Skip to main content

 

The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, and consumer confidence remains high. In fact, the University of Michigan’s latest Surveys of Consumers found that Americans have their most positive personal finance outlook since 2003.

 

However, if you follow national news, you’ve probably heard speculation that we could be headed toward a recession. Global trade tensions and a slow down in the GDP growth rate have sparked volatility in the stock market, leading to economic uncertainty.

 

Given these differing signals, you may be wondering: How has the U.S. housing market been impacted? Where is it headed? And more importantly… what does it mean for me?

 

 

Mortgage rates are near historic lows.

 

In August, Freddie Mac reported that the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit its lowest level since November 2016, falling to 3.6%, down a full percentage point from a year earlier.2 Variable mortgage rates also fell when the Federal Reserve cut interest rates at the end of July for the first time since 2008.

 

This was welcome news for many in the real estate industry. Freddie Mac predicts that low interest rates and a robust job market will help the housing market remain strong despite the threat of recession.

 

“There is a tug of war in the financial markets between weaker business sentiment and consumer sentiment,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Business sentiment is declining on negative trade and manufacturing headlines, but consumer sentiment remains buoyed by a strong labor market and low rates that will continue to drive home sales into the fall.”

 

What does it mean for you?

 

If you’re looking to buy a home, now is a great time to lock in a low mortgage rate. It will shrink your monthly payment and could save you a bundle over the long term. Or if you plan to stay in your current home for a while, consider whether it makes sense to refinance your mortgage at today’s lower rates.

 

 

Prices continue to rise at a modest pace.

 

According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices, housing prices continue to rise. But the rate at which prices are rising is slowing down. For May 2019, the National Home Price Index rose by 3.4%, down from 3.5% the previous month.

 

Of course, national averages often don’t present the whole picture. Some markets have seen modest declines, while other areas are witnessing double-digit increases. The key differentiating factor in most cases? Housing affordability.

 

Since 2012, home prices have increased at about three times the pace of wages, according to National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun.

 

“Housing unaffordability will hinder sales irrespective of the local job market conditions,” said Yun. “This is evident in the very expensive markets as home prices are either topping off or slightly falling.”

 

But what about all this talk of a recession? Will we see housing values plummet like they did in 2008? Economists say no.

 

If we look at history, the real estate crash experienced during the Great Recession isn’t typical.

 

The recent Housing and Mortgage Market Review report from Arch Mortgage Insurance provides data to support this. “What we found is that the next recession is likely to be far less severe on the housing market than the last one. It’s not that this time is different; it’s that last time was really different from historic norms.”

 

“A large decline in national home prices is unlikely in the next recession,” Arch economists write. “A persistent housing shortage should help cushion home price declines.”

 

What does it mean for you?

 

If you have the ability and desire to buy a home now, don’t let the threat of a recession hold you in limbo. The market is cyclical, and it will experience ups and downs. But over the long term, real estate has consistently proven to be a good investment.

 

 

Starter inventory remains tight while luxury market softens.

 

 

As we’ve seen in the past, it’s become a tale of two sectors.

 

The low end of the market remains highly competitive as buyers compete for affordable housing. A lack of new construction during the last recession led to an undersupply of starter homes. This trend continues—despite growing demand—due to a lack of skilled workers, rising land and material costs, and a slow permitting process in many areas.

 

The result? There’s a shortage of homes for sale that Americans can actually afford to buy.

 

The luxury market, on the other hand, has softened. Economic uncertainty, changes to tax laws, and rising prices have slowed demand. Plus, to recoup their higher costs, builders flocked to this segment—causing an overabundance of supply in some areas.

 

“If you’re selling an entry level home, you’re probably still looking at a pretty competitive market in most places,” according to Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com. “But if you’re selling a more expensive home you probably have to adjust your expectations.”

 

What does it mean for you?

 

Move-up buyers, you’re in luck! If you’re ready to trade in your starter home for something more luxurious, you may get the best of both sectors. We’re still witnessing strong demand for entry-level homes, giving sellers the upper hand. At the same time, buyers of high-end homes are finding a greater selection (and more negotiating power) than they’ve had in years.

 

 

Investors are buying homes at record levels.

 

There’s one group that hasn’t been slowed down by lack of affordability or economic uncertainty: investors.

 

According to CoreLogic, investors are purchasing homes at a record pace. In 2018, the share of U.S. homes bought by investors reached 11.3%—the highest level since the company began tracking nearly 20 years ago.

 

Notably, this increased activity wasn’t led by institutional investors, but instead by small and individual investors focused on the starter-home segment. Declining interest rates and an uncertain stock market have led investors to flock to real estate as they seek out greater stability and higher returns.

 

“With declining mortgage rates … they’re searching for a better return for their money,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

 

What does it mean for you?

 

If you’re looking for a way to “recession proof” your money, you might want to consider investing in real estate. People will always need a place to live, and (unlike the stock market) a rental property can provide a steady source of cash flow during uncertain economic times.

 

 

 

While national real estate numbers can provide a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. I can guide you through the ins and outs of the Mammoth Lakes real estate market and what is most likely to impact sales and home values in our town.

 

 

If you’d like to talk, contact me to get started.

 

 

If you liked this post, you might also like:

 

Follow Along on Instagram

Beautiful evening for a walk with friends 🐾 Poppy and Tinker posing in paradise 😊 ...

10 0

Lots of properties on Agent Caravan on Thursday, May 26. What is Agent Caravan?

This is an opportunity for local Realtors® to view the new listings. We do this every Thursday from 9 AM - 11 AM. Contrary to what my friends think....we are not all on a big party bus driving around town LOL!!!

This week is the biggest caravan of the year (12 properties ranging in price from $500k to $2.5M) because inventory has finally started to increase. So.....if you are looking for something to do....stop by one of these properties. Everyone is welcome! If you are working with a Realtor® be sure and tell the person at the Open House.....otherwise we think you could be a new client for us!!

I will be at 354 Joaquin #4 -- stop by and say hello and I will give you a list of the other 11 properties on caravan.
...

0 0

Tonight kicks off the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival! Come see amazing films and party with the artists till Sunday! Another fun and local event for Mammoth Lakes!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #summerfun
...

2 0

Don't miss out....

Come by and see this beautiful 3 bedroom home at 33 Kelley Road in Mammoth Lakes on Saturday, May 28. OPEN HOUSE from 2 PM - 5:30 PM.

LINK IN BIO for details.
...

2 0

You’re probably well aware that mortgage rates are rising. At the same time, home prices don’t seem to be coming down, there’s still a ton of competition, and you’re probably no stranger to bidding wars when you make an offer on a house. More in my blog. Link in Bio...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
...

4 0

Attended the ribbon cutting for Mammoth Lakes new Disc Golf Park. Such a beautiful course built in our local paradise. A lot of work by local individuals, business and town government came together to make this happen. THANK YOU! Check it out next time you are in town! I have never played but I am going to learn! #mammothlakesrecreation #townofmammothlakes #lovewherewelive #paradise ...

21 1

Preparing for summer in Mammoth like...

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

10 0

"Thank you so much for your guidance and expertise in helping us to buy our dream home.
I am so grateful for your hard work and patience with all our questions at every step of the process. I genuinely trusted that you were looking out for our best interests and had our backs throughout this exciting and stressful process."

-Andrew & Cara

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #testimonials
...

7 0

Whew! This was only a 7 day escrow and we did it! So many offers on this one but the CASH offer with a quick close was just what my client was looking for! Thank you to Sara Knadler for bringing a quality buyer and for a smooth transaction. Sierra Escrow made it happen!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

10 0

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

3 0

Eric Van Winkle making a difference on Town Clean Up Day this past weekend! Way to represent Eric and the Mammoth Lakes Board of Realtors! #mammothlakes #TOML #communityspirit #towncleanupday #loveourcommunity ...

7 0

Swimming with dozens of Black Tip sharks and rays was exhilarating and fun (well after I got over my initial hesitation)! The water was so clear and these creatures were quite social! The tour was amazing - we went on to see a 12 foot Eagle ray below us while snorkeling! #tripofalifetime #conradboraboranui #pinchme #godisgreat #lifeisgood #blacktipshark #borabora #porapora @johnbushmammothloco ...

23 7

Today is the first day of Day Pass Reservations for Yosemite National Park! If you're in the area remember to make sure you have a reservation to get into @yosemite this summer!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #summerfun #yosemite #nature
...

27 1

OPEN HOUSE
33 Kelley Road

Sunday, May 22
10 AM - 1 PM

Stop by and view this immaculate and beautiful 3 bedroom / 2.5 bath move in ready home. A rare find for such an amazing location and quality construction. The placement of the home on the lot is off-set from neighboring homes providing a true sense of privacy.

LINK IN BIO FOR DETAILS
...

7 0

I know it's something we don't want to think about... but with technology today a seller can be listening or recording you while you view their home. Make sure to be conscious and aware of that and always share your opinions outside or quietly.

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate #realestatetips #realestatetipsandtricks
...

7 1

Make sure to show your love and support as we go into the busy summer season to all the amazing workers who make Mammoth such an amazing, beautiful, and safe place to live. Thank you to all our rangers, forest service, hospital workers, police, first responders, SAR members and more!

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

25 0

That’s a wrap! 40th anniversary trip was AMAZING - don’t know where we could possibly go from here!! Truly a trip of a lifetime. So grateful ❤️ Headed back to reality tonight with arrival in 🇺🇸 tomorrow. Photos coming soon 🌴 #borabora #conradboraboranui #loveourlife #ThankYouGod #lovetotravel #pinchme @johnbushmammothloco ...

77 4

My buyers missed out in a multiple offer situation earlier this year and it happened for a reason. 924 Links Way was meant to be their Mammoth Lakes home! It is perfect for them. Things happen for a reason, right? So excited!' @side_realestate

#mammothlakes #californialife #sierra #easternsierra #mammothlife #vacationliving #mammothlifestyle #dailylife
#sonjasellsmammoth #mammothcondos #mammothrealestate
#destinationmammoth #destinationrealestate #mammothmountain #monocounty #mammothhomes #monocountytourism #monocountyrealestate
...

7 0

Let’s Talk

You’ve got questions and we can’t wait to answer them.

We use cookies and tracking technology in connection with your activities on our website. By viewing and using our website, you consent to our use of cookies and tracking technology in accordance with our Privacy Policy.