“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”
“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.” “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”
"It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)
Rent raised? You’ll need a raise.
According to a new analysis by Zillow, the average renter would need his or her income to grow by $168 to keep up with an expected 1 percent rise in rents over the next year. Many renters, however, would need more—in some cases, much more—to keep costs manageable.
Renters in Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, Sacramento, and Orlando would be in need of the biggest pay bumps, according to the analysis. In Seattle, renters would need an additional $1,248, while in Orlando, renters would need an additional $672.
Renters in San Antonio, Detroit, Las Vegas, Austin and Columbus would be in need of the smallest—$84 in San Antonio and $264 in Columbus.
“For a long time now, renters have faced an affordability crisis when it comes to housing, and renters in some hot markets will still need significant raises just to keep up with rising rents,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Incomes have a ways to go to bring rental affordability closer to historical levels, but recent gains are being met with slowing rent appreciation—a welcome sign for renters.”
Appreciation is grinding to a halt in many major metropolitan areas—conditions which, combined with growing incomes, make them ideal for renters. These include New York, Chicago, Houston and Miami, according to the analysis.
“Consumers’ faith in the housing market is stronger than it’s ever been before, according to a newly released survey from Fannie Mae.”
“Americans’ confidence continued to mount last week as the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index reached the highest point in a decade on more-upbeat assessments about the economy and buying climate.”
“Confidence continues to rise among America’s consumers…the latest consumer sentiment numbers from the University of Michigan showed that in March confidence rose again.”
“U.S. consumers are the most confident in the U.S. economy in 15 years, buoyed by the strongest job market since before the Great Recession. The survey of consumer confidence rose…according to the Conference Board, the private company that publishes the index. That’s the highest level since July 2001.”
“In 1984, 1994, 2000, and 2013, every time we have rate increases, we have increases in nominal home prices. We expect this to be more pronounced, as there is a big demand-and-supply gap at the present time.”
“The tightening labor market, rising wage growth, high levels of consumer confidence and a millennial generation with a pent-up demand for housing should allow the housing market to weather the storm of gradually rising interest rates.”
“Although we strongly believe that the housing supply-demand imbalance for single-family homes will continue to drive above-average home price appreciation, just as falling mortgage rates aided pricing power on the margin in recent months, we expect the opposite effect to become evident in the coming months. As such, we project year-end home price inflation of 4.8% for 2017 and 4.1% for 2018.”
“A modest increase in mortgage rates won’t have much of an effect on home purchases. A buyer may need to slightly re-evaluate which homes they can afford, but it’s not likely to make an impact on qualifying, in most cases.”
"Our survey data shows that mortgage rates would have to be significantly higher to have any meaningful impact. The house buying power that borrowers have, even with rates below five percent, still remains historically strong."
As rising rents sweep the country, the channel between the cost of owning and the cost of renting continues to slim. According to the latest Florida Atlantic University national index, today’s active rental prices make for a great time to purchase a home.
“We are not where we were in 2012, when nearly any purchase was a sound financial decision,” said Ken Johnson, Ph.D., real estate economist and index authors, in a recent press release. “However, overall, we are now in a situation where aggressive marketing from sellers combined with due diligence and sound negotiation from buyers is creating a housing market that’s more in line with what we’ve seen historically.”
The index, called the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, shows that 15 of the 23 cities studied are set in buy territory, while another five are only marginally in rent territory. This news only further fortifies the positive outcome of the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which showed home prices rising at the highest annual increase since June 2014, roughly 5.8 percent year-over-year. Out of the 23 cities studied in the BH&J index, the only urban places to show discouraging market conditions are Dallas, Denver and Houston.
“The scores for Dallas, Denver and Houston have worried us for some time now,” said Eli Beracha, Ph.D., co-author of the index and assistant professor in the T&S Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU. “The last time we saw scores of this magnitude, housing market crashes soon followed.”
The overall verdict seems to be, if you can afford to buy in, the time to do so is now.
To reach their finding, the FAU index incorporated property appreciation from housing markets around the country. This data is joined by rental, maintenance and alternative investment data streams. Together, these factors can indicate when (and why) housing markets might change direction.
For more information, visit http://business.fau.edu/buyvsrent
Homeowners in Generation X are making a comeback after coming up in the housing crash, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study for 2017. More Gen X homeowners—who were most dogged by the downturn—are set to sell this year, having regained enough equity lost in the recession.
“Gen X sellers’ median tenure in their previous home was 10 years, which puts many of them selling a property they bought right around the time home values were on the precipice of declining,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Fortunately, the much stronger job market and 41 percent cumulative rise in home prices since 2011 have helped a growing number build enough equity to finally sell and trade up to a larger home. More Gen X sellers are expected this year, and are definitely needed to ease the inventory shortages in much of the country.”
Gen X has taken a backseat to millennials in recent years, who have been the primary source of opportunity in housing, Yun says. More activity on the part of Gen X homebuyers and sellers this year opens up new prospects in the market.
According to the survey, the share of Gen X homebuyers grew to 28 percent—the largest percentage since 2014—but is behind the share of millennial homebuyers, 34 percent, and the share of baby boomer homebuyers, 30 percent. The trend toward multigenerational living is going strong, driven by baby boomers housing adult children who either have not moved out or moved back in after moving out.
“The job market is very healthy for young adults with a college education, but repaying student debt and dealing with ever-increasing rents on an entry-level salary are forcing many to either shack up with several roommates or move back home,” says Yun. “This growing trend of delayed household formation is one of the main contributors to the nation’s low homeownership rate.”
Student loan debt is also an issue for Gen Xers and younger boomers, though Gen Xers have the biggest burden, with a student debt load of $30,000—more than millennials’ $25,000 and boomers’ $10,000, according to the survey. Student debt plays a major role in the ability to save for a down payment on a home; in fact, 55 percent of millennial homebuyers, 29 percent of Gen X homebuyers and 9 percent of boomer homebuyers report student debt has stifled their savings.
“Repaying student debt also appears to be slowing some current homeowners who went to graduate school and now can no longer afford to sell and trade up because of their loans,” Yun says. “Nearly a third of homeowners in a NAR survey released last year said student debt is preventing them from selling a home to buy a new one.”
Gen Xers aside, there are shifts occurring in the millennial generation. One significant movement, according to survey, is the presence of children: 49 percent of millennial homebuyers have at least one child, prompting more home-buying activity in the suburbs.
“Millennial buyers, at 85 percent, were the most likely generation to view their home purchase as a good financial investment,” says Yun. “These strong feelings bode well for even greater demand in the future as more millennials settle down and begin raising families. A significant boost in new and existing inventory will go a long way to ensuring the opportunity is there for more of them to reach the market.”
What hasn’t changed, according to the survey, is the need for a real estate professional. Ninety percent of those surveyed worked with a real estate professional to buy or sell a home—92 percent of millennial homebuyers and 90 percent of millennial sellers, and 88 percent of Gen X homebuyers and 89 percent of Gen X sellers.
“Homebuyers reported being most surprised by mortgage insurance, followed by bank fees and points, taxes, title insurance and appraisal fees.”
“Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of your purchase price.”