Dallas- Ft Worth will recover over the next six months
The end is in sight for the US housing market's troubles, according to Goldman Sachs. Strategists at the US bank said this week that easing mortgage rates are likely to help the market find a floor within six months – with prices likely to have fallen around 6% from their peak when housing bottoms out.
"The sharpest declines for the US housing market are now behind us," a team led by Goldman Sachs' chief economist Jan Hatzius said in a research note.
Low interest rates, stagnating supply and generous fiscal policies fueled something of a house price bubble in the two years after the coronavirus pandemic hit the US in March 2020. But that was followed by the Federal Reserve's most aggressive monetary tightening campaign since the 1980s, with the central bank raising interest rates from near-zero to around 4.5% last year in a bid to crush soaring inflation. That pushed up mortgage rates to multi-year highs, leading to a slowdown in housing demand.
Thirty-year mortgage rates peaked at 7.24% in November but have slid by nearly one percentage point since, with cooling inflation sparking hopes the Fed may be nearing the end of its rate-hike cycle.
The retreat in mortgage rates should eventually filter through into the market by making it cheaper to borrow to buy a house, which Goldman Sachs believe will eventually halt the slide in prices.
"Since reaching 20-year highs of over 7% in October, mortgage rates have fallen by a percentage point, causing our housing affordability index to recover very slightly," they said.
House prices could fall more sharply on the US west coast because there's greater excess supply than in the more crowded mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions, the strategists added.
Goldman Sachs named Austin, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, and Denver as the five US cities likely to see steeper price declines of over 10% from their peaks.
"On a regional basis, we project larger declines across the Pacific Coast and Southwest regions – which have seen the largest increases in inventory on average – and more modest declines across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest – which have maintained greater affordability over the past couple years," Hatzius' team said.
But the bank's view that the market is only set for a minor correction isn't echoed by ordinary people.
Two-thirds of Americans believe that a housing market crash is "imminent in the next three years", according to a NerdWatch survey that sought to gauge views about the current slowdown.
The North Texas housing market is downshifting quickly, with Dallas-Fort Worth being the only U.S. market to see a decrease in home sale prices last month, according to a report released today. DFW home prices are down 1.9% year over year in July, according to the latest Re/Max National Housing Report.
And what a difference a month makes. Last month, DFW led the U.S. for home price increases, with June prices up 29.3% over the previous year. In hard numbers, home sales prices in DFW fell to $413,900 in July from $422,000 in July 2021. Homes in DFW spend an average of 23 days on the market before selling.
Higher interest rates and inflation, as well as record home prices, triggered a sharp drop in demand for housing, said Todd Luong, a realtor with Re/Max DFW Associates: "Here at our Re/Max office in Dallas-Fort Worth, our listings are currently getting on average 2.7 showings per week," Luong said. "Last year, at this same time, our listings were earning on average 5.9 showings per week. That is a huge drop in buyer demand compared to the previous year. Record home prices and higher mortgage rates have forced many potential buyers out of the market, especially first-time homebuyers."
While the latest trends may disappoint some sellers, buyers now have more choices and better opportunities for good deals, Luong said. Luong said that the DFW housing market has been challenged with low inventory for years and reached an all-time low earlier this year, with only a two-week supply. Now, however, inventory is increasing. "Although buyers have more choices now, it is still not a balanced market as we only have about a two-month housing supply," Luong said. "In a normal market, you have about a five to six-month supply of housing."
A new report from Zillow also found falling home values, although the numbers didn't match Re/Max's precisely because of different study methods and different geographic definitions of DFW as a metro area, among other reasons. According to Zillow's findings, the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area's typical home value is $396,904, down 1.1% since June, the first month of decline. Values are up 55.4% since July 2019.
Zillow also reported that the mortgage payment on a typical home in DFW is $2,633 a month, including taxes and insurance. That's up 77.4% compared to July 2019.
According to Zillow, inventory in DFW has risen 10.2% since June, and the share of listings with a price cut in July was 22%, compared to 15.6% in June. Nationwide, after two years of unprecedented growth, home values fell for the first time since 2012 as competition for houses eased, according to Zillow's July market report.
The slowdown is being driven by decreased competition among buyers. Zillow's analysis says that affordability pressures have pushed many to the sidelines, and buyers are waiting in the wings to resume their search if and when prices relax a bit. Skylar Olsen, Zillow's chief economist, called the flattening of home values "a badly needed rebalancing. This slowdown is about discouraged buyers pulling back after the affordability shock from higher rates," Olsen said. "As prices soften, many will renew their interest, and we will continue our progress back to 'normal.'"
Luong said he sees positive signs in the market. The interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped below 5% after peaking in June. More than 290,000 new jobs were added in Dallas-Fort Worth last year, so North Texas has one of the strongest labor markets in the country. "Reasonably priced homes that are in good condition and move-in ready are still selling very fast," he said. "However, the bidding wars have subsided considerably across the board."
The word "unprecedented" may have been a bit overused during the months since the pandemic began, but it definitely applies to the housing market across the United States.
A confluence of factors such as low mortgage rates, remote work, shortages of homes and building materials, along with wealth inequality exacerbated by the economic fallout from the pandemic led to a wild housing market in 2021, according to Redfin real estate brokerage's chief economist Daryl Fairweather. Redfin's real estate analysts reviewed housing statistics for 2021 and found the following 10 records that were broken:
Click here to view full article - https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-market-predictions-2022/
Current surge in home buying and price hikes continues......
North Texas home sales and prices have surged to record levels in the last three months – one bright spot during the pandemic. The boom in Dallas-Ft Worth's housing market is likely to continue through 2021 as the effects of COVID-19 slowly subside, says Dr James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. "Dallas is still a robust market. Dallas is going to continue to do well – probably 2021 is looking similar to this year."
North Texas homes sales during the first nine months of 2020 are running 6% ahead of last year's record. And median sales prices in September were up 10% to near an all-time high of more than $290.000. "Employment is still high," Gaines said. "Population growth is still coming here. The demand for housing is still being created."
Construction of new homes surged in December to the highest level in 13 years, capping a year in which falling mortgage rates and a strong labor market helped lift the prospects of the housing industry. The Commerce Department reported Friday that builders started construction on 1.61 million homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in December, up 16.9% from the November pace of home building. Housing construction has been rising since July, helped by falling mortgage rates and increased demand as the unemployment rate approached a half-century low. For the year, builders started work on a total of 1.37 million homes, the best showing since 2007. The December building rate was the strongest number since December 2006 during the last housing boom.
Paige Shipp, regional director with housing analyst MetroStudy Inc. fears home sales might slow next year in the ramp up to presidential and congressional elections. "We typically have much slower selling seasons right before an election," she said. "After that happens, the flood gates open and people come out. It's not a matter of who wins." Worries about a recession may also impact the home market. "We spent the better part of the last decade still looking over our shoulder," said George Ratiu, senior economist with Realtor.com. "The last recession was so bad that we are still carrying some of the scars from that." However, Dr. James Gaines, chief economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University states that Texas economy is still expanding. "And we are extremely unlikely to be in a recession by the end of this calendar year," he said. "We are probably pretty safe through the first six months of next year."
No place builds more new houses than Dallas-Fort Worth. As of the third quarter of this year, D-FW was the solid leader in U.S. homebuilding with almost 35,000 single-family annual home starts, according to a new report by housing market analysts at Metrostudy Inc. Houston was second nationally with 29,370 home starts in the 12-month period ending in September. D-FW and Houston have topped the country in home construction for several years. And the two Texas titan building markets show no sign of a slowdown. D-FW starts were up 8.7 percent and Houston starts were 6 percent higher than a year ago, Transwestern found.
While D-FW builders are still busy, what they are building has changed, according to Metrostudy's Paige Shipp. "Over the past 12 months, builders and developers have been addressing the need for affordable new homes by developing in previously overlooked submarkets and building smaller, less amenitized homes," said Shipp, regional director of Metrostudy's D-FW market. "As such, the median price has dropped since last year.The decrease in price is not devaluation, rather it's an indication that buyers are purchasing smaller, more affordable homes."
Shipp said that homebuyer traffic has slowed in North Texas in recent months. "While this cooling may worry some, it should be viewed as a positive stabilization of an overheated, frenzied market," she said. "Builders and developers should use this opportunity to catch their breaths and return to the fundamentals of homebuilding including land acquisition and selling." Shipp said the inventory of vacant new homes in the D-FW has increased to the highest level since 2012.
Is the housing boom running out of gas? During the last few years, the home market has been on a tear in North Texas and in other parts of the country, with prices soaring and buyers lining up as soon as a sign hits the front yard. But there are growing signs that the fast-paced housing market is shifting gears, with a decline in sales in many markets and smaller price increases. In July, U.S. preowned home sales fell from a year ago for the fifth month in a row. And nationwide new home sales were down almost 2 percent in July, causing analysts at IHS Markit to question if the bull home market has turned bearish. "The economy is strong. Labor markets are solid. Yet, new home sales and single-family housing starts and permits have stalled. How can this be?" said Patrick Newport, executive director of the U.S. economics team at IHS.
Newport said rising home prices and higher mortgage rates have cooled the ardor for home buying. "This has choked off demand," he said. A slowdown in immigration and household formation could also be factors, Newport theorizes. In North Texas, year-over-year preowned home sales have fallen in many neighborhoods, and for the entire region, year-to-date sales were up a measly 2 percent as of July. At the same time, the double-digit percentage home price gains of the last few years have faded in Dallas-Fort Worth. Through the first seven months of 2018, median home sales prices were up only 6 percent from the same period last year, according to sales data from real estate agents.
Property agents say that some first-time buyers have given up after losing out to other buyers or all-cash investors who snapped up affordable homes. At midyear, the number of prospective U.S. homebuyers who said they planned to make a purchase in the next 12 months fell to just 14 percent — down from 24 percent in fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Home Builders. That's still another sign that the home market — while not in a traditional bubble — may be headed for slower sales in the year ahead. "It's clear that the winds that have boosted sellers over the past few years are ever-so-slightly starting to shift," said Zillow senior economist Aaron Terrazas.