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Have you ever heard the term “Silver Tsunami” and wondered what it's all about? If so, that might be because there’s been a lot of talk about it online recently. Let's dive into what it is and why it won't drastically impact the housing market.

What Does Silver Tsunami Mean?

A recent article from HousingWire calls it:

“. . . a colloquialism referring to aging Americans changing their housing arrangements to accommodate aging . . .”

The thought is that as baby boomers grow older, a significant number will start downsizing their homes. Considering how large that generation is, if these moves happened in a big wave, it would affect the housing market by causing a significant uptick in the number of larger homes for sale. That influx of homes coming onto the market would impact the balance of supply and demand and more.

The concept makes sense in theory, but will it happen? And if so, when?

Why It Won’t Have a Huge Impact on the Housing Market in 2024

Experts say, so far, a silver tsunami hasn’t happened – and it probably won't anytime soon. According to that same article from HousingWire:

“. . . the silver tsunami’s transformative potential for the U.S. housing market has not yet materialized in any meaningful way, and few expect it to anytime soon.”

Here’s just one reason why. Many baby boomers don’t want to move. Data from the AARP shows over half of the surveyed adults ages 65 and up plan to stay put and age in place in their current home rather than move (see chart below):

Clearly, not every baby boomer is planning to sell or move – and even those who do won’t do it all at once. Instead, it will be more gradual, happening slowly over time. As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist at First American, says:

Demographics are never a tsunami. The baby boomer generation is almost two decades of births. That means they're going to take about two decades to work their way through.”

Bottom Line

If you’re worried about a Silver Tsunami shaking up the housing market, don’t be. Any impact from baby boomers moving will be gradual over many years. Fleming sums it up best:

 

“Demographic trends, they don't tsunami. They trickle.”

When you read about the housing market, you’ll probably come across some information about inflation or recent decisions made by the Federal Reserve (the Fed). But how do those two things impact you and your homebuying plans? Here's what you need to know.

The Federal Funds Rate Hikes Have Stalled

One of the Fed’s primary goals is to lower inflation. In order to do that, they started raising the Federal Funds Rate to slow down the economy. Even though this doesn’t directly dictate what happens with mortgage rates, it does have an impact.

Recently inflation has started to cool, a signal those increases worked and are bringing inflation back down. As a result, the Fed’s hikes have gotten smaller and less frequent. In fact, there haven’t been any increases since July (see graph below):

And not only has the Fed decided not to raise the Federal Funds Rate the last three times the committee met, they’ve signaled there may actually be rate cuts coming in 2024. According to the New York Times (NYT):

“Federal Reserve officials left interest rates unchanged in their final policy decision of 2023 and forecast that they will cut borrowing costs three times in the coming year, a sign that the central bank is shifting toward the next phase in its fight against rapid inflation.”

This indicates the Fed thinks the economy and inflation are improving. Why does that matter to you and your plans to buy a home? It could end up leading to lower mortgage rates and improved affordability.

Mortgage Rates Are Coming Down

Mortgage rates are influenced by a wide variety of factors, and inflation and the Fed’s actions (or as has been the case recently, inaction) play a big role. Now that the Fed has paused the increases, it looks more likely mortgage rates will continue their downward trend (see graph below):

Although mortgage rates may remain volatile, their recent trend combined with expert forecasts indicate they could continue to go down in 2024. That would improve affordability for buyers and make it easier for sellers to move since they won’t feel as locked-in to their current, low mortgage rate.

Bottom Line

The Fed’s decisions have an indirect impact on mortgage rates. By not raising the Federal Funds Rate, mortgage rates are likely to continue declining. Let’s connect so you have expert advice about changes in the housing market and how they affect you.

The idea of owning a home has always been a big part of the American Dream. It's a symbol of stability, independence, and having a place to truly call your own. But for Gen Z, the "Zoomers" born between 1997 and 2012, making that dream a reality can feel like quite the challenge today with higher mortgage rates and rising home prices.

But achieving that goal of owning your first home can still be attainable, even today, with some strategic planning and resourcefulness.

Explore Down Payment Assistance Options

With prices rising all around you, it can be hard to save up for a home. If you've been struggling to stash away enough cash for that down payment, it’s worth it to look into the various down payment assistance programs available. These programs can really help you save big on the upfront costs of buying a home.

There are a lot more options out there than you may realize. According to Down Payment Resource, there are over 2,000 programs designed to help hopeful homebuyers with down payments and closing costs.

If you qualify for one of these programs, you may not need to save up as much money for your down payment. A local real estate agent can help you explore these programs in your area, making it much easier to turn your homeownership dream into a reality.

Consider Living with Relatives To Save

If you still need a bit more time to save, even with the down payment assistance programs out there, there are ways you can make that happen. Many savvy Zoomers have made a strategic choice to live with relatives so they can get to their savings goals even faster.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), around 30% of Gen Z homebuyers transition directly from their relative’s home to a home of their own.

By sharing living costs, such as mortgage payments, utility bills, and even grocery expenses, you can substantially reduce your monthly expenses. This frees up more of your income to tackle any outstanding debt, boost your credit score, and reach your down payment target in less time. And, all of this can bring homeownership one step closer to becoming a reality. Clare Trapasso, Executive News Editor at Realtor.com, explains:

Faced with ongoing housing affordability issues . . . we're seeing parents and children becoming roommates again in later years as the 'kids' save up to purchase their own place . . ."

The Road to Homeownership

When you're on the path to becoming a homeowner, it's a good idea to get some help along the way. And one of your best resources on this journey as a young homebuyer is a trusted real estate agent. They'll steer you through the process of buying a home and help you find one you can afford.

Bottom Line

For Gen Z, the path to homeownership may not be straightforward, but it's still within reach. With the right strategies, you can turn your dream of owning a home into a reality.

If you’re thinking of making a move, one of the biggest questions you have right now is probably: what’s happening with home prices? Despite what you may be hearing in the news, nationally, home prices aren’t falling. It’s just that price growth is beginning to normalize. Here’s the context you need to really understand that trend.

In the housing market, there are predictable ebbs and flows that happen each year. It’s called seasonality. Spring is the peak homebuying season when the market is most active. That activity is typically still strong in the summer but begins to wane as the cooler months approach. Home prices follow along with seasonality because prices appreciate most when something is in high demand.

That’s why there’s a reliable long-term home price trend. The graph below uses data from Case-Shiller to show typical monthly home price movement from 1973 through 2022 (not adjusted, so you can see the seasonality):

As the data shows, at the beginning of the year, home prices grow, but not as much as they do in the spring and summer markets. That’s because the market is less active in January and February since fewer people move in the cooler months. As the market transitions into the peak homebuying season in the spring, activity ramps up, and home prices go up a lot more in response. Then, as fall and winter approach, activity eases again. Price growth slows, but still typically appreciates.

After several unusual ‘unicorn’ years, today’s higher mortgage rates helped usher in the first signs of the return of seasonality. As Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, explains:

High mortgage rates have slowed additional price surges, with monthly increases returning to regular seasonal averages. In other words, home prices are still growing but are in line with historic seasonal expectations.”

Why This Is So Important to Understand

In the coming months, you’re going to see the media talk more about home prices. In their coverage, you’ll likely see industry terms like these:

Don’t let the terminology confuse you or let any misleading headlines cause any unnecessary fear. The rapid pace of home price growth the market saw in recent years was unsustainable. It had to slow down at some point and that’s what we’re starting to see – deceleration of appreciation, not depreciation.

Remember, it’s normal to see home price growth slow down as the year goes on. And that definitely doesn’t mean home prices are falling. They’re just rising at a more moderate pace.

Bottom Line

While the headlines are generating fear and confusion about what’s happening with home prices, the truth is simple. Home price appreciation is returning to normal seasonality. If you have questions about what’s happening with prices in our local area, let’s connect.

Generation Z (Gen Z) is eager to put down their own roots and achieve financial independence. As a result, they’re turning to homeownership. According to the latest Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 30% of Gen Z buyers transitioned straight from living under their parents' roofs to owning their own homes.

If you’re a member of this generation, and you’re interested in pursuing your own dream of homeownership, here’s some information you may find helpful on why and where your peers are buying.

The Reasons Gen Z Want To Become Homeowners

A recent survey by Rocket Mortgage identifies some of the top motivators driving Gen Z buyers to purchase a home:

Of those surveyed, 34% said that starting or growing their family was their main motivation to buy a home. . . . Along with growing a family comes establishing a home base.”

Another key reason the survey says Gen Z wants to buy is because homeownership can give them more stability (20.8%). That’s because buying a home allows you to stabilize what’s typically your biggest monthly expense: your housing cost.

When you have a fixed-rate mortgage on your home, you can lock in your monthly payment for the duration of your loan, often 15 to 30 years. If you keep renting, you don’t have that same benefit, and you won’t be protected from rising housing costs.

So, if you’re ready to start a new chapter in your life or if you’re craving more stability, know that your peers feel the same way, and those motivators are why they’re turning to homeownership.

Gen Z's Next Stop: Where Are They Making Their Moves?

If those reasons have you feeling ready to buy, here’s some information on where your peers are finding their homes that could help you with your search. According to a recent Lending Tree survey, Gen Z buyers are focusing on more affordable areas to help boost their buying power and offset the challenges that come with today’s mortgage rates.

Many Gen Z buyers still want the convenience and excitement of city life, but also value the affordability, open air, and space more suburban areas offer. Jacob Channel, Senior Economist at LendingTree, explains:

. . . they want to live in a city, but they also want to be close to nature.”

Locating a home that offers both of those things requires expertise. Working with a trusted real estate professional can help you find a home in your budget and desired area. Your agent will know the most affordable neighborhoods to search in. They can also highlight the amenities and features that location offers and how those are aligned with your goals. They’ll also be able to walk you through how things like remote work can help you cast a broader net for your search.

Bottom Line

If you’re a member of Gen Z and are just getting started on your homebuying journey, or if you want to learn more about the process, let’s connect. That way, you have a guide to help you find a home that fits both your lifestyle and your budget.

Many homeowners thinking about selling have two key things holding them back. That’s feeling locked in by today’s higher mortgage rates and worrying they won’t be able to find something to buy while supply is so low. Let’s dive into each challenge and give you some helpful advice on how to overcome these obstacles.

Challenge #1: The Reluctance to Take on a Higher Mortgage Rate

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the average interest rate for current homeowners with mortgages is less than 4% (see graph below):

But today, the typical 30-year fixed mortgage rate offered to buyers is closer to 7%. As a result, many homeowners are opting to stay put instead of moving to another home with a higher borrowing cost. This is a situation known as the mortgage rate lock-in effect.

The Advice: Waiting May Not Pay Off

While experts project mortgage rates will gradually fall this year as inflation cools, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should wait to sell. Mortgage rates are notoriously hard to predict. And, right now home prices are back on the rise. If you move now, you’ll at least beat rising home prices when you buy your next home. And, if experts are right and rates fall, you can always refinance later if that happens.

Challenge #2: The Fear of Not Finding Something to Buy

When so many homeowners are reluctant to take on a higher rate, fewer homes are going to come onto the market. That’s going to keep inventory low. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), explains:

Inventory will remain tight in the coming months and even for the next couple of years. Some homeowners are unwilling to trade up or trade down after locking in historically-low mortgage rates in recent years.”

Even though you know this limited housing supply helps your house stand out to eager buyers, it may also make you feel hesitant to sell because you don’t want to struggle to find something to purchase.

The Advice: Broaden Your Search

If fear you won’t be able to find your next home is the primary thing holding you back, remember to consider all your options. Looking at all housing types including condos, townhouses, and even newly built homes can help give you more to choose from. Plus, if you’re able to work fully remote or hybrid, you may be able to consider areas you hadn’t previously searched. If you can look further from your place of work, you may have more affordable options.

Bottom Line

Instead of focusing on the challenges, focus on what you can control. Let’s connect so you’re working with a professional who has the experience to navigate these waters and find the perfect home for you.

The recent changes in home prices are top of mind for many as the housing market begins gearing up for spring. It can be hard to navigate misleading headlines and confusing data, so here’s what you should know about today’s home prices.

Local price trends still vary by market. But looking at national data, Nataliya Polkovnichenko, Ph.D., Supervisory Economist at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), explains:

U.S. house prices were largely unchanged in the last four months and remained near the peak levels reached over the summer of 2022. While higher mortgage rates have suppressed demand, low inventories of homes for sale have helped maintain relatively flat house prices.”

Month-over-month home price changes can be seen in the chart below. The data also shows that price depreciation peaked around August. Since then, any depreciation has been even milder. In other words, today’s home prices aren’t in a freefall.

What Does This Mean for You?

If you currently own your house, you may be concerned about even the smallest decline in prices. But keep in mind how much home values grew over the last few years. Compared to that growth, any declines we’re seeing nationally are likely to be minimal. Selma Hepp, Chief Economist at CoreLogic, shares:

“. . . while prices continued to fall from November, the rate of decline was lower than that seen in the summer and still adds up to only a 3% cumulative drop in prices since last spring’s peak.”

It’s also important to remember that every local market is different. That’s why it’s essential to lean on an expert for the latest information on home prices in your area if you’re planning to make a move this spring.

Bottom Line

To understand what’s going on with home prices in our market and how they could impact your goals, let’s connect today.

One of the first steps in your home-buying journey is getting pre-approved. To understand why it’s such an important step, you need to understand what pre-approval is and what it does for you. Business Insider explains:

“In a preapproval [sic], the lender tells you which types of loans you may be eligible to take out, how much you may be approved to borrow, and what your rate could be.”

Basically, pre-approval gives you critical information about the home-buying process that’ll help you understand your options and what you may be able to borrow.

How does it work? As part of the pre-approval process, a lender will look at your finances to determine what they’d be willing to loan you. From there, your lender will give you a pre-approval letter to help you understand how much money you can borrow. That can make it easier when you set out to search for homes because you’ll know your overall numbers. And with higher mortgage rates impacting affordability for many buyers today, a solid understanding of your numbers is even more important.

Pre-Approval Helps Show You’re a Serious Buyer

Another added benefit is pre-approval can help a seller feel more confident in your offer because it shows you’re serious about buying their house. A recent article from Forbes notes:

“From the seller’s perspective, a preapproval [sic] letter from a reputable local lender often can make the difference between accepting and rejecting an offer.”

This goes to show, even though you may not face the intense bidding wars you saw if you tried to buy during the pandemic, pre-approval is still an important part of making a strong offer. In fact, Christy Bieber, Personal Finance Writer at The Motley Fool explains it may be the most important part of making an offer:

“Pre-approval maximizes the chances you’ll be able to actually close the deal – and sellers want to see that.

The fact that a pre-approval gives you a better chance of getting your offer accepted is undoubtedly the most important reason to complete this step . . .”

Bottom Line

Getting pre-approved is an important first step toward buying a home. It lets you know what you can borrow and shows sellers you’re serious about purchasing their home. Connect with a local real estate professional and a trusted lender so you have the tools you need to purchase a home in today’s market.

If buying or selling a home is part of your dreams for 2023, it’s essential for you to understand today’s housing market, define your goals, and work with industry experts to bring your homeownership vision for the new year into focus.

In the last year, high inflation had a big impact on the economy, the housing market, and likely on your wallet too. That’s why it’s critical to have a clear understanding of not just the market today, but also what you want out of it when you buy or sell a home. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:

The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, so that you can stay in your home long enough that buying is a sound financial decision.

Here are a few questions you can start thinking through as you fine-tune your goals for 2023.

1. What’s Motivating You?

You’re dreaming about making a move for a reason – what is it? No matter what’s happening in the market, there are still many compelling reasons to buy a home today. Your needs may have changed in a way your current house can’t address, or you could be ready to step into homeownership for the first time and have a space that’s truly your own. Use what’s motivating you as a guidepost in partnership with an expert advisor to help make sure your move will give you a lasting sense of accomplishment.

2. What Does Your Next Home Look Like?

You know you want to move, but how would you describe your dream home? The available supply of homes for sale has grown, and that could mean more options to choose from when you buy. Just be sure to keep your budget in mind and work with a trusted real estate professional to balance your wants and needs. The better you understand what’s essential and where you can be flexible, the easier it can be to find the home that’s right for you.

3. How Ready Are You To Buy?

Getting clear on your budget and savings is essential before you get too far into the process. Working with a local agent and a lender early is the best way to make sure you’re in a good position to buy. This could include planning how much to save for a down payment, getting pre-approved for a home loan, and assessing your current home equity if your move involves selling your existing house.

A Professional Will Guide You Through Every Step of the Process

Buying or selling a home is a big process that takes expertise to navigate. If that feels a bit overwhelming, you aren’t alone. According to a recent Harris Poll survey, one in five respondents see a lack of information or knowledge about the homebuying process as a barrier to owning a home. Don’t let uncertainty hold you back from your goals this year. A trusted expert can bridge that gap and give you the best advice and information about today’s market.

Bottom Line

Let’s connect to plan how your dreams for 2023 can become a reality.

Many industries are susceptible to changes during an economic recession, and the housing market is usually no exception. If you're thinking of buying or selling a home, it's important to be aware of how a recession may impact the housing market in your area. While there's still some debate on whether we are in a recession or not, here's a quick overview of what you can expect during one.

Housing prices may drop.

One of the most obvious ways that a recession can impact the housing market is through prices. During an economic downturn, people are generally less confident about their finances and less likely to make large purchases. This can lead to a decrease in demand for homes, which in turn may cause prices to drop. Of course, this isn't always the case—housing prices may not be affected at all or could even increase during a recession—but it's something to be aware of if you're thinking of buying or selling a home.

There may be more foreclosures.

Another potential effect of a recession on the housing market is an increase in foreclosures. When people lose their jobs or have their hours reduced, they may struggle to make their mortgage payments on time. As a result, there may be more homes on the market that have been foreclosed upon. This could create more bargain-priced homes for buyers but may also lead to lower prices overall as banks try to unload these properties quickly.

The market could take longer to recover.

Finally, it's important to remember that even if the overall housing market is impacted by a recession, it will eventually rebound. However, it's worth noting that the recovery process could take longer than usual following a recessionary period. So if you're thinking of selling your home during an economic downturn, you may have to be patient while the market recovers before you see any offers come in.

A recession can have various impacts on the housing market depending on factors like location and timing. However, some common effects include lower prices and more foreclosures. It's important to be aware of these potential impacts if you're thinking of buying or selling a home during an economic downturn. Ultimately, the market will rebound but it could take some time for things to return to normal.

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