Monthly Archives: March 2022

What You Can Expect from the Spring Market

With the spring housing market underway, many of you are probably curious about what you can expect when it comes to buying or selling a house. While there are multiple factors causing some uncertainty, the housing market seems to be relatively immune from the impacts of the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, and the first rate increase from the Federal Reserve in over three years.

Here’s a look at what the real experts say you can expect this spring.

1. Mortgage Rates Will Climb

Freddie Mac reports the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has increased by more than a full point in the past six months. And despite some mild fluctuation in recent weeks, experts believe rates will continue to edge up over the next 90 days. As Freddie Mac says: “The Federal Reserve raising short-term rates and signaling further increases means mortgage rates should continue to rise over the course of they year.”

If you’re a first-time buyer or a seller thinking of moving to a home that better fits your needs, realize that waiting will likely mean you’ll pay a higher mortgage rate on your purchase. And that higher rate drives up your monthly payment and can really add up over the life of your loan.

2. Housing Inventory Will Increase

There may be some relief coming for buyers searching for a home to purchase.

 Realtor.com recently reported that the number of newly listed homes has grown for each of the last two months. Also, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) just announced the months’ supply of inventory increased for the first time in eight months. The inventory of existing homes usually grows every spring, and it seems, based on recent activity, the next 90 days could bring more listings to the market.

On Cape Cod, there were a little over 200 new listings in January. In February that number was over 400. While that’s not close to normal inventory, it is trending in the right direction.

Anecdotally, our colleagues at our Today Real Estate company wide meetings seem to be talking more about new listings than they have in a while.

If you’re a buyer and have been frustrated with the limited supply of homes available for sale, it looks like you could find some relief this spring. However, be prepared to act quickly if you find the right one.

If you’re a seller, listing now instead of waiting for additional competition to hit the market makes sense. Your leverage in any negotiation during the sale will be impacted as additional homes come to market.

3. Home Prices Will Rise

Prices are always determined by supply and demand. Though the number of homes entering the market is increasing, buyer demand remains very strong.

As realtor.com explains in their most recent Housing Report: “During the final two weeks of the month, more new sellers entered the market than during the same time last year…However, with millions of millennials at first-time buying ages, housing supply faces a long road catching up with demand.”

What does that mean for you? With the demand for housing still outpacing supply, home prices will continue to appreciate. Many experts believe the level of appreciation will decelerate from the high double-digit levels we’ve seen over the last two years. That means prices will continue to climb, just at a more moderate pace. Most experts are predicting home prices will not depreciate.

Won’t Increasing Mortgage Rates Cause Home Prices To Fall?

While some people may believe a 1% increase in mortgage rates will impact demand so dramatically that home prices will have to fall, experts say otherwise. Doug Duncan, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Maesays: “What I will caution against is making the inference that interest rates have a direct impacting on house prices. That is not true.”

Freddie Mac studied the impact that mortgage rates increasing by at least 1% had on home prices in the past. Here are the results of that study:

What You Can Expect from the Spring Housing Market | MyKCM

As the chart shows, mortgage rates jumped by at least 1% six times in the last 30 years. In each case, home values increased.

So again, if you’re a first-time buyer or a repeat buyer, waiting to likely means you’ll pay more for a home later in the year (as compared to its current value).

Bottom Line

Three things seem certain going into the spring housing market:

  1. Mortgage rates will continue to rise.
  2. The selection of homes available for sale will modestly improve.
  3. Prices will continue to appreciate, just at a slightly slower pace.

Curious about your options? We’re happy to answer your questions. Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Enjoy your week…

Mari and Hank

Is This Really the Year to Buy a Home?

Every year, many renters ask themselves the same question: Should I continue renting, or is it finally time to buy a home? 

On Cape Cod, if you’ve been lucky enough to find a place to rent, chances are you’ve asked yourself this question at least once lately, as it’s likely your monthly housing costs have risen. After all, according to Census data, rents have gone up consistently for decades.

If you’ve been looking for an affordable place to rent, you know how difficult that is. You may be wondering, if purchasing a home is a better plan.

To make an informed and powerful decision about buying a house, the first step is understanding what’s happening in today’s market, so you can determine which option is the better long-term financial decision for you.

Rents Are Going Up Again This Year

Make no mistake, rents are skyrocketing.  Data from realtor.com shows just how much rental prices are surging throughout the country. The graph below highlights rental unit price increases over the past year:

Are You Wondering if This Is the Year To Buy a Home? | MyKCM

The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for the Cape/Barnstable County for a two bedroom home this year is $1,879! (That could be a pretty decent mortgage payment.)

In 2021, the FMR was $1,667.

Homeownership Offers Stable Monthly Costs

One of the key benefits of owning your home is that you’re able to lock in and stabilize your payments for the duration of your loan. That’s not the case when you rent.

With rents on the rise, there’s a good chance many people will see their costs increase even more this year. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.comsays: “With rents already at a high and expected to keep going up, affordability will increasingly challenge many Americans in 2022.”

So, if you’re ready to become a homeowner, continuing to wait may not make financial sense. Instead, you can escape the cycle of rising rents and enjoy the many benefits that come with homeownership.

Starting your journey can pay off significantly. We know it’s a big step. And you probably have well-meaning relatives and friends advising you to not make a move. But, by continuing to pay rent, all you’re doing is paying your landlord’s mortgage.

Have questions about whether this if your time? We’d be happy to answer them. Let’s talk at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com.

We can also refer you to a number of reputable lenders, who can give you excellent advice about your financial options.

In addition, you can receive a copy of our e-guide for Home Buyers, which is available by clicking here.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Happy Spring!

Mari and Hank

Multiple Offers Are the New Normal

If you’re thinking of buying a home right now, you know very well that the number of houses available is limited. As a buyer, low housing supply coupled with high buyer demand means you should be prepared to navigate a highly competitive market where homes sell fast and receive multiple offers. 

In a bidding war situation, doing everything you can do to get ahead of the competition is your best move. That’s because when you find a house and submit an offer, it will likely be up against other strong offers from other buyers.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), homes today are receiving an average of 3.9 offers nationally. That’s the most offers we’ve seen in January for the last 5 years (see graph below):

How To Navigate a Market Where Multiple Offers Is the New Normal | MyKCM

Over the last few weeks, homes on Cape Cod have been receiving more than the national average of offers. In the last few days, one Sandwich home received 10 offers and sold for significantly above asking price. Anyone waiting for the Open House was out of luck. They were cancelled.

To help you navigate bidding wars with multiple offers, working with a real estate professional is important. They know what has worked for other buyers and what sellers are looking for. They can help you prepare when it comes time to making an offer. Here are three tips to keep in mind that will help you make the best offer possible.

1. Know Your Numbers​

Knowing your budget and what you can afford is critical to your success as a homebuyer. The best way to understand your numbers is to work with a reputable lender so you can be pre-approved for a loan. Pre-approval shows sellers you’re serious, which can give you a competitive edge. As a practical matter, an offer that is not accompanied by a pre-approval letter receives scant attention, if any at all. Offers that are all cash need to provide proof of funds.

You should also realize that making an offer at the home’s asking price probably won’t be enough. In just about every situation, asking price is now the starting point for negotiations. So, submitting a low ball offer to “see what happens” is a waste of time. (Unless the house needs to be totally gutted. But, even then…)

2. Be Ready To Move Fast​

Speed and the pace of sales are contributing to today’s competitive housing market. When homes are selling quickly, it’s important to stay on top of the market and be ready to move. Stay up to date on the latest listings and if you find the home you want to buy, submit your best offer as soon as possible.

3. Make a Strong, but Fair Offer​

​When you’re up against others, presenting your best offer from the start is key. Submit a strong offer and use whatever leverage you can to make it as enticing as possible. One option is to wave some of your contract contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Just remember there are certain contingencies you may not want to give up, like the home inspection. But, there are ways to make a home inspection enticing.

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank

Millennials: Looking for More Space?

If you’re a millennial, buying a home might be top of mind for you right now. Your generation is the largest group of homebuyers in the market today and has been since 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). While other millennials are looking to buy for the first time, you may be one of the many, who are discovering you’ve already outgrown your first house.

If that’s the case, you’re not alone. The past two years brought about significant changes for many people. Today, many homeowners are reevaluating what they truly need in a house. As a recent report from the Wall Street Journal states: “The pandemic and the emergence of remote work accelerated millennial home-buying trends already under way…Millennials who already owned homes traded up for more space.”

So, if you’re now working remotely or simply have a growing need for additional space, it may be time to move. Even if you purchased your current home over the last few years, you can still move into a different one that has the space and features you’re looking for. That’s because there’s a good chance you have more equity than you realize.

As Diana Olick, Real Estate Correspondent for CNBCnotes: “The stunning jump in home values over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic has given U.S. homeowners record amounts of housing wealth. About 42% of homeowners were considered equity-rich at the end of last year, meaning their mortgages were half or less than half of the value of their home!

Growing equity can be the key you need to fuel your next move, especially if you’re looking to purchase a larger home. When you sell your current house, the equity that comes back to you in the sale can be used toward the down payment on your next home.

Equity plus low mortgage interest rates would make what might appear to be the “unaffordable” actually affordable.

Your purchasing power may be greater than you realize, making a move to a larger home a realistic option. 

Curious about your options? Let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to answer your questions.

It’s important that you have the right information to make an educated and informed decision.

Have a good week…

Mari and Hank