Tag Archives: #housingbubble

Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008

With another uptick in mortgage interest rates and all the media talk about a shift in the housing market, you might be thinking we’ve entered a housing bubble. But the good news is, that there’s concrete data to show why this is nothing like the last time.

There’s Still a Shortage of Homes on the Market Today, Not a Surplus

For historical context, there were too many homes for sale during the housing crisis (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to fall dramatically. Supply has increased since the start of this year, but there’s still a shortage of inventory available overall, primarily due to almost 15 years of underbuilding.

The graph below uses data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to show how the months’ supply of homes available now compares to the crash. Today, unsold inventory sits at just a 3.2-months’ supply at the current sales pace, which is significantly lower than the last time. There just isn’t enough inventory on the market for home prices to come crashing down like they did last time, even though some overheated markets may experience slight declines.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

On Cape Cod, there is a little over a two month’s supply of homes. While this is certainly an increase over past months, it’s not would be considered a normal market. So, with demand still strong and inventory tight, prices will remain steady. Decreases will come on a house-by-house basis determined by the initial asking price, condition, competition, buyer interest, etc.

Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed Back Then

During the lead-up to the housing crisis, it was much easier to get a home loan than it is today. Running up to 2006, banks were creating artificial demand by lowering lending standards and making it easy for just about anyone to qualify for a home loan or refinance their current home.

Back then, lending institutions took on much greater risk in both the person and the mortgage products offered. That led to mass defaults, foreclosures, and falling prices. (Mari recalls going to closings where buyers signed paperwork for three loans!)

Today, things are different, and purchasers face much higher standards from mortgage companies.

The graph below uses Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to help tell this story. In that index, the higher the number, the easier it is to get a mortgage. The lower the number, the harder it is. In the latest report, the index fell by 5.4%, indicating standards are tightening.

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

This graph also shows just how different things are today compared to the spike in credit availability leading up to the crash. Tighter lending standards over the past 14 years have helped prevent a scenario that would lead to a wave of foreclosures like the last time.

The Foreclosure Volume Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

Another difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. Foreclosure activity has been lower since the crash, largely because buyers today are more qualified and less likely to default on their loans. The graph below uses data from ATTOM Data Solutions to help paint the picture of how different things are this time:

3 Graphs Showing Why Today’s Housing Market Isn’t Like 2008 | MyKCM

Not to mention, homeowners today have options they just didn’t have in the housing crisis when so many people owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth. Today, many homeowners are equity rich. That equity comes, in large part, from the way home prices have appreciated over time. According to CoreLogic: “the total average equity per borrowers has now reached almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.”

Rick Sharga, Executive VP of Market Intelligence at ATTOM Dataexplains the impact this has: “very few of the properties entering the foreclosure process have reverted to the lender at the end of the foreclosure. We believe that this may be an indication that borrowers are leveraging their equity and selling their homes rather than risking the loss of their equity in a foreclosure auction.”

This shows that homeowners are in a completely different position this time. For those facing challenges today, many have the option to use their equity to sell their house and avoid the foreclosure process.

Bottom Line

So, if you’re concerned that the same decisions that led to the last housing crash are being made again, this information should help alleviate your fears. Concrete data and expert insights clearly show why this is nothing like the last time.

If you have questions and concerns, please let’s connect at 508-360-5664 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re in touch with experts not only on Cape, but across the country. We’ll give you honest answers and help guide you to the best decisions for you and your family.

Please be careful tonight as trick or treaters will be out at the same time as many of us are coming home work. They’re not always easy to see, so please be careful, especially on dark streets.

Let’s make it a Happy Halloween.

Mari and Hank

If You’re Waiting for the Bubble to Burst….

recent survey revealed that many consumers believe a housing bubble is beginning to form. That feeling is understandable, as year-over-year home price appreciation is still in the double digits.

We’ve seen comments on our own Facebook page from posters reacting to recent listings saying that they’re waiting for the market to crash. We see references on various social media sites comparing today’s market to “the last time.”

However, this market is very different than it was during the housing crash 15 years ago. Here are four key reasons why today is nothing like the last time.

1. Houses Are Not Unaffordable Like They Were During the Housing Boom

The affordability formula has three components: the price of the home, wages earned by the purchaser, and the mortgage rate available at the time. Conventional lending standards say a purchaser should spend no more than 28% of their gross income on their mortgage payment.

Fifteen years ago, prices were high, wages were low, and mortgage rates were over 6%. We remember buying our first home and the rate was 14%!

Today, prices are still high. Wages, however, have increased, and the mortgage rate, even after the recent spike, is still well below 6%. That means the average purchaser today pays less of their monthly income toward their mortgage payment than they did back then.

In the latest Affordability Report by ATTOM Data, Chief Product Officer Todd Teta addresses that exact point: “The average wage earner can still afford the typical home across the U.S, but the financial comfort level zone continues to shrink as home prices keep soaring and mortgage rates tick upward.”

Affordability isn’t as strong as it was last year, but it’s much better than it was during the boom. Here’s a chart showing that difference:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

I

2. Mortgage Standards Were Much More Relaxed During the Boom

During the housing bubble, it was much easier to get a mortgage than it is today. As an example, let’s review the number of mortgages granted to purchasers with credit scores under 620. According to credit.org, a credit score between 550-619 is considered poor. In defining those with a score below 620, they explain: “Credit agencies consider consumers with credit delinquencies, account rejections, and little credit history as subprime borrowers due to their high credit risk.”

Buyers can still qualify for a mortgage with a credit score that low, but they’re considered riskier borrowers. Here’s a graph showing the mortgage volume issued to purchasers with a credit score less than 620 during the housing boom, and the subsequent volume in the 14 years since.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Mortgage standards are nothing like they were the last time. Purchasers that acquired a mortgage over the last decade are much more qualified. Let’s take a look at what that means going forward.

3. The Foreclosure Situation Is Nothing Like It Was During the Crash

The most obvious difference is the number of homeowners that were facing foreclosure after the housing bubble burst. The Federal Reserve has a report showing the number of consumers with a new foreclosure notice. Here are the numbers during the crash compared to today:

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

There’s no doubt the 2020 and 2021 numbers are impacted by the forbearance program, which was created to help homeowners facing uncertainty during the pandemic. However, there are fewer than 800,000 homeowners left in the program today, and most of those will be able to work out a repayment plan with their banks.

Why are there so few foreclosures now? Today, homeowners are equity rich, not tapped out.

This suggests that the forebearance equals foreclosure narrative pushed by many so called experts and news network talking heads was incorrect.

In the run-up to the housing bubble, some homeowners were using their homes as personal ATM machines. Many immediately withdrew their equity once it built up. When home values began to fall, some homeowners found themselves in a negative equity situation where the amount they owed on their mortgage was greater than the value of their home. Some of those households decided to walk away from their homes, and that led to a rash of distressed property listings (foreclosures and short sales), which sold at huge discounts, thus lowering the value of other homes in the area.

Homeowners, however, have learned their lessons. Prices have risen nicely over the last few years, leading to over 40% of homes in the country having more than 50% equity. But owners have not been tapping into it like the last time, as evidenced by the fact that national tappable equity has increased to a record $9.9 trillion. With the average home equity now standing at $300,000, what happened last time won’t happen today.

So, there will be nowhere near the same number of foreclosures as we saw during the crash.

4. We Don’t Have a Surplus of Homes on the Market – We Have a Shortage

The supply of inventory needed to sustain a normal real estate market is approximately six months. Anything more than that is an overabundance and will causes prices to depreciate. Anything less than that is a shortage and will lead to continued price appreciation. As the next graph shows, there were too many homes for sale from 2007 to 2010 (many of which were short sales and foreclosures), and that caused prices to tumble. Today, there’s a shortage of inventory, which is causing the acceleration in home values to continue.

4 Simple Graphs Showing Why This Is Not a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Inventory is nothing like the last time. Prices are rising because there’s a healthy demand for homeownership at the same time there’s a shortage of homes for sale.

According to the Cape Cod and Island Board of Realtors, inventory for last month was 256 single family homes. It was 300 in January 2021. In January 2020? The number was 1,397.

As a result, open houses are crowded again and multiple offer situations are frequent. At an Open House we had this past Saturday, more than 30 groups visited the property in just two the first hours! As a result, our sellers are considering multiple offers.

If you’re a buyer waiting for the bubble to burst or for the market to crash before making your move, you’re potentially going to have a long wait. Sellers sitting on the sidelines, should be thinking about getting into the game.

Curious about your options as either a buyer or seller? 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

It’s Not a Housing Bubble

We hear occasionally from potential buyers or sellers, who say that they’re going to make their move “after the bubble bursts.”

Many of us have memories — usually bad ones — of 2006-2008. Some younger investors are being given advice about what they should do by good old Uncle Harry, who “knows a little something about real estate” and remembers his own bad experience from back then.

Talking head housing experts on your favorite cable news network — who get paid to say controversial things — are also suggesting the worst might be yet to come.

But, here’s why today is not an example of history repeating itself.

The housing market isn’t driven by risky mortgage loans.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Back in 2006, nearly everyone could qualify for a loan. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association is an indicator of the availability of mortgage money. The higher the index, the easier it is to obtain a mortgage. The MCAI more than doubled from 2004 (378) to 2006 (869). Today, the index stands at 130.

Homeowners aren’t using their homes as ATMs this time.

During the housing bubble, as prices skyrocketed, people were refinancing their homes and pulling out large sums of cash. As prices began to fall, that caused many to spiral into a negative equity situation (where their mortgage was higher than the value of the house).

Today, homeowners are letting their equity build. Tappable equity is the amount available for homeowners to access before hitting a maximum 80% combined loan-to-value ratio (thus still leaving them with at least 20% equity). In 2006, that number was $4.6 billion. Today, that number stands at over $8 billion.

3 Charts That Show This Isn’t a Housing Bubble | MyKCM

Yet, the percentage of cash-out refinances (where the homeowner takes out at least 5% more than their original mortgage amount) is half of what it was in 2006.

This time, it’s simply a matter of supply and demand.

FOMO (the Fear Of Missing Out) dominated the housing market leading up to the 2006 housing bubble and drove up buyer demand. Back then, housing supply more than kept up as many homeowners put their houses on the market, as evidenced by the over seven months’ supply of existing housing inventory available for sale in 2006. Today, that number is barely two months nation-wide.

Builders also overbuilt during the bubble but pulled back significantly over the next decade.

To put it simply, there’s simply not enough homes to keep up with current demand.

On Cape Cod, despite a general trend towards an increase in the amount of single family homes coming onto the market, June 2021 saw the lowest number of new listings for a June in 18 years.

Condominium sales are on the rise

However, condominium sales are showing signs of real life. Year to date, pending sales are up 31%; closed sales are up 26%, and median sales price is up 15%.  These strong numbers are probably fueled by the lack of single-family inventory and rising single-family home prices as well.

BTW…Mari was quoted last week in an article in Banker and Tradesman, a leading publication for the financial services and real estate professions. The article is linked here.

As always, we’re available to assist you in reviewing your options. Please contact us at 508-568-8191 or msennott@todayrealestate.com. We’re happy to help.

Enjoy today’s sun…

Mari and Hank