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Status Of The Phoenix Housing Market Heading Into 2019

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The Phoenix housing market has seen stable growth over the last several years. This stability has been a welcome change from the turbulent times that are still fresh in everyone’s mind.   The housing market in the phoenix area started growing at unsustainable rates in 2005, this unsustainable growth eventually lead to a collapse in 2008 that caused the housing crisis and great recession.  The phoenix area was hit particularly hard during the recession. Since 2012, we have seen a very different picture, instead of huge rises and crashes the market has seen steady sustainable growth.

Recently however, Troy Reeves and “The Reeves Team” have started getting questions on whether or not we are starting to enter another bubble.  So, are we entering a bubble?   Or are we just suffering from a case of recency bias that is making homeowners, and potential buyers nervous that the past is doomed to repeat itself?

To answer these questions let’s start by taking a deep dive into some of the metrics that determine the health of the phoenix housing market.

We will start by looking at the Absorption rate of homes in the Phoenix metro area over the last 12 months.  Absorption rate is a very important statistic to measure the health of the overall housing market.  The absorption rate is calculated by looking at the current number of homes sold in a month versus the number of total homes on the market.  The result is the total amount of months it would take to sell out of the current inventory.  Three months is the ideal number for a healthy housing market.  We were around the 3-month mark in March of 2017 however we have been dipping under that number since that point.

So, what does it mean that our absorption rate has been steadily under 3 months?  The biggest takeaway is that there is not an ideal supply of homes on the market to meet the demand from the buyers looking to purchase a home.  This points to a rise in housing prices in the short to medium turn.  While the current absorption rate is not dramatically under the ideal mark if it continues lower look for even sharper price movement upwards.  If you are looking for additional insights into the absorption rate and what it means for your housing situation please reach out to “The Reeves Team” for an even further in-depth analysis.

Next let’s look at the most straight forward metric of them all, price.  While price may not give us as good of a gauge of what’s going to happen in the future as absorption rate, it gives us a great idea of what has happened in the past.  While the past in real estate doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, it does often rhyme.

So what does the price analysis over the last 12 months tell us?  The biggest take away is that we have a great deal of stability in the market.  Unlike from 2005 to 2012 these lines are fairly smooth instead of having huge spikes upwards and huge drops downward we have slow sustainable growth.  As you can see towards the end of the chart there has been a recent uptick in the median listing price and in the median sales price, this is to be expected as we continue to see an absorption rate of under 3 months.

As a side note this pricing graph demonstrates something we at “The Reeves Team” always explain to our clients.  If you want your home to sell quickly and for the highest possible value, it is important to price your home correctly when you put it on the market.  Look at how close the <strong>new median list price</strong> and the <strong>sold median list price</strong> are. This tells us that the homes that are priced correctly are selling and the homes that are overpriced are sitting on the market.  In the Phoenix housing market buyers have options so it’s important to be competitive if you want your home to sell for top dollar.  If you are interested in putting your home on the market or just want to have an idea of how much your home is worth, contact “The Reeves Team“.

Next up let’s look at inventory.  Inventory is a measure of how many homes are on the market, versus how many are being sold.   As with price you can see that the number of new listings and sold listings are very similar.

What is striking about inventory going into 2019 is how stable is has been since the housing market started recovering around 2012.  Take a look at this article written by “The Reeves Team” in July of 2012.  This was one of our most viewed articles ever as you can see by the over 30 comments that were posted when it was written.  Troy Reeves correctly predicted that the housing market was returning to normal and that normalcy has continued on until today.

The last item we are going to look at before we zoom out to the big picture overview is the Sold Days On Market.  This metric takes a look at all the homes that were sold during a given month and averages how long it took those homes to sell.  There are a couple of takeaways from this data over the past year.  The first takeaway is that the metric has been under 90 days for the entire last year.  The Sold DOM under 90 days for a span of an entire year reinforces what the absorption rate told us above, that buyers are wanting homes faster than sellers are listing them.  While the margin is not to wide at this point, it is something that could lead to a run up in prices in the short term if it continues to fall.

The second take away from the Sold Days On Market is that buyers want to buy homes during the summer.  As you can see the days on market dips dramatically during the summer months when kids are out of school.  You can expect this pattern to repeat for the foreseeable future.

After reviewing the detailed short term metrics we can see that prices and inventory seem very stable, and point to continued sustainable growth.  Now that we have looked at the short term lets take a look at the bigger picture and zoom out and look at prices before and after the run up and crash of the housing market.

 

Looking at this chart that began in 2000 and runs to today we can get a great perspective on just what happened and where we are today.  First you can see that we had sustainable growth from 2000 until 2005 when the housing boom, fueled by the rise in subprime mortgages, took off.  As you can see by the parabolic rise in prices from 2005 and peaking in 2007 these prices were not sustainable.  In 2008 the housing prices absolutely fell off a cliff and bounced around at the bottom until around 2012.  Its clear to see looking back that during the 2010 to 2012 time period we were clearly in oversold territory and a rebound back to normal prices was needed.  This rebound was accurately predicted by Troy Reeves” in November of 2012.  To give you some perspective “The Reeves Team” drew a red line that continued out from the original sustainable growth between the years of 2000 to 2005 up until today.  What is remarkable is, even with the parabolic run up and huge crash and recession that followed, the market has stabilized back to where it would have been if the slow sustainable growth had continued from the beginning.

Reasons to be optimistic.

There are many reasons to be optimistic about the housing market moving forward.   The biggest reason to be optimistic, is that it does not appear that we are in a bubble.  While housing prices have had growth at a slightly faster than average pace over the last few years, it is mainly fueled by the fact that prices previously were to low and we have been catching up to where we need to be all along. With that being said, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on prices in the future, and if you see another parabolic jump in prices be cautious.  However, looking at the data we have reviewed, including the absorption rate, prices, sold days on market and inventory a bubble does not appear to be an immediate threat.

Reasons to be concerned.

Wouldn’t it be great if there were no downside and everything was looking positive?  Unfortunately we are not that lucky.  Interest rates have been on the rise in recent years and the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated he plans on continuing to raise them, possibly even increasing the rate at which we see rates rise.  So what does this mean for the Phoenix Housing Market?  The biggest takeaway is that if rates go up, the amount of money home buyers will be able to finance will go down, as more of their monthly payments will be eaten up by interest.

Final Thoughts.

The effects on the rising interest rates may take time to play out, but for now “The Reeves Team” remains cautiously optimistic that we will continue seeing long term sustainable growth in the Phoenix Housing Market.  The market appears to have completed its return to normalcy and the deep dive that we did on the short term numbers appears to say the same thing.   If you want any additional analysis on the market or your home in particular please reach out to “The Reeves Team“.

Let us know what you think of the analysis below!

How Much Down Payment Do You Really Need To Purchase A Home

There are some very significant benefits to owning your home instead of renting.  If you own your home, when your homes value appreciates your net worth goes up instead of your landlords.  Another benefit to owning is you can count on your mortgage payment not doing up drastically as rents rise and inflation continues.  One of the most daunting aspects for most prospective home buyers is saving up for the down-payment.   With traditional homes in Gilbert going for an average of over 300 thousand dollars a 20% down payment is over 60,000.  What not everyone knows is that there are other financing options that allow for a lower down-payment than the traditional 20%.  Here at The Reeves Team we are here to give you your options.

What is the least I can put down to purchase a new home?

You can purchase a home for as low as 3% down.  If we take that 300 thousand dollar home and do the math again that is only 9,000 instead of the traditional 60,000.  To first time home buyers 3% is much more attainable than 20%.  The FHA or Federal Housing Administration helps home buyers get approved and they are even willing to guarantee a portion of the balance to the lender.  FHA loans can be as low as 3.5% and have some of the lowest rates available to potential homeowners.  You can still find some lenders willing to do zero percent loans but those are hard to come by and you need to make sure you are looking over the details very carefully and are comfortable with the loan documents.  Active and retired service members, and residents in rural areas also have access to zero percent down loans through the department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.

What are the downsides to not putting the traditional 20% down?

If you put less than 20% down when you are purchasing a home the government will back a portion of that loan so they lender will be willing to loan you the money.  Unfortunately that government backed portion isn’t free and it is known as mortgage insurance.  There is typically an upfront fee and a monthly payment that will be added on to the mortgage.  On the bright side is if your home appreciates in value and goes above the 20% down-payment threshold you can refinance to remove mortgage insurance.  Some loans also may allow for the removal of mortgage insurance without refinancing once the property value is high enough. Check with your lender to see if this is an option for your loan.

So what do you think? Is it best to save up the 20% before purchasing a home?  Or should you get into a home as soon as you can to start building equity?  Let us know in the comments below.

Gilbert Real Estate At All Time Highs, Where Do We Go From Here?

What a year we have had so far in the economy.  We have spent most of the year worrying about a recession, while the stock market and phoenix housing markets slowly crept into all time high territory.  Looking around it seems like a recession is nowhere to be found.  But sometimes looks can be deceiving.  So what are we expecting from here?  Are we going to continue higher?  Or are we ready for a correction in the Gilbert housing market?

It has been all over the news lately that the stock market is at record levels.  For the last few weeks it has been nearly a daily occurrence that we close the day higher than any day in previous recorded history.   This seems incredible given that only a few months ago everyone was worried about a possible recession and an inversion of the yield curve.  While the increase in value in the stock market has been widely covered, what has not been covered as much is the increase in housing prices.

Phoenix home values have been exploding over the the last year with a 15% year over year increase in the value of home prices from October 2018 until last month.  The jump over this past year has been enough to catapult us above the all time high prices we saw during the housing bubble of the early 2000’s.  The difference this time is the fundamentals appear to be much stronger and we are not being propped up by a subprime mortgage crises.

Short Term Outlook

So what is next for the Gilbert housing market for the rest of the year?  The rest of the year looks like clear skys as the trade talks appear to be on pause, the federal reserve has stated interest rates will remain low for the foreseeable future and consumer confidence remains extremely high.  Now that fall is here and school is back in full swing the prime buying window has closed but that does not mean that prices will necessarily dip.  There are fewer people looking to buy homes, but there are also fewer people looking to sell their home so it tends to even out.  With a market as hot as this one has been its possible we could even see prices rise between now and the end of the year.

Long Term Outlook

The long term outlook of the market is not quite as clear.  As with any election year there are going to be ups and downs.   As many Democrats have been promising increased regulation and taxes on the wealthy many analysts are worried we could see a massive dive in the stock market if one of the more liberal candidates were to win the presidency.  A few people have went as far to say if Elizabeth Warren were to win the election the stock market would decline by over 25%.  While many of these statements are hyperbolic there may be some truth to them.  The Reeves Team will keep you up to date throughout the election season to make sure you stay informed.  The other side of the coin is that President Trump will be doing everything he can think of to spur on the economy next year to help his reelection effort, so there will be large economic forces fighting each other as the 2020 elections unfold.

So what do you think?  Will we continue to see Gilbert housing and the stock market hit all time highs or are we destined to see a large correction in the near future?  Let us know in the comments below.

How Could Climate Change Affect Gilbert Housing

Climate change is a hot button topic.  Most people have a strong feeling one way or the other if climate change is man made or just a part of the earths normal cycle.  At The Reeves Team we aren’t here to pick a side.   What we do know is that, regardless of if its because of man made carbon dioxide, the earth is getting warmer. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010.  We also know that this has caused more sporadic weather patterns.  Here at The Reeves Team we don’t take sides we just tell you how it can affect you and the Gilbert housing market.

Coastal Migration

A huge number of mortgages each year are written for high risk homes near or on the coast.  Up to $100 billion worth each year. Over 300,000 existing coastal homes will be repeatedly flooded, or lost altogether, within the next 30 years, according to sea-level calculations that the Union of Concerned Scientists publishes. Many high population states including California, Texas, Florida, and New York are vulnerable. Currently with housing prices continuing to rise in these areas the market is not properly factoring in these long term risks.  As the volatility in weather continues to rise over the coming decades many homeowners will give up on the coastal regions and head to other areas in the country with similar weather.  Arizona is in a great place to accommodate these homeowners, and in particular California residents.  We are within driving distance to California, we have similar weather with no snow year around and our house properties look like massive bargains compared to what people are currently paying on the coast of California.  We have already started to see a shift and many of the newer residents of Gilbert and the surrounding areas come from California and other high value coastal areas.

Warming Of The Valley

So the good news is that we should see a rise in transplants from coastal areas that feel like our housing is a bargain.  On the negative side we will see more of something else we already have an abundance of. Heat.  The Phoenix metro area is the second fastest warming city in the U.S. and our average summer temperature is nearly 2 degrees hotter than it was in 1970.  Some of the negative affects this may bring include; An increased need for water while at the same time a decrease in our water supply. An increase in the length of our mosquito season.  We will also see an increase in the amount of days with extreme heat.  We currently have over 6 more days a year with heat reaching above 110 degrees than we did in 1970.  We will also see an increased likelihood of drought as the temperatures steadily increase.  So what does this mean for home prices?  Well as we see an influx of people moving in from coastal areas, we can expect those gains to be offset somewhat by those that are trying to beat the heat and decide to migrate elsewhere.  With increases in technology including advancements in home insulation and multi pane windows as well as increases in Air Conditioning efficiency we can hopefully offset some of the negatives by continuing to keep our living environments sheltered from the elements.

Back To The Midwest?

Over the previous decades we have seen a mass exodus of residents of the mid-west.  Populations in rural Midwestern cities have plummeted and even major cities populations in the Midwest have stayed stagnant to slightly down, such as Chicago.  In the meantime cities populations in the west and near the coast have exploded.  Arizona has been one of the biggest winners as we have seen our population continue to grow steadily over the previous decades. With the increases in population in the coastal areas, as well as increased weather volatility and increased prices will we see a reverse in this trend?  Will people eventually look at the costs of living in the Mid-West and determine the costs are just to good to be true?  One major reason people have shifted out of the Midwest has been jobs, but now that America’s employers are starting to allow for a more remote workforce this could allow for people to acquire a relatively high paying job while still having the incredibly low living expenses of living in the Midwest.

So what do you think?  Will we continue to see the temperatures rise?  Have you considered moving from Arizona back to the Midwest?  Let us know in the comments below.

Has The Housing Bull Market Just Gotten Started?

At The Reeves Team we are in constant contact with our clients and with residents of Gilbert and the South East Valley. Because we stay in close contact we know that the sentiment recently among residents is that a recession is near and housing prices are about to dive lower. It does make sense on a certain level, home prices have more than doubled in less than a decade from their low in 2011. Home prices are also higher now than they were at the height of the housing bubble in 2008. We have heard residents and even readers of our blog comment for the last few years that another housing collapse is imminent and that they will wait on the sidelines before finding a better time to jump in. While these are all very good points there are other ways of looking at it and we want clients of The Reeves Team to be the most informed in the valley. So here are a few reasons we may not be seeing a dip in housing prices, but instead we are just getting started on this bull run.

Chronic under-supply of homes

Since the 1950’s there have been on average 1.5 million new homes built per year in America.  However, when the market crashed in 2008 it not only scared off home buyers, it also scared off home builders.  Since 2008 an average of only 900,000 thousand new homes have been built, this is while the population in America continues to grow.  As you can see from the chart we have less than a 6 month supply of homes listed for sale currently and that number is trending downward abruptly.  If these trends continue you can expect home prices to go up in the short term and not down.

Interest rates at historic lows

Low interest rates get home buyers motivated and allow them to purchase homes at higher prices and still fit it into their budget.  Rates are down over a percentage point from their peak just over a year ago.  The average rate is now near 3.5% for the average single family home.  These low rates have fueled the housing inventory to fall 2.5% from last September to this September.  We have also seen home prices below $200,000 fall 10% compared to a year ago as affordable housing becomes more and more competitive to find.  Previously experts were predicting housing inventories to stay flat but now they are revising those estimates and are beginning to forecast steep declines in the future.  So with less inventory and with home builders still building at historically low rates, we can expect to see more price rises in the future.

Homebuilder confidence is surging

Home builders have been beaten up over the last decade.  Many went out of business after the 2008 housing crisis and those that survived limped along for many years.  If you talk to them now though they are singing a different tune.  Fueled by shortages and low interest rates builder confidence has surged to its highest level in years according to the National Association of Home Builders.  On a scale from 1 to 100 with anything over 50 being positive the metric jumped 3 points in October to 71.   Breaking down these numbers a little further sales expectations over the next 6 months rose 6 points to 76 and buyer traffic was also up 4 points to 54.  Homebuilder valuations on the stock market are also skyrocketing as wallstreet is beginning to understand we may just at the beginning of this housing bull run.

Millennials to flood the market soon

Finally we get to the millennials.  While we have maligned this group for living in their parents basements and not getting jobs, its possible we judged them to harshly to soon. The average age of a first time home buyer is 33.  The average age of a millennial right now is 34.  Love or hate the millennial generation, their are a lot of them.  More so than any other generation in fact, even larger than the baby boomers.  They are just not entering their peak earning years and will begin flooding the markets looking for homes.

So what do you think?  With all of these signs pointing bullish do you think we are just getting started or do you believe as many others do that we are still in for a housing pullback before things get better?  Let us know in the comment section below.

Will The Next Recession Hurt Phoenix Housing Worse Than The Rest Of The Country?

Housing in the Phoenix Metro area was hit harder than most in the 2008 economic downturn.  Once we got through the multi year downturn we also had some of the sharpest rises in value over the next decade.  According to a recent report from Redfin the roller-coaster ride may not be over yet.   The study looked at 7 different factors to determine which of the 50 major metro areas housing markets would be the most affected in the next recession.  Some of the factors included in the study were, sale price to household income, loan to value ratio, home price volatility, percentage of flips, as well as others.

So how did the phoenix metro area do?  Not well, unfortunately this is one list you do not want to be at the top of.  While Phoenix wasn’t number one, we did come in a close second to Riverside CA.

Rank Metro Area Home Sale Price-to-Income Ratio Average Home Loan-to-Value Ratio Home Price Volatility Flips Share of Sales Overall Score
1 Riverside, CA 6.3 65.3% 17.9% 6.3% 72.8%
2 Phoenix, AZ 4.7 64.8% 17.7% 8.1% 69.8%
3 Miami, FL 5.9 50.4% 15.2% 7.5% 69.5%
4 San Diego, CA 8.1 65.6% 16.9% 5.9% 68.2%
5 Providence, RI 4.5 70.6% 16.8% 4.4% 67.1%
6 Tampa, FL 4.5 59.2% 17.1% 7.5% 66.8%
7 Las Vegas, NV 5.1 61.0% 16.7% 8.3% 64.6%
8 Los Angeles, CA 10.9 62.6% 15.7% 7.7% 63.7%
9 San Antonio, TX 4.1 N/A† 15.7% 5.8% 63.2%
10 Orlando, FL 4.8 61.2% 16.0% 6.1% 59.1%

It is interesting that the study found Phoenix would suffer more than Los Angeles and New York as many people have viewed these markets as extremely overpriced for quite some time.
Another important topic covered by the survey is that this study is looking at the greatest chance that home values will decrease and it is not looking which market will have the largest decrease.  In fact the survey concluded that it is unlikely that prices will be dramatically lower during the next recession.  There are multiple reasons for this conclusion.  The main reason is that the next recession will not be driven primarily by a housing market collapse like the last one.  Also it is unlikely the next recession will last as long or be as bad as the previous “great recession”.

 

Recession Start Recession End Duration Real Home Price Change Peak Unemployment
1980-01 1980-07 7 months -2.6% 7.8%
1981-07 1982-11 17 months -5.8% 10.8%
1990-07 1991-03 9 months -6.7% 7.8%
2001-03 2001-11 8 months +4.4% 6.3%
2007-12 2009-06 19 months -16.7% 10.0%

The above chart takes a look at how long the previous recessions have lasted and how much the affected housing prices overall.  As you can see the last recession was the only recession that saw double digit losses in housing prices and it was nearly 3 time as bad as the next recession.  Another point of interest is that the recession that lasted from 2001 to 2003 actually saw a nearly 5% increase in housing prices.  This just shows it is not necessary to panic about a your houses value if you believe as many do that a recession is near.

This is also a good indication that if you are looking to purchase a house in the near future, it may not be the best idea to hold off and wait for prices to come down. Its possible prices will not drop at all, and even if they do it may not be enough to make up for the time spent waiting for the best buying opportunity.  If you are looking to buy or sell your home or if you just have questions about the real estate market in general you can contact The Reeves Team.

So what do you think?  Is Phoenix housing set up for a monumental collapse in the next recession or will it just be a bump in the road?  Let us know in the comment section below.

How Rising Oil Prices Can Affect The Value Of Gilbert Housing

As Americans we have enjoyed historically cheap oil for the last 5 years.  While many Americans may not keep it at the forefront of our mind, oil does have a big impact on our actions.  It was only little more than a decade ago when everyone was worried about the price of oil spiking to crippling prices due to “Peak Oil”.  Peak oil was was the concept in the early 2000’s that we had reached the peak level of oil production due to earths oil reserves being depleted.  While it is true that oil is a finite resource and once its gone we wont be getting more, this theory forgot to take into consideration one important factor, Human Ingenuity!  As prices rose and technology progressed we found newer and safer ways to get to oil deposits that had previously seemed impossible.

The United States has been a leader in the new oil revolution.  We used to be dependent on foreign oil suppliers where now we actually produce more oil than we import.

Another huge benefit for Americans is our strategic oil reserves. America has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world. While these reserves were steadily depleting for over 35 years, from the early 70’s until the mid 2000’s we have recently been adding to the reserves and are nearing an all time high.

Americas rise in production and increase in the reserves is great news and allows us much more independence from Middle Eastern oil producing countries. However, just because things have been going our way does not mean we are immune price fluctuations from those countries. After a recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s largest oil production facility oil prices have been driven up 15%. The attack which took out as much as 5% of the worlds oil production could prompt even higher prices in the days to come.

Here at The Reeves Team we want to let you know how these increases can affect your housing prices, as well as other potential scenarios that can come from this surge in oil price. We will detail some of the most important ways that housing can be affected by oil prices below.

Disposable Income

As oil prices rise so does the cost of gas an pretty much all consumer goods.  This hits Americans pocketbooks as quickly as anything can.  If you want proof just look at Americans driving habits. In the early 2000’s Americans were driving massive vehicles with almost no regard for gas mileage. However, as oil prices rose and the recession hit practicality took over and those big vehicles were traded in for smaller more fuel efficient vehicles.  Now after 5 years of low prices you are hard pressed to find an American made vehicle that is not a SUV or truck.  Will we see that trend reverse itself again if oil prices rise?  Because oil prices take a huge chunk out of a families budget it means they have less to spend on housing.  When thinking about how much mortgage a potential home buyer can afford it could be hundreds of dollars less if gas and other consumer goods rise in price.  This equates to lower purchase prices and puts downward pressure on the housing market.

Location, Location, Location

As gas prices sore people may also be hesitant to purchase homes farther away from where they work.  When oil prices are low distance to work is less a factor of cost than it is time, however if the prices of gas doubles or more as it has in the past, people will start considering how much extra per month it is to live further away from work than to buy in closer to there company.  This phenomenon will affect houses on the outskirts more so than homes that are in the more urban areas.

Recession

Yes that big scary word.  Oil prices can be a cause of recession.  As Americans we live in a consumer driven economy, as our pocket books struggle and we stop spending it can lead to a vicious cycle that ends in recession.  As we have seen in the past if we do enter a recession you can expect to see a modest pullback in home prices.  Because housing would not be what leads us into recession you should not expect to see any drops as significant as we saw in the great recession.

So what do you think?  Are we set to see oil prices spike even higher or is this a temporary blip that will come back down to normal soon? Let us know in the comment section below.

What happens to mortgages if interest rates go below zero?

We have been living in interesting financial times.  Over the last decade plus we have been in a financial experiment and nobody knows how the results are going to turn out.  Since the great recession we have have very unique monetary policy from the federal government.   In the wake of the financial crisis driven by the housing market the federal reserve reduced the effective interest rate to 0 and also pumped trillions of dollars into the economy in the form of quantitative easing.  The main reason the federal reserve started the Quantitative Easing experiment is because they felt that interest rates could not be lowered below 0.   Experts have always said that 0 is the lower bound for interest rates and cannot be crossed.

That was then, this is now.  We now have federal reserve members actively talking about interest rates below zero.  The International Monetary Fund also suggested that central banks including the United States government should consider allowing interest rates to drop below zero.  With the current economic concerns weakening both in the United States and in the world abroad this would normally be the time that central banks would begin to ease interest rates to lessen the impact of a recession.  There is just one problem,  central banks were not able to raise interest rates during the boom times of the last decade.  While there were a few interest rate increases the current federal funds rate sits at 2.5%.  This does not give us very far to fall before we go to zero.  The federal reserve already started cutting rates in June of this year by .25% and some expect a cut by as much as .5% in the September meeting.  If we do slip into a recession as many experts predict in the next 18 months the federal reserve will not have many proverbial bullets in the gun to lower rates before the hit the zero mark.  Here at The Reeves Team we want our clients to be prepared for any scenario.

A negative interest rate would be something many Americans never thought they would see.  It would also behave in a way that many would not expect.  For instance, people that put their money into a saving account expect a return on their account.  Even in elementary school you are taught that banks make money by taking money from depositors, paying them an interest rate and then loaning that interest rate out to others at a higher rate.  That whole model would be turned on its head.  Now imagine if you take your money to a bank and instead of the bank telling you how much per month they will pay you, they tell you how much you will be paying them for the benefit of leaving your money in the bank.  Strange times indeed.

So what does the mean for mortgages?  If we have to pay the bank to keep our money with them, they should have to pay us if we borrow it right?  Well it might not end up working out like that for consumers.  In some news that can be glass half full, or glass half empty depending on how you look at it, we do have some examples of countries that have negative interest rates that we can learn from.  Europe has been flirting with negative interest rates since 2015 and Danish banks have actually been providing loans with -.5 basis points.  This may be hard to wrap your head around but the bank is actually going to get back less money than they loaned out to the homeowner.   It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially due to the fact that currently banks front load the interest you pay on a home so that most of the payment goes to interest in the beginning and as the life of the loan continues more money goes towards principal.

Even if the federal funds rate dips below zero it is unlikely that mortgages will follow suit as fast.  Many home buyers would jump for joy at rates around 1% or lower, and it would be hard to convince the majority of banks to lend money to consumers basically for free.

Do you think we will see mortgage rates in the United States fall below zero?  Or is this all just hypothetical and things will continue on as they have?  Let us know in the comments below.

How Will The 2020 Elections Affect Gilbert Real Estate

With growing uncertainty in the economy many are Americans are beginning to look toward the 2020 presidential elections to determine how the economy is going to look for the foreseeable future.   As President Trump tries his best to continue the momentum we have had in the American economy over the last 10 years, there are many headwinds he is fighting against.  The Reeves Team is constantly monitoring the market and is here to keep you informed on how it might affect your pocketbook.

The trade war has started to slow growth in the American economy and the stock market is lower now than it was a year ago at this time.  The federal reserve has just recently started cutting rates again and we had the dreaded yield curve inversion.  So what does this mean for the general public and their bottom line?  When many people think about the economy they think about their largest investment.  For the vast majority of Americans their biggest investment is the home they live in.  So how will the Gilbert housing market be affected if Trump wins reelection or if a Democratic candidate wins in November of 2020.  With the elections nearly a year away lets dive into some of the consequences that could be felt. Here are a few scenarios.

Rental Tax Credits

Most elections candidates are weary to talk about the housing market.  People feel very passionate about their homes, for good reason, and don’t want to feel like the government is meddling in their largest investment.  This election seems to be different.  Many candidates have been discussing tax credits for both renters and buyers.  If trump wins reelection in 2020 I would not expect much change, however some democratic candidates may mix up the status quo.  Some candidates are trying to tackle the problem of ever increasing rent prices in the hottest markets in America.  Gilbert rent prices have nearly doubled in the last decade, so Gilbert would certainly see some effect from these tax credits.  Some of the proposals include giving a tax credit for families that are spending over 30% of their monthly income in rent.  While this could be helpful in the short term proposals like this will probably only increase overall rent prices, as well as increase home values as well.

Home Buyer Tax Credits

Its no secret that millennials have shied away from purchasing homes, however as they settle down and start their families many of them are beginning to look at purchasing their first home.  Unfortunately for millennials they home prices are higher, and they are straddled with more debt from college than previous generations.  One area that is being looked at is renewing the first time home buyer credit.  This was a credit that was put in place during the 2008 financial crisis and has recently expired.  This type of home buying credit and other credits for home buyers and home owners could also help out the housing industry.

General Outlook

Given the historic crash in home values in 2008 it is remarkable that home valuations are within 6% of their all time highs even when adjusting for inflation.  Given these lofty valuations if we do see a recession it is likely the market could dip.  It is important to keep in mind that last time the recession was driven by sub prime lending and crazy housing valuations, that will not be the reason we go into recession this time.  So if you are worried about a collapse in housing prices as big as last time you need not worry.

So what do you think about the possibilities of these tax credits? Are you for helping out those that are burndened by high home and rent prices?  Or do you see 12 Santa Clauses on stage when you watch the debate, and think we should stop spending more government money on tax credits? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

How Badly Would A Recession Hurt Gilbert Housing?

The federal reserve just lowered interest rates for the first time since the housing collapse in 2008.   At The Reeves Team we have been getting questions from our clients about what a rate cut means for the local housing market in Gilbert.  Since the 1990’s every time the Federal reserve has cut rates it has been because a recession was about to occur or because a recession has already started.  This has many people worried that another recession is likely.  Because of all the feedback we have decided to answer the three most common questions in a blog post.

Will this recession hurt real estate prices as much as the 2008 recession?

The 2008 recession was called the great recession for a reason.  The last recession was much larger than most.  Housing in Gilbert Arizona dropped by over 40% within the span of months.  Wealth that people had worked their whole lives to build up vanished almost overnight.  We have a recency bias when we think about recessions that make many of us assume that the next recession will see the same kind of stark decline in house values.  If we are entering into a recession it is unlikely that we will see the same kind of widespread losses in the housing market.  The biggest reason housing wont be hit as hard is due to the fact that the recession will not be caused by the housing market itself.  In 2008 the subprime mortgage fiasco was the reason prices were so inflated, it is also the reason the bubble burst so hard.  Lending standards have been much stricter, and while they have been loosening up as of late, we are nowhere near as bad as we were in 2008.  We don’t know what will cause the next recession but its unlikely to be housing that starts it.

Will we definitely have a recession?

As we pointed out above, the track record is not pretty.  For nearly the last 3 decades when the federal reserve cuts rates we are either in a recession or about to be in one.  However if you look back a little further you can find some reason for optimism.  In the early 90’s we had just had a long run of growth similar to the one we have just had.  As the economy started to soften the federal reserve stepped in and cut rates early.  When the fed cut rates back then it ended up lengthening the cycle for a few more years and averted crisis.  It is hard to tell if this rate cut will provide a similar situation or if we are already on the path to a recession.

How will Gilbert be affected compared to other areas?

Even if we are about to enter a recession if you own a home in Gilbert you will be in better shape than most.  Why?  Because people want to live in Gilbert.  Gilbert is a fast growing area with great schools and a great social environment.  Gilbert is also not as overpriced as some areas of the country such as California and the Hamptons.  If you own luxury real estate on the coasts a recession could have a major impact on your property value, also if you have an investment property in an area with declining population a recession could hit these areas hard as well.  Gilbert does not have those problems and should hold up extremely well if we do enter a recession.

So what do you think?  Are we headed for a recession or do we have a few more years?  Let us know in the comments below.

How Millennials Are Changing The Gilbert Housing Market

So it seems like millennial might be buying homes after all.  The younger generation dubbed as millennials have been a punching bag for older generations on many topics over the years, and home ownership is no exception. Millennials are known to stay home longer, rent instead of own and move around frequently.  However recent survey data is showing that our young troublemakers may be starting to grow up.

A study from the Urban institute shows that 7.1 million people aged 25 to 34 now own their own homes.  This is 37% of the millennial population.  Not only that but nearly 60% of millenialls now aspire to own a home.  This is a very big change from recent surveys.  So what do these new statistics mean for the Gilbert housing market as a whole?

Favorable Outlook

Home ownership was once frowned upon by millennials.  While older generations looked down on them for it, it made sense for a couple of different reasons.  The biggest reason is that they couldn’t afford it.  While the federal reserve states that inflation is at 2% annually they must not be including housing when they release that figure.  Housing has become increasingly expensive over the last few decades and to young adults entering the workforce saving up 20% for a down payment can seem like an impossible goal.  In fact, According to a 2019 home affordability report it will take new entrants into the workforce an average of 14 years to save up 20% for a down payment.  That is a staggering number and it is easy to see how millennials could get deterred and just assume home ownership is not for them.  Secondly, owning a home means putting down roots.  When you buy a home you typically need to stay in the home for 2 to five years to make the investment worth it over just renting.  For a young single person or even a young couple that isn’t sure where they want to end up, a 1 year lease may seem like a more favorable option than a long term housing commitment.  millennials also came of age through the great recession of 2008 that was caused by massive losses in the housing market, this could also have a negative effect on their willingness to take a risk on a huge asset such as a house.

Still Some Skepticism

While we have seen a drastic rise in home ownership in millennials it may not all be roses quite yet.  The same study also showed that of the 37% of homeowners from the age of 25 to 34, that 63% of those homeowners regretted purchasing the home and had wished they had rented instead.  Some of the reasons that the respondents cited were unaccounted for expenses.  When you rent a home you know what your monthly budget is going to be for housing.  When you own a home you can have unexpected expenses that many first time buyers were not adequately prepared for.  At The Reeves Team, we make sure to prep first time home buyers on some of the expenses they can expect.  It is important to know what shape a homes roof is in when purchasing as well as having the rest of the house inspected for common concerns such as Air Conditioner or pool maintenance that may be in the future.  Another reasons home buyers regretted the purchase was due to the fact they had to sell sooner than they had anticipated.   Many jobs require frequent relocation, and we live in a world that is becoming more and more transient with multiple reasons we may need to leave the place we planned on being for the foreseeable future.  Because there are large overhead costs with purchasing and selling a home this can be a real negative when homeowners decide to sell sooner than they anticipated.

So what do you think?  Is it a good thing that millennials are starting to get excited about home ownership?  Or are you still skeptical based on how many of them resent their home purchase?  Let us know in the comment section below!