgages and the homes that secure them is much higher than we saw in 2007. In 2006 approximately a third of mortgages were originated using Alt-A and subprime loan products. Today, borrowers are stronger, and loan products offer more stability. The mortgage quality is much better. Low inventory of homes and high demand from homebuyers seems to indicate we are not in a real estate bubble. 

Wages

Wages have been on the rise, keeping homes more affordable even though home prices and rates have increased.  

Rents

Renters should expect to see market rents increase approximately 8% to 12% per year. If renters can purchase a home today and lock in a fixed-rate mortgage, they could avoid the landlord’s annual hike in rent payments. But, as prices on homes increase and mortgage rates rise, the margin is narrowing on the difference between a rent payment and mortgage payments. 

Search for other forecasts and compare to determine for yourself where the market is moving. Corelogic publishes their opinions. Freddie Mac’s economists offer their projections. 

You can also get opinions from National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association.  

 

Find more tools and resources for overcoming common barriers to mortgage approval from the book by Jo Garner Choosing the Best Mortgage: The Quickest Way to the Life You Want, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Posted On Monday, 21 February 2022 00:00 Written by

We have talked about rising interest rates quite a bit and how to share the actual information and how to do the math about the real costs of higher rates as well as the real costs of waiting! However, some people are having a tough time on how to go about bringing up the conversation quickly and easily so, I have added another bumper sticker to the toolbox! 

Many of you already have and are using the “Got Mortgage” bumper sticker on your laptops. We have seen countless times how a simple message on your laptop can create opportunities; so here is the next addition to the family! All my current clients have already, or soon will receive, the new edition. Please feel free to use it proudly to convey a message, and possibly a warning! And not to worry, if rates continue to climb, I will be sending you “patches” in different colors you can use over the current sticker to show “6%” – “7%” – “8%” etc. 

If you have team members who would like their own sticker, or if you need extras for other uses, please email me with your request and the address you would like me to send them too and we will accommodate you on a first come first served basis while supplies last!

Rising markets can create fear. Fear is only overcome by education and strategies to deal with the situation productively. You can feed into the fear and push into the panic; or you can educate yourself and others on how this presents a series of new opportunities.

Remember, some of your fellow originators and managers are having a real challenge generating loan opportunities as rates go higher. If they need help with coaching, training, or an accountability partner; please feel free to direct them to me and I will be happy to speak to them about how I might be able to help!

Now get out there and create some new opportunities!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 21 February 2022 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Friday, 18 February 2022 05:38 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 17 February 2022 19:52
Posted On Thursday, 17 February 2022 19:42

Super Bowl XVI (56) took place on February 13, 2022, just 50 years and a little more than one month after I had the pleasure of being the referee in Super Bowl VI (6). Oh my gosh – a full ½ century has gone by. Many social and other media are bringing that history to the forefront. May I?

The phone call from the Supervisor of NFL officials, Art McNally, came about 10:30 AM Pacific Time with his words still ringing in my ears: “You got it!!” I didn’t want to guess what “it” meant so I countered with “Got what?” McNally continued “You are assigned as Referee in Super Bowl VI to be played January 9, 1972, in New Orleans.” Then he said, “You need to be in New Orleans on Wednesday, January 8th” at a hotel (which is no longer there) across the street from the Superdome, which hadn’t been built yet!

Further, McNally said, “You can’t tell anyone outside your family! Commissioner Pete Rozelle will announce the officials at his Friday press conference which you cannot attend!”

It was an exciting week. I had been an NFL Field Judge since 1960 moving to the Referee position in 1967 so receiving the Super Bowl assignment coincided with my time in that position. It was an exacting week albeit confidential.

Crew meetings took place in New Orleans the balance of the week. We did not view or inspect Tulane Stadium, where Super Bowl VI was scheduled to be played. The crew was a good one with some officials who had come through the ranks in the AFL/NFL merger that had only taken place a couple of years earlier.

As we departed from our rental cars in the parking lot of Tulane Stadium on Sunday, January 9th, the view was unlike what the Super Bowl LVI crew will face walking into the SoFi Stadium today. Tulane Stadium was packed to its capacity of 30,000! I had officiated Saints games several times in my career, so I knew what I was facing — grass field tore up with many areas just dirt and no crowds in the parking lot prior to game time. The two combatants were the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins – both of whom were there for the first time.

Roger Staubach guided the ‘Boys to a 24-3 victory over the Bob Griese-led Dolphins. Perhaps for me and our crew, the cold weather was a factor with the temperature at 29 degrees at kickoff. Al Hirt, the renowned New Orleans trumpeter tossed the coin. He had our crew as his guests for dinner that night in The French Quarter!

One congratulatory note:  I have just been informed that Art McNally, father of modern NFL officiating, is the first official in the Pro Football Hall of Fame!

Posted On Friday, 18 February 2022 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 16 February 2022 20:38 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 16 February 2022 20:32
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