What is Happening in the US Real Estate Market?

The US real estate market has been experiencing unprecedented changes due to COVID-19 pandemic - learn what experts have to say about it.

What is Happening in the US Real Estate Market?

The US economy is expected to grow in the coming years, and working conditions prior to the pandemic are expected to recover. This, combined with other factors, is likely to contribute to the success of the housing market. Last year was an incredible year for the housing market, with unprecedented interest rates, the highest annual growth in single-family values and rents, a generational low in foreclosure rates, and the highest number of home sales in 15 years. While many buyers struggled to get the winning offer, home sellers witnessed a market where their properties were sold quickly and frequently at prices above the asking price.

Fundamentally, although a lack of supply has been one of the main drivers of housing price growth, rising interest rates are deterring both potential sellers and new buildings. As a result, there is no hope of an improvement in housing supply or in a sustainable housing market as a result of an increase in inventory. The large and sudden increase in mortgage rates that occurred this year made an already expensive housing market much less affordable. Home prices experienced a meteoric rise in the early years of the pandemic for several reasons, including the fact that demand was at an all-time high, supply was at an all-time low, and mortgage rates reached several historic lows.

Some pressure will remain on home price growth until the end of the year, and house prices will continue to rise due to a mismatch between supply and demand. Many experts predicted that the pandemic would cause a housing crisis comparable to the Great Depression. House prices are unlikely to fall dramatically, but are expected to rise very slowly compared to last year's pace. According to the latest report published by Fortune, the continued home price correction that led to the US price of housing falling by 2.4% between June and October has been moderate.

However, economists and experts disagree on whether this is a modest setback for house price increases or the start of a more pronounced correction. That includes markets like Morristown, Tenn. Keep in mind when a group like Zillow or Moody's Analytics says: “We speak of an aggregated view of the country”. In regional housing markets, heck, in every neighborhood, the results can vary significantly.

Low inventories will prevent home prices from falling. Strong employment growth, low inventories and a lack of supply will cause uneven price movements. Lower price levels are more susceptible to interest rate increases, while higher price levels are more resilient to price falls. The mix of homes being sold may be lower on average as the market reacts to rising mortgage rates and declining affordability.

The report also shows that, in November, year-on-year house price growth stopped its 21-month streak of double-digit momentum with an increase of 8.6%, the lowest appreciation rate in exactly two years. Even though 16 states defied the national trend and experienced double-digit annual price increases, appreciation is slowing in many of the country's most attractive housing areas. Southeastern states continued to lead the nation in terms of price increases, but they also experienced some of the most dramatic coolings. No state recorded an annual drop in home prices.

The states with the highest year-on-year increases were Florida (18%), South Carolina (13.9%) and Georgia (13.6%). These large cities continued to record price increases in November, with Miami again in the lead with 21.3% year-on-year, followed by Houston with 10.6%, Phoenix with 8.1% and Las Vegas also with 7.7% year-on-year. The CoreLogic Market Risk Indicator (MRI), a monthly update of the general state of real estate markets across the country, predicts that Bellingham, Washington; Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Florida; Salem, Oregon; Merced, CA; and Urban Honolulu, Hawaii are at very high risk (more than 70% probability) that home prices will fall in the next 12 months. The government and jumbo segments experienced the most significant tightening of the previous month.

These two housing markets couldn't be more different from each other, and the current situation is in no way comparable to that of the past. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) is an index published regularly throughout the year by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). This index is used to measure how easy it is to obtain a mortgage. The availability of mortgage credit remained virtually unchanged in December as mortgage rates remained significantly higher than in previous two years and both refinancing and purchasing activity slowed dramatically.

The conventional MCAI declined by 0.1 percent while governmental MCAI declined by 0.1 percent; Of component indices of conventional MCAI MCAI Jumbo decreased by 0.2 percent while MCAI remained unchanged. The segment of market that showed most pronounced drop in credit availability were FHA and VA loans which experienced 23 percent drop in 12 months. Freddie Mac's own regression research indicates that 1 percent increase in mortgage rates reduces home price increases by about four percentage points (for example going from 11 percent annual home price growth to 7 percent). Morgan expects greater impact with reduction about six percentage points in price of housing because home values are so high housing market may be more susceptible to rate hikes than past therefore higher estimate seems realistic.

While it seems obvious that rising interest rates will reduce demand for housing by reducing affordability real past is significantly less reliable indicator what will happen due enormous balancing impact: interest rates tend rise when economy expanding. Government sponsored company expects that for every one percentage point increase in mortgage rates home sales will decline by about five percent and price growth will slow by four six percentage points. If mortgage rates stabilize at current levels and all other factors remain constant their analysis...

Preston Morand
Preston Morand

Infuriatingly humble tv fan. Social media aficionado. Hardcore music ninja. Incurable pop culture fanatic. Award-winning zombie aficionado.

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