“Crash” Update on the True State of the Real Estate Market

April Real Estate Market Update

Hey, Nashville, do you want the truth? Of course you do! Listen, there is so much negative publicity out in the media about the housing market crashing and forecasts saying it’s looking close to what happened back in 2008, so I’m here to set the record straight. Hi, I’m Caitlin Davis with Weichert, Realtors, The Andrews Group. We’re seeing headlines like, Cash-Out Mortgage Refis are Back and Will Homes Become ATMS again? Well, it’s true. We do have a significant amount of home refis, but the amount of money being taken out is significantly lower than back in 2006, which was the highest since 2000. The amount of money being taken out is only 1/6th of the amount that was being taken out back then. The headlines are just not giving us the whole picture. What’s happening today is that Americans are actually taking out that money from the equity in their homes to do things like send their kids to college or to pay off those credit cards that have an 18% interest rate in comparison to their mortgage interest rate of 4%. However, back in 2006, that same money was being taken out for liabilities, like cars and boats. Then you see another ad titled, Consumer Debt Hits 4 Trillion. That just doesn’t show us just how much debt each family has in comparison in comparison to how much they’re making. Yes, 4 trillion is at an all-time high, but how much debt a typical family has is only 4.24% of their income, which is actually at a 40-year low. It’s lower today than it was since 1980, and probably even longer than that, because those numbers just weren’t recorded until 1980. So if you look at the overall picture, we’re actually in the best position we’ve been in over 40 years, as compared to disposable household income and debt. So we’re hearing all of this about a housing crash, but we’re actually finally coming into a more normal market, and this is what we want. Over the last 10 months, we’ve watched homes continue to appreciate, just not quite at the rate we’ve seen before. Like here in Nashville, for example, we’ve seen appreciation skyrocket up to 7% in the past, but that kind of quick scale just isn’t sustainable. And in a new report from the Greater Nashville Realtors, appreciation rates are sitting at 2.4% over 2008. So yes, we’re seeing a small slow in appreciation, but it’s not a crash. It’s just more of a traditional appreciation and that’s healthy. And that’s backed by the Home Price Expectation Survey, which is made up of over 100 economists, real estate investors, and financial advisors. They’re all showing a slow increase and appreciation like we’ve seen in the past. So just be careful what you hear on the news because they just aren’t always telling us the whole story. And if you’d like to get the real skinny on what’s happening in the local and national real estate market, then you can give me a call.

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