3 Myths About Today’s Real Estate Market

There are many conflicting headlines when it comes to describing today’s real estate market. Some are making comparisons to the market we experienced 10 years ago and are starting to believe that we may be doomed to repeat ourselves. Others are just plain wrong when it comes to what it takes to qualify for a mortgage.

Today, we want to try and clear the air by shedding some light on what’s causing some of these headlines, as well as what’s truly going on.

Myth #1: We Are Headed for Another Housing Bubble

Home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 straight months. Many areas of the country are at or near their peak prices achieved before the last housing bubble burst. This has many worried that we are headed towards another housing bubble.

Reality: The biggest challenge facing today’s real estate market is a lack of homes for sale! Demand is strong, as many renters have come off the fence and are searching for their dream homes.

Historically, a normal market requires a 6-month supply of inventory in order for prices to rise with the rate of inflation. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there is currently a 4.3-month supply of inventory.

The US housing market hasn’t had 6-months inventory since August 2012! The concept of supply and demand is what is driving home prices up!

Myth #2: The Rumored Recession Will Lead to Another Housing Market Crash

Economists and analysts know that the country has experienced economic growth for almost a decade. When this happens, they also know that a recession can’t be too far off. But what is a recession?

Merriam-Webster defines a recession as “a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two consecutive quarters.”

Reality: Recession DOES NOT equal housing crisis. Many people associate these two terms with one another because the last time we had a recession it was caused by a housing crisis. According to the Federal Reserve, over the last 40 years, there have been six recessions. In each of the previous five recessions, home values appreciated.

Myth #3: There is an Affordability Crisis Looming

Rising home prices have many concerned that the average family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – their own home.

There are many different affordability indexes supported by different organizations that all measure different data. For this reason, there is a lot of confusion about what “affordable” actually means.

The monthly cost of a home is determined by the home’s price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates have risen from 3.95% in January to 4.59% just last week.

Reality: As we mentioned earlier, home prices have appreciated year-over-year for the last 76 months, largely driven by high demand and low supply.

According to a recent study by Zillow, the percentage of median income necessary to buy a home in today’s market (17.1%) is well below the mark reached in 1985 – 2000 (21%), as well as the mark reached in 2006 (25.4)! Interest rates would have to increase to 6% before buying a home would be less affordable than historical norms.

The starter-home market has appreciated at higher levels (9.4% year-over-year) than any other market. One reason for this is the fact that many of the first-time buyers who have flocked to the starter-home market are being met with high competition. For some hopeful buyers, it may take more than a good offer to stand out from the crowd!

Recent Articles

Home buying guide

7 Steps To Buying Your First Home In Santa Barbara

1. Get prequalified for a loan Before you begin the home buying process, it is essential to know how much you can pay for a home. Your lender can make this easy for you, by pre-qualifying you before you and your real estate agent begin looking for a home. A prequalification is free and can…

6-questions-to-ask-about-title-insurance

4 Questions to Ask When Selling Your Santa Barbara Home

There comes a time in every homeowner’s life when he or she realizes: “I am not the same person I was when I bought this place.” Maybe your lifestyle or your family configuration has changed, or maybe the house just isn’t as appealing as it was when you signed that ream of paperwork on closing…

real estate closing

10 Things Homebuyers Should Know About The Closing Process

If you’re reading this, you’re probably entering the home stretch. Hang in there! The closing process, or settlement, transfers ownership of your new home from the seller to you. Yes, there’s a lot going on, and a lot of money is going to change hands. But when you know what to expect and plan well,…

downsize home

4 Considerations When Helping Your Senior Parents Downsize

Watching your parents age is never an easy thing, and helping to make life decisions on their behalf can be immensely stressful. This is one of the reasons why children who are tasked with helping their parents downsize into a more lifestyle-appropriate home often delay in doing so. And when you combine this stress with…

Shot of young woman sitting at desk and making a phone call. Businesswoman working from home office and using cell phone.

The Millennial’s Guide to Buying a Home in Santa Barbara

Millennials who want to invest in real estate have it harder than many other generations. Real estate prices are at record or near-record highs in just about every major market in the country, and even though employment is good, wages still haven’t kept up with the home price increases, making it tougher than ever to…

host open house santa barbara

Host the Ultimate Open House When Selling Your Santa Barbara Home

An open house can be an ideal way to introduce a bulk of buyers to the property you’re hoping to sell them, and done right, an open house can sometimes generate multiple offers. The key, though, is “done right” — not every open house is going to be a buyer’s bonanza, and not every open…