Are you thinking about selling your house? If so, today’s mortgage rates may be making you wonder if that’s the right decision. Some homeowners are reluctant to sell and take on a higher mortgage rate on their next home. If you’re worried about this too, know that even though rates are high right now, so is home equity. Here’s what you need to know.
Bankrate explains exactly what equity is and how it grows:
“Home equity is the portion of your home that you’ve paid off and own outright. It’s the difference between what the home is worth and how much is still owed on your mortgage. As your home’s value increases over the long term and you pay down the principal on the mortgage, your equity stake grows.”
In other words, equity is how much your home is worth now, minus what you still owe on your home loan.
How Much Equity Do Homeowners Have Now?
Recently, your equity has been growing faster than you might think. To help contextualize just how much the average homeowner has, CoreLogic says:
“. . . the average U.S. homeowner now has about $290,000 in equity.”
That’s because, over the past few years, home prices went up significantly – and those rising prices helped your equity to accumulate faster than usual. While the market has started to normalize, there are still more people wanting to buy homes than there are homes available for sale. This high demand is causing home prices to go up again.
According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the Census, and ATTOM, a property data provider, nearly two-thirds (68.7%) of homeowners have either fully paid off their mortgages or have at least 50% equity (see chart below):
That means nearly 70% of homeowners have a tremendous amount of equity right now.
How Equity Helps with Your Affordability Concerns
With today’s affordability challenges, your equity can make a big difference when you decide to move. After you sell your house, you can use the equity you’ve built up in your home to help you buy your next one. Here’s how:
- Be an all-cash buyer: If you’ve been living in your current home for a long time, you might have enough equity to buy a new house without having to take out a loan. If that’s the case, you won’t need to borrow any money or worry about mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states:
“These all-cash home buyers are happily avoiding the higher mortgage interest rates . . .”
- Make a larger down payment: Your equity could be used toward your next down payment. It might even be enough to let you put a larger amount down, so you won’t have to borrow as much money so today’s rates become less of a sticking point. Experian explains:
“Increasing your down payment lowers your principal loan amount and, consequently, your loan-to-value ratio, which could lead to a lower interest rate offer from your lender.”
If you’re thinking about moving, the equity you’ve built up can make a big difference, especially today. To find out how much equity you’ve got in your current house and how you can use it for your next home, get in touch with a trusted real agent.
An important factor shaping today’s market is the number of homes for sale. And, if you’re considering whether or not to list your house, that’s one of the biggest advantages you have right now. When housing inventory is this low, your house will stand out, especially if it’s priced right.
But there are some early signs that more listings are coming. According to the latest data, new listings (homeowners who just put their house up for sale) are trending up. Here’s a look at why this is noteworthy and what it may mean for you.
More Homes Are Coming onto the Market than Usual
It’s well known that the busiest time in the housing market each year is the spring buying season. That’s why there’s a predictable increase in the volume of newly listed homes throughout the first half of the year. Sellers are anticipating this and ramping up for the months when buyers are most active. But, as the school year kicks off and as the holidays approach, the market cools. It’s what’s expected.
But here’s what’s surprising. Based on the latest data from Realtor.com, there’s an increase in the number of sellers listing their houses later this year than usual. A peak this late in the year isn’t typical. You can see both the normal seasonal trend and the unusual August in the graph below:As Realtor.com explains:
“While inventory continues to be in short supply, August witnessed an unusual uptick in newly listed homes compared to July, hopefully signaling a return in seller activity heading toward the fall season . . .”
While this is only one month of data, it’s unusual enough to note. It’s still too early to say for sure if this trend will continue, but it’s something you’ll want to stay ahead of if it does.
What This Means for You
If you’ve been putting off selling your house, now may be the sweet spot to make your move. That’s because, if this trend continues, you’ll have more competition the longer you wait. And if your neighbor puts their house up for sale too, it means you may have to share buyers’ attention with that other homeowner. If you sell now, you can beat your neighbors to the punch.
But, even with more homes coming onto the market, the market is still well below normal supply levels. And, that inventory deficit isn’t going to be reversed overnight. The graph below helps put this into context, so you can see the opportunity you still have now:
Even though inventory is still low, you don’t want to wait for more competition to pop up in your neighborhood. You still have an incredible opportunity if you sell your house today. Connect with a real estate agent to explore the benefits of selling now before more homes come to the market.
- Holding off on selling your house because you believe there aren’t any buyers out there?
- Data shows buyers are still active, even with higher mortgage rates. This goes to show, people still want to buy homes, and those who can are moving now.
- Don’t delay your plan to sell for fear no one is buying. The opposite is true and buyer traffic is still strong today. Connect with a real estate agent to get your house in front of these buyers.
Reaching retirement is a significant milestone in life, bringing with it a lot of change and new opportunities. As the door to this exciting chapter opens, one thing you may be considering is selling your house and finding a home better suited for your evolving needs.
Fortunately, you may be in a better position to make a move than you realize. Here are a few reasons why.
Consider How Long You’ve Been in Your Home
From 1985 to 2009, the average length of time homeowners stayed in their homes was roughly six years. But according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), that number is higher today. Since 2010, the average home tenure is just over nine years (see graph below):
This means many homeowners have been living in their houses even longer in recent years. When you live in a home for such a significant amount of time, it’s natural for you to experience changes in your life while you’re in that house. As those life changes and milestones happen, your needs may change. And if your current home no longer meets them, you may have better options waiting for you.
Consider the Equity You’ve Gained
And, if you’ve been in your home for more than a few years, you’ve likely built-up substantial equity that can fuel your next move. That’s because you gain equity as you pay down your loan and as home prices appreciate. And, the longer you’ve been in your home, the more you may have gained. Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) illustrates that point (see graph below):
While home prices vary by area, the national average shows the typical homeowner who’s been in their house for five years saw it increase in value by nearly 60%. And the average homeowner who’s owned their home for 30 years saw it almost triple in value over that time.
Whether you’re looking to downsize, relocate to a dream destination, or move so you live closer to friends or loved ones, that equity can help. Whatever your home goals are, a trusted real estate agent can work with you to find the best option. They’ll help you sell your current house and guide you as you buy the home that’s right for you and your lifestyle today.
As you plan for your retirement, connect with a local real estate agent to find out how much equity you’ve built up over the years and plan how you can use it toward the purchase of a home that fits your changing needs.
Even though activity in the housing market has slowed from the frenzy that was the ‘unicorn’ years, it’s still a seller’s market because the supply of homes for sale is so low. But what does that really mean for you? And why are conditions today so good if you want to sell your house?
The latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows housing supply is still astonishingly low. Housing inventory is measured by the number of available homes on the market. It’s also measured by months’ supply, meaning the number of months it would take to sell all those available homes based on current demand. In a balanced market, there’s usually about a six-month supply. Today, we have only about 3 months’ supply of homes at the current sales pace (see graph below):
As the visual shows, given the current inventory of homes, it’s still a seller’s market.
Today, we’re nowhere near what’s considered a balanced market. In fact, the current months’ supply is half of what’s typical of a normal market. That means there just aren’t enough homes to go around based on today’s buyer demand.
As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for NAR, says:
“There are simply not enough homes for sale. The market can easily absorb a doubling of inventory.”
How Does Being in a Seller’s Market Benefit You?
Sellers, these conditions give you a real edge. Right now, there are buyers who are ready, willing, and able to purchase a home. And, because there’s a shortage of homes up for sale, the ones that do hit the market are like magnets for those buyers.
If you work with a local real estate agent to list your house right now, in good condition, and at the right price, it could get a lot of attention. You might even end up with multiple offers.
Today’s seller’s market sets you up with a big advantage when you sell your house. Because supply is so low, your house will be in the spotlight for motivated buyers who are craving more options. Connect with a local real estate agent so you understand what’s happening in your area as you get ready to enter the market.
Are you putting off selling your house because you’re worried no one’s buying because of where mortgage rates are? If so, know this: the latest data shows plenty of buyers are still out there, and they’re purchasing homes today. Here’s the data to prove it.
The ShowingTime Showing Index is a measure of buyers touring homes. The graph below uses the latest numbers available and compares them to the same month in the last normal years to show just how active today’s buyers still are:
As you can see, when June 2023 numbers are stacked alongside what’s typical for the housing market at this time of year, it’s clear buyers are still active. And, they’re actually a lot more active than the norm.
If you’re wondering how this could possibly be true, it’s because buyers are getting used to higher mortgage rates and accepting them as the new reality. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist, Realtor.com, explains:
“Interest rate hikes continue to further cut into buyers’ purchasing power, although they appear to have adapted to the higher mortgage rate environment . . .”
It’s simple. Buyers will always need to buy, and those who can afford to move at today’s rates are going to do so.
The Key Takeaway for You
While it’s true things have slowed down from the frenzy of the last couple of years, it doesn’t mean today’s market is at a standstill. The reality is: buyer traffic is still strong today. Even with today’s mortgage rates, plenty of buyers are still making their moves. So why delay your own move when there’s clearly a market for your house?
Don’t put off your plans because you’re worried no one will buy your home. The opposite is true, and more buyers are more active than the norm. Connect with a real estate agent to get your house ready to sell, so it makes the best first impression possible on those eager buyers.