Home Buyers: How Much Home Can You Afford to Purchase?

47% of New Home Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today

47% of New Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today | MyKCM

Headlines matter. Right now, it’s hard to read about real estate without seeing a headline that suggests homes have become unaffordable for most Americans. In reality, there’s hard evidence that shows how owning a home is more affordable than renting in most parts of the country, as record-low interest rates are keeping monthly mortgage payments about 23% lower than the typical payment of 20 years ago. Despite the facts, misleading headlines persist, and they impact how hopeful home buyers perceive the market.

In a recent survey by realtor.com, home shoppers indicated they were surprised by what they could actually afford when buying their first home. In fact, 47% discovered their budget was larger than they expected. George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, explains:

“For first-time buyers, especially, the drop in the 30-year mortgage rate…has provided unexpected leverage. Lower rates allowed many buyers to stretch and buy more expensive homes while keeping their monthly budget the same.”

So why do these negative headlines that cast doubt on affordability continue to exist?

Most analysts only look at two of the three elements that make up the affordability equation: price and income. It’s true that incomes haven’t kept up with the price of houses. However, affordability is about the cost of the home, not just the price. For that reason, mortgage rates, the third element of the affordability equation, are important to consider.

For example, here’s the typical mortgage payment for assorted dates going back to 2000, as calculated by CoreLogic:47% of New Buyers Surprised by How Affordable Homes Are Today | MyKCMOutside of the housing crash (when short sales and foreclosures drove prices down), it’s more affordable to buy a home today when you consider all three elements of the affordability equation: price, income, and mortgage rate.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a move-up buyer, don’t let the headlines scare you away from your dream of homeownership. Instead, connect with mortgage and real estate professionals to determine what you can afford and what’s available at that price. Like almost half of the buyers in the survey, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Homeownership: Investing in Your Financial Future

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth | MyKCM

For years, real estate has been considered the best investment you can make. A major reason for this is due to the net worth a household gains through homeownership. In fact, according to the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finance Data from the Federal Reserve, for the average homeowner:

“…a primary home accounts for 90% of the total wealth of a family in the U.S.”

How do homeowners gain wealth?

Most large purchases, like cars and appliances, depreciate in value as they age, so it’s understandable to question how owning a home can increase wealth over time. In a simple equation, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains how the combination of paying your mortgage and home price appreciation grow overall wealth:

Principal Payments + Price Appreciation Gains = Housing Wealth Gain

As home values increase and you make payments toward your home loan, you’ll gain wealth through equity. The same article from NAR also addresses how wealth gains tend to play out over time:

“Housing wealth accumulation takes time and is built up by paying off the mortgage debt and by price appreciation. And while home prices can fall, home prices tend to recover and go up over the longer term. As of September 2020, the median sales price of existing home sales was $311,800, a 35% gain since July 2006 when prices peaked at $230,000.”

Taking a look at how equity has grown for the typical homeowner, it’s clear to see how real estate is a sound long-term investment. NAR notes:

“Nationally, a person who purchased a typical home 30 years ago would have typically gained about $283,000 as of the second quarter of 2020.” (See graph below):

Homeownership Is a Key to Building Wealth | MyKCM

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a current homeowner planning to put your equity toward a new home or have hopes of buying your first home soon, homeownership will always be a great opportunity to build your net worth and overall wealth. Owning a home is truly an investment in your financial future.

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It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home

When most of us begin searching for a home, we naturally start by looking at the price. It’s important, however, to closely consider what else impacts the purchase. It’s not just the price of the house that matters, but the overall cost in the long run. Today, that’s largely impacted by low mortgage rates. Low rates are actually making homes more affordable now than at any time since 2016, and here’s why.

Today’s low rates are off-setting rising home prices because it’s less expensive to borrow money. In essence, purchasing a home while mortgage rates are this low may save you significantly over the life of your home loan.

Taking a look at the graph below with data sourced from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the higher the bars rise, the more affordable homes are. The orange bars represent the period of time when homes were most affordable, but that’s also reflective of when the housing bubble burst. At that time, distressed properties, like foreclosures and short sales, dominated the market. That’s a drastically different environment than what we have in the housing market now.

The green bar represents today’s market. It shows that homes truly are more affordable than they have been in years, and much more so than they were in the normal market that led up to the housing crash. Low mortgage rates are a big differentiator driving this affordability.It’s Not Just About the Price of the Home | MyKCM

What are the experts saying about affordability?

Experts agree that this unique moment in time is making homes incredibly affordable for buyers.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR:

“Although housing prices have consistently moved higher, when the favorable mortgage rates are factored in, an overall home purchase was more affordable in 2020’s second quarter compared to one year ago.”

Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets, Quicken Loans:

“No matter what you’re looking for, this is a great time to buy since the current low interest rates can stretch your spending power.

Mortgage News Daily:

“Those shopping for a home can afford 10 percent more home than they could have one year ago while keeping their monthly payment unchanged. This translates into nearly $32,000 more buying power. 

Forbes:

Homeowners are the clear winners. Low mortgage rates mean the cost of owning is at historically low levels and who gains all the benefits of strong house price appreciation? Homeowners.”

Bottom Line

When purchasing a home, it’s important to think about the overall cost, not just the price of the house. Homes on your wish list may be more affordable today than you think. Let’s connect to discuss how affordability plays a role in our local market, and your long-term homeownership goals.

May Sales and Why Days on Market (DOM) Matters

May was a stellar month for closings at NextHome SunRaye Realty! Not only do we take pride in working to ensure a streamlined transaction process whether our clients are buying or selling, but it’s our specialty to assist our Tampa Bay neighbors in selling their homes quickly while maximizing their investment. Here are some of our May sales that sold in record time on market:

 

 

Generally, it’s wise to consider every offer to purchase your home and avoid rushing into a contract with the first one that appears to check all the boxes. In the seller’s market that we find ourselves in today, it’s wise to give all potential buyers a chance to put their best foot forward when competing for the sales contract on your home. A multiple offer situation is what every seller wishes for. This is very possible when a home is competitively priced. However, the amount of days your home spends on market matters as well, and it’s the reason why you want to partner with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional when marketing your home for sale. Here’s why the days on market statistic is important to home sellers, home buyers, and both the listing and buyer’s agents:

  • The days on market (DOM) statistic is an indicator of local market activity. It reflects the length of time on the market before a home sells. It can vary from zip code to zip code, neighborhood to neighborhood, and from one price range to another. This information can assist a home owner in planning their sale and determining how much time they will need to find a buyer and close on the sale.
  • The DOM statistic is a good reference for gauging the state of the real estate market. When days on market increase beyond what is typical, it is a good sign that it is a buyer’s market. This is because when homes stay on the market longer, there is more inventory for a buyer to choose from. During times like these, it is wise for the home owner who needs a faster sale to price his home more aggressively. When homes sell faster and there is a shortage of inventory, home owners may find more flexibility in their original pricing.
  • The truth is, the longer a home sits on the market, the harder it becomes to sell. When a home remains on the market for longer than it should when considering the market activity taking place around it, it becomes what is known as a “stale listing”. Stale listings can set off a couple of red flags for buyers, and it generally can mean one of a couple of different things. A stale listing may indicate that the home is not competitively priced. If the original list price is too high and scares interested buyers away, a price reduction will usually follow to generate more interest. While this may work, it may also backfire and suggest desperation on the seller’s part, giving potential buyers a more confident negotiating stance. Other times, a stale listing may indicate to potential buyers that there is something structurally wrong with the home or that it needs significant repairs that are preventing it from selling. Neither of these impressions will help the home owner sell his home, which is why it’s very important to price the home competitively while reflecting its value accurately from the start.

When you partner with NextHome SunRaye Realty and list your home for sale, your agent will review a market analysis with you that provides data on the all of the current active listings in your neighborhood, the listings that are under contract, closed sales, and expired listings. This analysis will offer you a complete picture of the local market activity currently taking place in your area and around your home. Your agent will tell you about our successful marketing programs that can assist you in selling your home quickly and at a competitive price. NextHome SunRaye agents are  continuously monitoring market statistics and staying on top of neighborhood trends in order to best serve our clients. Call NextHome SunRaye today to discuss a marketing strategy for selling your home and making it stand out above the rest: (727) 343-8600.

Homeowners are in the Best Position to Sell in Today’s Tampa Bay Real Estate Market, but the Time to Act is Now.

 

Surging home prices are making the news again, as the Tampa Bay Times reported on the biggest price increase in a year for the Tampa Bay area just last week. The reason? Rising values are due to the lack of homes for sale in the area’s inventory. With a lopsided market of too many buyers and not enough homes to buy, even homes that normally fall within an affordable range of $100,000 to $400,000 are seeing moderate price growth. However, while prices are rising, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties have seen a decline in sales, simply because the supply of homes to buy is so low. Here are some market facts to put it all in perspective, as reported by the Times:

 

  • Pasco County leads with a 17.2% surge in single family homes from a year ago, with a median price of $219,220. Hernando County follows in second place, up almost 12% to $164,000, Pinellas County is up 10%, to $244,250, and Hillsborough County is up 6.3% with a median price of $239,090.
  • Statewide, prices of single family homes increased 3.3% in February to a median of $246,500. Sales rose 6.9%.
  • Nationally, sales of existing homes (including condos, townhomes and houses) increased 5.4% from a year ago, with the median price rising to $241,700, a jump of almost 6%.

 

For the Tampa Bay area, however, there’s a little more to the inventory shortage than meets the eye. Not all homeowners are sitting on the sidelines waiting for the best moment to put the For Sale sign up in the yard, it’s institutional investors that have purchased thousands of Tampa Bay area homes during the foreclosure crisis. They have been renting out the homes ever since and aren’t selling. This presents a prime selling opportunity for the individual homeowner with a home that falls within that affordable range.

 

Florida Realtors reported these metro area median price percentage increases for the month of February:

  • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater $228,000 8.6%
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers $250,223 2.1%
  • Jacksonville $241,500 10.8%
  • Lakeland-Winter Haven $188,500 12.5%
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach $336,000 6.7%
  • Naples $491,000 15.9%
  • Orlando-Kissimmee $255,000 13.3%
  • North Port-Sarasota $286,995 4.7%

 

Now is the time to sell! If you are interested in learning what your home is valued at, give us a call at NextHome SunRaye Realty, and we can tell you exactly what it’s worth, answer all of your questions, and provide you with the best strategy for selling in this market. Get the best knowledge, expertise, and leadership at NextHome SunRaye.