All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary.
Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit.
“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”
Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:
“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”
And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:
“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”
Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies, making the housing market a driving force . As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy. Are you in need of a new home? Let us make finding that home easier – Perfect Home Finder
One of the biggest questions we all seem to be asking these days is: When are we going to start to see an economic recovery? As the country begins to slowly reopen, moving forward in strategic phases, business activity will help bring our nation back to life. Many economists indicate a recovery should begin to happen in the second half of this year. Here’s a look at what some of the experts have to say.
“I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year…
So, in the long run, I would say the U.S. economy will recover. We’ll get back to the place we were in February; we’ll get to an even better place than that.I’m highly confident of that. And it won’t take that long to get there.”
“The economy is expected to begin recovering during the second half of 2020 as concerns about the pandemic diminish and as state and local governments ease stay-at-home orders, bans on public gatherings, and other measures. The labor market is projected to materially improve after the third quarter; hiring will rebound and job losses will drop significantly as the degree of social distancing diminishes.”
“I think we need to prepare for a more gradual recovery while we hope for that quicker rebound.”
We’re certainly not out of the woods yet, but clearly many experts anticipate we’ll see a recovery starting this year. It may be a bumpy ride for the next few months, but most agree that a turnaround will begin sooner rather than later.
During the planned shutdown, as the economic slowdown pressed pause on the nation, many potential buyers and sellers put their real estate plans on hold. That time coincided with the traditionally busy spring real estate season. As we look ahead at this economic recovery and we begin to emerge back into our communities over the coming weeks and months, perhaps it’s time to think about putting your real estate plans back into play.
The experts note a turnaround is on the horizon, starting as early as later this year. If you paused your 2020 real estate plans, connect with your Sales Agent today to determine how you can re-engage in the process as the country reopens and the economy begins a much-anticipated rebound.
In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate through the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.
We are, however, in anything but a normal market right now. We are amid one of the greatest health crises our nation has ever seen. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the journey consumers take to purchase or sell a home. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’
According to Lexico, a Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region – some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.
They are much more than just guides.
This is much more than a normal real estate market.
Today, the average guide just won’t do. You need a Sherpa. You need an expert who understands how COVID-19 is impacting the thoughts and actions of the consumer (ex: virtual showings, proper safety protocols, e-signing documents). You need someone who can simply and effectively explain the changes in today’s process to you and your family. You need an expert who will guarantee you make the right decision, especially in these challenging times.
Hiring an agent who understands how the pandemic is reshaping the real estate processes is crucial right now. Connect with one of our Sales Agents today to guarantee your journey is a safe and successful one.
GeoffGreen, President of Green Team Realty, welcomed everyone to the May 2020 Housing Market Update. The webinar was held on Tuesday, May 19 at 2 p.m. And, according to Green, “These are interesting times we live in,” to say the least. Geoff shares both national and local stats. Furthermore, he checks in with those who have “boots on the ground.” Sales Associates from Green Team New York Realty and Green Team New Jersey Realty share what’s happening in their respective states and communities. There are different regulations for the real estate industry in New York and New Jersey. Thus, there are differing impacts on what is happening in each state.
If you missed the webinar or would like to view it again, it’s available here:
Meet the Panel
The May 2020 Housing Market Update panel shared their observations, experiences, and expertise in this Covid-19 market. Keren Gonen and Kristi Anderson with Green Team New Jersey Realty talked about Vernon and the Sussex County NJ market. Nancy Sardo and Angela Murphy, with Green Team New York Realty, discussed Warwick and the Orange County NY market. Summer Mangels, Home Loan Consultant with Valley National Bank, shared her experiences with financing and refinancing in a Covid-19 market. Watch the above video to hear what the experts had to say.
Something everyone is talking about is:
When is the economy going to fully recover?
The Chairman of the Federal Reserve recently said that recovery is going to take longer than most people expect. However, several major financial institutions are calling for recovery in the second half of 2020. They include Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. And, although unemployment numbers are historically high, they are trending down in terms of the number of new filings. As the country starts to reopen, we will hopefully see unemployment numbers go down.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on the professions and categories most impacted by unemployment. In our April 2020 Housing Market Update we discussed those categories making up the largest majority of unemployed. Service and Bartending were the biggest category then. That number has come down a little as of May 8. Hopefully, as more and more businesses are able to reopen, people in these industries will be able to return to work.
Impact of Covid-19 to Real Estate Showings in North America
Data from ShowingTime provides analytics on the impact of Covid-19 on real estate showings. In March, showings plummeted. However, in mid-April, they started to shoot back up. When thrust into shut-down mode, there was panic and uncertainty. But as time has gone by, we’re learning how to more comfortably deal with the challenges with safety in mind. The reality is people still need homes. People still need to find homes when relocating. Life goes on. And we’re adapting to the rules and regulations as they change.
Another important factor is the percentage of homeowner equity. If you have no mortgage, you will probably be calmer about current financial challenges and uncertainty and be more willing to spend. However, if you have a high debt to equity ratio, things will be tighter and you’ll probably have to hold back on spending. 42% of homeowners in the United States have no mortgage. 58% of all homes in America have at least 60% equity. And the average equity of mortgaged homes is $177,000. These stats show that homeownership offers many Americans some financial stability.
Years for the unemployment rate to return to the pre-crisis level
National and Local Stats on Units Sold & Average Sales Price
On the national level, the chart shows existing home sales for March (pre-COVID). At that point, home sales were a little lower than the previous few years. Prices were on an upward trend pre-COVID. The months’ supply of inventory is showing a seller’s market, with the lack of inventory available.
What is especially interesting is what is going on in Orange County, NY versus Sussex County, NJ. These are bordering counties in different states, with different COVID regulations. In New York, realtors cannot physically show homes to buyers. In New Jersey, they can. Sales in Orange County have plummeted. April numbers were substantially lower than in previous years. However, average sales price was not impacted. In Sussex, April was a good month. They held firm as far as units sold. And prices are continuing to rise.
To reach any of the May 2020 Housing Market Update panelists,
While growing up, we were taught by our parents and grandparents that owning a home is a financially savvy move. They explained how a mortgage is like a “forced savings plan.” When you pay rent, that money is lost forever. When you make a mortgage payment, much of that money accumulates as equity in the home. So, what exactly is equity? The equity in your home is the amount of money you can sell it for minus what you still owe on the mortgage. Every month you make a mortgage payment, and every month a portion of what you pay reduces the amount you owe. That reduction of your mortgage every month increases your equity. A recent study by CoreLogic explained that homeowners gained substantial equity over the last twelve months, and are essentially sitting on large sums of cash in their homes. In the study, Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic explained:
“The CoreLogic Home Price Index recorded a quickening of home price gains during the fourth quarter of 2019, helping to boost home equity wealth. The average family with a mortgage had a $7,300 gain in home equity during the past year, and a total of $177,000 in home equity wealth.”
For most families, their home is their largest financial asset. This increase in equity drives the net worth, or family wealth, of the homeowner. Renters are not earning that benefit. Instead, they’re building the net worth of their landlord.
Home price growth will moderate during the pandemic. But once a cure is available, most experts agree that home values will again begin to appreciate at levels similar to what we’ve seen over the last several years. In the long run, our family elders will be proven correct: owning a home is a savvy financial move and there are many benefits of homeownership. Check out our article on the impact Covid might have on Home Values here.
Through all the volatility in the economy right now, some have put their search for a home on hold, yet others have not. According to ShowingTime, the real estate industry’s leading showing management technology provider, buyers have started to reappear over the last several weeks. In the latest report, they revealed:
“The March ShowingTime Showing Index® recorded the first nationwide drop in showing traffic in eight months as communities responded to COVID-19. Early April data show signs of an upswing, however.”
Why would people be setting appointments to look at prospective homes when the process of purchasing a home has become more difficult with shelter-in-place orders throughout the country? Here are three reasons for this uptick in activity: 1. Some people need to move. Whether because of a death in the family, a new birth, divorce, financial hardship, or a job transfer, some families need to make a move as quickly as possible. 2. Real estate agents across the country have become very innovative, utilizing technology that allows purchasers to virtually:
Meet with mortgage professionals
Consult with their agent throughout the process
All of this can happen within the required safety protocols, so real estate professionals are continuing to help families make important moves. 3. Buyers understand that mortgage rates are a key component when determining their monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage interest rates are very close to all-time lows and afford today’s purchaser the opportunity to save tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan. Looking closely at the third reason, we can see that there’s a big difference between purchasing a house last year and purchasing one now (see chart below):
Many families have decided not to postpone their plans to purchase a home, even in these difficult times. If you need to make a move, let’s connect today so you have a trusted advisor to safely and professionally guide you through the process.